For articles, see f2 eZine Archive 14 - Apr- June 2003

Archive 14 - April - June 2003

WIPI Features

A Window into Observation, by Dar Spain
Prize Winning Photographer shares TOP Tips for Success, by Juanita Richeson
Welcome to My Water World, by Ellen Hess
Code Pink - A grass-roots movement in opposition to the war in Iraq, by Sara Terry

Dar Spain, A Window into Observation

Having begun my art career as a painter in the early 60s, even now as primarily a photographer, I am never far from the hands-on activity of painting. My first photographs in 1981 were black and white prints which I used as references for drawings. From that beginning, I moved further into working more with cameras and less with brushes. Introduced to handcoloring in a college class in 1983, I found that the hybrid medium of paint on photographs allowed me to explore a new way of creating and coloring images. Several series and hundreds of images have resulted from my photographic work over the years. They have been exhibited and included in private and corporate collections across the country. My "Primary Content" series begun in early 2001 is part of a shift toward giving myself more time to enjoy my personal esthetic - a time to listen to the muse as well as to the market. Inspired by the cycles and spectrum of nature, this body of work is a window into observation, creative process and metaphor. Beginning with gelatin silver prints as a canvas, and oil paint as a medium, I use intuitive color to transform monochromatic photographs into images of stillness and serenity. A visual balance of hue and form against a neutral field, these works are inspired by the designs of the winter beach, wave washed stones, and patterns of wood.

New works incorporating photography, digital imagery and mixed media have evolved from being awarded first place for my photograph "Afternoons" in Women In Photography's 20th Anniversary Tea Time Exhibition in October 2001. The award of an Epson 2000P printer has opened new avenues for exploring electronic imaging. As with my handcolored photography, many of these works begin with a black and white negative and employ similar, though digital, techniques for bringing color into an image. The subjects include still life, landscape and Photoshop-created imagery.

all images © Dar Spain

WIPI News Article #2


By Juanita Richeson

Award winning photographer, Juanita Richeson shares with us her TOP tips for success

I came to photography late. Although both of my parents were photographers, they died when I was young and it never occurred to me to pursue photography as a career. I pursued a business bachelor's degree, managed bookstores and worked as a free-lance arts writer.

After a turbulent personal youth, I found myself stranded in Gainesville, Florida, a single mother and again managing a bookstore. I decided to go back to school to obtain an Art History degree and work as an arts administrator. In my last semester, I took Photo 1 to satisfy my last studio class requirement. I thought it would be easy.

Although struck by lightning is a cliché, that's what happened to me. From the very first assignment, I knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Since 1991, I have worked on photography every day. As I was confident in my knowledge of Art History, I was ignorant about photography's technical applications.

I moved to California and began taking classes at Santa Monica College, a school strong in technical training. I also began an MFA program, but quickly decided I didn't want to teach and also that my life history had made me either too certain or too stubborn to continue to talk rather than do.

This decision may have slowed my career initially, but it accelerated my artistic growth. I began a number of extended conceptual documentary projects that freed me to ask myself who I really was as an artist. I asked cops and gang-bangers to make art for me, strangers on the street who may have thought I was a little crazy. I followed strangers on the streets of London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Hebrides and photographed them as they used, really used a famous product, Harris Tweed. I photographed visitors to amusement parks in the midst of their loneliness in crowds and documented their human attempts to connect with those around them, familiar, yet unknown. My education came from doing it over and over again, often wrongly, and waiting, accumulating work for six years before I tried to show anywhere. I wanted to be sure it was true to my beliefs, not a response to what someone else had told me to do

In 1997, I entered the New Photography Show at the Los Angeles County Fair and won 2nd place. By that time, I had created a massive project about the LAPD and was starting to think about showing it. I became involved in a two-year negotiation with the LAPD, at all levels of the organization, about expanding it into a Community Outreach project. But the negotiations stalled.

Fortunately, I had been working on other projects at the same time and in 1999, I began to seek venues for my work. I joined organizations, I went to shows, and I began promoting other projects. I won awards and when I did, I promoted them by sending out announcements. I developed a mailing list, went to portfolio reviews, sent Christmas cards and created a web site. But most importantly, I continued to do new work based on issues outside the world of art photography. I was generous with my photos, some of the most serious conflicts I have encountered were resolved by giving someone a photo.

In the last year, I have been in more than 30 juried shows, many of them national, and won several awards. The following list may be useful to you, I wish I had started many of them sooner.

