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“Whiter than the stones
of Stone Mountain -
autumn wind.” - Basho
The details in a landscape mean nothing if they do not express some mood of nature felt by the artist/photographer.
“I strive to capture internal feelings and the external harmony of the natural world - the passing seasons of life.”
The La Cloche mountain range of Northeastern Ontario is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. Less than two billion years ago and before glacial erosion, these beautiful quartzite and granite mountains were as high as the Rockies. It is a beautiful and spiritual area on the north shore of Georgian Bay with Killarney Park in the east and the town of Spanish in the west.
Generations of people have been intrigued by the quartzite mountains, crystal clear lakes, windswept pines and abundance of wildlife. The continually changing light and shadows have entranced artists, including five members of the Group of 7, and lovers of the outdoors for centuries.
Jon Butler, a retired newspaperman, who changed his clothes to enjoy the passing seasons of life has been capturing and enjoying the light of La Cloche for more than 30 years. He concentrates on solitary and contemplative landscapes and atmospheric effects.
The colour, details and shadows seen in his photographs are achieved through the use of camera settings and Jon’s unique sense of light. The majority of Jon’s exhibition photographs are taken at dawn during the few moments before the sun rises. He uses no additional or altered colour and no digital enhancement. He photographs with 35mm Olympus, 2 1/4 Mamiya, 4 X 5 Linhof, 8 X 10 Agfa and Nikon D80 cameras.
His photographs reflect years of meditation on the subject matter and they draw viewers into the light of La Cloche. All limited edition photographs are original, manipulative free and in a limited series of 10 or less. The negative is then destroyed.
Jon’s ‘Photo Haiku’ is a form of mixed media combining limited edition photographs and an original haiku written on natural surfaces. A haiku is the expression of temporary enlightenment, in which we see into life and in this case it is La Cloche.
Private and corporate collections in Canada and the United States have purchased his photographs and La Cloche and Killarney tourist publications publish them. The cover photo of Ian Tamblyn’s 31st album ‘Willisville Mountain’ is Jon’s photo ‘Transcendental Pine’ which inspired the song ‘Transcendence’.
'The stark beauty of Jon Butler’s Cranberry Narrows was judged the Best Photography.' - The Manitoulin Expositor, September 15, 2004
“In some of his works, Butler marries sensitivity and composition in a wonderfully harmonious union. A stellar piece entitled Cranberry Narrows offers balance, order, symmetry, and beauty.” The Sudbury Star, February 18, 2006
“The close, even intimate, relationship and depth of feeling between the artist and the art is clear in each of the works. On the whole, the diligence and patience Butler invested in capturing the more illusive moments of nature’s splendor will affect viewers.” – The Sudbury Star, February 18, 2006
Jon and his wife Kerry live in Willisville located in the heart of the La Cloche Mountains. Daughter Loren works in the heart of the Golden Horseshoe, daughter Vanessa lives in the heart of Montreal and son Sam in the heart of Ottawa.
Photographs and photo art cards are available upstairs at Turners Gallery of Little Current, The Art Gallery of Sudbury, The Red Dog in Whitefish Falls and the Killarney Park Store.