Chemist's passion fuels love for nature photography
April 03, 2017BRISTOL, TN – For former Eastman chemist, Wayne Riddick, the Appalachian Mountains are more than just home – they're inspiration for art and for learning.
"When I photograph a new subject — a new insect, mushroom, or wildflower, for example — I find that it's relatively easy to identify that subject and learn more about it online or through books," says Riddick. "When I photograph a rolling meadow or a mountain, I can't help but wonder about the geologic forces that gave rise to these interesting structures."
Moving from Chicago to the Tri-Cities in 2003 enhanced his passion for nature and caused him to invest more time into learning about digital photography.
"Bristol is special to me," he says. "I've lived on the East Coast and in the Midwest. I even spent a small amount of time in Germany, but what makes Bristol special are these mountains. It's the first place I've lived in that had them, and they've been inspirational."
After retiring, Riddick took a course on digital photography offered by the Eastman Recreation Club. Encouraged by family and friends, Riddick decided to take on a different kind of experiment than he was used to in the chemistry world — exhibiting and selling his photography work publicly.
In late 2016, Riddick joined the membership of Downtown Bristol's local artist cooperative, A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts, where he sells canvas prints and photo books. The majority of his photos at the gallery were taken just outside his home in Bristol.
"I believe that nature photography is a means of combining science and art – creating works that showcase the beauty, complexity, diversity, and wonder of nature. Exhibiting and selling my work is a new venture for me, and so far, I've really enjoyed sharing my art – and nature – with the community."
To see and purchase Riddick's work, visit A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts, 600 State Street, Bristol, Tennessee. To contact artist Wayne Riddick, visit the gallery's website at www.aworkofartgallery.com.