"St. Charles, New Orleans"

"Plenty, NYC," / 2003 Women's Festival, jried by Ruth Weisberg, Dean , Fine Arts, USC, The Second City Council, Long Beach, Ca

The Big Wheel Series

Bethesda International Photography Competition, juried by Philip Brookman, Senior Curator of Photography Corcoran Gallery of Art, Fraser Gallery, Bethesda, MD


You can view more of Juanita Richeson's work at:

Juanita Richeson, WIPI Archive Gallery #12
Skates, Invitation card, kitsch & klick

WIPI News Article #3

Outline for Getting Your Work Shown

I. Be talented. Have well-developed projects. More substance than style.
Don't pander. Believe what you are doing matters.

II. Have knowledge of what came before you‹you might not be so special. Art
history will inform the decisions you make in ways you may only realize
yours later.

III. Know what other people are doing now-galleries, periodicals, on-line
etc. Don't buy into a trend, but recognize the zeitgeist. Look for clues for
both your unique perspective and your place in the world community.

IV. Examine your motives for doing work‹money, fame or art. All are valid,
but have their own set of goals, strictures, and etiquette.

V. Don't whine about not being able to afford producing work that looks
good (professional) - other people do and it's a cruel world. Nobody cares
how strapped you are.

VI. Develop extensive mailing lists and send out promos often. Alternate
announcements and less career-specific. Send out Valentines, Mother'
s Day
photos and a card for National Library week - I love librarians.

VII. Research the best markets for your specific style. This seems
obvious, but artists waste a lot of time and money by not doing their

VIII. Don't look for a Mommy or Daddy. Anyone who is really succeeding
doesn't have time to hold your hand.

IX. Be humble. There are a lot of great photographers out there. You're
competing with them. All you can do is hope you're able to work harder and
smarter. And hang in there longer than you think it will take.

X. Build a CV, good shows, established jurors. Look for ways to show your
work as often as you can in quality locations. This includes restaurants,
libraries, and great looking up-market businesses. Write press releases
about your shows and send them out.

XXI. Be persistent but not obnoxious. Let people get to know you. Keep it

XII. Research the background, recent accomplishments of members of the arts
community you admire and send them congratulations. Go see their shows,
read their books, bring up specifics when you run into them.

IV. Be creative with your promo pieces; hand-made beautiful pieces with
handwritten notes make and impact. People keep them.

XV. Show nationally as much as you can.

XVI. Don't ever stop working on something new. It will keep you sane and
give you something new to talk about.

XVII. Always have some give away sample of your work to give away to
someone. I meet valuable contacts unexpectedly quite often.

XVIII. Don1t invest too much time or hope in any one contact or
project‹things fall through all the time. All it takes is the person at the
top to say no. Have backup plans and projects.

XIX. Educate yourself about the world in general. It will resonate in your
work and in 20 years will continue to accrue value. And it will get you
outside your frequently frustrated lack of a control position.

XX. Be professional: Punctual, organized, and dependable.

XXI. Volunteer in organizations you identify with. Donate work for
fundraisers. It's good Karma and people talk.

XXII. Know the law, file copyright, be optimistic but not gullible.
Network with other photographers to root-out scam artists.

XXIII. Assume it could take you at least ten years to become established.
Find a rich benefactor or maybe an art critic. It's worked for centuries.

All Images
© Juanita Richeson

Metropolis Photos
Los Angeles


Ellen Hess

Welcome to my Reflective Water World

"My camera is the brush I use to capture the paintings held gently captive in the watery medium where I have chosen to live my life. My art like my life is intuitive. The last 25 years of my life have been in or around water guided by its hidden mysteries. My total commitment to my subject led to an epiphany floating in the near deserted waters off the Andaman Islands of India. Lancing red sunset rays interacted with the crystalline blue of the water demanding a photo. I shot the moment quickly, without thought and it was only later that what I had captured came out."

Don Francis, a well-known Los Angeles framer, captured Ellen perfectly when he said, "Ellen's work is special because her art is an extension of who she is." When I asked him whether that was what every artist does, he just smiled, "The good ones yes, but so many strive to be different or unique searching for their art outside themselves. It shows in their work. It refreshes me when I see art that extends to the marrow of the artist." Using Bali as a base since the early 80's from which to launch into her world travels represents just the tip of the iceberg that is Ellen Ross Hess. In a world that demands conformity to its ways, Ellen stepped off the safe path effectively eliminating any chance of being even in the outer fringes of what is accepted as a serious artist.

"The beginnings of movement and textures I'd loved in my early water colors peaked out at me from that first series of shots without thought. Glimpsing the secret behind the small crack in the portal of the world, I discovered the home within my art I'd always craved. My paintings on water reflect the intuitive mystery of water. They offer an entrance into an enchanted world. The use of large format Iris prints on watercolor paper allow the textures and movement inherent in water to emerge. I am also exploring new processes and mediums to create the ultimate expression of my images. The more one views my pictures the more they discover the many facets of possibilities within ones imagination. "

For over 25 years she has wandered the globe from South America through Africa, the pacific and finally Asia, listening to an inner call she couldn't deny or understand. Few women traveled in the remote areas that drew her and fewer of them were willing to paddle a surfboard out to unexplored surf breaks and surf around the world. Surfing is a natural progression for someone drawn to water, for it epitomizes the near worship of its moods necessary to be successful in the pursuit of waves. You reap the benefits of your dedication in the moments of a blissful surfer's chase. Being an artist may help in appreciating those moments, but creative passion demands more. Look deeper. Feel deeper. The journey became free of expectations and preconceptions and the portal was crossed.

