interviewed by Juanita Canzoneri
So what is it that you do?
How is that different from what our other member, Teri Rowan, does?
I do landscape, wildlife, nature photography, and it’s not digitally enhanced in any way. So I just try to capture the image as my eye sees it. The only enhancement I do is so that I can match the finished image with what my eyes saw when I took it.
You’re working with a digital camera, so, in essence, all photography today, unless it’s film, is digital.
When did you start doing photography?
When we lived in Indiana, I started taking pictures of barns, trees, and some of the landscape. This was in the late 1990’s. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I knew I liked it. And when we moved to Colorado in 2004, I was completely inspired by the scenery here. We had an RV so we did a lot of camping and hiking and we would go to these amazing places and I really had an interest in trying to capture those images.
So, on my 40th birthday my husband bought me a “real camera”.
What did you have up to that point?
Just little point and shoots that I’d been using. But he got me a digital SLR Sony camera. So I started taking pictures like crazy. And for me, I’m entirely self-taught with photography. I’ve taken a few classes here and there since I’ve done this professionally with art shows, but for me it’s been a lot of trial and error. I had one grizzly bear in the Tetons I took over 500 pictures of and probably only saved a couple of them. But it’s been a matter of me learning how to set my camera settings, an my aperture setting speed and how do those work together, and what are the effects I get when I change those things to take an image. I still take a lot of shots of everything I shoot because the lighting is different in every second.
Because I take so many photos, I tend to spend a lot of time editing and I do see that as part of the art of this process. Sometimes what my eye sees and what I take in through the lens, when I pull it up on my computer it doesn’t look like what I thought I saw. So that’s part of the image manipulation in a slight way, not overworked. I don’t want to work my images so much that the become not what you would see in nature. My ultimate goal is for it to look real and I want to capture images in nature that other people might not be able, or privileged, to see.
I’ve learned a lot along the way how to work the camera to get the image that you want.
What is this camera you have here?
This is a Canon EOS 5D. It’s my first full-frame camera. A full frame allows me to take a very large image.
How many lenses do you have?
For the 2 Sony’s I have interchangeable lenses. I probably have 8 lenses for them. For this Canon I have 3 that I work with primarily. Mostly I shoot with my 50mm-80mm for landscapes. I have another that allows me to do extreme closeups for wildlife and a macro that I use for closeup images.
And I have tripods and remote-control devices.
When did you move from hobbyist to professional?
Shortly after my husband gave me the “real camera”, which was about 10 years ago, I put my images on zenfolio which is a formatted website for photographers. I thought I would throw some images up there and see what responses I got from people—and not just my mom who loves everything I do.
So I put the website together and put it out to everyone I knew on social media and the responses I got back were somewhat overwhelming. I thought people would say, “oh, these are nice.” But the adjectives people were using to describe the images floored me. In some cases, it almost brought me to tears. And I thought, “well, maybe I can do something with this.”
My first attempt at doing something was thinking “I have to get a tent if I’m going to do shows and I need to get panels to hang the pieces on.” And I found a lady who had 4 pro panels, which are usually $120 each, and she was selling them all for $100. I thought that seemed like a sign.
I got a tent for a good price and everything started to click. But the first thing I did was an art show in Woodland Park at the high school, a craft show, and I was in the cafetorium and the gentleman across from me was selling bed sheets and I quickly realized I was in the wrong place.
I sold some things there and my first official art show was at America the Beautiful park in a 3-day show with torrential rains. In those 3 days I had $1,200 in sales and I was over the moon. Reinforced by that experience I signed up for a few more shows and it’s just continued on. This will be my 8th summer doing art shows.
How many do you typically do a year?
Since I work full-time, I was doing 7-8 a summer and now I do about 5. It’s hard to work all week, do an art show, work a full week, and do another art show. So, this summer I’ve cut back to the fewest I’ve done and part of that is having the opportunity to be in Commonwheel. This is a new avenue for me and it’s been great.
The work you would store up and sell in a festival you’re putting out and selling all year long.
I was in some galleries apart from Commonwheel. I’m part of the Colorado Creative Co-op in Old Colorado City. I’ve been there for years. I also had work in various places in Woodland Park when we lived up there and I’m still part of the Mountain Arts group up there.
