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September 04, 2018
By Christine Merchent
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I was honored to receive Artist of Year in 2017 from Nickel Plate Arts. In preparation for the upcoming banquet the Director asked me "What have you been doing this past year?" so she could share the information at the banquet. Sounds like a simple enough question but story telling and sharing images of my work always requires a great deal of thinking, planning and preparation on my part. So since I went to all that work I thought I'd share the information here on my website.

Over the past year I explored 2 new-to-me art forms, encaustic and mixed media.

Encaustic is a 2,000-year-old art form that utilizes beeswax. Using encaustic in photography adds a 3-dimensional quality, and aroma, and causes the art to be translucent as long as there is nothing behind the paper. For my projects I used Japanese papers, either bamboo or rice paper, and beeswax that was specifically prepared for encaustic work. Both the papers and the wax have to be archival, meaning they have a long life and are low acid. I chose to hang my encaustics rather than the traditional method of mounting them on a board as this allows light to pass through the now translucent art. The wax has to be maintained at a low temperature or it can cause toxic fumes. Just to be safe I wear a respirator. The whole process is very messy, takes up a lot of space and is quite fun. Each piece of art is a 1 of a kind as you can never replicate the way the wax adheres to the paper and the possibility of drips adds to the unpredictable nature of the work.

My mixed media work was inspired by a flower show at Nickel Plate Arts. I never want to be run of the mill, I’m always looking for a new approach. I took flowers and pearls and surrounded one of my photographs in a 3-dimensional piece of art. Once again, the process was quite messy, framing it was a nightmare, but I was quite pleased with the end result.

My art was on display at the Augusta airport during the Masters Golf Tournament. I was the only artist exhibiting in the terminal. The show was originally scheduled for April-June, but they extended it to September. I have also been selected to exhibit again during the 2018 Masters.

My art was on the cover of the September/October edition of Sophisticated Living. http://digital.slmag.net/i/1021022-sep-oct-2018

I have enrolled in a graduate art program. I’ll begin working on my Master of Art degree this Thursday through the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Which luckily I can all do from my home.

For me art is a path of self-discovery. My muses whisper gently in my ear and I follow their guidance. As long as I’m enjoying the process, I will continue my exploration.

 
September 03, 2018
By Christine Merchent
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I'm pleased to share that one of my images is on the cover of the September/October edition of the Indianapolis Sophisticated Living Magazine. This image is title Her Game is En Pointe. I used this image on my postcards when I attended portfolio reviews because I felt it summed up the story line for Ballerinas on the Green.
You can download a PDF of the publication at http://digital.slmag.net/i/1021022-sep-oct-2018.

 
August 27, 2018
By Christine Merchent
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September 6th, 2018 is my first day of graduate school. I'll be attending the Academy of Art University (AAU) in San Francisco. My friends may remember that I was accepted graduate program at to the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City a few years ago but was unable to attend. Their medical department required a vaccine, the MMR, that I chose not to get given it's link to autism.   

I hope to share my journey through this blog. I'll already have the hard part done, the assignments. So sharing them should in theory be the easy part. 

Prior to school starting the university has several orientation programs. The 1st is a meet and greet where we all post in response to specific questions so our classmates can learn about us. There was a place to ask questions. I asked about working ahead as our family travels quite a bit. I learned that we can work 1 week ahead. Hopefully that will be enough. Another student asked about difficulty of classes and one mentor said the lighting class is always really hard. Good to be forewarned.

We then had to post all of our social media. This gave me an opportunity to scrutinize all of mine, and even prompted me to finally release some videos I had hidden on YouTube and to add a link to my channel on this website. Here is what I shared:

Social Media I use:

https://www.instagram.com/christinemerchent/

https://twitter.com/CRMerchent

My YouTube page

https://www.linkedin.com/in/christinemerchent/

https://www.pinterest.com/ChristineMerchent/

https://www.facebook.com/christinerooney.merchent

My iTunes bookstore

My websites:

http://www.christinemerchentart.com/

https://ballerinasonthegreen.com/

The website for the golf course my husband and I own. I created 99% of the photography, on this website. I did not create the video.

https://purgatorygolf.com/

I really look forward to following my classmates, instructors and mentors on their social media for a multitude of reasons, inspiration, connection, opening my mind...

