It’s about mid life. It’s about persistence. It’s about the frustration of reaching for something you can't quite grasp. It’s about letting go. It’s about growing old. It’s about moments of discovery, markers of change and understanding.
The images you see here are photographs made without a camera. The photographs are called scanner art or scannography. The process dates back to the late 1990's when a number of artists apparently discovered the technique quite independently. I have been scanning objects and making large format fine art prints on archival inkjet paper since 2005. More recently I have been printing on heavyweight, water-resistant fine art canvas.
In 2005, I was thinking about a long delayed project to photograph faded rose petals in a flattened, two-dimensional arrangement. I needed first to set up a table in my studio to photograph them with my 4x5 View Camera. The work was complicated and time consuming, so I put a lot of thought into how I would achieve what I had pictured in my mind. I knew that soft, even lighting would highlight the textures and faithfully reproduce the colors of my subject. This made me wonder what it would be like if I scanned the flowers. I spread a group of faded roses on the scanner glass and made my first scan. The result was startling--the roses became suffused with light, and the black background made the effect even more dramatic. To further embellish the image I made some careful adjustments in Adobe Photoshop to hue, saturation and contrast.
Since its rather crude beginning I have improved this process by carefully selecting and drying my own flowers and collecting interesting objects on my far ranging walks with our dog "Cricket". I have recently added rusted metal and shells to enhance the images. In my current work the finished piece may have as many 20 hours of assiduous color correcting and analyzing before it is completed. I continue to explore the creative potential of this new medium whose unique properties offer so many exciting possibilities.