The understatement of the year may be that 2020 was a troubling year. It has been much more than just 'troubling' for so many. One of the consequences of the restrictions on movement has been the work-from-home migration. Zoom will almost certainly take on new definitions in the OED.
We have been fast at work over the last several years creating a great deal of art, but one of the latest projects has been to build some Zoom backgrounds to help add a little interest (or mirth) to the conference calls that many of us are almost certainly still experiencing either with work or family.
To that end, here is a link (https://images.wayneadd.com/p373544253)
to our Zoom Backdrops portfolio here in WAI. The portfolio has over forty images that have been designed with Zoom specifications to serve as backgrounds. Some are derived from our art, some from mandalas we've created, many from places we've visited, and some are just pure fun. The Zoom Backdrops portfolio is currently password protected, but if you will register using our Guestbook feature we will send you the password. Unlike the other portfolios on WAI, Zoom Backdrops are downloadable. A right-click on an image will bring up a menu permitting you to down it.
We are continuing to create new images as Zoom backdrops and will drop them into this gallery on a frequent basis so check back from time to time to see if there's something new of interest. If you click on All Portfolios in the menu at the top of this page you will have access to all the works published on our website. Only the Zoom Backdrops are downloadable, but many of the other images, particularly those in the Latest Works portfolio or the Slideshow - All Images portfolio are available on our for-sale site: Wayne Addington Images | Geo Galleries (geogalleries.com/WAIowner). The Zoom backgrounds will not be on Geo as they are available here for free.
If you see something you'd like to use please feel free to download it/them. If you see an image in another portfolio that you'd like to see configured & added as a Zoom background drop us a note in the Guestbook. Also, as you'll only too quickly see--these are not your average bookcase/fireplace/run-of-the-mill backgrounds. We would love to have feedback on what you think about them or if you use one and get feedback from others it would be nice to know that as well, so please drop us a note when you have a chance.
We hope that 2021 is healthy, safe, and just for us all. Let us all act responsibly to protect each other and our families as we sort out the new year. We'd like to think these images may bring a few smiles along the way!
Scott & Chuck
The first WAI image we printed & framed was this piece--'St. Mark's Square, Venice'. It is a large print (32" x 26") and with its frame & mat it's even larger. It hangs in our living room and we enjoy it every day. It remains a favorite for both of us even after we've now printed many other pieces. This was the piece that said "You can do this. It's beautiful." There are a number of beginnings to discuss in this blog entry however, not the least of which is how did Chuck find his way through all of his earlier careers to this one--artist.
Before the art one begins with the experience which feeds it. In this case the inspiration comes from Chuck's time in Italy starting in November 1970. A young 19 year old from Augusta, GA finds himself in the "Old World" after joining the Air Force, getting selected to serve in Southern Italy, and having the opportunity to explore not only Italy but much of Europe. One memory is vivid--sitting in a cafe at high tide in St. Mark's Square eating mussels with water literally washing at his feet. He went on to explore the Appian Way, the Baptistry at Pisa, Florence, Rome...well, suffice it to say that he did not stay at home and miss the treasures of Europe. One trip alone took him and his companions from the boot of Italy by car to St. Andrews, Scotland. All these experiences became part of him, and like most of us when we travel he took pictures--lots of pictures. But it was the 1970's and while he had a good camera, he had to rely on film. The slides that are the source images for this St. Mark's Square image were taken on one of those trips. Sadly, after 40 years, they did not age well and he wanted to find a way to try and restore them if possible.
This brings us to another beginning--Chuck teaching himself to use PhotoShop. He started with Elements and started on the path of learning the tool and how it could be used. Several upgrades later, after plenty of Googling and YouTube videos, and tons of practice he came back to some of his slides from his time in Italy and to his visit to St. Mark's Square. Those of you who are familiar with the Piazza San Marco will notice that you don't see the Campanile. The reason is easy. He was standing at the top of the Campanile turning and taking these photos. One of the views here is of the the Clocktower with its distinctive archway leading into the famed shops of the Mercerie and the Rialto beyond. Another is of the graceful lines of the Procurate Vecchie, and a third looks over the west end of the Piazza and out to the surrounding buildings of Venice. And not to be left out is a final view looking back to the waters of Venice and gondolas moored waiting for passengers. The genius of the piece that Chuck has created is that he has combined all these views not into a static travelogue of what can be seen, but into the remembered experience of standing so high in the air and seeing one of great architectural wonders of the world. It's a jumble with the views flowing into each other, mixing together, with a wonder and emotion that is at once overwhelming and yet transfixes you with the mix of feelings that you might experience standing in the same place. You can sense the beauty of Venice and this magnificent Square, but you can also feel what it's like to breathe, and laugh and wonder at how it was possible that you're standing there--as he did.
I suspect it shows that I'm in love with this piece, as I am also in awe of the talent that created it and his ability to let me experience Venice through his eyes & skill. I've included a few pictures of the actual St. Mark's Square so you can compare to Chuck's image. Like all of our other art, this piece is available in most any size you'd like it, on art paper or on archival canvas in our GeoGalleries site in the Italy folder (https://geogalleries.com/WAIowner/17524/1/).
Here are the promised photo's of St. Mark's Square (not taken by us):
When I restarted this blog I had intended to comment one by one on some of my favorite images that Chuck has created over the last several years. This time I decided to share some images from our trips to New York City. When I went back through them I simply couldn't select just one, so this blog starts with a series of my favorites. Even then I had to pass by dozens of others that I could have included. You can see many more in the New York City portfolio here at Wayne Addington Images. Many of these images are for sale at our GeoGalleries.com site in the Destinations - NYC collection (https://geogalleries.com/WAIowner/17520/1/).
