Month: November 2013

AMINAH BEE at 1-Month, in a pocket by Nawfal Johnson

AMINAH BEE at 1-Month, in a pocket by Nawfal Johnson

Title: “AMINAH BEE at 1-Month.”
Subject: Cat Portraiture.
Creation Year: 2004.
Copyright: © 2004 Nawfal Johnson Photography ~ All Rights Reserved.
This was published in a book titled: The World’s Cutest Animals (something like that – it’s been awhile: ) Aminah Bee is now the matriarch of our cat “sanctuary” – zoo – mad-house of total craziness! LMAO! Insanity is inhereted from your Cats! It’s true!

5-Degrees Sky, V.10, EDIT B by Nawfal Johnson Nur

5-Degrees Sky, V.10, EDIT B by Nawfal Johnson Nur

Title: “5-Degrees Sky, V.10, EDIT B.”
Series: Off World – Alien Landscapes.
Creation Year: 2004.
Copyright: © 2004 Nawfal Johnson Photography ~ All Rights Reserved.
Fine Art Prints & Canvas are available at :
https://tinyurl.com/5-DEGREES-SKY/

** Just a note about this image, and probably the next (probably many) images. I’ve had several hard drive crashes since 2003, and in those cases I’ve lost many photograph files. However, I just rediscovered my imation CD-R’s and many of the photos that were lost are on these CD-R disks…and they still work! Amazing!  Hard drives don’t work forever, but my imation CD’s are still working and I am thrilled with this. My trusty SAMSUNG writemaster CD-RW drive is also working very well.  Yahoo for kick-ass old technology!  I’m just happy that I have recovered so many image and video files – many of which I thought were gone forever. Knowing how reliable my CD’R’s are, I may have to continue backing up some important files on CD’s or DVD’s – I need something that will be reliable for 10 or 20 (or more) years. :^) **

Penang Trees Nawfal Johnson’s Abstract Expressionistic Vision via eFolio Publication

Penang Trees – an Abstract Expressionism Perspective

"Penang Trees - an Abstract Expressionistic Photography Point of View," by Nawfal Johnson Nur, is a collection of 18 art photographs. This series shows "what else" the trees are - their symbolic meanings based on physical characteristics, which in a larger sense, inspired this project.

“Penang Trees – an Abstract Expressionistic Photography Point of View,” by Nawfal Johnson Nur, is a collection of 18 art photographs. This series shows “what else” the trees are – their symbolic meanings based on physical characteristics, which in a larger sense, inspired this project.

The eFolio Photography Book is available for sale at my Sales Gallery at LULU.Com.  This is where I offer many of my publications in eFolio format.  Here is the TinyURL Link to go to my eFolio Publication Page:  https://tinyurl.com/nlzpjus

Here is one of the art pieces from the “Penang Trees” eFolio Collection:

Title:  "Abstract Trees, v14, Edit B." Collection:  Penang Trees. Copyright Nawfal Johnson Nur ~ All Rights Reserved. eFolio Publication 2012.

Title: “Abstract Trees, v14, Edit B.”
Collection: Penang Trees.
Copyright Nawfal Johnson Nur ~ All Rights Reserved.
eFolio Publication 2012.

Book Promotion:

Here is just a note about your own Book Promotion, that is, if you ever wish to publish, or self-publish a book of any kind.  From what I have read, it is your responsibility (yes, your responsibility) to self-promote your publications for at least three years!  Yeap – three years.  That being the case, and because I published the “Penang Trees…” eFolio in 2012, I should mention it until at least 2015.  In fact, I have quite a number of artwork eFolio publications that I need to self-promote, at least more often.  Self-Publish, or publish through a traditional publishing house, it is usually good to promote your work whenever possible.  You have to get the word out there.  I like the old saying,

“If you don’t toot your own horn, who will?”

This saying is very true, and I think that most artists would agree there is some validity to this practice:  There is so much artwork out there – it is very easy to get lost in all the visual “noise” out in the world – on the Internet.

If we (in general) are lucky enough, some day, to reach the level of fame of Richard Avedon, Salvador Dalí, Annie Leibovitz, or, hummmmmm, Diego Rivera – then WOW, we will have ALL SORTS OF PR People wanting to help us get commissioned work, published work, and museum and gallery shows.  UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, God Willing, we will have to be the ones doing all the “heavy lifting” getting the word out there that we exist, that we have good artwork for sale, that we have published work that is cool, and all the other things we need to do as artists.

