Sunday, April 02, 2017

Power In A Picture

The expression, “One picture is worth a thousand words”, has special meaning to me as an artist—most of my life is visually inspired. I have stood painting in silence for countless hours. No words transpire but the pictures that arrive speak volumes.

In silent wonderment I have experienced the earth in its many mysterious expressions. In my archives are tens of thousands of photographs from many travels around our globe. Occasionally I come upon one that warrants a closer look. The photo from Agra, India, included here, is an example of a picture that can elicit a story:

It does not matter who the figure in the foreground is, she is everywoman. Standing on a balcony, dressed in a simple and elegant white sari, her flowing robe disappears into the dark shadows surrounding her. Her hands rest on a protecting barrier that offers safety from accident. If she were to fall she might die. She is wrapped in thought and reverie, pondering her life on the threshold of a dream. The place she stands is remarkable, at a ledge—as if at the prow of a grand ocean vessel, taking her forward into a vast unknown. She is above the fray, at the level of the treetops where birds sing and monkeys play among the limbs. How has she arrived at this moment in time? Where will she advance next? Maybe she is simply breathing in the moment with no care to the past or future; exhilarated being on the edge of something bigger than her.

Behind her head are many rooms. Each is connected, has its own vantage and holds its own integrity. All are part of a greater whole, yet are independent. They could be storehouses of her mind. And when she has passed through each of them, she will arrive at a tower that is not limited. It is above all, and offers a viewing point that is not circumscribed. It is a place of clarity and peace. But it is not easy to arrive at.  Many doors lead to it.

Our woman is in her process. She stands in shadow but is robed in white. She is on a journey of many levels in a place of wonder.

These are the words that come to my mind as I ponder the image. The story can extend to a thousand words . . . this is the power in the picture.

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