Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Through the Lens" Exhibit Comes to a Close

Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon
© Mestre/Manahan

The "Through the Lens" photography show and sale at the Portland Japanese Garden came to a close on Christmas Eve. Our thanks to all who came to view the exhibit during its month-long run (and, especially to those who bought something!).

We'd also like to thank the garden and its staff for hosting this wonderful event and giving local photographers such a great venue in which to show and sell their work. The number of places that any photographer can display work is limited, so it's always very much appreciated when a place like the Japanese Garden, with its prestige and large number of visitors, gives us such an opportunity.

Now that the Portland Saturday Market has ended its 34th season, we'll have a little more time to devote to our wholesale and online sales and to the gallery and coffee house exhibits we currently have going on.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Exhibit at Studio 101 in Garibaldi

Mount Hood, Oregon
Mesman Images

We've just started showing our work at Studio 101 in Garibaldi, Oregon. This quaint gallery on the coast is owned and operated by painter Susan Morrow. If you happen to find yourself driving between Tillamook and Cannon Beach, take a little art break and drop on in. The gallery is conveniently located right on Highway 101 in the heart of Garibaldi.

Studio 101
230 Garibaldi Ave. (Hwy 101)
Garibaldi, OR (503) 481- 5921

Fine Art Prints

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

FTD Stinks!

Yvonne recently received a bonsai plant as a gift. It had been intended to be something for inside the house, but the plant that had been purchased turned out to be an outdoor bonsai. This clearly wasn't what the person sending the gift had intended, nor was it what Yvonne wanted.

We consulted some local bonsai experts, who all said the plant would surely die if left inside. The FTD brochure that came with the plant provided a customer service number, stating that FTD hopes "you are very satisfied with this gift". We called and explained the situation and, after the rep unsuccessfully tried to convince us that the plant would be fine indoors, he finally said that we could exchange it for an indoor plant. It was late in the evening, so we said we'd call back during regular business hours.

When we called back today to perform the exchange, we were told that it wasn't possible, as FTD does not allow exchanges. In other words, they really don't care if you are "very satisfied" with your gift after all. Apparently, when ordering something through FTD, you'd better not make a mistake or have any misunderstanding, because you are stuck with your purchase whether it's what you wanted or not.

In conclusion, FTD really sucks! We will never again buy flowers or anything else through this unflexible, heartless, and greedy company. If you want to buy a gift for someone, we encourage you to use one of FTD's competitors, where you are more likely to receive good service and fair treatment.

Fine Art Prints

Monday, December 10, 2007

Exhibit at Cooper's Coffee in Mt. Tabor

Woodburn, Oregon
We've just added Coopers Coffee to the list of places where our work can be seen (and bought!) This great coffee house is in the Mt Tabor neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. In addition to serving great coffee, you can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or have a nice glass of wine or beer. There's also free wireless internet access! If you're in the area, we hope to see you there!

Cooper's Coffee
6049 SE Stark
Portland, OR 97215
Phone: (503) 238-2120

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Reception at the Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon
Mesman Images
This afternoon, December 9, 2007, there will be a "Meet the Artists" reception in the pavilion at the Portland Japanese Garden from 2:00 to 4:00. This event is part of the "Through the Lens" photography show that's running until December 24th. This is a juried show (and sale) that includes images of the garden taken by 13 photographer members. Hope to see you there!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Through the Lens Photography Show

We're proud to announce that Yvonne's images from the Portland Japanese Garden are part of the photography show and sale taking place at the garden through Christmas. Titled "Through the Lens", the show features the work of thirteen of the garden's photographer members and is being held in the garden's beautiful pavillion. The participating works were selected by a jury. All of the featured images and related products are for sale. In addition to framed, matted, and un-mounted images, we are also selling note cards and magnets that Michael makes by hand.

The Portland Japanese Garden is widely considered to be the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan. One Japanese dignitary even went so far as to proclaim it the most beautiful Japanese garden in the world, period.

Entry to the show is free with your garden admission. If you are going to be in the Portland area this month, why not drop by the garden and do a little unique Christmas shopping? Here are a few useful links:

Portland Japanese Garden
Through the Lens

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Last First Thursday

Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon

Tonight is the last "First Thursday" of the season in the Pearl District that will include the artwalk. The good news is, the weather is CLEAR! If you are in PDX, we hope to see you there!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A bare almond tree during winter
in the Languedoc Region of France

If you are an artist in any medium, you should check out "Empty Easel" online. This wonderful resource is filled with all sorts of helpful and interesting information pertaining to art.
There is a newsletter you can sign up for, as well, so you get regular previews of what will appear on the site during a particular week. Here's a link to the site: Empty Easel

As always, our photography can be viewed and purchased here:
Etsy Shop
Fine Art Photography

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oregon Ballet Measures 49 & 50

How's this for a spooky Halloween castle?
Chateau de Menthon St Bernard, Haute Savoie, France
Images on this blog may not be used for any purpose without written permission

As our November 6th election nears, the television and radio ads are sending us enough mixed messages to make our heads spin.

