Key to artistry against the odds

September 10, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

So when was the last time your conference was interrupted by a genuine tornado warning?  Following the instruction to stay inside in a safe area away from windows, we then had a second alert to evacuate and leave the building due to a fire which seemed incongruous in the middle of a downpour and tornado alert.  Stay inside?  Stay outside?  Stay safe!  Loss of lights and instruction from the staff made it clear it was time to assemble in the ballroom as instructed where we joined up with another group, a group of WWII veterans and their companions attending a briefing prior to their “Flight of Honor” to Washington DC later this month.  It was fascinating to talk to the old servicemen and women.  Anyway I digress.  So how does this all this preamble dovetail into a story about artistry against the odds? 


In the midst of all this chaos, Barbara Ellison, the first speaker for PPANE’s conference this weekend continued her instruction in the corridors to an avid group of photographers keen to learn how to take their craft to a new artistic level.  In her session “Creative Printing with Canon” Ellison shared her experiences with exquisite range of fine art papers from Hahnemuele, Canson, and hand-made fibers.  It was wonderful to touch the delicate papers and see how an artistic image can gain a different aesthetic by being printed on a new medium.  Between her talk supplemented by the tactile experience of feeling new fibers and learning how to print more precisely the following day, I can’t wait to experiment to take my images to a new level.


I am eager to attend more in-depth sessions about the techniques of coating papers to create different finishes and new methods to display work, including hand-crafted book binding.  In an age of mechanized digital prints, it was soothing to think how I can incorporate these techniques into my range of art pieces for that unique personal touch.


Thank you Barbara for helping me fall in love with the artistry of my chosen medium again.  It's like having a darkroom in a digital era.  After an unpredictable start, the 3 day PPANE convention gave me many business insights but my stories about Clay Blackmore's "Pose It, Light, Love It" and “Portraits and Compositing” by multi-award winning Richard Sturdevant are topics for another day.


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