Project Archive

Baptist Medical Center - Weaver Tower

Baptist-Weaver_2016-1122-012 On Tuesday we installed "Connected Stillness" in the Baptist Medical Center Weaver Tower, 1st floor lobby near the elevators. The 40 ft long installation depicts a typical morning at Cary State Forest, and combines photography and 3d elements. My hope is to offer a familiar, peaceful, and calming scene to those entering the hospital. It is a great privilege to offer this work to those who may need the power of art to move them to a higher place.

Baptist-Weaver_2016-1122-001

Gratitude goes out to my installation team Robert, Dorian, and Donald, my project co-collaborator Ryan Buckley of Gallery Framery, and my art representative Hillary Whitaker of Stellers Gallery at Ponte Vedra.

Cary Forest Study 632

For the first time I was able to take one of my forest panoramas and incorporate it into an interpretive piece of art that reflects my intention for these large photographs. The forest extends horizontally and is momentarily interrupted by bits of the forest, natural branches that infill small alcoves between the canvases holding the larger print. These “bridges” connect the imagery together, and allow us to return back to the reality of the composition of the forest – wood, branches, and the interconnectedness of living things. The gaps must be jumped in order to progress visually through the 2-D composition.

The alcoves in the walls formed perfect pockets for the branches, allowing them to seamlessly fit in and provide the connection to the real world.

Branches   IMG_1478

Those who have visited my studio over the past few years now know what I had in mind for those bundles of branches. I don't know why it took so long to develop this into a final idea. There was some experimentation on technique for the assembly and final finish. Overall I was pleased with the outcome and hope to extend the concepts with additional pieces.

What are you going to do with it?

IMG_2080 The latest addition to our creative toolset is a CNC router. I've been thinking about this technology for a long time. Back in my AutoCAD dealership days, I wrote some programs to create the NC codes (G codes) from drawing files to produce sprockets and drive a punch tool. I'm fascinated by the ability to control precision machinery, much in the same way I have a keen interest in computer programming. In fact, this is just another type of programming, with a different output device. More information about CNC routers can be found here. After some research and a recommendation from a trusted friend, I placed an order for a kit from CNCrouterparts and my brother and I started assembly on January 5th. The entire machine was delivered by UPS in 14 boxes. Assembly was fairly straightforward and we made steady progress. No special tools were needed, just some careful interpretation of drawings and reading of the online "tips". Part of the reward is knowing that you assembled something yourself. Rarely do we have to put anything together anymore except for the occasional bookcase from Ikea. We were thrilled when we were able to get the machine to move. Then we wrote our first program to welcome the machine to the world.

IMG_2043     IMG_2052

IMG_2057     IMG_2058

IMG_2064     IMG_2070

When I made my post to Facebook announcing the arrival of our new tool I received a lot of inquiries on what I was going to do with it. Honestly I don't have any specific plans other than a gut feeling that this may change the direction of my art. I didn't need to know anything other than that. Sometimes you just go with an instinct, especially if the stakes are high. First step is to acquire some basic skills. There is a steep learning curve, but then the possibilities open. I think we are given these moments of inspirational opportunity, and we need to learn how to take them. I'll see how successful this move becomes. Worst case I'll have a big piece of equipment for sale on Craig's List. Best case...well maybe my life will change. I'll take those odds.

Initially I'll be exploring what I can do with various materials. Wood, acrylic, Sentra (expanded PVC board), Dibond (aluminum bonded acrylic), and corrugated cardboard are all materials that can be easily handled by this machine. The bed is 4 x 8 ft, so I can handle some big pieces. I don't know exactly what I will be printing but I'll try some simple textures and outlines all derived from photographs. I'm going to be looking at this as another type of printer. In order to create a piece, you start with a "vector" representation of the object. Everything is 3D and objects derived from photographs need thickness. Then you define the toolpaths and tools to make the specific cuts. This is the "programming" step. After that another program creates the actual codes that are fed to the machine. Stay tuned for progress reports.