Measure 50 has to do with taxing tobacco and using the money for children's health care. That sounds like a good idea. Then, you hear the conflicting ads, and both sides seem to make valid points. One argument against the measure claims that we already have a program for children's health care in place, but it hasn't been effective due to disorganization and/or apathy. Why not, the ads ask, get the existing program working, rather than adding new taxes? We can't help but be suspicious of those ads opposing the measure, though, because the fine print reveals that they've been paid for by tobacco giant Phillip Morris. Plus, the ads in favor of the measure are supported by the cancer and heart associations, who you would hope have the public's best interest in mind.

Most of the ads against Measure 50 place great emphasis on the fact that it would make an amendment to the state constitution, in order to make sure that all of the funds would go to kids' healthcare and would be untouchable by politicians for other purposes. The actors in the ads pretend to be so appalled by the fact that the constitution would be affected. Right, like people would rather leave children without health care than, gulp, amend the state constitution. How lame. Nice try, Phillip Morris.

Measure 49, on the other hand, involves a property owner's right to develop land. It supposedly makes changes to a prior measure that passed a year or two ago, which opened the door to increased development. Again, hearing the opposing views, it would seem both sides are right. This one will probably take some serious reading to decipher. The voter information pamphlet looks like War and Peace. It's got about fifty pages of microscopic type, most of which is undoubtedly very dry subject matter. The thing is, you hear land owners giving sob stories of the possibility of losing their family farms if they aren't allowed to develop the land as they please, then you hear the other side saying that these people are really just hoping to cut subdivisions through the middle of the forest. Given the fact that our state has sort of pioneered restrictions on urban sprawl, this is a touchy issue. We're not looking forward to reading that exciting pamphlet, but it looks like we'll probably have to in order to make an informed decision.

On a lighter note. . .our photography can be viewed or purchased here:

Fine Art Photography Website
Etsy Shop
Flickr Gallery

Monday, October 15, 2007

Picture Frames - To make or not to make?

Japanese Garden, Portland Oregon
Images on this blog may not be used for any purpose without written permission
Prints may be purchased on Etsy

When people buy a framed image, do they really care what type of frame it's in? That's a question that's been on our minds lately. It takes great time and expense for us to make our frames by hand out of solid oak and we sometimes overhear customers discussing how they might be able to frame the image cheaper if they just buy it matted. Obviously, the question at hand pertains specifically to photographic prints, as it's unlikely someone would want a painting to be framed on the cheap.

This past weekend, we got a little unsolicited feedback when one of the people who bought a framed image specifically mentioned that she'd been attracted by the fact that our frames were noticeably higher quality than what she'd been finding elsewhere. Well, that's one vote in favor of our woodworking. We're still considering offering our prints in both our handmade oak frames and some less-expensive production line frames, as well, though. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What is Fine Art Photography?

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon

"Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.”
Ansel Adams

There has long been much debate about what constitutes "fine art" photography and whether or not photography is even "art" at all. The foregoing quote by Adams sums up how we feel about the images we create and our role as "fine art" photographers. In our opinion, any photographer whose primary goal is to capture images that are beautiful or interesting to look at is by definition a fine art photographer. After all, creative, conscious decisions are made during the process (such as composition, lighting, choice of subject, choice of camera and lense, etc.), much like a painter chooses what materials to use and which details to include or exclude in a particular work. To us, it is this creativity and emphasis on aesthetics that distinguish "fine art" prints from other forms of photography (technical, legal, medical, etc.) Our goal isn't just to accurately document what something looks like, but, also, to create something that people will truly enjoy looking at for years and years on their home or office walls.

Which brings up another quote by Adams:

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”

Prints of our images can be purchased here:
Fine art photography
8 x 10 prints on Etsy

Friday, October 5, 2007

First Thursday in the Pearl District

Snowy scene at Timberline, Oregon
Last night, we sold our photography at the First Thursday artwalk in the Pearl District. After hearing one dire weather forecast after another, Mother Nature had mercy and it didn't rain, so we were pretty relieved about that.

