Newsletter #151: January, 2018
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
In my newsletters over the past 13 years, I have been sharing my photographic adventures along with insights into the creative process, and I feel extremely enriched for having done so. In return, I have been inspired in so many different ways from those subscribers who have written to me and shared their appreciation.
Starting this year, I am changing how I share my photographic narratives and images because most readers of this Newsletter do so on small smartphone devises.
I am going to share more imagery, and write more frequent articles as ideas come to mind and are still fresh in my mind, by posting them on my Blog. Shorter newsletters will continue with a slightly different emphasis.
To be notified of Blog posts, please go to my blog page and subscribe. You will be notified of each blog post, just as you are with these Newsletters.
As always, my goal as a photographer is to share my creative and artistic process with others. I continue to take you on photographic adventures, share and discuss my imagery, write about real life experiences, and advise subscribers of upcoming events. These include new publications, speaking engagements, and workshops etc.
We hope you will share my Newsletters and Blog posts with friends; your interest and continued support is greatly appreciated.
In case you noticed, computer issues have me writing this January Newsletter in February. Better late than never!
You Are Your Creative Path
Jane O’Malley Art Exhibit: Kilkenny, Ireland
Black & White: Inspired by line and form
Finding Your Creative Path: Forget it. You are your creative path
Jane O’Malley Art Exhibit: Kilkenny, Ireland
On January 13, I attended the opening of my sister, Jane O’Malley’s art exhibit at the prestigious Butler Gallery in Kilkenny, Ireland. It was titled Black & White; works on paper, 1971 – 2017.
Since Jane was a child, she drew and etched with pen and ink. Like her paternal grandmother whose etchings were shown in the Royal Academy in London, Jane was drawn to the power of monochromatic line and form.
1974 – Our 11th month anniversary
In the early 1970’s, Jane met her late husband, the famous Irish painter, Tony O’Malley. Since then, Jane turned more to colour and soon became extremely well known for her richly coloured still life paintings.
Black & White Exhibit at the Butler Gallery
This ‘Black & White’ exhibit was a very important chapter in Jane’s career because it showed exquisite work that had never been seen before. Other prominent curators present at the opening were astounded at what they saw. It was a very moving and powerful exhibit that displayed her talent from a very young age.
I have been inspired by Jane and Tony’s work for years, and still am. The coloured abstracts that you see below are examples of that inspiration.
One of many exhibit rooms
Jane with Butler Gallery director, Anna O’Sullivan
Throughout her life, Jane resisted many pressures to follow a more mainstream life. She worked religiously every day at her craft, following her passion of artistic expression.
2. Black & White: Inspired by line and form
Jane and I returned to the Butler Gallery several days after the opening so we could absorb and reflect on the body of work in its entirety. I felt a deep pride in my ‘little sister’s’ accomplishment.
Inspired by Black & White, and the attention to line and form, I became aware of the lines and shapes of the gallery space itself. With my camera and fisheye lens, I went from room to room.
Depending on my perspective, lines were bent in beautiful ways. Reality became meaningless; I felt thrilled at what I was seeing.
Imagine being an architect, free to bend straight lines and create spaces of beauty and intrigue
Making this photograph is my shadow on the wall!
I did not bring my tripod on this family visit; that was a mistake! I would like to have taken more time to make exact compositions at a low ISO setting to reduce digital noise. Next time!
Half shadow; half light
Reflecting back, my visit to Ireland was a wonderful experience. There is nothing more enriching than being immersed in the world of art. I was proud to make the opening speech to my sister’s exhibit, and reacquaint with so many friends whom I have met over the years.
3. Finding Your Creative Path: Forget it. You are your creative path
24 Replies to “Newsletter #151, 2018”
I am so glad you were able to be with Jane for her show….it looked amazing…we were thinking of you both and sending lots of love.
Thanks Kim. Wish you could have been there. It was an amazing exhibit.
Chris, my heart soars in response to Abstract II and Abstract 1 and, well, just about everything you included in this blog, including your writing and your conviction that we are each our own creative path. I started up a relationship with my camera that became a relationship with my eye that became a relationship with my heart the year I lost my son (I was 60). To deal with my grief and growing darkness, I decided that the way to overcome my darkness was to fill myself with light and so I committed myself to the camera and to the act of finding beauty in ugly places (nearly everything seemed like an ugly place to me).
That first photographic commitment is still with me, but it has grown into something else, step by step, click by click. I am 72, now, and just beginning to see hints of my own style; your blog and your pictures and your sister’s b&w drawings took me to another step, my foot still in the air waiting for a place to land (I’d say ‘rest’, but I know there’s none of that once motion has begun).
