During Autumn 2018, I produced a body of work in abstract photography that, in many ways, fulfills my highest vision as an artist. (This is what I’ve been working toward for many years!) Today, I’m pleased to present one of my first releases of finished art derived from the series.
My aim with this series was to create a set of images that share some common attributes and visual style, but that also have a lot of variation from one image to the next.
While I was making the photographs I was observing the dynamic, captivating graphic elements and working to create intriguing, surreal images with an organic feel.
I’ve titled the series Shapeshifter; each individual photograph simply uses a unique number designator. This naming ties in with the nature of the subject matter—through only slight changes in my viewpoint, the reflective surface revealed an infinite variety of shapes, colours and patterns… Truly morphing in front of my eyes!
Shapeshifter No. 11 displays a minimalist composition, with a single black line running diagonally across the picture space. This is surrounded by subtle, organic textures in a muted, pastel colour palette.
As with much of my abstract work, this is offered as a mixed media piece, which I create by printing the photograph onto canvas and then hand-embellishing the canvas surface with transparent acrylic, bringing out the contours and textures of the underlying image. It is 16×24 inches, unframed ‘gallery-wrap’ style and delivered ready-to-hang.
Thus, each is produced to-order and is a one-of-a-kind, unique original. This art makes fantastic décor and a real conversation piece in any contemporary interior!
Now that we’re well into 2019 I wanted to share some of the things I have planned for this year.
First—and most importantly—I’m re-focusing my art practice squarely on abstraction. Those of you who have been following my activity here on Subjective Arts and the world-at-large will probably know that my longtime passion has been abstract photography and I’ve built my main body of work around the expression of pure abstraction through the production of original works combining interesting materials.
Still all along, I’ve also been producing many photographs that fit in nature and travel genres; these have done well as fine art, too. But, going forward, you may notice that abstraction will truly take centre stage in my art practice.
This means that you’ll see a lot more activity around SubjectiveArts.com. We’re launching the all-new Subjective Arts Society, our very own Club for lovers of abstract art. Part of the programme is a regular schedule of free giveaways along with many other benefits. Stay tuned for more on that.
Secondly, I’m ramping up my exhibition and publication schedule. We already are signed up to participate in two festivals this year, with more in the works.
A world-renowned eye surgeon based in Switzerland has commissioned me to produce a bespoke mixed media work on canvas, based on my photograph ‘Waiting for Dawn’, as a Christmas gift for his wife. The artwork will hang in their home.
If you’d like to order your own art from me, there’s still time to take delivery before Christmas! Get in touch to discuss your requirements.
On my first trip to Bologna, Italy, I discovered a large trash bin with some curious paint markings on its lid. I stopped and took many photographs of the scene.
I’ve looked at these images for a long while and still am not sure what’s made these markings. But I don’t think they are intentional. At some point in the past, this metal surface came into contact with some black paint and the result is what you see here.
I have a strong philosophy that my photography—especially my abstract work—does not depict the visual works created by other artists. I don’t [generally] photograph graffiti, sculptures, even architecture that was meant as an aesthetic, visual statement made by another creator.
I believe the best fine art photography presents situations, subjects, concepts and ideas that were not thought of by someone else beforehand. As such, all my abstract works that I present publicly are of subjects and situations that I believe were not created for visual effect by another artist before I encountered it.
Which brings me back to the enigma of this image. I found it as you see it. But it perplexes me. What made these marks?
After much study I believe the shapes in the paint were not created intentionally, but from some activity which we will never know. If this is truly the case, this is one of the finest examples of “accidental design” that I’ve encountered.
A couple of years ago I led a client on a private photo tour around Spain. One of our favourite locations was Barcelona, where we enjoyed an afternoon tour and concert of the famous and beautiful Palau de la Musica Catalana.
This is the kind of photograph I am always looking for. Simple, graphic, enigmatic.
I’ve titled this image ‘Gaelbreton Beam’ because, to me, it portrays a bridge and a beacon in the gap between the ancient peoples of Europe. (Weird, I know.)
The Gaels descended from the Celts and became what are considered the native inhabitants of the British Isles. The Bretons come from essentially the same genetic lineage, but became the people of Brittany, and eventually, modern France.
