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john mcquade

photographer |


As a physician, I came to realize early in my career that I would need to nurture an interest outside of my profession. Having always enjoyed visual imagery, it dawned on me that perhaps photography might just provide that outlet. In 1978, having moved to New Bern, NC, to join a medical practice there, I was struck with the beauty of eastern NC and how well it lent itself to the pursuit of fine art photography. The works of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Morely Baer, Ruth Bernhardt, to name just a few seminal photographic artists that captivated my attention, were becoming increasingly known throughout the art world, achieving equivalent recognition as that enjoyed by artists in other graphic disciplines. These thoughts led to my first serious photographic workshop in June of 1980 with Fred Picker, a large format black and white photographer from Putney, Vermont. What an experience to be thrown in with painters, brick layers, architects, potters, and various others who all enjoyed this means of artistic expression! It became obvious to me how much photography intersected with other graphic arts, which has led to a genuine appreciation for all artistic mediums.

Of course, being in medical practice did not afford the time to pursue my passion as I would have wished. Whenever free blocks of time were available, I was out photographing different parts of our state, with the coast being the most preferred venue. I also attended photo workshops, inside this country including the Pacific Northwest, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Death Valley and the Eastern Sierras. Those outside the US included bodies of work from Iceland, Germany, Ireland, and the maritime Canadian provinces.


Thirty years ago, I first visited Bald Head Island with a good friend, to photographically capture the beauty of this landscape. It was the beginning of an island love affair, having not only photographed here two or three times a year for the ensuing years; but also having this venue for family vacations over the past 14 years. My wife, Diane, and I finally decided to purchase a home on Bald Head in August of 2020.


Besides photography, I have also nurtured an interest in hand made books, especially encaustic books. As it turns out, besides printmaking, the books have become a great venue for photographic portfolios, and have opened up another universe of which there is no end.

Art has enriched my life immeasurably. Those of us who engage in its pursuit look at the world and its beauty more deeply and appreciate how blessed we are to be alive. It is an unending source of creativity. Beside Love, what more could we ask for?



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