Making art is a long and involved process, even in photography. People are often surprised at how much work I put into each photograph! You might think it just takes a click of the shutter, but that’s just the beginning. Each of my photographs represents days or weeks of careful work, coaxing the image I want out of the raw data provided by nature. This year I started posting these works-in-progress to my blog. This not only gives you a sneak preview of what’s going on in my studio, I think it helps me make better art. I have found that posting a photograph requires an act of commitment to the piece, forcing me to stop ‘playing’ and start to make some tough creative decisions. It opens up what is normally a very private activity, which forces me to get tough on myself and work harder.
To push myself even farther, I’ve decided to make these works-in-progress available as fine art prints. Why? Well, after I post a photograph to my blog, people often ask me if they can buy a print. However, I usually say no, feeling these photographs aren’t yet ready, and wanting to nurture them for just a little longer. But I realized that instead of nurturing them, I was actually being over-protective. By hanging onto them and hoarding them for myself, I was avoiding ever having to finish them. So I decided that I needed to make another act of commitment to my art, and offer my works-in-progress for sale. By offering these prints, I will be encouraging myself to work harder and better, knowing that my photographs are now longer chicks in my nest, but are fledglings ready to take off on their own. I think this also gives collectors a unique opportunity to peek behind the curtain, and watch the stages of a photograph being created.
So here’s the plan: I’m offering my work-in-progress prints as 5×7 prints for $35. This is a $30 discount from my usual price of $65 for a 5×7 print. You’ll receive a fine print of the photograph as it currently exists; at whatever stage of editing it is at when your order comes in. And when I finish the photograph, and you’ll be able to ‘upgrade’ to the final print for only $30. See the details here.
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I really enjoyed looking at these and reading your remarks and other’s comments–the thought and persistence that goes into your work is impressive, as are the results (final or otherwise!) The small discussion we had on my own blog (which I have now added to) was on my mind as I read this..you really seem to pursue an exploration for as long as it takes to get something that you like.
In painting, at least the kind I do, the spontaneity of paint application can become deadened and dull when overworked, and that’s what often brings things to a grinding halt. BUT clearly what you express about your process in terms of intention and the patient search for what works cuts across media lines. Thanks for this interesting post–
I would find it really interesting to see one of your works at various points along its upbringing, from an initial all-defaults dump from your raw processor, at various stages along the line, and then the final work. I’m not suggesting that you post these in real time, post the set after the fact. It would be an amazing bit of insight into what you do, which I’m sure few people really know (myself included).
Of course, doing this is an act of revealment that you may be difficult, but if you can do it for even one work, I’d certainly enjoy reading about it….
Recbecca – one of the reasons I love photography, especially digital photography, is that the “paint” never dries. All through my life, I tried my hand at various artforms, and found photography was the best fit for how I think. Painting to be too “fast” and permanent. Drawing doesn’t have enough “resistance” (you create something out of nothing, instead of reacting to something that is there). But photography — at least my intrepretation of it — works for me.
Jeffrey – interesting idea. It’s be a challenge because I don’t work linearly from start to finish. I work more eliptically: swirling around, getting closer, then getting farther, trying to zero in on an unknown target. I’d have to give it some thought!
I found your reply especially interesting in how much it mirrors my own experience. I always found photography suited my creative impulse better than other mediums that I tried. I’d like to hear you speak mote to the notion of “resistance” as you alluded to it.
Ironically, maybe, I often refer to what you call an eliptical approach as “sketching”.
Sketching — that’s a good word. Although for me often it feels more like… puttering in a garden: pruning here, weeding there, a little fertilizers, a lot of water.
I use the word “resistance” a lot when I think about making art… I’ll more some more thought into it and write it up in another post.
I love the idea of selling WIP. Why not? Artists sell sketches all the time. It’s an excellent idea! Bottom line, your work get’s “out there”.
I’m a little late to the party, but always interested in new self-promotion ideas. I look forward to following along and seeing what happens. I think it’s cool that you are open to seeing your work through others’ eyes.