A desire for simplicity

by cheri

Several weeks ago, while attending a fine arts  show in Scottsdale, Arizona, I viewed one artist’s take on landscapes, houses, barns, and oceans–all done in a starkly simple manner, emphasized by shadow, complementary color and linear expression. Not quite modern (warmer) but clearly impressionistic, her paintings drew me in.

Their simplicity  charmed me.

In a world of too much chatter, commentary, people, and bluster–I returned to my own photographs, searching for the photographic equivalent of the art I had viewed.

Maybe I shall try to paint!

Here are few shots that capture some of the simplicity I crave.


Chateau d Audrieu, Normandy, France, 2010


Nova Scotia, 2009


White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, 2012


Tehachapi, California, 2013


Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, 2010


Mother and Child, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, 2012

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in Life, My photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to A desire for simplicity

  1. Sharon says:

    I love these, particularly the 18 wheeler on the highway!

  2. Jim Murray says:

    Beautiful work, Cheri. All of it but I have a favorite. The Omaha Beach shot – a stark and simple illustration – with unpleasant weather (it was stormy on D-Day) evokes the feelings of war, of desperate men fighting for survival in a very uninviting place.

    • Cheri says:

      Hi Jim,
      Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for your kind words! I have many more photographs from Omaha Beach and Normandy that were taken almost to the day of D-Day. The weather was gloomy and at times rainy, setting our moods for the American cemetery where so many brave Americans (and others) lost their lives bringing down a monster. Perhaps, I should post some of my best shots from that trip. You have given me some inspiration.

  3. Brighid says:

    Your pictures are sublime. I love the work of Jean Jack http://www.jeanjack.com/ Some of the older ones of barns are my favorites… the simplicity of line, color, and shadow. Wish I had gotten one when they were in my price range… those days are long gone, but I can still enjoy them online.
    Can’t wait to see your paintings.

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you so much Brighid for Jean Jack’s link. I am a sucker for all barns, shacks, and rural structures and machinery. We recently visited the Western Museum in Wickenburg, AZ–you would love that place. I wish the works of Maynard Dixon and Remington were in my budget!

  4. v4vikey says:

    oh that’s Great !! Beautiful work…

  5. ShimonZ says:

    Enjoyed these very much, Cheri. I think many of us are attracted to simplicity. And those simple pictures can still tell a complex story… and reveal the personality of the artist, which is often complex too.

    • Cheri says:

      Dear Shimon,
      Thank you for your comment, which I appreciate. Your point is well-taken. Each of these pictures and the perceived simplicity mask tremendous complexity, as you observe. For example, the first picture of Chateau d Audrieu portrays a peaceful well-manicured home. During the invasion of Normandy, the Germans shot at least 30 Canadian soldiers in that courtyard.

      I have written about (and have a number of pictures) on a blog post I wrote several years ago about my visit back to White Sands Proving Ground and the White Sands National Monument. My father, Hugh Block,was the Army dentist at the base from 1950-1954. I spent my early years in the desert and many happy moments on the hills of white sand sliding down in a makeshift sled…

  6. wkkortas says:

    I’m struck by the photograph of Omaha Beach, how spare and stark it is, especially when one considers its history (the landing there certainly not simplicity itself.)

    • Cheri says:

      I have a photograph I will post next week of more of the irony of visiting Sword, Gold, and Omaha beaches on a cold June day when no one, save a few people and some horses were there…Thank you for your comment, wk

  7. potsoc says:

    I can not add to the other commentaries.

  8. Oh, Cheri, you must paint. It’s calling to you through your photo lens. I do believe the artist’s mind works this way.

    I went the reverse way – painting to writing!

    • Cheri says:

      Maybe you are right, MJ. I did not know you were a painter. If your painting is anything like your writing, I’d love to see your work. Always wonderful to hear from you. Take care, my friend.

  9. shoreacres says:

    So many of these photos are resonant. The second, of Nova Scotia, brought to mind Andrew Wyeth. And the chateau? Magritte. I can’t explain that, but there it is.

    I love the photo of the truck on the highway, but my associate with that is somewhat different. I can’t help it — it makes me want to hit the road, with the windows down and this playing, loud.

    • shoreacres says:

      Ahem. That would be, “association.”

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you for your kind words. And I love “Gold”! When my painting becomes famous, when I am ensconced at an art show hoping that ” Tehachapi Sunset ” sells for many thousands of dollars (which I will be able to collect once I turn 66 in October), I will stream “Gold” in the booth. 🙂

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