More Creative Experiments

Creative experiments are a great way to jump start your ideas and give you a break from routine creative work patterns and flow.

“Leone On Shore”

creative experiment with digital painting
Low tide in Madagascar

The last couple of  weeks I have had a very out-of-box experience. I had been a little fatigue from working digitally and thought I would stretch myself and try a little analog work, so I enrolled in week and a half art class at the local college of art and design.  It was a Mixed Media class taught by Brian Haverlock, who is an outstanding artist and teacher.  I took the class with an open mind,  hoping I may  find new ways to take my work to a different level.  Needless to say it was harder than I anticipated, especially since I found my actual painting and crayon skills were at perhaps a kindergarten level and advanced maybe to 3rd grade during the class. However despite my inadequacies in some areas, I did gain valuable lesson in other areas. Here are some of my insights:

Exposure to the work of accomplished artists outside of photograph, such as Max Ernst, Scott Eagle, Joseph Cornell or  Brain Haverlock will stimulate ideas and inspiration.

I look at my own art different and for more ways to take even a simplistic image a step further, whether that be with lighting, color, texture and or combining multiple images.

A lot of photography is based in facts and computations so take time to let loose and experiment. I plan to continue trying several methods that were taught to stimulate creativity, like Decalcomania or  drawing and cutting with my non dominate hand. Never know what might emerge.

Each exposure to something new helps me craft my vision for my own body of work.

Lastly, a deep appreciation for the undo button.

More of my work can be viewed at www.susanmcanany.com.


Andy Warhol and More

An Andy Warhol exhibit was part of a recent exciting and exhausting trip to St. Louis, Mo, my hometown. There is something about returning to my place of birth and growth as a youngster that tends to ground me and bring me back to how I came to be who I am.  This trip I brought my one and only main squeeze with me. We are thinking about relo-ing there, at least on a part time basis, and I wanted him to get a better feel for the city and the surrounding areas. Also, we are beginning a big birthday celebration and wanted to take in a Cubs-Cardinals  baseball game. (Cubs won so he was happy.) And then of course we spent considerable time with family, which is a part of the grounding process. I am fortunate I come from a big family and we all get along, despite our differences.

Although I didn’t take any photos while I was there, we did manage to squeeze in a trip to an art museum associated with St. Louis University for a little inspiration.  An exhibit of Andy Warhol’s Polaroids were the initially attraction, but in reality the other exhibits were somewhat more impressive. One artist that struck me was, Brother Mel Meyer, a Marianist monk. Now Brother Mel apparently is quite known in St Louis. For 60 years he has been studying and making art in a variety of mediums along with period of  teaching in his earlier years. He is known for his watercolors, acrylics and stain glass to name a few mediums, but what really excited me was Brother Mel’s metal sculptures. He incorporates many unique components, shapes and shades of color  to create captivating and intriguing works of art.  I will have to visit his studio next time in St. Louis.  Here is a link to his website.

Visit my website Susan McAnany Photography to view my work.

Yin Yang Effect

abstract photograph of blue swirlsHave you ever witnessed the yin yang effect in your life?  Well, I believe I experience it frequently or maybe it is some kind of mid life crisis. I especially see it in my creative interests.  One month I am photographing prisons and graffiti and the next I am mixing paints to create some vibrant macro abstractions guaranteed to make your eyes pop.

Or maybe the swing in interest is due to my birth date, which happens to be right on the cusp between the Zodiac signs of Cancer and Leo. I have been told at certain times it can (and does) create conflicting feelings and actions.  Cancer being the conservative homebody and Leo the outgoing risk taker.

There’s a theory in photography, a person should totally embrace what they like to shoot and focus only on that one interest in the hopes of achieving perfection. I certainly see merit to that, although, for me I also see a certain amount of boredom setting in.  I look at my portfolio and see a huge range of diversity and that is only viewing what is online .  Maybe it is due to the length of time I have been shooting or maybe it is the yin-yang effect in my life. I just don’t seem to be able to settle into something permanently. Once I shot a magazine containing portraits of 100 different woman from all walks of life. While the experience was fun, I learned a lot and met many different, wonderful women, I was happy when it was over.  Ready to get back to art.

Regardless of the cause, I am happy with opposite interests in my life.   Here are a couple of examples of what I have been working on from the Abstract Category on my website.

 

blue abstract photograph