And I still have my website. It has changed over the years and I have to go take photos off every so often because I have so many. It gets refreshed because I realized it’s not good to have thousands of images for people to pick from, that’s too overwhelming.
You put your images on a variety of formats—plaques, metal, canvas, matted prints, coasters, and cards.
On the web site I tell people to go look and then tell me what they want, what size, and I can customize what people are looking for.
I outsource the printing of my images because I believe printing is, in itself, an art form. I will do some printing of my matted prints, but I even outsource a lot of those. And to have the size printers you need for a large format is a huge investment.
You’ve started putting images in salvaged windows. Tell me about that.
For a long time I had the idea stirring in my head. It would be so cool to get an image that was like looking through a window. I didn’t want to carry glass around, so I looked at getting the images printed on plexiglass but didn’t like the look.
When I had some down time this past winter, I did some research and found a bunch of antique windows on Craigslist and Marketplace. I picked up a few initially. I wanted them to have a distressed look and what was fun about that whole process was that it was something different for me. I’m taking wood and sanding it, painting it, sealing it, and trying to figure out what to do with the hardware. It became a whole new aesthetic for me. For the image itself I still have it outsourced but when it comes back, I need to mount it into the window.
I custom size the images based on the windows. I take the glass out of all of them along with the glazing and the glazer’s points. It’s been interesting and fun. And now I have so many windows and my husband is thinking I may have gone overboard with them. I have 15 finished now and they’ll go to art shows with me this summer if they don’t make it into Commonwheel.
You mentioned that you work full time. What do you do?
I support a project management software. It allows me to work from home so the dogs are happy, and I can usually swing my schedule to take off early on Fridays in the summer to go set up for art shows. My photography is the opposite of what I do for work, so it is a release for me. And this is the thing that I know is my passion—shooting the photos—because I can lose all sense of time, surroundings, and space entirely when I do this. It feeds my soul.
I named my business “His Beautiful Canvas.” I’ve had a lot of people ask why not “her beautiful canvas” since I’m a woman, and I explain that the canvas is God’s. I believe God paints this picture, this image, and I’m privileged to take it in and share it. And sometimes I share it with people who can’t ever see those places. There’s something about it that’s special.
There have been a lot of art shows where a customer and I are both in tears because of what they see in my photo and tell me about how it affects them. When it came time to name my business, I was jogging by myself while we were camping at Lake Granby and I heard the name while I was praying. It’s been wonderfully rewarding connecting with others around these images.
You joined Commonwheel when?
It’s been a year now, and it has been wonderful to connect with others who understand the idea of “feeding your soul”, even though we do it in different ways. It’s nice to be with others who get that.
We had 27 artists submit almost 100 items for the jury for this show and accepted 60 works from 21 artists. All these artists were asked to tell us a little about themselves and their work.
Here are their responses.
I am 19 and a senior at the University of Northern Colorado, and I’m studying Graphic Design. I’m graduating this December and I’m so excited about it! I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. I really enjoyed writing fictional stories when I was 5 or 6 years old, and I liked to illustrate my made-up stories with detailed drawings of my characters. From there stemmed my interest in drawing, and after placing 2nd in an art contest when I was in 2nd grade, I knew this was something I was passionate about. Up until the age of 16, my main media I worked in was pencil; I enjoy drawing photorealistic drawings of people and occasionally landscape sceneries. For my 16th birthday, I received a camera as a birthday present, and that opened a door to a whole new world. Photography very rapidly became my primary media. I love photographing nature, from landscapes to close-ups of flowers to shots of wild animals. To this day, photography is still my favorite and best-developed media to work in; however, since coming to college, I have discovered I really enjoy acrylic painting as well, and also like to paint sceneries and objects.
My photographs often reflect my love for the outdoors; I love hiking, camping, kayaking, anything out in the mountains. I have to time the weather, lighting, and location right in order to catch a good photograph, but it is well worth the tedious efforts. Autumn and winter have proven to be the most opportune times for me to photograph; the colors of the trees in the autumn, the snow, and the frequently cloudy skies create the perfect photo environment.
