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Zion National Park

In Art, landscape, Photography, Uncategorized on October 22, 2016 at 12:25 PM

The fist time I visited Zion and Arches National Parks in Utah was in 1994. The colors of the landscape were so rich and vibrant and the landscape so rugged – unlike anything I was used to seeing daily – that I felt like I’d stepped into a cartoon. It all seemed so unreal. Even back then there was a small part of me that wanted to be a photographer – I just had never known anyone who’d followed an artistic path so it didn’t even occur to me to explore that quiet voice.  I’m so grateful that I made the decision to take a risk in 2010 to travel again and just see if there was something to that longing.

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Zion National Park, Utah … 2010

Is there a recurring theme or interest in your life? Something that keeps showing up and asking you to invest a little more time into it?  I say go on the adventure. One of the lessons I’ve learned about the creative journey is to let go of attachment to outcome. If something wants to be expressed through you then partner up with it and see what happens – – without getting hung up on needing to be good enough, or validated or even talented.  Go on the journey to see what it can teach you about yourself and what light it might offer to the world.

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Pemaquid Point, Maine

In Art, landscape, personal, Photography, Uncategorized on October 19, 2016 at 4:13 PM

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

[ Attributed to Anais Nin though she did not take original credit ]

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Pemaquid Point, Maine … 2011

Forest in Montana

In Art, landscape, Photography, Uncategorized on October 18, 2016 at 7:16 PM

I got “lost” several times while exploring back roads in Montana.  As lost as an adventurer without a map or a plan can be.  I’ve always been attracted to moody landscapes and love the mystery of a foggy morning more than a perfectly bright and cheery one. This particular day brought me to a ghostly forest – there was a dance going on between all the trees that had been lost in a fire, the lucky ones that survived it and the new life trying to emerge.

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Ghostly forest in Montana – 2010.  Double exposure.

Doesn’t life feel that way at times? We wrestle with ghosts from our past, even when we think we’ve moved on from them. Some hold on and try to choke out the new life we are trying to forge – casting shadows where there could be light.  Yet some how a new seed takes hold, grows some roots and flourishes despite the challenges.  There is always hope and nature mirrors that for us repeatedly.

Sandusky, Ohio

In Art, personal, Photography, story, Uncategorized on October 15, 2016 at 4:48 PM

In 2010 I was laid off from a job that never really suited me.  My boss, the CFO of the company, told me that he respectfully hoped I’d never get another office job again. Not because I hadn’t done my job well – but rather because he felt that I was built for more creative endeavors. He knew that my spirit was being squashed sitting for 8 hours a day in my cubicle, beneath fluorescent lights that gave me headaches.

I’d felt my own nudge from spirit – through prayer and meditation – to once again in my life –  take the road less traveled. His words validated what I’d already been feeling. So a few months later I hit the road. With nothing more than a few dollars in my pocket, a belief that things always worked out and a sense of adventure, I spent several months exploring our country and teaching myself photography along the way.

I’d tucked most of those images away. Chalking them up to some of the [really bad] 10,000 photos one is supposed to make before even thinking that they have any idea about this craft. Lately I’ve been peeking through a few and thought I’d start sharing them. Not because they are spectacular shots – but because they are a part of my journey.

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So here I give you a scene from Sandusky, Ohio in 2010.  I love old buildings. Their layers of color, texture, cracked and peeling paint … remind me of my favorite types of people. Messy on the exterior but filled with stories, character and depth.

Cyanotype Workshop | Manchester, CT

In Art, cyanotype, Encaustic, Manchester, Uncategorized on October 8, 2016 at 6:01 PM

Today was fun!  There was a photo class all about the Cyanotype process at PhotoSynthesis in Manchester. If you haven’t gone there – go check it out.  Chris – the owner – is all about old photographic processes and has a ridiculous amount of knowledge to share.

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Chris checking my exposure time. The negative is being  exposed under UV light onto the chemical coated paper.

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Taking its water bath. This will wash out those yellow and green tones.

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After the water, the image takes a bath in a hydrogen peroxide mixture which helps you see what it will look like once it dries and oxidizes.

What I loved about learning the Cyanotype process is that with just a few needed items it can be done from home.  Basically – you combine two different chemicals with water, coat your paper with them [to make them light-sensitive], expose them to UV light, rinse them off, tone them if you’d like … and then let them dry.

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Again – checking exposure. This one came out kind of funky because I tried to expose it to a board that was already prepared for the encaustic medium, which I plan to put over the image.

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The chemicals didn’t want to stick to the encaustic medium …

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The final image was really washed out – but I think it has some potential once I tinker with it more.

The challenge lies in the trial and error  and I can’t imagine you could ever reproduce the same image twice. Due to all the variables based on things like: what kind of negative you choose to expose – i.e. in converting a digital image to a negative there’s all kinds of choices with how you convert it to black and white and what types of curves you apply – the type of paper or even wood you use; the amount of time you let it sit under UV light, etc … it’s kind of a game of chance.  I created three widely different prints all with the same negative … and wound up only liking one of them.