Throughout millennia, the people of England and France have been tied together by blood, marriage and historic events. Only the English Channel—a shallow stretch of water only about 20 miles wide—separates these kindred people. But so much has divided them.
This abstract photograph was made in Paris, France and presents a minimalist composition featuring a multi-hued teal blue strip dropping down into a deep black background.
Fine art prints available on any material, in any size. Also available as mixed media original on canvas with hand embellished acrylic.
Ruth and I had a great time at the opening reception for my abstract art show at the Brick Lane Gallery in London! Thanks to everyone who came out to see the show, and thanks to Lucy and her associates at Brick Lane for putting on a fantastic exhibition.
For all artists, working in any medium, writing about our work is an essential practice that carries surprising power. The artist statement is usually written after producing the visual works, as a way to explain the motivation and rationale behind the work. Often, collections, series and bodies of work may have their own individual statements. Sometimes a statement will be written in advance, to guide the production of a series.
The process of creating a statement also has incredible informative value toward the production of future work. When we dig deep to find answers, the process of writing our main Artist Statement can be challenging—to say the least. I reckon my current version underwent at least three dozen revisions. Below is one of my later drafts, before I really started the severe edits that resulted in the final version.
(I’m sharing this draft because this gives deep insight into how and why I do what I do, and why I’ve chosen this path in life. Much of this material was cut for the final, concise version; still some people might be interested in more detail…)
As always, thanks for your interest in my work, and please get in touch if you have any questions or there’s anything I can help you with. — Cheers, Nat
Visual beauty and good design influence our happiness and well-being. Beauty can be found everywhere, but it’s not always obvious. Contemplating abstract imagery is beneficial for our minds.
My work is about discovering, sharing and appreciating the captivating, interesting and surprising imagery that can be found in any kind of place, natural or manmade. (more…)
Over the past few months I’ve separated my fine art, travel photography and training for photographers into three different web sites. These changes are designed to make it easier for you to find exactly the information, services and products that interest you.
NatCoalson.com (you are here!) This is my Signature web site, where you can see my abstract fine art and learn about creative services for interior design. The artworks, and the web site content, are created for interior designers and private art collectors.
Portfolios showcase my abstract photography; case studies and examples explain my creative services. Find out about the many options for getting your own custom fine art, primarily designed for contemporary homes and hospitality properties.
PictorialJourneys.com If you love travel, nature and landscape photography this is the place for you. The new web site and blog features my extensive archives of images and stories made during my travels around the world.
You can also purchase fine art prints online, choosing from a wide range of sizes and materials.
PhotographyEssentials.net Folks interested in learning about photography and digital imaging will find a smorgasbord of free articles, tips and tutorials on the most important aspects of fine image making. From camera reviews to how-to instructions on Photoshop and Lightroom and free photography critiques, there’s something for everyone serious about making their best photographs. You can also find out about my workshops, classes, tours and other photography events.
Each web site also has its own email newsletter.
With your free subscriptions you’ll receive messages featuring content relevant to each site:
from NatCoalson.com you’ll get fine art and interior design news,
Pictorial Journeys will send you exotic travel imagery and inspiring stories of life on the road, and
Photography Essentials is all about learning photography and imaging.
If you’re interested in the other sites sign up there, too—you won’t be subscribed automatically. As always, you can completely manage your profile settings and unsubscribe (or re-subscribe) at any time.
Beginning Spring 2015, look for more specialized news coming from each of the sites.
I hope you’ll enjoy these exciting changes and look forward to our continuing relationship.
Please feel free to get in touch any time with questions, comments or suggestions.
Talk to you soon!
PS – if you haven’t already, please take a moment to check that [email protected] is in your address book. Thanks!
On 13th November, 2014 we hosted the opening reception for my exhibition Anima Astratto: Journey Into Perception at the St James Hotel, Nottingham. The turnout was fantastic and we all had a great time looking at and talking about the art. Below are photos from the event.
We’re excited to announce that Nat’s art and photography is now being represented by DAC Art Consulting, one of the premier art consulting firms based in the U.S.
DAC has been serving the art consulting needs of the hospitality, healthcare and corporate sectors since 1982 and has a long tradition of developing creative artistic solutions that provide a customized setting for every client.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, DAC works with both U.S. and international clients.