There are five images in this blog post: 'Soar 2', 'gen.tri.fi.ca.tion', 'Right House, Which Floor?', 'Midtowne Stroll', and 'Times Square II'. In a departure from our usual methodology, two of these images (Soar 2, and gen.tri.fi.ca.tion) had their original source photos shot by a close friend of ours who is herself a terrific artist working in the fused glass medium. She also happens to be a fabulous photographer and when we saw some of her NYC photos we asked and she gave permission for us to use them in our art. The other three are based on photos we shot during our visits to Manhattan.
NYC is a wonderful place. What we've discovered over our many visits is that New York--like most places--is a collection of communities where people live & work & shop & play...just like most any other place--except these communities reside in the midst of one of the world's greatest cities. It is a wonderful place to walk. The terrain is flat and a simple grid, and there is absolutely no shortage of amazing things to see, experience, taste, enjoy. The 'gen.tri.fi.ca.tion' image is taken from a shot in lower Manhattan adjacent to Ground Zero. The lower third of the image is actually a mural painted on the side of a building and provides contrast to the World Trade Center buildings in the rest of the image. 'Soar 2' is a composite of images shot in mid & lower Manhattan. It includes one of our trademark features--reflections from the windows of buildings. In this case the reflections accentuate the balance between old & new.
'Right House, Which Floor?' is a building we happened to walk by on the Upper West Side while we were headed to lunch. It was only about a block or two off Central Park and we fell in love with its curves. 'Times Square II' and 'Midtowne Stroll' both result from the many walks we've taken in central Manhattan. Our intent was to capture not just buildings, but the movement and energy, the sound, the endless demand for your attention and the feast of input that surrounds you. It is at once rich as well as chaotic . We love the place. We hope you enjoy these images.
You can find these in the New York portfolio here on Wayne Addington Images, but they are available as prints (or canvases, framed pieces, etc.) on our GeoGalleries site: (https://geogalleries.com/WAIowner/17520/1/). These works are particularly well suited for very large print or canvas presentation. If you visit Geo and don't find a size or format that you're interested in just use the Contact Us button on the page and we'll get back to you.
All the best! --Scott
This piece, entitled 'Three Grotesques,' is one of my favorites of Chuck's works. In 2016, we visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Two things stand out as memories from our visit: the Loggia (porch) overlooking a beautiful expanse of the Blue Ridge mountains, and the botanical gardens and green houses on the estate. I confess that I'm personally troubled by the conspicuous consumption of "America's Biggest House". It's beautiful in many ways, but also a testimonial to the excesses of unrestrained wealth and I find it hard to romanticize. I was similarly troubled when I visited Louis IV's Palace at Versaille many years ago and couldn't bring myself to tour the palace itself. I was utterly content to wander the gardens on a sunny afternoon with hundreds of Parisians with family picnics spread out enjoying the day. But I promise--no more editorializing.
True to form, Chuck was all about finding details during our visit like these small sculptures on the capitals of columns in the Loggia, as well as fabrics on chairs in various room, and certainly a myriad of gorgeous images from the greenhouses. If you turned around from looking at these sculptures you'd see an expanse of hills and forest in the distance and the entire porch is open to the elements. It is this view which likely captures the attention of most visitors but you would miss a treasure if you didn't linger to enjoy these lively characters. I've included three pictures (not taken by us) of the Loggia to provide context, as well as some pictures of a framed copy of the Three Grotesques we have in our home.
The sculptures move around the tops of the columns on the Loggia and were most likely created on site by some of the artisans brought in to create this great house. Chuck has selected three of the personalities and grouped them into a single piece. The result is both whimsical yet pensive, thoughtful yet still lively. The sculptures face out toward the open expanse and have seen an army of visitors over the years pass below them.
You can find this image available for sale in our gallery at GeoGalleries.com (https://geogalleries.com/WAIowner/17521/img/276370/).
In a departure from my plan to write about some of my favorite images that Chuck has created over the last few years, I've decided to highlight one of his most recent images. The one heading this blog is part of a series we've called 'Summer Days'. This particular image is called "Umbrella's Shade". The entire series of nine images (at present count) can be found in our Latest Works portfolio (https://images.wayneadd.com/p833060011).
When Chuck moves through most any space it's hard to predict what's going to grab his attention as he generally is attracted to the details of his surround as well as the panorama. It's his awareness and attraction to the details that never ceases to entertain & amaze me however. This last year we decided that we wanted more umbrellas near the pool to shade us when we're not actually in the pool. We live in the South after all (North Carolina), and summer heat & humidity can be brutal at times. We added a number of new umbrellas keeping the crayon/primary palete that we both prefer outdoors. It didn't take long before Chuck was snapping pictures up into the umbrellas and then combining them with garden images that surround the space. The 'Summer Days' moniker just seemed a natural!
This series is marked by vivid colors and kinetic forms derived from the umbrellas combined with garden elements--blackberry lilies, butterflies, trees. But it's the evocative umbrella structures that I think draw us into them. Everyone knows the form, whether it was a rain umbrella or a parasol, a beach umbrella or patio umbrellas they all speak of shelter. They're comfortable, go-to memories. Add the brilliant colors Chuck has used and you can't help but smile.
These images are also available for sale in the Abstract folder of our GeoGalleries site: https://geogalleries.com/WAIowner/17465/1/. These will make great framed pieces or stretched canvases, and image sizes will permit large format installations if you have a large space you'd like to fill with a dramatic & colorful piece. If you don't see a size or format you'd like just drop us a line and we can make most any size available.