I have worked a wide variety of media over my career as a visual artist. Photography has, in one way or another, played an important role in all of my work. At Goucher College, studying visual arts, I created photorealistic paintings with acrylic paint. My final thesis project studied visual differences between a painted and photographed scene in order to understand how media affects depictions of reality. At the Maryland Institute, College of Art, I followed a photography curriculum with Richard Jaquish, who had been a student of Minor White. My early color photographs of everyday objects made special by the light illuminating them were shown in a number of Maryland exhibition spaces including the Maryland Institute galleries, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis.
Missing the familiar touch of art materials when working with photographs, I turned to photorealistic drawing for the next five years. I referenced photographs to create multiple series of drawings using a variety of drawing media. I added subtle areas of monochromatic color to the work and created a body of work which toured Japanese museums and which was showcased by Baltimore galleries such as Meredith Contemporary Art.
Returning to photography, I began experimenting with supports for photographic emulsions. The possibility of functional and decorative fibers decorated with photographic images interested me. Using photographic images appropriate for wearable as well as decorative arts, I developed a line of fiber crafts with realistic painted and printed images. Some images used quilting techniques such as trapunto to add three-dimensional effects. The American Craft Council selected these fine art fiber crafts for their prestigious craft shows in Baltimore, San Francisco, and Newport.
My sister began to study jewelry making in New York and her work fascinated me. The color of gold and silver did not draw me but when I learned it was possible to add all kinds of color to metals by oxidation, I began to develop a new medium. I knew I would need to learn some business skills in order to market this work myself and applied and was accepted into the Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore, Inc (WEB) Business Skills Training Course.
Combining sterling silver with the color of anodized metals, I developed a jewelry business that occupied me for many years. I created a line of anodized aluminum, niobium, and sterling silver art jewelry that I marketed in fine craft exhibitions on the east coast such as Spring & Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst New York, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, and Frederick Festival of the Arts in Maryland. I found myself discovering anodized colors in the world and I used abstract photographic compositions to record “found” color relationships and compositional forms for use in jewelry design.
Finally returning to my photographic beginnings and bringing all of my artistic experiences together, I opened a photographic studio in November 2007. I had always wanted to make large-scale color photographic prints and finally technology had made it practical for an individual artist to have complete control of the process. From beginning to end, I make all the decisions in my work. I capture images with a digital camera, process them in my digital darkroom, and print them on my wide-format printer. In this way, I can completely control the artistic qualities of my final prints.
In the capture and development of digital photographs, I have found the digital equivalents of the brushwork, blending, and luscious color of painting as well as the linear and textural aspects of drawing. My photographs capture the tactile and fluid qualities of fiber, and the shiny, reflective surfaces of metalwork.
❍ An image of a landscape reflected in the shiny metal surface of a car, from my Vehicular Landscapes portfolio, won both the National and International National Geographic Photography Contests.
❍ Nine of my large-scale photographs were purchased by Hilton Worldwide and added to the Baltimore Hilton Hotel collection.
❍ New York art critic, Vincent Katz, selected my work for the Critics’ Residency program at Maryland Art Place. The yearlong program included an exhibition, a catalogue with a critical review, and a forum open to the public.
❍ Twelve of my photographs were installed in the new PNC Bank Building in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
❍ Two photographs of my Carousel Conveyance series were purchased by Amazon.com Inc. for their new cloud computing facilities in Herndon, Virginia.
All images and content of this site © 2013 Dottie Campbell