Category Archives: Art

Meeting Lucy O’Donovan

Lucy O'Donovan

Lucy O’Donovan

Over a year ago I met artist Lucy O’Donovan as the art group she had started in the West End of Glasgow where she lives ,met. I was very impressed by the emotional intensity of Lucy’s painting. Lucy’s work is very much about humans, portrait, body,  and seizing the vulnerability of human flesh she achieves through minute precision and tiny detail. Early this year (2013) she exhibited her work in the Agora Gallery in New York. As I got in touch with Lucy recently with the proposal of doing portraits of her as an artist in her environment, she kindly agreed for a photographic session in her home.

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Lucy O’Donovan

Lucy O’Donovan has been influenced in her paintings by the work of Jenny Saville, Lucian Freud, Alyssa Monks and Francis Bacon. In 2008 she was living with her husband in Australia where she was working in field of neuroscience when she had a traumatic brain injury which let her several weeks unconscious.

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We did the photographs on a very autumnal rainy and dark light, something which would have been impossible technically without digital media only a few years back without adding artificial lighting.

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Lucy O’Donovan

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I love portrait photography in colour but even more in black and white

Regi Claire, poet, portrait, color

Regi Claire, poet, portrait, color

I like portrait photography, whether it is colour or monochrome. In fact all the photographs I do now are in colour but I like to turn some of them into black and white to get the feeling I had when using Kodak Tri-X or Ilford Delta 400. But do meet this I never shoot JPEG but RAW (or NEF as my camera is a Nikon). Then the rest happens in my digital darkroom, my Macbook pro and Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop sometimes.

I started photography in the darkroom, in 1976 and I have used a darkroom until 15 years ago. Then like a lot of photographers I started using a digital camera. No more anxiety wondering if there is something on the film, but until I got my Nikon D700 I felt somewhat unsatisfied. I have never been somebody considering the job was done when I was going back home after a shooting session, but for colour photography as I was only using Colour slide film it was the case, so you really had to get it right.

I really enjoyed spending hours in the dark (less putting my fingers in chemicals and having stains and holes on my shirt !). I learned a lot through the books of Ansel Adams (the Camera, the Negative, The Print ), but also going to exhibitions in Paris in la Maison Européenne de la Photographie.

Digital was not easy, cameras were far from perfect. I found it more difficult to achieve sharpness, avoid noise, and get a good colour balance every time but it came. But I missed the sensual aspect of traditional Black and White photography, especially for portrait. Just felt like I had to learn the technical sides of photography again ! But I did, and soon I’ll propose Black and White prints on sale.

Maggi McGlynn, bard and poet in Callander poetry week-end 2012

Maggi McGlynn, bard and poet in Callander poetry week-end 2012

Sally Evans, poet and bookseller, Black and white

Sally Evans, poet, bookseller, publisher and blogger, Black and white, portrait

Justine taking photographs. Black and white, portrait

Justine taking photographs. Black and white, portrait

Laryna, Black and white portrait

Laryna E Wuperman, Artist, Black and white, portrait