I learn best by example
Especially if the subject is primarily
Visual in nature
Don’t Tell me, Show me
This is the first of several Illustrated
Portfolio Dos & Don’ts
Related to image selection
For purposes of this series a portfolio is:
10-20 images from a larger body of work
with a well-defined theme
and a consistent quality
Image selection is the challenge
A well written artist’s statement is almost essential
In this and the next several posts, I’ll show example portfolios with
Comments on their Dos and Don’ts
The first example comes from my favorite exhibit
Shown on this blog before (bear with me)
It is my first attempt at a portfolio (2007)
I did the artist’s statement after I started selecting images
BIG mistake; corrected it mid-stream
Much easier once I knew what my “story” was
Here’s my artist’s statement.
Note the portfolio title
Pretend the statement is the introduction to an article (or photo essay) for publication
A title, and
A story synopsis
If you get that part right, the image selection is much easier
Georgia on My Mind – Floral Art
The portfolio’s intent is to show flowers in ways rarely seen. Three Georgia O’Keeffe quotes describe my criteria for selecting these photos (thus the title) –
Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time………
I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.
I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way ……
The final quote, color and shapes, describes much of what is shown here –
flowers depicted in a way that leans toward non-representational abstract forms.
The final sentence of the artist’s statement summarizes -
What I, the artist, am looking for in my selection from a larger body of work
(nearly 4,000 floral images in this case)
What viewers should expect to see
Images that “don’t fit” shouldn’t be in this particular portfolio
Although they may be perfect for another one
Based on my artist’s statement and a 4,000 image body of work -
Here are the 16 images I selected
Doing it again today my choices might differ – even with the same starting 4,000 images
Click for full screen
Images that I question today are -
Row 1 – images 3 & 4
Row 3 – image 3
Row 4 – image 4
How about these next ones. Why weren’t they selected?
Pretty BUT Too Representational
Conflicts with “non-representational abstract forms”
Right style, but B&W doesn’t match the rest
This next version would qualify
Artist’s statement didn’t say “no B&W” but at some point
Common sense & aesthetics should prevail
But the following version (same flower) MIGHT qualify
It’s from the wrong half of the color palette
Look at the 16 selections – all warm to neutral
Where does blue fit in this scheme??
Except to stand out like a sore thumb
This is a form of the “consistent quality” requirement
Hopefully this gives you some beginning ideas about selection
Mentioned were consistency of theme & quality, but
There are other factors, too, as shown here
Did you notice equal numbers of V & H?
This & other factors (like color) played a role
More examples tomorrow….
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