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!
Order yours today for £375
with free shipping in the UK.
(International orders are also welcome; your shipping costs will be determined by your location.)
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.
This is just scratching the surface. To stay informed of my new work and upcoming events make sure you’re subscribed.
Thanks for being a part of our family!
You can now preview and buy the book at Blurb.
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.
Lee Krasner has long been one of my favourite abstract painters. She was the wife of Jackson Pollock (and I prefer her work to his…).
As a photographer, I find the most inspiration in these kinds of paintings. I work to create a similar effect using the camera instead of paint.
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.
Either way, I love it … and hope you will, too.
My abstract artwork Fortune and Fate in production for a client commission.
Here are photos of the stretched canvas before embellishment, and some close ups of the embellishment in progress. I build it up in layers, allowing the acrylic to dry clear before starting the next layer.
Much of the white you see in the photos is the acrylic gel before it dries. This all becomes transparent when it’s dry. I’m only using clear acrylic on this piece – no coloured paint.
But the finished effect makes the colours appear to lift off the canvas, and looks like coloured paint.
You can commission your own custom artwork from me; get in touch with me to discuss options.
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.
Here’s an abstract image I made that afternoon. Click the image or click here for a larger preview.
As with all my fine art photography, prints are available. Contact me for pricing.
I’ve just published the latest issue of my newsletter:
A private art collector in Northampton, England has commissioned me to create a bespoke work using my abstract photograph ‘Fountain of Truth’.
I’ve printed the image on canvas at 30×45 inches, plus a black border for stretching.
Next I will use brushes and sponges to apply hand embellishing with transparent acrylic, building up the image in layers.
The finished work will hang in the master bedroom of the residence.
You can commission your own bespoke artworks (at less cost than you might think) by contacting me.
A private art collector in Minnesota, USA has commissioned a bespoke variation on my abstract photograph ‘Waiting for Dawn‘.
This has been one of my most popular images. Several collectors have ordered original mixed media works and reproductions of it, making subtle adjustments to customize it for their home.
The current commission called for a custom crop printed to the size of 22×36 inches. The collector also requested that I tweak some of the colors here and there, adding more saturation and hues to match their interior decor scheme.
The custom image is being printed as a straight chromogenic print on luster photo paper, and will be matted and framed for hanging.
I’ll write up a more detailed case study of this project, along with final photos, once the art has been installed.
In 2014, Ruth and I led another private photo tour around Tuscany, Italy. One of our group’s favorite towns was San Gimignano, an architectural wonder from medieval times.
We first photographed the iconic village from the surrounding area, then gradually worked our way into the city. Everyone made compelling images depicting all facets of this magical town.
While I was wandering around the back alleys, I discovered an outdoor restaurant patio attached to a hotel. Lovely glass panels were all around, each reflecting and refracting the afternoon sun as it came down in slivers between the tall stone towers surrounding the courtyard.
This photograph shows a closeup of the refraction of glass panels on a textured fabric surface. Although it’s far from the typical photograph of San Gimignano, for me it epitomizes the special vignettes that can be found in every little corner of the world.
As with all my photographs, fine art prints and original abstract mixed media works are available, so get in touch if you can envision this adorning your walls.
Click the image or click here for a larger preview.
For many years, I’ve been working to refine my vision in creating pure abstraction using the camera. It’s been difficult in ways I didn’t expect.
Making an abstract photograph can be hard, to begin with, because we can very easily make sense of pictures and figure out ‘what the thing is’. If you can tell what it is, it isn’t truly abstract.
Second, even if a photograph may be called truly abstract, it might not be beautiful or interesting. I’ve long known that I am mainly concerned with making pictures that are beautiful and interesting, in various ways, rather than pursuing the all-too-common goal in fine art of presenting ugliness.
With these two objectives forming a prime directive—it must be truly abstract and it must be lovely—most of the pictures I make inevitably fail the test. (What you see here on my web site are the ones that I feel succeeded…)
Every once in a while, I make a picture that, in every way, feels right. It simply clicks. And I know I’m on the right path for myself as an artist.
This is one of those images. I have many thousands of pictures in my body of work, but relatively few that I really love. This one just does it for me.
I made this picture in Korčula, Croatia. It’s a very beautiful city known for innumerable views and scenery that capture the heart and mind. But. as always, I look for something beyond the obvious.
This is a close-up, although not extreme macro, photograph of a metal door with dark brown paint. Over many years people had taped posters and flyers to the door. While the posters have long gone, the cracked and peeling residue of the tape remains, creating unbelievably intricate patterns and textures forming enigmatic shapes.
The detail captured here is almost unbelievable. I used my favourite camera of all time, the Sony A7R II, which has a resolution of 42.4 effective megapixels. With the camera on a tripod, I very carefully chose the settings for the shot and focused critically to get the absolute sharpest image possible. To the right is a small section of the image, enlarged to show the amazing detail. As you can see, I could easily cut this image apart to make an unlimited number of variations and sets of images designed to hang together on a wall.
Although the original capture was very monochromatic (pretty much all brown hues) I decided to make it a straight black-and-white to emphasize the very graphic nature of the image. It strongly reminds me of a pen and ink drawing, which I loved to do as a child and teenager. Maybe this is why it resonates with me so much?
What do you think? Do you like it? Why or why not? What does it remind you of?
Would you hang a huge print of this in your living room, or on your office wall?
I’d love to hear your comments, please post them here.
And, as always, contact me if you’d like to discuss a purchase.
We had a super time at the Castle Ashby art festival last weekend… attendance and sales were good, and people really responded enthusiastically to my abstract mixed media works.
Here’s what one visitor said: “I was blown away by your stand! My wife and I are planning a big redesign of the house this summer and would love to feature your work. A big ‘thank you’ to you and Ruth for exhibiting at Castle Ashby this year – we visit every year and this year was made special by discovering your work.”
Read the latest issue of eyelevel Journal here:
Here’s a fun video produced by the organisers of Leicester’s Open 27 exhibition at the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery.
If you pay attention you can see them hanging my two abstract works on canvas, right around the 30-second mark.
Abstract photograph made in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Multicoloured blocks appear arranged in a grid interrupted by transparent lines and subtle textures.
Available as a fine art print on any material. Also available as an original mixed media work, hand-embellished with acrylic.
Click the image or click here for a larger preview.
Contact us for details and ordering.