Newsletter #146: September, 2017
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
This is my 146th monthly photographic Newsletter; my 13th year without missing a single month! Enjoy.
Our goal at the Chris Harris Gallery is to share photographic adventures and inspire others in the creative process. Please share this Newsletter with friends. We appreciate your interest and continued support for my work.
About this Newsletter
What a different month September has been in the Cariboo. The skies are clear and the moon is white instead of orange. The fall colours are exquisite.
It’s always inspiring to talk about creativity, and for me that mostly means it pertains to photography. In this Newsletter I am most happy to share some workshop participant images along with a few from my personal adventures. I hope you enjoy them all!
- Tallheo Workshop Images: proud to show participants’ work
- There are no Limits to Creativity: my favourite piling
- The Grasslands: they continue to instill a deep sense of place
- Line, Form, Texture, and Colour: drawing from the well of creativity
Tallheo Workshop Images: proud to show participants’ work
Dennis Ducklow and I ran our fourth 7-day workshop at the Tallheo Cannery Inn this fall. The cannery is a rustic retreat tucked up against the mountains at the east end of North Bentinik Arm near Bella Coola on the central BC coast. It was here at this historic cannery that a group of 10 photographers came to enjoy a creative week while acquiring a sense of authentic British Columbia coastal history.
Our hosts were Garrett Newkirk and Skye Phillips, their daughters Nyome and Emma, Garrett’s mom, Colleen, and sister Janice. Their hospitality and food was, as always, unrivaled. Altogether, it was a ‘perfect storm’ for photographers.
I always enjoy sharing workshop participant images. It was difficult to choose, but I chose them based on diversity of subject, vision, and creative technique. I took the liberty of resizing and preparing the images for this Newsletter format. Enjoy this celebration of imagery; an interpretation of each photographer’s vision during a moment in time at the Tallheo Cannery, 2017.
Asha Katwaroo turns to abstraction in her search for beauty. Cannery building.
Bev Wassenaar discovers a sense of local history with a ‘still life’. Mechanics shop.
Clara Parsons reflects us back in time. Communications room.
Ed Patterson captures a moment in time. Garrett returning home in a coastal mist.
Judy Boufford reveals a narrative between a fishing buoy and the ocean.
Kathryn Martin speaks to a ‘sense of place’ by capturing the mood of BC’s central coast.
Lois Wittenberg expresses the relationship between fish nets and the remains of an old cannery building.
Louise Pollock communicates her spirit for life with an artistic rendition of fallen leaves.
Orchid Fung conveys her sense of coastal history in black & white.
Ruth Steer looks out through time; contemplating the past.
There are no Limits to Creativity: my favourite piling
Lone piling. Morning mist
There is one lesson I have learned from my younger sister Jane, and that is, ‘there are no limits to creativity’. Jane is a painting artist who has a passion for flowers and vases. She has been painting them for decades, yet no two paintings are alike. Each one evokes a unique feeling. Her ‘still life’ paintings are famous throughout England and Ireland.
Photographers are famous for thinking they have their best image of a subject after making a single exposure. Then it’s on to the next!
With inspiration from my sister, I take a walk with my camera almost every morning before breakfast while teaching at the Tallheo Cannery. I go to my favourite beach to look out at my favourite piling. It stands alone, separated from all the others.
I have dozens of images of this piling; each tells a different story as expressed by my own mood, or that of the day itself. These four images were made on different mornings.
Like a lighthouse, the piling guides Garrett to the wharf
Creativity requires original thought
Original thought comes from one’s imagination
This piling is like an old friend now. Each year I look forward to returning to Tallheo in the hope it is still there. I have many more images to make there.
The Grasslands: they continue to instill a deep sense of place
Travelling through the aroma of sage and bunch grass
When I first came to the Cariboo Chilcotin in 1984, I knew the grasslands as a view from the highway. Thirty-five years later, they have become an important part of who I am. I go there often to replenish and refresh.
Marveling at the texture and contours of the grassland landscape
Those who live and work within the grasslands provide colour and sustenance for all of us
A solitary cow grazes in a blissful landscape. No hormones needed here!
The Group of Seven provided Canadians with a Sense of Place through their paintings. Through my photographic explorations and interpretations of the Cariboo Chilcotin grasslands, I hope to generate a similar sense of appreciation for all those who live or visit this region.
While leaving the peace and quietude of the grasslands, a different reality strikes!
Imagery and stories of the grasslands both educate and inspire, not only intellectual conversation, but a sense of belonging. That sense of belonging is a far richer experience than merely glancing at the grasslands from the highway.
Line, Form, Texture, and Colour: drawing from the well of creativity
In March of this year, my friend Shayne Middleton and I drove to Churn Creek along Meadow Lake Road. We stopped overlooking a calcareous lake to make a few images. On the spring trip I forgot to make a documentary image of the area, but I did yesterday when I drove out to see the fall colours with friend Mike Duffy.
Here are four images I’d like to share with you, each made from the same spot on the road; two in spring and two in fall.
Documentary photograph of a calcareous lake
Pure abstract based on line, form, and contrast in and of themselves
Using the same elements, I changed the way I used the tools in my photographic toolkit; namely camera, lens, and sensor
Yesterday, the light and colours were different. I used the same tools, but in entirely different ways.
I was also a very different person in September than I was in March.
The last two images are not pure abstracts as one is able to surmise what the subject matter is; land and water. These are more impressionistic. All four are artistic in that they involve original thought; also that they each invite subjective response from the viewer.
These four images speak to the same message I spoke to in article 3 above. Never think you have exhausted the creative potential of any given subject. Jane will continue to paint flowers and vases for the rest of her life, just as I will continue to photograph in the grasslands for the rest of my life.
In both the landscapes before us, and the mindscapes within us, new beauty continuously abounds.
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