Bring the metal to life. This is my challenge and my goal as an artist. I’ve been a full-time artist since 2005. Stainless steel is my main medium of expression. My process integrates fluid shapes, kinetic motion, sensual form, reflective light and rich color to transform a sheet of cold, hard steel. The materials and methods of construction give permanence to my dreams.
My metalworking and mechanical skills have been honed over decades developing industrial equipment (an earlier career) and restoring classic cars and motorcycles (a nearly lifelong interest). While that background may seem unusual for an artist, my earliest memories growing up in New York are of being surrounded by art and antiquities. My mother was an accomplished painter; my grandparents and parents were deeply involved with antiques and art as collectors and dealers. However, it was a distinct experience when I was twelve that sparked my future life as a kinetic artist.
In 1964 while visiting our grandparents in New York City, I visited the Alexander Calder exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum. To that point, whenever my brothers and I entered a gallery, museum or antique shop, the words we heard were, “Boys, put your hands in your pockets and do not touch anything.”
Then came the Calder exhibit. As I stood before one of Calder’s sculptures, the docent said to me, “Go ahead, son, make it move; bring it to life.”
In that moment, my imagination was ignited. The docent’s invitation was like magic to me, expanding the world of art to include more than objects hanging on walls or sitting on shelves gathering dust and admiration.
I had no idea my path in life would eventually lead to my career as an artist, but the docent’s encouragement that day when I encountered Calder’s mobile is where it started. Make it move; bring it to life.
Debbie creates her assemblage sculptures by using the original sculpted elements combined with an assortment of objects she has collected. Often the initial impetus for the sculpture occurs when she find some interesting fragment of metal or wood. Then an idea takes root and evolves from that “catalyst” piece. Every sculpture is like a puzzle for which she finds and fits each seemingly unrelated piece together in its most expressive form in order to create something new.
Originally from Germany, Gero Heine’s early experiences roaming the Black Forest and exploring the Alps and Dolomites sparked a lifelong passion for wilderness and wildlife. Likewise, his interest in photography began in childhood as he spent countless hours in bookstores, fascinated by compelling images of exotic and faraway lands. Gero has since been actively involved in conservation efforts and has participated in a lion research project. For the past 13 years his work is exhibited in art shows, festivals and galleries across the Western US.
My inspiration comes from the natural raw beauty that exists precariously beyond the relentless push of modern development. With each photograph, I allow the natural elements of color, shape, and motion to resonate with an echo of my own feelings. My goal is to present a timeless image that invites an individual emotional response for each viewer.
Work Description & Medium
My work is comprised of approximately 1/3 landscapes and 2/3 wildlife. 15-20% of my overall body of work is black & white or sepia toned. All of my subject matter is photographed on location in the wild. I now edit digitally for contrast and color correction, but to maintain a photographic purity no elements are added or removed. Effects such as motion blur are created “in camera.” After years of printing on fine art papers, for the past five years I have been mostly furnishing my work on aluminum prints. Unlike paper prints where ink is used, in metal prints dyes are infused into an acrylic substrate which is then baked onto an aluminum sheet.
- Winner – Wildlife Category of Nature’s Best Magazine’s annual (2010) Windland Smith Rice International Awards and will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (“Bison”).
- Winner/Finalist – PDN Great Outdoors Contest 2013 and 2009.
- North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) Annual Expressions Awards – Top 10, 2011.
- Best of Show Ribbons, Photography – La Jolla Festival of the Arts 2011, Rancho Mirage Art Affaire 2010.
- Highly Honored – Endangered Species Category of Nature’s Best Magazine’s annual (2010) Windland Smith Rice International Awards (“Male Tiger Scratch-Marking Tree”).
- Two Merit Awards – COLOR Magazine 2010 Single Image Contest Award.
- Merit Award – BW Magazine 2009 Single Image Contest Award.
- BBC/Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 2009 – six images qualified in the Semi Finals.
- Finalist – Photographer’s Forum Magazine 27th Annual Spring Photography Contest, 2007.
