jenny flanders photography: miniview

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what you see is what you get, or wysiwyg. have you ever heard that phrase before? i usually think of it with regards to lotus spreadsheets. i also think that it applies to good food that is essentially naked and perfectly seasoned, which requires talent and effort to achieve. now, i also think it applies to the beautiful work of photographer jenny flanders. jenny is able to capture the essence of her subjects in a very intimate, authentic way. her macro shots are so inviting, and her abstract shots compel me to look a little bit longer and think about how she shot them, and how she brings out the best in them using this wysiwyg style. no primping or preening at all. just purity, plain and simple. i wanted to know a little more, so i asked…

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q: where do you live and where do you create your work?
a: i live in seattle, washington, and i create much of my work just walking around my neighborhood. (i try to stick to what i can reach from the sidewalk rather than trespassing in my neighbors’ gardens.) i also spend quite a bit of time in central washington state, which is orchard and wine country. and of course i always take my camera on vacation!

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q: what sold you on photography? what do you think makes it stand out from other art mediums?
a: i haven’t figured out another way to make art that satisfies me enough that i’d display it in my own home. photography stands out from many other mediums in that it’s more accessible. it’s relatively easy to acquire a camera, and it’s more portable than an easel, a sewing machine or a pottery wheel. photography can also be more “concrete” than other art forms, and i think that gives it great power to help people see the world differently.

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q: you’ve got two shops on etsy: one with your nature images, and the other with your abstract collection. do you have a favorite motif?
a: i’m going to have to go with “natural abstracts.” 🙂 there are other things that catch my eye, but a lot of them just don’t fit with my nature photos. hence, my rather neglected second shop.

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q: your images are largely if not exclusively unadorned (and by that i mean unenhanced digitally). what made you make that decision, and what do you think is the main benefit of this style?
a: well, i’ve moved from not knowing how to digitally enhance my photos to having some idea but still thinking they look pretty good without it. beyond removing a stray speck of dirt, how can i improve on nature? time is definitely a factor, but editing really isn’t the fun part for me. maybe i’ll develop that interest someday and open a third shop!

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q: if you could shoot anywhere in the world, where would it be? and why?
a: the first place that comes to mind is hawaii, or anywhere lush, tropical and exotic. brazil’s atlantic forest is known for its biodiversity — 20,000 plant species ought to keep me busy for a while! i also need to pay my brother a visit in brooklyn, since the botanic garden there is considered among the best in the world. the why is probably pretty evident when you look at my “main” shop, but i’m truly fascinated by the details nature has to offer.

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see more of jenny’s work at her two etsy shops.

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thank you jenny!


john hawke abstract paintings

wonderful linear and shapely work here form new york artist john hawke. this series expresses his interests and ideas about the perception, genesis and shrinking away of outdoor urban spaces.

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see much more on his website – he has a great drawing and monoprint collection too!


shohei abstract paintings

if you enjoy abstract acrylic paintings with vivid colors and thick brush strokes, you will enjoy the prolific work of japanese artist shohei.

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see much, much more on his flickr stream!


paul pardue photography: miniview

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if you are a regular visitor here you know i like to talk about “falling into” the details of some of the artwork i feature. i liken it to walking around with peripheral vision and then finding something that you can focus on sharply as you stumble along your daily path. this is how i felt when i saw the work of paul pardue. the consistency within his collection is noteworthy. each photograph has a powerful combination of great framing, incredible lighting and compelling subject matter. i really enjoy his work, so i decided to investigate further…

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q: where do you live, and where do you create your artwork?
a: i live in sacramento, california which is where the bulk of my work is created, though if circumstances allow i do try and get out and shoot. most recently i went on a three day camping trip and visited two state parks and two federal parks. since i currently shoot digitally i do almost all my “processing” at home on the computer though i do have a laptop that i can take with me as a portable darkroom. i generally spend a lot of time on my photos, i may take a hundred photos and only work on a few. it really depends on the shoot.

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q: what is it about photography that you enjoy the most?
a: i love that in photography you have control over your final image, but at the same time you have zero control over it. it’s a balance where you’re forced to take what is in front of you and make it your image. being able to control your environment to suit your needs is a really cool thought, in some ways it’s like how a painter takes their scene in front of them and paints in as they see. the difference of course is that the painter is open to their interpretation and style whereas i am forced to the constraints of what i can capture through the lens and later, through the processing and printing.

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q: did you think when you were a little kid that you would grow up to be a photographer?
a: i remember as a little kid playing with my mom’s polaroid camera, even if there was no film in it. there is always something magical about photography, i really got in to it in high school and the thrill of watching a print develop in front of your eyes in the dark room is something that very few people get to experience. but, it wasn’t till high school that i really thought of photography as anything. as a kid, i’m sure i wanted to grow up to be an astronaut like all other kids.

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q: if you could shoot anywhere in the world, where would it be?
a: i’d love to travel and do more of the landscapes and visit the state and federal parks, and even leave the country, but until that day comes i’ll continue to shoot locally. i guess above anything else it depends on what i want to shoot, where i end up shooting. if i continue with the landscapes and such i can inevitably end up anywhere in the world or even all over the world on some world trip of photography. maybe once things pick up in the sales department i can consider planning a trip.

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see what’s available for sale at paul’s etsy shop. if you enjoy the human form, he also does fine art nudes, and that shop is here. view his full portfolio on his website and while you are at it, say hello to him on his blog.

