Out There

One of the things I do as a fine art photographer is submit images to “calls for entry”.  I call it getting my work “out there”.  There are many organizations nationally and internationally that publish these calls to invite artists to submit work.  Over the past few years, I’ve found a few specific galleries where my work seems to generally fit and I like the way the gallery is run.  They have various exhibits throughout the year, usually with some theme.  If I have images that I feel fit a certain theme, I will submit to that call for entry.

Entering images provides me with another outlet for my work, a way to have BNF’s (big names in the field) see my work, and to receive some feedback on it, even if that feedback is simply being accepted or not.   Having work accepted for an exhibit helps me to build a resume that shows my work has been exhibited at the national level.  And it’s just fun!

These two images were exhibited at the A Smith Gallery this year as part of two different shows.  Each show at this gallery, as well as many others I submit to, has a different juror for each show, those BNF’s  I mentioned earlier.

Impressions of Trees-5 was accepted into the Trees exhibit at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City , Texas in January.

Between the Mountains and the Sea was accepted to the Elsewhere exhibit at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City Texas in the spring.

I thought it might be interesting for you to follow along a bit when I enter one of these calls.  The A Smith Gallery has a current call for entry open which the theme, Vistas.  I’ve submitted these 8 images.  (click on each image to make it larger.)

Do you think any of these will be accepted? If so, which ones?  I’ll let you know when I find out.

Waiting to put down roots

Cooking is one of my favorite creative activities.  Fresh herbs have always played a big role in my cooking.  At our NY home, I had an herb garden right outside the front door, right under the kitchen window.  One of the advantages of living in Virginia that I have been looking forward to is the warmer and longer growing season.  My favorite herb, rosemary, can survive the winter outside in Virginia and thrive in the climate there.  🙂

Here’s a few of my plants and herbs from my NY garden waiting to be put into Virginia soil.  We will have a deck right outside the kitchen that will hold my new herb garden.  The fig trees will find a home in the yard somewhere.  Yes, some of these would be available for purchase in VA but I really liked the idea of bringing some of my favorite plants with me to put down roots along with us in our new home.

Rosemary and fig trees waiting to put down new roots.

More rosemary, lemon thyme, oregano, and winter savory.

Not an herb but an important plant for me. This lovely little black eyed susan variety was part of my NY garden that I had originally gotten from my parent’s garden.

 

 

Going, going, gone

Unless you’ve done it, which I hadn’t in 33 years, it is very hard to to imagine putting every single one of your possessions on a truck and watching it drive away.  That’s what happened this past week.  At the moment, we are in the in between, not able to be in either home and without most of our belongings.  It’s an interesting place to be.

Here’s a few images of the space I worked in for the past decade or more, as it was being packed up.  It’s fun to think about setting up my new spaces.

Computer equipment in my office ready to be packed.

 

Almost done.

No longer an office.

Encaustic and framing workshop ready to be packed.

Shutting the doors on the truck and off it goes. See it in Virginia.

 

A Big Adventure

Is this a new decorating trend?  Or indication of something about to happen?

 

 

 

This week is a big one for my husband Michael and I.  We will be leaving our home of 33 years and heading towards a new home and a new chapter in our lives.

I thought I would share some of the journey here on my blog so that you can follow along as we set up a new home, a new studio, and have this big adventure.  Stayed tuned for more photos and details.

A New Direction

In January of this year I was introduced to photo encaustic work.  I immediately knew that this was a new direction that I wanted to pursue with my work.  Encaustic painting uses beeswax and pigments and is a very ancient medium.  Photo encaustics, combines photography with the warm beeswax medium creating very unique, layered, moody images.

In July, I was able to attend a 3 day workshop at R & F Handmade Paints  to learn and try working with photo encaustics.  I came away with a strong (that’s putting it mildly) desire to continue to continue to learn and work with encaustics and my photography.

Encaustics provides a more hands on way of working with my images, something I have been craving for some time.  While I enjoy computer work at times, I wanted to create more hand made pieces.  It also gives an extra dimension to the images with all the layers of wax and pigments.

I have plans to set up a dedicated encaustic studio where I can continue to explore this fascinating medium.  I’ll keep you posted as that progresses.  For now, here are a few images of me at the workshop and some of my practice pieces.  I have much, much more to learn!!!

Beginners’ Photography Retreat

Springtime at New Skete ©Gail S. Haile

A couple of weekends ago, I got to spend some wonderful time with six other photographers, leading another Seeing with New Eyes Beginners’ Photography Retreat at New Skete Monastery.

