Be the Canvas

Trying to Escape

My heart leaps up when I behold<
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is the father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
– William Wordsworth

I have no real idea why this image has attracted so many views o Flickr. It’s a mysterious scene, actually a clear plastic tarp pulled over some landscaping work we’re having done at the front of our house here in Pikesville, MD.

One of my major photographic inspirations were the macro photographs that I remember being in the grade school newspaper, “My Weekly Reader”. There’d be the head of a nail blown up, or dimples in a golf ball. It was the form and texture divorced from the object and context that fascinated me. I think that the Highlights Magazine hidden picture series and the “what is wrong with this picture” images also trained me to look carefully with images for the interesting detail that escaped initial examination.

Most of what I photograph is still pretty recognizable, but reaching to reveal what I’ve seen in the scene. My form of communication here is pretty simple- “Here’s what I’ve seen. Have a look and I hope you find it interesting too”.

It’s an idea that I think I heard Tim Ferriss first refer to as “being the canvas“. I’m making art here by being present rather than being the actor, the prime mover, the creator. It’s made in gratitude of the sensuous life we’ve been granted, it’s made in recognition of those clever inventors of these tools, and I’m grateful to share the experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *