Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Camille LaMontagne: Changing the Face of Art and Identity

Artist: Camille LaMontagne

Photography by: Graham Meyer

When we think of Fashion it's easy to overlook the work of A Make-Up Artist. In some cases that is precisely the point. The Clothes are the focus, unless you are watching a John Galliano production that is. His work is pure theater, high Art Fashion at it's best. Camille LaMontagne is a fan of Galliano's work and has plans to make her own mark on Fashion runways around the world.
As you can see she explores "Identity" through Illustration, Make-Up, Sculpture and Modeling. Camille is also an accomplished Portrait Artist working in Oil and has won numerous competitions for her work over the years.
She admires the Art work of Nathan Deyoung, Levi Van Veluw, Cindy Sherman and her Father, Paul LaMontagne who is a retired Commercial Artist.
When Camille talks about her work as a Make-Up Artist, her face lights up like a Solar Panel. Her Vision and energy is refreshing and so is her work. The black and white photograph of two Women in knitted headscarves speaks to her complex creative abilities. It stopped me in my tracks when I spotted it on display at 515 in Royal Oak. I will be adding a copy of this photograph to my collection in the near future. It has the quiet impact of a hundred secrets waiting to be told.
The face sculpture made of tissue paper required creative engineering and a lot of patience to produce. It's clever and intriguing. The same is true of the dotted self-portrait project. Her black and white illustration book is a study in transition. Camille modeled for the full body black and white shot and altered the image to create an eclectic visual story.
Author Leonard Koren, wrote "Beauty is an altered state of consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace." Camille works in this realm fluidly and with boundless passion.
Keep an eye out for her work in galleries, runways and in print as she further explores the Art of Identity, Make-Up and Fashion Illustration.
Camille can be contacted at

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Light, Line and the Power of Discovery...

Artist: Jon Pickell

Jon Pickell is one of those people who works deliberately with "Organic Energy". He's an Artist with many passions. These include photography, print making, fiber print work and Reiki energy balancing.
He admires the work of Fashion Photography Artist: Deborah Turbeville, Lucas Samaras and Helmet Newton. His work however includes a distinct and careful balance of light, line and energy. "Creating ambiguous spaces for his figures to occupy is part of his skill. Many of his portraits imply a situation or activity beyond the viewer's knowledge." Jon has no desire to tell you what to think. He respects what you bring to his Artwork. Viewing his work is a fluid process between Artist and audience. Fashion is an integral element of the above selected photos, but it is by no means the whole story. There is so much more to wonder about in these pieces. I love that about Jon's Artistry, it's a process of discovery.
"Discovery is a sociological cause of change. It involves recognizing and understanding more fully something already in existence. The first image is the result of my Internet research on the characteristics of Radium. "In 1898 Marie Claire unintentionally left a rock on a piece of photographic paper, noticed the emissions from the rock had exposed the paper, and thus discovered radium (Ra 88)." I was struck by the organic line work of the Radium salt alpha particles. Notice the line work in Jon's photographs.
"Pure radium metal is brilliant white (I'm thinking about the flash of a camera bulb), but blackens when exposed to air. Radium is luminescent (giving a faint blue color)." Notice the similar luminescent faint blue color in several of Jon's hand painted photographs.
Discovery....Serendipty.....Coincidence? I'd like to think it is all of these things. It's difficult to fathom how this happens. But it is delightful to wonder about how it might all work together. The Art of the universe is a mysterious and creative energy source. How perfect it is that Jon included Superman in one of his photo stories. His Model marvels at his power and energy and you I hope will appreciate the power of Jon's unique fashion photography. He can be conacted at jonpie at

Sunday, March 7, 2010

To Bid or Not to Bid...This is the Question

Hudson's Mink Stole: DuMouchelles On-line Catalogue

Auction houses have a historic and distinguished presence in the market place. Sotheby's and Christies are known world wide, but here in Detroit, we have DouMouchelles, Fine Art Auctioneers and Appraisers, in operation since 1927.
Earlier this year I searched their on-line catalogue to get a feel for the type of clothing items to be found. I was happy to spot this Hudson's Vintage Mink Stole in the lot. The bid price range for the piece was reasonable to my thinking so I made a special trip to 409 East Jefferson in Detroit.
There it was in the gallery hanging on a mannequin ready for me to inspect. I studied the lining, seaming and condition of the fur. It was well cared for over the years. I tried it on for fit, and quickly began to dream of owning a piece of retail history. Hudson's was a retail gem back in the day and has a special place in the memories of many native Detroit families.
I could not be available to attend the actual auction so I decided on a "Telephone Bid" process, and filled out the necessary paperwork to participate. I found the staff to be genuinely helpful and attentive. This made my first splash into the world of auction bidding easy and enjoyable.
Long story short, I lost the piece to another bidder with deeper pockets. I had a definite price limitation going into it and quickly lost my dream in three bids.
I was told by a staff member at DuMouchelles that they don't normally get large amounts of clothing or collections come to auction. I hope this will change soon. I just know there are so many collectors of Important Fashion in the Detroit Metro Area. Those who collect, take care of the investment and understand the value of buying and selling it. Those of us who hunt for fine Vintage Clothing are links in the recycling chain of history and Style. Clothing is a Cultural element of history and DuMochelles has a special place in both the past and future of Detroit's fashion runway. Happy Bidding!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Painter's Apprentice: Emilio Rojas

While traveling through life, Little Friend came to know a wanderer called the Painter's Apprentice. This man was always surrounded by people asking him about paintings he had yet to paint.

The paintings he described were so ethereal that they resembled music forming in air. The Painter's Apprentice said that the timeless and the eternal could be captured through feeling and sensitivity, releasing the soul toward the spirit's essence. He described a painting of dancing in which the body was a connection between the earth and the soul.

Then he envisioned a painting made of embossed letters - each one a word, a sentence, a prayer, a book wherein the author had woven tales out of history, imagination and dreams. He wanted to create a painting in which the brush strokes and colors were the essence of all that could be ordered and balanced. He also described a painting in which the motifs were feelings formed from the tiniest elements of life in the depths of the interior world.

Then the Painter's Apprentice said that his true aspiration was to paint people. Not those who claimed greatness and then sank into the mud of oblivion. Not those who spoke hurtful words or performed acts of hypocrisy. Not those who used others to climb to the top or exchanged Love's treasures for trinkets, popularity or material wealth. The people he wish to paint were simple folk without disguise, those who were at once ethereal and steadfast. They were the ones whose wings could carry them to the horizon.

Such people teach us how to walk through the valleys of each day. They draw a smile from our hearts and say to us: "To Live is to learn what we were, what we are and what, with the setting of the sun, we shall be. To live is also to understand the human being and the universe, and thus to become a maker of stars. To live is to look at our outstretched hands, one of which contains nothing, the other, everything. To live is to be the immortal energy and light that flow from the Rose of the Heart."

This is how the Painter's Apprentice talked about the pictures he was going to paint. But he never made a single sketch. Curious to see what these paintings would look like, Little Friend followed the Painter's Apprentice for a long time. Finally, when the Painter's Apprentice produced nothing, Little Friend, disappointed, left him. After some time had passed, Little Friend realized that the word was the brush of the Painter's Apprentice and each person part of his canvas.

Poem: by Emelio Rojas, Beloved Author of Latin America. This allegory captures the essence of my passion for this blog. I could easily swap out the word Painter, for Writer, Muscian, Photographer, Fashion Designer, etc......