Practice Seeing

 In Guest Blogs

Aaron Usher III 

Aaron’s dad was friends with my dad but I didn’t know the third when he was little. I did know that my father had great respect for the second. 

When I was in need of a photographer to shoot my architectural work, Aaron’s name came up and it seemed like a no-brainer. We continue to work together to this day and it is my pleasure to bring him to your attention.

And now the page is his.


My work and personal lives have long become one. As a professional photographer, my ‘job’ is to ‘see’ things and interpret what I see using visual language. This clearly runs throughout my daily life with family, as well.

Throughout my training and continuing to this day, I practice seeing on a daily basis. On my walks, in conversations, and even on the volleyball court, I tend to pre-visualize and anticipate, hoping to set myself up for something outstanding.  It’s part of why I enjoy this website and blog. I enjoy seeing into the minds of other artists through visual play.

This brings me to my current personal work, a series of photographs I call, Ice Abstractions.

This collection started as ‘a means to escape’ other facets of my work that tend to be rigid and precise. The freedom to explore shapes and lines coupled with a return to black and white was refreshing. The abstractions allowed my mind’s eye to roam wildly in a space approximately 6-12” in front of me. I started seeing and feeling the images as they unfolded. They could be microscopic at one end or stratospheric at another. Similar to a reader of a great novel, I was being immersed in the stories my mind created from the various shapes and movement of the lines. 

Much like the work of the photographers of the 1920’s, including Alfred Stieglitz and Minor White, these photos have taken on a certain ‘Equivalence.’ Stieglitz photographed clouds and his symbolist aesthetic underlies these images, which became increasingly abstract equivalents of his own experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Wassily Kandinsky wrote, “Colors, shapes and lines can reflect the inner, often emotive, vibrations of the soul.” This is the effect I strive to attain.  

Practice Seeing, Ice Abstractions, Aaron Usher III, Ann Grasso Pattern Art

The above image I sometimes title, “Ships at Sea”, where I see the rough ocean tossing two sailboats in the waves. Others see totally unrelated imagery. There are no wrongs with this type of image. Whatever you see is based on your past and present experiences.

In these following photographs, do you see the North Wind blowing? Perhaps a mousy, hippy chick from the 1960’s? Or maybe a Who from Whoville?

Practice Seeing, Ice Abstractions, Aaron Usher III, Ann Grasso Pattern ARt

Practice Seeing, Ice Abstractions, Aaron Usher III, Ann Grasso Pattern Art

Practice Seeing, Ice Abstractions, Aaron Usher III, Ann Grasso Pattern Art

Tell us what you see in the comment section below.

Follow this link to see a larger collection of this series of Ice Abstractions:  

https://aaronusher.com/clients/Ice_Abstractions

Showing 6 comments
  • Jeanne Hewell-Chambers
    Reply

    I am smitten, captivated, smiling. There’s so much to love about this post, about this work. I find that abstract works leave room for the viewer to come in and make themselves at home. (Is my Southernness showing?) These are beautiful, and I’m glad they are in black and white because quite often I find color, like words, rather limiting. Thank you for for the work your do and for sharing it here, Aaron.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      I am grateful this site, finally, is able to post your comments and now Aaron will be able to see them too. We have had some “technical difficulties” which I believe are now being sorted out. Thank you for your insightful remarks Jeanne.

    • Aaron Usher
      Reply

      Thank you , Jeanne. That was a wonderful comment to leave! As Ann mentioned, I did see it back in December but wasn’t able to get my reply to ‘stick’ and Christmas etc happened. Thought about it today. Would it be possible to use your comment with first name only on my web site testimonial page? aaron@aaronusher.com

      Thanks!

      Aaron

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        Ann Grasso
        Reply

        Hi Aaron, I will forward your comment and request to Jeanne directly. If I were a wagering woman, I would bet on yes,

      • Reply

        Thank you, Ann, for forwarding me Aaron’s note.

        Aaron, I’d be plum tickled for you to use my comment on your testimonial page. Honored, actually.

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          Ann Grasso
          Reply

          Collaborations! One of the main reasons I host this website. How delightful to see it working.

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70273 Project Quilt One, Ann Grasso Pattern Art