I have looked forward to this event for several weeks. “Paint the Town” is sponsored by the Chester County Art Association and it is their second anniversary. The idea is to have a multitude of artists walk the streets of West Chester, PA and see where inspiration strikes. Then the artists will set up camp and “paint the town!” Then all the artwork that is created this week will be on display, and or, for sale at the “Gallery Walk” event in downtown West Chester.
All of the art is verified that it was created during this week only. I love the idea that you can buy art on Friday that was literally inspired and created the same week. The only other place I know that could happen is in Atlantic City. (Airbrush T-shirt anyone?).
As a photographer I am feeling somewhat challenged by this opportunity. “Paint the Town” is easily a “painter’s” event. You will see many easel’s set up on the corners of West Chester. As a photographer, I have found my initial euphoria of being a participant, giving way to a bit of anxiety of wondering “what am I going to shoot?” There are so many ideas I can execute. I mean, how cool is it to have the town at your disposal. But still, I am not a painter, and I wonder how the citizens of West Chester are going to react to a photographer. I’m not a big landscape photographer. I prefer to photograph people and I am hoping to create some great portraiture throughout the event.
I am still narrowing down each day to one “focus”. Right now I am deciding between, street, tilt shift, portraits and personal object photography. I know I definitely want to create art that is appealing to the citizens of West Chester. I feel like this is sort of a commission gig. I’m not going to only create “sellable” or popular art, but I do want to offer some contemporary favorites for Friday nights gallery walk. So do me a favor and visit West Chester, PA this week and see some of the best artists in the area create some amazing pieces. Then come on out Friday and support the arts by purchasing from these amazing men and women.
I was very happy to hear that my photograph that was hanging in Starbucks in West Chester, PA received a few inquiries for purchase. You may remember the photograph I referred to in my past photography blog. No one did purchase it but it is an honor that someone was interested. Of course, I wondered if I had priced it too high. But Darcey and the gang at Chester County Art Association actually thought it was priced too low. Regardless, I was proud it was shown publicly and appreciated by many. I also know there were many artists work purchased there and I encourage a return visit to Starbucks on Gay Street in West Chester to see the new pieces
Speaking of new pieces of artwork. I have another piece of art at the same Starbucks! Yea! I am glad it was selected. It is one of my favorite engagement photographs. It is of my friends Jonathan and Tracey. It is from a series of engagement photos we did in around Philadelphia. We found this shop on South Street to shoot photos in and around. We did this particular pose several times and I was able to capture this one specific shot. I love the way Jonathan is barely looking up and noticing Tracy in the window. It is a subtle move but very specific. It truly tells a story.
I call it “The First Engagement.” I edited the photograph to look vintage and maybe appear to be a painting instead of a photo. This shot has been the inspiration for all of my engagement photography sessions. I strive to shoot in a location that is important to the couple. Springton Manor was important to Matt and Amanda so we shot there. I feel engagement sessions shouldn’t be “just” outdoors, but should be in a place that has meaning to the couple. Philadelphia has a very special meaning to these two lovebirds, so it was easy to craft a photo shoot for them. If you want to check out the photograph, it will be on display at the Starbucks on Gay Street in West Chester, PA till the end of December.
If you are looking for more art to view or purchase check out more that Chester County Art has to offer. Feel free to check out more wedding photo samples too!
I’m so excited. I received a great honor today from our friends at CCAA!
