Rarely do I ever venture to a new place with a plan for a series in mind. Instead, I walk the streets photographing things, places, objects that I find interesting, trying to capture a bit of the city or landscape in a way I haven’t seen before. In Amsterdam isn’t wasn’t about the canals for me. In Iceland I found myself drawn to the buildings dotting the landscape. In Havana it was the laundry hanging in front of buildings. On this road trip it was the blue sky. City or National Park or on the road between here and there, it was always the blue sky. The sky is the one thing you can find wherever you go. Given that it was the middle of summer, we saw blue skies everywhere we went. I became fascinated with the way nature and buildings interact against the blue sky.
Driving from Santa Fe to Mesa Verde, Colorado and then on to Page, Arizona was one of my favorite parts of the trip. The vast landscapes were unlike any that I had ever seen before. Nature’s color palette was astonishing. It wasn’t the actual cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde I wanted to photograph, it was the arch of the rock against the blue sky; the rolling blue and purple hills against the blue sky; the cloud of smoke from the fire against the blue sky; the painted hills in peaches and oranges against the blue sky.
From Santa Fe on I photographed with a purpose, capturing images for individual series became easier. Blue mountains against the blue sky for a mixed media series featuring hand papers. Landforms interacting with the blue sky exposing every line, crack, and curve carved over time. A neutral color palette highlighted by the bold blue sky. Quiet beauty devoid of the background noises found in the city. A vast landscape as far as the eye can see. Six states in, I had finally found my rhythm.
In the words of the great Georgia O’Keeffe, “Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.” Here is a glimpse of what I have done with where I have been.