Charlene Martin Photography: Blog en-us (C) Charlene Martin (Charlene Martin Photography) Thu, 01 Feb 2018 21:49:00 GMT Thu, 01 Feb 2018 21:49:00 GMT Charlene Martin Photography: Blog 120 120 Happy (almost) Valentine's Day It has been such a beautiful week, feels like Spring today.  It's nearly Valentine's Day, and a new show opening at the Lodi Community Art center.  I've added to the show with a few Photo-Encaustic pieces.  One is a new bit of experimenting that I've been doing combining my kaleidoscopic images with pieces of mirror.  I've used encaustic medium to bring them together and added some oil pigment and metallic oil pastel.  In the spirit of the season, it's titled "Blushing Valentine".

©2018 Charlene Martin

Others in the show :

EnchantressEnchantress6" X 6" cradled board, encaustic medium, ink and oil over B&W photograph. Winter SerenityWinter Serenity6" X 6" cradled board, encaustic medium, ink and oil over B&W photograph. SolidaritySolidarity6" X 6" cradled board, encaustic medium, ink and oil over B&W photograph. SolaceSolace6" X 6" cradled board, encaustic medium, ink and oil over B&W photograph.

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Thu, 01 Feb 2018 21:48:54 GMT
Revisiting Projects Peace in the GardenPeace in the Garden©2017 Charlene Martin
"Peace in the Garden" ©2017 Charlene Martin


I'm going to work on a 365 project this year.  Last year, I gave it an attempt, but this time I'm going to get it done.  I've got a handy little prismatic viewer and my cell phone with me everyday, so no excuses.  What kind of projects are you doing or recommitting to in 2018?

365 Project Photos



]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Tue, 09 Jan 2018 19:19:35 GMT
20 x 20 Show = Studio Disaster My must have for creative productivity is space...  clear, clean, open space with all my tools at hand.  At least that's how it starts.  The creative whirlwind commences and the studio is again a disaster.  So now that the major push for 20 pieces is over... the clean-up phase begins again.  That's how I was feeling post Thanksgiving, anyway. 

We made it to the reception at the Blue Line Arts Gallery.  Thanks to my hubby for taking this photo of me with the works.  If you can, get there!  So many terrific artists this year, I was feeling extremely humble to be with them.  

©2017 Charlene Martin

I spent more time then I wanted roaming the halls of medical centers and hospitals in December.  Everyone's on the mend now, but it was a stressful month.  I found some creative inspiration in the halls of healing.  I was inspired by Mary Street's mixed media works at the Kaiser in Stockton.  I haven't been able to find her on the internet yet.  If you know her, please let her know these are terrific! One of the aspects I fancy with encaustics, is texture.  I need to look for that old pattern tracing wheel of my grandmothers.  Part of the problem with keeping a tidy studio is all the junk that "could be used in an art project" someday.

©2017 Charlene Martin ©2017 Charlene Martin ©2017 Charlene Martin

Creative energy has filled my heart, even if the productivity hasn't been in the "studio".  I made the fanciest cookies of my life thanks to an old magazine I came across, Chocolate Pistachio Nut Christmas Trees: 

Chocolate Pistachio Nut Christmas Trees©2018 Charlene Martin

The last few days, I've just bounced around from project to project.  Eventually, I had to take a couple of them out into the kitchen, because there wasn't any empty table space in the studio.  Here's my favorite outcome from experiments designing wine corks into phone/business card holders.  (Did I mention that I've lost a lot of time scrolling around Pinterest?)

©2017 Charlene Martin ©2017 Charlene Martin ©2017 Charlene Martin

I've had some fun with Spirographs, this is sort of relevant in that it allows me to experiment with color.   Truthfully, it's just relaxing and fun.  Earlier in the year, I was thinking they would be made into unique Christmas cards.  Maybe this year. ;)

©2018 Charlene Martin

Then there's this...

©2018 Charlene Martin

The girls are getting along a bit better these days.  Dixie (on the right) still doesn't want Molly to touch her, but the buffer zone of tolerance is getting smaller.  I've been working on making happy things happen when they are close. 

So that's what my "artful" December was like... How was yours?

The last couple of days, I've been working on my journal, getting it setup for 2018.  She's a real beauty.  I made it in a workshop at The Write Place.  Jonel Imutan was our leader and created a very encouraging and supportive environment.  Check out her beautiful creations on Instagram at JonelifishThe Write Place is on my list of places to visit more often in 2018.  They're doing all the stuff I'm digging into right now, paper making, book making, printing. 

