Even as I was creating this image, it felt like a Field of Dreams. No, it wasn’t because I very nearly stayed home in bed. (It’s true, I almost skipped heading out because I was quite tired and bleary-eyed when it was time to get up, at 5AM.) I had photographed this field once before and wasn’t quite happy with the results though I created a few nice images which I liked. I love all the elements in this image: the beautiful field of grain, beautifully lit hills with trees beyond, and a lovely soft sky with soft colors, which was soon overwhelmed with gray clouds due to an impending storm.
I’m very happy that I did not stay in bed after I had crawled back into it. :)
Celebrate the beauty around you!
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When I was a kid, I used to doodle while in church. I would often take the bulletin and outline the letters. A few years back, I found myself doodling during sermons and I decided that I might as well spend that time making art. I began taking sermon notes and drawing on the back of them. The black forms represented individuals and the outlining reference their interaction. My initial idea was to have the outlining be as near perfect as I could. But, I soon realized that drawing while sitting next to my kids in church prevented that. I also realized that, in many ways, what I found most compelling about the drawings were their mistakes.
When dealing with human interactions, they aren’t perfect. We make mistakes and behave irrationally. But, there is beauty in the imperfections. That is also true of the church. I spent two years making these drawings almost exclusively during church services. To me, they came to represent the relationships of people particularly in the church. The series title Ecclesia (greek word we translate as church) thus seemed appropriate. This imagery has become a regular in my work. Its roots, however, come from sitting on a pew, drawing on the back of the sermon outline (all the pieces in the series are named after the sermon title), while being bumped by my children.
If you are interested in this series of work. It is now available for purchase in our new boutique.
I love this meme that I saw on Facebook the other day. I think the reasons are obvious. But, there is one reason that is less obvious. Over the last few weeks I have been working to set up an on-line boutique so that people can purchase my art and Pamela’s photography. The boutique was just finished a few days ago and is now ready to go live. So, head on over to ReynosoArt.com which links to our various art websites, including this blog, and now is home to our on-line store (we call it a boutique because…well…it sounds cooler). You can dive into work by both Pamela and myself. One fun part of the boutique is that it allows you to comment about the pieces of art and you are also able to share directly from the boutique with social media. If you feel so inspired.
So, head on over and look around. If you decide you want to buy a piece or two or twenty we won’t mind either.
Every day I am out at the vineyards and the best light for my fine art images has left, I search out the field workers and see what I might learn and document. Today they were pruning dead canes and tying the longer Cabernet vine canes that were left after the winter pruning to the support wire.
July 2, 2007 was one of the worst days of my life.
I was very close to my mother growing up. That closeness continued into adulthood. But, on July 2, 2007 she passed away from breast cancer. I had just moved to Louisiana to head an art department the following year and I had to fly back to California. I was fortunate to make it there only a few hours before she passed. My wife tells me that my name was the last fully intelligible thing that my Mom said. I think I was in shock because it didn’t register. I wish it had penetrated my ears. Mom passed at home surrounded by family with her children singing hymns. I can’t imagine that she would have wanted to go any other way.
After my mom passed away, I was able to participate in a Paint Pink exhibition for breast cancer awareness. It was a great honor. This was the piece I submitted to the exhibition. I had been working with circles as part of my Things Eternal series but the composition and coloration for this piece were directly inspired by the exhibition and breast cancer. This painting has become an important piece in our family and for our Children. In Louisiana it hung in our dining room and since we have returned to California it hangs prominently in our family room above the fire-place.
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Merlot at sunrise is a beautiful thing! I just discovered that myself this morning. :)
We have been getting drenched with much-needed rain the last couple of weeks so I’ve not been able to make it out to the vineyards. Between not wanting the car to get stuck, the mud sucking off my boots (it’s happened!), nor wanting my camera’s electronics to get wet and ruined…I’ve happily stayed where it’s been nice and warm! I’m the type of person who’d much rather be hot than cold, so I’ve not been complaining. Well, the vacation is over!
When I was last out at the vineyards in Suisun Valley, tiny buds had formed on the Merlot grapevines, with perhaps a half-formed leaf to a bud. There wasn’t much to look at. This morning, when there was finally enough light to see I was happily surprised to discover beautiful new leaves fringed in pink and teeny, tiny grape clusters. In fact, there are grape clusters in this image you can see on the tallest sprig of leaves to the left. The grape cluster is towards the very top, nestled between the upward pointed pink-tipped leaves and the yellow/green leaves just below them.
