I realized last night when I was editing this photo of our apple tree in a storm that there was something familiar about my softening the apple tree in the snow.
Kathleen, a friend and blog reader, wrote that she liked the fact that I was seeking new visual worlds. She got it right, I think, although I didn’t know that until she told me.
But it wasn’t until this morning that I pulled up in my head the other images I had seen of artistic interpretations of trees that were presented in this way.
A couple of years ago, Maria and I had a wonderful week in New Mexico.
We especially loved visiting Georgia O’Keefe’s home and studio in Abiquiu. We both love her work, but I fell in love with her paintings of Cottonwood trees, the most beautiful trees I have seen.
I’m not comparing myself to her, but in a sense, she was doing AI visualizations before there were AI visualizations.
In AI (artificial intelligence) they are called “abstractions,” in my mind, they are, as Kathleen suggested, a new and visual way of capturing the feeling of a tree in a storm.
A new visual world.
Digital photography is my form, but I chafe sometimes at the very straight and literal images of modern large frame digital photography. We don’t imagine a different world, we stick close to the one we have.
And I don’t have to go over the top. I like fusing the two forms the literal, or “traditional”, and the new, the “abstraction.”
Sometimes, it’s good to break out of our creative ruts. I want my readers to be surprised sometimes, I want them to think about what they see, like it or not. I dread stasis, I think it’s the pathway to Old Fartism, a runaway disease among the elderly.
O’Keefe took a cotton tree and softened it, presented it in a new and artistic way. In a sense, and without her brilliant skills, I was doing the same thing.
Our apple tree is a beautiful symbol of the farm. I wanted to see it in a different way as the first wave of the storm eased, and the second one is approaching.
I see abstraction imagery as walking right on the line between a literal digital image and something more on the edge of abstraction. I don’t want to go too far, I don’t want to stand still. So I walk on the line.
I don’t know if O’Keefe’s painting put this but into my head. But a poster of this painting does hang over my chair in the living room. I just find the similarities compelling.
I admire O’Keefe in many ways.
She was not bound by any of the conventional boundaries of art, she experiments and explored and changed the very definition of what art is.
I am not that ambitious, nor am I that talented, but it was exciting for me to see her Cottonwood trees.
If I’d had more color, it could have been even closer.