Charlann: Most of my abstract photography has been from inspiration within rather than from that of a particular photographer. However, I have always admired the urban photography of George Tice. His work has been an inspiration for some of my own urban street photography which has led me to discover abstract images in everyday settings.
EWW: Are there any themes that consistently occur in your work such as style, color, perspective, lighting movement, etc.?
Charlann: I have always been fascinated with the interplay of line, shape, color and texture. My never-ending quest for unique and original abstract images always leads me to random patterns of texture, shapes, lines and color found on walls and other surfaces. Flowing lines, organic shapes, saturated colors and grungy textures are the common thread of most my abstract images. My love of artistic composition and design has an overwhelming effect on how I choose my subject matter and what becomes of it after capture. I may labor for hours or discard an image immediately if it is not to my satisfaction.
EWW: what comments would others make about your work? Is that consistent with what you would say about your work?
Charlann: Most people who attend my exhibits, visit my website or follow me on Facebook are very generous with their comments, complimenting me on my style, unusual subject matter and dynamic use of color. I am hardly considered colorphobic, so this is mentioned in most of the comments. I enjoy when my audience reacts to my images and questions how or why they were created. Since my website contains an array of eclectic portfolios, my admirers are often pleasantly surprised with the diversity. I find that I mostly agree with the positive comments made about my work.
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EWW: Your portfolio includes many subject categories. Is there one that in particularly you like to work with? Why?
Charlann: “Abstract Photography” as showcased here in this interview is the category I particularly like to work with. I am extremely driven to discover images abstracted from everyday sources rather than the typical landscape, still life or portrait. Many of my abstract photographs are derived from portions of textured walls, rusted items, weathered surfaces and the like. Once they have captured my eye, I begin my photographic journey. Stimulated by what I have discovered, I feel an insatiable urge to turn the image or a portion of it into a work of art in its own right. The discovery process is very rewarding and fuels my desire for this type of photography.
EWW: What advice would you give to artists that are just beginning to work with photography as an art medium?
Charlene: The advice I would give to up and coming photographers would be the same advice that I gave to my students during the tenure of my career as an art teacher for 39 years: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”. I would encourage prospective photographers to always be on the lookout for unique subject matter, unusual angles and perspectives, shadows, reflections and light sources. Any and all of these will help create original images which will be to the photographer’s satisfaction. And of course, always have your camera by your side.
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EWW: Do you use social media platforms to generate exposure and the marketing of your work? If yes, which social media platform(s) do you find to be the most successful for you?
Charlann: Currently, as far as social media goes, I am only using Facebook and my website to generate exposure of my work and find that it is very limiting. I expect to expand to other areas of social media in the near future. My website is set up and featured as a gallery rather than a marketplace, but it does contain current listings of all of my exhibitions and gallery shows throughout New Jersey and New York as well as an inventory of awards that I have received for my images. In addition, I have recently become very active in on-line exhibits and competitions and have been very well received in these areas.
EWW: Just to wrap up this interview. Do you have any final thoughts about you and your work, which you think would be important for others to know about?
Charlann: The abstract images in my portfolio are diverse. The majority of them are created from natural occurrences, such as rust, decomposition, erosion, scaling and flaking paint on surfaces. Others are created by the hand of man. Nevertheless, each image bears its own identity and has its own beauty and appeal. It is those images which excite me the most…the accidental randomness of the elements of art amassed on a visible surface…the obvious “unidentifiable” subject matter which holds the viewer’s interest and piques his curiosity.
What I see and capture must satisfy both my eye and my soul and also have a visual impact that will evoke a feeling or reaction within the viewer with whom I strive to have a similar connection. Since my photographs are conceived with the notion to be seen, pondered and enjoyed, the emotional connection with the observer completes the intent of my artistry.