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I've been taking pictures for thirty years and although the territory has often changed, a few elemental ideas underlie all the photos on this website: I'm drawn most strongly to landscapes. I've traveled quite a bit – the American Southwest, the Pacific Coastline from Washington to Mexico, the Deep South, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Venice, Florence, Siena and the Tuscan countryside are the only places I've seen in Europe … so far. In every place I find myself drawn to record certain elements of the landscape in front of me. In any landscape there are only a very few shots that work for me, although getting those very few shots feels a lot like a compulsion.

I suppose it is, because once I sense the presence of this one elusive image, I can't let it go, and I'll keep coming back to that place until I get it. Well, get ... what, exactly?

I like images that contain strong dynamic forces – the curve of beach where it meets the ocean, lines of tilling in a farmer's field dusted with snow, the way wind and rain erode a ravine – but I also find the same lines of force in how light works on an ocean or on a desert valley.



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Speaking of light, I'd have to say I was first influenced by the Impressionists – Seurat and Monet, of course – Turner, although I guess he's not strictly an Impressionist, is he? I was struck by many of the pictures in a book called Canada: A year of the Land, which offered some of the most sweeping and stirring portraits of nature I've seen. So there was "light" and then there was the amazing Freeman Patterson – who saw light and force in the natural world in a way that went straight to my heart.

We all know that you can be drawn to someone else's work – inspired by it – but to satisfy yourself as an artist you have to take what they can teach you and go on to find your own way of seeing the world. I've tried to do that, and lately I've come to feel that I'm succeeding, especially in the shots you'll find here, all of which were aspects of the natural world that you can find all around you, but which I may have caught and preserved in a way that will surprise you. Not that I'm trying to dazzle or confuse you. I just hope that when you see the world as I saw it on that day or in that place, you'll have a moment of quiet and – may I say joyful? - recognition, as I did, and that the image will stay with you, as they do with me.

My friends ask me if I'll eventually "run out of planet". I guess they mean, will I tire of the natural world. Not likely. I think it will get tired of me long before that happens. Which is just fine with me.

Linda Mair – Fine Art Photography

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