Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vermont Open Studio Tour guest photographer Chelsea Somerset

     As promised, I am blogging about my guests that are sitting with me during the Vermont Crafts Council Open Studio Tour during Memorial day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm. It is my pleasure to have my own daughter Chelsea Somerset, a student at Essex Jct. High School sit with me and show her photography. The photo on the left is a black and white piece- another one of my favorites- mason jars. This brings back fond memories of my family's baking and canning traditions- which my mother shares with my sister Cheryl, Chelsea, and myself. Having a pickle/relish tray at a large Holiday meal was always a staple, whether it was pickled beets, tongue pickles (watermelon rind), or what we French Canadians called "Catsup" (relish/chutney). I'm sure if you asked Chelsea what memories the photo invoked, her reply would be making her own recipe (with the help of her Mimi) of Sassy Garlic Dill Pickles! Nom, nom!
     The photo on the right took a couple of hours to get right. I remember her setting up her tripod on the porch in February. If you have ever taken a picture of the moon, you know how difficult this is, especially when it is a clear night, and the moon is especially bright. There were many adjustments to be made, and I remember opening the door briefly a few times to make sure she wasn't too cold, and offer her a blanket (it was a frigid night-but crisp and clear).
Her tenacity to get the shot just right reminds me of a friend I know who does wonderful photography of the Northern Lights.
     I think the most exciting pieces for me were the pieces she experimented with different filter settings like the one above (our beloved cat, Kitty). Chelsea used Golden's fairly new Digital Acrylic Grounds to treat art paper and other surfaces that normally aren't great for printing on. This allowed the ink to "set" on surfaces like brown craft paper, clear acetate, mirror board and my personal favorite, tin foil. You can get some really cool effects. Kitty's picture was a glowing edges filter printed on graphite paper treated with clear digital grounds acrylic medium. The look you get is like a silver and black scratch board. Really cool, Chelsea! What fun!

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