Richard Mathis Photography: Blog en-us (C) Richard Mathis Photography (Richard Mathis Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:31:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:31:00 GMT Richard Mathis Photography: Blog 63 120 The Garden of Composition Art is the interaction of many forces. This image is the result of the creativity of the sculptor. Of the landscape artist(s) who laid out the garden. Who formed the curves of the paths. Positioned the fences. Chose the plants. It is the result of every attempt ever made to visually represent what was seen so others could see it. From tracing lines in the sand to painting on the walls of caves to Monet to 3D special effects, all art, good and bad, is connected. So is the technology. Whether it is learning to use a stick to draw in the sand or that hairs can make brushes and bushes and other things can make pigments for paints or that camera obscuras can magically capture images all the way up to an old man with a head full of art slides who is equipped with a Nikon camera and a Sigma arts lens out playing art in the garden of composition. Sometimes I feel like a puppet being moved around until I am in the exactly right spot to see the incredible beauty of how forces come together.




(Richard Mathis Photography) aesthetics art chapel hill creative content creativity garden north carolina north carolina botanical garden Fri, 27 Dec 2019 11:37:03 GMT
Walking in the rain with Monet in the garden


Cold and wet, rain all day long, overcast and dark, what a lovely day to be in the garden. Creativity for me is a solitary pursuit. I seldom go out to take photos in nature with someone tagging along. I want to be alone with the living  muse. A cold and rainy garden provides the perfect setting.


Although I am alone, I am not alone. Every piece of artwork I have ever seen walks with me. Monet, let me look through your eyes. Come walk with me. Your garden is not just in France it's everywhere you walk, where you see.


All visual art begins with seeing. If you cannot see art when you look then you cannot create art. You might be very skilled technically but unless you can see art, your photographs may be very good but they will not be art. 


Some years back I helped juror an art show. Two photographs didn't make it. One was badly out of focus, very blurred. The other was very well focused but had no focus. Is it in focus, and what is the focus are two basic elements for me when it comes to photography. You can take an excellent picture of a banana duct-taped to the wall. What's the point? Is it art?   


Which brings me back to the old joke of when the devil first saw Eden. "Yes, it is beautiful. But is it art?"


I am art creating art. Do I create the art or does art create me to create art? What say you, Plato, of the eternal forms dancing and shifting here like the shadows on the wall of a cave? Am I the art or the artist? Am I both?

(Richard Mathis Photography) aesthetics art art photography chapel hill creative content nature north carolina north carolina botanical garden Mon, 16 Dec 2019 13:46:03 GMT
Guardian of the Garden - Beauty of the Beast


There is no beauty without there being ugliness. There can be no good without there being bad with which to compare it. The more one opens to the beauty of the world, the more one sees the incredible ugliness. Life can be so wonderful. Life can be so senselessly brutal. Not only life but as people are the same. We can be so wonderful to each other that it is heavenly. We can be so cruel that is a living hell. The guardian of the way scares away the timid. For to know great  truth, one must see the evil along with the good. One hears the songs of bliss and joy, as well as the cries and wails of the world. Welcome to the veil of tears, the garden of creation itself.

(Richard Mathis Photography) aesthetics art chapel hill creative content creativity nature north carolina north carolina botanical garden Thu, 12 Dec 2019 16:56:28 GMT
The Muse Arises


All art arises from nature as do humans. I love this piece and its placement in the garden. The texture of the sculpture and the garden are so alike. Kudos to whomever placed the sculpture in this spot.


What are the emotions of the figure? Is it elation, satisfaction, a sense of oneness? A sense of oneness with both the beauty and brutality of life? As there is no light without darkness there is no beauty with ugliness. There is no good without bad. In the garden of good and evil the artist arises to share a vision, to share what is seen, what is felt. The artist is the eyes of the world.


(Richard Mathis Photography) aesthetics art art photography chapel hill creative content creativity landscape nature north carolina Wed, 11 Dec 2019 13:00:49 GMT
The Guardian Muse How many times have we strolled alone, my guardian muse? I remember you well from my childhood days. On Sundays, my preacher father carried us to rural churches in the backwoods of south Georgia. After Sunday dinner at someone's house, often there would be no kids to play with and what kid wanted to sit around with adults discussing theology? It was with you, my guardian muse, that I roamed the fields and woods, mesmerized by reflections of clouds and trees in ponds. It was you, my guardian muse, who sit with me during long church services with sermons lasting well over an hour, it was you moving me from one position to another position to the angles lined up just right. It is you, oh, muse, that walks with me now as I retreat from the messy whirlwind of the world, the anger and confusion howling around. It is you that walks with me through the garden of creation.