The particular piece being featured in the “Autumn Glory” exhibit is a photo I took in October a few years ago. I was driving back through Independence Pass from a trip to the mountains for a couple days, which consisted of mostly photography opportunities for me. I saw this specific spot in the distance and immediately had to stop; the pop of the yellow aspen trees amongst the dark pine trees was captivating to me. Additionally, a storm was starting to form above the mountains, and the clouds were creating the perfect lighting. Yellow is one of my favorite colors, so this piece is a favorite of mine because of the splash of bright yellow among the earth tones.
To see more of my work, please visit my website: www.courtneybobo.com
Like many people, I had to wait until I retired to begin exploring my artistic abilities. Luckily, I was able to retire early, and after experimenting with many media, including clay, mixed media, alcohol ink, jewelry, etc., I found my true passion in fused glass. I enjoy experimenting, and particularly enjoy creating 3-D pieces in the kiln. This requires a number of firings at varying temperatures, all taking between 9-20 hours, with 4 or 5 hours of cool-down time. My inspiration comes from nature, including both the mountains and the sea, having lived near the beach in Florida for 12 years. I have been working in fused glass for 14 years. I have three kilns and have taken over every inch of available space in my house and garage for my studio! I’m looking forward to adding a fourth, larger kiln to my collection so that I can create taller and larger pieces.
In order to create a fused glass piece, you must start by designing the piece flat, and you must fuse it at a high temperature, between 1400 and 1480 degrees, depending on the effect you are hoping to achieve. If the first firing is successful and does not need additional work and another firing, the piece is cleaned, and dried. Many times there is cold working that must be done after the first firing, which smooths out sharp edges and points. Another firing, called a fire polish, is often necessary to remove any cold working marks left on the glass. The piece can then either be slumped into a bowl form or draped over a mold to make a vertical, 3D piece, as with Glimmering Aspens, the piece I created for “Autumn Glory“. The temperatures of these other firings are much lower than the original, full fuse.
I am only exhibiting one piece in this exhibit, so this is my favorite! This is one of my Aspen Grove series that I designed, and I enjoy making variations on this theme.
I have always loved Commonwheel Co-op and have been a customer for many years! It is the quintessential retail art gallery, and I have always wanted to enter one of their exhibits. Additionally, I love the theme as trees in general, and aspens in particular, are my favorite things in nature, and autumn is my favorite season of the year!
My work can be found on my Facebook page, LoLo’s Paloozas (www.facebook.com/LoLosPaloozas/), and is currently sold in the Strictly Guffey Gallery in Guffey, Colorado.
I fell in love with fused glass art about 10 years ago when I saw someone wearing a dichroic pendant and took a class to learn to make my own. I love the beauty of art glass and the infinite combinations and reactions that can be achieved. I love that the melting glass changes form and defines itself. The anticipation of opening the kiln to see the new creations is really exciting.
My fused glass landscapes are created over several days in multiple kiln firings by melting layers and pieces of sheet glass between 1200-1500 degrees. First, the basic layers are built and completely melted to form the base, then, painterly details are added with smaller pieces, grains of glass and glass powders. When all the layers are complete, the glass is cut with a wet saw to make nice edges that allow the light in to the glass. Finally, I paint lithograph style details and fire one last time to polish the cut edges and cure the paint. Glass must be heated and cooled slowly. The entire process takes about a week to complete a picture.
My favorite piece accepted in the event is Maple Blaze. The piece incorporated several experimental processes and turned out stunning with so much depth, complimentary color and interest. It is a very deliberate, happy accident.
My favorite subjects in glass landscape are trees and Autumn truly is a glorious time with so much inspiration.
My work can be seen online at https://www.facebook.com/TigerLilyStudio/
As an elementary art teacher, my students and their sense of wonder in the world constantly motivate me. The beauty of our Colorado landscape and wildlife inspire my mixed media paintings and my love of nature as a gardener, skier, mountain biker, and hiker is reflected on my canvas. I create whimsical imagery and form in my aspen tree paintings that combine my formal training as a botanical illustrator and collage work using trail maps found on my travels. The assortment of materials I use transport you to my outdoor playground of colorful whimsy and realism and offer a moment of peace to consider our paths.
I was given an Olympus OM-10 by my father that I carried in my backpack through the Sierras, Olympics and Cascades long before the luxuries of digital cameras came along. In the 90’s I made my home in the Rockies and attended The Art Institute of Colorado to study Interior Design. I prefer to work in one click, one frame. I see my camera as meditation, an opportunity for peace and stillness. Rather than layering or stacking frames I chooses to step into the stillness offered in the silence created within my camera lens.