It started out simply enough, is the day to drop off new artwork for the Chester County Art Association at their Exton gallery. After having my photography featured at the local Starbucks I was eager to display another piece of art for public display. I chose something that was a little out of the norm for my particular style. I had worked on a project in 2011 for a local writer named Jim Breslin. Jim had gotten a great collaboration from local writers here in Chester County. He challenged them all with writing a short story of fiction to be put together under one great book. He was kind enough to ask me to photograph the cover of the book. The final cover was chosen for “Chester County Fiction” which displayed a barn I had photographed in the area. Honestly, everybody has asked me, “Where is this barn?”, I have to admit, I can’t remember. It is either in Coatesville, PA. Or it is in Chester Springs, PA. In all fairness I really need to find the locale of this barn because so many people have asked me about it. Anyway , along with the help of a great artist named Larry Geiger. We came up with a great book cover to reflect the short stories context with in “Chester County Fiction”
I wanted to use this barn photograph from the cover of “Chester County Fiction” , because it is the exact opposite type of photography from the one on display at the Starbucks in West Chester, PA. I do not do a lot of landscapes. But I have always loved the way this particular photograph came out. Also I have had fun, digitally editing the photograph. I have tried it with a sky enhancement, and HDR effect, and even black and white. The version I selected to display at Chester County Art Association ,is the HDR version.
It created a more dramatic sky , a deeper rich green on the corn, and it made the bricks truly pop on the barn itself. So, I was very proud of the fact that when I took it in for the drop-off today at the art show. Darcy , the executive director of Chester County Art Association was there and when I opened my photograph she immediately exclaimed, “front window!” I was stunned for a second. I couldn’t believe that my photograph was actually going to be accepted for display, let alone displayed in the front window of the art gallery at the Exton Mall. This is truly an honor. I do not take it lightly. Hopefully you will get a chance to stop by the Exton Mall and see my photograph. Also, please take a moment to browse inside the art gallery. I have no doubt you will be blown away by the talent in Chester County PA. As well as you will probably find lots of great gifts to give to friends and family this holiday season. By the way, if anyone is interested in purchasing this photograph. A portion of the proceeds will still go to the charity selected by the the “Chester County Fiction ” book authors.
I really do not want this to come off as a braggart. But I am genuinely honored to have my photograph displayed at the West Chester Starbucks on Gay Street. You may remember my disappointment at the same photograph not being selected a judge at the Chester County Art Associations juried show. But the support I received from the art community led me to try again, and I am so glad I did. I know it is hard for you to believe this but when it comes to my art I am pretty shy. This is in direct contrast to my on-air persona at work. I think it’s because so many of my pieces are extensions of my own thoughts or feelings and I think we all know how hard it is to put those out there to be judged. But agin I cannot stress how much I love this photograph. I find myself searching it out on my computer sometimes to look at it. It is usually the first photo I show to others when they ask about what kind of photography I “do”. It is the photograph that, motivates me to dig deeper, share more and don’t be afraid to put my thoughts, feelings and messages out there for the world to see.
On the lighter side. I went to see if my photograph was selected to be on display at Starbucks. I parked as close ads I could. I had to walk a few blocks and when I opened the door, I saw all the beautiful artwork. Chester County Art Association does a great job of showcasing local artists. I walked in and didn’t see my artwork immediately. I thought, “Oh, no here we go again.” I held my breath and rounded the corner by the counter and I saw it. . . .there it was. It was hung. It was on display and I was overwhelmed to see it displayed in public.
A very warm wave of excitement rushed through my body. I was thrilled and honored to have it displayed so prominently. I know I must have looked like a geek as I took pictures of my artwork. I couldn’t help it. This is a first for me and I am excited. I am hoping that just one person is moved like I am when I look it. I hope it gives someone pause. I hope just one person enjoys it half as much as I do.
But mostly I hope no one laughs as loud as I did when I saw where it was hung . . . (Cue the barista “Who ordered the Grande’ Humility?”) I figure Coffee + Bathroom placement = Most prominent placement in the joint! I just hope someone has time and can take a second on the way in, to actually look at the pic.
In all sincerity, I am truly honored to have my very first piece of artwork shown publicly. Even though I jest, I know this wall was the only one big enough for my photograph and in no way, shape or form are my quips to be taken seriously, I am proud to have been selected. Also, a quick thanks to Ann and the other administrators at Chester County Art Association who encouraged me to bring my photograph back for the Starbucks show.