Thursday, April 26, 2012

Roses & Birthday Cakes........

It dawned on me the other day that a few weeks ago I wrote about how I was taking a break from teaching workshops, and then last week shared that I wouldn't be doing any art festivals this year. You might be wondering what the *%^#  will I be doing?

I have had some exciting opportunities come up recently that will have me focused on a part of my business I let slide a bit.

I have written about this before, but to give you a bit of history, I will share it again. Back in 1999 I was lucky enough to sign with Bentley House Publishing to license my images as prints, posters and on other products. The art directors there were great to work with and I learned a lot about the industry during that time. In addition to working with them, I also licensed images with Portal Publishing.

During this time I was very busy on the art festival circuit and as I shared last week, was left with little time to photograph. Doing shows was my main focus and any work I did with the publishers, in my mind, was a little extra icing on the cake. Since licensing was not my main source of income, I usually put it on the back burner.

I have often wondered if that was the right approach, but it's too late to second guess the decisions I made back then.

Last year I decided to put my toe back in the water and began to send out images to card companies and was delighted that Marion Heath Greeting Cards wanted to work with me. A couple of weeks ago I received a sample of the Mother's Day card they just released with one of my images. (I have told my husband he is not allowed to give me this card.........)

Early this year, instead of putting my toe in the water, I decided to jump in the deep end of the pool and commit to make licensing more of a priority. Through a series of events, some intentional, many serendipitous, I am thrilled to share that I signed with Montage Licensing last month and am honored to be part of this group of very talented artists.

Any artist who has considered licensing has probably heard of the Surtex show in New York that takes place every year. It is considered the premier event in the licensing world and I was very excited when I heard that Montage Licensing was going to have a booth at this show! I won't be attending this year, but my work will be available for art directors to look at and it's an amazing opportunity that I am grateful to have. Here is the promotional postcard with my image that was sent out last week to some of the companies that will be attending the show looking for new art.

I am required to put together a large portfolio of images for this show and that is what I have been working on the last couple of weeks. While creating images for licensing is still only a part of the equation that is my art business, my intention is to give it the care and feeding it deserves this time around. This opportunity may not present itself again and I don't want to waste it.

Making photographs for this type of market is a little different and I have been enjoying the "art direction" I have been receiving.  I am sure I will have more stories and images to share later, but to hint at what I am talking about, let me just say that there was a yummy cake in my studio a few weeks ago that I could not eat until I was "finished" with it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Images from the Student Show......

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the show I was putting together that would feature the work of four of my students. The reception was great fun and I appreciate all the hard work each one of them put into making this happen.

For those of you who were not able to enjoy the exhibit in person, I thought I would post the images that were on display.

Viewing jpgs of course is nothing like seeing the real thing, but I think you will be able to recognize the talent and passion that went into creating these pieces.

Each one is an original black and white photograph that was hand colored with PanPastels.


©2012 Linda Erickson

©2012 Linda Erickson

©2012 Linda Erickson

©2012 Karen Connell

©2012 Karen Connell

©2012 Karen Connell

©2012 Pamela McClanahan

©2012 Pamela McClanahan

©2012 Pamela McClanahan

©2012 Janice Filippelli

©2012 Janice Filippelli

©2012 Janice Filippelli

Thank you Linda, Karen, Pamela and Janice!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Rejection is a Gift........

As many of you know, I spent quite a few years on the "art festival circuit".  2008 was of course the beginning of the economic meltdown and at the end of that year  I decided to take a "sabbatical" from shows. Sabbatical implies a return in the future, but I am beginning wonder if that will happen. With the exception of a local show, I have not participated in an art festival in almost four  years.

Besides the part the economy played in that decision, there were other reasons why I felt the need to slow down a bit. While there have been times I have missed my art festival friends and the traveling, I feel pretty confident I made the right decision at the time.

Part of my "sabbatical" has not been by choice however. In 2010 and again this year, I applied to the Sausalito Art Festival. Both times I was "denied" (this is what it states when you go to check the results.)

I am fortunate that I was accepted to Sausalito three years in a row, beginning in 2006. The nature of the business and that show in particular, is that just because you get in one year, does not guarantee acceptance the following year.

I decided not to apply to the local show in November, which means that at no time this year will I be scrambling to create inventory. I will also not have to venture into my dark and dirty garage to gather all the necessary items to build my booth and then load them into my van.

Can you tell I was not devastated to receive the news my work had been rejected?

In many ways I was relieved I did not get in. For one thing, I had put aside the $1200 booth fee, so now my checking account is feeling a little flush. It was my ego however that took a beating. I feel like I have been kicked out of a club in some ways and that never feels good.

