Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Something a Little Different.....

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to participate in a group show by Jill Allyn Stafford, a talented collage artist who is now sharing space in my old studio.

The show features ACEOs, which stands for "Art Cards Editions and Originals". The only requirement is they must be 2.5" x 3.5". 

When I was first invited, I almost said "thanks, but not now...." but then I changed my mind. The idea of doing something a little different seemed very very appealing, so I said YES! (Remember, I am trying to do more of that!)

Feeling a little intimidated by the pieces people were posting online, I wasn't sure how to begin. Some people were creating in their regular medium, painting, collage etc. and some were trying new techniques and experimenting with the small size. 

After many false starts, I finally settled on creating digital collages based on some of my Hipstamatic beach photos from last summer. Collage is not as easy as it looks. Placement is everything and since I am usually a "less is more" kind of person, there were times when I completely scrapped what I was doing to try something else.

Once I had my theme, it became a little easier. Beginning with some textured backgrounds, I added my iPhone image and in a couple of cases, text. I also added photos of some shells I took, scans I made of some vintage magnets (see "Happy Thoughts" below), stamps and a couple of other odd things I had hanging around.  I also found a beach ball image online that I used, as well as a few other random items. 

©2014 Dianne Poinski

Here the rest of my "cards":

©2014 Dianne Poinski

©2014 Dianne Poinski

©2014 Dianne Poinski

©2014 Dianne Poinski

If was a fun project and I am happy I decided to say YES!

These will be on display during Second Saturday. Come by if you can!

Note: For more information about ACEOs, click here: Cards

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Process or Vision?

I recently heard an artist talk about how it's better to blog for yourself than for others. I know this is true, so I am going to warn you.....this post rehashes some issues I have discussed before, but I am writing it to sort things out for myself more than anything else. I apologize in advance if it seems like I am repeating myself.

I have been a photographer for over twenty years. In the beginning I shot only black and white film and made prints in my bathroom. I loved what I was doing, but the black and white images I was creating did not always match the vision I had. Then I discovered hand coloring and everything changed. Finally I had a way to share what was in my head.

And I was happy about this for many many years........................

When I started learning about Photoshop, a conflict within began to emerge. While the learning curve was steep, I soon began creating images in my computer that I loved! 

Along with the changes in technology, my vision had begun to shift. Many more things were now possible and I wanted to try them all.

The conflict brewing was because I thought I "should" still be hand coloring all my prints. This is what I was known for, and while I loved the hands-on nature of the original art I was creating, the "vision" was not there. What was in my head (and my heart), was not showing up on the paper.

Something happened last week that brought with it a lot of clarity regarding this issue.

A few months ago I shared how I was experimenting with some mixed media techniques including hand coloring Unryu paper that had been mounted on a board. Last week, with the studio move behind me, (for now) the urge to create with my hands grew strong, so I bought a few boards and made some prints.

The battle then began. I had a pretty good idea of how these were going to turn out if I hand colored them..........and it wasn't what I had in mind. The voices grew loud: "But you hand color! It's what you do!" It then became very clear that this was not a reason to do it.

With my last remaining piece of paper, I made a color print. This print represented my vision of the piece........period. Isn't that why we make art? To express ourselves? I refuse to compromise my art because of too many "shoulds". 

Pigment print on Unryu paper, mounted on encaustic board.

It's difficult to see it here, but I also coated the piece with some cold wax medium. This not only adds texture, but also enhances the fibers in the paper, protects the print, and in many ways creates an original work of art. 

The exciting part for me is I was able to do something with my hands and it turned out the way I wanted it to! In the last couple of years, that was not always the case when I hand colored a print.

So what does this all mean? Will I never hand color again? I doubt it, but I am not going to apologize if that happens.

In related news......Last month I did a fairly major overhaul of my websiteThe most significant change was I moved any image that began it's life as a hand colored, black and white photograph, into a separate portfolio. Prior to this, reproductions of hand colored images were sometimes placed right next to images processed entirely in Photoshop. 

I suspected that showing both types of images could be confusing, and this bothered me. A couple of months ago I had a long time collector purchase one of my prints from Ireland and after doing so, sent me an email sharing how she took the print to work and explained my process to everyone. I know what "process" she was talking about........ 

After creating the portfolio of reproductions, I also made one for the last remaining originals I have on hand. I then sent out an email to my list explaining the changes I had made and clearly stated that if an image was not in one of those two portfolios, then it was not hand colored. I decided this was better than having only my new, digital work on the website (which was an option I did consider...)

How something is created is not as important as why. I know I have said that here before, but writing this has helped cement that idea (hopefully for the last time)

Way cheaper than therapy............thank you!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I woke up yesterday with my plan for the morning firmly etched in my mind. I had things to do and the time carved out to do them. Then I looked out the window...........thick fog had settled in and it was beautiful!

Most of you know that we are in the middle of an historic drought here in California, so the significant rain we received this weekend was welcomed and celebrated! Lack of rain has also meant lack of photographically inspiring fog.

I would like to say that as soon as I saw the fog, I grabbed my camera and headed out the door, but that wasn't the case. The voices in my head quickly started arguing. "I should keep to my original plan". "No, this is an opportunity you should not pass up!" "It's cold and wet outside". "But who knows when the fog will be back?"

Back and forth it went until I finally decided to listen to the wise voice.....the one that was telling me I would probably regret it if I didn't go. I was really glad I listened because there was no fog this morning!

A few months ago I started visiting William Pond Park to photograph at the river, and each time I was there I thought, "this place probably looks amazing in the fog". So that is where I went and I was right.......

I played around with a few of the images and decided to make these all a warm tone. It fits the mood I think.

©2014 Dianne Poinski

©2014 Dianne Poinski

©2014 Dianne Poinski

©2014 Dianne Poinski

I have been discovering more and more that when I listen to the voice of inspiration I am usually guided to let a little more spontaneity into my life, which in turn is usually very creatively rewarding. You would think I wouldn't even bother arguing with myself, but I still do..................

Just for fun, I also made a (very short) video of the ducks in the fog. Be sure to turn your speakers on because it was the noise in the quiet of the fog that I found amusing. If you don't see the video, click on the link below.

Just me and the ducks..... from Dianne Poinski on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Studio (#1)

I did it! With only one day to get everything out of my old studio and into the new one, it got a little crazy, but I managed to pull it off.....barely. 

I took a lot of things home since this space is about a third of the size of old one, but I am very happy with the way it turned out. 


Crammed everything into the new space at the end of the day on Friday

Worked all day on Saturday to get it to this point

I think my years of experience putting up booths at art festivals in under 2 hours helped me out here!

Ready for Second Saturday!

And to think I get to do this all over again in less than 2 months!