EXHIBITION: Roots to Crown: Discovering Connection
March 6th until April 7th, 2019 - Vernissage is March 9th 2 - 4 PM
Vernissage is Saturday, March 9th, 2 - 4 PM, light refreshments will be served.
This is the first solo exhibition for Reenie in Vankleek Hill since moving here in late 2011. It explores our connection to trees, forests, nature and ourselves.
Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre
36 Home Avenue, Vankleek Hill
HOURS: Wednesday to Sunday 12 – 4 PM
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ARTIST STATEMENT: REENIE MARX
I fell in love with photography in the late 1960’s when my father gave me his old Leica camera and I set up my first darkroom. I spent the next 5 years or so reading tons of books on photography, dialoguing with and receiving advice from a group of professional photographers whose studio was near my apartment, and visiting The Art Institute of Chicago, where I studied the work of artists I enjoyed such as Dali, Escher, Turner, O’Keefe, Carr, and Monet as well the great black and white photographers, such as Ansel Adams, William Steichen and others. Although I’ve never taken any formal photography courses, I’ve never stopped learning about my craft. However, my love for photography remained a hobby for many decades while I put all of my energy and creativity into teaching at a high school in Lachute.
When I retired in June, 2005 my passion resurfaced powerfully and unexpectedly. I had been living for the past 30 years in a remote part of the Laurentians, near the Rouge and Maskinonge Rivers, surrounded by forests and fields, but I never really appreciated the beauty that surrounded me. That all changed after retirement. For the first time I was able to just BE in the PRESENT moment, and truly observe nature. My habitual way of seeing the world began to shift rapidly as I discovered what I now call “the art of seeing.” I fell in love with the subtle textures, colours and repeating patterns I kept seeing, and often felt that nature was revealing herself to me. Up to that point I had exclusively used film, but I decided to learn how to use the 3.2 mp point and shoot digital camera that I had been given as a retirement gift. It proved to be quite a challenge. But within a year, I took some of my photos to Finnegan’s in Hudson and sold 6 the very first day. By spring of the following year I had my first solo show at the Centre Culturelle in Lachute, Quebec, and soon after began selling my photos at a many different juried art and craft shows throughout Quebec and Ontario.
Over the past 13 years of being a “professional” photographer I’ve also learned how to use Photoshop (and more recently, Lightroom) to upload and process my RAW images, but I prefer natural looking images, so I tend to do as little as possible, just enough to bring out the vibrancy of an image.
In terms of subject matter, I tend to take whatever “nature reveals to me,” or whatever grabs my attention. Without consciously intending to, I seem to have evolved a certain style and many people have commented on the fact that my photos have a certain ambiguous, painterly and evocative feel about them. Over the years I’ve begun printing on acrylic and brushed aluminum in addition to a variety of photographic papers and canvas. All of my large prints are limited editions.
I’ve also found a way to blend my two great loves: teaching and photography by giving semi private digital photography workshops. And this is pure joy for me.