Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One woman's art is anothers mundane

While reading my copy of the January/February Somerset Studio Magazine I came across an article/interview of a young woman named Madelaine. She is very accomplished for her young age of 17. She is a photographer and digital artist and has been taking photos since she was 14.I like some of her images… mostly I am intrigued by the fact that she has an interview published and she is selling her work.

The part of the article that first made me laugh and then got me thinking was this question and answer:

Melange: How have you matured in your artwork since you have started?
Madelaine: Thankfully, I have matured very quickly. Of course I started out with your typical dead-center flower macros and bland landscapes, but, eventually I got bored of taking so many mediocre photographs. I researched and read all I could find about photography and looked at hundreds of different photographs and noted what made them good photographs. Being a self-taught artist has been a wonderful experience for me. I believe that now my art is much more conceptual, dramatic, beautiful and refined.

Your typical dead-center flower macros – ha,ha I burst out laughing - I am so excited that with my new camera I CAN take dead center flower macros!!! I already have probably over 200 of them since Christmas… (it does help to live in a sunny climate).

The last part of the interview that got me to thinking about my art over time:

Melange: Some would say your work is “macabre” or dark. What is your response to that? Is that intentional?
Madelaine: It’s absolutely intentional. I don’t’ wish to scare or offend people with my art, but I would not pretend that it is not dark. I was an actor before getting into photography and digital art. The emotion and drama expressed through performance has definitely influenced my visual art immensely. I wish to evoke emotion with my art, so that is what I do.

I got to thinking about the emotion that I have invoked in my art over my life. When I was 17, mine too was dark. I drew pictures of sharks devouring other fish. A hand at the ready to stab with a butter knife (there was a lot of emotion in that one).

Then I thought about how my work has changed in the past 30 years…

Now I like to take photos (macros)of flowers, collage about stopping to smell the flowers and love and friendship…

My work is not as dark… why?

Is it because I have lived the dark life…?

A dysfunctional family growing up (there was not a lot of “fun” in our dysfunctional – see stabbing with a butter knife), losing 2 friends to AIDS, infertility, losing a Mother to Alzheimers, battling breast cancer and chemo...

Will I have more dark in my life? I am sure I will, we all do, but right now I want to focus on the light.
The close up of a flower…

the beauty that God has created for us to enjoy...

I guess that is why art is so great…if someone does not like your work – some else may and if no one does as long as you are happy that is truly all that matters. So I wish all the best to Madelaine… she has accomplished more at 17 it seems than many do in a lifetime. I hope that she will have more dark in her photos then in real life.

I will keep taking my macros…in fact I joined a site called Shutter Sisters ...they post a challenge each week and you can respond with your photos. I had heard about the site this past year and when I saw this week’s challenge I decided to DO IT. We had gone to the beach during low tide so here is my entry for


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