The Creative, The Receptive

Ch’ien / The Creative

The creative works sublime success.

Illustratypes - Davis Freeman

Furthering through perseverance.

In 1987, while working on images to accompany a bi-annual report, I found that I was running out of 4x5 Polaroid film. Requiring Polaroid, I grabbed some unusual emulsion from the shelf, Type 53. As I continued with the work, I noticed that the image on the negative backing, although faint, was much more interesting than the positive.

Originally, I re-photographed the Polaroid on high-contrast black and white negative film and then reprinted this image on silver paper.  For the next few years I experimented with contrast negative masks and darkroom manipulation. Although I produced a number of award-winning images with these methods, by 1994, I thought I had reached a technical dead-end.

In 1995, my wife Hattie was diagnosed with cancer. During her treatment I chose to spend as much time with her as possible. Eventually, I set up my computer in her hospital room.  While she slept, I worked.  Over the months I taught myself Photoshop.  The digital technology allowed me to rework my earlier images, overcome the limitations of the darkroom, and realize the vision of my mind’s eye. Hattie’s support and inspiration gave me the confidence to continue exploring my art. It was her enthusiasm for the new images that inspired the show you see today.

K’un / The Receptive

The receptive brings about sublime success

I am a receiver as much as a creator. The beauty I seek I find in the interesting plays of light and dark across the topography of the body. I search for a heightening or deepening of a subject’s expression all revealed in the murk or luminescence of the capricious emulsion.