Quiet, Abstract Environments Inspired By Nature

Frances Seward

Fine Art Photographer

Artist Type: Photographer

Website Email: fseward007@yahoo.com

Contact: Frances Seward at (505) 920-3689


In my work I create quiet, spacious, ethereal environments allusive to landscapes and waterscapes with my camera and glass.  I am a mother, an artist and I am from the UK moving to New Mexico 10 years ago.  I have travelled to many countries including India and the Far East and my environment and travel experiences have an influence on my art.

I have always been drawn to photographing nature, in particular capturing beautiful light.  My great inspiration has been Minor White’s sacred photographs and his writings.  I am particularly captivated by the purity of light in his work and the essence of his writings.   After discovering his work, I spent hours sitting in nature photographing light on nature which was a very spiritual experience for me.   I came across photographing with glass quite by chance.  I was moved by the rich colors, intense light and depth I was able to create with this medium.  People often asked me what I was thinking about when photographing in this way and I wasn’t sure.  I realized that the most successful pieces were those that I did not remember taking!  My work became a spiritual journey for me and I started to explore different oriental artists such as Hong Viet Dung from Vietnam who is a devout Buddhist who creates quiet and meditative paintings.  My most recent discovery is the word Nondualism – originated in Brahmanism a few thousand years ago but the writer I am most interested in on the subject is Sri Ramada Maharshi from southern India.  The best way to describe nondualism in its simplest form is being in the moment and being absolutely conscious that you are in the moment. The nondualistic way believe that being in that state of pure consciousness is the only reality and your thoughts whether good or bad are not real;  just transitory states that come and go.  I attempt to achieve this during my artistic practice. 

Recently I came across and very inspired by Miya Ando’s work – a Japanese artist who creates minimalist environments with paint on metal.  She talks about reductionism ie: her subjects are stripped of the inessential and left in their purist form.  The word “Yugen” comes to mind:  ‘Yugen is at the core of the appreciation of beauty and art in Japan. It values the power to evoke, rather that the ability to state directly. The principle of Yugen shows that real beauty exists when, through its suggestiveness, only a few words, or few brush strokes, can suggest what has not been said or shown, and hence awaken many inner thoughts and feelings’.  I am attempting to achieve this in my photography.

After starting a family my life expanded but shrank at the same time.  I needed an outlet.   My work may come from my imagination where I escape to faraway places, yet these places I go to are also deep within me, somewhere familiar and centering.   I live in the high deserts of New Mexico and these are inspirations enough.  However, my work is also swimming in deep and distant waters and these bring me closer to where I once belonged - the British Isles where I grew up.