The experience I had, although freezing, is still my favorite. These images are all taken while there was so much snow in Southern West Virginia in the late fall, winter and early spring of 2013-2014. I was living in the state at the time, working, going to school and exploring coal culture and altered Appalachian landscapes. One day, the snow and ice were so thick that, as I was trying to drive up a steep mountain road, my car kept moving backward. I had to give up, reverse until finding a connected driveway, back into it, then drive back down. At 25, having never seen snow before, you might comprehend how I could be amazed at the sight and experience of it.
Exhibition at Lacoste
My quarter prior to graduation was spent overseas. There, I collaborated with other artists, and we had an exhibition at the end. I am including here the three prints involved in that exhibition.
The Lady in Yellow was taken at Musee d’Orsay in Paris. I found the woman in the yellow dress beautiful in the interesting architectural scenery, so I was fortunate to get a photograph of her.
Abi Lierheimer is a fashion designer I collaborated with in Provence. She designed, hand-sewed this couture piece and stitched every single bead on it. I photographed her as she modeled in the dress—her amazing art piece—that she created.
Santa Maria was taken at Nimes Cathedral. Again, I was interested in the interesting lines that framed her within the foreground.
Tyler Burgett is a game designer who collaborated with me on projects. He helped me, along with a number of other students, to design this portraiture set-up, then he modeled for the photograph. There were at least 5 people working together to make this vision of a portrait a reality.
This series of images were taken of landscapes in the Appalachian mountains as the snow was melting. The theme for all of my landscapes, or all of them at that time, was altered landscapes. Every image shows a particular area in which nature has been in some way distorted by man.
One challenge to remedy was the problem of midday portraits. In my first course on portraiture, we were taught not to photograph outdoors during the midday sunlight because of harsh shadows. I felt this was an unfair rule because sometimes the best time of day in one’s schedule is midday, so there had to be a remedy. The harsh shadows are an issue, but there are ways around them that I discovered.
Silver and Ink
The Silver and Ink exhibition was the first exhibition in which I’ve been involved. It is an annual exhibition in Savannah for photography. The two images here were presented in 2014’s Silver and Ink exhibition.
The first image is of a coal refuse facility off Coal River Road in Southern West Virginia. It was interesting to me to see so much coal culture because I had grown up in an area without any whatsoever. The refuse facility is directly upstream from Marsh Fork Elementary School. The basketball has fallen from the school’s playground into the river. It’s important to note that a new elementary school was built away from that area and that one is no longer attended.
The second photograph is of a frozen lake called Plum Orchard Lake, in West Virginia. To me, the most interesting part is seeing how the iced over lake goes so far into the horizon.
Interiors & Exteriors
I’m expanding my portfolio to interiors and this is my first.
There was a house at the base of a mountain in Provence, in the middle of a field. It was a renovated farm house the SCAD director redesigned and had decorated. My photos of the interior of this place show details of the main parlor room as well as the kitchen downstairs, and the outside courtyard.
The Facello family’s portraits were some of my favorites. We were able to photograph beside a lake at the best time of the evening—sunset—so we were able to get these lovely golden hues without issues of harsh shadows overhead.
This is the French Landscape Series I created to be displayed in a bakery in Raleigh throughout 2017. This series includes limited edition prints that can be purchased through the fine art store.
A New Aesthetic
Recently I’ve discovered portrait artists whose styles I’ve come to admire greatly—so much so that my own portrait aesthetic is steadily transitioning to their styles of romantic influence. I am including here a couple of my first pieces that offer an example of that influence.