Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and from the comfort of your living room couch (or take a break from your hectic day at the office) and start exploring our virtual streets filled with fine art and photography from around the world!
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Well are you ready?! Unless you are totally unplugged from social media and don't watch TV or listen to the radio I am sure you have heard that this Monday we will have a "Total Solar Eclipse" moving through portions of the United States. Today Oregon declared a state of emergency & here in Missouri homes are renting for ALOT of money. the Williams made there reservations in March and are heading out to the campground shortly. I hope you all will have an opportunity to SAFELY observe the eclipse.
The ARt diSTriCt continues to grow and expand and remains a hub of activity for its members to connect with art lovers from around the world. The mission here at the magazine is simple: To share with you "the Art Lover" some one-on-one interviews, showcase artists, keep you informed on events, news, promotions and CELEBRATE the creative arts! This month we spotlight Liesl Walsh from the Tampa, Florida area! Let's take a deep breath, exhale, relax and enjoy the art!
It is just a guess, but I will bet there will be a few photographers from the ARt diSTriCt trying to capture that special moment. I know the Williams household has reserved their campsite right smack in the middle of the viewing corridor in Missouri.
The total solar eclipse of August 21 is the first total eclipse visible from America’s lower 48 states in over 38 years. The last one happened in 1979 and passed through the Pacific Northwest and central Canada in late winter. (see: Total Solar Eclipses in the USA)
The total eclipse is visible from within a narrow corridor that traverses the United States from the Pacific Northwest to the Southeast crossing fourteen states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The total eclipse of the Sun is the most spectacular event in all of Nature! Few people have ever witnessed one, but I have heard that once seen it is an experience never to be forgotten.
What's your story? Please introduce yourself
I am a photographer who loves to explore new places. I grew up in Ohio and moved to Pennsylvania where I became an art teacher in an elementary school. In college I took a film photography class where I learned how to use a darkroom, which fascinated me. I always enjoyed taking photos, so my husband bought me my first digital camera. After moving to Florida my new neighbor invited me to a photography club, and I was hooked! I got my first DSLR camera, took classes, entered photo competitions, received many awards on both the east and west coasts of Florida, and had photos displayed at the Vero Beach Art Museum and the King Center Gallery at Brevard College. My photos have been published in the Vero Beach Magazine and on the cover of Florida Currents magazine. Last year my husband and I put everything in storage to travel Europe with no return date or home to come back to. We sailed across the Atlantic, stopped in Portugal and Spain, explored the French Riviera and Provence, and lived a month in Paris. We climbed mountains, descended into the Paris Metro, dodged pickpockets, endured nasty weather and illness, and witnessed France’s flood of the century. It was a dream come true to photograph so many beautiful places! When we came home to Florida my husband wrote a lighthearted book about our adventure called “Vagabonds in France” by Michael A. Barry. I illustrated the book with 75 photos and designed the book cover. The book is doing well on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCUNSEK
What does "being creative" mean to you?
Being creative is that inner drive in me that always likes to discover new things, find beauty in them, and then use my imagination to express it. I like finding powerful compositions to photograph and then editing them to bring emotion so the viewer feels like they are right there in the image. I want them to experience the same awe-inspiring feelings I had when I was there.
I have been focusing on photography for a while now, but I have painted with watercolors, acrylics and oils, and love to draw.
Can you describe a time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
Art has been my lifelong passion. As a child I always enjoyed drawing, painting, coloring, and crafts. Art was always my favorite class in school, and in high school I knew I wanted a career in art. At first I thought maybe I would go into art therapy, but I ended up majoring in art education. I spent many years focusing on teaching students, but after moving to Florida I finally had the time to focus on my own work, and it’s been a powerful journey where my art has reached new levels of creativity.
What inspires you?
I love the outdoors: nature, gardens, trees, beaches, beautiful skies, wildlife, and buildings with historical charm. Seeing beautiful tropical and European landscapes gets me excited. I’ve photographed Claude Monet’s garden, huge live oak trees with Spanish moss dangling from their branches, breathtaking sunsets, pink flamingos, elegant architecture in Paris, and medieval stone villages in the south of France.
Do you have a specialty?
When editing a photo I use color and dramatic light and shadow to make the scene come alive. I will get the colors just right, and will add extra light and shadow in areas of the photo to “sculpt” areas to make them stand out. I also like to do both color and black and white versions of a lot of my photos. Sometimes a scene looks so different in black and white; it can be very powerful!
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
I would love to try photo painting, layering with textures, using different blending modes, and doing composites. I’ve taken some online classes and am eager to try them soon!
I have been told that much of my photos present serenity. When I photograph, I try to find magic moments that touch the soul. I want my art to show overwhelming beauty to offer comfort to those that are hurting, to give hope that in spite of a difficult life situation the world can still be a beautiful place to live and a wonderful place to explore.
What kind of equipment/tools do you use?
I shoot with a Canon DSLR camera with 3 different lenses. I use neutral density filters, a circular polarizer (much needed in sunny Florida), and a tripod. I always edit my photos in Lightroom and will sometimes do further editing in Photoshop Elements, but hope to use it more.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever created?
My favorite photo that I took is called “Historical J.A. Lamb House 1899”, a tree-lined entrance to an old Victorian home in Palmetto, Florida. I edited it to get the dramatic lighting and mood just right, bringing out the welcoming feel of the house. When I edited the image I kept thinking of the homeowners (who I had never met), and wishing they would someday see this image to enjoy. Six months later, I was surprised to discover they found their photos on my Fine Art America website, and fell in love with them. They purchased a framed print, greeting cards, and a tote bag! I was thrilled they loved the image! I would love to do images like this for other homeowners.
What advice do you have for budding artists and photographers?
For photographers: You can keep it simple with your camera gear, and still get amazing photos. It’s what you do with your gear that counts. Someone could have the most expensive camera and lenses in the world, and not take good photos. There are so many different lenses and gadgets and photo editing programs out there, it can get overwhelming and pricey. I am able to keep all my gear in a small camera bag, so I can easily carry it with me on long hikes. For artists and photographers: I’ve learned so much from the veteran photographers at a photo club on the east coast of Florida, so listen to the seasoned artist. For inspiration and to learn new techniques you can watch free videos online at CreativeLive.com that teach artists how to master skills of their craft and how to build a business selling their art.
To experience London where I was born, the English countryside, the Netherlands, and Germany. My husband and I wanted to go there on our European adventure, but didn’t make it. Hopefully we can get back!
Do you have any passions other than art/photography?
Gardening and scrapbooking
20.00" x 16.00" stretched canvas print EXPIRES at 5:00 pm on 7/19/2017