Tag Archives: art

The Building Storm

The picture Building Storm convinces us that nature is truly an awe-inspiring and captivating subject.   There exists a level of power in those columns of clouds that we as mere mortals just cannot seem to grasp.

Our own brains immediately channel part of that power down primal synapses and earlier embedded childhood memories that usually protect us. We see an image of danger and immediately feel a tantalizing sense of wonderment. Yet, in the tiny recesses of our mind there is also a touch of disbelief that such a storm could exist.

You might start asking questions. Is it heading our way? How long until it gets here? Or the infamous comment, “Damn, I just washed the car!” All are thoughts that course through our adult minds at light speed.

Building Storm
Building Storm

The Work Behind Building Storm

This picture really represents one of the nicer things about living close to an ocean. Near the ocean nothing exists between you and the horizon except the vastness of the water.  You can see the whole horizon right to the point where the perfectly flat waterscape meets the perfectly flat sky.

The problem of not having visual landmarks only adds mystery to the actual photograph. You can’t really determine size or distance very well when such a large object is dominating the sky. This also adds to an impending sense of dread.

I wanted to take that dread and feeling of raw power and enhance it. So, using heavy blue Cyanotype filter, I turned the picture into a blue and white not a black and white image.

The next issue was the crispness of the photo. This is a sort of irony for me because I suffer from a bane in the photographer’s world known as camera shake. This means that my fingers press too hard on the shutter button and the camera tends to shake thus causing some blurring to occur.  Usually, I have to take countermeasures so that it won’t happen.

Well, imagine my surprise when I discovered a situation where adding a bit of abstraction to the scene actually enhances the artistic flair!

Nature played her part well; it was her work of art in the first place, by selecting the perfect colors and shading to help transform a typical thunderstorm on the horizon to an enhanced beautiful monster of a storm.

Texture Makes It Better Art

This time we visit the beach to make art and discuss texture.   It is an obvious yet often overlooked component of art. Is a work of art smooth? Or, does it have a tactile feel to it? Is that tactile feel genuine or an illusion? Complex questions answered when dealing with art works of any size or variety. Actually, texture regularly makes or breaks the uniqueness of a particular work to the viewer.   In photography, good  texture often happens by using by a simple method.

 

An easy method of finding texture to apply in a work of art is to simply find a subject with that interesting texture already present. At first this may seem like an oversimplification. But an artist often looks deeper into physical relationships of their subjects.

 

So finding the right subject to portray what the artist wants to say is usually much more difficult than most people assume. The reason for this is that the eye-catching nature of the texture, as applied to the work of art, is often up to the individual artist. This is where an implied artistic interpretation impacts the story the artist is attempting to tell.  If this seems to be almost metaphysically philosophical in nature, it’s because it is. It is art after all.

Truly, texture becomes a necessary part of the artistic vision used to make any work of art. This selected interpretation develops thru a specific application.  In the painting arts, it often appears as gobs of thick paint. Drawing a certain way, or even the use of different brushes and washes accomplish the desired artistic effect.

 

Seaweed and Shells
Seaweed and Shells

However, in photography, the artist has to apply other means to accomplish this same goal. So often, the photographer looks for the visual aspects of a shot that will provide these needed textures naturally.

Seaweed and Shells

Perhaps the artist is attempting to show the smooth skin of a person to showcase beauty or youth. Or, as in the case of Seaweed and Shells, texture adds a sense of conflict between the gritty sand, the spongy seaweed and the smooth interior of a shell.   When I took this shot, I fell in love with the notion that the rich textures provided a sort of glue that made the picture work.

 

Which Print of Pelican Do Other Artists Say to Buy?

April is a very busy month in the art world.  There are a lot of public shows and a few private ones. For example, the work Pelican recently showed at an exclusive art show with the Tarpon Springs Art Association in Tarpon Springs, Florida. These private or member only art shows really test an artist’s nerve. It is like presenting a scientific paper at a medical symposium. There is no place to hide if something goes hideously wrong and your colleagues are going to scrutinize your work with every critical bone in their body.

The story behind Pelican is a rather simple one. I was sitting on a dock watching a local fisherman filet a large fish, a large friendly pelican suddenly showed up to see if any scraps accidentally fell in the water. It was like watching a family pet begging at the dinner table.  In the end it did not leave disappointed.

Pelican
Pelican

When I was in the process of choosing the type of print for the show, I discovered archival prints of this work look good. The work printed on canvas really has a classy artistic look.  But, nothing beats out the absolute beauty of Pelican printed on metal.   The gloss of the aluminum lends itself to showcase the pure whites in such a way that it looks almost self-illuminant. There is a serious wow factor to the print.

Pelican
Pelican

I soon found out I was no alone in this thought.  In fact, the biggest complaint or critique I had on presenting Pelican was a comment that the print on metal was actually too good for local fare. Other artists told me that if a patron has a white or black furniture theme in the home or office, then a metal print of Pelican is the print they should get.  It was the type of complaints that any artist wants to hear.

In Other News:

The gallery has experienced some very exciting growth opportunities recently by expanding its exhibitions

Monarch Butterfly 3
Monarch Butterfly 3

beyond the Texas border.   The newest members of the butterfly collection made a special appearance at the Tarpon Springs annual Art on the Bayou festival. White Peacock Butterfly 2 and Monarch Butterfly 3 was well received by both the public and other artists alike.

White Peacock Butterfly 2
White Peacock Butterfly 2

Future Happenings:

The gallery will exhibit local photographic works in a new two-person art show at the Susan Dillinger Art Gallery in the New Port Richey City Hall from May 2nd – May 31st.  The works will be on display during regular business hours.  There is no cost to attend and enjoy the art.  All art will be available for purchase.

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Who’s ready for Spring?

 

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.

We just wrapped up a month-long show outside the

Caught me unawares during the setup...
Caught me unawares during the setup…

auditorium at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center and are already looking to make a return to their hallowed halls in April for a month-long show with the Tarpon Springs Art Association.  

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.

White Peacock ButterflyIn the meantime, enjoy our latest additions to the Butterfly Collection.  These works of art are incredible Monarch-Butterfly-2to 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.

 

 

 

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Art – It’s all in the Lines

Art is in the lines.

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.

Aggressive

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.

Water Reeds
Water Reeds

Passive Aggressive

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.

Passive

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.

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