Stray Cats and Singular Images

Trees, Evening, Warsaw, Indiana, copyright 2005/2023 (solar cyanotype) Douglas Stockdale –

I am in the midst of an interesting transition. When I started this art/photo blog 16 years ago it was meant to help promote and hopefully obtain some feedback on my artwork (and of course, sell some prints), which was primarily featuring my ‘singular images’. Which is to say, stand along photographs not intrinsically related to an ongoing project or series. Essentially, the things I saw and felt completed to photograph, such as my first photograph posted on this blog created during an assignment that took me briefly though Western Switzerland and through the village of LaHuette, below.

Over time I have become more project or series oriented, investigating a theme, idea or concept. Which seems to subsequently resonate with creating a book of some sort related to the body of work.

So when I started to work on my cyanotype printing process, I found myself thinking about and working on singular images again, or as John Gossage implied recently, my stray cats. Those cats which randomly show up on the back porch, get a small hand-out, and then wander off again. They may, or may not, have a permanent home; creatures of the neighborhood, seemingly belonging to no-one in particular. Like Gossage, I have a number of images that I have made over the years that I am fond of that may have little significance to anyone perhaps me. So when thinking about what to print as a cyanotype, such as a recent what-if self-assignment series for ‘winter landscapes’, certain photographs come to mind, like this one above that I made one early evening in Warsaw Indiana.

For this image, I was on an assignment and during my free time in the late afternoon, I was out with my tripod looking at this grove of trees in a field adjacent to my motel. There was just enough of a slight breeze in conjunction with the long exposure with the tripod that the upper tree branches are just slightly blurred, giving this landscape a bit of an eerie appearance. The winter evening light had a bit bluish tint in the shadows, perhaps why this image resonates with me when printed as a cyanotype. Also the challenge to see how this winter photograph would look as a cyanotype with the details required for the darker background grouping of trees.

Now printing these cyanotypes, I feel a bit unmoored, that these prints are a bunch of stray cats that I enjoy dropping in every once in a while but wonder if I should be working on a series of some sort. Maybe the cyanotype printing is a passing phase for me, or maybe it will become an essential part of my creative endeavors, I don’t know right now. I just need to listen to my creative muse. Nevertheless, I enjoy the process that is taking me a step back in time with this very old printing methodology while everyone else seems to be going nuts over AI image in one way or another. I will say that I find it extremely interesting in the artwork stemming from Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods, much as how paintings quickly evolved into Abstract Expressionism and beyond perhaps due to the advent of photography. It’s just that I am choosing a different path right now.

If interested, the above solar cyanotype is a 8 x 10″ image printed on a 11 x 14″ sheet of cotton rag, in a series of five.

Cheers & make every day an Earth Day


 The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, an artist book from Singular Images Press, Fall 2022 release, $60.00 (CA sales tax for those residing in the USA) plus shipping expenses. Message me or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice.

Note: The Artist Special Edition (book + extra print) of this hybrid artist book is Sold Out, while the regular edition is still available.

Frosty Morning, LaHuette, Switzerland copyright 2005 Douglas Stockdale


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