What are you going to do with what you have?

CNC Adventure 1 - It's Breathing from Doug Eng on Vimeo.

01/09/2015 - My brother and I finally got the CNC router table to come alive. Still lots to figure out but we're over the hump. Looking forward to making something!

 

CNC Adventure 2 - Hello World from Doug Eng on Vimeo.

01/10/2015 - Our first program...in "Sharpie" mode, we programmed our first toolpath using VCarvePro. Yay! Actual runtime is 2.5 minutes so you're getting a fast forward version.

How commissions can take you in new directions

Morning Marsh View - Ft. George Island, FL - 108 x 30 Face-mount Acrylic Some artists avoid commissions. They feel that catering to an external requirement somehow interferes with their "art" or message. I totally respect this position, and sometimes I feel that this serves the artist well. I tend to do well with some direction. Maybe this is part of my engineering background, as I am more comfortable with structure and results-oriented tasks. Recently I was asked to provide a large piece similar to the style of artist "x" with a particular color in the foreground to match a wallpaper sample. I was happy to take on the request. The required image was out of focus and abstract. I knew what techniques I had to use, and where I could make the image. When a fellow artist saw the wallpaper sample on my desk, he asked, "What's this?" I explained my project, and he laughed out loud, "I can't believe you are prostituting yourself!" I was very curious about his response, and did some thinking about my reasons to do the work. I saw it as a challenge and a way to expand my skill set. I also saw it as a paying project and something I would be proud to say I created and was capable of doing. Nothing in the assignment violated my values or compromised my artistic direction. So I carried on and basically ignored the comment. The client was thrilled with the result and complementary on how accommodating I was to work with. I think some artists forget that many of us create art to satisfy purposes external to ourselves. Whether this discounts my stature as an "artist" or  degrades the work, I don't know, but I'm happy that everything worked out for everyone.

IPA Award Recipient - 2014

I am pleased to receive three Honorable Mention Awards from the International Photography Awards, an affiliate of the Lucie Foundation, for my new series, Streaming South. The categories are: Editorial:Environmental, Fine Art: Landscape, and Nature: Landscape, all in the Professional Division. It's always nice to receive validation on a new series and I hope to start adding more images to the collection now that the heat of the summer is over. Streaming South IPA Award Entry

Lufrano Gallery Opening

Lufrano opening Our opening at the Lufrano Gallery last night was a big success. I am grateful for all my family, friends, and supporters who attended. Every artist works towards a project completion point, when your art is shared with the public. This usually culminates in a showing at a gallery or public space and an opening is an event where everyone gathers to talk about your art.

I gave a brief presentation and spent most of my time meeting and greeting guests and friends. I actually love openings because it finalizes a project and I am so excited to show others my work. We are all validated by the reaction of others and this is an effective way to do that.

The exhibit will be up until December 4th. I hope all of you who are in the area can see the exhibit, as the project has grown in personal importance to me as I continue to work on it. I am also very happy with the print quality and the incredible venue. I've posted some photos of the exhibition on the project site here.

On Fertile Ground at the Lufrano Gallery

Lufrano Installation Today we installed 40 prints for the upcoming exhibition at the Lufrano Gallery at the UNF Intercultural Center for Peace. It's a wonderful facility and I am honored to be showing there. I was approached by Paul Ladnier early in 2013 to do a show there. At first we were going to do a gallery version of Message in a Bottle: Wall of Light, but earlier this year I asked to switch to On Fertile Ground. I know this is not normal to change a gallery show but I'm glad everyone was cool with it. My decision to change came after film maker Clifton Brewer offered to make a sample video on a topic of my choice. I chose to resurrect the farm project which had its debut in 2011.

On Fertile Ground Postcard-1

The University of North Florida is a first-class institution with a world class fine arts department. A reception is scheduled on August 29th for the exhibition. Postcards were mailed out and posters made. I'm excited to be there.