©2018 Charlene Martin ©2018 Charlene Martin ©2018 Charlene Martin

Tons of ideas still bouncing around in my brain, but I'm planning to knuckle down on a few art projects and teach a couple of classes.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and adventurous 2018!

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Tue, 02 Jan 2018 21:24:28 GMT
20 x 20 Show = Studio Clean Up I was so thrilled to be accepted into the Blue Line Arts' 20 x 20 show.  I love focusing on a large project with a deadline.  I've been working sporadically for the last two weeks, but today I figured out one of the problems - a cluttered work space.  

So, I boxed up all kinds of loose ephemera and papers.  Now two other rooms are a mess, but I have the breathing room to create.  Almost half way there, only eleven days to delivery and I'm making some visible progress.

Photo-encaustic StudioPhoto-encaustic studio workspace, heating up for another session of creativity.

I've been hemming and hawing about the subject, but after reviewing my notes on best practices from last year, I decided to stick with my initial theme of Desert Blooms.  I took two trips to the California desert this Spring, so thought I had enough images. It's a bit dreary and wet, so a little revisit to the desert has been uplifting.  

Hope to see you there at the reception for the show, it's always a super show with tons of variety and inspiration.

Blue Line Arts - December Shows

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) alternative photography photo-encaustic photography Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:18:10 GMT
Photography Show Received notice that three of my photographs are accepted into the Lodi Community Art Center's annual photography show. I've been procrastinating on printing up photographs in the studio.  I know the printer is going to be temperamental, she gets a little fussy when she's been left to nap to long.  Please think good thoughts for a stress free studio session this week.

Prayers for PeacePrayers for PeacePrismatic view of the paper cranes around the Manzanar cemetery. ©2017 Charlene Martin Desert Prince©2017 Charlene Martin

SolaceSolace©2017 Charlene Martin

Looking forward to the reception, please add it to your calendar. :)  Photography Show & Sale Reception - October 7, 2017

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) alternative photography photography Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:23:23 GMT
When you really really love a photograph So you don't get the wrong idea from my last post, photographing is not usually the "fun" part for me.  In fact, sometimes when I'm struggling to come up with my next project, hubby says "Go out and take some pictures!"  I do tend to get comfortable in the studio enjoy spending more hours working on processes with a photograph than actually working on taking photographs.

One of my photography exercises is to use a slow shutter app on my phone.  I especially love this for long drives.  Occasionally the results are abstracts, but sometimes I can simulate a childhood game of stopping and starting freeze focus of the things that pass by the window.  This is what you play when you're an only child and there's no one else in the back seat for "slug bug". :) 

Charlene Martin

When you really love a photograph, why not take it in every direction you can think of.  So this isn't the greatest technically professional photograph.  However, I feel a lot of emotion with this one.  The incredible sky that day, I'm always a sucker for the warm and cold colors of a sunset.  The sunset and the cattle make me feel the satisfied tiredness you feel at the end of a long productive day.  The strength of the oak always makes me feel the security and comfort of home.  But not a great photograph.

So let's try something else...  

Charlene Martin

In black and white with a little cropping, it maintains the soulfulness.  I also liked the way the telephone wires become more of the composition.  I feel a sense of loneliness and longing for home with that more enhanced element.  

The motion and lack of sharp focus makes me think of an impressionist pastel or water color.  This was one of my first selections for the 30 x 30 series of photo-encaustic pieces I did for the Blue Line Gallery show last winter.

Going Home (Sold)Going Home (Sold)cradled board, encaustic medium, ink and oil over B&W photograph.

This Spring, I was in a group show at the Stockton Art League.  I wanted to stay with the natural subjects, but take them back towards more traditional photography.  One of my favorite alternative or historic processes is Cyanotype.  

Going HomeGoing Home2017 Charlene Martin

This process brings back a little more of the cheerfulness of going home.  The cyan is just a happy spring color and the telephone wires are a little more subdued.

Continuing my search for a more hands on approach with my art, I've started exploring a couple of different mediums, scratchboard and relief printing.  When trying something totally new, it's comforting to have a familiar friend along with you...  

2017 Charlene Martin

I'm still struggling with how and when to flip the print and when to inverse the image.  I did the carving on a clear PVC printmaking block.  I'm fairly satisfied for it being one of my first tries.  I printed it with water based ink and a brayer.  Hoping to have a few more blocks ready to go and some free time for the next open studio at the Write Place/Tuleburg Press (

2017 Charlene Martin


]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) alternative photography cyanotype encaustic photo-encaustic photography relief print Wed, 30 Aug 2017 14:30:00 GMT
Kaleidoscopic Images I've been working with a little tool I made from mirrored plexi-glass this summer.  Thank you Tap Plastics! I lucked out and found what I needed in the "scrap" bin last year.  

