You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Art Photography’ category.

IMG_1492

Hibiscus – Photo by Daniel Krucoff

…….things just click!

I’m happy to report that it happened again for me while I was working on this cuff.

Hopefully, all of us have experienced that moment when things just start to come together and work right. Something akin to when you learned how to ride a bike. Balance, turning, forward momentum and braking all come together in perfect, effortless harmony. It becomes second nature and requires little conscious thought.

Years ago, my primary medium was glass. Oh how I wished I could cut glass with ease, without thinking about it. That FINALLY happened after a ton of practice. What accelerated that perfect touch was many hours of cutting strips of glass for the fused bowls I was making. The mechanics of the right pressure just clicked.

In 2009, metal became my medium. In some aspects, I was starting all over again. In other areas, I was enhancing skills I had developed as a budding artist back in my teens. You see, I know and have found that everything we do develops a skill set that we can build upon. Some are fortunate to start early and stick with it. Others, like me, tend to bounce around until we find our true passion.

Over the past several weeks, I have returned to the studio to create new works for an upcoming exhibition.  All the work will be completed using the metalsmithing technique of Chasing and Repousse. I love working in metal and this technique allows me to create in a way I never imagined. In June of 2014, I took a workshop from the Italian Master, Fabrizio Acquafresca and found my true passion ~ Chasing and Repousse.

There are MANY important aspects to this technique. For me, the hardest part has been proper use of the chasing hammer with the tools. I knew it would just take practice. Fabrizio and others confirm that practice is essential. It is. I know it. My commitments have interfered with my ability to work on this technique as much as I want and need.

Now, as I’m preparing for an exhibit, I am in the studio every day working, practicing, striving to be better. Some days my muscles are unhappy with my demands. I take breaks, I stretch and do my best to give my body the rests it needs. Remember these breaks are just as important as the practice. When I am tired, my muscles fatigued, things don’t work well and mistakes will happen.

However, that moment I sought, when perfect harmony with hammer and chisel finally happened. It took place on a recent Sunday. I had finished the details of this cuff and now it was time to work on the non-raised sections; the border area. Fabrizio has a set of special square tools (pictured below) that he uses to complete a smooth, finished surface.

IMG_2181

I have struggled with this aspect ever since that workshop almost 2 years ago. This time, I was determined to figure it out, make it work and succeed. As I started to hammer, I could see the surface was moving as I wanted it to.  It’s a smooth ‘texture‘ if you will.  I realize that sounds like a contradiction, but these tools create a soft finish. Here’s a close up of one of the edges, showing the details of the cuff.

DSC08073-2

The awareness that took place as I hammered was I was finally striking the tool with a purpose. Before I was ‘hammering like a girl‘….ya that old saying of ‘you throw the ball like a girl’. Whatever. I was using my chasing hammer like I meant it. The strikes were not this random flailing of mediocre blows. The hammer strikes on the top of my tool were direct, with intent. All the aspects of how to create this movement were coming together. I was holding the square chisel correctly, positioning it correctly on the metal’s surface and striking it with the hammer with forceful purpose.  I could feel everything was working together in harmony and that’s the a-ha key moment of revelation. I got this. I’m doing this. Yay me!

The reason I want to share this story and my thoughts are to encourage you. One of the worst things we do as individuals is compare ourselves to others. That serves no purpose. There’s always going to be someone who’s better at something than you are and you are better at somethings that others aren’t. Just be the best that you can be. If you are dissatisfied with something, work on fixing it. I was never happy with my hammer skills. Yet I persisted and practiced. Am I where I want to be yet? No. Anyone who is a true master of their craft continues to practice and work at it. Ansel Adams did, Picasso did, I know Fabrizio does and I know I have to because I want to grow and become a better artist. Practice, determination and persistence are my allies. If you want to be better at anything, let them become your allies too.

Until next time, I continue to aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

12042852_10153779961239474_7213527649855454937_n

Cannon Beach

I have just returned from one of the best vacations that Dan & I have shared together. The Pacific Northwest has such diverse areas of beauty that we are more than enamored by what it has to offer. I can easily see us transitioning there if the opportunity presents itself.

