Visit with Jim – Up From the Rabbit Hole

Today’s post stems from some cool interactions with customers at three recent art shows in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.  A frequent question posed is whether my artwork is acrylic pour art.  Which is a fair question.  There are some similarities … in some pieces. The beauty of the acrylic pour lies in the end state.  When the paint and inks stop moving, the work is dried, sealed and displayed.  These are beautiful pieces in and of themselves.  I find the upstream process leading to that end point AND what is happening in the small space within the macro lens in my studio to be the most beautiful and fascinating.  

I noticed that when I played an 18 second clip that explains the work above, there was a quick, deep and grounded connection between me and the customer.  They got it … the connection of science meets art gelled in that moment.  The conversations intensified and there was an interest to learn more.  More about other pieces, more about how I ended up as a physician photographer.  More about where my inspiration lies.  How did I arrive at this place in life?  Person after person had this Aha moment and more readily understood this is not digital illustration and there is work in setting up such a small place for the art to come to life.  Art, in part, was playing a role in stirring the soul of the artist and the audience. 

So lets try to do this over the internet through a blog post…  


The video clip to the left is the one to watch.  We start with a piece of plate glass at an angle to encourage the inks to move across the field of view.  The camera sits stoically awaiting the instruction the capture the images.  The white plate glass sits inside a CorningWare baking dish to catch the inks and paints as they cascade. 

The customers are often brought into the booth at shows because of the vivid colors.  The colors that will move through this post are consistent end to end.  


 Photoshop helps to clean up dust and adjust brightness and contrast.  That is about it.  No swirls, distortions, Gaussian blur etc.  Simple dark room options. In the opening scene you see the entire field, but pay attention to the top of the lens and you will see the blues and oranges that become the acquired image. The lines, interplay of colors and energy within the photograph are enlivening and uplifting. 

Our journey out from the center of this universe, climbs up and out to reveal the camera and the view from the lens.  This is what I am searching for each weekend.  What is the moment that I want to capture and share?  That illusive fragmented sliver of time and the light’s reflection/refraction are that magic.  The two fundamental elements of the universe are never to be again.  They instantaneously exist in the past.  The imagery stirs the soul, brightens the day and energizes both me and the owner when they hang the artwork in their home and office.  It is a connection between us that does not fade away.  It persists, revives, ignites and recharges us. 


The intricacy of the image as we move inward allows for repeated discovery of subtle aspects of the photo that were missed or unseen earlier.  In Two Worlds diverge at the top, do you wonder why the two halves are asymmetric? Ever wonder why the left half appears to flow up towards the top of this orientation while the right half appears to drift to the right edge of the scene? How large is the object?

In the lower right image Flowing Even, did you see the string of orange pearls? Are the two images connected or separated by time and distance on the plate?   One person came back several times.  He was one of the private collectors that purchased a framed piece.  He observed that the photography he picked had more depth of field that the others.  That ignited an entire exchange about the challenge of depth of field in macro photography on this order.  There is air floating in the medium and shadows from layers of ink that are partially revealing what lies beneath, but the true depth is on the order of a few millimeters.  That was a gauntlet tossed to me to work with my studio lights and create more depth through side lighting and less top down as you see in the video. 

The customers can see that the colors in the LCD of the camera.  I often get some amusing comments about the cleanliness of the tripod, camera, lens, and studio.  Let’s be realistic, it is paint and inks in a small space.  As the video pulls back the viewer can see some of the studio lights and the scale of the place I am hunting and discovering in.  The privilege of being able to find, develop, print and share with you is what this is all about.  It fills the mission statement completely. 

We will be on a brief hiatus for live shows as we plan our next season and steps, but as you see from yesterday’s, today’s and the two posts tomorrow these last few shows were very successful.  We are also testing our Moment of Joy giving exercise in the next few weeks.  More on that after we work out bugs and kinks in the workflow.  As always, have a great peaceful end of week and weekend. 

Join me in a fireside chat via Zoom in the evening to discuss any aspect of my artwork.  To qualify, and join a video conversation send your contact information here and let me know what you would want to talk about.  The selected participants will receive a 25% discount on any of my unlimited edition pieces of art.  I will personally sign the piece at printing.  Even more, the gallery is offering this purchase risk free for you. Free shipping, Free return, and no questions asked if you are unhappy with the art work.  You can keep the print for 30 days to enjoy the selection in your home or office. This risk free offer does not apply to metal, acrylic and other specialized media prints.





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