Straight From The Heart – An Interview With Photographer-Artist Madeline M. Allen

Fractal Gathering

Fractal Gathering

A Fractal Gathering The photographic fractal art of Madeline Allen is awe-inspiring and exciting to view, and I was thrilled to recently have the chance to ask Maddy some questions for this interview!  I have interspersed some of Madeline’s beautiful photographic art pieces throughout this article.

When did you get into photography?

I first got into photography four years ago. My husband was taking me on a surprise trip to British Columbia, Canada for my birthday, and for another gift he had given me my first little digital camera, a HP 4 mega pixel. When we returned from our trip and I downloaded the camera’s pictures onto the computer, I was amazed, and could not believe that I had taken what I was viewing. I was hooked from that moment on. I had that yearning all my life to create with color, and over the years tried many things to soothe that yearning; gardening, ceramics, writing children’s books, and crafts of all kinds, to mention a few.

Cosmos Heart Energy

Cosmos Heart Energy

What inspires you artistically?
I am so inspired by the beauty of all the Artists that I am surrounded by, particularly on Red Bubble. I also love birds! So, to mention a couple of my favorite bird artists, I’m so inspired by photographers like Marvin Collins http://www.redbubble.com/people/mcollins, and photographer/artist Bonnie Taylor Barry http://www.redbubble.com/people/miracles. Their work inspires me every day with their captures and the presentations of their work. There are really too many others to mention that inspire me daily with their styles.

Other inspiration includes my own love of vibrant colors, textures, nature, birds and certain animals. I am seldom not fired up to create. My daughter claims, that I can turn a rock into a beautiful piece of art. So yes, I can even be inspired by a rock!

Mollusk

Mollusk

What influenced you pursue ‘smudge art/fractal technique’ ?
When I first viewed Fractal Art. I was amazed by the lines, curves, swirls and endless possibilities of this technique. I was also astounded by the works of Dean Warwick, http://www.redbubble.com/people/deanzworld and his wonderful creations. I dropped Dean a line and asked him how he was creating these fine works of art. He told me about Apophysis 2.02, and I was just blown away by the things that were possible with using this program. This is how I began creating another style of artwork, and I started rendering a few of my own. My Smudge Art TM.-Fractal Art was influenced by another Red Bubble Artist, Helene Kippert   http://www.redbubble.com/people/helene. I love her work and cannot say enough about this very talented and creative Artist. Many times I go to her portfolio and quietly view her works.

Then the thought came to me that I would love to try this myself with my Smudge Art TM. So began another style that I enjoy so very much!  Smudge Art TM is a title I gave my artwork. It started by using my original vibrant photography. I would distort the picture and use that palette of colors to draw new forms using only the computer mouse. Sometimes I would also add some textures. That was the beginning of my learning and my passion for my artwork.

I will now go through many steps to create a piece of art. It could consist of one layer of art, or up to as many as 4 or 5 different pieces of art layered. Combinations of photography, Smudge Art TM., Fractal Art, text and poetry, plus all of the editing that goes with a single created piece of artwork. I never plan out what I will do. I go with the flow and just let it evolve in most cases.

Also I am influenced strongly by my life, my family, and my spiritual connection with my Creator.
With my new camera, my Canon Rebel XT EOS 350 D, and an editing program that came with it, Photo Studio 5.5, this was the start of my love for and greater passion, Smudge Art TM.

I am told that I am very prolific in my artwork.  I will get ‘lost’ for hours trying new things. I constantly have the urge to go that one step further with my art. It is not unusual for me to work in 2 or 3 different editing programs at once to get the effect that I am looking for.

My Journey - But For The Grace of God There I Go

My Journey - But For The Grace of God There I Go

What kind of camera and lenses do you use?

I have a wonderful Canon Rebel XT EOS 350 D.  Lens x 3 = Canon 75-300mm (my favorite lens), Canon EFS18-55mm, Canon 55mm.

Spirit Filled

Spirit Filled

What kind of tripod do you use, if any?

I have two that I use – but still do a lot freehanded and wish later that I had used a tripod. My favorite is my Slik Monopod 350.

Soulmates

Soulmates

If there was no limit on your budget for photography equipment, what would you buy (include name brands and models, etc.)?

