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Artist Statement


    Last year I started to explore photographic still life as a way to work directly with objects and situations which are meaningful to me. My goal was to see if I could share my vision of the beauty in the most simple everyday objects.

    Arranging flowers has obsessed me all my life. I started this journey by simply recording interesting flower arrangements to try to save some element of how ephemeral they are.  Then I began to expand the compositions to include objects that I had collected over the years. Having been an abstract oil painter for many years, it was exciting to begin incorporating all these personal elements into my art. I began to experiment with photographing the arrangements against black using the south facing light from my kitchen window. I was especially interested in the way glass would glow in the low light. The photographs began to have the look of Dutch masters.

   Now I am adding a wider range of objects, fruits, vegetables and plant forms to create more variation in composition and to take advantage of the immediate nature of photography on very short lived objects. I am most interested in getting the glowing mysterious quality of light in Renaissance still life paintings. For the photos I am using natural light, a tripod and very slow shutter speeds. I take many many photos adjusting the stops and moving objects slightly each time to create the perfect composition and color combinations. I am fortunate to be able to use digital photography as it is difficult to see what the image will be like without seeing it in a two dimensional  format. I do not touch up the images with photo shop. I want the art to be between me and the subject.

    I am printing the images on Epson velvet fine art paper and applying them to 2" deep wood panels. I finish with four or five  layers of varnish to give the piece a painterly look.




© Valerie Willson 2015

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