A new chapter. Welcome Graham Hickling to Still Life with Cat Studio!

Graham Hickling is trained as a Wildlife Biologist in New Zealand before moving to the United States in 2002.  He lived in Michigan for several years before moving to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he teaches at the University of Tennessee. Throughout his career he has combined his interests in photography and videography with his wildlife research activities.  His primary interests are nature photography and macrophotography, however his eye for the quirks of humanity in the Southern landscape has led to a growing enthusiasm for street photography.

I’m looking forward to sharing his passion for photography with you soon as we grow his new collection.

G reflectionsSpringfield House

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Beauty in destruction

Hurricane Irma left so much devastation in my city.  More than we have experienced in over a century.  Yet in the midst of all the destruction, there is still beauty.  The power that water holds over us mortals is felt in a visceral way when we see what it can do.  These images are from a city park near my home.  I have been walking to and around this park for almost 14 years.  I have seen the park and it’s central winged statue at all times of the day and have photographed it often in many different settings and light.  In many ways the statue (called Life) is an integral part of my life as an artist.  I sell more art photos of this statue than any other local icons.  So when I heard the park had flooded, and that the seawall had breached, I was devastated.

The worst of the storm had passed and the storm surge was beginning to recede when I walked down to see what was left.  The following photos were taken within the first 48 hours of the storm passing.  The most beautiful dawn light comes after a hurricane and I did my best to capture it and the power of the water still crashing into the 100 year old balustrade surrounding the statue.

Memorial Park Jacksonville

Sunrise of Life after IrmaLife with chessmen WMbalustrade sunrise2 WMChess pieces vibrant WMBroken Dreams WMChess pieces sunrise best WMSunrise WV BW WMBroken wall of Life WMRiverside Avondale Preservation

The good news is that the park will be restored.  the city has already begun some work and the Memorial Park Association and the Riverside Avondale Preservation group is also involved.  Many of the marble pieces have been salvaged for restoration and many of the balustrade “chessmen” are now in safe keeping for the day they rebuild the sea wall.  The statue itself was not damaged, in spite of being up to his ankles in crashing waves at one point.

Some great special order pieces to share

Last week I had three special orders come in for big pieces.  I love working with the bigger images.  They are all Italian photos; one from Venice, one from Verona and one from Padua.  I have been experimenting with different paper finishes so it was fun to see how the images would produce.  I know these photos don’t give them justice, but I have to say I love the paper I used!

The first one is called Slices of Nautilus, pieced together using the Layers app by Instagram.  The sidewalks in Verona are largely made of white and pink marble and all of the cathedrals have pink or rose marble floors and stairs.  The marble is sliced so that you can see the fossils embedded inside.  I printed this on metallic Luster paper by Epson.  A new find for me.  Wow do the colors pop and the image is so electric.  The finished piece is 16X20 in the frame.

nautilus-slice-16x20

The next piece is from the Grand Canal in Venice.  Many of the once elegant and colorful doors have begun to rot from the bottom up from exposure to the canal water.  This particular set of doors caught my eye for the beautiful blue and green wood set into a red brick wall.  I used Velvet Luster Paper for this one from Epson.  It has a texture to it that lends a tactile feel to the image.  With natural images and street art the Velvet paper is perfect.  The finished piece is 16X20 framed.

blue-green-venice-doors

The last one is from Padua in Northern Italy.  This was a Palazzo Archway in the old city center off the central square.  This one is heavily edited on the Prisma app for a water color effect so it would match the customers decor.  I also used the Velvet Luster paper for this one.  It gave a canvas feel to the image so it worked alongside an actual watercolor they wanted to place with it in the same room.  It is also framed to 16X20.

edit-padua-archway

All in all, I feel these projects came out great!  My customers were happy and I am looking forward to doing more special pieces!