Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Peson de Pima
Pima Canyon
Tucson, AZ

He who is not courageous enough to take risks
 will accomplish nothing in life.
Muhammad Ali
Since arriving in Tucson I've discovered a whole new dimension of myself and my art. It took me a great deal of intestinal fortitude to overcome the anxiety of transplanting myself away from my friends and family. Those of you my age understand exactly what I mean. If you know me, you also understand that I am risk averse.

Fear has held me back from many things including self discovery. However my passion for art has propelled me beyond my comfort zone. People who have seen my work have also encouraged me beyond my status quo.

With their encouragement and the knowledge and desire to share my experience and journey, I chose to step out and attempt to put my work in a gallery where others could openly see my work and even judge me and it.

The body of work features my experience here with the Catalinas and Pima Canyon and outlying areas. It's about not only a study of light and shapes but rather my intimate relationship and affair with a lifelong soulmate, nature. In my personal exile she has comforted me and reminded me of the world around me. The work is very personal and expresses my feelings. This work is not about exact reproduction but rather interpretation and inspiration.

By incorporating the darkness and melancholy of my spirit and blending it with the luminosity found at sunset, I was able to discover the obvious. Darkness and light exist together. Ultimately we all have the hope that a light shines through the darkness. The promise of light drives us. We must not lose the anticipation of the positive.

My work is now on display at the Steinway Piano Gallery here in Tucson. Please come view it and experience it. Hopefully, it will also inspire you too. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Find Your Voice

Cow and Calf
Patagonia, AZ

I found I could say things with color and shapes
that I couldn't say any other way
 - things I had no words for.

Georgia O'Keeffe 

Was browsing through a Georgia O'Keeffe book at a local library this evening and the simplicity of her art struck me. Ms. O'Keeffe, Steiglitz's sometime model, muse, and eventual wife was fascinated by the details of simplicity. She accentuated what she visualized and deliberately created out of proportion images the way she sensed and felt them. In so doing she captivated attention by drawing/alluring the viewer into the actual subject. She achieved this all with her own voice/vision.

My landscapes have evolved from factual to fiction. They are manifestations of my senses and how I choose to share those with you. Today most painters start out with some kind of digital photograph as if they paint by numbers. However as a landscape photographer, I start out with a painting clearly in my head. This is my voice and my style. Truly, I visualize a painting that I so wish I could paint for you.

In the King's Speech, King George VI stammers out that he had a voice. He wanted to be heard. As a photographer, I've struggled to find my place and my unique voice in this realm. At times I wondered if I ever would find it and in my deepest hours of despair, in the abyss of financial difficulties and worry brought on by the loss of a lucrative corporate position, in the high desert of Arizona, I've found my very unique voice and I wish to speak volumes with my images. There's a story with my own voice that needs to be told. And I wish to share it with others on this journey.

For those of you struggling to find your voice don't succumb to the noises and static in your head. Face your fears, follow your dreams; allow yourself to feel and to connect with your life. Experience the sound of your own voice. Listen to it. Listen to the beckoning of dreams and chase them wherever they may lead you. Unless your are a cat, you only have one life to experience it all.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ocotillo Sunset

Ocotillo Sunset
iPhone Inspiration: Catalina Foothills
Tucson, AZ

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, 
people will forget what you did, 
but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Sitting here this morning trying to get the words to flow and the images to gel. Listening to some melancholic yet mellow banjo music featuring Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, "Love Has Come for You".  Just trying to drown out the noise in my head which despite all I see doesn't want to let me go and give me peace. I know its time to turn up the volume on all things which give me pleasure and engage me back into a real and wonderful life. Got a lot of living to do yet.

Found this bit of poetical inspiration from one of my favorites, Maya Angelou. The sentiment of the quote is precisely what my photography has been about. Cant speak to as you view my images, but if the image could, I would want it to speak volumes and make you feel something even inspire.

God knows that I am off the charts when it comes to love, warmth, and caring. It was not, however, my own doing; while Romulus and Remus were raised by wolves, I was raised by a mother and two sisters who shared their incredible love and affection with me. In many ways, I speak their language and I share that with both the men and women I meet. This was a taught behavior and am so glad they shared with me the language that most men do not speak. It's added an incredible dimension which appears in my art and prose.

If you have a chance today go ahead and listen to the banjo music, get out, and let yourself feel something else than the reality of responsibility. Greet someone, meet someone. Get your life back.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Studying the Land
Near the Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

I must confess that I have a weakness of empty places. 
- Tony Hillerman

For several months, I've obsessed with the beauty surrounding Patagonia, AZ, in a place called the San Rafael Valley. If by circumstance my business takes me near this area, I find an opportunity to enjoy a piece of paradise. A troubled soul finds rest in the arm like valleys and long fingered lush grasses that embraces a traveler as he meanders down gravel roads.

An hour or so before dusk, the dry desert grasses are kissed goodnight by golden sun rays. It's natures way of soothing the soul and palpitating heart of this land. It is very much a live organism. We could easily misjudge it because of its vast properties and wide open spaces, silence, and stillness. It's more than space and more than simply land.

There is an incredible interdependence here between animals, vegetation, and those stewards tending to herds of cattle. All wait patiently for the advent of the summer monsoons on the high desert, when parched grasses become succulent green morsels for hungry cattle.

