I began this journey when my mother-in-law, a quilter, asked me to compile a collection of photographs that could be used in one of her projects. I selected a dozen or so nature images (mainly drawn from the backgrounds of photographs I had taken for clients), edited them into a cohesive color palette, and thought my task was complete. But I kept coming back to look at these images—I loved how they looked together and I wondered if I could make something with them myself. So I pulled them into Photoshop and began to discover how they could fit together. After creating two artworks (Nature Collage and Naturescape 2), I had a clearer vision of the source material I would need to make more, so I headed out, with two small sons in tow, on the first of many photo expeditions.
Creating this art has been a process of discovery. At first, I didn’t even know what to call what I was doing, and I didn’t know if anyone else was using my same methods. I just kept experimenting with the ways in which photographs of everyday places and objects could fit together and take on a completely different life. Composite art, collage, surrealist art — none of the descriptions I found were quite the right match.
Digital art is a relatively new term (dating from the 1970’s), encompassing a tremendous range of technology and expression. My work is a blend of photography and digital art. To me, it’s my way of expressing myself and sharing my vision. I always try and make something beautiful and interesting, but there is also an undercurrent of peacefulness. I am an aspiring minimalist and a lover of hygge (a Dutch term that cannot be directly translated, but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being from enjoying the simple things in life: nature, friends, quiet, a warm fire…).
Stress and overwork are an epidemic in our society; people are so busy and under so much pressure to achieve; mothers feel like they need to have a successful career and still send their children off to school with homemade lunches and brilliant science projects; fathers feel like it’s their duty to give their children more than they had as children, so they work for a bigger house, a better car, nicer vacations; we are all overwhelmed with screens and advertising and noise and feelings of inadequacy. Enough, I say! Stress is a very serious enemy to our physical health and mental well-being. So my goal is to create art that is beautiful and intriguing, with the potential to bring more peacefulness into our lives.