Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Inspiration Collaboration

Since January 2020, I have been hosting a collaborative inspiration group with Arkansas painter Helen Eaton. Helen and I met online a few years thing led to another...and at the end of December 2019 we were madly pulling together ideas for an art group. After 24 months of providing inspiration to a group of artists in Canada and the U.S., we have wrapped up our project.

I won't lie...there were times that I thought I just couldn't think of another image to provide for the other artists to use as a spring board for their own creations. And there were times that I just had no idea what I would create in response to the paintings that Helen provided for inspiration each month.

But we did it! And...if I must say so myself...the results are a joy to look at.  We created three magazines that summarize our two years of creativity.

This first magazine shows just the work of Helen and myself....72 images that were provided as inspiration...and 72 images that were created in response...over a two year period. If you click on the info below, you'll be able to view the whole magazine online at Blurb. Just click on the pages to move back and forth through the magazine. You can enlarge the magazine by clicking on the diagonal arrows at the top right.

The following magazine is a summary of the artwork produced in 2021 by the whole group: And this magazine is a summary of the artwork produced in 2020 by the whole group: I am so proud of what Helen and I accomplished!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Questions to think about


2021 Rfotofolio Selections - Sara Harley
In November, I was excited to be selected for a merit award by in the 2021 Rfotofolio Selections. (applicants had to submit a 7 image portfolio and artist statement). Part of this process means I will have an interview posted online sometime in 2022. I have just received the questions, and thought it would be interesting to share it with other creatives.

I'll be thinking about my answers over the next couple of weeks. What would your answers be?

Would you please tell us about yourself?

Where did you get your photographic training?

Who has had an influence on your creative process?

Please tell us about an image (not your own) that has stayed with you over time.

What image of yours would you say taught you an important lesson.

Please tell us about the work you submitted to the Rfotofolio Call.

What part of image-making do you find the most rewarding. 

How do you work through times when nothing seems to work?

What tools have you found essential in the making of your work?

Is there something in photography that you would  like to try in the future?

How does your art affect the way you see the world?

How has the pandemic influenced your work methods ? Or has it?

Monday, December 6, 2021

Book Cover

I was thrilled to receive notice of a royalty payment recently. I supply images to a company for book covers, which is a very simple process after going through the initial application. I upload images online...the company decides whether to accept them or not...if accepted, the images are included in their library...I get paid if someone purchases them. In my case, this is not a "get rich quick"

I haven't found an image online for the actual book cover, but here is the image that was purchased:

The image will be used on a book by Chilean novelist Isabel Allende... El plan infinito (The Infinite Plan) originally published in 1991. There are many, many editions online and I'm not sure what country this will be published in. Hopefully someday I'll be able to track down an image of the actual book cover.

Here is the summary of the book from the website of Isabel Allende: A saga of one man’s search for love and his struggle to come to terms with a childhood of poverty and neglect, The Infinite Plan is Isabel Allende’s first novel to be set in the United States and to portray American characters.

Gregory Reeves’ father is a self-styled preacher who wanders the American West with his family in a caravan during the 1940s, preaching “The Infinite Plan,” a divine vision of the meaning of life and the nature of the universe. But when the preacher falls ill, the family abandons its nomadic ways and settles in a Hispanic barrio of Los Angeles. Gregory begins a new life in a Spanish-speaking world: school (for the first time), gangs, sex, books and ideas, and work. As he explores the mysterious world of the barrio, he meets the people who will shape his future, among them Pedro and Inmaculada Morales, who become his surrogate parents and provide him with the love and security his own family cannot give him; Carmen Morales, their daughter and Gregory’s friend for life, who grows up to be an earthy woman who teaches him about love as well as friendship; Juan José Morales, their son and Gregory’s buddy, whose experience in Vietnam will change the course of his family’s and Gregory’s lives; and Cyrus, the old Communist intellectual who feeds Gregory books and inspires him with a passion for social justice.

