Jeff Clay
2013-08-27 08:28

Shadows are the apparent yin to light's yang. Though, strictly speaking they are not the opposite or absence of light, as some details often can be seen lurking deep in the nooks and crannies of shadows. They are merely the blockage of light. I call their presence shadow light.

They can be as strong a force in photography as light itself. The same is true in painting. Think of a Rembrandt or a Caravaggio and you cannot help visualize inky shadows as well as light-sculpted faces and torsos.

In the world of dunescapes, shadows are integral to creating a well-crafted, compelling, and yes, beautiful composition. Without them scenes are flat and as lifeless as the desert appears. With those deep pools or dark rivulets the dunes come alive and speak of mystery and sensuousness. They create soft wells to sink your eyes into. Places to linger and wonder about. They add grace and form to shapes and lines otherwise commonplace. They create a balance and contrast that is both natural and otherworldly.

Shade for the mind; an oasis of respite.

Shadow Light.

 

  

 

"Slide," "Shadow Light," and "A Thirst For Dry Vistas" are three expressions of my dunescape-world wanderings. See more in my Death Valley galleries.


As the principal of Clayhaus Photography, Jeff Clay, specializes in fine-art landscape, architecture, and travel images. He also does portrait and event photography as a partner in Perfect Light Studios. Finally, with a background in information technology and project management, as sole proprietor of Clayhaus Consulting, he works with non-profits and small businesses to help implement Internet and social media campaigns. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie, and their three wild and crazy retrievers.

Jeff Clay
2013-07-17 22:42

"There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace - those qualities you find always in that which the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, in the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of the creosote bush or the pattern of its leaves."  — Frank Herbert, Dune

No matter how chaotic and complicated one's life may seem, a walk among patterns reaffirms the beauty and simplicity that surrounds us. For me, little expresses this better than sand dunes.

The pure art and natural law of forms and shapes, lines and curves, filled with light or the absence of it; with patterns — sand ripples or waves — everywhere you look...these are the dunes. Especially when the sun is low and its rays angular, it is a glorious place to wander with much to photograph and more to see. 

Someone (in-)famously quipped that if you have seen one sequoia tree you've seen them all. And I suppose someone could say the same about a dune. But did that person ever look at the bark and branches, trunk and root of the sequoia? Or at the ripples stretching beneath his feet to an inky pool of shadow below, while bright lines of light play above, across the high ridge crests? These are unique things and moments, if not to the insensitive mind, to those experientially open.

For surely if the devil is in the details, the god is as well.

 

"Eureka Valley Sand Ripples" is but one expression of my dunescape-world wanderings. See more in my Death Valley galleries.


As the principal of Clayhaus Photography, Jeff Clay, specializes in fine-art landscape, architecture, and travel images. He also does portrait and event photography as a partner in Perfect Light Studios. Finally, with a background in information technology and project management, as sole proprietor of Clayhaus Consulting, he works with non-profits and small businesses to help implement Internet and social media campaigns. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie, and their three wild and crazy retrievers.

Cyrene Swallow
2013-07-05 11:37

This painting is titled "I'm Home."  It depicts a cowboy coming home after a long cattle drive, pausing at the top of the hill overlooking his land, to enjoy the sight of his home, sunset, and his animals.  

May I suggest that we reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know ourselves better. Walk in nature, watch a sunrise. We would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most.  And enjoy the life we have.

 

Cyrene Swallow is an Orem-based artist who loves to paint the worlds of reality and fantasy with bold, beautiful, colorful brushstrokes. She is a member of Utah Valley Art Association in Utah County and of the Executive Committee of the Local Colors of Utah Gallery.

Jeff Clay
2013-06-24 16:20

...but there are plenty of junipers, eagles, mule deer, pronghorn, bobcats, cougars, and at least 250 head of wild horses. 

In 2009 Congress designated 100,000 acres of the wild and seldom visited Cedar Mountains a Wilderness Area. Located only 50 miles from Salt Lake City, the Cedars are the third Great Basin mountain range west of the Wasatch. Typical of these types of mountains, the Cedars run north-to-south and are bordered on the east by Skull Valley and stretching to the west as far as the Nevada border is the Bonneville depression.

The ubiquitous explorer John C. Fremont passed through the range in the 1840s while later self-styled pioneer route-finder Lansford W. Hastings designated part of his infamous Hastings Cut-Off Trail to cut through a northern canyon of the mountains. The doomed Donner Party filled their canteens in this canyon for the 80 mile crossing of the Bonneville Salt Flats, unaware of the historic and grim fate that awaited them higher and further away in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

Early settlers often mistook juniper for cedars. There are no cedar trees in the Cedar Mountains. Not much in the way of trees at all, actually. There are plenty of junipers though, and after the occasional lightening strike-induced fire, the skeletal limbs of these trees stretch skyward in plaintive and poignant fashion. Or, so it seems to me.

