This week, enter the mind of local artist Ben Gilbert of Crayons and Cardboard, as he shares his latest artistic inspirations and ponderings ...
It's time to return to the basement and see if we can communicate with Molly through the use of the deep dream... I hesitate to go there since who knows how upset she be still even after the many months since the move... But the sacrifice will be worth it..
I have been toying with the Deep Dream computer vision program designed by Google... Darkness, dusk, and dawn are my focus... Layers of glass, mist and reflection... Close up... smaller things... The lighter the light the less intriguing the resulting image:.. Singular well defined entities create the better image...
Shining a red light on black plastic bags with a perfect circle as a hole is creating some intriguing images as well as certain products... Colorful drinks like Gatorade with its rainbow of colors are useful... There seems to be lots of birds lizards and rodents popping up in the creations. I tried a hippo but it didn't warp enough... Bunny and cats did well as well as certain lit humans.. Dark holes and little imperfections in walls and floors make cool images also...
Some staged pieces work better than others... It's hit and miss... I have made some cool cityscapes also... Again at night... ll be making more postcards and magnets in the future... Clearing out most of the stockpile of blank cardboard... I will continue to make things with crayon and can always replenish the cardboard...
This is a time of transformation and movement as well as the dumping of a lot of the crap I have collected over the last 3 years. At least the heat will end soon... Maybe night snow will make some come alive...
Some of the old pieces will survive through careful preparation and luck so I don't regret using the commercial cardboard at all... Just keep watching Antique Roadshow...,
I used Wikipedia to make a Dee painting and a work involving Malden Island... I'll keep using that and a random word generator in the future... I don't know where I will be next year but I'm here in some form until the end I can promise you that
The Photography of Bill Davis
by Marianne Wilson Stein
Two years ago it happened. Bill Davis picked up a camera for the first time. Like many artists, he has another life outside of his art. Bill commutes to work via the train every day because parking is at a premium at his work. This turned out to be a blessing. For the first time, Bill opened his eyes to the world and noticed the beauty around him while commuting. It was here that he started seeing what was hidden to him before. When not working, he travels around the city to photograph up to OHSU, the East Esplanade, sunsets out on the west side of town and the industrial area.
Bill was a navy brat, grew up in the south, then joined the navy and traveled the world. Since 2000 he has called Portland home and a beautiful place to live. He told me this is the longest he has ever stayed put.
As we were discussing his life, Bill told me that he works with disabled Veterans and he has heard so many heart wrenching stories. I also asked him about his favorite movies, he loves Johnny Depp films, Lemony Snicket - A Series of Unfortunate Events. He also loves Steampunk themed movies. His experience with the disabled and his sense of style are truly reflected in his art. Bill captures so much brooding emotion in each photo, melodramatic and escapist. I once told Bill that his photos have a lovely haunting quality. He is the master of capturing the juxtaposition of light and shadow.
He sees things in a way that feels heavy like a weight on the soul.
When viewing Bill’s photography you notice that he is capturing a unique perspective – influenced by angles most people don’t think of. He told me that he loves shooting clouds because they are in constant change. He definitely has an eye for the dramatic sky. Sometimes he gets so engrossed in shooting that he doesn’t even notice the details in his photos until he looks at them on his computer.
What does the future hold for Bill behind the lens? To capture the destruction of historic Portland, old buildings and the character of the city. He hates to see Portland change, and like many artists, he is priced out of buying a home. Seeing Portland’s homeless, he would also like to photograph them and call attention to their suffering.
His five-year plan? He is not looking that far out; wherever the camera leads him is where you can find him.
See more of Bill's work online, or stop by Artistic Portland.
Brooke Hoyer is one of our newest members to join Artistic Portland and one of several photographers in our Co-op. His interest in photography started at an early age when he tried to use his father’s Kodak Instamatic camera to photograph his toy dinosaurs. Unfortunately, there was no film in the camera. In his teens, he obtained a single lens reflex camera and his interest in photography blossomed. He took a few photography related courses in high school and enrolled as an art major in college. However, the concerns of earning a living led him to pursue more conventional employment. As an avid outdoors person, he engaged in rock climbing and bike racing until medical problems forced him to curtail those activities. He never lost his interest in photography and turned very heavily into that activity.
He works in both color and black and white photography. The palette of his color photos are very subtle and enhances the story his images tell. He explained to me that he prefers to look for less conventional scenes when he shoots and avoids stock pictures of familiar landmarks and popular points of interests. He has photographed many landscapes which relate to his own outdoor history. His approach is to take unusual perspectives and angles - perhaps because of his rock climbing experiences.
Much of his work on display in the Co-op store is about people: in parks, on the riverfront, or in their haunts and workplaces. I particularly like the image of an old auto mechanic in his shop. Brooke likes to work spontaneously and always carries a camera, often using an iPhone which he finds very helpful. He likens the shots taken on his walks or trips to the raw material for his art which he then adjusts in a rigorous process of selecting and fine tuning, using software on the computer.
Brooke pursues his art with few preconceptions but knows when he sees a subject with a story worth telling. Thus he is always “on the lookout” for these situations when he on his daily rounds. I suspect these scenes reflect his own unique history and makeup as well as his artistic tastes. His art takes a deeper look at everyday people and situations which the average person may overlook. His hope is that his art will enable a meaningful connection with the subject and viewer, even if it is for an instant.
You may meet Brooke when you visit the Artistic Portland Co-op Store and discover more about this interesting artist. Our store is staffed only by artists whose work is shown in the store. So each person you meet in the store has some work on hand and has some knowledge about the other works on display. What a concept!