Photography has always been a passion of mine. An early foray into darkroom photography after college was set aside by my 35+ year career in marketing research. It has only been in recent years that I have been able to turn my attention to studying the art and
craft of my early love, photography.
For me, photography is a journey of self-discovery. I often wonder why I am attracted to certain images that often seem so diverse from one another: from the well-defined to the abstract, the colorful to black and white, and from places to people. Blue is a constant companion. Form and structure appeal to my rational side. And yet, I am captivated by abstract images, triggering thoughts and emotions deep inside. While I love to revel in color, shadows, shapes, and patterns revealed by black and white photos fascinate me.
I’ve been fortunate to have my work recognized in international photography competitions including: the International Color Awards (2021 and 2022), the Black & White Spider Awards (2021), PhotoPlace Gallery Exhibitions “Essential Water” (2021) and “Open Call” (2021), the “As I See It” Coral Gables Photography competition (2021), and the
Broward Art Guild “Abstract” exhibit 2023.
Join me in my photographic journey! I hope you enjoy the world that I’ve been discovering.
Let’s start with your story, we would like to know about your journey has been so far, and hear how you got started.
I feel like my journey in some ways is just beginning—as a celebrity I admire often says “I’m a work in progress.” I’m a very curious person and many new things interest me. For me, photography is a journey of self-discovery. I often wonder why I am attracted to certain images that often seem so diverse from one another: from the well-defined to the abstract, the colorful to black and white, and from places to people. Blue is a constant companion. Form and structure appeal to my rational side. And yet, I am captivated by abstract images, triggering thoughts and emotions deep inside. While I love to revel in color, shadows, shapes, and patterns revealed by black and white photos fascinate me.
A few years ago, after working for nearly 40 years in marketing and advertising, I retired from my career. It feels as if I’ve been reborn, being able to explore my creative side through photography and creative writing.
I’ve always had a strong interest in photography. After college when I started working, I bought myself my first 35mm camera and took a few classes to keep my creative spirit alive. This was in days of film, and I even took darkroom classes which I loved. I recently discovered some black & white photos from my final project for that class and was happy to see they’re pretty good!
But my career became very demanding, and photography took a back seat. Then in 2015 I started studying digital photography which made pursuing photography a lot easier than it was in the 80s. I enjoy taking all kinds of photos—especially landscapes, abstracts, still life, nature and travel. I love photographing in both color and black and white. And I like “playing” with my images in post, in LightRoom and sometimes Photoshop. Whenever I take a photo that I especially like, I will see how it looks in color and in black & white to see which is most impactful. If an image is well composed, if it pulls the viewer in, I believe it will work in both color or black and white. The point is, I experiment a lot and find that part of the process exciting.
I’ve been extremely lucky to have many opportunities come my way that I took full advantage of. I grew up in a working-class neighborhood on the near-southwest side of Chicago. We weren’t poor, but we certainly were not well off. I was a dedicated student, and managed to attend a college preparatory high school and made my way through college and graduate school on scholarships, student loans and part-time jobs, enabling me to attend Northwestern University.
I just read Barbra Streisand’s autobiography and in it she often returns to the phrase, “as the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you.” That phrase resonates with me. It’s been true in my life, and it certainly applies to photography. It’s a thrilling moment when a photo you intend to take comes together…the subject, the compositional elements, the light. Then you press the shutter release button, and you hopefully capture the image you saw in your head. Also, sitting in front of your computer editing the photo is equally exciting. When you have an idea that the photo can be better than it is, but you’re not sure how to do that, you play a little bit, then suddenly it comes together.
What is something you had to put off because of the pandemic that you have recently done or is on your list to do soon?
My husband and I moved to Wilton Manors just before the pandemic started. And I didn’t have time to explore the area as much as I would have liked to. In Chicago, I would go out walking with my camera for hours, taking photos in different neighborhoods. I never got to do that here, but I’m making progress in learning about different areas around town that are ripe with photographic possibilities. I love going to the Everglades for landscapes, South Beach and the Miami business district for architecture shots and the charm of Wilton Drive. One day I shot a series of images along the Drive that I hope to eventually show—two of them have received recognition in photo contests.
What does your art future hold for you?
I’ve gotten positive responses to my more abstract, architectural photos of glass building reflections. I love these photographs. Looking over these photos, I see my more recent ones have become more abstract and interesting over time. I hope to push that further, in both color & black and white. I don’t necessarily plan my photos. I like to go out scouting and look for interesting things to photograph that can be transformed and made special somehow. It’s not easy to take a photo that hasn’t been done before, so I strive to make my images as unique as possible.
Artists are aways bombarded by how great it is to pursue their passion etc., but we know from a lot of people that it is not always that easy. Overall, would you say things have gotten better for you as an artist in South Florida?
I am thrilled that there are so many opportunities to show my work in South Florida, with you and of course with Arts United and the Broward Art’s Guild. I’ve only started exhibiting a while ago and it’s been very gratifying.
As you know I am impressed with your work, tell our readers more for example. What are you most proud of, and what sets you apart from others?
I am extremely proud of my solo exhibits sponsored by Arts United Florida at Aperitivo at Bono and The Rebel Wine Bar. Also, the Broward Art’s Guild has a program titled Art Around Town. Six of my Black & White images were on display at the Oakland Park Library, and it was great to see people reading and kids studying under my photos. I’ve also had individual images on display in various shows with Arts United and the Broward Art Guild.
In the past two years I’ve started entering my images in juried photo contests, both online and “in real life.” I’m especially proud that I’ve received recognition in the International Color Awards, the Black & White Spider Awards, at the PhotoPlace Art Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont, at the Camelback Art Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona and at the WithINSight Gallery in Chicago.
How do you keep motivated?
I find taking photographs and editing them completely relaxing—and I like to relax! Lol! I’m inspired when I go out for a walk and find something unique to photograph. I enjoy editing, often while having a glass of wine and listening to classical music, particularly Mozart and Chopin. Apple Music has fantastic playlists titled classical music for studying, concentrating, reading, etc. Check them out.
Name a famous artist that inspires you and one not yet famous artist you would like the readers to know about.
I’m most inspired by the photographs of Edward Weston. He took fantastic images of food…perhaps his most famous image is of a pepper. But there are others as well. They are very simple and elegant, yet complex at the same time. He forces us to look at things we take for granted in a new light. I’ve studied these images and taken many photos of peppers, trying to mimic and learn from his style. He also took incredibly sensuous nudes of his wife that are stunning in their simplicity.
Is there a current or upcoming show or exhibit you want to let people know about?
In February I have two images in BAG’s Red exhibit that are very interesting abstracts that I hope people will like.
What inspires you to be an artist and what inspiration can you pass on to others?
I’m inspired by other artists in the area. There is a tremendous amount of talent here…seeing their work in various shows around town is incredible.
Let’s end with a fun fact about you.
I’ve seen Barbra Streisand sing live 17 times, once in the audience at the Oprah Show.
Anything else you would like to include?
I’d like to thank my husband of 19 years for his on-going support and help with framing and hanging my photos because I’ve never met a nail or screwdriver that I liked!
The works featured here are available for purchase directly through the Artist. The Artist makes 100% of the profit of the sale of the artwork, so this is a great time to support them, while enhancing your art collection. The artist will directly pack and ship the product to you.
All works are original and signed by the artist!
For more information on these featured artworks email Curtis @ [email protected]
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Face Book: Curtis Fedder