Being not so tall and wide as the Stansbury Mountains, nor so physically abused and run-over as the Oquirrh Mountains, nor so distant as the hyper-dramatic Silver Island Range, nor so remote as the Newfoundland Mountains, I have explored and wandered through the Cedars many times when I needed a close-by, West Desert 'fix' in winter, spring or fall. Though the views can be quite grand, this is not dramatic terrain. Subtlety is the watchword for the Cedars.

I have walked the ridges in winter, punching through snow, with unblemished views to the Deep Creek Range on the Nevada border while behind me Salt Lake drowns in its own inversion. I've explored side-canyons in spring whilst trying to avoid trampling the occasional new flower struggling to raise its young head to the sun. I've seen the shy pronghorn, warily watching me, while ravens caw and circle overhead.

There may be no cedars, but I am glad there is a wilderness in the Cedar Mountains Wilderness.       

 

"Stansbury View," "Moon and Juniper," and "Crescent Moon Over the Cedars"are three expressions of Utah's West Desert. More can be seen in my "Seeing the West Desert, In a Different Light" portfolio.

 

As the principal of Clayhaus Photography, Jeff Clay, specializes in fine-art landscape, architecture, and travel images. He also does portrait and event photography as a partner in Perfect Light Studios. Finally, with a background in information technology and project management, as sole proprietor of Clayhaus Consulting, he works with non-profits and small businesses to help implement Internet and social media campaigns. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie, and their three wild and crazy retrievers.


Debbie Valline
2013-06-16 16:19

I was one of the featured artists at Local Colors Fine Art Gallery this past month.  The theme was "Utah Impressions."  So, what in the world could a jeweler do to represent Utah?  Then I thought of a series of pieces I have wanted to do.  Voila: I had my Utah Impressions.  I did a series of Utah flowers in metal.  This was such a fun thing to do.  One of the pieces, which was one of my favorites, was the Carnation.  I cut out 53 separate small circles for the petals and heated them to obtain a wonderful array of color on each petal.  I then formed them so each one would be unique.  Each petal was then connected separately to create the Carnation. I'm so happy with the way it turned out.

The Carnation's name is translated to the "flower of love".  It is one of the oldest cultivated flowers. The meaning of the Carnation include distinction, fascination, and love.

Come by the gallery to see all of my flowers in metal!

 

 

Debbie describes herself as a Jewelry Architect.  She loves to create and build pieces incorporating mixed metals, enhanced with precious and semi-precious stones and often using fibre.  She lives in Riverton, Utah with her wonderfully supportive husband.  Debbie is proud to be a member of Local Colors Fine Art Gallery.


Jeff Clay
2013-06-11 15:30

 

Sky so delicate
Floating high, shadows skirt low
Nothing between — us!

————

The Japanese devised haiku poetry centuries ago as a way to describe nature with seeming simplicity. But upon closer examination, the true spirit of haiku reveals a none-too-obvious complex face. It depends upon a juxtaposition of ideas and images brought forth with the use of a kireji or cutting word. The reader is meant to meditate upon the deeper meaning behind the deceptively simple lines. 

I would never pretend to be anything but a dabbler in this rarified art form, but I do find it stimulating and creative to try and distill a complex image into three very brief lines. Good photographs — or for that matter paintings as well — should stand on their own: as the representative things that they are. Though of course, what exactly an image is varies greatly from viewer to viewer. Ansel Adams was criticized for never having people in his images. Never mind that the statement is false, the impression is what Ansel responded to when he quipped that there were always at least two people in his photographs: the photographer and the viewer. The photographer certainly had his perspective when he captured the scene. You, the viewer bring your own set of perceptions (and prejudices!) to the gallery when you gaze at the hanging image.

What does this have to do with haiku? Perhaps not much. But on occasion I stare at a photograph I have taken and words come to mind. "Sky so delicate..." begins the thought process. Once I start, it must be finished. Both the photograph and the haiku can and do stand separate.

But, together...they become something more.

 

"Floating Above Crater Island" and "A Long Way Back" are just two expressions of Utah's West Desert. More can be seen in my "Seeing the West Desert, In a Different Light" portfolio.

 

As the principal of Clayhaus Photography, Jeff Clay, specializes in fine-art landscape, architecture, and travel images. He also does portrait and event photography as a partner in Perfect Light Studios. Finally, with a background in information technology and project management, as sole proprietor of Clayhaus Consulting, he works with non-profits and small businesses to help implement Internet and social media campaigns. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie, and their three wild and crazy retrievers.


Melody Johnson
2013-06-10 08:30

Watching videos from the Cusp Convention Web site compelled me to decide to try some of the presenters’ ideas out.  The theme for the work Cusp does is “the design of everything.” I like that.

I have been trying to discover ideas that would help me market both my visual art and my writing.  For the last year and a half, I have been involved with a co-op gallery in Sugar House, Local Colors.  I love it.  The co-op gives me the opportunity to show my art work, be involved with some fantastic artists and afford me the chance of making some money.  It’s a great place to meet people and discuss my work with them. 

