Tag: photography

Spring is springing…kind of.

I actually went out for a walk in a tank top and flannel shirt today. Yesterday I spent a blissful hour+ in my favorite junkyard. My mental heath has taken a turn for the better.

Yeah, I know, it’s been a long time since my last post. So here is what you don’t know:

The heron is finished and installed and it is fabulous if I do say so myself. The grand unveiling was supposed to happen last week but that wonderful spring snowstorm put the kibosh on the festivities. So they have been postponed to Thursday April 12th at 4 p.m. Why aren’t I posting pictures? Well, I want to keep it a surprise until it’s official viewing. Of course if you happen to be at Piney Run Park in Carroll County, MD in the next few weeks, you could walk down to the main dock…just sayin’. (just don’t post photos until after the 12th). If you can’t make that…here’s a sneak peek during installation.

installation #1-1200110

In other news, I have been finishing up some things in the studio that got put on hold until the heron left the building. Here’s a woven piece that I have been working on for a while. It is 82″ long and is designed to go on the floor.

And finally, I thought I would share my photos from yesterday. I think the classes I have been taking are helping me to focus my ability to see stuff and to capture it more clearly. I am still working with the theme of aging and decay…

See you in April!!!

Buh-Bye to 2017

HoHoHoHoHo…Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and all that jazz…

IMG_4648
This has been an incredible year for the studio and next year looks to be just as fun…
LOOKING BACK:
2017 was simply amazing at Virginia Sperry Studio. First, I had two very successful open studios. I was glad to see new faces and some faces that I have been missing. It seems that my sculpture gardens are starting to really make an impact in the community which makes me super happy. I hosted Winters Mill High School students as well as a church group (sadly, my memory was not so successful and I have forgotten the name of the church.) The open studio in December was great, not just because of all the people who came here, but because of all the people who came out to all the different studios. We artists appreciate when you show up and buy our work more than you can possibly know. It can mean food on the table, shoes for the kiddies, not to mention a  HUGE boost to our ego. So THANK YOU for coming out to see me!!!
In February I installed my paper rocks at the Horowitz Center at Howard Community College for a day. It was a great experience, trying out different installations and meeting some awesome people. I hope to do more of this next year. (More on that later.)
From April to June I exhibited at “Buickster Hall” in Taneytown MD. The gallery name is in quotes on purpose because, weirdly, it didn’t really exist. It was physically there but it did not exist on paper. Evidently the guy who started it was a scam artist. So I had a somewhat successful show but the gallery is now closed. It was one of the odder stories in my career.
In October I showed a few of my pieces in Salisbury CT at my dad’s retirement home. It was a nice show but for me it was one more chance to connect with my 96 year old dad who grasp of reality is steadily declining.
In the spring I started the commission for the Great Blue Heron. The Carroll County Arts Council and the Parks and Recreation Department got together and received a grant for a sculpture for Piney Run Park. I have been busy working on it throughout the year and it will be “planted” next spring. Right now, the heron is wishing for a few more wing feathers for Christmas.
IMG_4717
As you may know, this is the year that my photography has finally stepped across the line from hobby to serious artistic pursuit. I took two amazing online classes through the International Center for Photography in NYC. I learned so much and I feel like I am ready to start putting my photos out there along with my sculptures. In addition, I applied to take a photography retreat in the south of France next year…and I was accepted! (More on that later). Here’s one of the more recent photos I took.
Impermanence-34


LOOKING FORWARD:
Soooooo….2018? It’s already filling up with wonderful things.
The heron will be finished and installed on March 22 (more details next month).
I am going to France in July for the photography retreat. I will be with 13 other students and 3 mentors to discuss what I’ve been working on and where I want to go in the future. (I am SUPER excited about this opportunity.)
I will be hosting two open studios again. It is possible I will be moving the date of the spring one but check back with me next month and I will know for sure.
I am planning to do another rock installation at the Eldersburg Library on June 20th…it will be open to the public and I will do a talk at the end of the installation…more on that in future newsletters.
I am planning a photography and personal history tour through Pittsburgh next spring.
And the studio will be filled with new, wonderful sculptures…
See you next year!!!

Junkyard

I don’t have a lot of time to write but I have been having so much fun photographing stuff at the local junkyards and I wanted to share some of them with you. After taking the class at ICP this summer, I think I have found my new oeuvre: abstract photos of metal, rust and other stuff. I am in love with the colors, textures and stories that I find hiding in the rows and rows of dead cars. I will be putting more of them on my website within the next few days, but here is a sample of what I have been finding!

