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Revealing The Unseen – Tim Layton Fine Art PHILOSOPHY

With my sighted eye I see what’s before me, and with my unsighted eye, I see what’s hidden.

—ALICE WALKER

Epictetus talked about how the job of a philosopher is to take our impressions—what we see, hear, and think—and put them to the test. He said we needed to hold up our thoughts and examine them, to make sure we weren’t being led astray by appearances or missing what couldn’t be seen by the naked eye.

The world is like muddy water. To see through it, we have to let things settle. We can’t be disturbed by initial appearances, and if we are patient and still, the truth will be revealed to us.

This is how I feel about the wild horses that I follow. On the surface, they are beautiful and majestic creatures that awe us. However, if you are still and quiet your mind, much more is revealed.

If you are a photographer or interested in learning about analog photography, we have an Analog Photography Membership Community that is the only community of its kind where you can learn and explore analog photography in depth. I also have an extensive training library of video workshops and guidebooks if you prefer to download the videos and books for offline use.

The Buddhists say we must empty our minds to be fully present.

I try and be still and empty my mind every day. It is part of my routine, and I believe it is the key to my peacefulness and creative success.

In my artist statement for the new wild horse handmade fine art book, I share that I think deeply, read and research, and spend most of my time doing these types of things versus the physical act of photography. Ansel Adams is routinely quoted for his analogy, “the photographic negative is like a composer’s score, and the print a performance.” I will go one step further and say that I believe stillness and emptiness are the composer’s score, and the physical act of doing your work is the performance. The work becomes effortless for me when I follow this practice, and I share this because maybe you will benefit too.

I am offering a limited-time opportunity for art buyers and collectors that want to support the development and creation of our first limited edition of 100 handmade wild horse fine art books. The book will include at least 12 handmade wild horse fine art prints with acid-free interleaving vellum between each print. Each piece of artwork in the book is embossed with a custom stamp and each artwork is titled, dated, and signed. A final version of the artist statement will be at the front of the book and be hand signed. The book will be made in a lay-flat style, so you can enjoy each piece of artwork with the book lying flat. You will receive a certificate of authenticity hand signed and dated. You will be rewarded as an early supporter because you will save 50% off the final price of this limited edition handmade book. In a world where everything is mass produced and cheaply made, our handmade wild horse fine art book is a rare opportunity to support an artist that is committed to pre-mechanized 19th century handmade processes. You’ll be rewarded with a unique and collectible artwork that you’ll appreciate for the rest of your life.

Out of nowhere, you will feel a tingle, and in an instant, your thoughts will all become clear.” The word for this is satori—an illuminating insight when the inscrutable is revealed. This is when an essential truth becomes obvious and inescapable.

You can’t get to satori with a busy mind. No one gets there by focusing on what’s obvious or by sticking with the first thought that pops into their head. To see what matters, you really have to look and be still. To understand it, you have to really think. It takes real work to grasp what is invisible to just about everyone else.

Your job, after you have emptied your mind, is to slow down and think. To really think regularly.

I will share an exercise with you that can help.

Sit alone in a room and let your thoughts go wherever they will. At first, your mind will be racing and thinking about all the tasks you must accomplish or the concern that is overwhelming you.

Do this for one minute as a place to start on your first day and then work up to ten minutes a day of this mindless mental wandering.

Once you get to 10 minutes, start paying attention to your thoughts to see if a word or goal materializes. If it doesn’t, extend the exercise until you find the length of time that works for you. The Gaelic phrase for this state of mind is “quietness without loneliness.”

If you invest the time and mental energy, you’ll not only find what’s interesting, but you’ll also find the truth that you are seeking. You’ll also find what other people have missed. By being relaxed and highly attuned, you will see the unseen and take your work to higher levels.

If you are a photographer or interested in learning about analog photography, we have an Analog Photography Membership Community that is the only community of its kind where you can learn and explore analog photography in depth. I also have an extensive training library of video workshops and guidebooks if you prefer to download the videos and books for offline use.

-Tim Layton Sr.