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Swamp Diptych II, 1986,7
Acrylic on Paper, 84x136 inches

For years I have been photographing nature. I have done this from the viewpoint of a painter, searching for a certain unique imagery. Sometimes I have felt it important to capture in film that which I would never see again. Often I’ve thought that if I could fix the image in film, it would always remind me of elements necessary to make the paintings.

I do not copy from the photographs. When I was included in an exhibition of painters who use photographs in their work, I felt like an intruder, a dissembler.

I did not really question this unease, but went on happily taking my photographs until I discovered the Black Swamp while driving with a friend in Alabama. When we passed this small swamp, I was overwhelmed by the vision of it, and as we couldn’t stop, I made several small sketches and notes. The following day we returned to the swamp and I photographed it for future reference.

Being obsessed with my first sight of the swamp, I neglected to develop the film, and proceeded to create a Black Swamp series, searching for a way to communicate my initial experience. Just before I stated the Diptych (Through the Black Swamp and Beyond) I developed the film.

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