I have sold some pieces, but if this being a professional artist thing is going to work, I have to start selling more.  Art costs me.  It takes money for supplies, for framing, for making prints.  That doesn’t take in consideration the thousands of hours that I put into creating the art itself.

I know, I know.  I should be doing all of this for the pure love of the creative process.  And I do.  Even if I never showed anyone, I would still be making art.  But honestly, I would cut way back on all of my expenses.  And on the time it takes entering shows, hauling pictures around - doing the work that it takes to try to market my work.

So, how do I sell?  Being a member of the gallery helps but all of us need to start selling more.  What will help the situation radically improve would be for me to take a giant leap to get myself started.  I am going to blog the things I try because it keeps me honest with myself and because it might help the people who read it know what they can try.

First I am going to try to brand myself.  I think in marketing speak branding means to find out the center or core of what I want to do through my art.  If I know the center, it will help me plan how to sell.  One suggestion, from Cusp, was to come up with two words that describe what my art is.   The word joy popped instantly in my head.  The other word took more thought.  If you look at my collages you’ll notice that I am obsessed with sources of light and how light bounces off of everything around it.  My two words are joyful and reflection.  I love the word reflection because it has so many meanings and they all work.

Melody Jean Johnson lives in Saratoga Springs, Utah and loves to be visited or contacted by people who enjoy her work, want to learn or just want to talk. You can see her images on the Local Colors web site or on her own web site


Jeff Clay
2013-05-30 14:44

With apologies to Jimmy Page and company, I was neither dazed nor confused when I recently led a small group of friends into the Confusion Range for 2 days of exploring and camping, hiking and, of course photography.  

People either know about the Confusions or not. Bisected by Highway 50 and about halfway between Delta and Great Basin National Park, most people drive through them with nary a thought. They form a rather jumbled topology of hills and valleys, mountains and canyons. The northern section is comprised of low, ill-defined hills, but to the south of the highway the range features deep canyons, wide valleys, a dry lake bed, and numerous white quartzite cliffs.

Just to the south of Hwy-50 is Cat Canyon. So named for the cougars occasionally seen there, this is reportedly a wonderful hike that eventually leads past Little Horse Heaven Basin, where wild horses have been spotted, and beyond to King Top, the high point of the mountain range. 

As attractive as that hike sounded, my goal was to drive on the main dirt road in Blind Valley and explore the Barn Hills and Fossil Mountain areas. This we did, but the high point of the day was climbing around the quartzite blocks of the Ibex Hills at dusk and photographing long vistas filled with warm light and crystalline air. This area is known for its clear night skies and we took advantage of that by staying up until midnight photographing the stars.

Dawn came early and though it was not the most spectacular sunrise I have witnessed, this photographer's job is to shoot from dawn to dark and beyond, so up I was — even before the coffee was ready — with cameras and tripods positioned to capture first light.

It's not for everyone: some are dazed by the seeming emptiness, others confused as to why anyone would want to go there. But, for me and as always, I am entranced and energized by the vistas and silence and geography of Utah's West Desert.

 

 

 

"Warm Point Vista," "Blind Valley Sunrise," and "Notch Peak and Clouds" are just three expressions of Utah's West Desert. More can be seen in my "Seeing the West Desert, In a Different Light" portfolio.

 

As the principal of Clayhaus Photography, Jeff Clay, specializes in fine-art landscape, architecture, and travel images. He also does portrait and event photography as a partner in Perfect Light Studios. Finally, with a background in information technology and project management, as sole proprietor of Clayhaus Consulting, he works with non-profits and small businesses to help implement Internet and social media campaigns. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie, and their three wild and crazy retrievers.


David Arthur Jones
2013-05-26 17:12

Yogurtland is open if you can get there.

Doughnuts and Subs coming soon.

Habit can be approached from the south parking lot.

Serious progress on the west side of McClelland.

You can still see the Sugarhouse monument through the construction.

Everything will soon be above ground level.

The striping is exactly what I had hoped for; 6 Stalls east of the Fire hydrant., 13 to the west.

A handicapped zone right next to the ramp in front of the Gallery. Very nice.

                          

 

David Arthur Jones is a painter who works in a variety of media, primarily Oils. He and his wife live in the heart of horse country in Utah’s Tooele Valley. Although David is a Westerner by choice as well as by heritage, his subject matter is not limited to Western Art.


David Arthur Jones
2013-05-21 07:17

I’ve thrown in a little more color.

I see some things I want to change.

Does it look like the Uinta Basin country between Roosevelt and Vernal?

Does it need to be warmed up a little, overall?

 

David Arthur Jones is a painter who works in a variety of media, primarily Oils. He and his wife live in the heart of horse country in Utah’s Tooele Valley. Although David is a Westerner by choice as well as by heritage, his subject matter is not limited to Western Art.