Fine Art Photography Blog

Welcome to the all-new NatCoalson.com!

Thank you very much for visiting – I’m thrilled to have you here, and to introduce you to my new website. I’ve been working on this site for several years, behind-the-scenes, as I was also producing many other projects. As a very significant labour of love, I am pleased to present the new site. I would love to show you around a bit. read more…

Seeing More, Seeing Better

Most of us go through life looking without really seeing.

While this doesn’t always directly cause major problems, everyone can benefit from practicing more active seeing.

For photographers and other visual artists, being able to see effectively is the most important skill you can develop.

See what I mean?

To demonstrate how easy it is to have your eyes open but not really be seeing, try this simple exercise:

  1. Sitting comfortably in a safe place where you won’t be disturbed, fix your gaze on something around you. It should be in the middle distance; not too close nor far away.
  2. Keeping your eyes open and trained on that same object, recall a favourite memory of a time in your life that you can vividly remember. It could be yesterday or years ago; it doesn’t really matter. Immerse yourself in this memory — put yourself back in that place and time as much as you can.
  3. After spending a few moments with your mind fully elsewhere, bring your attention back to the present moment.

When you regain present moment awareness, immediately notice that while you were concentrating on that memory, the input from your visual systems was effectively put “on hold”. While your eyes were still open and generally taking in your surroundings, your brain was otherwise engaged.

In this state or mind, you’re looking without really seeing. This example demonstrates how the eyes and brain must be working in tandem to fully take in and understand what we see. read more…

The Joy of Seeing

Like most people, I am blessed in many ways. The birth lottery has been good to me and I’m thankful every day for all the health, safety, comfort and opportunities that my life provides.

And I am most grateful for the gift of sight. Not a day goes by without experiencing moments of true amazement provided by this most vital of our human senses.

It’s a sad fact that most sighted people take their vision for granted. Maybe this is to be expected — but it shouldn’t be. Human vision can provide a gateway to the most awe-inspiring moments of a lifetime, and this should be fully appreciated and actively nurtured. Thus my guiding mission in life is to share the joy of active seeing and help other people gain the benefits that this awareness can provide.

First awakenings

Though I’ve had fairly normal vision my entire life, it wasn’t until I reached my early 30s that I really began to see. Like most people, while growing up I was never taught about the different states of consciousness, or even that there are varying levels of awareness that all people experience every day. So, like most, I experienced life in a pretty much semi-conscious state — just another zombie among the hordes!

As a kid, I had always been passionately involved in both music and the visual arts, pursuing both with zeal until my mid-20s. I played several instruments and long aspired to be a professional musician, all while simultaneously developing a career in graphic design and media production.

Ultimately, I chose the path of the visual artist. I studied life and figure drawing; I practiced airbrush illustration, I worked a day job designing logos, websites and printed marketing collateral. This all eventually led to my present business serving the fine arts.

Looking vs. seeing

One of the most important lessons I learned in my art studies is that it takes practice to see what is really there. What something really looks like versus what we think it looks like. With each encounter, we bring our past, our preconceptions and our personal bias to the experience. read more…

The Importance of Design in Photography

When you share your photography with other people, is the reaction not what you expected? Or have you entered images into a competition or juried exhibition and been disappointed with the results?

Of course, photography — like all art — is subjective and beauty certainly ‘is in the eye of the beholder’.

But if there consistently seems to be something lacking in your photography, a new approach might be worth consideration.

To consistently make stronger photographs, you need to apply a design methodology to your image-making.

Design is just as important in photography as it is with other creative works. A design process includes identifying and solving problems, making conscious choices and working to achieve a specific outcome. read more…

New abstract photographic art: Fusión

Here’s a new artwork I’ve just released, from a photograph I made in Spain.

It’s titled Fusión and is 36 x 24 inches (plus the frame).

I printed the photo on Hahnemühle metallic canvas. After mounting it on pine stretcher bars, I embellished the canvas with gold foil transfer.

