Tag Archives: Creativity

Out there, again.

A while ago, I shared a post about submitting my work to exhibits otherwise known as call for entry.  In that post I explained why I spend the time, money, and emotional energy doing this: Entering images provides me with another outlet for my work, a way to have BNF’s (big names in the field) see my work, and to receive some feedback on it, even if that feedback is simply being accepted or not.   Having work accepted for an exhibit helps me to build a resume that shows my work has been exhibited at the national level.  And it’s just fun!

I’ve been up to it again recently.  The themes for three calls for entry seemed to fit with some of my work.

Photo Place Gallery in Middlebury, VT had a call for the theme, Capturing the Light. None of the images I submitted were selected for the exhibit, but you can see the final selections here.

The Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs (NVACC) is currently putting together their 8th Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Exhibit.  This is a new venue for me but it was appealing because it is in my new home state and because much of my work falls into the category of abstract, so I thought this call for entry would be worth a submission.  Do you think any of these six images will be accepted?  Results are due this weekend.

The SE Center for Photography in Greenville, SC. is also a new venue for me apply to a call for entry.  They currently have a call for the theme Seasons.  “Spring is fast approaching and what better time to celebrate the use of color in photography. We usually think of color and seasons to mean landscapes, but this time let’s not limit it to just the landscape, or Spring. All subject matter relating to seasons, digital, analog or alternative methods.”   What do you think the chances are for these images?  Results will be announced next week.

I recently found this wonderful article by Douglas Beasley, a well respected photographer, on what it’s like for a juror.  It helps put the whole process in perspective for those entering their work.

I’ll let you know next week how my images did in the Abstract and the Seasons exhibits.




A Glimpse of Spring

I was going through my image files today, getting prepared for an exhibition that I am applying for (more about that another time).  My files are full of images that I haven’t done anything with yet, just waiting for their time to be noticed.  Sometimes, when I create images they don’t really speak to me at that moment in time.  I have learned to be patient and revisit them at another time.  Not always, but often, the images will speak to me months or years after I’ve created them.

As I was reviewing image folders, I found several different groups that had a similar point of view.  They were all taken at ground level and very close up, sort of like an ant’s view.  So I began to put them into one collection and see where that leads.

Perhaps because we are on the cusp of spring, these four images particularly appealed to me today, so I thought I would share them with you.  Meanwhile, I will continue to think about the idea of shooting with the perspective of an ant.

My new Photo Encaustic Workshop

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you my new studio space.  Since then I’ve been working on setting up the encaustic workshop and it’s ready to do it’s job.  I became interested in photo encaustics in January and took a couple of workshops over the summer. (I shared about those workshops here.) Moving time came and all the encaustic supplies were packed up.  Here is the great unveiling, so to speak.  I haven’t yet, actually worked in the space creatively but will share as the experiments and creations emerge.

Back in Business, Mostly

It’s been a very busy 5 weeks since we moved into our new home in Virginia on September 7.

Sometime about a week after we had moved in I had this thought as I was waking up one morning.  Moving is a bit like a puzzle.  The puzzle is your life and you take all the pieces and mix them up and put them in a container. Then when you get to the new home, you take them out and begin to put them back together. It’s still your life but they all go together a bit differently than they did before. 

In the past five weeks we have unpacked scores of boxes, painted a few rooms, painted the front doors, moved the silver ware drawer 3 times (I think it’s in the right spot now), organized closets, given away piles of boxes and packing paper, rearranged furniture multiple times, learned how to navigate the area without GPS, figured out which hardware store is the best, visited the local paint store at least once a week, tried at least one restaurant per week, attended a beekeepers meeting (Michael), joined the art school in town (Gail), obtained VA driver licenses and registrations, and much more.  It’s tiring at times but energizing as well.

This week, my goal was to finish my office/studio.  In it’s first 22 years, this space was a hair  salon but it’s taken quite readily to it’s new role as photography studio.  I’ve had the computers and printers in full working order for about 2 weeks now thanks to our generous and technologically savvy son, Adam.  There were, however, still piles of boxes and nothing other than the computers was really set up as I wanted it.  So it’s almost done.  All that is left to do is unpack the books, which I will do as soon as I find the pegs that hold up the shelves on my bookshelves.  🙂  Where the boxes of books currently are in the corner is where I am planning to have a studio lighting set up.  I have a head full of ideas that have been waiting for this new space to be able to create.

