I’m looking forward to this weekend. I will be exhibiting with the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.
There will be new work! I have been creating images with a couple unique themes. I am excited about both new bodies of work. The first set of imagery is being done with a variety of antique lenses and plays with light and color as reflected off of the flowers that grow in meadows near my studio. The second set of imagery is being done with macro lenses and deals with light refraction off of water drops on plant leaves and petals. In future posts I will be speaking about these new bodies of work in more detail.
The image below is part of the first new body of work and was made with an antique Meyer Optik Gorlitz 135mm f3.5 lens (Exakta mount) that I purchased on eBay from an overseas seller. The lens, when used correctly, can render background elements with a very soft, etherial feeling. The out-of-focus highlights expand into spherical shapes that I find very pleasing. I used the lens on a Fuji XT-10 camera body with an adaptor that allows it to be used on the camera. Exposure is done in manual mode as is focusing, but the Fuji has a wonderful electronic viewfinder which allows me to precisely select the area I want to be sharp.
I’m busy with last preparations for my first fall show of the year which is also at a new venue for me – Wheaton Village in Millville, NJ. The Festival of Fine Craft at Wheaton Village has a great history and excellent reputation. I am excited about being a part of the show this year. Wheaton Village Fine Craft Show
I had a very special order from my website http://www.paulgrecianphoto.com recently. A customer who purchased a framed piece titled Warrior III, ordered a framed Winter Wonder.
When I emailed Sam to thank him for the order, he replied that it was for his three year old who saw it in my booth when he made the first purchase this past June.
Art is a wonderful gift regardless of the age of the recipient, but I don’t often have sales for children so young. It’s especially rewarding because the child was able to share the experience of their father buying my work in my booth. It’s a wonderful message for a young person to see their dad value artwork so much. It encourages a lifetime of art enjoyment.
The selected image has already been received by this time and may be hanging on the wall of the room the three year old calls their own. That visual for me is pretty great.
A career in the arts happens in many ways. My own route was from animal behaviorist with a career in the sciences to a full time artist working in the medium of photography.
The corporate-to-artist journey for me was gradual and unique. As I meet artists working in a variety of mediums, I am always interested in what path they took to their current lives.
In the August-September issue of Professional Artist magazine, I write about three full time artists who left corporate careers to pursue the arts as their vocation. Each artist arrived at their new careers in their own way and with various backgrounds, but there were similarities as well. The three artists I interviewed are all accomplished professionals, serious both about their art and the business of being an artist. I also think the work they create is truly extraordinary. Professional Artist magazine is on newsstands now.
I’ll be in Rockville, Maryland this weekend participating in the A-RTS Rockville Arts Festival for the first time. It will also be my first show in the state of Maryland. Like many outdoor shows, there is a lot of physical labor involved and as this show has a Saturday morning set-up, it will be a bit of a grind. I’ve done these types of shows before though and they are part of my motivation to stay in some form of physical fitness. A regular routine consisting of yoga and light weight training is usually enough to keep me from getting hurt and from falling asleep during the show (lots of coffee doesn’t hurt).
The image of the hanging orchids below was made at Longwood Gardens, one of my favorite locations to work with flowers. This time of year though there are flowers growing everywhere and they all call out to me. I carried a Sony RX10 on this trip which was a pleasure to use and allowed me to work with a light weight, very versatile camera.
The image is available as an 11×14 archival print matted to 16×20 for $89 by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big part of the visual impact of an image is the focal point. The focal point is the specific location that the viewer is lead to by the photographer. That point may be achieved through selective focus, light contrast, color, or some compositional device. Sometimes, the focal “point” may be a focal plane, a slice of the image that is somehow accentuated and made therefore, most important.
I like the visual impact of altering the plane-of-focus in an image beyond the normal parallel and instead creating a plane that is rather diagonal. It imparts a bit of an altered state feeling. It can also impart a bit of a dreaminess. This dreamy state is partially due to the defusing of an area of the image that is usually part of the normal depth of field. I like too, that the result is a simplification of the scene so that the specific slice I want to draw attention to is the only area in focus.
To achieve my desired result, I use a Lensbaby adapter which allows me to use Nikon lenses on Micro-Four-Thirds cameras. In the image below I used a Nikon 28mm manual focus lens (quite old) on a Panasonic G2 camera and set the plane of focus off to the side and down. It was a spring evening after a rain and the woods were vibrant green and smelled wonderful.
As a full time artist, I rely on the sales of my work to live my life. That means I need to be both an artist and a business owner even though at times those duties seem to conflict. As an artist I want to be true to my vision and create the work that I want to create. As a business owner, I have to at least consider whether any particular work is going to do well in the market place. I also need to be careful not to let the business side of my life pull be down or lift me too high. The art really needs to be my paramount concern if my business is going to continue to sustain me.
Smart business practices do not have to conflict with making the art I want to make. If I market my work in the right places and am conscious of the fact that I am not making work for everyone, I can both stay true to myself and find the collectors who match my style. I think that the artists who are able to find their niche while being flexible enough to accommodate the desires of patrons, can achieve both their artistic and financial goals. If I offer a new print for sale, it means that it is also a work that has satisfied me creatively. I think it is important that collectors understand that the artwork they buy represents something honest and fulfilling to the artist. My subject matter has always dealt with nature as the object of my images. My images have always been somewhat biographical in that they speak to a personal feeling, mood, or fascination. If they didn’t fulfill that aspect of who I am, I think I would have stayed in the corporate position I left 12 years ago.
The image below was made on a lovely summer morning in Acadia National Park. A telephoto zoom lens with attached polarizing filter was used to isolate a section of water lilies and keep the water a rich blue. The light hitting just the area around the water lily made me stop and go to work.