Spring is one of the best times of the year. The days are getting longer, and the winds are warmer. The long winter, if such a thing existed in Florida, is coming to a close and the art season on the Suncoast is in full swing.
Meanwhile, the new butterfly collection remains on view at the Gateway Gallery in New Port Richey until April. There is no rest for the artist, and we are spending our precious spring days preparing Art on the Bayou in April, a two person show in the New Port Richey City Hall during May, and a continuing series of revolving shows at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center.
In the meantime, enjoy our latest additions to the Butterfly Collection. These works of art are incredible to look at when printed on our archival aluminum print. The aluminum gives the image a glossy image and produces an effect that appears to light up each work.
Our newest work, Water Reeds, presents the thought that lines are an important factor in the emotional imprint of art. At first glance you might hesitant with the meaning of that statement.
I’ll admit, the statement is fraught with logical pitfalls and dangerous oversimplifications of reason. Everybody views a work of art differently and therefore the emotions can vary. The lines are the answer to looking at a work and discovering a hidden meaning to its feeling.
In both art schools and simple school art classes, students learn the artistic value of lines. They create direction and focus a viewer’s attention either towards or away from an area in a painting, sculpture, or picture according to the whims of the artist.
But, the usefulness of lines to an artist is not limited to just the direction you wish to point the viewer. They create an emotional feeling behind them. You can create aggressive lines that are forceful and dramatic. They beat down the doors of the soul with their thick widths and daring nature. The clusters of thick reeds in their green and brown lines dominate a presence that pulls the eye towards them.
Another function of a line in the hands of an artist is that of certain emotional passive aggressiveness. The rendering of these emotions is often accomplished with the thinning of a line. A thin black streak against a colored background is not always forceful. It does not assault the eye but it is not possible to ignore its existence.
The smaller reeds in the center of the picture show this feeling by directing your eye with a hidden yet forceful way. Yet the real technique is the way the water ripples actually form subtle lines going against the grain of the lines in the reeds.
Indeed, Our thin lines in the picture direct your eye towards our last line-induced emotion. I refer to passivity. If a thick line is aggressive and a thin line going in another direction is passively aggressive, how then can a line be passive? The answer is by their being no line.
In the center of the picture you see the gentle reflections of clouds in the water. True enough, if you were to grab a magnifying glass you would see a line. However, art is about illusion. The place where the blue of the water stops and the white of the cloud begins marks a line of some sort. Yet, from a distance, there is the gentle illusion of no discernible line. One color just stops and the other begins.
One last thought about art around the useful techniques and fashions of lines. Nature has provided us with this tranquil scene of reeds. You feel the light breeze and the warm summer sky. The picture in itself is very relaxing. However, to be relaxing, you as the viewer just need to read between the lines.
Living in the tropics the amount of insects and other assorted creatures you find is just staggering. Most of them are not very photogenic. However, every once in a while you run into the sort of small insect that screams for a photograph. A dragonfly remains one of the best examples I know.
Thus, I proudly introduce you to the latest in our dragonfly collection. Blue Dragonfly is a portrait capture of a male Pondhawk in all his beauty. That is unless your another insect, for these voracious hunters prey on smaller insects they capture with the their ability to fly at speeds of 30 mph or more.
Adding a little filter action to the scene produces the remarkable orange background. Funny enough, the background for this shot was actually orange. All the filter did was enhance a little more of this amazing color all the while bringing out the dramatic blue.
The hardest part of the filter process was the maintaining of those fragile wings. A dragonfly’s wings have a very thin, almost completely translucent quality to them. Changing the filter to enhance certain colors would invariably end up transforming the unique properties of those special wings. Indeed it was a challenge that ended with some surprisingly pleasant results.
In the end, when this radiant blue dragonfly with it’s gossamer wings resting peacefully on a flower appeared before my camera I took the opportunity to snap it up. An act I’m confident you’ll want to do too.
Our latest feature for our gallery is Pine Cones. This work represents one of many occasions where my inner artist took full control and I go a little wild. Sometimes, I follow a philosophy of “Don’t think, just shoot.” This type of photography is typical of an artistic type of photography known as Lomography. Most of the time, using this philosophy gives me quite beautiful but very unusual, and in the end, for one reason or another, unusable shots. However, I enjoy taking pictures this way due to the sheer artistic nature of the technique.
Taken through a specific type of Russian camera, Lomography is a film photograph. Sometimes blurs, light leaks, and other imperfections caused by the camera occur that represent this style. Other significant indicators of this style are the use of high contrast cross processing. Cross processing is the technique of using the wrong chemical solution to process a film than what the film normally requires. An artistic picture magically appears full of saturated colors and unnatural representations of color.
Pine Cones is an example of faux Lomography. I shoot and process my work in digital RAW. So, obviously when I add the techniques of cross processing and vignettes to the work, I’m doing so from a computer and not a dark room. Just like a darkroom specialist applying the wrong solution on purpose, I’m applying the wrong digital filters, and in the final result no one really knows what result will occur. Therefore, you may have to reprocess the picture several times to get the effect that you are looking for. Or, as is more than likely the case, the picture does not make the final cut and ends up in the digital trashcan.
It’s a laborious process for sure, but one I think people can agree ends up with a final work of art that captures it’s subject in a way that no other type of photography can.
It’s great to announce that things are really moving forward for our gallery in Florida. While A&A Photographic Arts has been a popular destination for the online art gallery aficionado, 3,450 social media followers alone can’t be wrong, and we have also spent the past year really expanding our place in the physical world.
Our Texas locations are still going strong. We are still showing our works in both the Richardson and Addison Café Brazils located near North Dallas and we have plans to expand to other locations soon.
In March we announced our presence to the Florida art world by taking part in a month-long art show presented by Sun Gulf Art Gallery in New Port Richey. We also recently became associated with the Tarpon Springs Art Association. This organization is a very strong group of local artists who are forward thinking enough to see photographic art has as a new and upcoming fine art form. We are always excited to be associated with organizations such as this.
Other real exciting news is our new expansion into Dunedin, Florida. The owners at Downtown Dunedin Deli & Grill have let us display and offer our art for purchase in the front of their restaurant. Dunedin is one of the prime locations around the Clearwater area for fine art. There is a thriving artist community in the city and to present our art for the patrons of the popular downtown area is truly inspiring.