This week we welcome featured artist Pat Mark to our blog. Pat and I first met on Instagram and discovered shortly after that we lived within a few miles of each other. I had the pleasure of meeting Pat in person and enjoyed giving her a tour of our studio. Speaking of studios....I think you will enjoy seeing Pat's studio where she creates magic.
Thank you, Deb, for asking me to be a guest on your blog. I am flattered to be among so many wonderful artists.
My journey to art has taken on many twists and turns. I never thought of myself as artistic. I didn’t take art classes in school or try in any way to be artistic but somewhere inside me there lived a spirit that wanted to express herself artistically.
I think my love for the camera came from my mom — she always had one with her to record our vacations and holidays. I have her camera now and use it on occasion when I want to return to the days of film.
Before I took up the camera I decided to try my hand at oil painting, so I took classes for a while. I enjoyed learning, but never felt that I was meant to be a painter. However, it did lead me to other methods of painting and using the medium in conjunction with photography. I came up with a way to print my photos onto a special textured paper and incorporate them with oil or acrylic on canvas. I still work with this on occasion.
When I started to take photography seriously I wanted to learn all I could. I took classes and went on photo shoots with professionals to learn how to use my camera. I loved it. Photography was the freedom I didn’t find in painting. My first love has always been landscapes, especially if there are old barns or homesteads or vehicles in the frame.
That changed for me when I discovered Instagram. I started following people that had these gorgeous still life photos. That for me was a game changer. I wanted to find a way to do this too. So, more classes, networking, and meeting new people online brought me to where I am today with my photography. I have converted one bedroom in my house to my studio room. It holds all my props and drops and it’s where I try to do my set-ups. Sometimes the light in other parts of the house works better so you could say I use the whole house as a studio.
My favorite thing to do is find new props to use. Anything old works best for me. Antique stores, garage sales, Goodwill,... I am always on the lookout for something that will work in a Still Life. That is the fun part for me. Putting a Still Life together is a bit of a challenge for me. I have to think it all out, pull the things I need, then try to make sense of it.
I don’t shoot a lot of photos but on days when I am inspired I tend to spend all day at it. I have started to use the iPhone more than the camera and lenses, for me it is more freeing to know I can shoot and edit the photos on the phone and post them much faster. I do not like sitting at the computer to edit.
I don’t have a website for my work other than Instagram and Facebook. I do have a blog but I have not done anything with it for several years. I would like to get back to posting stories there. There is a link in my Instagram profile for it.