My eldest (of three) daughter introduced me to Freeman Patterson’s work back in the 1990’s. She gave me his early book, Photographing The World Around You, A Visual Design Workshop, published in 1994. It is full of my pink highlighting because of the wonderful, simple way this great ~170 page book describes how to compose a photo. He is, for me, the consummate artist and teacher. I use ideas gleaned from this book and another, entitled Photography And The Art Of Seeing, in my humble work. I have nowhere near a true devotion to this art (photography being only one of my interests) but respect those, like Patterson, who do possess such commitment and insight.
Since a majority of the people whom I’ve met in the wordpress community have an interest in photography, I thought I would bring him to your attention.
Patterson, from Shampers Bluff, New Brunswick, not only loves his art; he does good with it and because of it. He has won nineteen major awards over his illustrious career including, in 1985, the Order of Canada (C.M.).
He is a generous philanthropist with a sensitive caring about, and a deep commitment to, Mother Earth. He is responsible for preserving from development a beautiful part of Africa that he loves to photograph: Namaqualand. From his website’s Art Statement I’ve taken the following:
…no amount of technical knowledge and competence is, of itself, sufficient to make a craftperson into an artist. That requires caring — passionate caring about ultimate things. For me there is a close connection between art and religion in the sense that both are concerned about questions of meaning — if not about the meaning of existence generally, then certainly about the meaning of one’s individual life and how a person relates to his or her total community/environment.
His work is absolutely beautiful and unique. He works only in film. He is 75 this year. He gives amazing workshops. Check him out.
The title of this blog is one of the slogans used in The Main Practice (Training in Bodhichitta). This is one very useful activity of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. Bodhichitta is the state of having an awakened heart-mind. It is useful in alerting us to opportunities to avoid the consequences of giving in to our natural tendencies to react negatively to objects, people or situations..
I am not a Buddhist, but I suffer from unnecessary anger. I also believe in the interconnectedness of all sentient beings. I have found this practice of allowing suffering and healing to “ride the breath” a useful way to become aware of mounting aggression and often avoid losing my temper over something stupid. Continue reading “Three Objects, Three Poisons and Three Seeds Of Virtue”