Abstract Nature Photography: Artist Statement

Creating art is a natural form of communication and therapy for me. I use the camera lens to express a mixture of emotion, inspiration, spirituality and fascination. I am intrigued by mysterious topics like the unconscious mind, mythology, existentialism and the origins of nature.

My abstract nature photography is created while hiking and exploring after my inhibitions have freely dissipated. During this naturally heightened and relaxed state, I become in tune with my surroundings and breathe in the experience. I then search for metaphors within organic subjects such as lichen, silt, sand and rock.

The photography reflection art is a culmination of artistic, natural, psychological, spiritual and creative interests. These images reveal personal experiences as well as possible insights into the collective unconscious. The reflections are created by mirroring abstract nature photography through an original design technique without use of layering or filter manipulations. Through tiling patterns, I work with nature to express and reveal the unseen.

Abstract Nature Photographer Reflection Artist MF Wolik

I work with nature to express and reveal the unseen.

Photography Artist Biography

MF (Michael Francis) was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. His fascination for nature, creativity and imagination began at an early age. While attending high school Michael developed a love for expression through several artistic mediums. In 2000 he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Framingham State College. The focal points of Michael’s art education were printmaking, sculpture, photography and design. Following his studies, Michael’s love for nature, hiking, adventure and exploration brought him to many beautiful places. During his inspirational travels, Michael became creative on foot and reclaimed his love for photography. Michael and his wife have visited over 30 National Parks in the U.S. as well as several in other countries. Michael is a visual artist and graphic designer who lives amongst the grand wilderness of Oregon USA.

Artistic Variation

I have been asked many times on how my subjects are chosen and which photos or circumstances produce the most interesting reflections. I would say the majority of promising shots have what I call ‘artistic variation’: multiple natural elements working together producing interesting visuals. These overlaying elements tend to call out to me. An example of this is the tide sand piece to the right. Tide sand itself is definitely one of my favorites to capture and work with. It is the shape of water or the shape of tidal current left imprinted in the sand. That is magical by itself! But if you happen upon a sunrise reflecting it’s light in a very concentrated tide sand pattern then you’ve found nature’s artistic variation. Back in the studio, magic unfolds when I mirror these varied overlaying elements. Too much variation will create a pattern, not enough will create minimalism. Just the right balance of variation and happenstance produces unimaginable impressions.

Serendipity & the Unimaginable
High Sun Stairway

That’s what I’m looking for: The Unimaginable. This answers another common question: What’s your style for shooting when you’re out in the field? Because I’m searching for the unimaginable, I have to serendipitously look around. Because the unimaginable cannot be thought of in advance I must give up any preconceived notion and give in wholly to improvisation. It’s a mindset which I cover in my art statement by saying ‘I become in tune with my surroundings and breathe in the experience.’ But it starts before ever getting to the subject, it starts by not having expectations at all or at least bringing them ultimately low. The truth is I walk a lot and shoot only a fraction of that time. I set out in hopes to capture these images, knowing that months could go by before something truly magical speaks up!

Carve your own path
improvise and explore

I’m a firm believer in the Jungian idea that to better yourself you must carve your own path, you must lead your own salvation and not be a follower. In a sense I have carved my own path with this artistic nature reflection process. But there’s much work to be done, for myself and others. And if the process I created helps others than by all means you should do it! I hope my art makes you wonder, feel and remember there’s so much to life that we do not know.

Elucidation of The Universe Reflections

Reflecting the cosmos is an art exploration into uncharted territory both physically and metaphysically. Equivalent to my nature photography reflections, there’s a psychological Rorschach aspect to the space creations. Unlike nature on Earth, when planetary and cosmic images are reflected, we find completely unknown things. We see only hints of similarities to our world, such as animal shapes and familiar designs.

Surprisingly, my idea to reflect outer space started here on Earth at Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring. While creating  the Yellowstone piece Animal Spirit, I realized that the pattern and color reminded me of Jupiter’s amazing gaseous cloud top storms. After years of research and contemplation, I discovered the trove of high resolution images on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s photo journal website. I dove head first into what would turn into a multi-year reflection study and lifelong project. I find it poetic how the idea began in such a beautiful yet turbulent natural area on our planet. Volcanic thermal areas are often destructive but equally creative. Bound only by time, the creative spirit guides us to new lands.

Creative spirit guides us

Bending Time and Space

“To bend reality in order to see another” is one definition of surrealism. I believe that my unique reflection process does exactly that. By mirroring reality and allowing unconscious magic to guide, a crystal ball is unveiled. A crystal ball or looking glass can be made but it must have seers to be activated. My audience are the explorers of these invisible worlds. Within this website, a crystal ball is made of cosmic imagery and the parallel universes it reveals have never been recorded in this way. I see my process as the discovery of a new visual language, one which requires feeling and contemplation to be deciphered.

Bend reality to see another

Power of Imagination

One of the greatest things about this art is that it’s yours! Everyone who looks at a piece will see it differently. The art reflects our infinite minds and diversity. In a sense, I use your imagination to create art. I believe that the power of the imagination is our strongest and most underrated human function. Without imagination there would be no advancement of  the human race as we know it. I find it magical that we can bring images to mind and create anything between our two eyes.

I use your imagination to create art

Before we had the Hubble Telescope and Mars Orbiter, space was mostly unimaginable. What happens when we use the newly found unimaginable to explore more? What happens when we align images of the cosmos in order to see, think and feel our way to new understandings? What are the similar awakenings we have when looking at these images? These are my questions for this experimental cosmic thesis. Rorschach revolutionized psychology with the ink blot test. He created a pattern recognizing psychological diagnostic. It’s a genius idea no doubt. The blot folded into paper leading to a standardized test where we are prompted to project what we see. All the empirical data collected from those tests helps us recognize psychological traits. Every so often someone will comment about my art: “Well you sure upgraded the test!” I usually laugh it off but there’s something to that sentiment. I’ve evolved  to see my process as less of a test and more of a vehicle for mind and spirit preparation. A vehicle to new concepts and the profound. Wherever my art takes you, it is my hope and intention that it leads to positive outcomes and new understandings.

Cosmic thesis

1 Comment

  1. Mike,
    Came across your LinkedIn, contact during work, then this, you might be border line \genius\ , very impressive,
    Hope all is well
    Take Care

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