Our favorite sale of the night was to an adolescent boy whose parents let him chose images to decorate his room. The kid seemed to really have an eye for what he liked and didn't like. Extremely quickly he matched two images together that were very different subjects, yet the colors went well together. Then, he asked his mom for her opinion. She agreed with his choices, which were the "cloud mountain" shown above and the shot of Wizard Island at Crater Lake, Oregon, shown below. All in all, the kid made very tasteful choices. We were really impressed by this kid's artistic sensibility and we asked ourselves if he developed this on his own or if one of his parents had an artistic background. At any rate, it made us proud that, with infinite possibilities, he chose our work to decorate his room.

Crater Lake, Oregon
Visit our website: fine art photography
and our Etsy shop: photographic prints

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fall Colors Are Here

The leaves are a' changin'! Along with the arrival of cold, wet weather, we're starting to get fall colors around town. Last year, it was difficult to photograph the beautiful trees because they took so long to change in the mild fall weather we had. Shouldn't have that problem, this time around. If we can just get a day or two with some sun breaks, we're going to go get that shutter clicking! This is a shot of a Japanese Maple that we took last year.

Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon

Prints available on Etsy : Japanese Maple
or our own website: Colorful Garden Prints

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Last Thursday on Alberta

Pumpkin Patch at Sauvie Island, Oregon.

Last Thursday in the Alberta Arts District has the potential to really suck this week. Why? Because, in their infinite wisdom, the cops decided a couple of months ago that artists can no longer set up canopies on the art walk. Meaning, here in rainy Oregon, we're supposed to sell our art outdoors at night with no shelter. The forecast for Thursday night is rain. Which makes you wonder why they don't just cancel the event entirely.

The best part of this is, the whole reason for the stupid new rule is that a bunch of drunks got out of control at the "clown house" (where they always had rowdy parties) a few months ago and it caused a big scene with cops in riot gear and everything. Well, those idiots who caused the trouble have nothing at all to do with the artists. Yet, the city's solution to punishing the drunks is apparently to make it impossible for artists to sell their work. A newspaper article recently said that the clown house would no longer exist after August, due to a lease expiring or something. In other words, the very people responsible for screwing everything up will be gone, but the artists who had nothing to do with the problems will continue to suffer the consequences. Go figure. . .

Anyway, our prints are available on Etsy or on our own fine art photography website.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Race For the Cure

Selling this image yesterday helped us to contribute to a good cause

Yesterday was the "Race for the Cure" here in Portland, which raises money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a leader in the fight against breast cancer. The event route passed right by where we were selling our photography, so we saw the some 45,000 people who flooded downtown with the color pink! It was a pretty emotional sight, reading the participants' messages written on their race number cards; each said, "I'm racing for. . ." and then the participant wrote things like "My Mom" or "My Sister" or "In Memory of so and so". Think about it. . .everyone knows someone who has been affected by this disease.

We decided that we'd donate 10% of what we made yesterday to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. We didn't have the greatest day ever, but we nonetheless just sent out a check and, if you're reading this and have a few bucks to spare for a good cause, you should, too! Here's a link to the info you need: Komen for the Cure donation info.

As always, prints of our work are available here: Fine Art Photography
and here: Etsy

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Where'd Summer Go?

Wow! Summer came and went and we didn't even notice it this year. This morning, it was so dreary and cold. As a form of personal protest, we've brought out these summery images of flower boxes filled with geraniums in full bloom and listed them on Etsy. There. That feels better.

Yvoire, France
Murten, Switzerland

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Official Venting About Healthcare Post

We saw "Sicko" last night. We just love people like Moore who speak their mind and let the world know what they think. At least he has some guts, unlike those healthcare jerks and their puppet politicians, who do everything behind closed doors. This film is a sad testimony to how selfish our country (or, at least, those who run it) has become compared to others. And we're supposed to be the best country in the world? Actions speak louder than words.

P.S. The monkey on the bike is insured . . . he lives overseas!

Look at our images here

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

O.J. Blows His Own Horn

The fact that O.J. Simpson is back in the news reminded us of a fun O.J. costume that we photographed at the 1996 carnival in Basel, Switzerland. He was part of a "Guggemusik" band, which is why he's holding a trumpet. (Guggemusik bands play music that is intentionally out of tune). Notice the drummer in the back; all of the band's other musicians wore football uniforms.

The "cliques" in Basel's carnival take current events from around the world and satirize them.

Local artists create these terrific masks and costumes. Though we haven't been able to find out who created this one, whoever it was received an award from the carnival's committee, as indicated by the black and white ribbon on O.J.'s jacket.

Yvonne & Michael

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hello, on behalf of Mistral the Horse and ourselves, welcome to our new blog. In the coming days, weeks, and months, we'll be posting our observations about life for the world (or, at least, anyone who stumbles upon us) to read. Right now, we have eight million things to do in preparation of the Last Thursday art walk on NE Alberta in Portland. It's tomorrow. We're not ready. Enough said.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see some of our photography, it's here: