Transcends The Literal

“…I want an image that somehow transcends the literal in the viewer’s imagination, suggesting a mood, a greater mystery, a timelessness.” - the artist

City Below, 2019, Archival Pigment, 12 x 12 inches, $250

City Below, 2019, Archival Pigment, 12 x 12 inches, $250

I like learning new things and discovering new locations, and there is plenty of both in photography. One of the most insistent places is an everyday junkyard, where the deteriorating cars offer opportunities for close up photography.

Talking Heads, 2018, Archival Pigment, 16 x 16 inches, $300

Talking Heads, 2018, Archival Pigment, 16 x 16 inches, $300

It starts when I spy an interesting patina on an rusting Model T. Or a Hudson. Or a Studebaker. On closer inspection, I find a pleasing arrangement of shape and color. I see a photo in the broken paint on a fender. Or a door. Or a rumble seat. So I set up my tripod and arrange a series of shots to later assemble in Photoshop. And then another car beckons.

The Kiss, 2018, Archival Pigment, 12 x 12 inches, $250

The Kiss, 2018, Archival Pigment, 12 x 12 inches, $250

In post production, I want an image that somehow transcends the literal in the viewer’s imagination, suggesting a mood, a greater mystery, a timelessness. One such image began at a car show. I saw a truck on which everything had been restored except the paint. I found a spot of luminescence on a fender and began the capture. Suddenly huge drops of rain began to fall. A minute or two later I had to give up because the surface was awash with water and all pattern was lost. In Photoshop the early rain drops magically turned into trees, and the scene became the image “Forest Bathing.” I don’t see a metal fender. I see a river, a pond, and a forest of healing trees.

Forest Bathing, 2016, Archival Pigment, 16 x 16 inches, $300

Forest Bathing, 2016, Archival Pigment, 16 x 16 inches, $300

Peggy Olafson Curtis was born in Seattle, USA and grew up in nearby regions during the turbulent 60’s.

Her love of photography began with a film camera and a high school course in photography—her first inspiration was a shot of her father removing a can of soup from a kitchen cupboard followed by his watery image looking back at her in the dark room developing tray.

Patterns, 2018, Archival Pigment, 11 x 14 inches, $250

Patterns, 2018, Archival Pigment, 11 x 14 inches, $250

The artistic inspiration came a few years later during a two-year residence in Japan.  There she became immersed in the Japanese aesthetic after visiting the Empress Meiji’s iris garden on a glorious rainy day in May. Before her stretched a row of shiny black umbrellas as visitors meandered along the garden path. The gardeners, in shiny black rain gear, snipped spent blossoms as they waded among the iris plants. She was hooked on beauty. She studied the Sogetsu school of flower arrangement, Japanese gardens, painting, pottery, in every moment she could. Later she completed a certificate in Photography from the University of Washington, studied at the Photographic Center Northwest, and continued her Japanese flower arranging classes.

Reach For The Sky, 2014, Archival Pigment, 11 x 16 inches, $250

Reach For The Sky, 2014, Archival Pigment, 11 x 16 inches, $250

[Peggy Olafson Curtis] has studied with the best of the best, including Sam Abell, J.P. Caponigro, Ben Willmore, Keron Psillas, and Charlie Waite in intensive workshops and mentorships. Her work has been featured in Seattle and Santa Fe galleries. She is a member of NANPA (The North American Nature Photography Association).

To view more work by the artist, please visit www.peggyphoto.com. Readers may also purchase Just Rust, a photography book by Peggy, HERE.


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