(Click photos to enlarge.)
While most of us are tired of dealing with snow and look forward to warmer days, it’s good to be reminded that winter also has a special kind of beauty to be found at no other time of year. On my recent visit to Warwick, NY I discovered dramatic and vivid scenes everywhere I looked. Warwick is beautiful anytime of year with its rich “Black Dirt” that produces some of the best farm products in the country, as well as being known for its horses. But today the snow took center stage with a magical kind of light that only winter has.
When I returned home and began to process the photo directly above taken at the Warwick Valley Winery, I was struck by how much I was affected by it. So much so that I brought it to a monthly workshop for visual artists that I look forward to and have a great time in: The Critical Inquiry, taught at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation by painter and consultant, Dorothy Koppelman.
In this workshop artists are encouraged to look critically at their own work and those of fellow-artists, using as our basis this ground-breaking principle stated by Eli Siegel in 1955: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.”
In a discussion about my photo, Mrs. Koppelman commented on the juxtapostion of the two dark bottles on the right and the translucent bottle on the left, and said: “There is mystery here, a story of things being hidden and shown, a relation of proud transparency and snuggling hiddenness is something you’re dealing with.” And she asked: I imagine you’re like other people in having these opposites in yourself?”
“Yes, they are!” I was thrilled seeing that the dramatic opposites of hidden and shown, which, as photographer I was trying to give form to in this still life, are the same opposites that as a person, I hope to do a better job with. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the meaning of winter, photography and oneself.
To see more images of Warwick Winter visit my web site.
To learn more about Aesthetic Realism visit their website.