One of the greatest things about what I do is that I get to meet some really creative people. I always said that I don’t have a creative bone in my body and I can’t work a paintbrush to save my life. It amazes me what people can do who have the gifted talent. I work at it and I appreciate all of you who put up with my ramblings and photos that I post every week.
About a year ago I was teaching a digital photography class in Venice, Florida. Every class has it’s own personality and most students make new friends and contacts as well. It’s a win-win for everyone. While everyone was finding a seat, in the back of the room sat a quiet woman with her camera out waiting for the class to start. I like to go around the room and see who has what. Little did I know whom I was meeting. She introduced herself as Margo Kessler Cook and explained that she had lived in Hawaii and was known for her artwork while she lived there.
The class went on and at the end of the six weeks; she invited me to see her gallery sometime. Awhile later I was in the area and made an appoint to stop by. I stepped four feet into the foyer and I was floored. This girl has skills. Not only can she take photos, she is versed in metal work and other forms of art. I mean like museum quality art with detail that you can’t believe and I was only four feet in!
I’m going to let Margo take over from here. I’m honored that she is allowing me to share some of her great photographs with you.
I started doing my photography when I purchased my very first camera, Konica Minolta DiMage 8 megapixels Point & Shoot (2008). From that camera I went to my bridge camera, the Nikon Coolpix P500 36x optical zoom that I use for travel and last is the Olympus E510 DSLR. Those are the cameras I use so far.
As far as being an artist, I am mostly self-taught. My disciplines are printmaking, photography, chasing and repousse, fabric design and jewelry design/fabrication and bronze casting.
I have been in numerous juried exhibitions both in Hawaii and US mainland; exhibited in various venues in Hawaii including the Honolulu Museum of Art as well as in LA; featured in magazines, won several awards and have art in the historical landmark hotel, The Moana Surfrider in Honolulu, Hawaii. Have been consistently in juried shows here in Florida since I started up this past February. The one of the vines (showed you when you were here) was in the Ringling College of Art and Design/Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA “Sticks and Clicks” Photography Competition. I took 3rd Prize in the Amateur Category. Photo title was “Eye See You”.
The photo with turtle on a log was chosen for the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 33rd Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition: Natural Florida. Piece title was “Out and About”. Received an Honorable Mention from Art Center Sarasota Juried Exhibition – Simply Original, for a solarplate etching I created from one of my photos using a photo transparency. Find that in doing solarplate etchings you can get more from your photos so to speak; life extension in another medium? Makes me appreciate photography that much more which has now become one of my first loves next to printmaking.
Edit: There are so many photographs that Margo is allowing us to share, that we will split this into two posts with the other photos that she is mentioning.
Photo taken while visiting a friend in Texas. We both enjoy photography and architecture so he took me to the Texas Capital in Austin. Completed in 1888 it’s a wonderful example of late 19th century public architecture whose style is Renaissance Revival. I fell in love with the rotunda and wanted to try and get a photo with the available lighting. I moved around looking at all the possibilities all the while side-stepping the other tourists. My travel Nikon is a Coolpix P500/w 36x optical zoom and has a swivel LCD screen. The swivel really helped me look at the possible compositions as I couldn’t physically bend back far enough. The shot I really wanted would have required me to lie flat on the floor. Unfortunately the security guard said that wasn’t possible. Got this shot despite not lying down on the job!
Flowers, ah, they make me weak in the knees. I can never see enough, smell enough or look at an empty vase without wanting to fill it. Bought this small bouquet of pink tinted daisies expressly to take photos. I put the vase on a lazy Susan and turned it around and around. Find it helpful to study what dances in front of your eyes; what images become stronger than others before shooting. In this particular photo the texture of the petals and depth of field were strong. Suppose the petals were shouting, ‘he loves me, he loves me not” which helped with the title. Taken with my old Konica Minolta (point-n-shoot).
There are several banana trees in my backyard. Makes for wonderful photo ops especially when they are “birthing/unfolding” themselves. It’s fun to look inside the tubular chamber and see curves and angles that look like they go on ad infinitum. This one had a particular mystery to it. Made me think something more than a leaf unfolding was about to occur.
My friend’s backyard is a garden growing and work in progress. He purchased this new plant whose name escapes me but think it’s close to a saw palmetto. Just liked the waves contrasted with the lines.
Class study for critique with Spencer. This was taken on our field trip to Spanish Point last October. Presented it in class and all seemed to like it. Played with the color and gave it a little vintage look around the edges. Felt it made it a bit more dramatic.
Last year I was blessed to spend three weeks in South Africa. While I was there I did a four day safari in Kruger Park. Stayed at Skukuza and right outside our campsite was a large watering hole. Of course, the campsite is surrounded by a rather tall electronic fence for obvious reasons, so photo shooting was sometimes tricky. I was able to zoom in and catch these lovely zebras having their morning drink of water. I will always cherish this photo because right after I shot it a big bull elephant approached and scared them all away.
While on a cruise in the western Caribbean took this shot walking around the deck one evening after the sunset. There was still enough light and noticed this reflection. Liked all the lines and the effect the window created on the waters edge.
Another class field trip with Spencer. This time to the Ringling Museum and Ca’ d’ Zan. Spencer was helping us all with low light shooting as no flashes are allowed. Found where I was standing the inside of the piano had all the right angles and design elements I like to shoot. Converted this to black and white as felt it offered more in the way of interest.
Early one morning there were a lot of raindrops that stayed on the plants in my yard. This little cactus had lots of new needles and water trapped in between. Made me think of spines on a sea urchin; its oral surface when you flip them over and that both the cactus and urchin can inflict painful wounds if were not careful. It was intriguing to see the patterns emerging as well.
As you can see Margo is a very talented person and has the “photographer’s eye”. Show her some love in the comments section.
Until next time…
Keep Your Glass Clean