Anyway…that’s all for now.

Jayalakshmi Eshwar, Bharatanatyam Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer

Photo Details: Jayalakshmi Eshwar - Bharatanatyam Exponent, who is an internationally acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer, performer, choreographer, and teacher. She studied under the famous master of Bharatanatyam, the (Late) Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale. Jayalaskshmi Eshwar is the founder of Abhinayaa - Centre of Dance, New Delhi, India.

Photo Details: Jayalakshmi Eshwar – Bharatanatyam Exponent, who is an internationally acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer, performer, choreographer, and teacher. She studied under the famous master of Bharatanatyam, the (Late) Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale. Jayalaskshmi Eshwar is the founder of Abhinayaa – Centre of Dance, New Delhi, India.

FRUSTRATED with Saatchi Online

Not long ago, I wrote to Saatchi Online asking why my perfectly good photo files were not accepted for any Prints for Sale, by their uploading software.

They responded very quickly and I was happy with that.  They explained that photo files must be of certain aspect ratios – one of them was 1:1 – a Square. I believe that photo files must be a minimum of 1500 x 1500 also.  All photos I upload are considerably larger than 1500 x 1500 at 300ppi.  In other words, I make sure that all my files meet and surpass requirements.

Therefore, to make my life easier, I decided to crop some image files to 1:1 so I can upload “acceptable” files to their sales website:  To my Sales Gallery.

Guess what?  Now they have some ridiculous line in their uploading form for DIMENSIONS:  H, W, and D(epth).  Like, OK, get real Saatchi.  Why is dimensions required for print sales?  It makes no sense.  A customer may want a smaller print or larger print – the size may not even be the same as the one I would list.

I UNCHECKED the box that says, I want to sell the original.  That obviously means that I want to sell ONLY PRINTS of my DIGITAL Photo files.  I AM NOT selling original paintings.  Therefore, I was hoping that the DIMENSIONS boxes would be removed from the uploading form – HOWEVER, even with the “I want to sell the original” box UNCHECKED,  I am still required to enter the DIMENSIONS – that is ludicrous.

Yeah, my print at 150ppi is 13.49 x 13.49 x .05  inches (for example)!  What the $hit?  How the hell do I know what the measurement is for DEPTH?  How thick is Photo Luster paper?  How thick is Epson Matte Paper?  Good Grief!  Why would anyone want to know that?  Why am I REQUIRED to put in the DIMENSIONS of photo prints – I don’t even know what it would be.  It is unnecessary information – it is making the artist / photographer’s life more complicated.  I don’t need more complications in my life:  I already have enough – I don’t want any more – thank you very much!

I think I will avoid as much complications and ONLY UPLOAD MY PHOTOS AT IMAGEKIND!  I can throw any size photo at IMAGEKIND and they do the ‘heavy-lifting’ for me.

I don’t care if there is some cropping when Canvas Artwork is printed – it isn’t so much and I don’t have to worry about it.  We, Artists ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH TO THINK ABOUT.  Online Sales Galleries should NOT make our lives more difficult – they should help us make our lives easier.

That’s my 2-cents worth.  I really wanted to give Saatchi another chance – but I’m frustrated with the difficult nature of uploading images.  The numbers should tell me something about who makes life easier for me:  I have almost 700 Art Photographs for sale at   http://nawfalnur.imagekind.com/ , and only 30 images at Saatchi.

I believe I won’t aggravate myself anymore with Saatchi – Maybe it is a great place for other people, but it has not been for me.

COLORED BLOCKS and SHADOWS, Number 2, and Random Thoughts on Human Mortality and the Creative Life

Title:  "COLORED BLOCKS & SHADOWS, Number 2." Genre:  Macro Still Life / Table-Top Still Life. Copyright Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved.   Penang, Malaysia.

Title: “COLORED BLOCKS & SHADOWS, Number 2.”
Genre: Macro Still Life / Table-Top Still Life.
Copyright Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.

BEING AWAKE and MOVING FORWARD

Time on this earth is really very limited.  I think that many people believe that their time on this earth is more than what it really will be.  Therefore, many people have the attitude that they can put things off until later.

