The gallery owner, Richard Prigg of Sycamore Studio in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania (a southwestern suburb of Philadelphia) needed art in a hurry as his scheduled artist backed out at the last minute. Each month, he has a one-day exhibit of his own paintings and stained glass work along with that of a guest artist. So I delivered about seven each 16x20 and 11x14 framed photographs, some images of which I've included here in this article.
|"Stone Emotion," Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, PA, 1997.|
|"Eros and Psyche"|
Sometimes people just show up at these opening receptions for the cheap wine and cheese doodles. This did not happen at Sycamore Studio (for the record, the gallery owner actually served craft beer, good wine, and fine crudités!) Most of the attendees were friends of his, and most were involved somehow in the arts - even the retired police officer/artist who used to sketch nudes on the backs of his reports. (Once when the judge was reading one of his reports at a hearing, the district attorney started laughing because everyone could see the nude on the back!) Since it was really an unusual experience for me to literally talk myself hoarse to dozens of people about so many aspects of my work, I thought I'd blog about it. Here are some of the topics and questions raised:
- "How do you title your work?" Not well, I'm afraid. Descriptive titles work better for me than artist gibberish. For example, "Angel Face" to describe the image at right, versus, oh I don't know, something like "Space and the Passage of Time."
- "How do you print your work?" Well, I pay other people to do it. In my book, Digital Photography for the Impatient (available from Amazon.com), the chapter on printing is the shortest! That's because its really difficult to do it yourself and trying to explain how and where to get professional prints made from digital media is an enormous topic. Also, the technology changes rapidly.
- "Have you photographed the wonderful oceanic view cemeteries of Ireland or Hawaii?" Um, no, but I have been to Baltimore.
|By Ed Snyder (Amazon link)|
- “Have you visited the abandoned buildings in Centralia [Pennsylvania]?” No, but it is on my bucket list. Along with the cemetery there. I think this came up as we were discussing my images of the discarded tombstones under Philadelphia’s Betsy Ross Bridge (click here for that bizarre story!). A photographer at the opening wondered if I thought it possible to film the tombstones from underwater!
- “Would you like to do a show of your work in the old one-room schoolhouse in St. Paul’s cemetery?” [This is in Ardmore, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia]. Why certainly, thank you for asking.
- “How do you achieve these photographic effects, Photoshop?” I'm always flattered when people ask this as I rely mostly on my skills to achieve the best initial image capture; very rarely will I Photoshop something afterwords.
|"Under the Betsy"|
Rick Prigg, the owner of Sycamore Studio, is in fact a stained glass artist in addition to being a PAFA-educated painter (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts). As I have photographed and written a bit about mausoleum stained-glass windows (and had a photograph of one in the exhibit, see above), I was able to discuss such things with him on at least a peripheral level. He shared some fascinating stories about retrieving valuable stained glass windows from old churches for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which it had been closed by the Archdiocese over the years. Trying to remove stained glass windows as vandals were actively throwing bricks through them from the outside must have been a trying experience!