Sunday, April 27, 2008

Award at Singing River Art Association Annual Art Exhibit

"Angel of Sorrow"

I am pleased to announce that my "Angel of Sorrow" photograph, which was a 20" X 30" canvas gallery wrap format, won the award for Best Photography at the Singing River Art Association's 2008 art exhibit that runs through May at the Jolly McCarthy Depot in Pascagoula, MS. The honor was a great thrill for me. The juror was Victoria Lenne, noted Tennessee watercolorist.
This photograph seems to touch the souls of viewers, especially those who went through Katrina. One of the main goal for my photography is that it touch the soul and has meaning for those who view it. I like to think that she my Angel of Sorrow the angel who lifts our burdens by carrying our sorrows for us.
This photograph may be ordered using my photography
purchase page.

"Misty Magnolia"

This is my other entry in the SRAA Art Exhibit. It is a Magnolia soulangeana from the magnolia bush in my front yard. It is my newest image. The judge always leaves comments for award winners, but didn't leave many comments for other entrys that didn't win an award. She left this comment by Misty Magnolia:
"Simply elegant."
This was also done on a canvas gallery wrap.

Monday, April 21, 2008

How did the photographer get that shot?

Most of my photographs are fairly easy to take, although they may require a bit of hiking to get to the location. Then, as with all photographers, you have to decide on the composition and the angle at which you want to shoot.

A few, however, require stunts or extraordinary maneuvers.
On our trip to Ireland last year, we were driving along the eastern shore of the country from Dublin to Northern Ireland. It was a cold and rainy day (as were many of our days in Ireland, even in August), and we were enjoying the scenery. We saw a beautiful overlook with outpotties, so we thought it would be a nice time to stop, albeit the drizzling rain. It turned out to be more than just a pit stop.
Our plan for renting a car instead of going on a tour bus was that we would be able to stop anywhere and stay as long as we wanted to, so that is what we did. Once stopped, we noticed busloads of youngsters wearing red safety helmets going down a steep trail. Always curious, wanting to see what they were doing, and wanting to see what I might find to photograph, I followed them and went down a fairly steep trail.

What we found was another of those secret spots that you couldn't see from the road. We found beautiful cliffs and rocks going down to the Irish Sea, and a roaring stream that came from higher in the mountains, went underneath a bridge on the highway, and emptied into the sea at the bottom of the hill. I stumbled upon magnificent scenery and some beautiful flowers.
One such flower was a Fireweed growing out of the cracks in the rock.

Sometimes, to get the shot you want, you have to do some weird things, like lie on rocks while shooting. I knew I wanted a photograph of these gorgeous flowers, but didn't want to shoot them from above. Notice how the stems are deep magenta? They were also dripping with raindrops - hard to see in this small shot.
Yes, that is me - my husband took a photo of me while I was shooting the flowers. You have get down low, on the level of the flower.

There I was, laying on a rock with my feet propped up on another rock for balance. It was a bad hair day, what with the rain and the breeze from the water, but we had a marvelous experience, and I loved the challenge.
Fireweeds are beautiful flowers because the stems nearly the color of the flower petals.
Fireweed is a perennial with pinky purple flowers that grows from 0.5 to 3 metres in height. The flowers can range from rose, purple or mauveand are clustered along the top part of the reddish stems. They have yellow stamens. These flowers also grow in the United States, but none quite so pretty as these with raindrops on their heads.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Featured Artist at Foley Performing Arts Gallery

This Press Release says it all:

Local Photographer Exhibits in Foley Arts Center

Biloxi – Biloxi photographer Linda Saxon Nix is the featured artist in the Middle Gallery at the Foley Performing Arts Center in Foley, AL. Nix, a member of the Art center since 2006, is showing nine of her favorite images and a number of matted pieces. All of the works may be purchased. The exhibit will hang through April, at which time selected pieces will be moved across the street to be displayed in the Colonial Bank. Foley Art Center is located at 119 West Lauren Avenue (Highway 98), with viewing hours from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Friday and 10:00 AM 2:00 PM on Saturdays.

