a few words
Insight comes to us in odd and unpredictable ways, especially when we’re young, wide-eyed and open to everything. The cartoonist Stan Lynde created the cowboy comic strip Rick O’Shay in the late Fifties, and in it he drew a gunslinger named Hipshot Percussion. Hipshot was a cool dude, a bounty hunter, a confirmed loner, and, at heart, a transcendental mystic who found divinity in the Grandeur of Nature. When the regular townsfolk attended Sunday church services, Hipshot rode off alone into the mountains. Through him, Stan Lynde showed me something liberating very early on, a perspective I was not getting at home or in school, a viewpoint that felt real and honest and stuck with me even as those cartoon days receded into the past: an understanding that nature itself is divine.
At university I dabbled in art history and painting while digging into music, literature, and philosophy. Spinoza’s Ethics rang true to me. In that work, he set out to logically prove his intuition that God is ALL things, every litle bit - all we see, hear, feel or imagine are details in a divinity that is, by its definition, whole and perfect. For Spinoza, like Hipshot, apprehending God is basically a matter of direct connection. As a reward for this deeply spiritual realization, Spinoza was excommunicated for heresy by the rabbis of Amsterdam.
Drawing has always been a way for me to make my own direct connection by looking closely at things. The process of making quick, calligraphic outlines helps me see, pulls me out of myself and into details I would otherwise overlook. It is a method of connection I have come to recognize as one small example of groping towards a state of grace.
I began taking photography seriously during a year of solo travel in Asia. By necessity, I learned to economize on film and focus my attention: uncounted hours were spent planning pictures I would later take. The finite number of frames available in a roll of film proved to be an advantage, not a limitation: going about the process in a slow and deliberate way often resulted in images that gained in weight and meaning. For a look at a few of these early photographs and many more please visit timtrompeter.net
As for other picture-makers, I have been deeply touched and influenced by the work and thinking of Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, Georges Seurat, Claude Monet, Man Ray, Rodchenko, Sonia Delauney, Robert Frank, Eva Hesse, Agnes Martin, Andre Kertesz, Cy Twombly and Jasper Johns. John Cage looms large as a person I was thrilled to meet and chat with, nevermind me not quite knowing what to say. These days, I am intrigued by the sensitive neurological drawings of Cajal, the brevity of Feynman diagrams, the random creativity explicit in chaos theory and the very workable notion that blind chance serves a useful purpose.