It was sold at my gallery to a collector in Warwick, England.

 

New Work: Shapeshifter No. 11

During Autumn 2018, I produced a body of work in abstract photography that, in many ways, fulfills my highest vision as an artist. (This is what I’ve been working toward for many years!) Today, I’m pleased to present one of my first releases of finished art derived from the series.

My aim with this series was to create a set of images that share some common attributes and visual style, but that also have a lot of variation from one image to the next.

While I was making the photographs I was observing the dynamic, captivating graphic elements and working to create intriguing, surreal images with an organic feel.

I’ve titled the series Shapeshifter; each individual photograph simply uses a unique number designator. This naming ties in with the nature of the subject matter—through only slight changes in my viewpoint, the reflective surface revealed an infinite variety of shapes, colours and patterns… Truly morphing in front of my eyes!

Shapeshifter No. 11 displays  a minimalist composition, with a single black line running diagonally across the picture space. This is surrounded by subtle, organic textures in a muted, pastel colour palette.

As with much of my abstract work, this is offered as a mixed media piece, which I create by printing the photograph onto canvas and then hand-embellishing the canvas surface with transparent acrylic, bringing out the contours and textures of the underlying image. It is 16×24 inches, unframed ‘gallery-wrap’ style and delivered ready-to-hang.

Thus, each is produced to-order and is a one-of-a-kind, unique original. This art makes fantastic décor and a real conversation piece in any contemporary interior!

Order yours today for £375

with free shipping in the UK.

(International orders are also welcome; your shipping costs will be determined by your location.)

New abstract photograph: Remnant

Abstract Photograph: Remnant by Nat Coalson

Abstract photograph with a minimalist geometric design features a striking pink vertical streak set against large fields of textured teal and mottled silver.

Fine art prints and mixed media originals available.

Click the image for a larger preview.

New Abstract Photograph: From Deep

Abstract Photography: From Deep by Nat Coalson

On my first trip to Bologna, Italy, I discovered a large trash bin with some curious paint markings on its lid. I stopped and took many photographs of the scene.

I’ve looked at these images for a long while and still am not sure what’s made these markings. But I don’t think they are intentional. At some point in the past, this metal surface came into contact with some black paint and the result is what you see here.

I have a strong philosophy that my photography—especially my abstract work—does not depict the visual works created by other artists. I don’t [generally] photograph graffiti, sculptures, even architecture that was meant as an aesthetic, visual statement made by another creator.

I believe the best fine art photography presents situations, subjects, concepts and ideas that were not thought of by someone else beforehand. As such, all my abstract works that I present publicly are of subjects and situations that I believe were not created for visual effect by another artist before I encountered it.

Which brings me back to the enigma of this image. I found it as you see it. But it perplexes me. What made these marks?

After much study I believe the shapes in the paint were not created intentionally, but from some activity which we will never know. If this is truly the case, this is one of the finest examples of “accidental design” that I’ve encountered.

Either way, I love it … and hope you will, too.

New Abstract Photograph: La Hermosa Musica (Mono)

Abstract Photography: Artigianale VI: La Hermosa Música by Nat Coalson

 

A couple of years ago I led a client on a private photo tour around Spain. One of our favourite locations was Barcelona, where we enjoyed an afternoon tour and concert of the famous and beautiful Palau de la Musica Catalana.

Here’s an abstract image I made that afternoon. Click the image or click here for a larger preview.

As with all my fine art photography, prints are available. Contact me for pricing.

New Commission: Fountain of Truth (mixed media)

A private art collector in Northampton, England has commissioned me to create a bespoke work using my abstract photograph ‘Fountain of Truth’.

I’ve printed the image on canvas at 30×45 inches, plus a black border for stretching.

Next I will use brushes and sponges to apply hand embellishing with transparent acrylic, building up the image in layers.

The finished work will hang in the master bedroom of the residence.

You can commission your own bespoke artworks (at less cost than you might think) by contacting me.