The ViewerThe Viewer©2017 Charlene Martin

I was initially thinking of a much larger piece to use with my Canon 5D, Mark II.  I put that all together too, but found it just too unwieldy.  I made a few images in May of last year with it, but tired of it quickly, So I'd put them away away for a while.  


Funny thing is that nearly to the day a year later, I thought... why not try it again, with the smaller version of the prismatic viewer and my phone?  I'd been thinking about kaleidoscopes and mandalas; and wondering how I could create something like them with a camera.

Consoling the SoulConsoling the Soul©2017 Charlene Martin Paper Cranes for PeacePaper Cranes for Peace2017 Charlene Martin

WOW!  So much more fun and interesting this time around.  Of course the desert in Spring and lots of alone time for creating helped too.  My trip to the desert and the impact of Manzanar along with how I've been feeling about my country inspired most of this series of photographs.  I feel the crazy views align with the crazy thinking and actions I'm seeing around me.    Fourth of JulyFourth of July2017 Charlene Martin

I've experimented with various lenses and I really like the fisheyes with the prismatic viewer.  These give a much more kaleidascope look.  Using a narrower lens, I'm able to get more control over the image and make something more intentionally mandala-ish.  

Summer LightSummer Light2017 Charlene Martin Summer LightSummer Light2017 Charlene Martin Summer LightSummer Light2017 Charlene Martin

I'm figuring out how exactly I want to print them.  I'm leaning towards the black backgrounds around the circle images.  I'm also thinking there may be a way to have them as semi-transparent circles and hang them as a mobile.  One idea is to mount them and use encaustic medium to add elements of glass and mirror.  I've ordered some little mirror triangle pieces.  So maybe in a week or two, I'll have some more experimental images to share.  My friend, Sam introduced me once as someone who "makes terrific photographs and then does something wild with them."  It can be illuminating to see yourself though someone else.  And so the journey continues...


]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) alternative photography kaleidoscope mandala photography prismatic viewer Wed, 23 Aug 2017 19:33:27 GMT
Farmers' Market Lumens I've scanned in the lumens from earlier in the week. 

I had a bit of a breakthrough this week.  Initially, I was thinking that these flowers were on the way out, so I'd better use them fast!  Knowing that I could get them again at the next market, I created the initial compositions thinking that they were a "test" and that I'd really be looking at them more as pieces than a total composition.  So I've been zooming in and taking a closer look at the parts.  It's turned out that I'm liking they even more the closer I zoom and the more abstract they become. 

What do you think?  

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) alternative photography lumen Fri, 11 Aug 2017 00:26:29 GMT
Lumens in process... Last week I had some super productive days.  Getting the patio cleaned up really elevated my mood.  That along with some farmers market flowers that were past their prime gave me some super lumens.  I'll be sprucing them up soon, but here's what they look like as they just get started in the sun.  Scanning the finished exposures into the computer tonight.  

Lumens in process©2017 Charlene Martin Lumens in process©2017 Charlene Martin

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) alternative process lumen Tue, 08 Aug 2017 02:56:28 GMT
Photo-Encaustic - A Step along the Journey This is one of my favorite photos from my series of photographs exploring motion and speed.  It all started with boredom in the passenger seat on a long drive.  It keeps me quiet. :)   I've printed up a few of these images here and there.  Seeing how the stokes of the encaustic medium simulate the flow of the movement of these images... I put the two together.  Just found this little Adobe Spark story that I made some time ago.  It walks you through the process from the image to the finished encaustic work.  Let me know what you think. Photo-Encaustic Journey

This is the finished photo-encaustic work that I titled "Passage".  It's an 8" x 10" work on cradled board, priced at $125.

©2016 Charlene Martin

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) alternative photography art photoencaustic photo-encaustic photography Thu, 03 Aug 2017 20:55:06 GMT
Field Trip to Ruth Bancroft Garden Spring always puts a spring in my step... Last weekend, I joined some fellow photographers from the Viewpoint Photographic Art Center on a field trip.  We met at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek.  It was an easy drive over on a quiet Saturday morning.  If you want to check it out for yourself, here's their website  They were all so friendly and the garden was busy, but it wasn't too hard to photograph around other visitors and photographers.