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thank you paul!


bill fantini photography: miniview

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i am always on the lookout for beautiful sepia toned imagery and so when i saw these pieces from bill fantini, aka etsy seller houseofsixcats, i thought the mothership had landed. the lighting, texture and composition is so lovely in each and every photo. fortunately for us, bill’s skills are not exclusive to the sepia style. as i dug deeper, i found his shop to be a virtual treasure trove of through the viewfinder, sepia, black and white, still and urban photography. it is inspiring and impressive to see such a breadth of work in just one shop, which really got the old hamster wheel in my mind running, so i thought i would ask just a few questions…

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q: where do you live and where do you create your artwork?
a: well, presently i live in ossining, ny. that is in westchester county, about 45 minutes north of the city. but i have lived on both coasts and we are planning on moving back to portland, oregon in october.

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i don’t have any one particular place i create my art, i shoot in many different locations. i guess the one constant is that i use adobe lightroom and photoshop to help make the shots i took into images of art.

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q: how did you get into photography?
a: i got my first 35mm SLR, a Minolta X700, for my 16th birthday, and have been hooked ever since!

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q: browsing through your collection, it is clear that you have a broad mastery of several different styles. do you have a favorite piece of equipment, a location or technique you like to use?
a: thank you for the wonderful compliment! i really like shooting ttv, through the viewfinder, it’s great fun using the old argus 75 to compose the shot.

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i have to say my favorite shot is rusted gear (below), and it is also from my most unique location, an abandoned power station.

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q: what inspires your creativity?
a: that is the most difficult question. i really don’t have any one thing that inspires me. what i love to do is walk around a location and look for unusual angles or ways to shoot what i find interesting.

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q: if you could shoot anywhere in the world, where would it be?
a: the first place that comes to mind is japan, i love the asian culture, and from what i have seen that country looks fascinating. another photo journey i would love to take is to explore more abandoned buildings here and in europe!

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q: are any of the six cats in the house photographers too?
a: when i started my shop we had six cats, and i wanted a unique name that people would hopefully remember. since then two have passed, but i think it is a nice homage to their memory.

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see more of bill’s broad portfolio of work on his flickr stream, and purchase these prints and more at his etsy shop.

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thank you bill!


nellie king solomon paintings

i am falling into the delicious, foreboding abyss of these dynamic large scale (up to 8′ x 8′!) works by california artist nellie king solomon. it’s an extraordinary swirling, sweeping style which to me is not unlike the beginnings of a tornado. the way the blacks kick out on the surfaces is dramatic but grounding too. nellie, who uses a combination of materials including acrylic, soda ash, coffee, house paint, ink and dye, says she paints things she knows are there but cannot be seen.

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see more brilliance at brian gross fine art as well as nellie’s website.


laura ferrara graphite drawings: miniview

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too much noise isn’t good for the soul. sometimes i try to go to my zen place when i am driving by myself, because it’s practically the only time i am by myself. it doesn’t always work, and i certainly can’t go to that deep place of contemplation in my car when the guy behind me is honking and pushing me along. no, those moments, which we should incorporate into our daily routines, are better actualized in other scenarios, like looking at these pensive illustrations from laura ferrara, aka etsy seller emersonbookcase. laura’s graphite sketches, with their soft lines and dreamy, fluid energy, are simultaneously delicate and strong. the non-linear subject matter and unusual combinations of real world objects in her triple series collection contrast so nicely against the washy graph sheets, and there’s just enough amounts of light and shadow on the paper to encourage you to slow it down, stare it down, and allow your mind to come up to the surface for a while. i needed to know more about the author of these visual chronicles, so…

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q: where do you live and where do you create your drawings? i am picturing, well, ralph waldo emerson’s study?
a: i live in lovely silver spring, maryland, a suburb of dc. my drawing/painting space is in my bedroom and takes up the whole west wall. it is not nearly as contemplative as emerson’s study or thoreau’s cabin for that matter, but i do spend some of the best moments of my day there.

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q: what inspires you to draw and paint?
a: i am inspired by the odd overheard phrase of a conversation i am not a part of, the way an old man walks in the heat, or the glimpse, out of the corner of my eye, while putting away the groceries, of a moth desperately trying to become a part of the porch light. the little things, you know, the exquisite moments when i feel completely awake and notice everything, taking nothing for granted.

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q: where did the idea of the triple series come from?
a: the idea of the triple series came one day while sitting at work. i was thinking about the world and its place in the universe. how really impossible it seems that we exist at all, given the hostile conditions off the planet. if you think about it, i mean really think, we are so vulnerable and fragile floating around in space. we really need each other, not just other humans, but the whole unbelievable variety evolution has so generously given us. the trees, the insects, the animals. we all need to be here in order to continue to thrive. so i wanted to illustrate the amazing diversity of living things and our mutual dependence, in a very simple way. the composition of three images seemed the most direct.

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see laura’s full collection and contact her at her etsy shop.

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thank you laura!


michelle moode mixed media art

my thoughts today are light, sprinkled and not particularly struggling to be organized (case in point: that last post was supposed to go live yesterday, but somehow i clicked private and it never went), so these mixed media works by california artist michelle moode are a perfect fit. michelle says her work is non-linear and that the repetitive processes she uses — like piece or scrap undoing and redoing, tea staining and stitching — help to create a record of her personal thoughts. very nicely put if i say so myself.

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softly colored, abstract and free-formed in the mind — what’s not to like?

say hi to michelle on her blog and purchase her work right here.


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