- Cover Shot – National Wildlife Federation Winter 2018 Gift Catalog (“Black Bear Mother And Cub I”).
A Word on Wildlife Photography
It is my goal to capture rare moments or thought provoking, unusual compositions of animals in their natural environment. It is critical for me to record special and fleeting moments without interfering with the animals’ natural behaviors in any way. I therefore maintain a safe and non-disturbing distance by using very large telephoto lenses and if possible I use my vehicle as a “blind.” Sometimes animals will venture close enough to my vehicle where I can use a smaller focal length lens however. Light sources such as flash is used sparingly and only if no disturbance to my subjects is observed.
After graduating with a B.A. in the Visual Arts from U.C.S.D. in 2004, this San Diego native has been producing works of art from his private home studio and McQuade Art Glass Studios. Inspired by intriguing patterns found in nature, and the amazing relationships shared by all living things, Nicolaus makes his art to share the beauty of life with others. His thought provoking creations give the viewer a brilliantly colorful experience. Working with a variety of paints, glass and materials allow his creativity to flourish in all directions. He exhibits these artworks in select galleries and events throughout southern California. Currently, Nicolaus is working on a new series of glass sculptures titled “Eternal Plumes” and private commissions.
Glenn Waggner’s background was mainly in architecture, and it wasn’t until almost twenty years ago he started painting. The subject matter of the paintings uses vivid color, to create a scene that captures a place and moment in time and invokes a story formed by the viewer. Beach towns, restaurant and bar interiors and cityscapes, both real and imaginary, are rendered often with a touch of humor. He likes to take a realistic scene and really push the boundaries of what is real.
I have been making art as long as I can remember. The art room in my high school in the UK, was a place of wonder, solace and hard work. A place where life changing discussions and affirmations took place. It was the best place to be a teenager.
An Art foundation course followed and then a BA in Art, Design and Film from the University of Northumbria. My early working career was based in retail staging, interior design and Interior styling, then I made a 180 degree turn and worked for the NHS (National health Service) supporting patients with an acquired head trauma and their families in their homes as they adjust to life back at home.
In 2010 my husband and three children and I moved to LA. As the move was supposed to be temporary I took the opportunity to return to my first love, art, and I started a Pet Portrait business, which I still run – www.kathrynpittpetportraits.com . From there I have continued to explore and experiment with different subjects and mediums.
Carolyn Fox seeks to create a strong sense of place, with a unique perception of the surrounding landscape and environs. Having lived in Ojai since 1987 , this beautiful valley with it’s tall rugged mountains are a continuous source of inspiration. As the seasons change the mountains, trees, chaparral, and cactus vary from lush to arid, with an ever changing subtlety of color. The Thomas fire of 2017 had a dramatic impact on the Ojai mountains and it has been fascinating to watch their regeneration as the rains soak in. My figurative work explores gesture and how the human figure can both echo and be integrated into the environment.
Robbie Kaye is an artist who tells stories about her experience of life, with an intent to be relatable, through resin art, photographs and prose. Her work presents narratives about people and nature. She is drawn to documenting beauty in both obvious and unsuspecting ways. Whether she is playing music, photographing or working in the studio with resin, she feels at home in the arena of any form of composition and sees it as her refuge.
Born in Gunnison Utah, Kent Butler developed a natural interest in nature. He is known for his unique and expressive use of color. Kent’s wide range of subjects and his variety in style are well known in contemporary circles. Kent’s paintings have won numerous awards and are represented in private collections internationally and in the United States. Kent now resides in Ojai, a setting of great natural beauty, which he feels is the perfect place to focus and pursue an already successful career in the art world.
Sharon Butler has had a lifetime interest in (and love for) American Indian art, and it dovetails with her ongoing fascination with form, design, and color. She works in several mediums, but mostly prefers acrylics, because with that she can obtain a ”beaded” three- dimensional effect, a signature technique for which she is most well-known. Sharon also incorporates leather and other authentic materials in her art to create illusions which disguise where one medium ends and another begin.