Over the past several months, I’ve been making major updates to my web site, blog and email systems. I’m pleased to unveil the new version of NatCoalson.com and the companion blog, now titled eyeLevel.
Welcome to the new digs!
All my goals for the updates are designed to give you a more fun experience: easier, more engaging, more interesting.
Plus, I’ve been creating lots of new artworks and useful web site content.
Here’s a roundup of the most important changes so far.
The web site now automatically adapts to any screen size, including mobile devices. An updated screen layout and navigation design makes finding and enjoying content—especially images—much easier.
You can now purchase fine art prints using our online ordering system. At this time, prints of images in the Destinations archives and the Travel Photography and Nature Photography portfolios can be ordered online with delivery direct to your door!
(The abstract collections will soon be added to the online system.)
New work and updates to artwork collections
Along with the new site itself, I’ve been creating lots of new artwork and images. From abstract mixed media on canvas to fine art photography, travel and nature images … my online collections are literally growing every day!
Here are quick links to a few of my collections with brand new imagery:
Browse the galleries to discover all the new work. You’re sure to find images you love!
New resources for interior designers
As you may know, my main focus is creating imagery for hospitality properties, especially hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants. If you’re a designer decorating a spa, cruise ship or private yacht, my work fits very well in these environments.
I’ve started work on a new Resources section on the web site, where I offer free information, tips, techniques and tools for designers and art collectors working with art.
The first resource in the new section is a Design Guide titled ‘Mixing Art & Matching Moods’. It provides tips and techniques you can use to make designing with art easier, more fun and more successful.
Keep an eye on this space – I will be adding much more content to the Resources section over the summer.
eyeLevel is the new name for my blog and email newsletters, but my goal remains the same: to bring you frequent, useful updates on art, design and photography.
If you love
photography and digital imaging
…and the exciting convergence of these disciplines, eye [ level ] is the place to be!
In fact, you’re seeing the updated design right now. But some of the changes are beneath the surface and may not be immediately apparent. I’m reorganizing the content and categories to make my blog archives and articles much easier to work with. These improvements are ongoing, so stay tuned!
A living, breathing web organism
This is just the beginning. Going forward we’ll be rolling out new features to provide more exciting, customized content just for you. Sign up to receive email updates to get all the latest delivered to your inbox. And be sure to update your profile, including your preferences for the types of content you like to read.
A gift for you
To celebrate the launch of the new web site and blog I’m offering a 10% discount on all orders placed in the new online system. Just enter the coupon code SUMMER2014 during checkout.
And as always, I welcome your comments, questions, feedback and suggestions.
Interior designers working in hospitality now have a new resource for using my fine art photography in hotel interiors!
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve recently begun a new partnership with HG Arts, based in Orlando, Florida, to provide more exciting, original artwork for the hospitality industry.
The new collection, available exclusively through HG Arts, currently features nineteen of my fine art photographs selected specifically for inclusion in hospitality projects. Going forward, new images will be regularly added to the collection.
To see the work and get more details, click here to visit HG-Arts.com
I’ve been using the Sony NEX-7 for most of my photography lately and really loving it! I might start to move away from the full format DSLR systems if the development in the mirrorless lineup continues. I’m writing a more comprehensive review of the Sony NEX system and article on my camera choices, stay tuned!
To see the full size preview of this image, click here
I’ve been getting many requests for additional ways to see my new photography and artworks as they are released. One of the new ways I’ll be doing this is with a new email list I’ve set up for this purpose. Beginning soon, I’ll be sending out weekly announcements featuring my latest creations.
My latest email newsletter is out now! In this issue we share news about my upcoming art exhibit and classes in Leicester, big news about a fantastic photo tour in Tuscany next year, lots of new work, and much more! If you enjoy reading, I encourage you to subscribe! Click here to read the newsletter
Nat's book "Astratto Uno" features over 150 abstract photographs made over a period of nine years. You can get it in printed format or as a downloadable PDF. Get the details >
People are talking…
“As a professional photographer, I stand in awe of the amazingly creative and beautiful artwork that Nat creates. It inspires me to improve and to see the world in a new way. If you are looking for artwork for the home or office, I highly recommend Nat's incredible fine art photography.” –Erik Stensland, Morning Light Photography, Estes Park, Colorado, USA
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