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Don O. Thorpe Bio 
Artist's biography of Don O. Thorpe

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My mother always hoped that I would be an artist, and she encouraged any indication of artistic talent that I demonstrated. After a few misguided years of various and sundry jobs, I finally enrolled in some collage art classes. But it wasn't until I was past 30 that art and photography began to make some sense to me and became the center of my life.  And that happened because my mother encouraging me to submit a photograph of Amsterdam to a national newspaper awards competition. Surprisingly, I won locally and nationally. So with more encouragement from my mother and others I decided to enroll in photography classes at the University of Utah.

      I soon found that I must have had some inherent talent in photography, as I began winning awards and holding one-man exhibits. (Some recent awards were in the fine art exhibits of the MORMON ARTS FESTIVAL, and can be viewed on-line,
THE LONG ROAD HOME, A MOTHER'S LOVE, and VICTORY DANCE IN JERUSALEM -- and the SPRINGVILLE ANNUAL SHOW 2008, JEWISH BOYS IN MEA SHEARIM

      During the early years, most of my exhibits were in B&W photography, because color of those days always seemed to look artificial.  I wrote and illustrated a book on available light photography, THE AMPHOTO GUIDE TO AVAILABLE LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY, in which the majority of the illustrations were B&W photographs. During those years some of my B&W photographs were featured in CAMERA 35 and MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY magazines. Later I was published in several other magazines in color, and thus began a long journey down the color road as the demand for color out-stripped that of B&W. However I still longed for the impressions that B&W photography could bring to the mind that was difficult to produce with color.

      It wasn’t until the advent of digital computer technology that the possibilities for impressionistic photography became available for me.  I have discovered that digital techniques can alter the colors and structure of images to match my perceptions -- almost like a painter. I say almost, because I feel that digital-art photography is a form and style all by itself and should not be compared to painting or any other art genre. There is an inherent sense of reality in a photograph, no matter how it is changed or how it distorts the original subject, and when the impressions of the heart are added, something more than a realistic image emerges.

      I continue to look for new images and new techniques to express my feelings about life and the world as I see it with my heart. I am always experimenting with techniques, sometimes keeping to a literal interpretation of the image, and at other times completely altering the original image form and design, but always there is the desire to communicate the emotions and meaning of the subjects I "photograph." 

(You can read more about my philosophy of photography in the Philosophy page.)





Photo by Catherine Thorpe




 

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801-582-6019   dt@donthorpe.com

Don O. Thorpe 2009