Diane Krys: Driving Under the Influence

With a title like that you might be thinking this is going to be about some wild party or a cautionary tale but it’s not.  It’s starts with a safe, responsible drive home though the countryside. On this drive there was a beautiful quality of light where a sunny summer prairie sky was transitioning to evening. My husband was at the wheel and I happened to have my camera on hand. I was moved by the light and the passing landscape so I poked my camera out the window every so often and snapped.

At home I sorted through the blurry and nondescript. I didn’t create any jaw dropping photos but I did find a few that held fragments of the strong impressions I felt. There was such stillness in the landscape it seemed surreal; almost like we were driving through a diorama. The colours were smooth and flat and the whole landscape distilled into simple colours,shapes and forms.

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The simplicity of the photos brought my thoughts to the late abstract painter, Richard Diebenkorn’s work. A genius painter’s work and random amateur photos don’t compare but there was a kind of reduction that connected these disparate things for me.  After reading a bit about him and exploring his paintings a few months ago I found myself especially mesmerized by the way he captured a delicate space and balance between realism and abstraction in his landscapes. Perhaps it was looking at his work months ago that brought my awareness to these recent moments where a row of old granaries fused into a singular graphic shape. The light at the  time of our drive seemed to bath the scenery in a way that removed the extraneous details and left the essence.  Perhaps that’s what my subconscious was really responding to when I felt compelled to randomly stick my camera out the window.

 

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That how artistic influences work I think. We may take things in with one intent but we actually have no idea if or how they will expand our mind or views down the road. Often we’re not even conscious when we are under their influence. Influences can be like new windows lined up and waiting in your mind; poised to give you a new view at unexpected moments like when you’re driving through a landscape you’ve experienced many times before and suddenly it feels different.

Sitting in front on my computer with Diebenkorn back on my mind, I took these thoughts a step further and played around with my photographs.  A horizontal landscape turned vertical further removes it from reality. There can be a completely new story in a different orientation. It can be a story about process and mining imagery in a new way or it could be a view to the essence of something once it’s stripped of preconceived ideas.  I think it’s possible for someone to drive around the world and never really see anything new and yet, you can sometimes find a whole new world on a small stretch of familiar road.

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Thanks for stopping in!

I have a new post on my Diane Krys Studio blog, “A Western Wedding”

 

2 thoughts on “Diane Krys: Driving Under the Influence

  1. I found this very interesting — something I sort of realized but never really put into words before. You can be assured it will be running thru my thoughts today. Great inspiration.

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