I owe many of you a sincere apology as I have not been posting as regularly about food, travel, life in the Hamptons, or just life in general, as I have over the previous three years of this blog's four-year life. My life and photography took some dramatic turns this year, requiring my energies to shift away from Open Window for a while.
At the very beginning of the year, I closed a sale of twelve of my flower and seascape images to an interior designer from Baltimore, who found me on the internet, and was working to decorate a seniors facility on Long Island. Needless to say I was thrilled but that was just the beginning of a year full of events I couldn't have foreseen.
In January, after visiting friends in Puerto Rico, I decided that wave photography is what I want to focus my energies on - photographing waves in a way that will show what I see and express what I feel when I'm near tidal waters. One of those first images ("The Narcissistic Serpent") was my submission to an art show in February at Ashawagh Hall here on the East End, sponsored by our local art and framing shop, Hampton Photo Arts. Alyce Peifer, a local painter saw the photograph, said she loved my art, and asked me to participate in an art show (Creative Vision) she curates every year - opening the art season at the Water Mill Museum. She said I'd be the only photographer amongst eighteen other artists. I accepted.
When a good friend bought some of my flower photographs for redecorating her bedroom, she also bought "The Narcissistic Serpent" and she took them all to be framed at Framer's Framer in Chatham, MA. The owner liked the wave image so much she asked to be introduced to "the artist", and thus began a new journey. She was going to launch a gallery as part of her shop and she asked for thirteen of my wave images for exhibit and sale. I was "over-the-moon" at the gallery's opening when I saw my wave photographs hanging on one wall, and National Geographic photographers' Cotton Coulson and Sisse Brimberg photographs of Antarctica hanging right next to them. (Oh my!)
I delivered the pictures to the Framer's Gallery in July and then they went about the business of framing them, which they did simply and beautifully. As the pictures were leaning against the wall where they would be hung, a patron asked to see what they were and "All That Glitters" was sold before it was ever even hung. Now that took my breath away. Since then "Touchdown" has also sold ... building momentum or only hope?
At that art show in February, I also met an enthusiastic, friendly photographer named Flo Siemsen ("Flo of Pictures") who has since recommended that I participate in an all-woman, month-long, art show this time in Nassau County in March 2014 called "Women of the World". This will be the first judged show I have ever participated in and I should learn a lot. There will be nearly 50 artists showing at The Hutchins Gallery on the C.W. Post campus in Brookville. "En Pointe" will be my submission, as the theme must be "female, feminine, or indicative".
You may think all of this isn't a satisfactory excuse for allowing Open-Window to slide but wait ... there's more.
As interest in my fine art wave photography seemed to be growing, I decided I should create a website dedicated to showcasing just those images, so once again I hopped on another vertical learning curve - creating a site called Claudia Ward Photography on SquareSpace. I hope you all have an opportunity to visit and let me know what you think. While I was building that site, I was also researching and building a list of art galleries interested in photographic art. Next year the goal will be to contact them and see what interest they may have in showing and selling my work.
You may (or may not) recall that in 2012, Peter and I celebrated our "60's" in Venice at a photographic workshop called Venice Within the Frame and there we met a lovely woman named Sheida. In today's digital photography environment most photographers, aspiring or otherwise, use some sort of processing software and Lightroom was the choice Sheida and I'd both made. I helped her a bit while we were there and we exchanged addresses to stay in touch ... and we have. Sheida joined a photography workshop with Valérie Jardin this past spring in Paris, and Peter and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch with Sheida before our workshop in Normandy, also with Valérie. Since then Sheida asked if I would give her Lightroom lessons and we have Skyped, on average once a month, from wherever we are - Nairobi, London and/or the States. Sheida has a wonderful vision of the children and women she wants to photograph, and I sincerely respect her tenacity to learn the tools to allow her to express what she sees. This has been a truly remarkable and rewarding experience for me. I would never have dreamed four years ago that I would be teaching Lightroom, let alone over Skype to countries far from my own.
BTW I should also mention that because of Sheida and her telling me that I was a good teacher when we were in Venice, I began a second blog in January called Light, Lines & Color which was meant to be a weekly lesson in the ABCs of photography for "photographers and wannabes". I made it to week 31 before I had to suspend that blog too for all the reasons I've enumerated here, but I love teaching and I plan to return.
Somewhere in here I have to remind you that Peter and I love to photograph "all of the goings on" around here come spring, summer and fall. This past spring we were able to enjoy a roll down memory-lane, literally, thanks to Laurie Barone-Schafer, who has so much energy she makes me look like I'm standing still. This woman, along with many others, organized the return of the Soap Box Derby to High Street in Sag Harbor. It was a truly amazing day and my favorite day of shooting any event out here ... EVER. Maybe because it was the first, there were no expectations but I haven't seen a competitive environment like that so joyous in decades. Were there disappointment and tears? Of course. But I saw no fisticuffs and angry parents, just a lot of "good clean fun" and we caught it in the camera, sharing the pictures with everyone on SmugMug.
Networking is what it's all about ... so THEY say, and I knew a lot of people from a double-decade career in NYC, and one former associate reached out after she "connected" on LinkedIn and asked me to speak at her photography club in Brooklyn. This was a lot of fun and underscores that teaching just might still be in my future.
So the year has taken unexpected turns and I should have at least kept you apprised . We've shared snippets, photos, stories, and comments and I didn't mean to close the window ... in fact, it's not closed, it's just slightly ajar.