As I was wrapping up my unanticipated journey to Patagonia, I saw a red tail hawk perfectly perched on a sign at the end of the Lazy J2 Ranch. He greeted me like an omen. He invited me to take his photograph but warned me with his looks to keep my distance. There was no time to step out of the car and I feared that my feathered omen would fly away if I hesitated or disrupted his solace.

Hope to come back some day and resume conversation with the omen hawk. Just would like to join him. Perhaps he can tell me which way I should go. Perhaps he can teach me what he knows. Nature humbles me with simplicity and honesty. I need to to let go of so many things and be like the hawk on his perch and just observe and wait for that opportunity to spread my wings full, allowing the wind to lift me and find my prey and in so doing find my way.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On The Trail

Vaquerro Con Vacas
Sonoita, AZ

Drove over three hundred fifty miles today in search of scrap. The beauty of the landscapes surrounding Tucson and destinations to the southeast makes it all worthwhile to me. The bolders near Dragoon and the plains of Elfrida bordered by the Chirhuacua Mountains makes for interesting vistas. Headed home I chose back roads that lead me to Tombstone and west to Huachuca City, the Mustang Mountains, Sonoita, Patagonia, and back through the Santa Rita mountains.

On my last leg, as I was headed north I glanced back behind towards the entrance of Sonoita and a cowboy sculpture caught my attention high on a hill. There was sufficient light for a perfect silhouette and the image that I had in mind needed to be photographed. Processed it to my liking this evening and here's the final result.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Day of Reflection

Ocotillos at Pima Canyon
Tucson, AZ

A desert is a place without expectation
Nadine Gordimer

After a hectic week, today I chose to enjoy a sabbath at my favorite canyon: Pima. As odd as it may seem even the Tucson's high desert climate enjoys spring time. There's both greening of limbs and the blossoming of copious wildflowers throughout the country side. The rocky desert becomes littered with blooms. In nearby streams even the cottonwoods take on the spring season as female cottonwoods produce snow like plumes that gently float to the ground if not set adrift by a nearby breeze.

As I started my trek up the canyon, I noticed the bright orange red blooms of the Ocotillo. The canyon heralded the spring with their blooms. Brown colors now replaced by dotted limbs with red bright tips. The canyon was prepared to share her mystery and beauty again, bloom by bloom. This is spring time in Pima Canyon.

A desert need not be barren. It does require diligent study. In time we learn the treasures buried deep within the boulders and among the cactus.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunset on the San Rafael Valley

Puesta del Sol: San Rafael Valley
Patagonia, AZ

"A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.
--John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Had forgotten about witnessing  a complete sky sunset after leaving the Lazy J2 Ranch on the San Rafael Valley. You will never experience a sunset like this where the complete horizon comes into play. It's almost too much to take in and absorb and more than likely it was my motivation for taking the shot.

The British writer, historian, and playwright sums up what I've been feeling and why I choose to share this image in particular with you. He wrote, "If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God."

While my underlying nature is albeit a tad melancholic, there remains a side of me that chooses to reach out to others and tries to encourage and befriend. The mind is not always accurate and it deceives. The heart on the other hand beats deliberately to a separate yet faithful rhythm. If you had to chose between reason and heart, I believe most of us would be content with the choices the heart makes.

Reliance strictly on the mind short changes and deprives us of our ability to feel. The world is tactile and sensual. It's not all mind. Strict logic  "just business" is a short sided imposition placed on us by those who settled these shores to meet the demands of an industrial revolution gone wild. The carrot for most was the promise of a better life, but one filled with sacrifices until a promise of a retirement down the road. There's nothing logical about missing sunrises and sunsets. We need to reverse this disconnection with our heart and with our friends and family. We need to live now, see now, and feel now.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Blue Skies Over Pima
Pima Canyon
Tucson, AZ

Light and the absence of light has been an integral part of me. Early on in my life, I actually noticed a mood shift which winter and shorter days cast on me like a cloud blocking the sun. Without a true realization, early on I gravitated to the light and warmer climates. It really was not a shock that I chose to settle south of the Mason Dixon line. It was a natural migration towards light.

Although north central Texas has shorter winters, its winters still have deprive folks of some light as we follow the rest of the country and fall back to shorter days, when I need light the most, winter. Fortunately, during my travels to both central Mexico and the higher elevations of El Paso, I discovered the wonderful combination of bright light at higher altitudes and cooler dryer weather of the desert. Out doors, it became clear how my mood shifted as sun rays brightened my spirit and danced across arid landscapes.

Pima Canyon at Sunset
Tucson, AZ
It was in the barren high desert that I grew to appreciate the warm almost ember like glows reflected from mountains both in the dawn and at dusk. Shadow and light dance as partners to melody orchestrated by nature. We enjoy both among the opens spaces of the high desert.

Since I've come to Arizona, my late afternoons are filled with observation as are my weekends. Each day, I take mental notes of the lights play on the mountainous landscapes which surround me. The mountains become illuminated temples to the Gods. Nature forces us to observe the blushing mountains. Some say the mountains blush because embarrassed by our adoration.

In honor of their beauty, I will be preparing my recent Catalina Foothills and Pima Canyon Series on both canvas (gallery wraps) and a select luminous few printed on aluminum. These will soon be on exhibit and for sale at Tucson's Steinway Piano Gallery. Befittingly the images will rest at the foothills of my favorite subject: the majestic Catalinas.