Inspiration: The open road.
I feel the most alive and in balance with nature on my motorcycle speeding down the Highway, a lifeline across America that inspires and transforms me.
In my latest series, “Ride Into Now,” I combine painting and film photography from roads HWY 1 and Altamont in California, Flint Hills in Kansas. HWY 5 in Iowa. Salt Flats NV to express my unique experience of the open road.
Create the photo.
One of the best parts of my work is venturing out into the world and discovering beautiful vistas. I shoot with medium format film cameras as I prefer the analog, organic qualities of film.
There are nuances in shooting and developing film that are so deep, that digital doesn’t do, that bring additional elements vital to my work. And the colors! The blues and greens that Fuji film gives are superb.
Cropping an image presents important questions. It is essentially when I determine what the photograph is about.
Often I cut two views and collage them together and I include the film frame, literally showing the “outside the box”.
TV, news, social media, are all mediated imagery designed to tell us specific stories.
I aim to not only show what’s outside that image’s frame, but also to challenge the viewer to decide what’s real, what’s important in their view.
I use Silverfast scanning software and the staff at the company in Germany have been really nice and helpful in talking with me about how they design their software, so that I can mess it up.
I intentionally interfere with the way the scanner reads the image, and create errors that become part of the art, like colorful overlays, weird abstractions, and digital vectors.
I print my photos on a large format printer and after sealing it, I glue the print onto a wood support. Everything is done to archival standards. At this point in the process I have a slightly abstracted landscape photo of the open road, mounted onto my wood support and it’s ready to be painted.
This is where I get specific about how the open road makes me feel. The landscape itself is open to interpretation but by including paint, I archive my emotional experience of riding my bike down the open road.
I paint in elements like the thoughts in the back of my mind, the hues and shapes that reverberate in me when I ride down the highway.
Painting is a colorful way to point to the emotional and transformative part of the landscape. In this final step, I include text to describe the feeling of the highway as a mantra that allows the viewer to step into the sensation of the open road.