|11 x 14" archival quality prints with 16 x 20" white or black double mat. Packaged attractively in cellophane envelopes. Great gifts!|
Images and ideas are powerful, and presenting them in various ways is what I do best, ultimately as a traditional Artist, but also as a casual photographer who increasingly appreciates photography as an Art form since purchasing a Canon EOS 20D in 2006.
Photos taken since October 2009 are with a Canon EOS 50D, when I had to replace the 20D after learning a big lesson: when you’re taking photos, do make sure you also look outside the limited view of the camera lens. Like your knees and elbows, cameras are sensitive to the effects of tripping and hitting the pavement. I swear (and I did swear!), it’s much more painful smashing your camera than skinning your knees.
For me, photography fits perfectly into the large creative pocket, contributing to the way I see and compose with other media. It’s beneficial… no, absolutely necessary in this competitive business to take advantage of anything that will add an edge to writing effective gallery exhibition proposals. Quality presentation is everything, so a good camera and computer scanner are invaluable tools for recording the best quality color representations of Artwork.
Taking photos is also a nice change from usual work or when in between projects. The camera is always conveniently on the kitchen counter and a tripod is by the door, ready for action. When traveling, the senses are bombarded with so many new and incredible things, so taking photos offers an immediate solution for managing all that beauty! Once in a while I’m fortunate to be at the right place at the right time, and some days enjoy searching for it.
The liberty and practicality that digital cameras offer cannot be compared to “old fashioned” standard film-cameras, not to mention the costs of film and developing. Before taking the digital leap, there was no denying the growing piles of paper photos, three quarters of which were poor quality…and the very last roll of film I took was entirely of watermelon growing in the garden! In fact it was all the activity taking place in the garden that stimulated an interest to produce better quality pictures.
I still think my old Canon AE1 was the best camera for detailed close-ups of flowers and insects (circa 1983 – the new ones are inferior in my opinion), but despite numerous professional tune-ups and cleaning, the shutter froze randomly and became unreliable. About five years ago I finally surrendered to the vast world of digital cameras and computers – it was a huge leap forward for all of my work and I can’t imagine being without these tools now. The Canon EOS 50D handles varying light situations well, manually and automatically. The manual settings are better for close-ups, and the automatic feature is great for capturing fleeting weather conditions or insects and other creatures that are there one minute and gone the next.
From a technical standpoint my recent photos are best, but as resource material for other forms of Art they don’t need to be perfect; from a painters’ standpoint, memory works best. If photos are used as reference it’s impossible for anyone to copy them even with the best efforts. The human behind the camera interprets a vision the camera cannot. Likewise, there are some things the camera captures perfectly that don’t translate well into paintings. Most photos are often best left as photos.
While on location anywhere with the camera, I’m there soaking up as many details a possible, studying as if I were about to start painting. As reference for Artwork, photos mainly serve to stimulate inspiration and are a great help for remembering details. To capture the lively likeness of anything convincingly in a painting or drawing, it’s the observations and experiences that contribute most to the work.
When traveling, the senses are bombarded with so many new and incredible sights, and taking photos offers an immediate solution to manage all the beauty! Once in a while I’m fortunate to be at the right place at the right time, and some days enjoy searching for it.
With family all living in eastern and western Canada, travel back and forth between our two countries has become part of my lifestyle. During each trip I marvel at how geography, climates and histories mold very unique lifestyles from state to state and province to province, and how each place is unlike anywhere else, even within short distances. It’s now become my mission to see and photograph as much of North America as possible, in particular the trees.
Websites for Artists
I consider Art as all-inclusive, and since photography is an every-day interest, some favorites are posted in the nikkiartwork blog from time to time. Still, the nikkiphotography website was created to designate photography its own uncomplicated place. This website is also linked to my FlickR account where there are quite a few organized, themed albums.
In connection with digital photography and computers, websites are ideal for Artists. Blogs compliment the traditional portfolio, where previous and ongoing work can be documented in one place and viewed informally, potentially worldwide. Besides promoting business and sales, it’s essential for Artists to see their work from various points of view, since our work looks quite different on-screen than while creating it. Recounting the work process on blogs offers a different, rather detached perspective. Reviewing works, past and present, aids self-evaluation; the challenge to describe and recount the process more consciously helps us learn more about mistakes as well as breakthroughs. Additionally, receiving feedback from others in the comment section is invaluable. Both positive or negative remarks can direct us to specific areas in individual pieces that need attention.
Some ideas demand an effort to be organized before they can be realized, and the website format can be used as if painting one canvas where ideas, themes and pictures merge. There are so many possibilities to custom-design each for its own purpose, and with so many free sample-designs and information available on the internet, the potential is unlimited. Of course it helps tremendously if you have at least one patient computer geek in the family! I am fortunate to have three: my husband and both sons.
Chapters branching from nikkiartwork.com are: themajestyoftrees.com, heartshapesinnature.com, trucolors.info, and nikkiphotography.com. All serve unique purposes. Independent projects like True Colors and Heart Shapes In Nature are fairly static websites but ongoing collections, and were the perfect classroom to start learning the basics about digital photography and webpage design.
The majestyoftrees.com website was developed as a place to organize all exhibition-related writing, photography and traditional Art forms on the subject of Trees. Formerly entitled The Majesty of Trees, Dancing With Trees is a major solo Art Exhibition that has been the focus of most of my attention for the past four years. Scheduled for May through June, 2010 at The Steinhauer Trust Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, the show premiered June 2009 at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC.
With the topic of trees so vast, the Dancing With Trees collection has evolved into an all-encompassing vision much larger than I originally anticipated. As the concept materializes the website is a perfect paper-free way to organize all the plans and ideas, illustrations, paintings, mixed media Art forms, writing, relevant links, and mostly photography as a cohesive unit of work.
Since galleries have limited space for display, the website is also the foundation and home-base where the body of work can be appreciated as an ongoing study in a variety of media. All trees-associated Artwork that does not make it into the shows can be purchased on this website. Regardless of sales I’m happy to have a place to share them. Keep checking back for new sets of photos and updates of existing arrangements, because I’m continually adding to the collection.
The photos offered here are some of my favorites, but all of the files on this website are available as matted archival quality prints. Please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Also, don’t hesitate to write with questions, comments, suggestions, or if you have a relevant website that you’d like linked here.