aaduna notes welcomes Guest Blogger, David H. Roche

I was asked to talk about the art I create so here goes.

I’ve been writing poetry since 1970.  My first material was published in the ‘Nickel Review’- in that year.  My writing has changed a lot since then as might be expected.  I do not take myself all that seriously with regard to art.  I just consider it fun.

I took up photography several years ago quite by accident and realized that I enjoyed it immensely. It took a while to try and make art from simple snapshots.  With the aid of software I taught myself how to manipulate photographs and to turn them into something that does not resemble what the original photograph represented.

My approach to this I consider to be based on the philosophy of the ‘Tao’.  I approach the original image with the idea that it contains  an infinity of possibilities in much the same way the ‘empty bowl’ is always the reservoir of unlimited possibilities.  Buddhist principles related to emptiness’  and ‘interdependence’ also inform me in the process.

When using the software I just begin doodling. For instance one of my favorites which I call ‘Understanding the Evening News’ resulted from a snap shot of trash on my kitchen counter.  I do not have an idea where I am going or what I am doing when I begin with a photo.  I begin with the idea that there is something in it and somehow I’ll let it out.  Quite often something will emerge.  I have heard it said that a sculptor can see the statue in the stone and then sets about to release it with his hammer and chisel.  I guess my technique or approach is similar.

One of the things in this process that really intrigues me is that I do not decide what the image will be.  The image develops in increments and morphs until I see something concrete appear.  I have the feeling I am not doing it myself.  The process seems to be independent of my will, much like that in automatic writing or an Ouija board.  Eventually I know what it is.  Then the work begins in wrapping it up.  The idea of unlimited potential residing in the ordinary appears true and I seem to find it in the way I approach this.

I also take nature pictures.  I live across from a small pond which is part of a migratory route for many birds. I’ve been here two springs and have seen  the crops of ducklings come and go. I have photographed them as well as the herons that stop by for breakfast.

I love photographing flowers and when I manipulate them with the software my deliberate attempt is to give them a mystical quality revealing their imminent association with their source.  I see nature as ‘God’s book’  in my altering of the pictures of flowers I attempt to reveal the divinity within.

Philosophically, the terrible plight of man is worrisome for me.  I wonder quite often how long it will be before this present experience self destructs.  This understanding makes me quite cynical with regard to following leaders or even the need for leaders.  However this cynicism does not lead me to despair due to the understanding received from the various spiritual traditions I embrace.  

David H. Roche

David's poetry can be found in the current issue of aaduna.  Visit www.aaduna.org