Greg Lawson Photography
There’s a symphony of landscapes, wildlife, people, and places, playing in Greg Lawson’s gallery. His photographs represent all seven continents and the passion this artist has for the earth. Lawson’s art stimulates a sense of appreciation and curiosity for nature, its inhabitants, and humanity. His images are vibrantly alive, majestic, powerful, and tender. In addition to awakening a sense of joy or peacefulness, they catalyst a deep resonance with this place we all call home.
Viewing his work we see he is not simply a landscape or wildlife photographer; but as he phrased it, “An Earthling.’’ And his “greatest fascination is with the whole planet,” he said. “Art is a practical way of expressing who I am. And the camera makes for a very good companion. It never talks back, and nearly always sees things my way.”
There is a power in Greg Lawson’s art that defines him. We see it in his appreciation, and in his ability to focus and throw light on the good and positive. He doesn’t elect to show negativity in people’s lives. He chooses instead to focus on connection, which leads to sacred pathways of peace. His photos are deliberate, calculated evidences of the world we live in. And it quickly becomes obvious that he has an insatiable appetite for bringing our attention back to what is real, important, magnificent, and eternal.
Born to a family of inventors and artists, many of the things in his home were created or engineered by his parents. They were into the earth, the elements of the earth, and nature. His father was a natural landscape architect and also tinkered in the garage as an inventor. His mother was an original dress designer and a great cook. She even made Greg’s shirts as a child, “According to my little ideas,” he said. His sister was a very proficient oil painter. And his childhood home was filled with painted murals on the wall. When Greg’s mother gave him his first camera; he fell in love with the idea of “freezing those elements in a little box, and just walking down the street with them.” And so he too, emerged as an amazing artist.
His family moved from Pittsburgh to Pasadena before he was a year old. As a child, he spent a lot of time on the road because his parents were often traveling from coast to coast keeping family ties intact. “It was a great opportunity to be introduced to the planet and its wonders,” he said. It was these early experiences that began to craft his art, using the camera as his paintbrush.
Greg Lawson is a naturalist and has submerged himself in photographing the world since the age of fourteen. He is passionate about “humanity, our planet, taking care of it, and realigning our social models so we can get along with one another.” He doesn’t think about “us vs them,” he only thinks about “us.” These principles are the models for his life, and reveal the stories we see in his photographs.
Lawson’s art is his way of delivering a set of values. “Art makes this great impression on humanity that contradicts culture. Nature does the same thing.” In adopting this frame of mind, he practices identifying with the subject, instead of focusing on separation. And in doing this, he provides us a window into natural beauty, perspectives, and engagement with life on a very intimate level. As he so beautifully recognizes, “The magnificence we long for is often in plain sight and within ready reach.”
In addition to being a photographer, Lawson is a philosopher. “How can anyone go through life without becoming one?” he said. He’s also a writer, lecturer, and a radio broadcast host for his own show. His recent books “One for All” and “Topical Storm” are engaging extensions to his philosophies.
Lawson has started a social responsibility site called TPM which stands for, “The Principles Model.” He says many cultural ideas separate us from one another. They were
imposed upon us in our youth and can affect behavior. We were taught to simply accept them as our educational processes. However, this allows our cultural identity to mask the human response. “We’ve all been gifted and privileged with the same set of standards which include a positive set of principles. Go back to the place that no one argues about. The common ancestral pool of humanity. Let’s embrace each other on the level we have in common, because we are all essentially the same,” he said.
“If we build up principles we’ll be helping people survive a lot better than just encouraging them to obey laws. Institutions divide and separate us from one another. If we embrace rather than segregate, and open our minds, we place ourselves on an enriching platform, says Lawson. Let’s live, love, and be consumed by our positive principles.”
There is a peace in this kind of acceptance of life and humanity. One that truly identifies who we are in relation to one another. Greg Lawson’s photographs are his shared stories. Through them he gives the viewer an opportunity to connect with the pristine fabric of life. He doesn’t flirt with danger. He shows up and “looks for the magic in the moment,” providing a lens to see what honors all of us. Perhaps this is why his work is so penetrating. The size of the experience he reveals, shows the energy of life itself. Perhaps you too will feel like a recent visitor who commented, “I can’t believe this, but I’ve just been to heaven.”
You can see Greg Lawson’s works at “The Gallereum” - located at 2679 West State Rte. 89A in Sedona. This venue is a gallery and a museum featuring his historic cameras, published photographic artifacts of 40 years and a gallery of his current image offerings. He also has a small shop in uptown Sedona called the “Art Tasting Room” where they sell “appetizers,” which are prints under 300 square inches.
Story written by Patti Polinard | Photos provided by Greg Lawson
For more information on Greg Lawson and his photography, visit : greglawsongalleries.com