Unexpected Geology #8a
In this series I am exploring the realm of one’s environmental surroundings, how that is absorbed into one’s psyche and how this changes through relocations.
My move from the relatively flat Midwest (my place of birth) to the mountainous West (New Mexico, specifically) needed some adjustments in my way of working and seeing. Initially I was stymied by this landscape that is so fraught with cliché. But, I soon found myself aspiring to bring my new home into focus, to make it my own.
I stand back and take it all in. I have always been intrigued with mountains, their formation, evolution and beauty. I find the history of geology fascinating, the ebb and flow of minerals, deposits and formations. I am intrigued with how small rocks and stones are, essentially, mountains except for size. They are made of the same materials and minerals. Ratio, proportion, relative size, all plays a part in the magnitude of the structures. There is an aesthetic magic of scale.
I approach this work as both a window through which I observe my new surrounds (recording what I see) and a mirror where I bring my sensibilities to bear, reflecting my inner state of being. I use layering and blending modes to merge the observed environment with my internal intuition. At times I digitally place stones in my photographs of mountainous landscapes while obscuring the scale references. Other times I distort and raise the landforms in a digital dance of perception.
Author: Ellen Jantzen was born and raised in St. Louis Missouri but moved to Illinois after meeting her husband, Michael at Southern Illinois University. Her early college years were spent obtaining a degree in graphic arts; later emphasizing fine art. After a move to California, Ellen spent two years at FIDM (the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in downtown Los Angeles. Here, she obtained her advanced degree in 1992. After a few years working in the industry, including several years at Mattel Toy Company as a senior project designer, she became disillusioned with the corporate world and longed for a more creative outlet. Having been trained in computer design while at Mattel, Ellen continued her training on her own using mostly Photoshop software.
Not considering herself a "photographer" but an image-maker, Ellen Jantzen creates work that bridges the world of photography, prints and collage. As digital cameras began producing excellent resolution, Ellen found her perfect medium. It was a true confluence of technical advancements and creative desire that culminated in her current explorations in photo-inspired art using both a camera to capture imagery and a computer to alter, combine and manipulate the pieces.
Ellen is being recognized as an innovator and her work has been shown in galleries and museums world-wide as well as numerous web-based sites. Ellen is represented by, among others, the Susan Spiritus Gallery in Newport Beach CA and the Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis MO.
Ellen's work can also be seen on her website: http://www.ellenjantzen.com/