I had the good fortune to attend the Summer Arts program located at the old Ft.Ord base at CSUMontereyBay in early July. The program consists of a variety of two week classes in the Visual and Performing Arts. The workshop I attended was Exploring Photography From Three Centuries which did just that. We made broad leaps from the early days of photography in the 1800’s to modern time using mixed media and collage, and the latest I phone camera apps and technology.
We learned from our instructor, Dan Estabrook, how William Henry Fox Talbot used Salt Printing to develop prints using chemicals and natural exposure to light in the early 1800’s. These processes include salt prints, cyanotype (blue) printing, and more and my class had the opportunity to replicate this method using Gelatin –Salted Paper. I discovered there are many people, a subculture if you will, who are using these methods called alternative photographic processes.
Holly Roberts began our next class asking us what we were most afraid of and after some discussion, we were off and running experimenting with paint, collage materials, and having a great time. I discovered that I enjoyed painting on canvas and using beautiful flowers from the campus with some of my photos in my collages.
Dan Burkholder had an amazing amount of information about photographic processes and in particular, the I Phone and its use as a camera. I was at first skeptical about the kind of pictures this little phone could take, but became a believer after using one and getting some great pictures which were enlarged to 13 x 19 prints.
The summer arts experience can be a life changing experience with expert teachers who are bound to add to your level of expertise and confidence. Spending two weeks focusing on your passion with other like minded souls is quite a gift. For more information about this program, see: www.csusummerarts.org.
I plan to exhibit some of this new work at Quail Park in Visalia, August 6 – September 22, with a reception Friday, August 10, between 4:00 – 5:00 pm and hope to see you.