My formal background in photography includes study as an undergraduate at UCLA with two of the most respected, non-traditional photographic image-makers on the West Coast, Edmund Teske and Robert Heinecken. I was also one of the first Photography M.F.A.’s to graduate from California Institute of the Arts, where I later taught for several semesters.
However, it is my interest in color and the natural world enhanced by letter exchanges and visits with Eliot Porter that have defined my career. I have always felt “compelled” as an American artist to use my imagery, exhibitions, lectures, and issue-directed book publishing to address the political realities of habitat protection, natural resource management, and the preservation of wild lands, which I have done with success.
Often supported by major foundations and individuals as diverse as actor Robert Redford, and William E. Simon, former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, I have used my art to effectively assist the path of legislation and broaden public perception, while at the same time contributing a distinctive body of fine print work to contemporary color photography.
Since the early 1980’s, I have also been visiting China on a yearly basis as part of the UCLA-China exchange program, collaborating the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute to translate my photographs into silk hand-embroidered wall hangings, table pieces, and standing screens. This completely unique reinterpretation of my imagery in a textile form merges Eastern and Western concepts in art, and the modern process of photography with the 2,500 years old Chinese tradition of silk embroidery.