Mountains at dusk

Photographs are memory. Most of us take “snapshots” to record moments we want to remember. Facebook, Snapchat, and most other social media exists on snapshots.

I have a whole image library of family and friend pictures. They are very important to me personally, even though I do not share them on social media (I’m one of the last remaining holdouts in the world).

My images are my memories

I also have a large library of my professional images. These are just as much my memories as the pictures of my grandkids. In some ways these are even more important.

I have a terrible memory for dates, which is weird, because as an engineer, I have a better chance of remembering your phone number than I do your name. My wife can ask me when we went on a certain trip and I might guess a date that is 10 years off.

But when I see one of my images, the whole context immediately comes back as a well formed memory (except for the date ☺). Without hesitation I can tell you where it was, what time of the year, what the weather was like, what trip it was on, who we were with, and what the circumstances of the picture were. And if it was a trip, what we were driving.

Is this relevant to you? Probably not. It definitely is to me. These are my memories. Sometime in the future, if I start loosing my memory, I hope these will still bring back these contexts for a long time.

But I want you to hang my images on your wall. Why should you want my memories? You don’t. I hope to bring other things that are of value to you.


If I tell you that when making a certain image the temperature was -10F and the wind was blowing and my hands were freezing even with gloves on, that might give you some greater sense of the situation. Kind of like the image at the top of this post. This brings a notion of place to the appreciation of an image. You didn’t experience it directly, but you can empathize.

Even better, though, is if I can bring this sense of place into the image. So you can feel the bone chilling conditions by looking at it. If I am sufficiently skilled and if my story telling skill is up to it, it can often be done. I try.

This example isn’t necessarily a place many of us would want to be. I’m weird that way. But I think it illustrates that an image doesn’t have to be about puppies and beaches and sunsets to tell a worthwhile story. And a story can be compelling enough to make you want to have it to look at, even if you’ve never been there and don’t want to. It brings more of the world to us.


More powerful even than a strong sense of place is the connection it can bring you. I believe most of us long for more connection to nature, to the real world. It feels like home.

Unfortunately, most people these days live in cities. Even if they are not directly in a city, most people are so busy with everyday life that they lose touch with the real world. When you are so busy, you forget.

Images, on your wall, where your can meditate and reflect on them, are a powerful antidote to this disconnection. Especially if the images are places or things that symbolize where you want to be, that make you feel whole. Even if they are just of something that makes you stop to look and think.

Some ask me why my landscape images almost never have people in them. This is part of my value system. I feel that if people are there, that is their place, their memories. If no one else is there, it is pristine, unclaimed in a sense. It can be your place, your memory. Even if you have never been there, you feel that it is someplace you would like to be. You can visualize yourself in the scene. It becomes a connection for you to that world.

The knowledge that such places exist, even if we do not see them ourselves, is powerful and centering. Pablo Picasso said “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” I believe this is one of the things that makes art worthwhile.

I hope you will adopt some of my memories to bring more peace to your day.

Is this true for you? Let me know what you think. And check out my online gallery at Contact me if you find something you connect to and would like to have.

Get Your Head Out

Something to reconnect to

Shame on you. That’s not what I meant. I am suggesting that you need to get your head out of the day-to-day FOMO rat trap most of us are caught up in and reconnect with the amazing world around us.

How much time have you spent on social media this week? How many times did you check your phone in the last 24. hours? Is Facebook where your face is more than with the people around you? Did you successfully keep up with today’s trending happenings? Did Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) keep you glued to your screens because you’re, well, afraid of missing out? How many hours of TV did you watch yesterday?

Missing what's going on
Isn’t that … Oooh, look at this!

If you identified with this assessment, congratulations! You are exactly what the American tech giants have trained you to be. Or remember that great line in Men In Black “Gentlemen, congratulations. You’re everything we’ve come to expect from years of government training.

Yes, I’m being harsh for emphasis. But this heads-down, isolated, tech-centric phenomena is recent. It has mostly happened in about the last 10 years. We have allowed ourselves to be deluded. Social media should not be the center of our world. Several other things are much more important. I won’t go into my list, because they represent my values and I am not attempting to sell you on mine. There is, though, one I want to discuss here.


I believe it is more important now than it ever has been to reconnect with the world around us. When did you last take actual time to look at things around you? Have you turned off the radio on your commute and looked out the window? Have you turned off your music and listened to things? When did you last stop to be amazed by a sunset?

Well who am I and what do I have to say about this? I’m nobody important. But I have started doing just what I am recommending. And I am an artist. As an artist, I am in a position to observe the world with a different eye, a different point of view. At this time, my point of view is strongly driven by the theme of reconnecting. I hope to help people along this path.


How do you reconnect with the beautiful world around you? It’s not easy. Just like it is not easy to quit smoking or drinking if you are addicted to those things. Yes, I believe social media and entertainment has become an addiction for many of us. First step is realizing your state. You might actually have to look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and say “Hi. I’m _____, and I’m a Facebook addict”.

If you say that to yourself it will help you start to see the situation in a different light. You might look at yourself and realize you just spent another 2 hours on Facebook (or whatever). Now the kids have gone to bed and you didn’t spend time with them or even interact with them much. Lost opportunity, again. But for what? What about that social media was more important than your family?

I recommend a little book by Svend Brinkmann, “The Joy of Missing Out“. Or a similarly named book “The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less“, by Tanya Dalton. (I do not receive any compensation from these). They have the time to express it in much more depth.

What can I offer?

But I’m just an artist. What can I offer you? I can offer images of the amazing world around us. Not vacation shots or selfies at the beach. Rather, thoughtful views of life going on all around us that you do not see unless you slow down and look. Things that help us to remember who we are and where we live.

This kind of art is not just about pretty pictures, although the things we want to reconnect with will typically be pretty. It is something that gives us a shiver. Art like this can cause us to think and remember. It makes us stop and quietly say “wow”. It reminds us of what brings us peace and rest.

Note, I’m not a happiness guru. I am not selling a formula for being happy. I am trying to help you reconnect with the world.

If you surround yourself with images like this it will remind you, every day, what is out there. It will remind you to look and listen, to reconnect with the world.

Check out my images at Perhaps some of them will resonate with you.