For more information on the exhibit see the project website at: http://on-fertile-ground.com

 

Rothko to Richter

rothko to richter book coverToday I received a copy of the book Rothko to Richter published by Yale University Press. The book is a catalog of an exhibition of abstract expressionist paintings from the collection of Preston and Joan Haskell. I got involved in the photography of the paintings earlier this year. We went on location at both the Haskell residence and offices to location shoot 27 paintings, some of which were quite large. The book is beautiful and I enjoyed reading the essays on Abstract Expressionism by Kelly Baum, the curator of the Haskell Collection at the Princeton University Art Museum. After two full days of shooting in some very tricky situations, I learned a lot about photographing large paintings for publication. I provided photography for 41 of the 43 illustrations in the book.

The exhibition is currently at the Princeton University Art Museum until October 5, and is at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens starting in February 2015.

 

 

New directions

  streamingsouth.com

It's a nebulous title for a post but I'm on to something new. A few months ago I bought a kayak. Enough said. In fact there is so much to say I started a new blog called Streaming South. Why another blog? I wanted a new platform to talk exclusively about my photography on the boat. I thought that this new conversation may distract from what I have going on here. Sounds like a strange reason, but head on over to see some new images and cool places to go.

Deep Creek on a kayak

A video reignites a project

Last week filmmaker Clif Brewer took some footage for a video on my On Fertile Ground project. When Clif approached me he wanted to do tell a story about an art project and I thought the farm series would be perfect. After the initial exhibit in September 2011 at Studio 121, I put everything away hoping that one day I would finish it. Pulling the prints and finding all of the files got my juices flowing again, and after Clif showed me what he had done with the Artist Statement I knew that this was back on the burner. Clif and Doug. Photo by Faith Brewer

Clif's daughter Faith blogged about our film session on her site, Breathe Deeply.

Here is the completed video (updated after final editing):

Mounting big prints

I'm beginning to print some of my Forest re:Framed big tree scrolls and needed to figure out a way to mount the print for display. Push pins to the wall isn't going to get this into a gallery. I had an idea to use 20" aluminum roof sheathing as the substrate so that it could have some rigidity, permanence, and could be rolled for transport. I purchased a $200 roll laminator on eBay and a roll of two sided adhesive. This was essentially a huge roll of double stick tape. Ryan came over to assist in the grand experiment. First step is applying the laminate to the aluminum. Then you remove the second backing paper as you roll the aluminum + print combination through. Given that we had no practice, we made it all the way with just a little wandering. I think uneven pressure on the rollers caused the sandwich to slip. After the print was affixed to the metal, a some velcro tape was used to attach to print to a frame. We plan to upgrade the structure to aluminum channels. Mounting adhesive to aluminum Mounting print to aluminum Pulling everything through Frame construction with velcro tape to hold the print The finished print hanging in the studio

One Spark Festival

Beyond the Facade in the Food Village at One Spark

April 17-21 saw the coming and going of Jacksonville's One Spark Festival, held in the core of downtown and featuring over 400 "Creators" competing for a share of a $250,000 crowdfund. We were thrilled to finish in 2nd Place overall, and 2nd Place in Art with our Beyond the Façade project. There are lots of details on the project website and I hope to add some additional posts on the creation process as it relates to my artwork. The most valuable part of the festival for me was the motivation of having the event, forcing me to deliver on an idea I've been considering for years. I needed a goal to commit to and this was it. I was also on a high for 5 days as the public validated our ideas. There's nothing like having positive feedback from people you don't know. The interaction and connections are very valuable.

Award Day - photo by Bruce LipskySo what's next? Our original project idea was to identify additional locations for installations and develop a plan for additional pieces. We are recovering from the costs of the project and now have an idea of the effort involved in a large mural-type installation. The funds received from One Spark (around $4,000) will be applied to recovering costs, and we plan to apply for other grants and private funding for the next pieces. I have several ideas in mind and hope that we can be in a position to execute after the summer.

