Saturday, July 17, 2010

Elder Horse Project - Mary Cornelius

Remember always that you are just a visitor here, a traveler passing through. Your stay is but short and the moment of your departure unknown. ~ Dhammavadaka

Countless times we have seen on the news after a disaster in which people have lost their homes, one of their first reactions after making sure their family members are alright, is to try to retrieve the family photos. Everything else can be replaced, but those photos provide precious memories and historical data for generations to come.

What if those photographs had never been taken in the first place?

As a photographer, I am well aware of how fleeting a moment is. My own life experiences have taught me the lesson of how impermanent all life is. Through the years I have received phone calls with that hopeful tone of voice looking for my help. "We lost our horse and wondered if you had any photographs. They would be really wonderful to have to remember him by." Or "our friends just lost their horse/friend/child etc and we are looking for a photo of them for a memorial in the local equestrian publication. We are hoping that you have one."
Though always saddened by the losses in our midst, I feel some gratification when I can come through with what has now become even more treasured preserved moments doing the important job of memorializing a loved one. I know that once the initial shock of loss has been absorbed, many people are comforted by having images of the one they have lost. I know I am. I think they can be an integral part of the healing process. I am saddened when I sometimes have to say, "No, I am so sorry, I don't have any photos of that particular horse or person and inevitably, I hear "we always meant to get photos done..."

I have long wanted to write something about this subject, but have hesitated for fear that I wouldn't be able to adequately convey that my intentions are not about selling more photos by making people afraid of loss, but being able to simply help if the need should arise. I am committed to being supportive of our equestrian community not only in the good times, but the sad times. I would like for myself and for my fellow photographers to be able to avoid hearing that disappointed sad voice on the other end of the line. I know that I am not the only photographer who would feel good about being able to help.

With that said, I would like to offer my services at no charge to owners of horses 25 years or older. I figure any horse that has lived that long deserves a portrait! I will come to your farm or stable and do a photo session with your senior horse. It can be a formal portraiture session or casual "day in the life" style imagery.
If you are out of the 25 mile radius of Portland, I would ask that my travel costs be covered. (primarily gasoline) Photo prints and digital files will be offered for sale at a 20% discount. The typical farm call session price will be suspended.
Contact me for details. I am eager to get started on this elder equine project this spring. I call it The Elder Project.

More Elder Horse stories and images from Mary's Elder Horse Project are here and here.

Mary Cornelius

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Naughty Bits - Terri Miller

I was taking inventory in my supply closet the other day and came across three rolled up canvasses. It was a triptych, removed from its support stretchers, that I had completed nearly 30 years ago. When I unrolled it, I was transported to my college days at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

For all of senior year, the Fine Art majors were given studio space. We took over several floors of a loft building at 22nd Street and 2nd Ave. Dividers made of plywood, salvaged doors, cabinets and curtains divvied up the space into small rooms that we shared between 2-3 people. Artists walked freely throughout the space. It was communal, bohemian, and for many of us, it was the first time we had the opportunity to create in a space larger than the corner of a bedroom. After three years of dragging art supplies to a variety of classrooms in 4 separate buildings, our instructors came to us, so we were able to work on pieces that were more complex and less portable.

It was New York, and it was the early ’80’s, and no one in that school wanted to see a painting of a horse. While I was already selling commissioned equine portraits, I was always reminded to try something else, to go a step further, in my work at the School. And so I did, in my own way. I chose to do super-sized still lifes of the objects from my horse world: shiny, colorful ribbons and reflective bits and trophies. If you look through my still life galleries, you’ll see that some of these subjects still appeal to me!

This painting, which I dubbed “Naughty Bits” (yes, we were all Monty Python fans at the time), was my final project, and it filled up my entire workspace. It is a triptych, each panel of which is 3′x6′, making up a painting that is a massive 6 feet high by 9 feet wide. I’ve spliced in a photo of myself next to in so you can see how big it is!

Looking at it now, from the perspective of 30 years, I can see what was, and what was to come. I’ve always loved to paint the passionate chaos of silk, and the cool mirroring metal of bits. I can discern the brush marks that would evolve into my present way of covering the canvas. There are the subdued tones that came from striving to avoid what my instructors called “being too decorative”, and the bright, true color that was struggling to come forward.

Terri Miller

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wild Horse Workshop - Kimerlee Curyl

Join award-winning photographers Tony Stromberg & Kimerlee Curyl and renowned wild horse behaviorist Neda DeMayo for a 5 day equine photography workshop to be held at Return to Freedom in southern California. the highly acclaimed American Wild Horse Sanctuary that is home to over 200 rare and beautiful mustangs from all over the US. This a magical week spent with America's Wild Horses. If you ever dreamed of standing in a field with wild horses here is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself into their beauty and capture their spirits, they will capture your hearts.
Return to Freedom is unique, in that the mustangs are segregated to help preserve their rare bloodlines, but are also allowed to live their lives in their natural family communities, roaming free as they would in their natural habitat.

May 16 – 21, 2010
Beginning to Advanced Photographers

Note: the first day is an introduction in the evening from 4 to 7 pm.

Please see the link for details and contact information.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Latest Artworks on Canvas - Mary Cornelius

This past Christmas I was commissioned to do a montage of a horse and rider in a leg yield series as a gift. I had photographed this pair, Rheining Scholar and Mary Arnold last spring at the Heart of the Valley Dressage show. The sequence of images fit together well for some fun ideas in collaboration with the mare's owner Gayle Atkins.
Mary and Gayle each have a large mounted canvas print of this image hanging in their homes.
I've had a soft spot for this mare, so it was a particularly fun project to work on. It is a great example of what can be done with horse show photos to make them an extra special piece of art to hang in your home or give as a gift. The canvas treatment on images such as these is absolutely beautiful and the ready to hang gallery wrap framing is nothing short of professional from my supplier to your door.

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The boarders and staff presented this montage image on canvas of Oniris at Play to the Dussins, owners of Tanz-Pferde at their annual Christmas party.
This image is available as a 24x36 canvas, gallery wrapped and mounted for hanging at the Canvas Gallery

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Introducing my newest image for canvas. My photograph of this beautiful Andalusian took on a heavenly quality as I worked on it. So, since I am really bad at attaching titles or names to finished images, I just call it Heavenly.

This image is also available as an 11x14 or 16x20 canvas at the Canvas Gallery.

Mary Cornelius