Q&A: Deborah Raven on Technique

Q. Can you tell us about some of the techniques you're using in the
creation of your work?

A. The images for "Skeletal Remains" were first printed on archival fine art paper. I mounted the images onto board ( lauan) for stability. Then I applied thin layers of encaustic (heated wax) to the images, fusing the wax with a heat gun as I "painted" the layers, adding depth. The wax was slightly tinted with pigment to add rich tonality. The final pieces were put into frames.

All my images in this exhibition were photographed with a special lens, allowing me to have very selective focus. I can vary the amount of "blur" with this lens. When I photograph in the natural history museums, the dioramas are fairly well lit so "lighting" is not really a problem. I never use a flash. When I photograph the skeletons under glass, I get very close to the glass.

I love shooting with this lens because I never want everything in focus. It's how we see. I also like eliminating what I think are unnecessary details ( to the image) and creating a simple elegance instead...a suggestion. For example, I love how abstracted the fish become in the "Liquid Life" series. I mounted the color photographs in this series on Plexiglass which gives an extraordinary luminosity to the pieces.

No comments: