Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I Just Learned What I Already Knew

I've just had an epiphany. Strange as it may sound, I just learned what I believe I already knew. When it comes to art I am not interested in painting what I see outside myself. I am far more interested in what I see inside myself.

It was right in front of my face, within my photography. My stated objective with my camera was to paint with it. Not using Photoshop but capturing Nature in those naturally rare moments when she reveals just what an artist She is.  Images that, to my eye, were Nature's most unusual and unique works of art. Things that so few people ever notice. I found many, but, to my never ending frustration very few seemed to appreciate Nature's abstract expressions.  People have made a great fuss over images that, to me, are little more than pretty pictures whilst ignoring what I thought was the most incredible art I have ever seen. Images like Ice Puppets is not my art. It's nature's art. I was nothing more than the conduit. The two images below illustrate what I mean.

Tobacco River in Autumn

Above is a very pretty photo that has been popular amongst my photography fans. I don't mean to be glib but to me its just a pretty picture, a suitable model for a landscape painter. Below is an image that lights my fire 10,000 candles. It's just the kind of thing I would like to paint.

Ice Puppets
Although, if I were to flip the Tobacco River photo upside down and crop everything out but the reflection I might have something that would have appeal. But then, who needs to paint it? Nature already did.

Nature paints the water.

It's dawning on me that there may have been a reason for me to be able to see and photograph subjects such as Ice Puppets. To me that image was an opportunity to look inside Nature's imagination. How often does one have the opportunity to do that?

It's clear. I am not drawn to realism when it comes to art. Over the past 14 years, in Montana, I have spent thousands of hours and hiked thousands of miles with a near obsession to photograph the unique and imaginative within Nature. I have never known why. Perhaps this sudden interest in painting is not a new beginning but the continuation of a journey already begun. Just the thought of it excites me no end. I am such a loon.

I believe every cloud has a silver lining. In my case the silver lining is realizing nothing really matters in the grand scheme of things. That's why I'm going to enjoy painting. It just doesn't matter what I paint as long as I enjoy myself doing it. If I stop enjoying it I'll stop doing it. It doesn't matter. I stopped taking myself too seriously long ago.

©Kinsey Barnard


  1. That is so true that you must enjoy it. I do like those rare unique real moments you capture. Your photos help me enjoy nature without being there. Now to me your photo of Tobacco River in Autumn is so much more than a pretty picture. To me it is a precious moment when everything was just perfect for a reflection to be nearly exact to the actual image. I think I'm one of the few that can look at both those images and see the perfection without turning the photo upside down. (I know I'm exaggerating a bit. Lol)

    1. "Your photos help me enjoy nature without being there." I always enjoy hearing that. Thanks you.

      As for "upside down" my mind is a little upside down. :)

  2. Many people cannot envision 3D from a photograph. I consider myself blessed in that way. My Thick film design work was art to me. I had to use pencil and paper to create it so I could see all of it at once. Even though CAD had been developed for this type of warm, I still did the initial design on paper. Yes I was very proud of my work. I had more first pass successes than anyone.