Art Feature: Constant Companion

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Constant Companion by Louis Staeble

Louis Staeble lives in Bowling Green, Ohio. His photographs have appeared in Agave, Driftwood, Four Ties Literary Review, Gravel, Iron Gall, Microfiction Monday, On The Rusk, Paper Tape Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Up The Staircase Quarterly, Your Impossible Voice, and Fifth Wednesday. His web page can be viewed here.

Question 1: “Constant Companion” is amazing. To me, there’s so much happening here — the interplay of light with darkness, the gorgeous colors, the fascinating details of the flower in the foreground, and the cross-hatching on both the flower and its shadow. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this piece. What inspired it, and how did you know it was complete? Is there a story behind it, and, if so, would you share it with our readers?

I am happy that you find “Constant Companion” so interesting. Delicate flower textures and colors shadowed by an ominous twin appeal to a sense of strange balance. So, this shot was unplanned. The view startled me with its brightness (after all, the background is white vinyl siding) and exaggerated shadow. I had been taking random shots but not at this moment. I thought about this one for a moment. The image I knew was all I could ask for and expresses, well, as you note, quite a lot. All I did post production was to add the canvas like background and touched up the color a bit. Voila! A doppelganger magic show.

Q 2: What goes into your creative process? What do you do to ensure your subject or scene is portrayed in exactly the way you want, and that your piece says what you want it to say?

Oh, I obsess over all the details when I create. Part of the process is intuition but this is coupled with finicky fidgety fingerprints. Yes, my fingerprints are all over the place. You definitely see a part of me in my photographs even though when a viewer sees the picture the viewer begins to own a part of it, too. But until I let the image go out of my hands into the world I think about changing it maybe just a little bit.

Q 3: As writers, our staff and readers often encounter times when they’re mentally or emotionally blocked, for whatever reason, and can’t create. As a photographer, do you encounter similar times when it’s harder to find inspiration? How do you stay motivated during these times?

Besides many cups of coffee, I get stoked by looking at the work of others. For instance, many of my friends post images they like via social networks.

Certainly, I have had times when I could not create on “paper.”

Q 4: How has your work evolved over time? What have been the greatest challenges to overcome as a photographer, and how did you work past them?

I have been at this art frenzy business for a good long while. I write poetry as well as take photographs. Helping to raise a family has been a great challenge. Family has always come first for me. Creativity always smolders in my fiery passion and then at moments bursts into real hot flame.

Q 5: What photographers, artists, or photos/pieces have had the greatest influence on you and your work? What about these people or works is so important?

Favorites, hmm, I always get stuck on this one since I love so many artists in all styles and architectures. Well, the classics like Ansel Adams, Winogrand, Dorothea Lange, Magritte to name a few. These folks influence me in so far as they were ground breakers who took risks. My day to day influences are my artist/teacher friends.

Q 6: Are you working on any projects currently that you’d like to share with our readers?

Currently, I am putting together a series titled “Awaiting Instructions” which is concerned with viewer response and feedback.

Q 7: What’s the name of your favorite book, author, or poet, and why is this book (or person) so close to your heart?

Probably the poet Arthur Rimbaud, the rebel who opened my ears and eyes to so much. Also love Faulkner so very, very much. Oh and James Baldwin who I got to meet a few decades ago. Never forget Anne Dillard.

Q 8: If you could turn the world onto one artist, who would it be?

Shakespeare for the spoken word. Picasso for the enormous output of stunning visual questions which the viewer must answer alone. Cate Blanchet for range and passion. I know, I know but I hold to these most often.

Q 9: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

When I finally start talking you cannot stop me.

Linsey Jayne is a wave-headed poet with a penchant for jazz who received her MFA in creative writing at Fairfield University. Her writing has been published in such publications as The Standard-Times, The Dartmouth-Westport Chronicle, and exactly.what. She has served as the chief poetry editor for Mason’s Road, as well as the student editor for the Bryant Literary Review and the opinion section editor of The Archway. Linsey is currently at work on her first collection of poetry, entitled Idle Jive.

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