Thursday, August 2, 2012

Finding Inspiration...Martin Lewis

Several months ago I received some very good news, that my "shoot for the moon" project had been first reaction...a bit of good ol'fashioned panic. Yes, it had been something I'd wanted to do for quite a while. Yes, I believe I do have the basic skills for it. But the real question remained, it was a big creative challenge, and how to you accomplish a creative challenge? How do you create something new (at least for you?).

As I've written in my About sidebar, the title for this blog came as a response from a friend to my question "what am I going to do", and her response was "just start with the first image." So often, that's the problem with tackling a new idea or finding a new direction. You can't take on the entire mountain, you've got to break it into small steps and can really only look just in front of you to the first guidepost.

For me, I'm still exploring how to get started with my project so I'm trying a very wide range of things. My first step is to move intuitively towards whatever I'm drawn to. If it's a location - I go there, if it's an artist - I get a bunch of books of their work and start reviewing them.  Now that we have Google, it's so easy to find artwork and I started doing searches on words that interested me and then saving images from those listings.

One of the interesting artists I came across is Martin Lewis. A great side note on googling that name is I got completely sidetracked into the Rat Pack...

Anyway, I completely fell in love with his sense of highlight and shadow and the way his images seem to tell a story about an individual even though it's within the context of a large city.  If you see similarities between his work and Edward Hopper - you're very insightful - they were friends and Hopper turned to Lewis for instruction on his etchings. I see a lot of similarities between the two artists. This image, Late Traveler, on the top left, really reminds me of the Hopper painting New York Movie (below). Something about the quality of light and the composition - once again that separation between the enclosed smaller space and the larger world.

I don't really know yet how, or if, these artists I'm researching will impact my larger project, but I do see their impact on a series I started with my vintage Tower camera (image below). I love the sense of isolation within the images and I'm drawing on Lewis' aesthetic of a warm tone, with a lot of expanded tonality and deep shadows.'s a start...

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