artist's statement about quiet time

The idea for quiet time stems from the 1970's when I  was a camp counselor at camps directed by the Reverend Dale Scott and his wife Sharon, two of the world's best leaders of youth camping experiences. It is dedicated to their memory.   At their Junior High camps we had quiet time for an hour in the afternoon.  Dale knew through experience that even a brief quiet period on their bunks helped keep the junior high exuberance from getting out of hand (and it was appreciated by the counselors too).  Sharon understood Junior High's so well that she knew that calling it nap time would be counter productive since they were no longer children and responded best to being treated with respect for their impending adulthood.  Never the less, many of the younger campers slept.  The older girls wrote to their boyfriends.  I was always suspicious that the older boys dreamed up the pranks they would pull the next day.  In these hectic days of the twenty first century we could all use some quiet time.

All of these photos have been taken to evoke that relaxed contemplative state of true quiet time.  Some people call it prayer, others meditation, but we all need more.  Several of the images, furs and mountain, for example, have been composed to evoke the approach of traditional Chinese painters.  Everyone has seen these paintings, typically long and narrow, they are painted using three planes to create perspective rather than the vanishing point typically used in  Western art.   Each of the three planes in the Chinese paintings are painted flat, without perspective like the  primitive paintings of Grandma Moses.  Typically the lower quarter of the image is the near foreground (often with scenes of people, villages and the like), the middle half is the middle ground, and the top quarter is the far ground (often with mountains, waterfalls or clouds).  Vanishing point perspective naturally occurs in photography as the three dimensional scene is projected onto the two dimensional image.  However, by careful composition, eliminating the features that provide the visual cues of the perspective, especially in ambient light with smoke, mist, rain, or fog the three planes can be mimicked.  I am grateful to George De Wolfe and his lecture on Eastern art for the understanding of this process.

I hope you enjoy these images and that they invoke for you the peaceful clarity of quiet time.


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