I try to “work” every day. But calling is work makes me giggle. Quite simply, for me, my camera is meditation. Working is spending time with the sky, the birds, and the flowers. It may mean I am on my patio with snowflakes or hummingbirds. If I am lucky it means my husband is my driver and I am wandering our beautiful country with our camping gear looking for a peaceful spot to wake up in. Because my work process involves being in the right place, at the right time—hopefully with the right light. My “work” is helping learn patience. Without it I would have lost focus long ago.
The Story (above) is my personal favorite in this show because it is my story, it is the story of all of us. It is why I take the photos I take. It is The Story I attempt to tell with each photo. It is what I wrote when I first opened my site to sell my art - Life is a cycle. We plant seeds then nurture them as they struggle to find the sun and bloom. It is the purpose of all living things to reach into the earth and find the power to bloom again and again. I don’t pose photographs, I capture them. She is, in my mind, the perfect capture of The Story – and she tells it beautifully exactly where she fell.
I love Commonwheel. I can’t image many places it would make me happier to see my pieces hang. It really is that simple.
My work has been shown locally at TwentyOne8, Colorado Springs Annual Fine Arts Exhibition, and Gallery 132. I was also a featured artist in the 2018 Fusion Garden Art Show in Palm Springs. You can follow me on Facebook at Sheila Fuller Photography on Instagram at SheilaFullerPhotography or visit my website: http://sheilafullerphotography.com
What is art? To me, art is beauty, though beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As a child I enjoyed coloring, cutting out paper dolls and clothes, reading, putting puzzles together (still do). I loved looking at pretty pictures. Maybe I was born with this love of putting things together, of seeing a swan in a lake and painting its likeness to the best of my ability, of making a story come alive in MY eyes, through painting. Or maybe I just inherited it from my Mother who started painting after I left home, or my Father who was a carpenter and loved making beautiful things. Even though I didn’t know it as a child, I’ve always been interested in art. I am a realist artist, oils being my choice of medium. I love the Old Masters and their proven methods of traditional painting skills and I continuously strive to learn and practice these skills.
I love plein air painting – portraying the beauty of the landscapes and wildlife as I see it; striving to make the viewer feel the water flowing, see the flowers blowing in the wind, feel the snow falling, feel the energy of the animals romping in the fields or the birds flying. I also love painting in my studio using my own photos as reference material. The painting, Elk in the Water, is a combination of my imagination for the background and a photo of the elk. I drew the elk first, making sure I had its features correct. Then, using acrylic paints, I partially painted the elk, so I would not cover up the drawing as I painted the background. As the background is not as detailed as the elk, I didn’t draw it in but just started painting the sky. Then the mountains and background trees. Then came the small island on the right side, water, and left bottom land, painting around the elk. Next came the island trees (trunks only) on the right and bottom left. Leaves then completed the trees. Right now, I am still working on this painting. The elk has to be completed and refined and the elk’s legs need some splashing water around them. Then I will put the painting away for maybe a week or so. At that time, I will decide if I am happy with it, or if it needs more work. As acrylic dries as you use it, I will be able to spray this painting with an acrylic conservation varnish to preserve the painting from dust and light. Then comes a most important decision, the frame. I must use a frame that will enhance the painting, not detract from it. The color must agree with the colors used in the painting. Voila! A new piece of art.
My favorite piece for this Autumn Glory Show is, Elk in the Aspens. I used my favorite medium, oils, because it flows easily. I had fun doing it and I think it turned out great. It portrays my love of the beauty of this country, its fauna and its wildlife.
I love to show my work and I happened to have on hand a few paintings that fit the theme of this show.
My work can be found on my website: www.yessy.com/artbyellen
Fine Art America (Ellen E Hinson)
World Artist Directory
AERA (Association Embracing Realist Art
Since I was young I've been interested in art, and because my mother is an artist, there were always materials available for making art. I've drawn, painted, collaged, and sewn since early grade school. I began oil painting seriously only recently, in January 2016, first taking lessons with Erin Gillespie at Bemis School of Art, then painting with her weekly in my home from April 2017 until present. Oil painting captivates me because it allows for such freedom of expression in both color and stroke.
