ARTisSpectrum Vol.30, November 2013 - page 90-91

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
Steven Blandin
apturing an “eye-to-eye and intimate
interaction” with the wild creatures he
photographs is central to
Steven Blandin
’s work.
The photographer’s fascination with wildlife
photography was ignited during a safari in
Botswana, and his love for nature andwildlife comes
through powerfully in his work. His pictures give
us a first-hand look into the lives of birds, animals
and their environment—a view that highlights
the bond he has formed with nature. The winner
of two awards at the 2013 Florida Professional
Photographers competition, Blandin excels at
giving viewers the feeling of observing nature with
no intermediary. “Presenting my subjects in a non-
clustered environment where the viewer can only
be captivated by the animal is a clear goal,” he says.
But the appeal of Blandin’s photographs goes
beyond the beauty of his subjects. He masterfully handles light and his sense of composition gives even casual shots
precision and balance. Printing his photographs on aluminum, he creates images with a sheen that plays off nicely against
their sharp clarity. His eye for color and texture lets him create images whose physical presence underscores the special
qualities of nature that the photographer strive to communicate. “Demonstrating such beauty and intimateness,” he says,
“will hopefully encourage people to preserve and protect nature.”
Flock Motion Photographic Print on Aluminum 20” x 30”
onna Shaffer
calls herself “an abstract naturalist
artist.” In her work, the textures, shapes, and
forms found in nature are translated into bold graphic
patterns. “Things like tree roots, the way water washes
over rocks or the color of autumn leaves give me ideas
for my work,” she says, and those elements are vividly
captured in her images. Leaves are shown in all their
details, and the tones of earth and water are exactly
represented. But the artist’s skill at representation
is only the starting point for her pieces. By layering
colors and textures, and placing her objects against
subtly modulated backgrounds, she gives her works
both an immediate depth and physicality and a
mysterious, otherworldly aura.
Working in ink on paper and board, Shaffer employs
a wide-ranging palette that includes pastels and soft earth tones as well as intense bursts of bright color. Her ability to
juxtapose those colors to strong effect, as well as to place them within compositions that have a dynamic sense of motion,
result in images with both a vibrant energy and an intimate, personal point of view. “I have always tried to interpret,
through my work, how nature presents itself to me,” she says, and that comes across compellingly in her pictures.
Out Of the Blue Ink on Board 24” x 36”
Donna Shaffer
ysterious, surreal, and darkly romantic, the oil paintings of
Thomas Ab-e
conjure a world where every gesture is a highly
expressive act of meaning. Ab-e paints fantastical figures, in pairs and
alone, who haunt a shadowy world that references both medieval art
and German Expressionism in tone. Backgrounds are often defined as
nothing more than cavernous spaces that are carefully layered with
beautiful – if ominous – painted textures in many hues.
The figures themselves are wonderfully rendered but feature skewed
proportions and incredibly flexible bodies, at once recognizable and
wholly alien. Their faces show unadulterated feeling, and their every
movement is demonstrative of emotion. A figure’s stance can tell an
entire story, as painted by Ab-e.
Ab-e was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and today lives in Amsterdam.
Thomas Ab-e
arah Doherty Heinrichs
’ striking acrylic paintings combine a
scientist’s precision with a classical sense of drama. In her paintings
of underwater curiosities and terrains, Heinrichs acknowledges the
influence of Renaissance chiaroscuro, Realist detail, and the Surrealist
sense of humor – but her images are more than the sum of its parts.
With its open sense of space and fearless colors, the work captures the
texture and mystery of water. Heinrichs keeps a calm focus on a single
animal or environmental feature and embraces it fully, including the
smallest facets and particulars of that moment in time, in order to
truly bring the sea to the surface.
Heinrichs was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and today lives in
Saskatoon. She is also an adept painter of landscape and portraiture,
and an installation artist.
Cyanea 1
Acrylic on Canvas 24” x 12”
Sarah Doherty Heinrichs
ablo FernándezMárquez
’s photographic collages play games with
reality delivering a new experience. Márquez shoots city streets,
busy interiors, and leafy roads in crisp digital photography. Though
his scenes are already intriguing on their own, full of sharp lighting
and movement, Márquez goes further. He doubles each image and
arranges them in the frame as mirror images, so that buildings stretch
towards each other from vertical horizon lines, and twin roads wind
in opposite directions, one up and one down, creating new forms
and narratives. The juxtaposition between the amazing realism of
Márquez’s skilled photography and its unreal composition is bracing.   
There is an element of surprise in his works that might take us where
we least expect.
Márquez was born in Mexico City and today divides his time between
Mexico City and New York.
Sky II
Digital Print on Hannemule Photo Rag
Pearl Paper 320 gr. 31.5” x 21”
Pablo Fernández Márquez
Ah! This poor Red Shadow
Oil on Canvas 32” x 23”
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