Monday, March 26, 2012

Ramblings on My Art

Networking, Studio Photography.
©2012 Mary A. Gravelle
Today I would like to just talk about my art and what is happening. A lot is happening in my art; although, it is not quickly apparent to me.

I have only done one painting in an entire year. That blows my mind since painting has always been so important to me and my sanity. Maybe that's why I feel not quite so myself these days. I don't know.

On the other hand, attending school for the past couple of years has taken me into new directions with my art. These directions, I hope, will settle pretty soon into my own new art expression.

Working with clay has been totally enjoyable as you can see from my silent YouTube portfolio below. I have really been enjoying making functional ware this semester and last. I have hand built a few plates now that I actually use for eating. That brings a certain level of satisfaction to me.

Photography is another new expression for my art. I'm in Photo 3 right now and I'm learning that photography can be so much more than simply shooting at something. It can be real art that takes thinking beyond getting the shot. As in all great art, it is the idea behind the art that matters. 

One Small Act: A Christo Moment, Performance documented
with photography. ©2012 Mary A. Gravelle
This piece was juried into the 2012 WNMU Student Show.
One of my photos has been juried into the WNMU (Western New Mexico University) 2012 Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition at McCray Gallery. The show goes from March 30-May 11. The Opening reception is Friday, March 30, 4:30-7pm. That is exciting. If you are in Silver City, please stop by!

In both of these new-media-to-me, I see all kinds of potential. There are so many things to explore in each of these media. I could be very busy with just one of them.

So, I wonder if I will ever paint again. I wonder if painting will be as important to the health of my psyche as it has been in the past.

And what about you? What are your thoughts on your art? If you are not an artist, what are your thoughts on art and artists?

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Digital Photography -- Creativity and Ethics

Mirage, Digital Photograph, 5810 x 7700 pixels
350ppi. Manipulated in Photoshop. 2011
I ran across this very well written article, The Ethics of Digital Manipulation (link is below), on the ethics of manipulated or enhanced photography. It raises a lot of good points and is a very informational read. Here is an excerpt.

"When photography was first invented, its overwhelming power came from the fact that it recorded nature more realistically than any other art form had ever done before. Because of this, people trusted it and believed it portrayed "reality" and "truth". But, just as story telling could portray the "truth" with an accurate accounting of the facts, it could just as easily become fiction. Fake and manipulated photographs - visual fiction - began circulating not long after the invention of photography."

The article goes on to give early examples of photo manipulation and how people today believe that the advent of Photoshop is where it all began. Not true.

With my newfound interest in photography, I disagree with the author of this article. He, Jerry Lodriguss, is not impressed with unreal depictions using manipulation of the original photo. But, I say, why not? The original photograph is no longer showing us reality anyway. The photographer has taken artistic license in how the image is portrayed by framing and cropping the final image. There are all kinds of ways that photographers now and then have used their medium to portray a certain mood and capture the feeling of the moment.

One Small Act: A Christo Moment, Performance documented 
by Digital Photography, Photo Montage, 7700 x 19250 pixels,
 350 ppi. Photoshop. 2012

Photo Montage of 11 different photographs.
This is manipulation of  the original photos  to
portray a sequence of photos and capture a performance.

How often do you discover that you cannot capture that feeling with a raw image that you shot when you were on vacation? It is near to impossible unless you are a super professional or super talent in the medium. Personally, I like to let my creative juices fly when I sit down to photoshop. I also like to simply tweak the photo to enhance the color and clarity of my original photo. I am quite a newbie with it. I have much more to learn. My creativity awaits.

How about you? What do you do with your photographs after taking them? Do you prefer to make them look more real? Or do you like to play around with it and enhance beyond reality?

The Ethics of Digital Manipulation:

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

One Small Act

©2012 Mary A. Gravelle
One Small Act: Wrapped Yucca (after Christo)
Photograph Montage, 12 x 30 inches
Framed to 12 ¼ x 30 ¼ inches.
One Small Act:
Wrapped Yucca (after Christo)
by Mary Gravelle

Buy this! I just ordered it so I could submit it to the student show at WNMU. I need to pre-sell it. The resale price is $250. I'll let the first person to say "yes" have it for $225. If you require shipment, you will be responsible for the shipping cost.

Pay upfront. If it gets accepted into the show, you will be able to have it after the show. If it does not get accepted, you can have it next week.

About this photograph.
I had not realized that the fire on Boston Hill hit so close to a favorite hiking trail. I had not hiked there after the fire until last week. I was shocked at the devastation I saw along the trail. The timing coincided with my photography assignment of doing a performance. I decided to act out a "Christo" moment by wrapping a burnt cactus thereby restoring color that had been lost to the fire.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Upliftment Video

Today I want to share a video that a videographer friend, Frances R. Drew, did of me painting in Connecticut. It was a project for my painting class at Manchester Community College.

Upliftment is a painting Mary A. Gravelle did in response to the Tsunami at Sri Lanka of 2004. Location was Hartford, Connecticut. Original Score written and performed by Kenneth Ingram. A Frances R. Drew Production.

Please let me know how you liked it.

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