Subject choice is both emotional and intended to challenge me to grow as a painter. In the painting of pumpkins, I was excited to capture a magical day with my kids at the pumpkin patch, as well as to paint the pumpkins and aged wheelbarrow - two subjects I had not painted before. Each painting starts with a sketch, either in graphite or charcoal, followed by a wash of oil paint thinned with mineral spirits. Once the wash is dry, thicker layers of paint are put down, with highlights being added last to make the painting sparkle.
While I love the vibrant and voluminous pumpkins, the painting of grain harvest in Afghanistan is my favorite for several reasons. The idea for painting the Afghanistan countryside came when I heard a former military service woman on the radio talk about how meaningful the rural parts of war-torn Middle Eastern countries are to many soldiers since they spend months and years in these areas getting to know the people and landscapes, areas not widely featured in media coverage of the wars. I grew up on a farm in the high desert of Northern California, a rural region with a landscape that is very meaningful to me, so I can relate to a little-known landscape holding such personal import. In addition, my father grew and harvested grain himself, so the light coming through the partially harvested grain evokes especially fond memories, and this particular painting features interesting rock formations not unlike those found in my own home region. I also loved the idea of painting a scene of peace in a region most commonly associated with political turmoil and war.
Fall is my favorite season and provides such inspiration in terms of colors and light.
I do not yet have a website, but some of my paintings can be found on my personal facebook page, Arin Holecek. Other works have been displayed at Carnelian Coffee, Ute Pass and Fountain libraries, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, and here at Commonwheel Artists Co-Op.
I started painting when I was 10 years old. My mother was painting on slate at the time as a hobby and was self-taught. She allowed me to explore with her paint set and I did my first few landscapes on cloth. After producing them, my family saw I had a talent for art. My medium of choice is oil on canvas. I love the rich, smooth texture of oil paints and the ability to blend colors easily. High school and college seemed to fly by, and it was after college when I really started to explore different styles of painting in my free time. I always had an interest in metaphysical and other worldly themes and became highly impressed when I discovered Salvador Dali. Thus, in my twenties, I experimented with the depth of my mind and imagination. It had become tradition for me give away my paintings to friends and family. I moved to Tucson, Arizona at the end of 1999 and became involved with the artist community there. Tucson was home to so many talented artists who represented a variety of mediums; it was there that I felt comfortable experimenting with various styles and themes within my work. For the most part, I still painted for joy and not with the idea I would ever sell my artwork, but eventually I was commissioned a few times and sold pieces in auctions where the proceeds went to charities. As time passed, I really fell in love with painting trees. My style moved away from the psychedelic and more so into painting landscapes and trees. I also found joy in turning photographs into paintings, as to capture elements of emotion and real memories transferred onto canvas. I moved to Colorado Springs in April 2018 and am continuing my journey as an artist. I am excited to share this next chapter of my growth with my new community here in Colorado. It has been an honor to meet some of the local artists here and become involved with the talented artist community in the area.
My process with painting involves uncovering the layers of my mind. Painting is an emotional process for me. I find peace in the strokes and each layer speaks to me in way that are hard to put into words. In the case of doing a landscape or a tree, such as Curly Tree, the background goes on first. I find skies to be wondrous and soothing. The background for Curly tree is simple. A blend of shades of orange and yellow creates a golden tone often sought out in early dawn or dusk by photographers for its glowing effect. This sky needs no clouds, as the color inspires the autumn feeling of a new season arriving. The floor of the background is done in soft grass for this piece. Once the background is on the canvas, it's all tree from there. I personally love trees. For me, they bare symbolism of rooted growth. Curly tree is strong, it's rooted, and it's fun! The outline of the tree goes on first, with its strong trunk and beautiful curvaceous branches, and then the branches are filled in with several shades of brown for the textured effect of the bark. After the browns are put in, it's time for the finishing touches. Abstract leaves provide the fall colors and little fallen tree branches and fallen leaves provide the final layer for the floor covering.
Curly Tree is my favorite accepted piece for this event because it's fun, glowing, and all over the place - like the artist!
I was inspired to apply for “Autumn Glory” for a few reasons. One reason is that I love trees. Once I heard about the theme for the show I felt like I'd be right at home creating and submitting my work for a theme I already enjoy. I also love the Autumn season and the colors it boasts. Painting with autumn shades is a pleasure. Additionally, I really like the vibe at Commonwheel and I like the artwork being displayed there, as well as the layout of the store. Manitou Springs is a great place for local talent to showcase their work, and places like Commonwheel, that have character, are a joy to be involved with.
