Everyday personal experiences with nature are the foundation to our larger appreciation of the world we live in. Recently a collector of my work named Sandy, shared a story of her affection for the common American Robin. She was interested in a piece that would celebrate her experience of caring for a Robin until it could fly away. I selected two pictures from my collection of images and offered her my first printing of either one.
Happily, Sandy selected a piece in a walnut frame that I will be shipping to her. Her choice was the image I titled Easy Pickins depicting an American Robin on a fruit laden tree. The price for the framed print which includes a nicely finished dust-cover on the back with a pocket for the Certificate of Authenticity, is $129.00. Visit my website for a full selection of available works by clicking HERE.
I always appreciate a collector sharing a story with me about an experience with nature. Recently, a customer told me about her experience with a common bird — the American Robin. I have always been fond of Robins as a sign of Spring; I also think they are an attractive bird, and very much enjoy their melodious song.
Having had purchased my bird work before, this customer asked me about my experience with Robins. That request motivated me to reconnect with some previous images of mine. As a result, I am introducing two new prints. The first piece is titled Fruitful and is of a Robin sitting on a richly fruitful branch. The second piece is titled Easy Pickins which is of a Robin framed by the branches of a fruit covered tree. Click on the names above to see them on my website.
In both images, the Robin is the clear
visual element of interest. Both images are also about the bounty of nature which birds rely on to meet their needs. The Robin is not an exotic bird, it is however, one with which we all have some memory and relationship during the year. These types of relationships, the everyday experiences with nature, are our most important.
For a little while now I have been studying and appreciating the Japanese art form of ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world”). These were woodblock prints and paintings that were made during the 17th to 19th centuries and which had at their core a beautiful simplicity that I am very drawn towards.
In this genre of art I am especially excited by the nature themed works which emphasize line and form. . I have made several prints of images that were inspired by these poetic artworks and have been pleased with the response to them.
During my last trip to Maine, I made a bird image that I feel is consistent with the overall feeling of ukiyo-e, at least the way I have been inspired by it. In this image, made near Portland Head Light, I am emphasizing simplicity with repetition of line broken up by the more organic form of the bird. The print will be made as a black and white image on Epson Enhanced Matte paper at a size of approximately 10×14. The 16×20 framed price is set at $200 to start and includes UV-protective, Reflection-control glass. The edition will be limited to 100 in this size and 150 overall.
Soon after I started making pictures (over 30yrs ago), I quickly became enamored with “macro” photography (photography of small subjects working with specialized lenses which allow you to focus close to your subject). My first “serious” lens was a used Sigma macro lens. It allowed me to explore nature in a way that made even the yard of my Philadelphia apartment seem like a wilderness.
I continue to explore nature through this close-up photographic technique, although now I do it with a variety of close-focusing lenses and in natural areas rather more diverse than my Philly front yard. However, it is the visual simplicity that I can achieve with macro-photography that really keeps me going back to it.
In the case of the image below, a simple line (leaf edge) and the contrasting almost-perfect orb of dew create an image of simplicity and tension. I am drawn to water droplets as characters in my work. They appear as jewels on misty mornings, after a rain, or when the appropriate dew point and I intersect.
For this image I was working with a Canon 40D and a Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro lens set at f2.8. I had a shutter speed of 1/640 and set the ISO to 400. I set the camera to Aperture Priority and metered in Pattern mode.
This weekend I will be exhibiting and selling new work at a fun event in Hawley, PA. The Audubon Art and Craft Festival has become an anticipated summer event around Lake Wallenpaupack with it’s fine selection of art and fine craft. During the show there will also be live animal presentations and talks.
Among my new works will be the piece below made during my recent trip to Acadia National Park in Maine. The image depicts Newport Cove and part of the rocky coast so indicative of Acadia. Titled Cove View, this verticle composition emphasizes the amazing warm color and geometry of the foreground rock and cool water and contrasting sky tonalities. I was also looking to unify the composition with multiple triangular forms (my favorite shape after the circle). I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 17-40mm L lens on a tripod. Also used were a Polarizing filter and a Split Neutral Density filter to even out the sky and foreground exposure.