Friday, March 16, 2012



I took a class in ancient art history years ago. One of the requirements was that we students were to write a report on a piece of ancient art. I chose to write about a Greek amphora. I really got into studying the photographs of the work, and in my writing I interpreted by reactions to the work. I wrote about what I felt the artist was trying to express. I was slammed by the instructor. I was informed that I was to write about the facts of the art, focusing on technique, style, materials and function while ignoring my emotional responses to the work.

I get what the instructor was attempting to convey to me and the rest of the class, but I found very little joy in the subsequent works we studied that semester. Nowadays, when I view art, I react with my emotions first and foremost. Often, I do indulge in attempting to understand what techniques the artist used, and with photography I almost always consider the craft behind the print. I still assert that the viewer's emotional or spiritual response is the most important aspect of the process of viewing and understanding art.

I took the above photograph this morning. I made it because a self-portrait project is due for the camera club tomorrow. I sort of resisted the project until today. Now I am pleased that I took it on. The print I just made looks very nice. This photo was inspired by my former professor, Don Anton, and is dedicated to my friend Carol Jantz. Her soul now soars with the angels.