be in my DNA. Growing up I was fascinated by my grandparents' photo albums from the early 1900's, their glass
slides of family members from long ago, and even older images in the form of cyanotypes and daguerreotypes. These images
brought alive the family history my grandmother loved to share.
Photographing nature is what I love to do. Viewing the natural world through the lens
of a camera helps me appreciate and reflect on the miracles of life around me. Sometimes the beauty is spread out for
all to see; sometimes it is felt in the energy vibrating from the rocks and the trees; sometimes it must be searched out in
the tiniest petal or pattern in the sand; sometimes it is found in the composition of shapes and color, of space and light.
As early as I
can remember my father, brother and I worked in our makeshift darkroom in the attic. Later, as an adult, I continued
my printing in our basement darkroom. Over time I developed an allergy to the chemicals and was no longer able to develop
my own film or do my own prints. So my photography was put aside until digital technology allowed me to work on my images
without being exposed to darkroom chemicals.
When the time was right, I took courses at Rochester Institute of Technology. Nationally
respected for its school of photography, RIT was making its own transition from darkroom to digital technology. Computer-aided
"wizardry" has opened doors to new and exciting options for both taking and printing images. In addition to
the direct benefits for photography itself, the new technology has been ideal for designing and creating digital mandalas
from my photographs.
In recent years I have
been exploring ideas springing from Eastern religions, earth energy work, and sacred geometry. This process, integrated
with my design training, has resulted in the use of my photos to make mandalas. Mandalas are an ancient art form.
They are round or square images with patterns repeating around a central core. The designs are often similar to those
of a kaleidoscope many of us had as children. According to Tibetan monks, the making and releasing of patterned
sand mandalas represents the impermanence of life. In Native American tradition, mandalas often represent
the wheel of life, the four directions, the cosmic pattern. The corresponding tradition from India focuses on the use
of the mandala as an aid to contemplation.
In this sense, mandalas become more than the patterns that are the foundation of the design. The
colors and shapes interweave and create new energies, new forms to be appreciated and experienced. They represent the
stillness and the order of the universe. With nature photographs as a background, they also represent the energies and
the vibrancy of life. Take some time to watch as the colors, patterns, and shapes emerge from the background.
It is my hope that each image will bring some of the harmony and beauty of the universe
into your life.
I have recently added a more traditional
gallery of photos. They tend to reflect my love of old photos which are often a warm black and white, and are a little
softer in feel than the modern color versions available today. Many of these
photos are from our trip to the western US, where the scenery felt ancient and timeless.