Lobby for the Arts

Lobbyforthearts I've been involved with the Cathedral Arts Project for a few years now who continues to do significant work with under-privileged children by providing after schools arts instruction in both the performing and visual arts. Their current promotional campaign called Lobby for the Arts involves taking an exhibition on the road to various corporate and museum lobbies across town to raise awareness for the organization. I was asked to provide the photographs used in the campaign, designed and produced by the Brunet Garcia agency. We needed high energy action shots of the children, so we set up a white background and 4 Alien Bee strobes to get the look we wanted. Back on Dec 9 we had a fun day of shooting and many not so fun days of editing to come up with the final images. Overall we had a blast with the kids and Jeff, Marla, and Forest from Cathedral Arts. The campaign is now in full swing.

The CAP kids

I really enjoyed my new studio space at CoRK which had plenty of rooms for all the kids, their parents, and a nice area for shooting.

At the Cummer Museum

Cummer Museum banners I guess the next best thing to being in the Cummer is being on the Cummer. Two of my images from projects that I've worked on are on huge banners in front of the museum. Dorian first noticed this and pointed it out. I had no idea!

The image for the Cathedral Arts Lobby for the Arts project was taken in my studio in early December. The other image is from my documentation of Jim Draper's Feast of Flowers exhibition. Both of these were really nice shows and I am happy to be a part of them.

Impressions of Place

Southlight Evite - Impressions of Place I installed a new exhibit at Southlight Gallery called Impressions of Place, featuring 17 selected photographs from our recent trip to Hong Kong and Japan. I also presented a 70 image slideshow and artist talk during Art Walk at the gallery. The work was compiled as a series of significant "first impressions" in these incredible places. With over 4000 images to work from, the editing was a challenge. I will be posting the exhibit images in a portfolio on the site along with the artist statement. Hopefully an accompanying book containing the images will be available soon.

More details on this exhibit to come.

IOP_layout

Exhibit Layout (click to enlarge)

Magnolia - Flower of the South

magnolia prints I introduced this new small body of work at the studio for June Art Walk. I produced 6 - 16x24 prints for exhibit and an exhibition poster. Here is the artist statement for the work:

Magnolias are ancient. Evolving before the appearance of bees, their flowers have a primitive beauty that is both delicate and structural. With a limited lifespan after cut from the tree, each flower has a small window of opportunity to be photographed before the pedals go limp and a brownness overtakes the pure white. My curiosity about these flowers peaked when Dorian showed me her snapshot of a beauty. It was the center green fruit covered with numerous stamens and surrounded by follicles…these structures of green, yellow, and brown were fascinating.
I posted a request for flowers on Facebook, as I felt too self-conscious to clip these from a public park. To deny anyone a view of these would be presumptuous. Dave Engdahl, a local sculptor and former architect, answered my post first, “come and get some from 3 large trees in my yard.” I was there by the afternoon. Dave grabbed his large loping shears and headed out to his backyard. The flowers grow throughout the canopy, and for large trees this can be rather high off the ground. We managed to find 4 large specimens. As Dave cut each one I carefully caught them as they fell to the ground, being careful not to damage the package. Four blooms went into a box lid and were off to my home studio, where I set up a large softbox and a desklamp.
Photographing flowers is not easy. I find it similar to doing portraits, although dealing with a flower is infinitely easier than an 18 month old. Each flower has its own personality and characteristic. Finding these innate qualities is the challenge. Usually I work with a single bloom, placing it in a receptacle (usually a small box or in this case a bowl with water) and placing it on top of another small box that can be easily rotated. I position the lights and camera and then rotate the subject. It takes a while and a few shots to get warmed up. Shooting straight on, then slightly above, then below all at various angles gives you plenty of options. For me it is all about the way the light finds its way around the folds and crevasses, creating gentle sweeping arcs and sharp angles, shadows of mystery, and highlights of subtle features. The contrast of the petals and leaves with their the similarities and differences, are explored.  It is the abstract and not the literal that reveals the essence of the bloom. Anyone can take a picture, my mission is to create a photograph.
When all was said and done, 300 images yielded about 30 “keepers” and from these, 6 were chosen to be printed. Please enjoy the results.

