Photography must be in my DNA. Growing up I was fascinated by
my grandparents' photo albums from the early 1900's, their glass slides of family members from long ago, and even older images
in the form of cyanotypes and daguerreotypes. These images brought alive the family history my grandmother loved to
Photographing nature is
what I love to do. Viewing the natural world through the lens of a camera helps me appreciate and reflect on the miracles
of life around me. Sometimes the beauty is spread out for all to see; sometimes it is felt in the energy vibrating from
the rocks and the trees; sometimes it must be searched out in the tiniest petal or pattern in the sand; sometimes it is found
in the composition of shapes and color, of space and light.
early as I can remember my father, brother and I worked in our makeshift darkroom in the attic. Later, as an adult,
I continued my printing in our basement darkroom. Over time I developed an allergy to the chemicals and was no longer
able to develop my own film or do my own prints. So my photography was put aside until digital technology allowed me
to work on my images without being exposed to darkroom chemicals.
When the time was right, I took courses at Rochester Institute
of Technology. Nationally respected for its school of photography, RIT was making its own transition
from darkroom to digital technology. Computer-aided "wizardry" has opened doors to new and exciting options
for both taking and printing images. In addition to the direct benefits for photography itself, the new technology has
been ideal for designing and creating digital mandalas from my photographs.
In recent years I have been
exploring ideas springing from Eastern religions, earth energy work, and sacred geometry. This process, integrated with
my design training, has resulted in the use of my photos to make mandalas. Mandalas are an ancient art form. They
are round or square images with patterns repeating around a central core. The designs are often similar to those of
a kaleidoscope many of us had as children. According to Tibetan monks, the making and releasing of patterned
sand mandalas represents the impermanence of life. In Native American tradition, mandalas often represent
the wheel of life, the four directions, the cosmic pattern. The corresponding tradition from India focuses on the use
of the mandala as an aid to contemplation.
In this sense, mandalas become more than the patterns that
are the foundation of the design. The colors and shapes interweave and create new energies, new forms to be appreciated
and experienced. They represent the stillness and the order of the universe. With nature photographs as a background,
they also represent the energies and the vibrancy of life. Take some time to watch as the colors, patterns, and shapes
emerge from the background. It is my hope that each image will bring some of the harmony and beauty of the universe into your life.
The traditional gallery of photos reflects my love of old
photos which are often a warm black and white, and are a little softer in feel than the modern color versions available today.
Many of these photos are from our trip to the western US, where the scenery felt
ancient and timeless.