Despite torrential rains, 65 mph winds, and a brief power outage we enjoyed this wonderful setting that is so rich in images.  Actually some of those conditions created some unique images.   No matter where you are or what the conditions there is always something to be seen, to be noticed.  Spring had just arrived on the mountain that holds New Skete Monastery and the earth was waking up from it’s hibernation.   New life, potential, and hope surrounded us.

We spent a lot of time going over the basics of how photography and our cameras work. When you know how they work, you can make decisions about what type of image you want to create rather than letting the camera decide for you.  Understanding the basics allows a photographer to create images with intention.

A video of some of the photographers’ images summarizes the weekend far better than I could with words:

And of course, this was New Skete Monastery so there were puppies and dogs!  They got their own video of images that the photographers created:

 

If you are interested in a future  photography retreat, sign up for my newsletter and you’ll be the first to know.

 

 

 

 

Deep Peace

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

This Gaelic blessing has been going through my head lately, in a time when there seems to be little peace.  I’ve been focusing on the good, the light, the peace that does exist to calm my thoughts.

Also, my mind has been going back to New Skete Monastery where I held the Seeing with New Eyes photography retreats last year.  It’s been going there because it is a place of peace and also because we have just scheduled another retreat there for next May.

So for today, I share some peaceful images from my time at New Skete and the hope for deep peace.

Friday Finds: What we See

As you know by now, the word See for me is a very active word.  Really seeing the world around us is a skill that needs to be cultivated.  We, too often, go through our days not really seeing the beauty, the awesomeness, that is right in front of us.

Recently there have been advertisements in photography magazines showing all the eye movements and thoughts that  go through a photographer’s mind when creating an image.  The idea had really stuck with me, so I did a bit of digging the other day and discovered the ad was actually based on a little experiment that Canon did.

The experiment involved special eye tracking equipment to record the eye movements of 3 different people while they were looking at an image.  Those 3 people were a non-photographer, a photography student, and a professional photographer.  It’s is really fascinating to observe how much each of the people sees.

This is not to say that non-photographers can never see at that level.  I believe it’s more a learned habit than innate. Though there may be some innate talent, photographers have also trained themselves through much practice to see all that is in a scene.  I think there’s no reason non-photographers couldn’t be equally observant if they cultivate their powers of seeing.

Watch the video and let me know what you think:

Canon’s Experiment Shows How Obsessed Photographers Are Over The Details

Gratitude for Super Powers

I’ve been taking a wonderful online photography course called Meditations on Gratitude. It’s been a good way to go a bit deeper with my photography and to stretch my thinking a bit. And mostly it’s been fun and uplifting to really focus on gratitude!

One of the lessons was about being grateful for our bodies. Even if there are parts that don’t always work so well, there are still parts that do work well. We were given the task of photographing something about our bodies for which we are grateful. There were a few examples of artists who work with self-portraiture, as well.

Oh no, self portraits!! I so resist being the subject of images so this was a challenge for me. It percolated under the surface for a week or so before I posted my response to the task. As I was thinking I realized that my favorite part about my body is my eyes, my sight. I think “seeing” is one of my super powers. I’ve always noticed things that other people don’t.

We were out for lunch and the sunlight was coming in a window onto our table and it was interesting the way it framed my glasses, so I took a photo on my phone. I kept thinking I couldn’t use that image, it felt like cheating. 🙂 But as I scanned through the images on my phone there were so many images of interesting light. Images I had taken just because I thought the light was interesting. I decided to play with all those. I put them together and this image is the result, sort of what it looks like to be seeing through my eyes all the time, constantly watching light.

sight

I am so so grateful for my eyes and my vision.

I like to think that we each have super powers, those things that make us unique. Those things that we are generally better at doing that others. You might call them our gifts. What are your super powers? What about your body, your being makes you grateful?

Adirondack Colors

Fall is currently putting on a spectacular show in upstate NY.  We’ve had warm sunny days and incredible colors.  The only thing that is not good about Fall is the long winter that comes after.   We went on a little adventure to savor these amazing days and took a drive on the Powley-Piseco Rd. in Fulton County, NY.   It’s in the southern portion of the Adirondack Park.

If you live in the area and have an opportunity, I highly (Haile, get it?) recommend exploring this bit of paradise.

Here’s a few of my favorites from our day.

Powley Piseco Rd-1-©GailSHaile Powley Piseco Rd-2-©GailSHaile Powley Piseco Rd-3-©GailSHaile Powley Piseco Rd-4-©GailSHaile Powley Piseco Rd-5-©GailSHaile Powley Piseco Rd-6-©GailSHaile