Pictures and Tears

Summer Breeze web
Summer Breeze  (c) 2016  Paul Grecian

 

More than once I have had people cry when looking at one of my images. I have always felt that an emotional response to art work of any kind was a wonderful thing. I’ve had similar response to movies and even while reading, but never to a painting, photograph, or sculpture. I was fascinated to find that art historian James Elkins had actually examined the subject of crying in front of artwork in a book he titled Pictures and Tears (Toutledge, 2001).

In his book, Elkins writes, “Paintings repay the attention they are given”, “the more you look, the more you feel”. I like this notion and suspect that it is true. But how often do we actually spend time looking at one particular picture?

At a show this past summer, a woman came into my booth and then left. A little while later she returned to buy a canvas giclee of mine — Summer Breeze. She told me that when she left my booth thinking about this picture, she began to cry. She had to come back and purchase the piece. She told me that she didn’t know why she responded the way she did.

“Crying is often a mystery, and for that matter so is not crying” writes Elkins. I am still working through the book, I’m finding it fascinating. I don’t expect to find any ultimate answers as to why certain people respond with tears to certain art works. I am humbled however, that I have made pictures which have elicited such a response.

Summer Breeze is available on my gallery online HERE

 

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Opulence

Opulence Z

Introducing a new print – Opulence. This image is part of my botanicals series in which I use 60 year old vintage lenses made for old film cameras. In this series I have strived for a minimalist foreground and a “painterly” background with a subtle texture. I achieve this feeling by first having an aesthetic goal, and secondly, by understanding the optical characteristics of the lenses I’m using.

The velvety background texture is adorned with circles of white which are oxeye daisy flowers creatively placed out of focus. With the background and foreground at a specific distance from each other, the vintage lens I used rendered out of focus highlights as circles. Knowing this, I was very deliberate about finding a background that I liked and then framing foreground elements that I found pleasing. It’s all very much an aesthetic experience for me.

The new print is available from my gallery online HERE.

Balance of Forces

Balance of Forces

I am introducing a new piece in my botanical series. This image was made using a vintage lens which is some 60-70 years old. I am using a collection of these lenses to achieve a softness and quietness in the images which matches my personal aesthetic.

As an admirer of Piet Mondrian, I am inspired by his work and philosophy.  “Mondrian believed that art reflected the underlying spirituality of nature. He simplified the subjects of his paintings down to the most basic elements, in order to reveal the essence of the mystical energy in the balance of forces that governed nature and the universe.” I especially feel aligned with his philosophy that art reflects the spirituality of nature.

The clean geometry and basic colors of his work makes it dramatic and  very appealing to me. In my image above, which I have titled “Balance of Forces”, I use the lines of the grasses to compose an image with parallel lines and triangular shapes to create a sense of movement and dynamic visual interest. I selected the background for this image first as it is of equal importance to the final result as the foreground grasses. I aligned the area of yellow wildflowers in the background so that they brought the eye to the top center of the image from which the lines of the grasses would then cause exploration throughout the frame.The yellows also provided nice color contrast to the blues throughout the image.

Available as a giclee on either photographic paper or canvas from my gallery on-line.

Introducing………Jubilation

Jubilation

I am introducing a new print as part of my botanical series using antique lenses. This image of grasses, back lit by the sun, is rich with refracted and reflected light. The result is a very etherial image with circles of color, and joyful lines allover.

The circle is a dominant feature of this image, as it is in many of the images in this series. As a universal symbol, the circle has many meanings. It represents wholeness, the infinite, eternity, and timelessness. It also has reference to many natural phenomena such as the seasons, the movement of the earth around the sun, and of course the circle of life. It is a very powerful symbol used throughout art history.

I have named this new piece – Jubilation and it will be available in a limited edition of 100 total giclee prints on paper or canvas – HERE

 

Just Sing

I enjoy hearing from collectors about how they live with my work. A recent purchase from my gallery online was for an image of a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. It isn’t a picture about the bird however. It’s an image about joyful singing on a beautiful spring day. After Donna C. from New Jersey received her matted pigment print she sent an email to thank me and to let me know “that beautiful singing bird is looking great in my music studio (where I teach voice)!”

In my work the content of the images are rarely what the image is about. I’m more interested in the meaning of the objects in an image, what they stand for, or the emotion they elicit. Birds may serve as metaphors for many things, but joyful singing certainly seems like a good one.

Just Sing

 

Listening to the Audience

At a recent art festival in Virginia, I met Judy. She entered my booth and was drawn to a canvas giclee that I had made of an image of grasses. The image is part of a series I began last summer using antique lenses adapted to new cameras. It is a very etherial series and one that speaks to my aesthetic. Judy was also drawn to a framed print from the same series which hung on my display walls. It was a picture of a meadow of daisies (titled appropriately — Daisy Meadow) rendered softly against late-day light and also made with one of my antique lenses. Daisy Meadow was the piece she wanted and she wanted it as a large canvas.

I took her order and as soon as I returned to my studio, began working on the new canvas image. I hadn’t had this piece done on canvas before but thought it would work well. In fact, I think this new series I’m doing lends itself exceptionally well to larger canvas giclees. Still, I was very pleased when she wrote to me after receiving her artwork. She told me, “it is absolutely the most beautiful picture!!!! I love it!.” In a follow up email, Judy speaks to the piece having “so much depth.” The picture is “soft and inviting,” she added.

I always listen to the people who purchase my work, they are my best source of feedback. From them I get insight into my work and even the business of selling art. It is the interaction with collectors that makes being a full time artist most fulfilling.

Daisy Meadow can be purchased as an art print or canvas giclee directly from my on-line gallery – here

Daisy Meadow

“She Will Be Heard”……

She will be Heard webLooking at a picture like this one of a female cardinal, it is very hard not to attribute a human behavior to her. This beautiful bird with her glorious coloration – I mean look at those amazing “eyebrows” – is definitely speaking her mind about something, right? I don’t think we can help but see the image that way, it is human nature.

This new piece will be limited to 100 archival pigment giclee prints in the size of 8″x10″. It is available on my website HERE