Photography class part 2

Here is the final project that I submitted for my online photography class at the International Center for Photography. I was unable to “attend” the last two classes as I was traveling, but the teacher taped them, so I learned everything I needed to.

All of these pictures were taken in or around the bottom floor of my barn. There is an old horse stable and a milking parlor that have not been used for decades. I spent some time, at different parts of the day, peering through windows and getting down on the ground to see this barn from different views. I am interested in recording images of objects that are past their sell by date. In other words, I look for objects and scenes that are no longer used for their original purpose.

Enjoy!!!

 

I also ran across this house one day last month. It was not part of my final project, but it is definitely part of my extended project. I can only surmise what happened to it.

July2017-14July2017-13

Photography class

I am taking an online photography class with the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC. Photography  has always been a wonderful outlet for me, it provides me with a serenity that I don’t see in the rest of my life. When I’m behind the camera, time stops. No that’s not right, it doesn’t stop, it just doesn’t matter.

However, I have always had a difficult time learning about f-stops and ISO and all of that technical stuff. The mechanics of a camera remain a mystery to me…they make absolutely no sense to my brain. For some reason, though, during my trip to Namibia, something started to creep through the fog and I started to figure out a way to understand it. This class is cementing that understanding and I feel like I have stepped into a new area of my photographic life. I hope that photography will always be a part of my creativity.

Here are the eight pictures I chose for our first assignment. It was a basic assignment, taking pictures with various shutter speeds and apertures, at various times of the day and of various subjects. We have not gotten to the post production editing section of the course but I am pretty pleased with how these came out without even changing anything.

Click on an image to start a slide show…Enjoy!

rocks…or maybe bread.

Yesterday I spent six hours doing three different installations of the paper-cast rocks that I have been making for the past four months (see previous post). The idea was to take something that I have been working on in my studio and find a venue to place it in so that I could see a) what the reaction was and b) how the objects changed when placed within the context of a public space. There was just so much information that I could ascertain stuck in my studio so I ventured forth to the Horowitz Center at the Howard County Community College in Columbia, MD. (Thanks to Becky Bafford and Janelle Broderick for giving me the opportunity to do this.)

I arrived at the college at around 10 a.m. and started emptying the box of rocks soon after. I really had no idea what I was going to make but I immediately had some very interested people checking the whole thing out. It was quickly apparent that the best moments of the day were going to when I put a “rock” into someone’s hand. The surprise was immediate, their eyes telling them that this object should be heavy and their hand telling them that it was lighter than air. Sometime during the day I started to ask people “Which do you believe, your eyes or your hand?”

I had several wonderful conversations and met some really interesting people. The place I had chosen was one of the major throughways from the parking garage to the rest of the college. Howard Community College has an incredibly diverse student population and I was talking to people of all ethnic backgrounds. I was also intrigued by the amount of older students as well. I was not the oldest person in the building by any means.

Here are pix of the three installations that I worked on during the day.

I learned a lot during this process. Most of it was fascinating to me only, but I will share a few things that really intrigued me.

  1. This was less about an installation than about a performance art piece. The finished product was great but my interactions with the public were more important to me as an artist. Especially when I was able to start a deeper, more philosophical conversation.
  2. It is very difficult to create and record at the same time. In the future, I will look into finding someone to visually record the experience. (It also helps to have someone to go get lunch and give me time to eat it.)
  3. This experience was very different than a gallery show or a craft show. It was not about me only, but about my interactions with the surrounding environment. Because I was not looking to sell the piece, I was able to concentrate on talking to people in a more relaxed way.
  4. Some people didn’t see rocks they saw shells or even bread. This last one threw me a bit as I didn’t see that at all. But I went with it anyway. One man’s rock is another’s bread roll. Of course it meant I better understood the gentleman who thought the last installation reminded him of Hansel and Gretel. Mmmmmm…food for thought???
  5. Daylight, time of day, placement of objects is of the utmost importance. I was located in a very well,travelled corridor, although enough out of the way that no one tried to walk on them. The light changed drastically throughout the day which then changed the success of taking pictures. I need to take this into consideration.
  6. It’s better to do this when I am in good gardening shape. I hurt today.

I am sure there will be more of these experiences, I just have to figure out when and where. But with so much else going on, I don’t know when that will be.


Update on the Great Blue Heron…I was featured on the front page of the local rag…there is something to be said for social media…

Click here to read the article and watch the video…