Here’s a few photos to give you an idea of the process and what my wonderful new space looks like. I added the first 3 photos of my space in NY to refresh your memory.

In the next few days, I hope to finish setting up the encaustic workspace (it’s at the other end of the house, in the basement) and actually do a bit of work there.  It has been calling to me! I will share photos when that is complete.





Out There

One of the things I do as a fine art photographer is submit images to “calls for entry”.  I call it getting my work “out there”.  There are many organizations nationally and internationally that publish these calls to invite artists to submit work.  Over the past few years, I’ve found a few specific galleries where my work seems to generally fit and I like the way the gallery is run.  They have various exhibits throughout the year, usually with some theme.  If I have images that I feel fit a certain theme, I will submit to that call for entry.

Entering images provides me with another outlet for my work, a way to have BNF’s (big names in the field) see my work, and to receive some feedback on it, even if that feedback is simply being accepted or not.   Having work accepted for an exhibit helps me to build a resume that shows my work has been exhibited at the national level.  And it’s just fun!

These two images were exhibited at the A Smith Gallery this year as part of two different shows.  Each show at this gallery, as well as many others I submit to, has a different juror for each show, those BNF’s  I mentioned earlier.

Impressions of Trees-5 was accepted into the Trees exhibit at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City , Texas in January.

Between the Mountains and the Sea was accepted to the Elsewhere exhibit at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City Texas in the spring.

I thought it might be interesting for you to follow along a bit when I enter one of these calls.  The A Smith Gallery has a current call for entry open which the theme, Vistas.  I’ve submitted these 8 images.  (click on each image to make it larger.)

Do you think any of these will be accepted? If so, which ones?  I’ll let you know when I find out.

A New Direction

In January of this year I was introduced to photo encaustic work.  I immediately knew that this was a new direction that I wanted to pursue with my work.  Encaustic painting uses beeswax and pigments and is a very ancient medium.  Photo encaustics, combines photography with the warm beeswax medium creating very unique, layered, moody images.

In July, I was able to attend a 3 day workshop at R & F Handmade Paints  to learn and try working with photo encaustics.  I came away with a strong (that’s putting it mildly) desire to continue to continue to learn and work with encaustics and my photography.

Encaustics provides a more hands on way of working with my images, something I have been craving for some time.  While I enjoy computer work at times, I wanted to create more hand made pieces.  It also gives an extra dimension to the images with all the layers of wax and pigments.

I have plans to set up a dedicated encaustic studio where I can continue to explore this fascinating medium.  I’ll keep you posted as that progresses.  For now, here are a few images of me at the workshop and some of my practice pieces.  I have much, much more to learn!!!

Adirondack Colors

Fall is currently putting on a spectacular show in upstate NY.  We’ve had warm sunny days and incredible colors.  The only thing that is not good about Fall is the long winter that comes after.   We went on a little adventure to savor these amazing days and took a drive on the Powley-Piseco Rd. in Fulton County, NY.   It’s in the southern portion of the Adirondack Park.

If you live in the area and have an opportunity, I highly (Haile, get it?) recommend exploring this bit of paradise.

Here’s a few of my favorites from our day.

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Friday Finds: Ella Putney Carlson

Another Friday and the chance to share with you some work and artists, that inspire me.

Ella Putney Carlson is not a recent “Find” but a friend that I first met by sitting behind her in a Photoshop class about five years ago.  We’ve sat in several classes together since then and I am always inspired by her and her work.  Next week, I’m happy to be attending a class that she is teaching.

Five years ago when we first met, she had just completed a series of complex images with dancers.  I’d never seen anything like what she was doing and the skill with which she created those images was astounding.

From the Dancer Series - Ella Putney Carlson

From the Dancer Series – Ella Putney Carlson

Her more recent work is just as exquisite and shows her meticulous level of skill and vision. 

Scars Series by Ella Putney Carlson

Scars Series by Ella Putney Carlson

This is my favorite from the Scars series.  It’s so abstract, yet detailed.  I can look at it many times and see something different each time.  And it leaves me wanting to know more. 

