Last weekend I asked David Ellingsen, a very talented photographer whose work I have admired for years, to take a headshot for this website. I found the process very professional and David made me feel more comfortable than self-conscious. As I am usually on the other side of the lens, I was surprised to feel some of the apprehension my younger son must have felt several years ago when he asked, “Dad, you wouldn’t shoot an unarmed man would you?”
I often use photographs for my paintings, and seldom go for a walk or drive without a camera. Looking for a photo makes me look harder. It ever I’m caught without a camera and see something wonderful, I always regret not capturing it. Although memory is magic—creating a general context or grid into which to fit recent perceptions—only ‘hardcopy” allows me to review and dissect the elements that made it worthwhile remembering. For me, the photo serves as sketch; painting is a step, a leap beyond the photo. I am free to increase the contrast, edit the mundane, boost the colour. David, on the other hand, is stuck with the real me.