It also has me thinking that perhaps that part of my life is over. I have many reasons to think that it's possible that there are other things I should be concentrating on............and that could be where "the gift" comes in.

When you are on the art festival circuit, it pretty much consumes all your time from March until October. During the years I did that, I lacked both the time and energy to photograph much and instead had to spend most of my time printing and packaging older images.  After the last show of the year I always had grand visions of making art nonstop during the winter, which never seemed to happen.

The fact that I have created a lot of new work and I am much more relaxed, suggests that maybe it's time to let go of the idea that art festivals are the best way for me to generate income and get my photography out there. This was true for many years, and it might still be true, but I am also older and not as willing to get up in the middle of the night to set up a booth on some street in the cold and dark hours right before the sun rises. (Which is one of the many reasons I still applied to Sausalito - you get to set up the day before and it's not on the street............)

I don't have to make a decision right now, but I do have some things to think about. Some other opportunities are presenting themselves which I will write about later, but in the meantime, I thought I would share one more photo from my "shoot" with Tamara a couple of weeks ago. She did some fun post-processing with this image. Can you tell what it is?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Irises & Dogwoods........

A few weeks ago I wrote about my obsession with finding objects to photograph that appear against the walls of buildings or fences. Discovering how great this setting is came as a direct result of my "Project 365" and my quest for a new image every day.

While out "looking" last week, I came across two separate locations that in the last 15 years, never caught my eye. I was so happy with these spots that I went back with my Nikon to reshoot the scenes that I originally created with my iPhone.

With the two images in this post, I am also participating in Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday. This week was what she calls her "Free and Easy Edition" which means that the only requirement is that we use at least one of her textures.

This first image is of some irises I found growing against a building that houses a church bookstore. I have never had great success photographing irises in my studio because I can't seem to arrange them so they look natural and not contrived.

To make this even more special, when I went back with my "real" camera, an older woman who volunteers there told me that her mother had planted those bulbs many years ago, which gave me a brand new appreciation for the flowers I was photographing. I love that there was some history there.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

For this image I used Kim's "Oh My" and "Just Cause" textures with the "multiply" blending mode.

Just for fun, here is the original image before processing:

My second image is from a dogwood tree that was planted against a white wall of a medical office building. It is just starting to bloom. Again, this was a spot I found on one of my walks that I later went back to with my Nikon.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I used Kim's "Golden" texture with the "multiply" blend mode on this image.

Here is the "before" version:

Be sure to check out what others are posting as their "Texture Tuesday" contributions.

Happy Tuesday!


Thursday, April 12, 2012


A couple of months ago I talked about my fear and intense dislike of having my picture taken. I  also shared that for awhile now, my "go to" photos have either been of a younger version of myself or of me with a camera in front of my face. (See the sidebar of this blog....)

Well that is about to change........ Last week I finally agreed to have my photograph taken and I am happy to say, I liked quite a few of them. This is just one:

©2012 TMK Inspired Photography
The fact that I am willing to share these photos is great, but what this post is about is who took them and why it was a special day. Facing my fear of having my picture taken was nothing compared to what my friend Tamara has experienced.

I was lucky enough to meet Tamara almost three years ago and have watched her go from being a young lady who was shy and quiet, to someone brave enough to stand up in front of an audience and share the story of her personal struggle with domestic abuse. She has confided in me that this still terrifies her, but the point is, she keeps accepting the invitations. A talk she recently gave at Sacramento City College was featured in the school paper. Click here to read it:  "Standing Tall".

Love this photo of Tamara!
Tamara's list of accomplishments in the last few years is quite long. These include (and this is an incomplete list):

National Head Start Association “Beating the Odds Award”

Ron Orozco Education Scholarship

Outstanding Women's Awards

Soroptimist “Women’s Opportunity” Award (Rio Consumes Chapter

Soroptimist “Women’s Opportunity” Award Sierra Nevada Region 

Published Standing Tall "Triumphs of Domestic Survivors"

Published "My Journey" Photo Bio

Photos published in Sacramento City College Express 

Photo published in New York times, Sac bee, and SCC Express website "I love my librarian Award"

Tamara has also created three multi media videos:

  Shihaun's Promise;  Baraah Isha , Creative Woman  Shamar is somebody

And if this isn't enough, Tamara has blossomed into a gifted portrait photographer. I immediately felt comfortable during our shoot and even started to have a little fun.

To see more of Tamara's work visit her Facebook Page. TMK Inspired Photography

I am so grateful I met Tamara. Her strength, determination and passion continue to inspire me and everyone around her and I am sure you now feel the same way.

