Originally from Northern England, Alan Norsworthy has been a photographer since the late 1960's.

He moved to Canada in 1973 and has made Guelph Ontario his home for the last 24 years.

" I remember visiting the CN Tower in the early 70's and the guide said that as far as you could see in any direction is the best farmland in Canada. That comment echoes down the years as I watch subdivisions eat up the landscape."

The area around Guelph offers up a plethora of rural images which Alan captures with his artistic vision. His work covers everything from macro photographs of flowers, sweeping landscapes, historic buildings and old abandoned farms in both colour and Black and White.

"This is where I find my inspiration, I have a need to show people the beauty I see as I walk the woods and fields of Southern Ontario"

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Softly comes the morning-Silvercreek woods

Softly comes the morning-Silvercreek woods
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The woods, I can never get enough of the time I spend there. It doesn’t have to be far they just have to ‘be’.
Saturday morning began with an early start, on the road at 6:15am and off to the Silvercreek Trails. It was just as well we started early as the old bridge road was closed. They were repairing the approach to the bridge and ‘renewing’ the bridge itself..
‘Renewing’ meant ‘replacing’ and although they were trying I don’t think the place will ever be the same.
Locals we spoke to either refused to go and look or suspected the same as I. The old bridge was gone, to be replaced by a replica.
But at least it isn’t one of those concrete slab monstrosities that are functional yet soulless
I digress, back to the woods ...

All week long we have had fog and it did last until Saturday. Except not in the woods but the call of the falls and the singing of the brook upstream from the falls was a siren song not to be denied. Too much time was spent here and by the time we emerged the fog was gone.
However for a very brief moment the fog tried to filter in through the tree’s and for that moment the magic unfolded. My photo of the week is my attempt at recreating what I saw, felt and heard.
A colour image did not nearly convey all that but the honesty of Black and White, with a hint of sepia did.

Yes we may have tarried too long and missed most of what we were originally seeking but ,as often happens, it was replaced by something more meaningful.
An image of tree’s slowly melting into the mist...

‘There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough to pay attention to the story.” ~Linda Hogan

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Asters and Fencepost

Asters and Fencepost
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Is everyone turning to art?

I was talking to a fellow photographer yesterday and the subject of painting came up. Once more the truth emerged, "yes I have a box full of paints and brushes that have sat unused for many years...."

It seems that every week I find a frustrated artist amongst my fellow photographers.

So why did they put down the brush and pencil?
And why years later do they begin to explore these other mediums of expression?

I don't have the answer, not even for myself. My box(es) of paints, pencils, pens
et al have sat ignored for almost fifteen years. but recently their siren song was becoming too much to ignore.
I dusted off the books and boxes went back through my sketch books reliving times when the kids were young and the world was different and I began taking those tentative steps again.

Recently I spoke of the tangible 'feelings' of beginning a new sketch / drawing.
A beginning that is so foreign to the world of photography.
No matter how we approach our hobby it is still mechanical, cold even and completed in an instant.
Creating a drawing/painting/sketch is different, it takes time and a greater degree of involvement and concentration this in itself is an escape.

Is this what we 'frustrated artists' are looking for as we begin to explore or re-discover the simpler process of putting pen to paper,?
An escape?

One friend began this journey having never sketched anything, ever.
He didn't think he could draw but that didn't stop the creative urge.

Another has begun exploring watercolour (arguably the most difficult of mediums) as an outlet for his creativity. In his words "photography is getting complicated"

Maybe that's it, maybe we are seeking a simpler avenue of expression. After all the neolithic caveman felt the need to express himself and record the world around him. This creative need, runs deep and for some, cannot be denied. No matter the medium we choose it makes us who we are, it completes us, it sets us free.

"What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit". ~John Updike

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bewitched II

Bewitched II
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I had a Discussion yesterday:


That all invasive, never ending racket that surrounds us, day in, day out.
And how some are immune or at least have learned to ignore it the latter being more truthful I think.

Unfortunately I cannot ignore it I wish it were that easy but there is a place where 'the noise' recedes and and other more favourable noise comes to the fore.

Yesterday I stood in the Fall woods listening to the noise but
this noise was a welcome noise

This noise was natural
This noise soothes
This noise opens the mind, clears the senses and allows the muses to visit
This noise .....

... The wind high in the Fall tree's, speaking of things to come.
In its rustling there are whispers of winter winds and soft snowy days

... The brook sings with laughter and babbles off to join other brooks that will join rivers and they will head back to the sea.
And as it goes it tells tales of what was. Tales of spring when it was released from Winters icy grip and was allowed to flow, unfettered once again.

... The lowly Chickadee sings his song, a different song from the one he sings in the Spring when his world is full of promise and easy days.

.. The Blue Jay calls out a warning that nothing is permanent and the woods are changing once again.

... The squirrel clattering through the tree's and across the leaf covered ground searching, ever searching for he knows what is coming and his industry reminds me to prepare.

All this noise washes away the man made noise that fills our ears and minds. The roar of traffic is still there but is muffled beyond recognition, Mother Nature has control here and she will not let 'man' interfere.

And if you stand, silently and let her song come to you maybe, just maybe you will learn something of yourself and the world around you....

.... "It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts." ~K.T. Jong

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The wheel turns, and Autumn is upon us, the ending of another cycle of the year.
Not only for the plants but also for one of us.

The wheel of life is coming full circle for one special person, a person whom I have looked up to and respected for almost 30 years.

Frank is my Father-in-Law and I consider myself lucky to have known such a man for so long.
Yes it’s hard to watch him slowly succumb to cancer but I find strength in the knowing that he will live on in the hearts and minds of those who know him; his family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances.

Yes I know it comes to us all eventually and I hope that I can be remembered for the same reasons as I will remember Frank.

Some may think it premature to talk this way ‘before’ but he and I have had ‘the’ conversations he knows how I feel about him and more importantly I know he knows.
And in the knowing I find peace and comfort .
I hope that he feels the same.

To you I say if you have not had the conversations with your loved ones do it, do it now.

They are not easy but you too will know and they will know that you know....

“The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.”
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Signs of fall Trilogy

Signs of fall Trilogy
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I must admit I am quite enjoying my return to my sketch books and pencils.

There is something relaxing in just sitting quietly and taking in the scenery, pencil in hand, paper at the ready, waiting for inspiration.

So different from the time I take to survey a scene to photograph it.
The very action of photographing is so fast, whereas the act of drawing is without doubt the antithesis of the photographic process.

This morning I sat in the Japanese Garden at the U of G, feeling the breeze, listening to the water splashing and tumbling over the rocks in the reflecting pool and staring at a section of the Zen Garden.
Something had caught my eye, something was calling.

The photograph took a split second and that was something that used to be satisfying enough, just a split second, ‘click’ and I would be on my way.

Not this time ...
This time I reached into my bag for my sketch book and pencils. In the doing, somehow my senses became heightened ...
The smell of the wood as I sharpened my pencil,
The sound of the paper as I opened the book.
The anticipation of that first stroke, the graphite trail ...

The sketch took many minutes, tens of minutes actually and this was infinitely more satisfying but why?

I thought about this afterwards and I think it is in the doing, the time it takes, the thought, the concentration, the preparation.
I think the very act of taking more time to create something is satisfying and the longer it takes the more satisfying the endeavour.

Savouring the time spent is probably a good way of expressing it.

And I look forward to doing it again because ....

”Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn”. ~Elizabeth Lawrence