Website is at www.Cristina-Manos-Art.com and I have a Facebook page at Cristina Manos Art.
I’ve had a love for photographing nature since childhood. While attending church camp in the summer, instead of coming home with pictures of new friends and fun times, the whole role of film would be filled with chipmunks and forested area. The passion has always been there, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that it really developed. There is beauty all around us, and I want to share God’s masterpieces .
My artistic process is simple. Whether I’m headed to the Colorado mountains or out of state, my camera is always with me. I shoot scenes that speak to my heart and take several shots, bracketing them at various angles. It’s amazing how different a photo can look with a slightly different viewpoint. Additionally, I do my best to capture how the scene truly looks and use very little Photoshop, if any, to modify my pieces. My motto is Have Camera, Will Travel.
Easter Frost is my favorite piece accepted for this event. That Easter morning was bitterly cold, and everything had a heavy frost attached. The area was so serene and peaceful. Though my hands were frozen, I wanted to capture this majestic scene for those who wouldn’t see it in person. It was too beautiful not to share.
My family and friends are a wonderful support system who continually inspire me. Having said that, I am drawn to photographing trees. Their symbolism of strength, stability and perseverance is always inspirational.
I am just beginning to show my work publicly. You can find me at A Noble Touch Photography on Facebook. Thank you for attending this show and supporting local artists.
I am a runner. About three years ago, my running obsession came to a halt because of health reasons. I needed a new obsession and outlet. My friend and fellow artist, Eric Fetsch, invited me to one of his watercolor workshops. I knew how to draw and sketch but didn’t know how to put color onto my drawings, plus I was intrigued by the magic and beauty of watercolors. I took my first watercolor workshop and was hooked. After several more workshops with Eric, I set out to learn as much as I could about the properties of watercolor, color theory, and composition. I was a woman on a mission to become an artist. Painting nearly every day and putting miles on the brush for the last three years has helped me hone my technical skills and artistic ability. I am primarily a self-taught artist who has also done several workshops with fellow artist’s Randy Hale, and Sterling Edwards. I started out painting still life’s and landscapes, transitioned to a more funkified realism style, and now am obsessed with total abstract expressionism. The artists who inspire me are Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Willem, de Kooning, Kandinsky, and Georgia O’Keefe. I enjoy creating art that leaves lots of room for the viewer’s imagination and interpretation. I primarily work in transparent watercolor on paper and acrylic on canvas.
I believe art should be fun and my goal is to convey a sense of fun and playfulness in my work. Negative painting is a key element in highly stylized and abstract art. It is incorporated into nearly all of my paintings. It’s fun to paint the space around an object instead of the object itself, then create multiple layers, adding depth to the piece. It’s almost like solving a puzzle. I also use a limited palette of color and ground most of my work in soft neutrals and put pure color near my center of interest. I try to create a variety of soft edges so that your eye can move through the painting and hard edges where I want your eye to linger a bit.
My favorite piece for this show is Changes. I wanted to show aspen leaves differently. This piece was done on Fabriano Artistico cold pressed watercolor paper with several washes of transparent watercolor. Then, I negatively painted the leaves. To make the transparent watercolors more vibrant, I negatively painted several layers of opaque gouache. Once the piece was dry, I mounted it onto 2” board and finished it with several coats of varnish to protect it. Changes was a fun piece to do and a different way to showcase the beauty of Colorado’s aspen leaves.
First, Fall is one of my favorite times of year. I love the cool crisp air and the change in colors of the landscape, especially in the High Country. I am an emerging artist and would like to share my art and hopefully brighten someone’s day with my artwork.
You can find my work at www.susanrandolph.com <http://www.susanrandolph.com/> and Susan Randolph Fine Art on Facebook and Instagram. I am the November guest artist at Boulder Street Gallery on Tejon Street. My work was also accepted into the Parker Art and Music Festival, the Pikes Peak Studio Tour, and The Fine Art and Craft Market in Monument.