I have loved sunrise since I was a child, and today it’s no different. (Well, ok, I’m just more tired as I have children who don’t especially like to go to sleep by the time I want them to!) The beautiful soft pink in the leaf tips which is mirrored in the early morning sky makes me smile.
May your day be filled with beauty!
All images are available as limited edition prints (12×18″ and up). Images are also available for licensing. Please use the contact form at the bottom of this linked page or send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
I few years ago, I was helping a church with their arts festival. Part of the my responsibility was for an event where I encouraged people to partake in making abstract art. I made several smears of paint on small pieces of paper that I used as prompts for people to respond to. There were a couple of these prompts that I found very compelling and set aside. That lead to a series of works based on these smears. Smears actually were new for me. I’ve used them before but this was the first time I let them stand on their own. It is an interesting process because despite the control I have gained over the smearing process there is still a very high failure rate. But, there is something compelling about letting the directness of the paint speak for itself.
The title of this series is a bit of play on words. “I Am What I Am” simultaneously references the name of God-given to Moses on Mount Sinai and Popeye’s famous quip “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.” To me this combines the seriousness of the Imago Dei and the frivolity of being human. The smeared paint is simply smeared paint in the same way that we humans are simply human. It is about transparency and authenticity.
Last week I was out practicing landscape photography and decided to pack it in a little before sunset. (And with that sentence, I can just see every landscape photographer hanging their head…I know, I know!)
I’d already been out for a few hours, and one never really knows when the sunset is going to burn brilliantly, or when it’s going to fizzle… and I had an errand to run at the pet food store to buy some needed supplies. :)
Upon arriving at the store and noting the sky (I had been driving away from the sun), I saw things were shaping up quite nicely. I decided that since I was already at the store, I may just as well run in and quickly make my purchases. When I exited the store I decided I had to hurry back out-of-town and towards more open sky in hopes of capturing something, anything with the gorgeous colors I was seeing. While driving I realized I was not going to get to a decent vantage point for a more traditional landscape image as the light was rapidly leaving. Once that realization hit, I immediately switched gears and began looking for a silhouette subject with a safe place to pull off the road.
Initially, I was upset at myself for missing the opportunity of photographing a beautiful sunset. I am, more often than not, photographing at dawn. Upon reflection, I realized that I had not really missed an opportunity, but rather participated in a useful exercise of pulling together not only my knowledge of photography, but of my local area to find an image ‘on the fly’.
The peak you see is called Twin Sisters and I thought it was especially fitting to add the silhouettes of two beautiful twin trees.
Go find beauty wherever you live!
All images are available in print or for licensing through my site, click here.
Sometimes it takes a while for ideas to come together in the studio. Sometimes those ideas are intentional and sometimes they seem driven by providence. I can be a bit of a neatnik in the studio. One of my primary painting processes is actually a process of layering charcoal or pastel drawings with acyrlic mediums. This often leave excess paint on my brush that has picked up the pigment of the pastel. When I first started using this paining process I simply wiped my excess on the wall. This, of course, quickly makes a mess. So, I started putting sheets of paper on the wall to wipe the paint on. As I did this, I found there was something compelling about these pieces of paper. However, I didn’t know what to do with the paper so I held on to it for several years.
It was four years before I began to get and idea of how to use these pieces of paper. Eventually, I started pulling out these pieces and doing what I called interventions. I would take pen or in the case of the piece here oil pastel and respond to the globs and drips of paint. When I began doing this there was alot of discussion at my church about the tension between free will and determinism. This series, which I still continue to this day, was my response to that tension.
One Autumn morning, after harvest had ended, I was roaming through vineyards just after sunrise and I spotted this lone cluster of Malbec wine grapes. It was high on the vine, in fact it was quite a bit over my head! As you might imagine, it was a considerable challenge to compose and create this image, but I’m not one to turn down a challenge! I found myself compelled by the juxtaposition of the deep purple grapes in front of the softly illuminated fall foliage. I extended my tripod to its tallest height, pulled out my step stool, plugged in my cable shutter release, flipped down my camera’s LCD screen so I could see the cluster, and put my camera on manual focus. I studied the scene and experimented with many different angles, but this is one of my favorites from that exercise.
I’m a firm believer that beauty is *always* present, one but has to look. This is not always an easy task. I’ve been working on a project photographing a local family-owned vineyard and winery for the last eight months… I still have four more months to go. Over the course of the project I have amassed a library of over 9,000 images of every aspect possible. I’ll admit, I did question what I would find to photograph once the grapes were harvested as I was previously unfamiliar with the life of a working vineyard season by season. I needn’t have worried- the possibilities have proved endless!
(All of my images are available for purchase or licensing.)