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Deb Ehrens

Adrift and in Stillness
What began as a childhood fascination with the painted flowers on my grandmother’s china has become a lifelong love of botanical imagery.  I am drawn to Karl Blossfeldt’s illustrations and Imogene Cunningham’s flower images. For a brief moment I even considered a career in botany. It is no surprise that I have made plant material both my subject and my teacher. 
When photographing outdoors in natural light, nature and I are partners in designing the composition. I secure plants in gentle brooks to create what seems a contradiction - still lifes in moving water. My botanic elements drift with the wind and currents. They shift in and out of focus as the water curls around sharp edges. Dancing in the brook is a world of rapidly changing patterns with dramatic flashes of brilliant color.
In the stillness of the studio my compositions are no longer buffeted about by wind and water. Instead of being at the mercy of ever-changing cloud cover and tree shadows, the light is literally in my hands. I sculpt light into my scene, capturing different directions and quality of light with each exposure. These digital negatives are then combined, layer-by-layer, using a graphics pen to reveal detail and build depth with painterly precision.
Creating the images for Adrift and in Stillness has not only challenged me as an artist, but also given me the sense of wonder and excitement
I felt as a young girl tracing patterns on her grandmother’s china.


 

 
     


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