12046815_10153779990269474_675959213423575201_n

Mt Adams

Whenever we travel, photography becomes a huge part of the journey. Dan captures breathtaking scenes. I hunt for the obscure in hopes that it may find its way into my work. One of the true joys we experience on these photo safaris is finding those glimpses of life that may be missed if we just hurried along the trails.

DSC03484

This star fish was a pleasant surprise during one of our morning walks on the beach. A young man found it was still alive and returned it to the sea.

DSC03471

Seeing the gull tracks in the sand was interesting to me. Every morning the wind swept sand revealed a new set of tracks. I liked thinking about how they could symbolize our journeys.

DSC03478

An occasional encounter with a stray feather.

DSC03291

Most of the sand dollars did not weather their trip to shore well. However I did find even the damaged ones to have unique qualities. I did have the good fortune to discover a few, large and small, still intact during the early morning walks. Those have relocated to Colorado as guides for future works.

12038502_10153779994054474_806574663495550797_n

Me on the left with Linda Steider on the right.

I finally got to meet this wonderful, creative spirit in person. My friend, Linda Steider, who inspires on so many levels. We have known each other for a long time and stay in touch through Facebook and our respective blogs. She is a very talented glass artist and photographer. Linda graciously offered to spend a day with us & shared parts of her world she thought we would enjoy. We did and are so grateful for her generosity. I encourage you to check her blog and see all the wondrous things she captures in her photography. Thanks to Linda, we got to see Mt Adams, enjoy lunch along the Columbia river and even an ice cave where Dan captured this next photo.

12009622_10153779993029474_3839881265696293081_n

Dan had to lay on his back to capture this view of the trees. I just love it; reminds me of what I try to do with my Treescapes series.

DSC03466

Sunset on our last night at Cannon Beach. Just spectacular. While we were at the ocean, we only turned the TV on once for a bit of morning news. The rest of the time, both of us were completely captivated by the sound of the waves, the gulls and the tranquility of being there.

Right now I feel like I am in percolator mode. My senses were overwhelmed at times and I did my best to drink it all in. How this will manifest in my work remains to be seen. I am ready.

DSC03463

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

DenverArtMuseum
Denver  Art Museum
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

This past weekend was the last weekend for the Becoming Van Gogh exhibit. My friend, Nancy Bonig, told Dan & I this was a must see and so we bought tickets.

Saturday, January 19th, Dan & I enjoyed our Art Date.  It was a very special day that both of us thoroughly enjoyed.  I hurriedly jotted down a variety of Van Gogh’s quotes.

“Success comes from a string of failures.”

“I am an artist….those words naturally imply always seeking without ever fully finding.”

“Just let me be myself — and express severe, rough, yet true things with rough workmanship.”

It was a fascinating journey of his brief artistic time….just 10 years.  To see where he started at age 27 to where he evolved at age 37 was more than impressive.  I was deeply moved by one of his last paintings, completed just two weeks before he died.  After seeing some of Van Gogh’s works in person, hearing his story, and seeing his growth, I find myself wondering what seeds may have been planted that will cause my work to grow and change.

Before we left the museum, we stopped at the gift shop because I wanted to see some of Nancy’s works.  Her beautiful glass work tends to sell out quickly and I wondered if we would even be able to find any.  Fortunately, there were a few of her pieces and a couple of my favorites that she’s just started are those of the Denver skyline.

After we left the museum, we walked around downtown Denver, Dan taking a variety of photographs, one of which is pictured at the top of this post.  We enjoyed an early dinner at Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant before we headed home.

I find it so important for Dan & I to have these types of Art Dates.  It’s a great time for both of us to discuss our respective work, future plans and more.  Do any of you have regular Art Dates?  I certainly hope so, the benefits are priceless.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

I have some great news to share…. Dan is a Featured Artist at Whopple.com. You can read the interview here and see some of his latest photographs from our trip to Estes too. I think it provides some interesting insights into his approach to photography, along with his inspirations. Hope you enjoy.

I’m so proud of him!!!!

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 813 other followers

Follow my tweets!