Sunday, September 23, 2018

Week 38 - 2018 in Photographs

Day 249 - Red Sunflower

I used to consider sunflowers weeds. I grew up in part in Missouri where sunflowers are a weed along every highway or country road. This year is the first where I intentionally planted them. I have had an accidental one grow from the bird seed mix scattered over the winter. And when I asked friends for sunflower seeds which grew well at my altitude I didn't know they came in colors other than yellow.

My sister won awards for her black and white photographs of sunflowers, and the back of sunflowers. They are a fascinating study is geometry. And I immediately fell in love with the red ones. So this week I focused on the sunflowers in my garden in both color and black and white. They are a splashy flower in color, but take away the color and the structure and detail of these flowers are overwhelming in my opinion.

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Day 251 - The bud of a sunflower ready to open

Day 252 - The more typical photograph of this flower

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Day 254 - rear view of a blossom with buds around it

Day 255

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Week 37 - 2018 in Photographs

Day 252

 My father was in the military for the first part of my life. He was a pilot and at the beginning of SAC or Strategic Air Command. That meant at the time the Dakotas or New Mexico for bases. In the second grade we left the green fields of Missouri to the deserts of Roswell and then the high mesas of Albuquerque. I fell in love at seven and spent all my time wondering the desert, and have stayed connected to that arid landscape all my life.

I get back Albuquerque to visit friends and to shop but how big the city is now overwhelms me. This last vacation my sister and I took time to visit the Coronado Historic Site on the edge of the city now. When I first visited it on a school trip in the 5th grade it seemed way out on the mesa. Now it is this quiet island surrounded by expanding metropolis. It was like returning home. Home in the 1950's. So black and white treatment of the photographs seemed very appropriate.

We spent an extended time on the meandering trails even with occasional spitting rain. 

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Monday, September 10, 2018

Week 36 - 2018 in Photographs

Day 245
Skeletons of Cottonwoods
 These photographs are still from the brief vacation on the Rio Grande shore. Vacations are to refresh the spirit and I believe this is particularly true for artists. As a photographer being able to focus on different subjects from time to time is important. 

I normally argue that it is my familiarity with a subject which yields the best photographs. Ansel Adams believed that. He went back again and again to favorite subjects. It helps to discover just went the light is the best.

I often feel after a series of photographs of a new area I need to go back; do it again. I feel that way about the Bosque. The light is so different from my mountain home. And during my four days at Tamaya Resort the air was smoke filled from the California fires. That did add to the dawns but it generally flattened the light.

Day 246
Cottonwoods along the trail

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New Mexico Olives

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The tangle of the Bosque

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High Desert Bird of Paradise

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What was the one "clear" day

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Dawn at Tamaya

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Freedom of Studio Tours

Binford-Bell Studio in mid project

In the uncertain economic times galleries are becoming more limited. And even the once popular art fairs are in crisis. But there is a boom in private studios open to the public at least a few hours a week. And now a rise in studio tours which combine great scenery and spruced up studios on handy brochures.

The studio tours are becoming increasingly popular among collectors and artists. They provide a variety of collectibles and great prices for the art shopper. And for the studio they provide an easy and economical way to show their wares: no packing and unpacking.

But even more they provide freedom and flexibility to the artists. To get into a gallery or a higher class art fair an artist must submit a body of work for approval and stick to it. If you juried in to a show with colorful watercolor mission churches you cannot decide to show your photography to fill the space. And a gallery which represents you isn't thrilled when you decide to deviate from your usual pallet or subject matter.

Black and White sunflower photograph

Or even depart from gallery wrapped canvas to explore the creative format of standing cradled panels suitable for display on book shelves or tables instead of hanging on a wall.

Artists must create and grow and yet vying for space in an art fair or acceptance in a gallery, or maintaining your space and representation, can be stifling. 

Standing Cradled Panels 

And heaven forbid you should decide to paint furniture or create beaded jewelry or make note cards with your watercolor sketches or photographs. Things suitable to a gift shop or crafts fair but which a gallery and its exclusive contract with you will take a dim view of.

Painted folding table
Studio tours have no such restrictions. If you did it you can sell it.

Wire wrapped shell necklaces

Painted end table or plant stand

Art Chair

I find the time leading up to a studio tour very energizing and creative. When I did art fairs I dreaded this period of time when I was working for volume to take to a show. Not uniqueness. 

Be sure to mark your calendar for the second annual Angel Fire Studio Tour September 29th and 30th. It is sponsored by Art Up Northern New Mexico. And in December there will be a Holiday Market which allows exhibiting arts and artisans and craftsmen more flexibility in what work they choose to exhibit.

Week 35 - 2018 in Photographs

Day 238

If last week was all about flowers this week is all about trees along the Rio Grande. The Bosque is the largest urban forest and because of flood control measures over the last 20 years it is suffering. The cottonwood trees which dominate the forest require the occasional flood to stay healthy and to aid in seeding new cottonwoods.

The Tamaya Resort where my sister and I chose to vacation this fall is on the Santa Ana Pueblo land. The peoples of this pueblo are working to save and restore their section of the Bosque. Walking the trails on the Bosque beside the river is restorative and even magical. It was a challenge to capture with a camera.

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Week 34 - 2018 in Photographs

Day 231
This is the week of flowers. But more importantly for me it has be the summer of flowers. I seem to have finally proven my mother wrong. I do not have a brown thumb. There have been some failures in the vegetable garden because of too hot too early. Seems to have been been a good combination, however, for the flowers.

In my studio I have a wide assortment of plants which fall into that category of those which thrive on neglect. Outside I have finally found those which grow like weeds.

And all of them fall into the classification of being great to photograph.

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Next week back to landscapes and trees.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Week 33 - 2018 in Photographs

Day 224
 Flowers have figured prominently in my photos the last couple of weeks. My flowers have flourished and given me much joy. And hopefully everyone is enjoying the pictorial evidence.

I love particularly the "bones" of the sunflower. While it is easy to get seduced by their color they are spectacular in black and white.

Day 225
 I am daily more seduced by black and white treatment of flowers and landscapes.

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But it is hard to ignore the colors in a sunset or dawn.

Day 230

Next week will be all flowers.