The Foley Arts Center is a very nice art gallery, and is really one of those "little well-kept secrets" because most people head for the outlet mall in Foley. They miss the best part of Foley when they bypass the lovely little town. Foley is one of my favorite places because of all of the civic landscaping that is done there. No matter what time of year, you can count on beautiful beds of flowers in bloom year-round.
My husband and I have been members for the past three years. I display my photography and Vern his pottery. They asked me to be featured in the Middle Gallery for the first time, and I was pleased to mount an exhibit. The grand hotel that has always housed the gallery is being sold, and the gallery will soon move across the street.

Fats Domino's Cadillac Tale

"Fats Dominos Cadillac" Photograph

This photograph was just accepted into a juried exhibit - "First Annual University of Mobile Juried Art Exhibition" which will open to the public May 3-30, 2008 at Thomas T. Martin Hall on the University of Mobile campus. If you are in the area, you may want to drop by to see the exhibit.
It was was also chosen by the National Endowment of the Arts to illustrate a story in their NEArts Magazine (Vol. 5 2006). The article, "Restoring the Quality of Life: NEA Assists Hurricane Ravaged Arts Organizations", focused on how the NEA assisted art organizations and artists with the aftermath of Katrina, and featured two other of my Katrina photographs.
I was asked to contribute to the article because I was the recipient of a $1,000.00 grant from the Hattiesburg Arts Council to attend the Bruce Barnbaum Photographic Workshop. The workshop grant was funded by a parent grant from the NEA to assist artists in the area affected by Katrina. This workshop gave me the opportunity to take my art to a new level and am grateful that I had the opportunity to have attended.

The Story Behind the Photograph

"Fats Dominos' Cadillac" is yet another artistic photograph that came out of the vast destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Back in 2006, some of our same photographic workshop people had the opportunity to go into the Ninth Ward of New Orleans to document the damage of the flooding of the Ninth Ward. Our intent was to create artistic images out of a disaster that destroyed thousands of homes.
While photographing homes that were filled with inches of mold, cars that had been deposited on top of other cars by the water, and broken dreams (actually a heartbreaking task), we heard that Fats Domino's famous pink Cadillac was in the area. A few of us hopped into my car and went to look for his recording studio where it was supposed to be.

We found the studio, but saw no Cadillac. Disappointed, we were about ready to leave
when we saw a man coming out of the studio, locking the door behind him.
The man was quite a character. He wore overalls and a T-shirt and had a very long, bushy beard and, of course, a baseball type cap. It turned out that the man was a musician and a childhood friend who went to school with Fats. Presently he was managing the studio, or what was left of it. He plays in a Cajun band in New Orleans. He let us photograph him, but said we could not publish the photo. That photograph would have been a winner, too!
We struck up a conversation, and when he found out that we were a group of photographers who were documenting the storm damage (many of our group were from out of state), he invited us in to have a look.

The entire house had been flooded, so everything had been stripped out leaving only the wall studs, and this pink Cadillac sitting in an empty room. The only other things in the entire old house were a pink toilet and lavatory in an adjoining room. That, and two crystal chandeliers that they salvaged from the ceilings that they would again use that were sitting in the back of the couch. They are being saved to hang when the studio is rebuilt.

The old Pink Cadillac had been sawed off and cusomt-made into a couch years ago. Before the flood, when you sat on it, the rear lights lit up. Fats' friend told us that Fats planned to rebuild the studio and have the Cadillac couch refurbished and make the lights work once again. He told us that the real Cadillac was with Fats in an area of New Orleans that did not flood.

The couch had been on the cover of the only Christmas Album that Fats Domino ever made.

The album was "Christmas Gumbo" from 1993.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Tivoli Series

I live in the land of Hurricane Katrina. We are into our third year of recovery, but our land will never be the same. I did my share of taking Katrina photos that documented the devastation and the ruination of people's homes and lives. I felt compelled to do so , in a way, to document an awful moment in time. Those were photos. They were snapshots. They stand as a reminder of the awful force of Mother Nature and her profound affect on people and the land.
I have shown and sold only a few of these photos, as they are not reminders that people around here want to see on a daily basis.

