About once a month, since February 2015, I have photographed artists working in their studios. Although the theme is not original to me, I had not seen a series devoted to Whidbey Island artists. The local press, regional and national publications have spotlighted deserving individual artists, but no one had concentrated on the quality and diversity of art produced throughout the area. In 2016 I wrote a half dozen feature stories for Whidbey Life Magazine around the subject of Art and the local practitioners I had been photographing. Those articles were the initial musings for what has become this book.
The artists featured in this collection warmly welcomed me into their studios. We would begin with the usual questions of what expectations I had and how I wanted them to appear. In each session I put them at ease by talking with them about their current work and their approach to the process of making art. Soon we were both at work, they on a current piece and me behind the camera. During a typical photo session, these individuals and I shared art making experiences and philosophies. Excellent conversations led to relaxed apprehensions and as difficult as it is to ignore being photographed, each artist eventually eased into periods of concentrated work and focused silence. Those were the times this project was meant to reveal.
This book is intended to explore artistic thinking about form and meaning, preparing the space and tools necessary for working on a piece, active engagement with the making of art, and revealing the results of a small part of that ongoing process. My intention was to explore creative engagement among a select group of artists, not to be biographical. For a deeper look at individual artists, readers are encouraged to seek out online sources from the contact information in the index. Better yet, attend a gallery exhibit or studio tour to see the work first hand and talk to the artists personally.
Artists of Whidbey Island is a limited edition publication covering 25 artists from the continuing series. A numbered edition of 100 books, each is a 10" X 10" soft cover, 140 full color pages featuring 25 artists from the series.
Sample images at left from the series.
© Wodjenski Creative