Tag Archives: The Way of the Artist

Returning to Peace through Art | Photography and Healing

Panorama landscape photography of Hilton Head Island by Jim Crotty

In the beauty of nature and through the expression of art resides the healing power of grace, now more than ever. In a world full of tragedy and sadness it is often the outward expression of heartfelt emotion that can return us to that central place of peace we all long for, whether such expression is through visual, written or music. It can help begin the process of regathering and re-centering. Hope begins again.

In no way is this a post of self-promotion. It’s my thoughts and feelings on how art – specifically photography – has been a Godsend throughout the vast majority of my 48 years here along the shared journey of this called life. Although I’ve been fortunate enough to never have experienced anything nearly as gut-wrenching and unbearable as losing a child I have experienced the outer edges of the darkness that is hopelessness.

Somehow, someway, the peaceful nature of the human spirit prevails. It must. To adhere to anything to the contrary is an exercise in futility. To continue with hope is a strength and courage far beyond what evil intentions and actions could possibly ever understand.

My photography today seems as almost a sixth sense that has always been there for me. I try to not to take it for granted and always remain grateful for how it came into my life so many years ago, when I was about 12 years old. There were times when I wandered away but it waited patiently for me to return.

To live and work within art is a way of life – a way forward – that artists know. While some opine, quantify and calculate, artists hold true to their need to constantly feel, express and share.

It’s our way of saying “hold on to hope because here’s a hint of something so much more.”


Maritime Forest Sunrise | South Carolina Landscape Photography by Jim Crotty


Locations and Light | What the Photographer Feels

A tale of two locations. Corrales, New Mexico and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Evening and morning. The edges of the day present a quality of light that entices the landscape photographer, but in each location a uniqueness to that quality. What is that causes the difference ? Partly due to elevation of the landscape and humidity or dryness of the air, but there’s something else – something that can’t quite be described in words but only experienced with the eyes and heart.

Any visual artist or lover of the visual arts understands the unspoken connection between the creative spirit within and the experience of subject and light of a particular place. In many ways it is like a dance, a love affair intertwined with the emotion of memory and longing and hopefulness. Shadows and light and echoes of the heart. Some think the way of the solitary artist to be one of sadness. It is not. To pursue this passion is an engagement of all the senses as well as God-given talent and the desire to share and inspire. To create, to capture, is to live and love.

Light is life and the through photography the spirit of place is illuminated through the art of expression.

I will never cease to be thankful for that first day when I picked-up a camera and went off into the woods.