Ruth Bancroft Garden

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Ruth Bancroft Spring cactus flowers garden succulent Wed, 30 Mar 2016 01:34:17 GMT
Fall Finish Friends of the Lodi LibraryCome on in! Fall already?  We've been traveling quite a bit and enjoying the vacation homes of family and friends.  I've got a couple of projects finishing up.  I did the editing for a crew of photographers with San Joaquin Art Expressions.  They are having a grand opening this Friday.  I'm going to miss it, sigh.  You should still go.  They are a great group of artists and the project is commemorating a unique San Joaquin charity, Gospel Mission.  They've been helping people get sober and off the streets for 75 years! 
One of my favorite charities is the Friends of the Lodi Public Libray.  All libraries in general, but these folks are dear to my heart.  We're letting people know one of Lodi's best kept secrets - gently used and inexpensive books are available at the Friends of the Library bookstore.  It's just off the lobby of the library.  The best part?  You get to feel great about buying knowing that your money is going right into programs for fellow citizens at the library.   
I've created a little calendar with images from the downtown Lodi Farmers Market.  12 - 5x5 inch prints  worthy of framing after the year is done.  You can pick one up at Lodi Community Art Center for $30.  Drop me an email if you're interested in more.  
]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Friends library nonprofit Fri, 09 Oct 2015 01:31:55 GMT
Virtual Hugs Thanks for all your support during my show at Hutchins St Square.  It was a lot of work to make sure there were some new images framed and ready for display. I had great support from my family in helping me transform one of our guest rooms into a framing and storage space.  It was quite a few steps bringing 25+ framed pieces up the stairs. Getting together that much work all along those beautiful walls felt like a real accomplishment. I get a thrill out of seeing them together like that and talking to people about them.  The other two "solo" shows I have this year fell through, but I'm almost always at the Lodi Community Art Center and the Elsie May Goodwin Gallery.
I'll have a booth up at Heritage Oak Winery Art Fair, June 20th.  Come on out, enjoy some wine and art.  
Enjoy your summer!  
]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) between the vines vineyard Tue, 05 May 2015 21:00:00 GMT
Venturing out... I've been working up the courage to send my art further out into the world.  Well, I'm taking baby steps this spring.  Three different friends suggested I enter in upcoming shows in Elk Grove.  Granted, not that far.  The first to get back was the Art of Excellence show by the Elk Grove Artists.  All three entries were accepted into the show!  It's going to be a busy weekend for me, with the Art Hop reception on the 1st and the Elk Grove show on the 2nd and 3rd.  Come out and enjoy a weekend of art with me.  

Art Hop - Friday, May 1, 6:00 - 8:30 PM, Hutchins Street Square, 125 S Hutchins St, Lodi.  Pianist, Sue Frueh will be performing, and we'll have Art, Appetizers & Beverages - Bring a friend or two. ;)  Big thanks for funding and support from Lodi Arts Commission, City of Lodi and Lodi Arts Foundation!  /

Art of Excellence - May 2nd & May 3rd 10am-5pm at the Elk Grove Park Pavilion 9950 Elk Grove-Florin Rd, Elk Grove.  The indoor Pavilion at Elk Grove Park is transformed into a gallery with framed artwork hung on professional show panels and sculptures placed on draped tables.


HummingbirdHummingbird Cutting the Grapes - TripticCutting the Grapes - Triptic    BootsBoots   

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:53:47 GMT
Procrastination It's always a new years resolution... less procrastination!  This is a special issue with photography.  If you don't take the shot when you see it, next time the light won't be right, or the scene could be completely gone.  There was a beautiful vineyard with a handsome oak just perfectly set in the middle.  I'd talked myself out of stopping for years, then one day - it's gone!  The tree, the vineyard, everything has been taken out and a new vineyard is being installed.  sigh.

Several times a week I drive through Victor, California.   Every time I look for these shadows. It's interesting to watch how they change with the seasons and time of day.  Finally, one fall morning I stopped to make a photograph of them.  There was a small works show at the Viewpoint Photographic Center that I'd been working up the courage to enter.  These shadows and starkness of the buildings and palms seemed to have great potential.  I wanted them to be really special, so I decided small cyanotypes would be perfect.  

They weren't accepted into the show. :(  I always tell people, try it... you never know what the judges will like... Just enter your best  or favorite work and see what happens.  Don't take it to heart if it's not selected.  Ha!  Great advice, but hard to practice.  I really do love these little works and when they weren't accepted, I put them away in a drawer.

