Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Launch of Video Series: "On Location"

Just returned from New York Finger Lakes region where I eagerly used the video camera on my iPhone for the first time.  Being a photographer I was intrigued about the transition between still and motion images.  The video camera has limitations as it has a fixed lens and close-ups/zooms are limited to the length of my arms.  As you'll see there's room for improvement in both capture and editing, but overall I was pleasantly surprised that the video appears to have potential.

So based on my first blush of experience I'm creating and launching a video series "On Location" that will expand my creative outlets for visual imagery.  The occasional postings of this series may present a destination for a variety of reasons:  recommended place of interest for photography, hiking experience, or just a behind the scenes look of me working in the field capturing still images.  I think over time it will settle down and have greater focus and vision, but for now I'm having fun sharing on a more spontaneous nature.

For Watkins Glen State Park I have created two videos.  The first is a 2-minute trailer that provides the highlights of the hiking trip through the gorge.  The second video is a full-length 6 minute presentation of the full experience available on VIMEO...see link below the trailer video.

A 2 minute highlight of the hike within the Watkins Glen Gorge. Nineteen cascading waterfalls, 800 vertical stone steps. An amazing natural gorge is a hidden treasure of the Finger Lakes region of New York

*** FOR THE FULL 6-MINUTE VIDEO GO TO ***https://vimeo.com/joannescherf

Monday, June 4, 2012

Poetic License of Abstraction

Does creativity involve both art and craft, or imaginative and constructive dimensions?

Does this abstract image bear any trace of resemblance to anything recognizable?

Is the spirit of the object revealed behind the visual world of matter?

Does the aesthetic value depend on finding any identifiable form?

© 2012, Joanne Scherf

As an artist I choose to take poetic license and complete freedom to explore the unconstrained elements of the subject of my image.  This oftentimes leads me to be more engaged and interested in feelings and shape versus subject matter.  Like poetry, I’m asking the viewer to look for hidden meaning and appreciate what is not visible.  Rather than capture a pure form of reality, this image can be seen with fresh eyes without contamination by a reference to reality.  The following quote (regarding Cezanne paintings) best captures the true meaning of "abstract".

"When you look at, say, the apples and pears of C├ęzanne, your mental energy mostly goes to processing the images: the fruit, the plate, the table, and the background. However, when you look at "Lavender Mist", you are not distracted by meaningful images, so virtually all of your brain power is devoted to feeling. You can open yourself, let in the energy and spirit of the painting, and allow it to dance with your psyche."  Harley Hahn, painter.

So in my humble opinion.......
Abstract art cannot be understood but must simply be experienced.
Trust your intuitive reaction to the artwork.
The experience of abstract art is highly personal.
There may be no "correct" interpretation, or all interpretations may be "correct"; but who cares.

For those really curious, send me an email to joanne@joannescherf.com, or reply to this post and I’ll divulge the subject matter.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Image of the Month: June

This image of the month has an unusual influence, not exactly the norm, so let me explain.  I recently spent some time in New York and had the incredible experience on several occasions to observe the delicate art of hot glass blowing.  The demonstration was more akin to watching a performance artist create a studio glass object while the process unfolded and a contemporary fine art sculpture was the final outcome, greeted with a sound round of applause from the audience.  After dwelling on my hot glass experience I began contemplating how I could approach my photography in much the same way.  Rather than begin with a small glob of molten glass at the end of a pipe, I would begin with a straight image of a rather traditional object or landscape, and like the glass blower, skillfully shape my initial image into something abstract and quite unlike the raw material I began with.

I'm in the experimental stages but I think it is worth pursuing as a long term project resulting in a complete photo essay/portfolio.  My process again involves beginning with a simple raw image and then shaping the image over a period of time to skillfully create the abstraction, or photo sculpture, so the literal context is completely removed and art is the end result.  The process itself requires more of a free form approach where there is no preconceived plan and I build on the spontaneity of the discovery until I feel the ultimate art form has been created.  The raw material for this image began the journey as two incomplete pieces of bowls in a tabletop format.  The end result image is an abstracted sculpture that I manipulated, much like a glass blower, to create a flowing form or photo sculpture from basic raw material.

© 2012, Joanne Scherf

As always I'd love to hear any feedback particularly since this is such a new approach for me.