Let's be clear about this, I am a fan of landscape photography. So, I am partial to this style of photography. But, then again, I am partial to art in general, so this is not too much of a stretch for me. I enjoy and respect all the arts. I may not always agree with some art out there, just like others may not agree with my vision. I may not like all the art out there, just as may very well be the case with others and my art. However, all art is valuable. All art conveys a vision of some kind. Vision, in this day and age, is something very valuable, I think. Artists should, and usually are, innovative thinkers. We need people who see the world in different ways and want to share their vision with us.
So, what does vision have to do with landscape photography? A lot, if you stop and think about it. That is also the same with any art. You have to stop and think and contemplate it for a bit to understand your connection with it. You see, the connection between each viewer and the piece of art itself is what drives art. If there is no connection, then the art really has not achieved what it should. Now, I say this from my humble point of view, but I think it is valid. What I strive for, and what my family strives for, is to have our art make a connection with each viewer. Part of this is making our work accessible in multiple ways. That accessibility is part of making the connection with our audience. That is the first step in making our art relevant, and making any art relevant.
Once we connect, we can inspire. Isn't that the goal of most art? The purpose of it is to inspire as well as tell a story. The level of complexity of a piece of art should not be dictated by a select few magazines or critics. Art should be driven by the artist and the people. I know a lot of artists who love landscape photography. They are outstanding at it and find visions in nature that often go unnoticed if not for their recordings of it. I thank them for inspiring me and making Gina and I want to share our vision of the world around us with others. They also have inspired us because they connected with us and made their art more meaningful. I look for inspirations in other artists. It is what I base my model of operation on as I work.
Sometimes that connection comes just through the image, but it always helps if we can connect with the artist as well. I am a fan of art and love working with other artists. I like to hear their vision, their motivation. That is why this second job I do of making art and working with artists is not even a job to me. It is way of life because art is about life. The photographers I am thinking of have made a connection in my life, so I use them as an example to work from as I work.
Furthermore, landscape photography in this day and age is of particular importance because of what is happening to the ecology of our planet. If we do not take care of what we have, do we have even a hope of recovering it? Artists are more aware than ever of the beauty of our planet, and with the internet, these ideas can be shared and raise awareness. Beautiful images have more than aesthetic value, they can carry heavy meaning in multiple ways, depending on the way the artist uses the image.
I bring this up because I feel like images that are easily recognizable and beautiful get a bad rap in the art world for not carrying enough content sometimes, and that is simply not the case. When I was at the university, I would often see images that were dark, brooding, and confusing. Those are fine as well. They have their place, just like a beautiful landscape can have its place. It depends on the artist's interpretation for the academic weight that can be found in each piece.
Ultimately, what separates your piece from the generic piece that has no content is simply your drive as an artist and what you intend and communicate. I realize that there are those who may disagree with this, and that is fine. That is art. There is no one answer with art. But, I kind of like to think that what we are trying to do as a family at Brown Artworks is trying to offer multiple layers of the art world and make it very accessible to every person. When art is accessible, we can communicate that vision more. That, in turn, makes our art more relevant for the viewer.
One of the great things about being an artist is that we can give our art as a gift. We did this this Christmas with a good friend of ours. I had forgotten to write up my statement to go with the piece. I told her I would write it up and send it to her so she could have it to go with the drawing. Of course, she immediately appreciated that offer. That statement by the artist makes the piece more special and more unique, and every person wants that when they hang it up in their house. They are hanging part of your life because they connect with your life and bring it into their life. Whether we are a landscape photographer, an abstract painter, or some other type of artist, it would greatly benefit us if we shared part of our story and vision with each piece that we produce.
An example of this, and someone who has inspired me as well, is Jon Klein. Jon has great attention to detail and he includes information about each of his images that he sells. Even if it is just in the form of a greeting card, he shares information about each of his images so the viewer can have more of a connection than just the image itself. Jon is a landscape photographer and his work hangs in my house. The reason his work hangs in my house is because he is outstanding and he took the time to make a personal connection with me and Gina.
So, next time you see a photograph of a landscape, don't assume it is just a pretty picture. There is a story behind it that wants to inspire you. That is the goal of our work - we want to inspire our viewers and share our story and vision with them so their lives are more enriched and maybe our vision brings something a little extra to their lives.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check back for more posts and new work! If you like any of these photos, or want to see more photos like them, they can be found here: http://educationartkenpo.blogspot.com/p/jesses-gallery.html