I also took my share of photographs, which are more artistic than photos. One subject was Katrina Sunflowers. Many artists painted or shot the mysterious Katrina Sunflowers that miraculously appeared in the months after Katrina in the spring of 2006. They were our first signs of hope. They sprang up on vacant lots, in back and front yards, on roadsides - everywhere. To this day, sunflowers are revered on the Gulf Coast.

I also was very privileged to be able to go into a dying old hotel, The Tivole, and take some one-of-a-kind photographs. Now those are fine art. The hotel had seen better days before Katrina, and was considered an eyesore by some, although she was solid and proud and one of our historic landmarks. She could have been saved and refurbished into something nice.
It had been closed for a number of years, and rumor had it that the homeless lived inside. But, oh, the stories she could tell of the roaring twenties and thirties when she was considered the Grande Dame of hotels on the Riviera of the South.
I first went inside the hotel with a group of people taking a photography workshop from Bruce Barnbaum. A few months later I sent inside for the last time with my son, who is a photographer (a fantastic one, too) and who was visiting from Colorado. We shot photographs on all five floors in the light of the late afternoon sun. It was an awesome experience. A week later,the wrecking ball demolished it because developers wanted to build a casino on the property. The front corner had been struck by a huge casino barge and torn off, leaving the building damaged. In my opinion, it could have been saved and turned in to a hotel once again. The good citizens of Biloxi fought to keep a casino from going on the property, and we won. It is sad that they didn't wait before tearing down one of our memorable landmarks, of which there are too few left.
You can read about the Grande Dame at the bottom of my photography page and view more Tivoli photographs:

Most of my Tivoli photographs are artistic in nature, and they are among my favorites
of all of my photographs. They stand for a by-gone time long gone, the romantic past, out lost landmarks, and for"could haves" and "what if''s" and "never agains". They represent our past, and for people of the Gulf Coast, memories and photographs are all that we have left.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cypress Trees

Most of my photography is considered fine art. I exhibit and show my work at various galleries, and enter juried shows in the area. I have won awards for my work, and my photography is in collections in most of the states and in several foreign countries. My magnolias have been used by businesses and corporations for advertising, for logos and for stationary and business cards, for wedding invitations - even for signs. They have illustrated magazine articles, been on the cover of a telephone book and illustrated the magnolia for a book about the state of Mississippi.
I am passionate about my photography. It provides the creative outlets that I need to feed my soul.

Sometimes I do freelance work. The photograph to the right, "Cypress Trees" was taken when I photographed "Dreams" for the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. Dreams is the children's museum's annual fundraiser that showcases the talent of the youth in music and dance. This photograph is one of my very favorite photographs of all time. It was taken during a dance called "Cypress Trees" in front of a full orchestra. This photograph is often used by Lynn Meadows to promote their various programs, and was used in the program when Lynn Meadows won a national award in Washington, D.C. Can you imagine my proud smile?

Monday, April 14, 2008

New Beginnings

Today I created my blog. This is a new beginning for me. I resisted blogs for over a year, and while this will not be a "daily diary", I hope to make my blog a place where you can get to know me well. I plan to keep you updated on my photography news as well as let you see the photographer behind the photography.

This will be a way to share my photography with those who care to see what I am doing. As I grow older, I grow more philosophical. My photography grows more and more to be the window to my soul because I put so much of myself into creating each photograph.

About a year ago I saw the following quotation posted at an art exhibit. It spoke to me in a profound way. If you substitute "photography" for "art" as you read it, you will know how I feel about photography. Photography captures a moment in time that can never again be duplicated, nor can a different person capture a scene in exactly the way that I, or anyone else, can.

“Art is a living river that runs through our time and will run on as long as art is created and appreciated. To purchase a painting is to take a dipper full of the river home to constantly be refreshed with the energy of life.” Stewart Turcotte