My life has involved wearing many hats: wife, mother, science and math teacher, naturalist, traveler, and now painter. Taking up watercolor painting after retiring has been rather life changing. Finally, I'm exercising the right side of my brain! And it feels so good. Being a longtime Coloradan, my inspiration comes from my local surroundings and travels. I immensely enjoy the challenge of plein air painting as well as translating photos into watercolor art back in my studio. I can be reached via email: email@example.com
I’m a major bibliophile. I read books, I teach books, and I write books. I’ve even worked as a mender of books. Loving books first led me to love the process of printing. The reproducible page is such a compelling and rich medium. That said, I love bold and wild art of any medium, and love throwing myself into a new process.
Carving a linocut is a quiet but savage procedure. The lines are sketched, and the plan is transferred, but all can change with the twist of a wrist. I love the visible movement of the carving in linocut.
My favorite piece for this show? That's a tough choice! The aspen trees were particularly fun. The colors of the aspen in Colorado are so changeable and vibrant. I had a good time mixing the ink for these prints. But, most of all, I love the faint lines of wind in Wind.
The tree is a great theme. There is something so appealing about making art of something so fundamental.
You can follow me on twitter: @mj_rilling.
First of all, I am a pretty old guy that continues on living after already living a full and rewarding life. When I entered into this new domain, I decided to improve on my hobby in photography. I take pictures of things I like, especially if they include natural beauty - (in my opinion). To me, the flat print of my pictures does not represent all the "beauty" of the scene. To overcome this, I have been developing my own technique to restore the feeling of presence to the print. I call it Photo Craft, since it combines two disciplines.
This has been my passion now for 4 years and has evolved through many stages. The process today has four basic steps: 1) Take a photograph (or select one from my files), 2) Photoshop process the image into a JPEG file, 3) Print the image, and 4) Add crafting. Framing considerations are kept in mind throughout.
The "craft" part of the process consists of poking, bending, stretching and manipulating the physical print in places that alter the appearance of the photograph. When these distortions to the paper print are made correctly, the picture has a new dimension and is more interesting to view.
My favorite picture for the Autumn call was the only one that was accepted - Independence Pass Gold. It was taken after a visit to the Maroon Bells, and on the return drive we stopped for this photo-op. At the base of Independence Pass in autumn, you look back to see a wide panorama of hills and mountains with nuggets of golden aspen groves. Lake Creek, which feeds into the Arkansas River, also adds to the view, and the picture lends itself nicely to my craft technique.
I was inspired to enter my work because of the opportunity to have it viewed in the art community. I love crafting the photo prints and seeing them come to life. Needless to say, I have a house full of "bent up" pictures now but am doing my best work today.
I have photographs on my Fine Art America website: http://richard-risely.pixels.com/ and have a few on ETSY under RichardsPhotoCraft. Of course, the craftwork doesn't show on a computer screen, which is like a flat print.
At this time, photos that include my craft work are only available from me. I will be on wall space At Cottonwood Center for the Arts next year in March and May, and at Boulder Street Gallery in April, and hope to more active with Commonwheel.
I have been doing batik since I was an art education major in college. But it wasn't in a fibers course. Rather it was a workshop in a non-western art history class. It was only set up for a week, but I was there every chance I could get. Now, I use every space I can get, including my classroom at Patrick Henry Elementary where I'm blessed to have a full-time art teaching job. The need for that space has been especially true ever since my son was born 2 1/2 years ago and my studio became his nursery. But the joy he brings to our world is more inspiring than any other masterpiece I've encountered!
Batik is a fairly involved process. I like to summarize for those who want a quick answer that it's "glorified tie-dye". But that's a simplified answer by far. I start with muslin and either brush on or use a tjaunting tool to drip on hot wax to any areas I want to keep white. The whole cloth then goes into the lightest color needed for my design, e.g. yellow. Then.... wait: lots of dry time is involved. I usually have many designs going on at once because I can only complete one step in a day. The next day, I isolate the parts I want to keep (yellow) and then choose the next darkest color to dye. At the end of all the many days of dyeing, the whole cloth is sealed in wax, crumpled, and placed in black or dark brown dye to achieve a crackle effect throughout the piece. That's my favorite part! Then, all the wax is removed (not as fun). But it's so worth it to see my artwork come out from the obscurity of the wax! Every time there's something that happened that wasn't entirely intentional or clear to me during the days and layers of the process. It always stretches me since I'm more naturally an artist who would rather be 100% in control. Even so, batik is my medium of choice without hesitation.
