Reportage; “Oh the places you’ll go…”

In a lifetime there are moments we treasure that somehow give meaning, (if only a glimpse) to the questions we can so often find ourselves asking as the days pass us by. They are not to be taken lightly. If missed, it might be years before we are granted the priviledge to meet them again. It is our responsibility to look and listen when we are granted such an offer.

That’s a pretty heavy statement, but stop for a second and imagine being six again. Can you recall when you first learned to read? I bet it was easier then to look and to listen to the world around you without the distractions of grown-up demands. (Take note: one of those moments.) How exciting was it?

Oh, the possibilities in all those new worlds of words!

Reportage is just like that for me. It’s reading the world with six year old eyes and I can’t get enough of the story. Paris, Sydney, Lisbon, Munich, Newport, New York are all among the many places I’ve been where the stories had offerings beyond my dreams. With my tools in hand, my brushes, pencils, paper, ink, and camera too I know now I was only a witness who arrived just in time for the reveal. The words came easily, the pictures eager to play. Yet the demands on me were simple, to trust and journal the moment.

I’ve learned what goes down on paper is always meant to be there. It’s part of the dialog and reading the language . So I draw, and I paint. I shoot. I paint again and then I shoot some more, never taking my eyes off the possibilities or underestimating a sight, a sound, a smell, a tone or even a color.

I often wonder where it will lead me?

Who knows. I really can’t wait to find out.

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In the meanwhile, I’ve discovered that reportage converses in the moment and as an artist it is my responsibility to be fully committed. Otherwise it will drift back and it might be years before I can meet the hour again or an hour in the like. What I’ve learned so far is it’s in those fragments of time when the message is clear that the answers can magically weave the evolutions between the impression and the solution.

(Note: The drawing above marked such a moment in Paris while I was working in the Jardin Tuilerrie. I heard the laughter of children, even song through it’s trees. When in all the while the gentle conversations of the past continued on between it’s sculptures who so eloquently commanded an audience from every angle sharing the moment.)

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