A few months later, here's the Spring Show entry form... well, I had a couple of works that have been shown before and had received great feedback.  So while I'm entering them I start thinking about those little cyanotypes again.  Well, why not?  Cool, they were accepted.  So I'm thinking, yea!  I'm going to get them "professionally" framed.  Time goes by and sure enough, the last day to enter I'm cutting a mat for them.  I'm pretty good with one window, but three!?!  That's a stretch for me.  I was close to just taking the others and putting these back in the drawer.  But I kept at it and got a pretty nice looking presentation.  

So, guess who received an honorable mention!  Another reminder to not give up, stop and make time to take those images you want and enter you favorite works.  Each day is a new opportunity to start again.  

Hope you get to see them in person at the Spring Art Show, at Woodbridge by Mondavi, 5950 East Woodbridge Road, Acampo.  The preveiw gala is April 10th at 7PM and the show is free to the public April 11th and 12th from 11AM to 5PM.

Palm Shadows - TriptychPalm Shadows - Triptych

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Fri, 03 Apr 2015 23:54:18 GMT
Woodbridge Uncorked Twice in less than a week, we enjoyed celebrations at Woodbridge Uncorked.  We had a wonderful time at Woodbridge Uncorked's St. Patrick's Celebration.  Then again last night, we celebrated their membership in the Lodi Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon cutting.  Always a spot to enjoy the company of old friends and meet new friends.

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]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Thu, 19 Mar 2015 18:30:28 GMT
March Already?!? January didn't appear to be a very creative month for me.  I did get my encaustic studio area setup, but not much production from that yet.  February was mostly an iPhoneography month.  I tend to post those on Facebook, but I might create a little portfolio of that work here too.

Art hop venues for the year are booked, May, August and October.  More info to come soon, or check out Facebook.I’ve done a couple more commercial jobs recently, portraits of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce staff and some sample for a new winery and event space.

I’m getting excited about an artist retreat this month out in the desert.  Initially, I was thinking, “oh, great, I’ll be wanting some warm weather by then.”  But, we’ve had some beautiful spring weather.  We've had a couple evenings of just enjoying a glass of wine and the sunset.  Ahhhh, love Spring in California.



]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Art Hop Vineyard spring winery Mon, 09 Mar 2015 23:18:36 GMT
Welcome into my studio In November, my friend Suzane Hambleton at made a video of me working in my studio.  We looked at weaving images, cyanotypes and a little more in depth on my Lumen printing.  It was a great experience and has inspired me to keep the studio "video" ready.  In preparation, my mom and I went through a cleaning frenzy.  We took out everything that wasn't part of a project that I'd be working on in the next three months.  So nice to have a space that works for me again.  Even more of a challenge as this week I've got my encaustic studio area setup and I'm working on creating with that medium.  But that will be another post. ;)  Hope everyone has love, laughter, health and success in 2015.

Alternative Process PhotographerInviting you into the studio to see me at work.

]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Work artist cyanotype lumen studio Wed, 31 Dec 2014 20:57:39 GMT
Photo Weaving - "Shades of the Harvest" Thanks to everyone who came out last weekend for my reception at the Goodwin Gallery.  I don't show works there very often, so it was great to celebrate at that beautiful venue.  As the featured artist there this month, I thought I'd show examples of my journey over the last year and a half as a photographer.  Rather than physical journeys through space, I've been making a journey through processes in photography.  I've been working with both digital and handmade processes.  One of my experiments in the studio has been with weaving photographic prints together to create another view.  Here's a few images of how one of my more successful works was put together, "Shades of the Harvest".

"Resting in the Shade" prepared for weaving.Print with horizontal slices ready for weaving.

"On the Vine"Print with vertical slices for weaving.

Close up of the first few weaves.


]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Between the Vines Vineyard Tue, 11 Nov 2014 20:42:46 GMT
Agent! @ Lodi Grape Festival I had a busy weekend... well, mostly it was a busy Saturday and a lazy Sunday to recover.  I had the chance to spend the day in the studio to finish up the photographs of a local Lodi band, Agent!  These are the types of jobs I love: beer, good music and fun people.  These guys have been playing music together since high school.  I won't venture to guess how long ago that was.  Although, once they start playing, it's fun to see these "grown ups" transform into fun loving kids.  Especially, when they played hard like this for nearly four hours.  Playing favorites from back in the day as well as some original songs.  


Inspired by band's creativity, I tried to get some creative angles and applied some different looks to the final product.  If you want to get inspired of just have a hell of a good time check out their Facebook page for upcoming gigs.

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]]> (Charlene Martin Photography) Agent Band Festival Grape Lodi Music Rock Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:48:45 GMT