I CAN DREAM.. An EOS 50D plus a new computer and a laptop for traveling.

What, in your opinion, do you think has contributed to making your photos and designs excellent?

WOW! That is a wonderful compliment Zoe, thank you. I think that my personality as a lot to do with it, I am so very fussy with presentation. Also, the suggestions and encouragement that I receive from my fellow artists right from the get go, and my days at David Petersons Digital Photo Forum drives me to achieve higher standards for myself. For any new artist or photographer, I strongly suggest joining a great group that will give you feedback on your work. Be open to suggestions and read!

Hope 2

Hope 2

What good is art, if nobody enjoys it, and if it does not evoke feelings?

My greatest pleasure now is when I read in my comments that I have touched the core of a person. That is priceless! I am a self taught Artist who enjoys the creativity that my Creator has blessed me with. My goal is to stand before my maker when it is my time, and when I am asked “What did you do with your gift of artistic talent child?” I want to be able to say “I used it all up Father! Thank you for your gift.”

My art is created to hopefully move the observer in some way. Illusory art excites, so I create from my heart beautiful, whimsical artwork that will mysteriously activate your sense of illusion and magic and leave you with a feeling of serenity and joy. Many live their lives with a desire to leave this world with a statement and impression left behind. I wish to see my art vision as it is, in the now. Success in my eyes is measured by the smile on your face and the joy you show when viewing my artwork. I believe strongly that we walk this Earth with the help of our Spirit Guides and Guardian Angels. For myself, as I grew in this life and became more attuned to the soft whispers of my Spirit, I discovered that I was indeed blessed with a wonderful talent. As each day unfolds, and I let my natural ability emerge into my creativity, I am blessed with putting forth vibrant, beautiful, whimsical and spiritual art to share with all who care to view it.

Alien

Alien

Do you have any favorite books, and also favorite photographers?

I have dozens of favorites and would not name names in this section.  I’m afraid to leave someone out! So let’s say if you are on my watch-list at Red Bubble I Love your work!

I’m glad I’m on your Watchlist Madeline!

What is your ‘real’ profession, or is it art/photography?

I am now retired from a life of working full time in the medical field, with many years behind me working with terminally ill at home, and also many years working in the field of rehabilitation with traumatic brain injury clients. Other gifts from my Creator!

Today I am a full time Freelance Photographer/Artist, a wife, and mom of three grown children, and grandmother to five beautiful grandchildren. I’m loving and living my dreams.

Madeline, I know you have a long list of accomplishments as an artist, so would you take a few minutes and share those with us?

Four years ago I did not even know how to turn a computer on. I am self-taught with a lot of trial and error.

Being a self taught photographer and now an artist who has found her way to her dreams by trial and errors. (If I had known how to reset my new camera while in a hurry to capture lightning, I would never have found out that editing a picture could open up a whole new world and change your life)

  • I have a large portfolio, 800+ pieces at Redbubble.com, where I sell my artwork worldwide: http://smudgeart.redbubble.com/
  • I built my own website: Full-Frame-Gallery http://www.full-frame-gallery.net/
  • I’ve had the pleasure of two successful solo exhibitions in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Canada.
  • I also do a few arts & craft shows a year. It’s all about promoting ones self.
  • I have had some of my flower artwork juried in Frisco, Texas, USA, and had all six entries chosen.
  • I have artwork that is a part of a traveling venue in Texas, USA.
  • I am one of the artists working with Darrell Mosely’s dream of building flower screen savers to break a world record.
  • I am now a published photographer with the ” International Library of Photographers.”
  • I am a self-published artist at Blurb Books, with three books published:  http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/search?search=smudgeart&commit=Search

Madeline Allen is a force to be reckoned with in the world of photography and art, and I am so pleased she was able to do this interview and share with us some of her amazing art, and her truly inspiring insights.

Comments

  1. Very interesting stuff you’re writing about and I look forward to your further articles!

  2. I have taken notice that in old digital cameras, unique detectors help to concentrate automatically.
    These sensors with some surveillance cameras change in contrast, while others
    use a beam involving infra-red (IR) light, specifically in low lighting.

    Higher specification cameras often use a mix of both programs
    and could have Face Priority AF where the camera can ‘See’ a new face while focusing only in that.

    Many thanks for sharing your thinking on this blog.

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