I love the photographic process, the large format cameras, sheet film or the historic processes such as wet plate collodion or gelatin dry plate, printing in the darkroom under red light, the smell of fixer in the air. It has been in my blood (probably literally) since my first photo and darkroom class in high school. However, I also love the action of painting and have dabbled with combining these two artistic disciplines on and off for probably 25 years.
Over the past couple years I had begun making small photo encaustic pieces to offer as more unique pieces at the art festivals I had been attending. They were received with enthusiasm, and the action of creating the pieces was a very fulfilling process for me. The combination of processes was like a moment of enlightenment for me, and for my artistic vision.
I previewed the above piece, Rooftop (photograph, beeswax, tar, silver powdered pigment on wood panel – approx 24″ x 36″) at the Kohler Fine Arts Festival, and the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis as a sneak preview of what people may find at my Racine Art Museum Fellowship Exhibition in 2015. I was pleasantly surprised in the level of interest there was in the piece. It drew people in, and they stayed with it, and several shared the experience they had with it.
The more I work as a full-time artist, the more I am able to refine my visions through deeper seeing, experimentation, and through hearing the reactions and feelings others have with my work. You will definitely see more non-traditional presentations of my photography in the future, but I’m not sure if I will totally do away with the traditional framed and matted presentation for parts of my work. Only time will tell.