As Gregory’s story unfolds, we follow his struggle to survive—persecution by gangs in the barrio, the horrors of the war in Vietnam—and to be successful. After his return from Vietnam, Gregory becomes a lawyer in San Francisco, where he pursues money and possessions, looks for love with the wrong women, parties, abuses alcohol, neglects his children, and loses himself in an illusory and wrongheaded quest. Eventually, after many false turns, Gregory’s search for love and for his soul brings him full circle back to his roots and to a new life.

Original image (unedited): 

original photo file


Monday, November 29, 2021

Rfotofolio Selections 2021 - Merit Award

I am proud to say that my work has been chosen for the Merit Awards as part of the Rfotofolio Selections for 2021. Photographers were asked to submit a portfolio of 7 images, along with an artist statement.

The portfolio I entered:

The image featured by Rfotofolio:

The Gathering

My statement:

I create composite digital images using my own photography, curating various series that emphasize emotional healing. I enjoy the freedom and individualism of creating conceptual art, images that are based in reality with my own photography, but developed from my own imagination. Minimalist and surreal, frequently using my love of birds and nature, my creations often illustrate feelings we seldom discuss.

Over the past two years, our changed world has caused a myriad of emotions about the importance of home and family, which has led me to explore the concept of haven. The dichotomy between the safety of our own environment and the threat of the unknown from without has contributed to increased levels of social anxiety  Whether based in reality, or perceived, the situation has challenged us to examine our thoughts and ourselves.

What makes us feel safe? Where do we take comfort? The answers are sometimes surprising.

What is Rfotofolio? From their website:

Rfotofolio was founded in 2012 by Connie and Jerry Rosenthal as a way to build a photographic community,  to give photographers access to a larger audience, and to educate the viewing public about the diversity found in photography through our sites, exhibitions, interviews, and articles.

In 2014 Rfotofolio became a non-profit, 501( c )(3) organization and in 2015 established the Rfotofolio Grant.

To learn more about our grants please visit the Grants and Awards page.

Rfotofolio supports the work of photographers by awarding the Rfotofolio grant once a year to a photographer working to continue their photographic endeavors.

Our Mission

  • To build a photographic community.
  • To provide a positive forum.
  • To give photographers access to a larger audience.
  • To curate, and promote brick and mortar exhibitions.
  • To provide an educational and inspirational community for photographers and collectors through our meetings and forums.
  • To nurture the art of the printed photograph.
  • To establish forums to promote the craft of photography.
  • To sustain, maintain and grow the exposure of the photography through our websites, exhibits, and publications.
  • To award the Rfotofolio Grant.
  • To Award the Denis Roussel Award.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Sara's Garden Project

I have a few hobbies aside from photography, and one of my loves is gardening. I enjoy the little miracles I see every day when I'm walking around admiring the beauty. I tend to enjoy flower gardening a lot more than working with vegetables. I do enjoy pulling something fresh from the garden and eating it, but I have never been one for working in the kitchen and the thought of all the work involved with preparing things for long term enjoyment does not appeal to me one bit.

Back to the May I was digging up some weeds and out popped this little gem...

...a miniature oak tree :)  After much admiration, and going to the house for a camera to take a portrait, I replanted this mighty oak in the woods behind our house. I checked on it throughout the summer and it seems to be doing well so far.

Taking that photograph got me thinking that I should try to take portraits of everything in my garden. That thought led to taking flower portraits in situ with my professional set up (insert laughter here):

which turned into portraits like this:

or these (set up with a piece of white bristol board instead of black):

Then I decided it would be easier to pick some and take them indoors to photograph:

These were seed heads I had saved from the previous fall to photograph "sometime"

And then I tried to get artsy and creative in different ways:

The great thing about this project is that it can go on forever. I am nowhere near done photographing all the things in the garden....and not even close to scratching the surface on the creative side.

When other photographers tell me they can't find anything to take photos of, it always gives me pause. I have never had that problem, but I guess there is that expression...simple minds are easily amused :)