From the Scars Series - Ella Putney Carlson

From the Scars Series – Ella Putney Carlson

The Reconsiderations series are all images of tea, highly manipulated.  

Reconsiderations Series - Ella Putney Carlson

Reconsiderations Series – Ella Putney Carlson

Ella inspires me with her amazing mastery of Photoshop and other digital imaging methods, I always learn something from her.  And yet, time and time again, she is sitting in a class to learn from  others.

I am most inspired by her unfailing quest to push herself and her work in new directions.

Spend some time with the works on her siteand see if you are inspired as well.

Being a Rookie

It’s really good for us to be a rookie, a beginner, sometimes.  I so enjoy my level of competence with photography but also love to challenge myself to learn new skills that have the potential to push me and my work a bit further.

I’ve been feeling like a total rookie lately.  I’ve been transported back to my early days of learning this craft, feeling like I don’t understand how my camera is working and how to control it, looking at my images and seeing more duds than successes.

What has caused all this?  The Lensbaby!   A Lensbaby is a specialized lens that, in the right hands, creates very dreamy images, which you know I love.  Heck, their motto is “see in a new way.”  Of course I’d want a piece of that!  I bought one of the early versions (on the left below) several years ago and could not master it.  To be fair to me, it was basically a lens on a squishy tube that you had to squeeze, bend, hold, and focus to get an image.   Just couldn’t get the hang of it.  But I still really admired the look of Lensbaby images that I saw.  Then a few years ago they came out with a more advanced version of the lens (on the right below).  It no longer had a squishy tube, but rather was on a ball that you could rotate and the lens would stay where you bent it.  Yay!

I thought this would be so much better and I’d have these wonderful images with soft, blurred edges and a sharp area of focus where ever I decided to put it. But I still just couldn’t get the hang of it.  It hung out in my camera closet taunting me.

So I decided to do something about that.  Kathleen Clemons is one of the photographers that is well known for her skill with a Lensbaby.  Her soft, impressionistic images are just exquisite. She teaches a 4 week online class covering the basics of Lensbaby photography.

We’re in our third week now, and while I understand now what I was doing wrong before there is still a bit of a learning curve.  This is where I feel like a total rookie again.  My images (mostly) don’t have good sharp focus where they should, the lens is much wider in scope (50mm) than I normally use. and more.  I’m getting there but I just generally feel like a beginner again.

But that’s OK!  I recently came across this great TEDx Talk by Andi Stevenson on Being a Rookie.   Take the time to watch it, it’s wonderful.  But two things she said resonated so much with me:

“When we stay safely within the boundaries of the things we already do well, we miss risk and innovation….We miss the chance to be afraid, to push through being afraid, and turn around on the other side and look back and see ourselves as brave.”

So here’s to risk, innovation, bravery, and being a rookie!

Here are just of few of the hundreds of images I have taken (most of which failed epic-ally) that are sort of a success,  I will keep risking and learning! 🙂

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Friday Finds: Ruth A B Clegg

A couple of years ago, I attended a day long seminar in the Boston area.  Ruth Clegg was one of the three speakers.   I was inspired by her work and her approach to photography.  She incorporated printmaking into her world, not just the darkroom kind of photographic prints but the process of creating prints by making impressions on paper.   At the time, I’d never seen anyone do that with photography, only with stencils.  I loved the quality of those carefully crafted prints.

What also inspired me about Ruth’s work was her sense of experimentation.   A great deal of her time is spent on the water in Rhode Island as well as the Adirondacks.  She shared with us a project that she had been working on to photograph underneath the water while in her kayak.   I was excited to be able to see the result of the project recently at the View Center for the Arts in Old Forge, NY.    I loved the work so much, I’ve been to see it twice.

What inspired me about Ruth’s exhibit is the uncommon view she provided of a world we don’t normally see.  The quality of light in the images, as well as her choices for printing, were also fascinating to me.

If you are anywhere near Old Forge, NY, even within a 100 miles or so, treat yourself and see her exhibit before it closes October 16.  If you can’t make it in person, enjoy a selection of the images here.

View Art Center-Under & Over, exploration of Adirondack pond life. Ruth AB Clegg

View Art Center-Under & Over, exploration of Adirondack pond life. Ruth AB Clegg