Tag Archives: gustav klimt

The Making of “Red Sea”

15 Sep

I was invited to participate in an art show at The Bricks in Ybor City last Saturday, September 10. I had done a couple shows with this group before; they are called Kick Start My Art. When I read the email with the concept of the show, I was super excited! The show was called Time Warp, and the concept was recreating a masterpiece. Each artist in the show had to choose a masterpiece from their favorite artist to recreate in whatever medium they chose.

Being a Gustav Klimt fanatic, of course it was only natural that I would choose “Sea Serpents” (shown below),which I have owned as a print for the better part of my life. Now I had to find my model, makeup artist, hair stylist and the rest of my team. And on top of that, figure out how to get all those little details that Klimt is so famous for. If you scroll to the bottom of this article, you can see the version that my team and I created.

This endeavor turned out to be much easier than I expected, because St. Petersburg is teeming with creative people. I put out a little message on Facebook to my friend, fellow photographer and super gorgeous, easy-to-work with model, AJ Flame. Since I posted it on her wall for all eyes to see, another wonderful artist, fashion designer Blackbird, saw the post and immediately messaged me, wanting to get in on the project. She was to be the stylist, and she brought with her hair and makeup artist Carey Hinrichs, and I had an aspiring photographer / videographer, Eva Hinckley, to assist as well as capture some footage of the shoot for a mini documentary.

So, our team was set! Now for location. I found a wonderful little studio in downtown St. Pete called Rhino Studios, and we rented that out for the night. We met a week before the shoot to discuss our approach, and decided that we would do a literal interpretation of the original artwork by Klimt, so we were going to stay as true as possible to the piece.

And then everyone worked their magic. I had my print of the original painting there with us, and we just taped it up on the wall and went to work. Carey did AJ’s makeup perfectly, and the hair was magical. I don’t know how she does it, but she whipped up AJ Flame in less than 45 minutes to look EXACTLY like the woman in the painting. Super-PRO!

Then for the styling part. Blackbird brought with her a suitcase full of buttons and baubles, beads and lace, so we just spread those out all over her gorgeous red quilt and went to work arranging the pieces in AJ’s hair, on her body and on the quilt. AJ was laying down in the same position as the woman in the painting.

I lit it up really bright with studio lights, as there aren’t really any shadows in the painting, and climbed up my 10 foot stepladder to get the arial shot of AJ laying on the quilt. And then we were done. I edited the photo a litte in Photoshop, then printed it, and transferred the ink onto a birch wood cradled box. I even made the box myself. That took a little while, but it looked super smooth and I was really proud of my craftsmanship.

The process to create this image had a lot of steps, and it probably took several hours total. But now I have this beautiful image that we all worked together on, and I think everyone is really pleased with the results.

When I arrived at the art show, I was really happy with how it looked on the wall. What a sense of joy, to work so hard on something, and then see the final product perfectly lit, sitting happily on a brick wall next to some other really beautiful art! Not to mention the fact that most of our team was there and they were SUPER excited because that was the first time they had seen the finished product. I’m proud of us. Below is the final piece we created.


Shooting Blackbird Style

2 Aug

On Sunday I did a shoot with the amazing Blackbird, a local designer with an edgy urban meets Victorian style. Our models were AJ Flame, Sierra Dawn, Carey Hinrichs and Eva Hinckley. Carey also did hair and makeup. Eva shot video of the makeup and getting ready. We were at the studio for nearly 5 hours. I used several different lighting techniques, which pretty much varied depending on pose and style of clothing/makeup.

AJ Flame took this behind the scenes photo.

We also did the shoot for a piece I’m working on for a show in September at The Bricks in Ybor City, called “Time Warp”. The concept of the show is to reproduce masterpiece artworks by master artists like Picasso, Van Gogh, etc. I chose Gustav Klimt, who just so happens to be one of my favorite artists. I will reveal the final piece and the title of the work that I chose as inspiration on the day of the art show. It looks amazing… AJ Flame was my model and she is PERFECT. For so many reasons, but especially for this concept. Blackbird was instrumental in making this piece come together. Her vision made this work soar to a level far beyond what I could have done by myself, so I am really happy that we collaborated. The entire thing was absolutely serendipitous. Long story. Let’s just say that we were both in the right place at the EXACT right moment.

Sierra Dawn took this photo of me shooting Carey Hinrichs.

We had music playing all night, a little bit of wine and fruit and veggies just to keep everyone fairly happy and not starving out of their minds. It was an awesome shoot, with beautiful clothes and jewels all over the place! We definitely made use of all the space that was available, and everyone pitched in whenever an extra hand was needed. I love a good team who are not afraid to get their hands dirty and who love the creative process enough to do whatever it takes to make a shoot successful. Amazing photos are always the result of great teamwork, so we all deserve the beautiful shots that are going to come out of this one. I will post the results soon.