The snow may be fading, but that leaves fields of golden grasses as backgrounds which I like just as much. One of my favorite birds, the Tufted Titmouse, is always an expressive subject. This one in particular has taken on a posture that suggests strength and confidence. The coloration of the feathers on the bird’s flanks is a wonderful compliment to the background grasses against which I composed this image. I’ve titled the piece “Rusty”. I wanted simplicity, but an image that still felt complete. There is certainly a Japanese influence here as well.
Textures too are richly rendered. The branch with it’s lichen and the bird’s feathers are both contemplative elements making the smoother background even more important to me. The print will be introduced as 6.75 x 9.7 inches and double-matted in Spanish White with ArtCare acid-free board for $54.00 ready to be framed. You can see it and my other work at my web site.
As a visual artist working with the medium of photography, I am always aware that I am translating a three-dimensional, moving subject into a two-dimensional, static image. What I try to achieve in my work is a sort of visual tension so that the viewer feels that movement is imminent or even actively occurring in the scene. I convey these feelings in landscape and still-life images partly through the flow of line and geometry. With wildlife subjects, I create images where the animal’s posture is full of kinetic energy. These images suggest, as Mike, who with his wife Debra collects my work, recently wrote to me, “that the life force will drastically change the scene in the next moment.” He continued, “Your pictures seem to capture that essence that no matter how we try to freeze life it continues to move forward….”
It is gratifying when a collector writes me words that affirm I am achieving my desired visual impact.
One of my newest images — Snow Cap — suggests this same kind of “subtle dynamic” as well. The Chickadee here is almost vibrating with energy it feels. These are the types of images that don’t stand still in our minds but relay a sense that the bird is alive in our presence. Having studied animal behavior my whole life from before college through the present, I know birds are a constantly moving power house. In many ways, the images I make are less about them than they are the human struggle in which we all engage. Without projecting our own feelings of empathy onto the bird, we would not feel the way we do about such images.
This image is available as a Limited Edition giclee print for $54. from my website – Here
It makes no sense at all to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts as the current administration wants to do. It does nothing to balance the budget. It’s purely being considered because of political reasons.
To be honest, I hadn’t realized just how little a budget the NEA was working with. I mean really, less than $150 million a year! To support the arts at a national level for such a paltry amount of money is a disgrace in itself.
Here’s some math I did. I found that 65 million voters selected Clinton for President last year. If half of those voters were to spend even $200 (two hundred dollars) in original works by contemporary (living) artists, it would equal well over $6,000,000,000 (six billion dollars!) in art sales this year. That’s only $200 in original artwork in a year! It’s good for people to have art in their lives, it’s good for the country economically, culturally, socially, and its good for contemporary artists.
I enjoy buying artwork for myself and gifts. I also appreciate it when I receive art as a gift.
I’m currently reading two books on aesthetics which I find fascinating. I’m still at the beginnings of both books but already they have me contemplating the “why” of art more deeply. As an artist I create from a relish for nature, a relish for beauty, a relish for life. It is a consciousness raising experience and one that lifts my humanity. I respond to natural beauty through aesthetic experience and translate that into my own interpretation, striving to create something beautiful in itself. When I respond to a field of grass aesthetically, I’m not trying to recreate that field. What I am doing is trying to relate my unique aesthetic experience of that field to a viewer so that they may feel about it the way I did.
If I am successful with my creation then I have affected some response in the viewer which raises their consciousness and relish for life as well.
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 believe that collecting art and creating art have a number of similarities. I see both as being creative processes. The artist creates work that is an expression of some aspect of who they are as a person, while the art collector expresses themselves through the selection and arrangement of art. In both endeavors the choices made are very personal.
In Erling Kagge’s book A Poor Collector’s Guide to Buying Great Art, he states “Building a collection is much like living life or writing your autobiography – it is intensely personal.” Kagge continues, “you need to follow your own path.”
I feel that the making of art is very autobiographical as well, and that following one’s own path in it’s creation is very important.
Kagge speaks too about being obsessed with the building of an art collection if it is to be of significance. He suggests that a collector’s budget must be secondary to the passion of acquisition. “I recommend that you just start buying, that you don’t spend too much time thinking” he says. In some ways this could be good advice for artists as well; just start creating, don’t spend too much time thinking.
I also like Kagge’s advice to just hang artwork in your home and office, allowing time to get to know it, and then evaluate more fully how you feel about the work. It is in that way he suggests, that a collector can develop their own tastes for what they want to collect. I do something similar sometimes when making a new print. I tape the print to my studio wall so that I can look at it often and with fresh eyes to determine if its my best work and pleases me. In that sense, I am also developing my own taste.
The image below represents my taste for minimalism, simplicity, quietness, and an appreciation of Japanese woodblock paintings. I enjoy the lines, the balance and tension in the image. I feel that it is simple yet engaging. A pigment giclee print is available directly from my website – HERE