Like many, I returned to an early love of photography after having concentrated on my lengthy career as a Family Physician. Before entering medical practice, I practiced photography mainly as a social statement.
My teen years and 20’s were dominated by the Civil Rights Movement, the Kennedy and King assassinations, and the Vietnam War. Photojournalism exploded on our TVs with an endless stream of images that shaped our national ethic, defined our culture and our music, molded the fabric of our lives. The potent force of photography to inspire, communicate, nurture our souls and assist healing inspired me to participate actively in the art.
After graduating from college with a BA in Literature, I established a black and white darkroom, and for 4 years engaged in documentary film making with several friends who had also completed college degrees in the liberal and fine arts. By our late 20s we began to follow different paths, yielding to the financial wisdom of acquiring traditional careers.
While working as director of Recreational Therapeutics at the Lighthouse for the Blind in Chicago, I decided to study medicine. At the age of 28, I began the path to my medical career as a Family Physician, which occupied me until my recent retirement at the age of 67.
After 35 years of medical practice, during which my photographs focused upon family and vacations, I embraced photography as a means to experience the meditative peace that is borne from walking among a field of wildflowers, of bearing witness to dawn, of touching the dew, of seeking grace in the deep furrows of an old oak, and of listening to the creator’s song, sung by the beating of a bird’s wings. For me, the act of taking a photograph, of focusing on the tiniest fraction of a moment, becomes a portal into timelessness, into transcendence, transporting me away from the agony, the pain, the destruction emanating from endless human conflict. It is a quest to feel bathed in a moment of beauty.
I marvel at the thousands of incredible images shared amongst the artists on Fine Art America, many of whom have dedicated a lifetime to developing the skill to express their vision photographically. They, along with so many artists—both known and unknown—took photography beyond the mere replication of a scene to a more powerful and passionate expression of their personal experience, their interactions of soul with environment. My photos reflect my desire to be a humble participant in this dance, this visual poetry, expressed so well by the native American Chants:
“ Where I sit is Holy. Holy is the Ground, Forest, Mountains, Rivers, Listen to the Sound, Great Spirit circle all around me.”
“Honor the Earth, Honor the Elders, Honor all with whom we share the Earth. Four-leggeds, two leggeds, winged ones, swimmers , crawlers, plant and rock people, all walk in balance and beauty.”
I hope my images give you a moment of repose. I invite feedback, both , both positive and critical. Feel free to share with others by giving them my link to my Fine Art America webpage at: www.paulmalenphotoart.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, altered, edited, published, transmitted or uploaded without written permission from Paul Malen.
Paul Malen joined Fine Art America on December 10th, 2015.