Photography is such an individual expression that we overlook how often it is presented in conjunction with words.

From advertising on billboards to illustrating editorial pages, writing is combined with photographs to enhance the effectiveness of reaching a consumer.

In art, combing words and imagery is a little more avant garde yet brings a wonderful texture to the piece and guides the experience. Consider the work of Duane Michals in this regard.

On a more personal level, I began combining words with my photographs after taking a workshop on creativity from Scott Morgan.

At the time, I chose to photo illustrate Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

A fairy tale is quite magical and after reading one, a day, a week a month later you start thinking about and dealing with issues you hadn’t considered before. This is the tale working around inside of you. At the time I thought the magic could be doubled if the words were consumed with an equally powerful photograph.

As I progressed with this, friends encouraged me to use my own writing and this has brought me great satisfaction emotionally and artistically. This latest piece will hang in an upcoming show to be held at the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) exploring the legend of Good King Wenceslas.

Walking Away            January 20, 2005

Leaving the old house behind
The roof has once more denied the harsh hand that seeks to exploit the cracks growing in the stone and tar.
Not our problem for long. One day too soon I will be forced away from the nest. As the jays that used to fight and squawk in the birch branches by the side door, so too will we fight over what’s to be done with my family home.
Sighing, I stop by the small country graveyard and wading through deep drifts of snow I come to my father’s plot, unmarked now, awaiting the stone.
Answers such as he might have don’t come to me. Standing there, I feel nothing.
Walking away. Walking Away.
Why is that harder than standing there?
Do you walk in your own footsteps as you go?
Or make new ones instead?
Long ago, a good king bid his boy walk in his footsteps but the time of good kings is long gone and so now the choice of how to walk away is made alone.

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