“Speaking of painting in its finest essentials, one must read widely in the documents and histories, ascend mountains, and trace rivers to their source, and only then can one create one’s idea’s.”
– K’un-ts’an,, (Zen painter 14th century)
"If you wish to record these wonders of creation, you must first be filled with enthusiasm for their beauty, then you must give yourself over to a detailed confrontation with them and sate yourself with them completely. So you must wander about in them and sate your eye with them; After you have arranged the impressions in your breast you will paint all this with complete ease and fluency without your eye being aware of the painting and your hand of the brush and ink and everything will be your own individual image of them."
-Kuo Hsi (1020-1090) Chinese artist
quoted from his 'Essay on Landscape Painting'
One of the most important decisions I did for my artistic development was to spend many years in my late 20’s and 30’s traveling the world and experiencing the dynamic, living landscape of this incredible planet for myself.
After many years of academic and studio schooling, and feeling burned out on living the hard-scrabble artist life in New York City, I felt that the best way for me to grow creatively was to study the very source of visual aesthetic itself. I determined to travel the wild, and study Nature, Light, Form, Color, and also myself as a sensing being.
Only thinking in terms of the history of Art and intellectual ideas, an artist may lose the reference for it all, which is the expression of direct experience to that transcendent Divine who is manifesting and powering the created universe of beauty in front of our very eyes each and every day, at each mysterious moment of life.
For me, the deep immersive study of light itself on the landscape, of physical forms, of wild landscape, of weather, animals, plant life, and the geology of God’s magnificent earth, was and is an important factor in understanding human artistic expression.
This is the essence of my Earth Study.
”Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.”
-William Wordsworth (19c. Poet)
What follows in this album are some self-portraits I made for my own records, during my wilderness travel.