I enjoy Instagram the most and often check it more than once a day.

I didn't see the 'post 3 things you like' until someone else commented. As I reviewed the social media and profiles of my classmates and professors, I liked the variety of subject matter, form and treatment. I like the fact that we come from such different places geographically. I also like the fact that many of us come from different work backgrounds.

 

Next was a general 'tell us about yourself' with some specific questions. Here is what I had to say:

  • What is your name? Christine Merchent
  • Where do you live? Noblesville IN
  • Why are you at the Academy?
    • To improve and strengthen my art from a technical and intellectual perspective.
    • On the technical front, being self-taught has been a somewhat painful experience for me. While I've taken many classes through my guild, PPA, Photoshop World, workshops, online and worked with private instructors, I frequently have problems in many arenas. I would like to master lighting, posing, printing and post production. I can do all of it with varying degrees of success. I'd like to always do it excellently.
    • On the intellectual part, I did several portfolio reviews last year. I came away from the experience feeling like I needed to shore up my knowledge in numerous areas, such as the history of photography, how to write an artist statement that a gallery owner would appreciate, and how determine where my art fits in the world.
  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I enjoy video games, golf tournaments, traveling, and hanging out with my family.
  • What is your dream job, what industry/company? Why?
    • I aspire to be a self-employed successful artist. I like to have control of my time. I've done the corporate world, and doing what another wants. I enjoy creating what I am interested in, and I'd like to do it more expertly.
  • List the classes you will be taking, with instructors if possible.
    • The Language of Photography with Laura Kurtenbach, and Lighting with Luca Iannuzzi. I am looking forward to both of them and hope that I will come away with a deeper knowledge of my field as a result. I'm very excited to take the lighting class. I've been reading the course book and it is the best book on lighting I have ever read. I hope the projects/assignments will help me understand the subject at a deeper level.
  • Share anything else you’d like us to know!
    • Photography has been an enjoyable and interesting path for me. It has helped me get to know so many wonderful people and brought me a great deal of wonderful experiences. I look forward to sharing this part of my journey with all of you.

I also had to create a profile at the school with photo and resume. I used this as motivation to streamline my resume from a rambling 3 page year-by-year document to a succinct 1 page with primarily shows information, which is pretty short as I only started exhibiting in 2016.

Wish me luck that I learn a ton and that I stick to sharing this path.

 

 
April 04, 2017
By Christine Merchent
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This image shows three of the pieces displayed in a traditional Florida home. One has been framed and the other two are hung as gallery wraps. From left to right the pieces are titled; What's the Yardage, Moonlight Drive and Morning Sprinklers. 

 
March 12, 2017
By Christine Merchent
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It's common at golf practice for one of the kids to ask someone to video his swing so he can see it. Depending on what he's working on he may want to analyze the motion of his arms, legs, hips, wherever the current fine tuning is going on.

In the instance below, my husband is recording Jack Barnes' swing. With the ballerinas, we reenacted the scene but with Kate and Emma both en pointe. The color treatment of the ballerina image is something I experimented with this past summer. I like the way it makes the girls jump off the page. A friend that I respect, told me she thought it looked like winter. I thought that was less than desirable, so the color treatment, and this image got the axe. Put I did a speaking engagement recently, and used these two images to help illustrate the inspiration and execution of some of the stories.

When I was preparing for the show this past January, there were so many interesting images from the body of work, that it was hard to choose. It was sort of like a photography competition, it was helpful when something like my friend's comment gave me a reason to exclude an image. I was having enough trouble cutting them down, so I went with anything that made it easier. Maybe some day I'll pull this color treatment out of the mothballs and try it with green instead of sepia.

But, as usual, it's the story telling I like.