Who doesn't love Autumn? And especially in Colorado? I've been inspired since my very first hike out here 10 years ago! Last year I made Path of Reflection as an extension study of my smaller piece, Aspens in Autumn that was done a few years ago. This show was a perfect fit for these pieces. I am elated to have the perfect opportunity to display it with other artists who have been encaptured by this magnificent season!
On Facebook I can be found at Gestalt33
Rhonda Van Pelt
I don't remember when I wasn't interested in creating and looking at art. Both of my parents were creative (my dad with woodworking, my mom with painting) and so it seemed natural to take art all four years of high school and then major in it in college. I have worked in just about every medium there is (except glass), but currently I take photos; sometimes I print them on fabric and create a quilted, embellished wall hanging around them. Since I'm very, very busy, photography works well for me - I can socialize with friends and take photos as we hike. Multi-tasking!
Basically, my process is to carry a camera nearly everywhere I go. I make sure that I observe as much as possible around me, whether I'm in the mountains, at the seashore or in a city. I look up, look down and look back - there's so much more to life than what is right in front of us.
Delicate Dance is the one that was accepted, and I do think it was one of the best I submitted. It illustrates one of the things I most enjoy about being an artist - finding something remarkable that other people might dismiss as ordinary, if they see it at all.
Autumn is glorious, and Colorado's autumns are among the best. It's as if nature gives us those warm colors to ease us into monochromatic winter.
I post photos on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/rhonda.vanpelt) and this site: rhondashouseofcreativity.shutterfly.com, but I haven't had time to update it lately. I also show work at Academy Art and Frame and at the Manitou Art Center.
by Leti Wesolowski
After retiring from teaching for 31 years, Sonny pursued the art of photography. In an effort to continually improve his work he took many workshops from renowned contemporary photographers such as Galen Rowell, John Shaw, George Lepp, John Fielder, and David Middleton.
Sonny’s photography encompasses both traditional and non-traditional views of our surroundings and his travels around the world, always looking for the perfect light that the eye sees, not just what the camera captures, or a viewpoint that others might miss as we hurry through life.
How did you get interested in photography?
I was the Historian for my college fraternity and had to make a scrapbook of photos for the year and the photos were never as good as I thought they should be-I wanted to get better. Then for a college graduation gift my Mom paid for several courses of photography at The Center of the Eye Photography School in Aspen, Colorado. That's when I fell in love with CO and photography too.
Where do you get inspiration? Are there certain times of the year of certain places where you feel more creative?
In Colorado, basically all you have to do is look out the window to find inspiration. We live in such a beautiful state. Inspiration is everywhere.
We heard your favorite time of day to photograph landscape is at sunrise and sunset. Would you tell us what is it that you look for on a landscape/scenery? What is the visual effect or emotion you look for capturing?
I look for a special composition that stands out because of the lighting upon it whether it be a grand landscape or a close up of an aspen leaf with dew drops on it.
What part of the process you enjoy the most?
The most enjoyable part of photography for me is to see a finished photograph come out exactly the way that I had envisioned it to. When I first started, my photographs did not live up to what I was seeing, but after much practice and several courses (and better equipment) the photographs are much improved.
We've seen an amazing portfolio of photographs from your world travels—Africa, Japan, Nepal—where you dabbed into a multitude of photographic genres besides landscape: portrait, wildlife, architectural. Which genre(s) is/are your favorite? Which one you enjoy the most? Which one is the most challenging?
My favorite genre is still landscape photography, but probably the most challenging for me is taking portraits of the people I see on my travels.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was getting published in Outdoor Photographer Magazine for a Favorite Places article that I wrote and provided the photo for!
What is your best seller and where was it taken?
Picking my best seller is difficult, but would come from one of three: "Truly Colorado", "Sky Dancer" or "Aspens and Mist" triptych -all taken in CO.
What's next for you?
I would like to visit Antelope Canyon this year, maybe even take a seminar there. I have seen some incredible photography from that location.
The best place to purchase Sonny's photos would be at Commonwheel Artist's Co-op in Manitou Springs, CO. Visit the shop to get 10% off all purchases of Sonny’s photography this month.
You can find examples of his work here and at imagekind