One of the great gifts of collaboration is that it brings out the best in each artist. One doesn't want to disappoint the other person in the collaborative relationship. Of course, I also don't want to disappoint myself. Checking in regularly helps refine ideas and techniques: a winnowing process to help separate the grain from the chaff.
Diana and I talk probably once a week or so. We both have busy lives with commitments to work, family and friends. But our relationship is important...it is a touchstone to a goal for the year. We discuss encaustic techniques, have informal critiques, and interpret dreams. This week we are each exploring new dip pens and inks...We send each other links and invitations to zoom talks we think sound interesting.
Here is one of the Zoom artist's talks we shared for this week..The Southeast Center for Photography has some great ones... Coming up this week is Jane Fulton...Take a look.
Diana Shay Diehl Blog
Diana's Instagram images
Ellen's Instagram images
Come along with us!
This is my favorite print of the season so far...
The cyanotype is made from a digital negative of a photograph I took this week on a hike through Hovander Homestead, a large 350 acre old homestead near my home.
This is an A4 print on Uwa Senka, a beautiful lustrous Thai Kozo from Washi Arts.
Clouds and Lily Pads
There is no doubt that this past year has been a difficult one...probably for all of us, right?
At the beginning of 2020, I had plans to go to Japan...to study and to teach..but by spring, those plans were put on hold..and remain on hold..at least for now.
I decided to take advantage of the opportunity of being at home to make a print almost every day. And I did that.
But one of the things I have missed the most is the opportunity to connect with other artists while teaching and traveling. Of course, the visual and cultural stimulation of travel also provides a wealth of new ideas and colors and vistas for photography and for personal expression.
About six months ago, I received an intriguing proposal from a fellow artist and photographer. While we share visual and artistic sensibilities, I live minutes from the United States/Canadian border and my new friend lives moments from the United States/Mexican border. She lives in the desert with the Joshua trees and I live in the land of cedars and ferns.. After several conversations, we decided to begin a collaborative project to show some of our work together, side by side for at least the coming year.
Since then, we have had many telephone conversations, texts and emails. And we actually met in person for the first time for a an afternoon long cup of coffee when Diana came to Washington to visit her son, I think we are the best kind of collaborators, encouraging and supportive...while sharing information from techniques to books and sources for materials. Diana Shay Diehl is an inspired and skilled photographer and artist and genuinely connected to that sense of place and environment that gives her work its unique voice.
We decided on a long distance, North/South, desert and forest collaboration. We both have been using alternative photographic processes. Our goal for this year is to share work across the miles by means of this artistic collaboration. We will start to share work on our individual blogs with links to the other, and plan to begin a website together with opportunities for interaction and feedback, and the possibility of some gallery showings of our cross-continent project.
You are invited to share our journey as the project takes shape. We look forward to hearing from you!
Here is the link to Diana's blog..
Diana Shay Diehl blog
I encourage you to follow Diana on Instagram @mojavelight
Here is a link to her art projects on Instagram @projectmojavelight
And a link to my Instagram account @ellenjdooley
When I first shared the image below, "Wound" with Diana, we knew we were onto something. This image shows the fragile Silver Bark Birch. They are easy wounded by harsh winter weather or drought-like conditions and have been negatively impacted by warming temperatures. Diana had just made a similar image in her environment.
I am so pleased to have four of my cyanotype prints selected for the fall juried exhibition at the Jansen Art Center. They have just reopened so please go have a look! Here is one of the prints in the show.
The time for making cyanotypes has finally arrived. The best one are made with intense sunlight and longer days!
I have added some photographs of the process. Some of these images are also available on Instagram ..
This is how the sandwiched image went out into the sun...paper on the bottom, botanicals on top. It spent the afternoon in the sun to capture the most rays
This is the image before rinsing in a clear bath.
I love the vibrance of the colors at this stage.
I've been getting some things translated as I prepare some documents for travel to Japan. One of the obvious things that I will need is an accurate translation of my name. Just for fun, I typed my name in a search for a translation in Japanese. The first thing that came up was my name in an museum exhibit of some of lampwork in Japan years ago...Such a sweet reminder!
Five friends met for a farewell breakfast and made this cyanotype. Everyone brought a contribution and the cyanotype was exposed on the deck overlooking Bellingham Bay while we ate breakfast and visited. Then, we washed the cyanotype and sent it on its way to Wyoming!
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