(Over the Rainbow, 12 x 24 on metal (not framed) by Dorothy Freudenberg)
When I came to Bend 30 years ago after teaching in the wilderness, little did I expect to be here all these years later. Now, this has turned into the longest time that I have ever lived anywhere. One result of this was having the time and resources to make a drastic career shift. I had been a black-and-white photographer for many years — both as a hobby and learning experience and as a source of inspiration. In my opinion, no practice is better equipped to teach us to “see.”
Soon after arriving in Bend, I was given the opportunity to work on a computer, and quickly the advantages of working on a computer darkroom were readily apparent. The possibilities became endless. As one versed in the arts and humanities, I quickly found myself experimenting with ideas that went way beyond film photography. And the computer was the perfect tool to do that! Eventually, I would become a member of Tumalo Art Co. (20 years), which has been a great platform to support my work and growth over the years. Most of my art consists of layered pieces, gleaned from many photographs and materials, created as improvisations, as it were. Because of the advent of metal printing, I am finally able to experience my work in its original brilliance as seen on the computer where I work.
But behind all of this, I am still a photographer who practices constantly. I am out in all weather, on the paths and parks of the area, ever challenging myself to a more refined way of recording my experiences. One of my favorite quotes is by Robert Mapplethorpe: “Spirit always waits for the photographer it has chosen.” One doesn’t simply wait for magical photos, one must show up, day after day, honing one’s skills constantly. And if you are chosen on any given day, consider it a gift.