Two days after Christmas, the creek is frozen solid and there are snow drifts up to three feet deep. Im looking forward to cyanotype workshops in warmer, sunnier locales...
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Yesterday was one of those late fall days that let you know that the darker, shorter days are on the way. However, at about 3:00 PM, the sun came out for a brilliant shining hour. I had a new negative ready to go and some sensitized watercolor paper so I placed the negative and the paper in my contact frame and went out to find the sunniest part of the property. I set a timer for 20 minutes, not even sure there were enough UV rays to get a proper exposure . When I checked in 20 minutes, the print looked great.
One of the things I've learned lately is to make notes on exposures. A perfect place, in addition to my journal, is the back of the print. This identifies the paper used, date of print, time of day and length of exposure. I think that customers also find this information to be interesting. It is, after all, a hand made print and these little notes help to identify it even more clearly.
I’ve been reading Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography, by David Ulrich….. honestly, it’s just been a few days, but I can already see a difference in my intentional looking and seeing… I’m posting a few photos to show what’s happening … no editing or overthinking.. just looking and “seeing”
Not surprisingly, Diana and I have already had a talk about this book…
Well.. we did it!
Diana Shay Diehl and I completed our week long project to make and post a cyanotype piece each day for a week. It was a great exercise to keep a creative chain of thought going with another artist for a week. It was interesting how often our work had similar themes and even composition . We started this "year long" project with the idea of having a joint show at the end . We are still exploring the idea and are looking for a gallery or space to show the work done by two artists at opposite ends of the Pacific Coast. We are both headed to work for a while in New Mexico...we have different itineraries but will certainly share some studio time. If you have any ideas or feedback about our work, we would love to hear from you!
Our joint instagram account is TwoWomenTalk
Diana's Instagram account is MojaveLight
Ellen's (my) Instagram account is EllenJDooley
The video is just a little snippet of some musings and experiments in the outdoor space where I sometime work in the summer. Today, there is a brisk wind blowing, very cloudy skies and a temperature of 57 degrees F. Not really ideal for cyanotype printing, but I will find a way to get my prints made today!
My collaboration with Diana Shay Diehl continues. We are on day 3 of our current presentation of a work each day, presented side by side on our Instagram accounts.
I make a print almost day anyway, but making them in collaboration with another artist brings the discipline to a whole new level. I highly recommend it. There has been a synchronicity about our work so far this week, not planned or discussed in advance, which materials or paper we will use.
We are each adding new posts on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. Please join us in this project by following along and subscribing for updates. We love hearing from you!
My collaboration with Diana Shay Diehl continues!
During the week of July 5 through July 12, every day we will each be making a print using photosensitive chemistry on natural fiber papers. While this time of year brings lots of sun for each of us, the environments are completely distinctive with different botanicals and even amounts and intensity of sunlight. These prints are going to about 5"x7" on cotton rag or natural fiber paper...each an original work. Each morning during that week, we will post our images. Please follow us on our journey! We would love to hear your comments.
The photograph above is from my studio to give you an idea of some of my inspiration as well as some of the tools and materials that I use in my alternative photography.
Here is the link to Diana's blog
Diana Shay Diehl Instagram
Ellen Dooley Instagram
Also, along with each post I will be adding a link to something that I found inspiring. This week, I watched an artist talk given by the amazing photographer, Keith Carter. His images are beautiful, haunting and speak eloquently of light, space and memory.
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.
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