Water Statement These photos express my old yearnings to paint. I studied painting in college and always thought I'd be a painter; but it was not to be. I sometimes refer to this series as my "water paintings". It's a slip of the tongue, but it reveals so much. The water photos fulfill some of my desires to express pure form and color and movement within an image. It's deeply gratifying to deal with abstraction; it's all about playfulness and pure emotion. My mind can step aside and take a break for a while, especially since photography can so often be about extreme control. Water is a substance we take for granted and yet it has so much to reveal to us. I have studied the properties of water for years, especially in the areas of health and healing, and in reference to its "intelligence." There was a doctor, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, who while in prison following the Iranian Revolution of 1979, learned to heal using only water. A Japanese scientist, Dr. Masaru Emoto, studied the intelligence of water by freezing drops of water from various sources and putting them under a microscope, which showed great differences in their crystalline structure. Dr. Emoto began to see if he could intentionally alter or program the water by sending energy to it in various ways: through words/phrases, music, thoughts/emotions, and – especially fascinating to me – through photos of nature. The effects were undeniable and dramatic. Those things could change the molecular structure of the water, in both “constructive” and “destructive” ways – except for the nature photos, which always had a “positive” affect. For example, when the water was labeled with “You Fool” or “I Will Kill You” it wouldn’t form beautiful crystals at all, rather they looked like blobby, diseased surfaces. (Both Dr. Batmanghelidj and Dr. Emoto have written several books, which I highly recommend.) Somehow, all that I've learned about the amazing qualities of water merges with my pure esthetic pleasure in taking and making these photos, creating a complexity of intention, if not results. The water photos were taken mostly in Maine, Venice, Spain and Portugal – often in Palaces and Mosques, in the midst of ancient beauty. I think the energy of that beauty is also within these photos; it's part of the vibration of the water and the image. Like the portraits of trees that I have done, these are kinds of portraits of the different bodies of water, whether those bodies are ocean bays or small fountains. The way a portrait will communicate with a viewer both consciously and perhaps even more so subconsciously, I think these water photos carry and communicate deeper meaning and unguessed at energies and histories. You feel them more than see them. But while that's going on, there's pure form and abstraction to enjoy - like an interesting face with much to tell. These images are co-created with nature, and I am constantly amazed at what nature comes up with, and what my camera can capture. There is another kind of control when shooting these images, which can seem to rely so much on accident to come into being. With this series, I need and seek out certain conditions for successful photos: a sunny day, just the right amount of movement of the water itself (it can't be too dirty either!) and man-made or natural structures reflecting off the surface. Once the conditions come together, there is great joy at capturing the beauty before me. It's a kind of meditation - with great focus - but it’s not in any way about problem solving. I frequently fall in love with what I find after a good shooting session. It's like discovering a painter whose work you love - but have never seen. I experience great excitement at my discoveries. Often I am reminded of painters and artists: Jean Arp, Robert Motherwell, Clifford Still, Brice Marden, even Jackson Pollock. At times Native American art can "appear", as well as Japanese prints, especially when fish are involved. Though the water photos are pure abstraction, they are still completely rooted in reality. There is a healthy tension in this situation. I like it when trees and landscapes look like dioramas and water images look like paintings. They address the relationship between man and nature: though complicated it’s a harmonious one. These images express my love of nature, while never forgetting man is inextricably a part of nature – even if we often forget that.