Stay tuned...............I promise I will share more photos from our "shoot".

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


A general definition of a panoramic image is that it be at least twice as wide as it is high. There are a few ways to make this type of photograph. These include panoramic cameras, "stitching" images together in the computer or even special "apps" for your mobile phone.

These are all great ways to create a "pano" and for the purist, the only way. My problem is I don't usually know that's what I want until later.  My method of creating these wide images is to simply crop them. Cropping is frowned upon by many and I have discussed this before. This is also not the first time I have shared images that were transformed with the cropping tool, but this latest incident fueled a "panoramic frenzy".

The other day I was working on some images to include in a possible presentation for a health care facility and there was one that I liked, but the bare trees of winter made it look a little spookier than I thought appropriate for that setting.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

So I decided to see what it would like cropped a bit.

©2012 Dianne Poinski - Parkway 1

It may still look a little ominous, but I liked it so much that I started opening up other images to see what they would look like with similar proportions. I may have even gotten carried away a bit, but I thought I would share a few with you today.

©2012 Dianne Poinski  - Clarksburg

©2012 Dianne Poinski - Jenner

©2012 Dianne Poinski - Yolo

©2012 Dianne Poinski - Beach

©2012 Dianne Poinski - Spring

©2012 Dianne Poinski - Parkway2

Posting these has made me want to go play with other images, but I won't bore you with anymore.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Student Show

Shortly after I began teaching hand coloring workshops I had the idea of giving students the opportunity to have a show in my studio. I talked about it for a couple of years and I am happy to report that it's happening! Next week actually!

I will be featuring four students that have taken every single class I have ever offered. These four were quick to sign up for the first "Level III" workshop I had last fall and it was during that class that I decided it was time to stop "thinking" and start "doing".

I am excited to announce that this month, in my studio, I will be featuring the work of Janice Adams-Filippelli, Karen Connell, Linda Erickson and Pamela McClanahan.

"Lone Tree on Masai Mara" ©2012 Pamela McClanahan

The pieces have started to arrive and I will be busy early next week making labels and hanging the show.
In the meantime, it's also become clear that it's time to take my annual break from teaching classes. After keeping a fairly regular workshop schedule during the fall and winter, every spring I start to feel the need to turn inward and concentrate on my own work for a few months. This year is no exception.
I always have mixed feeling about this. I love teaching and enjoy all the wonderful people I have met as a result. I also have a tendency to compare myself to others. I know quite a few photographers that maintain a fairly heavy workshop schedule and seem to be able to keep up with their personal work as well. How do they do that? Am I doing something wrong? I don't think it's important that I have answers to those questions, I just need to honor my own natural rhythm of retreating and recharging for a bit.
I am deeply inspired by the work my students are doing and I am looking forward to returning to my easel to do some of my own hand coloring. It's been awhile.......................
If you are local, please come to our Second Saturday Reception on April 14th, from 5 - 9pm. Click here for more information: Student Show 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Project Continues.................

Just finished up another month of my Project 365. While the goal is to take at least one photograph every day, most days the number hits double digits. My iPhone is with me everywhere and the photos I am sharing here were all taken with the iPhone camera, however, this project has definitely increased the amount of time my Nikon is also hanging around my neck.

In addition to sharing a few highlights from March in this post, I am also going to participate in Texture Tuesday this week as well.

The other day it became very breezy outside. I have seen my bedroom curtain fly in the wind before but don't believe I noticed how magical it looked. Of course I had to take a picture, or should I say "pictures". I probably have 25 shots of this curtain, each time thinking I had captured what I was feeling, only to have another gust come up and create one more stunning display of movement. I posted one version of this on Instagram and Facebook, but for Kim Klassen's  challenge this week I decided to take a different version and do all of the processing in Photoshop.

The theme this week was the word "soft". Not only do the curtains look soft and dreamy (or even spooky as some people have pointed out), but I used a soft filter and then added Kim's "Softly" texture.

  ©2012 Dianne Poinski


Be sure to check out Kim's blog to see what other people did with that theme.

Here are a few highlights from March. These were all taken and processed with my phone.

©2012 Dianne Poinski
Seen on someone's driveway during one of my walks around the neighborhood

©2012 Dianne Poinski
On my porch
©2012 Dianne Poinski
Taken in the parking lot of my studio, in the morning before one of my workshops.........

©2012 Dianne Poinski
In the afternoon, after the workshop.....
The "Project 365" calendar on my phone

I am a quarter of the way through the year and am feeling pretty confident I will complete this project. Who knows what I will find in April?