(Richard Mathis Photography) aesthetics art Art Photography Beauty Chapel Hill Creative Content Creativity Landscape Nature North Carolina North Carolina Botanical Garden portraits Sculpture Tue, 10 Dec 2019 12:58:48 GMT
Into the Garden Welcome to the world of creativity where imagination takes flight.


I love not only the creativity of these two pieces of art but celebrate the composition, the placing of these two pieces in such a way so that someone like me could see the art. Art begins with seeing. At least visual art does. Seeing the art that is around us, in the ever changing living canvas. Art is like a filter in which to see the world.



Even the same work of art can appear quite new and different when seen from another perspective, from another position.



Thanks so much to the sculptors and to the curators who arranged these works so they could be appreciated.

(Richard Mathis Photography) art Art Photography Chapel Hill Creative Content Creativity Nature North Carolina North Carolina Botanical Garden Mon, 09 Dec 2019 11:04:20 GMT
Welcome to the Magical Garden of Art Welcome to the Magical Garden of Creation. We will be venturing daily into the garden to explore its many treasures. Let's us begin our adventure into the fantastic fields of creation.


The Mother of CreationWelcome to the sculpture garden of Mother Nature where art and nature are one,


Shall we enter through the portal into another dimension?


EntranceStep through the portal to expand the horizons of your mind.


Who knows where we go?



Stay tuned - more to come daily.

(Richard Mathis Photography) Art Art Photography Beauty Chapel Hill Creative Content Creativity Landscape Nature North Carolina North Carolina Botanical Garden Sculpture Sun, 08 Dec 2019 14:40:41 GMT
The Green Lady

Swirls of green, it is in your breezes that I would walk, hearing the hoots of owls echoed through the cypress and oaks clinging to the banks curving along side the river snaking its way through sandy soils. oh, yes, swirls of green dancing in the gentle breezes, reflecting shimmering streaks of silver and shadows against the shallow sandbars, bands of color embracing me in the rhapsody of light and sounds and smells, it is in your breezes that I wander across creation, finding the forgotten me wherever I go.

(Richard Mathis Photography) Drowning Creek Lumber River Sun, 13 Sep 2015 14:56:31 GMT
Living Art


Photography is the art of seeing the art all around that is worth seeing. Photography is seeing art anywhere on the giant living canvas which embraces us all. I am the canvas's tool, the canvas's eye, the camera, to glimpse and share the living canvas of art throughout life. I am the eyes of the world, the eyes which sees art, composition, exquisite play of light and dark shadows, the eyes which join with the camera to share the art that I see. Photography is living art, seeing art, sharing art of the living canvas.

(Richard Mathis Photography) aesthetics art photography seeing Sat, 12 Sep 2015 16:39:39 GMT
Cat Eyes Seeing is the basis of photography. Artists over the centuries have drawn, painted and sculpted to share whey they saw. Photography allows me to share what I see.

I can still hear the zen teacher Phillip Kapleau speaking words of encouragement as he walked through the meditation hall: "Be like a cat, totally relaxed yet totally aware and ready to pounce."

To really see one has to be relaxed, free of distracting thoughts and emotions. One has to be relaxed and yet aware so that the fleeting moment can be seen and written in light. Photography means writing in light and when the setting sun is writing in light across the canvass of the sky one has to be ready to pounce, to act.

Seeing also requires one to allow people and nature to feel free to be seen as they are. People look their best in portraits when they are relaxed and feeling free to show who they really are.

So welcome to my seeing, to my exploring the world anew as if I was a child set loose in the boundless fields of creation, free to explore and play. If you would like, please let us take a walk together, or get together, and write in light for the world to see you as you want to be seen. 


(Richard Mathis Photography) Photography art einvironmental landscapes mindfulness nature portraits zen Tue, 14 Apr 2015 15:45:06 GMT