Posted on February 4, 2016
“People say ‘Hofmann has different styles’. I have not. I have different moods; I am not two days the same man.” ~ Hans Hofmann
I was planning to post this earlier but I was fighting a cold that left me with very little motivation. Thankfully it has since gone away and I’m finally getting some energy back.
Before the holidays, I was going through some of my photos when I began to see a pattern. Seems my mood has a lot to do with what I photograph, how I photograph and how I choose to edit an image. With all the violence and chaos in the world, I found myself seeking subjects that portrayed a softer, quieter and more subtle side of life. Once the holidays arrived (and I stopped watching the news), my photos took on a whole different look and feel.
This little revelation had me wondering if anyone else experienced that with their own work. So I put the question out to my photographer friends on Facebook and a very interesting discussion ensued. When photographing for yourself (disregarding client work, of course) does your mood affect your photography in any way?
Many people felt that it did in all aspects, some just in the editing phase. Others said that just the opportunity to pick up their camera and get out to shoot immediately improved their mood and therefore they were always in a happy mood when photographing.
One friend described a process he goes through prior to shooting, “ Before I shoot, I sit down and I go deep down myself, into a place where I am in touch with all my feelings. If I cannot feel an image that I am about to shoot, I believe no one will.” How interesting!
But then there’s a whole other philosophy out there that was brought to my attention by a photographer friend from Amsterdam. He sent me this interesting article written by Garry Winograd – 10 Things Garry Winograd Can Teach You
Thought provoking for sure.
So tell me, what are your thoughts? Would be interesting to hear from artists who work in other genres as well.
“… yes I speak a different language – the dark fire of poetry – it flutters and gutters in tune with the mood.” ~ John Geddes
“I had to resign myself, many years ago, that I’m not too articulate when it comes to explaining how I feel about things. But my music does it for me, it really does.” ~ David Bowie
To thank all my photo friends who took part in this little chat, I am going to be adding links to their various websites and portfolios on my posts during the month of February (sharing the love!) To list them all at once would be a bit overwhelming.
Hope you will pay them a visit. Enjoy!
Posted on October 7, 2015
the golden hour of the clock of the year. Everything that can run
to fruit has already done so: round apples, oval plums, bottom-heavy
pears, black walnuts and hickory nuts annealed in their shells,
the woodchuck with his overcoat of fat. Flowers that were once bright
as a box of crayons are now seed heads and thistle down. All the feathery
grasses shine in the slanted light. It’s time to bring in the lawn chairs
and wind chimes, time to draw the drapes against the wind, time to hunker
down. Summer’s fruits are preserved in syrup, but nothing can stopper time.
No way to seal it in wax or amber; it slides though our hands like a rope
of silk. At night, the moon’s restless searchlight sweeps across the sky.
~ Barbara Crooker
Posted on March 25, 2015
Posted on March 11, 2015
Every year at this time, I find myself in need of inspiration
I usually pour through art books but after being so cooped up this winter
I decided get out and head to the nearest art museum.
It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and the museum had only a handful of visitors
So nice to be able to linger and take my time. For the first time, I began to notice not only the beautiful artwork but how each room was arranged.
As I wandered, I started looking from many different perspectives
A lonely chair beckoned to be sat on
while eyes watched every move from the wall
As I moved around the Modern Art wing, I was struck by the juxtaposition of each work. From one perspective, I saw Kiki Smith’s ceramic statue, Girl with Blue Dress, with what could be a later version of herself in the Alex Katz portrait, Ada with Sunglasses.
As I viewed this young girl from behind, I saw innocence in the face of violence (The Hull, an oil painting by Hyman Bloom). Striking, disturbing and evocative.
There were many other instances like this as I moved through each room in the museum. It fascinated me and left me wondering how I never noticed this before.
Before I left, I came across a still life painting by a little known American artist, John Frederick Peto, appropriately titled Still Life with Books. This intrigued me, not only because I love old books but because of the unique way they were arranged on the edge of a table. Something so simple yet it stirred some feeling of nostalgia in me.
When I returned home, I gathered some of my favorite old books, placed them on my mother’s old antique table and had fun attempting to recreate this painting with my camera.
Peto was apparently a master of trompe l’oeil, arranging the subject matter in a shallow space using shadow to suggest depth. It took me many tries to get the right amount of light and shadow in my image. With this painting technique, objects were rarely cut off the edge of a painting but I obviously cut the books off in the right hand corner. All in all, it was a fun experiment and I enjoyed trying something new.
Turned out to be an inspiring day in many different ways. Just what the doctor ordered.
Tell me, do you ever feel a strong need to create something?
What inspires your work?
Are there times you feel the need to break away from the norm?
I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
(Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts)