Below you can explore photographs that are divided into six galleries: exhibitions, seascapes, nature, people, and eye catchers.
SHADES OF BLUE, a solo exhibit that first opened at the main gallery of the Oxford, OH, Community Art Center for a six week period, is a group of thirty-six photographs related by their subject matter: an interpretation of the concept of blue. Blue can apply to color, music, emotion, or a state of being, and the photographs all visually convey some one or more dimensions of the idea. That same diversity of meaning is, of course, also expressed in word and song, and to provide the viewer with a wholistic artistic experience, the photographs were interspersed with printed quotations from authors in different disciplines reflecting on the meaning of blue, while a selected list of songs referencing blue played during the exhibit.
“And so, I fell in love with a color-in this case, the color blue- as if falling under a spell, a spell I fought to stay under and get out from under in turns. Well, and what of it? A voluntary delusion you might say. That each blue object could be a kind of burning bush, a secret code meant for a single agent, an X on a map too diffuse ever to be unfolded in its entirety, but that contains the knowable universe. How could all the shreds of blue garbage bags stuck in brambles, or the bright blue tarps over every shanty and fish stand in the world, be, in essence, the fingerprints of God? I will try to explain this.”
Maggie Nelson, Bluets
SONG TITLE ARTIST
The Birth of the Blues Della Reese
Blue Eyes Elton John
Blue LeAnn Rimes
Easy Come, Easy Go Blues Bessie Smith
Blue Moon Rod Stewart
Workin’ Man Blues Merle Haggard
Misty Blue Dorothy Moore
Blue Suede Shoes Dion
Blue Eyes Cryin’ In the Rain Willie Nelson
Am I Blue? Billie Holiday
Blue Mountains of Mexico Ian Tyson
My Blue Heaven Leon Redbone
Forever in Blue Jeans Neil Diamond
Blue Joni Mitchell
Blue Velvet Tony Bennett
Blue Skies Ella Fitzgerald
Blue on Blue Bobby Vinton
Blue Lucinda Williams
Midnight Blue Melissa Manchester
Blue Christmas Elvis Presley
This is a list of the music that was played during the exhibition.
“They said, 'You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.
The man replied, 'Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar.’”
“Blue is bunting, indigo and quick. Blue is jay, its chatter like jazz. Blue is grosbeak is bluebird is blackbird turned sky. The Chisos mountains at dusk are blue. Blue is ghost-like. Twilight. Deep border blue. Once is the blue moon where panthers dance. Twice is the blue belly of lizards flashing. Blue waves are heat waves, dervishes in sand. Blue is the long song of storm clouds gathering with rain.”
Terry Tempest Williams
Baby's got blue eyes
Like a deep blue sea
On a blue blue day
Blue eyes laughing in the sun
Laughing in the rain
Baby’s got blue eyes
And I am home, I am home again.”
“The blues brings you back into the fold. The blues isn’t about the blues, it’s about we have all had the blues and we are all in this together.”
“I was standin' on the side of the road
Rain fallin' on my shoes
Heading out for the east coast
Lord knows I've paid some dues
Tangled up in blue.”
“The inclination of blue to depth is so strong that its inner appeal is stronger when its shade is deeper. Blue is the typical heavenly color… The ultimate feeling it creates is one of rest…. When it sinks almost to black, it echoes a grief that is hardly human… When it rises towards white, a movement little suited to it, its appeal to men grows weaker and more distant. In music a light blue is like a flute, a darker blue a cello; a still darker a thunderous double bass; and the darkest blue of all — an organ.”
What is a “spark?” I’ve found a variety of definitions. Among them are: a “quality or feeling with latent potential, a seed or a germ” and “a glistening particle, a flash of light.” These words capture what I view as essential to my work as a photographer and what the images presented here have in common. Each began with my being drawn to a particular quality of light in a scene and sensing that it had the potential to become a print that would express my vision and hopefully impact the minds and hearts of others. My artistic challenge is this: can I realize that potential through the steps of capturing the image, processing the resulting digital file, and thoughtfully printing the final photograph? In each step, I work with the awareness that the power and appeal of the subject is intimately tied to the spark of light that surrounds it. In one sense, the subject matter changes with each photograph: it may be a green leaf in blue water, a woman collecting shells on a deserted beach at sunset, a fishing pier on a foggy morning, or the flash of a white egret in a drab swamp. But in another sense, the subject matter is always the same: the light, the spark. In every photograph, what is essential is capturing the unique quality of the light at that moment. The photographs I chose for this exhibition are those where I felt I had accomplished that goal. Of course, a final consideration in determining whether they are evocative art is whether some work to spark thoughts and feelings in you, also. I hope they do.
I wrote this description for the May, 2018, exhibition of my work at the Oxford Community Arts Center in Oxford, OH. The thirty-two photographs in that exhibit are collected in the Gallery below with their titles underneath. You may scroll through the exhibit by using the forward arrow button to the right of each picture. I hope you'll take a look and that you find them interesting and thought-provoking. I'd welcome hearing your reactions.