The process of getting into the various shows I do each year requires a sometimes complex set of actions. The most important starting point is deciding with which images I will represent myself. These must be images that are visually strong, have been made within the past few years, and authentically represent my personal aesthetic. It is a rather stressful process because I can’t know how any show juror(s) will respond to my work. As a full time, independent artist, getting into shows, and more prestigious shows especially, can greatly affect my livelihood.
All I can do is send in the work that excites me most, represents who I am as an artist, and hope for the best. Different shows have different submission processes, but most now charge an application fee just to have one’s work considered. Then there’s the show fee, often a fee for electricity, travel costs, hotel costs, food……..and so on. As an independent artist, I am both the creator of the artwork, manager of the business, and the art dealer.
My 2017 show schedule is beginning to take shape and will be updated on my website soon. But, the process is just at it’s beginning and I am updating my image selection for applications. The image above is one I selected for this year. It is part of a series I am doing on meadow grasses and other botanical subjects. For this series, I have been primarily using a few antique lenses made about 60 years ago. Using an adaptor to fit the lens on my Fuji camera, I’m creating images that are quiet, peaceful, reflections of my feelings while in the field and my personal aesthetic. My work may be seen HERE
I’ve been looking back at images I made in the last few years. It’s an annual practice that I enjoy at the beginning of each new year and is an important part of deciding which images will be introduced as new prints.
In moving some things around, also an annual process, I came across a box of slides from 1991. Yeah, I can’t believe how long ago that was now either. This image however was not representative of my style then. It is more abstract than my work was then. It is a much more subjective image. In the last several years however, my work has become increasingly subjective — more about form, texture, color, and minimalist. In some ways I feel my work has become more about mood and more expressive.
It’s not that I haven’t created expressive imagery before, it’s just that I’m making and exhibiting more of it now. I find it very exciting and freeing. I’m creating work that is both authentic and in the moment. I’m expressing my personal aesthetic without concern to ultimate use and really enjoying it.
After a wild fall show tour and wonderful holiday gatherings, I am fully back in the studio still finishing last year’s late orders. Honestly, I have only one left after shipping three of them this morning. It feels good to be back at it and I am very much looking forward to making new prints and new images. I have a few themes that I will continue to develop and a selection of signature works that I will continue to offer.
Many simple things need to happen before all of that however. I need to fully organize my studio space, get a full inventory of current works completed, take care of last year’s final show reports, and deal with re-stocking matting and framing supplies. Along the way, I need to do file back-ups, update much of my gear to the most current firmware, and update my website – http://www.paulgrecianphoto.com.
There is always a lot to day in the day-to-day life of an artist, but this time of year makes me especially antsy and anxious to start of on the right track.
That last piece that needs to be delivered? It’s called “Buttercup Field” and the client wanted it as a 20×30 framed canvas. It looks great!
This past weekend I was able to be at a fine craft show from the perspective of patron instead of exhibitor. It wasn’t your average show either, it was the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show. This is one competitive show with some top names and talent from around the country (both coasts, and north and south). Held the the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philly, the show features about 150 artists working in wood, glass, fiber, metal, paper, leather, clay, and mixed media. My partner and I took our time going through the show, talking with artists as we went.
It was an exciting event with some spectacular work, a great venue, and some engaging artists. I was especially excited to see names like Mary Jackson (basketry), and Cliff Lee (Ceramics), celebrities! But I also discovered several artists I was unfamiliar with. Standouts for me were Joana Mattson (felted wool), Pavel Novak (glass), Melodie Grace (Raku pottery), and Gordon Browning (wood).
Not all the work raised to the level I expected for such a show, but overall I was satisfied with the quality of work I experienced. It was great to be the audience at a show, asking questions, evaluating work that interested me. Some of the artists were very engaging. But, unfortunately, others were disengaged, on their phones, not greeting visitors. It was good for me as a full time artist to see others at work in such a fine setting. Every time I go to a show like this it is full of lessons and confirmation of personal beliefs.
This weekend, Friday-Sunday, I will be exhibiting and offering for sale, my fine art photography as part of the Sugarloaf tour. This highly anticipated show just outside of Philly is at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA 19456.
One of the pieces I will have with me is this night sky landscape which I made in Acadia National Park. It has become one of my popular selections and inspired me to do additional night landscapes. The framed dimensions are 16×20 and it is ready to hang, UV-protective, Reflection-control glass included, for $214.
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