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Some of our work hanging in the darkroom. We got such a wide range of finished prodcuts. One woman worked with only infared negatives and the cloud detail she got was pretty cool.

Though I’ve primarily really only ever been a digital photographer – I am so much more inspired by this old process.  There is something about getting your hands dirty and seeing how everything can change just by immersing it in water that energizes me more than taking 100 quick photos and storing them on my hard drive.

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This is one of the ones I did three times. We had to go back in and give my original negative less contrast to get any sort of detail to show up. This still needs tweaking but was the best of the lot.

I’m excited to take this knowledge and combine it with the work I’ve been doing with the Encaustic Medium – another art form that lets me make a big mess and create one of a kind images.  What sorts of new things have you been playing with lately?

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I exposed this one outside – rather than under the UV lights. It started raining in the process and you can see where the raindrops hit the glass and caused some cloudiness.

Mallory | Personal Project

In Art, art portraiture, personal, Photography, Portrait, story, Uncategorized on September 29, 2016 at 9:58 AM

Mallory came in to help me play with light and shadow a while back.  I keep circling around to a personal project that I’d like to do. I work with it – then find that it has changed or is not quite right.  Sometimes the only thing that helps me move forward / get unstuck is to play around with what I have and to let it be  messy and undone until more clarity arrives. I’ve heard that as a creative person I have to just show up every day to do the work and hope that one day a creative muse shows up to collaborate with me. Here is today’s showing up. Thank you Mallory for being my model and allowing me to experiment!

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Untitled; Woman In Water

In Art, art portraiture, for sale, personal, Photography, Uncategorized on August 11, 2016 at 11:16 AM

 

This image was created for and hung in a juried show at The Stone Crop Gallery in Maine.  The title of the exhibition was “Love, Hate & Everything In-between” and was left open for wide interpretation. In the several weeks spent musing about what I wanted to create I listened to a TED Talk about creativity given by Elizabeth Gilbert.  She explored where creativity comes from and offered a theory of a “creative genius” – that we all have one – rather than we can all be one. My interpretation of what she offered is one that is also encountered in the book “The Artist’s Way”. That is that we as artists are responsible for showing up to do the work – but this creative genius – or spirit – is responsible for the inspiration and the quality.

Still in the process of deciding what to make for this exhibit I visited a friend at her lake house. In the middle of telling her about the TED Talk, my “creative genius” tapped me on the shoulder and I had a vision of this photograph.  It was persistent and insistent.  I knew I had to make this picture that day.  It took me several hours to talk my friend into climbing into the lake to be my model – and I’m so glad she did.

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The original title for this piece was “Paralyzed by fear (thoughts of inadequacy)”. I’d decided that in relationship to self we can experience “love, hate and everything in between” and created a set of six images with themed titles. A fellow photographer came to me one day a little miffed and said he didn’t like the title because it limited what he saw. He found beauty in the image and thought others might as well. So in his memory I changed the title to make room for each viewer to take away their own meaning.

A 30″ x 22″ framed print of this image is available in the studio at 264 Main Street in Manchester, CT.   We are open Tuesday – Saturday by appointment and be reached by email: tania@taniapalermo.com or phone: 860.306.0067.

The Soul Of The Road

In Art, for sale, landscape, Photography, story, Uncategorized on August 10, 2016 at 3:03 PM

In 2010 I spent 4 months on the road – camping out on the couches of old friends and tenting in our country’s magnificent national parks.  The purpose of my travels was to teach myself photography.

I took the “wrong road” several times and got lost in nature – serendipitous moments that always awed me.  This is one of them.  A fog filled, back country road in Montana – one of my favorite pictures from my travels because it expresses to me the ‘soul of the road’ – the inexplicable longing and mystery of the journey.

What a fellow artist said of this image:

“….this one looks like it’s been taken by a plate camera, exposed by the Montana sun, developed in caffeine and fixed by the dirt and grit of the road.”

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A 30″ x 22″ framed print of The Soul of the Road is available for purchase in the studio.

We are open Tuesday – Saturday by appointment at 264 Main Street in Manchester, CT and can be reached by phone: 860.306.0067 or email: tania@taniapalermo.com

Shadow & Light

In Art, art portraiture, Photography, Portrait, Uncategorized on July 30, 2016 at 1:11 PM

“If you don’t have any shadows you’re not in the light”   ~Lady Gaga~

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“Light and shadow are opposite sides of the same coin. We can illuminate our paths or darken our way. It is a matter of choice.”

~Maya Angelou~

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“To light a candle is to cast a shadow” ~Ursula K LeGuin

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Nest.

In Art, Uncategorized on July 5, 2016 at 4:35 PM

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“If there is any wisdom running through my life now, in my walking on this earth, it came from listening in the Great Silence to the stones, trees, space, the wild animals, to the pulse of all life as my heartbeat.”  Vijali Hamilton

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