Thank you for your commitment to sharing.
p.s. The last time I found the sound “ohhhhhh” coming involuntarily out of my mouth as it did just a few minutes ago when I saw your Abstract II was when I viewed Sunflower by Vincent Van Gogh in the London Gallery and felt freed of constraint for the first time.
Jerre, thank you deeply for sharing your story. I feel humbled. Never before has a newsletter comment mentioned the words Vincent Van Gogh! But most important to me is that I may have inspired you as you travel along your journey to find beauty. I know you have inspired me. As I mentioned in the Newsletter, subscribers who have written to me and shared their appreciation over the years push me forward. Your words will follow me and be a part of every click of my shutter. Thanks. Chris
Generous and edifying as usual Chris! Thanks for keeping up with these inspiring newsletters! 151? Wow!
Thanks Pat. Wonderful to hear you appreciate them. Chris
Keep it up, your newsletter is inspiring and stimulating as well. Sometimes we need to be steered in a different direction. Thanks for doing that.
Thank you Jonathan; your response is also inspiring. Chris
Thanks for sharing your work and thoughts with us.
Thank you Phil. Sharing is what it is all about. Chris
Seeing your images, Chris, always awakens in me the excitement of being creative. I thank you for that. Joan
Thank you as always Joan.
Chris: I love your newly formed statement “You are your creative path.” To find what that true path is for each of us we must simply express it. Whether we are a visual artist, or an artist of life, this is the simple truth. What could be more beautiful. I too am in love with Abstract II. I can hardly wait to come and see this in your gallery. Thank you for this stellar work of art and thought wrapped in this newsletter. Congratulations to Jane also!
Thank you so much Brenda. Your thoughts and comment is greatly appreciated. Hope to have coffee one day! Chris
Congrats to your sister Jane! I fell in love with her art piece you included in your newsletter. The seascape through the window has always been a detail I love about photography or art in general. I can only begin to imagine her work. So much talent in one family. So happy that you were able to be there with her. I also am inspired by your Artistic Rendition and Abstract II. Loving the colours and lines. WOW! Another fan of your statement “You are your creative path.” My husband has had Dementia now for 6 years and I had decided to try something with him. I was calling it “Our Creative Journey.” Using mixed media creating a journal of events and things we love. Whether him adding a thought or actually doing some of the creative work – we are having fun. Thank you for another great newsletter and all the inspiration Chris.
Thank you Doris for your thoughts of appreciation and for sharing your story “Our Creative Journey”. I am pleased to be a part of it. All the very best to you and your husband on that creative journey you both share.
Hi Chris, I usually love your nature photography best but now I am in awe and love with the monochrome photos from the gallery. I first thought you used a fisheye lense but the lines are actually like that in reality, right?! I am particularly fond of the Half shadow; half light image. The composition is striking. You are drawn from the dark first to the window then through to the door where sunlight awaits you. Thanks again for a very interesting newsletter! Next time you are over ‘here’ maybe you have time for a visit in London.
Thank you for your thoughts Ruth. Many people have commented on ‘Half Shadow, Half Light”. It’s one of my favourites as well. No, I did use a fisheye lens for all of the B&W images! There were a lot of curved lines in the structure’s themselves but some were exaggerated with the fisheye. It was as if I was the architect making new structures by bending the lines in new ways!
We are developing a tour presently and London may just be on that tour. Stay tuned to my Newsletters!! Chris
Chris. What lovely images of Jane’s show at butler gallery. Got back in to hear her talk about show last week on 7th feb. She was great and so relaxed. It was great you made trip. Great seeing you. Best wishes. From Michael and Joanne
Thank you Joanne. It was great to see you and Michael once again while visiting Ireland. Always fun to see you both!!
Thanks Chris for including my exhibition ‘Black & White’ in your newsletter. Most inspiring shots of the gallery and the abstract ones of the racks of paintings.
It was such an honour to have you here and especially to open the show.Everyone, including myself were very moved by your words.
love Janie x
My pleasure Jane!! It was an amazing exhibit. Congrats once again!! Chris
These are amazing photographs Chris! Thanks for covering the exhibition in your newsletter. It was really special to have you open Jane’s wonderful exhibition of black and white works. The exhibition has been a huge success with an incredibly positive response from our visitors and wonderful press reviews to boot. All the very best, Anna
Anna, it was my great pleasure to open Jane’s Exhibit and I am so very pleased to hear how well it has been received. You and your staff at the Butler Gallery did such an amazing job of selecting, organizing and hanging the exhibit. Congratulations! I look forward to seeing you next year!! Chris