Magnolias are ancient. Evolving before the appearance of bees, their flowers have a primitive beauty that is both delicate and structural. With a limited lifespan after cut from the tree, each flower has a small window of opportunity to be photographed before the pedals go limp and a brownness overtakes the pure white. My curiosity about these flowers peaked when Dorian showed me her snapshot of a beauty. It was the center green fruit covered with numerous stamens and surrounded by follicles…these structures of green, yellow, and brown were fascinating.

I posted a request for flowers on Facebook, as I felt too self-conscious to clip these from a public park. To deny anyone a view of these would be presumptuous. Dave Engdahl, a local sculptor and former architect, answered my post first, “come and get some from 3 large trees in my yard.” I was there by the afternoon. Dave grabbed his large loping shears and headed out to his backyard. The flowers grow throughout the canopy, and for large trees this can be rather high off the ground. We managed to find 4 large specimens. As Dave cut each one I carefully caught them as they fell to the ground, being careful not to damage the package. Four blooms went into a box lid and were off to my home studio, where I set up a large softbox and a desklamp.

Photographing flowers is not easy. I find it similar to doing portraits, although dealing with a flower is infinitely easier than an 18 month old. Each flower has its own personality and characteristic. Finding these innate qualities is the challenge. Usually I work with a single bloom, placing it in a receptacle (usually a small box or in this case a bowl with water) and placing it on top of another small box that can be easily rotated. I position the lights and camera and then rotate the subject. It takes a while and a few shots to get warmed up. Shooting straight on, then slightly above, then below all at various angles gives you plenty of options. For me it is all about the way the light finds its way around the folds and crevasses, creating gentle sweeping arcs and sharp angles, shadows of mystery, and highlights of subtle features. The contrast of the petals and leaves with their the similarities and differences, are explored.  It is the abstract and not the literal that reveals the essence of the bloom. Anyone can take a picture, my mission is to create a photograph.

When all was said and done, 300 images yielded about 30 “keepers” and from these, 6 were chosen to be printed. Please enjoy the results.

An 18x24 poster is also available:
magnolia poster 18x24

Cultural Council Arts Awards

For 36 years the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville presents awards to outstanding individuals and companies who have contributed in an exemplary way to the arts in Jacksonville. Categories exist for Small Business, Educator, Innovator, Individual, and for this year, an Individual Hall of Fame. The customary award is a piece of art produced by a local artist. Many distinguished artists have provided pieces for the award. I was honored to be asked by the Cultural Council to produce the award for the 2012 recipients. My first inclination was to provide a framed print or a print with face-mount acrylic. As I thought about this I also considered that a) if the recipient didn't really like the print enough to hang on the wall, it would end up in a closet somewhere, and b) personalizing the print with a brass plaque would be pretty cheesy, and c) there would be no opportunity to express a personal message to the recipients.

I have always been a big fan of folios...a box holding fine art prints. They always seemed so tactile and special and allowed unobstructed viewing of a print anywhere. Besides, if the recipient really didn't like the award, they could easily tuck it on the shelf.

CCaward_design.. CCAwards-prep

I designed a folio box to contain a series of 15 images, 9x6 printed on Exhibition Fiber 11x8.5 paper. There was also a cover sheet, intro, and colophon. I had the box custom made by Portfoliobox, a company in Pawtucket, RI. They produced a case for one of Clyde Butcher's limited edition books that I had in my collection. I designed the box to look like the exterior of the AT&T tower, a stainless steel clad building where the award ceremony was to be held. The box contained an inset with a strip of the building's window, reflecting some clouds and containing the text of the award and recipient's name.