In the primitive world of the Andaman Islands, India the paintings in nature she had searched so long for finally appeared just as she stopped looking. Immersed far beyond modern civilization her intuition captured those moments that evoke so much emotion and desire in the viewer. Shooting intuitively the interactions of pristine water, boat and wind movement interacting with an intense crimson sunset, she still didn't know what she had until she developed the photos.

The first images might have whispered their promise to any competent photographer, but knowing instantly that they needed to be presented as the paintings they so obviously were took the insight of innocence. Crossing that threshold and returning to your moment of being into doing is the key to Ellen's work. The naturalness of her images provides an easy entry into her work, but it is with prolonged viewing that the greatest reward is earned.

"None of the images are enhanced in any way through filters or developing techniques. My work is true to nature. The softness that comes with sections slightly out of focus mimics the brush stroke of the painter. Experience of a lifetime teaches me how to hone in on an image to bring out its greatest potential. The depth in the images comes from water's intimacy with all the elements of nature dancing upon it."

Peacefulness descends when her pictures are viewed as your eye wanders all over the image taking in the changing photo. The texture pulls you one minute and the movement enhanced by just a special hint of sunlight pulls you the next. Your eye takes in the amazing entirety and then it zooms in on the special story of one small corner. A corner that will be different the next time because your view will have changed ever so slightly.

Ellen has blown her images up to 20 by 30 inches or 30 by 40 inches to allow the texture, movement, color and shapes in the images to reach out and express the moment she has preserved for us. Her Giclee prints are processed on watercolor paper and canvas which softens the images and brings out the texture and realism inherent to the images as paintings. She shoots with a Canon A-1 and though she prefers 100F Provia film as it seems to enhance the blues and greens of her watery subject she in no other way enhances her subject with special affects. The occasional out of focus portions of her subjects act as the soft brush strokes a painter would use to tone down his subject.

Seeing the miraculous once, you find that it is everywhere. A lifetime condensed into a moment and every moment afterwards pulses with the radiance of the first discovery. Ellen's photographs allow us to look into the world she has discovered. As water lulls us into seeing within with ever greater clarity, Ellen's photos pull our eyes ever back to them as something new dances at the edge of our perception teasing us into sneaking another look to see if what we thought we saw was still there.

In the four years since realizing the potential of her discovery, she has tirelessly experimented with all types of water sounding its many moods with a sharp eye for moments of truth. Once she'd seen what could be done, she found all the world's water sources had their own special color, texture and movement.

Ellen presents her art to the world as a completion of a circle she began twenty-five years ago when she thought she was just going on a short trip. Her art stimulates as it relaxes with its feeling of age and presence. Spending time with her reflections is its own reward.

All images © Ellen Hess


WIPI News Article #4

Against War: A Week-end With Code Pink

photographs by Sara Terry

They wear pink, they carry pink umbrellas, they hold pink flowers, and they hand out pink buttons - all in the name of peace. They are the women of Code Pink, a grass-roots movement that has swept across the United States - and to Europe - in opposition to the war in Iraq. In recent months, they have marched in demonstrations, descended on the offices of U.S. senators, and held a months-long vigil in front of the White House. Their name, Code Pink, is a play on George Bush's Code Red security warning system - and stands for compassion, caring and love.

For three days, March 21, 22 and 23, Code Pink women in Los Angeles reacted to the beginning of the U.S.-led war in Iraq - holding an evening vigil Friday at the National Cemetery across the street from the federal government building; heading to the beach at Santa Monica on Saturday to plead their cause with Hollywood celebrities attending the Spirit awards ceremony for independent films; and hitting the streets in Hollywood on Sunday, participating in an anti-war rally and then lifting their voices in front of the Kodak Theatre, as the stars arrived for the 75th Academy Awards.

The movement, which began in southern California last May, has drawn together mothers, wives, grandmothers, working women and housewives all across the country - and has won support from many artists, including authors Alice Walker and Maxine Hong Kingston, and folk-rock singer Michelle Shocked.

TA•GA - 29 rue Ganneron 75018 Paris - France To see the portfolio of images, go to:

all images © Sara Terry
WIPI Archive #13, Bosnia by Sara Terry


For articles, see f2 eZine Archive 14 - Apr- June 2003