Rust

Whenever you haven’t made art in a while — whether its been a few days or a few months — you get rusty. Starting again is always a slow and sputtering process. I can almost feel a coarse red grit slowing my creativity down to a crawl, hampering my ability to create. And with that grit often comes the same familiar doubts. But I have learned through experience that this “creative rust” is not a problem, but a necessary part of the artistic process.

Who has influenced my art

August 20, 2020 in Art as a professiontopics:

Artistically, I am inspired by a broad range of artists, cartoonists, and writers. Here’s a short list of some I am particularly indebted to….

why I don’t sell limited editions

June 15, 2020 in Art as a professiontopics:

First of all, photography is an open edition art form. Limited editions make total sense for many traditional art forms, where the master image degrades with each printing. But one of the pleasures of photography is that you are not limited in the number of prints you can make from a negative. And this is even more true with digital photography where the master file never degrades. Nearly every photographer I admire, going back to Ansel himself, uses open editions. It’s just a natural medium for photography.

my interview on doing art as a career

May 11, 2020 in Newstopics:

While I was in Chicago this past February, teaching at the Self Employment in the Arts conference, I was lucky enough to be interviewed for the Eager to Know podcast, hosted by Chicago artist Ricky McEachern. This was my first podcast, and even though I was a bit nervous, we had a fun and dynamic talk about the doing art as a career, and the power you can get from treating your art as a business.

Ricky did a great job as an interviewer, and guided our conversation into a great discussion that I’m proud to have out there.

We really need spring

March 26, 2020 in About my arttopics:

Sometimes, we just really need spring to arrive. Not like a lamb, nor a lion, but like a wave — rising up and washing away all traces of the past winter.

feeling the pressures of fall

October 31, 2019 in About my arttopics:

Autumn is a source of inspiration for my art. But it can also be a source of tension. Every leaf I see is a potential work of art. But that means every leaf I walk past is art that will never get made. It can be difficult to pick up a leaf and decide “sorry, not you”. Every leaf could be keep me busy for hours, days or weeks of making art. Sometimes I look around, and am a little overwhelmed by all the possibility surrounding me, and the pressure to bring some of it to life.

You know those movies where someone with telepathic abilities is overwhelmed by all the voices they can hear? Sometimes, it feels like that. I walk outside, and every single leaf I see is the raw material for a work of art. Every single leaf is a potential story, and each is clamoring to be told. I need to harden myself against it, and limit what I choose to bring home to my studio. Otherwise, I’ll get nothing done.

not so fast

October 18, 2019 in About my arttopics:

Some days I have such a strong urge to work quickly, and create as much art as possible. This often happens after a long walk, when I gathered a pile of leaves, twigs, and acorns, full of possibilities. Bursting with ideas, I just want to get them all down before they fade. But, I soon realize, this is not in my control.

I may start off fast enough, but eventually I reach one particular subject, one leaf that says “not so fast….” Then I know, no matter how fast I was hoping to go, it’s not my decision. That leaf will be the one to let me know when I am done. Or if I need to spend one more shoot, one more hour, one more day — finding one more idea, creating one more art work.

Shakespeare and nature

I recently took the family to the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s hilarious-yet-touching production of As You Like It. At one point in the story, the exiled Duke Senior is cheering up his entourage as they seek shelter in the forest, extolling the benefits of a life away from court. I find that his speech mirrors how I feel when I get lost in my studio making art from nature:

“And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything. I would not change it.”

inspiration in the common and overlooked

My abstract photographs explore our personal relationship with the natural world we experience everyday. I find my inspiration in common and overlooked scraps of nature, like this fallen leaf. They are a part of our environment we usually ignore, or at best consider a nuisance. Yet the more time I spend with each leaf, the more I discover and learn. I am amazed how something so small and humble, that we so easily take for granted, can actually have so much to say.

Persistent – an abstract photograph of a fallen leaf.

finding an ocean in a patch of ice

June 24, 2019 in About my arttopics:

Ocean Storm - an abstract photograph of melting ice.
Ocean Storm – an abstract photograph of melting ice.

Every year, there are just one or two precious days were conditions are perfect for these beautiful ice sculptures to form outside my home. A storm will pile snow and ice on the railing of my deck. Then the sun will breaks out, transforming the ice into fantastic shapes as it melts. I have to work quickly, and carefully, for I usually only have a short time to photograph before it all melts away.

With this photograph’s turbulent swirls and bubbles, I could see an ocean being battered by a massive storm.

see more art that suggests a story