With a few last minute complications, I produced 6 copies of the award and was very happy with the result. I think all the recipients were happy with it too. Here are a few sample pages:

00_Cover

01__Intro

02_OrangeRooftop

04_DoubleReflection

Message in a Bottle Opening

Doug Eng - Message in a Bottle: Wall of Light Most of you know that I've been totally preoccupied with our project Message in a Bottle: Wall of Light for months now. May Art Walk was our big opening, and since I'm writing this long after the wall has been up and taken down, I can say with certainty that I'm glad it's all over. Having a project take over your life is exhilarating but brutal. I'm thankful that I made it through, with the help of Dorian, my brother Robert, and the support of many friends. But essentially it was my baby and I spent the last 2 months constructing the installation. Please check the MIB website for more details and if you can, spread the word of our message to all who are serving (and have served). The project is for them.

Scan Design Fall in Furniture Love

I was happy to receive First Place in Scan Design's 5th annual Fall in Furniture Love art contest. All entries needed to have furniture as their main theme. I racked my brain thinking I had no really fun images with furniture until I remembered the Red Chair Project. I think this photograph, Landing on Runway 13, has become one of my classics. I love this one! Many thanks to Scan Design for their support of the arts, and for the generous gift certificate for the award.

scan design Doug Eng - Landing on Runway 13, The Red Chair Project

Alpine Groves and other nearby creeks

Continuing on my quest to visit local spots to capture the spring foliage, I stopped first at Alpine Groves Park located in Switzerland, FL. This was the site of an old citrus processing plant and the old barn and some equipment are still there. The park has a great dock overlooking the St. Johns and some wonderful moss-laden trees. This tree was on the river bank as seen from the dock. Alpine Groves - Spanish Moss

From here I drove along Bishop Estates Rd. to the Flora Branch Creek bridge. This is a favorite road for cyclists and I've ridden through this area many times. More great leaf texture and color.

Flora Branch Creek

The final stop was the Bartram Canoe Trail trailhead off of Racetrack Road. It was quiet and peaceful with only the roar of the cars above. Had some lunch, took some pics, and then headed back to the studio. A great morning out.

Durbin Creek

Help Portrait 2011

help portraitFor the third year in a row I've participated in the Help-Portrait project at the Family Promise Center in Jacksonville. This year my good photo buddy, Gray Quetti stepped up to do all the shooting, and I have to admit he really knows what he is doing. We did the shoot on December 10, which is the national day for all Help-Portrait sites to shoot. Gray set up 2 Alien Bees, one in a medium sized softbox as the main and the other as fill bouncing off an umbrella centered above the camera. I usually shoot with lights on the right and left, and this is the first time I experienced the fill on axis with the lens. Gray set the white balance and tested exposure with his light meter. Call it old school but Gray did NO color or exposure corrections to over 900 shots. Typically I'm using the fill slider and tweaking the white balance on almost every shot. We managed to shoot 10 families. I was posing the groups and entertaining the kids.

Gray Quetti, Mark and Diane Landschoot, Me Family portrait

Each family received a small photo album and CD with their images. We edited down to around 24 for each one, which turned out to be a tough job. Many thanks to Dorian who tackled the editing. Then we uploaded to Costco for prints. I've been very happy with the results from our local Costco (Allen and his team keep those Noritsu printers in top shape). I ordered some small albums from Neil Enterprises. The cost per album ($2 ea) is inexpensive, but they kill you on the shipping and handling ($18).

Gray and I dropped off the albums and were met by Becky Cravey and Bruce Lipsky from the Times Union. They were hoping to run a story over the holidays, which eventually appeared on January 2. Check it out here. Being present when the families received their photos was a big thrill. There were a lot of happy moms and dads.

Bruce Lipsky of the Times Union and friend A happy dad and son Lots of pictures for everyone

If you haven't volunteered or given of yourself, especially over the holidays, I highly recommend it. I told the TU reporter that the photos taken on that Saturday will probably be cherished and appreciated more than all the photos I took during the year. It's a good feeling to know you made a difference in someone's day.