I have kind of learned to dislike the non-action statement of, “I’ll do that later.”

What if you DON’T make it until ‘later’?

I think that having a disease of any sort, it sort of causes you to live in a different reality than many other people.  Living with some disease is a very powerful and awakening experience.  It means that you may have to do some things differently than someone who has ‘good health’.   What is ‘good health’?  I have always equated ‘good health’ with NOT having any ailments.  However, ‘good health’ could mean being at complete peace with whom you are – ailments or no ailments.  I need to think about this one more before coming to any conclusions about what ‘good health’ really means.

Health is a topic that sits pretty high on the surface of my mind.  My chronic anterior uveitis (iritis is part of anterior uveitis) has been one such health experience that is fresh on my mind.  Anterior Uveitis is a very difficult and painful reality for many people who suffer (and it is extreme suffering a lot of the time) from Ankylosing Spondylitis.

I never imagined that at a relatively reasonable age (48), I would have some permanent damage to my eyes; nevertheless, that is my new normal – my new reality.  Now I see a lot of clutter…a lot of pigments…a lot of ‘crap’ in my vision, and this has been quite disheartening for me.

I was always so used to having decent eyesight:  clear, crisp, focused, with no obstructions of any sort.  As a photographer, having good eyesight is usually a very necessary thing.  Of course, it is not required necessarily to create good and meaningful images, but it does make life easier.

Seeing crud in my vision has gotten old very quickly.  It is not an enjoyable thing at all.  It is very distracting.  Also, in the sunlight, the refraction off the pigments stuck to my eye’s lens, makes it easier to get eye-headaches.  Going outside in the tropical sun, for me, means having to wear sunglasses all the time.

Do not misunderstand me:  I am very grateful that I did not lose total eyesight in my right eye.  I am very thankful for the eye doctor I have now – my doctor is very amazing.  Let me digress a little and tell you a story about something that happened last Friday.  Last Friday, I thought I had an eye doctor appointment, but I was mistaken.  I went to the hospital, walked into the eye clinic and there were no patients in the waiting area.  I knew that something was very wrong with that picture.  There are normally 50 or more patients waiting to see the eye doctors in the eye clinic.  I got a little nervous:  I began thinking that I screwed up my appointment time, the date, or even the wrong week.  Luckily my eye doctor walked out of a training session she was in at that time, and she said, “Are you here to see me…today?”  She was confused why I was there.  After some checking in the appointment book, we discovered that I was mistaken about my appointment time and date.  Oops.  However, in all the confusion, and even though I did NOT have an appointment at that time, my doctor found an open office that was available, and she said, “Come on…let’s check your eyes.”  She set me in front of the refraction glass microscope, and she spent about 20 minutes with me checking out my eyes.  What an awesome doctor I have! 

  • I am so very grateful that some how, she entered  into my life at this time, during a very difficult time, with my eye disease.  For me, that is a “WOW” circumstance.   

You see, when you face some difficulty on a daily basis, I’ll use myself as an example, with Ankylosing Spondylitis, and Chronic Anterior Uveitis, I believe I think about each day with a bit more…what should I say here without creating some misunderstanding…it is like my thinking becomes filled with more urgency…getting things done brings on a new sort of critical need.  I ask myself very often, 

How can I move forward in a better way, knowing that it is very likely that I will face more pain while doing some task.  Chronic Pain can be a horrible anchor chained to your back.  Chronic Pain challenges you in ways that are different from people who do not suffer from chronic pain.  I equate Chronic Pain with some sort of unwelcome visitor who I wish would just go away…at least for some time.  Despite the physical pain I have, I know that people are counting on me; I have deadlines to meet despite the arthritis I have; I also have creative urges and needs to fulfill a powerful internal creative requirement that I feel I must do with a certain kind of perfectionism.  Despite being ‘Arthritically-Challenged’, the show must go on, so to speak (LOLOL! I don’t think that Arthritically-Challenged is a real word, but I don’t care – it is a real fact for millions of people who suffer from any sort of autoimmune disorder, cancer, disability, or arthritic disease).

If you are any sort of freelance or independent artistic person, then you still must plan, you must create, and you must deal with all sorts of business and creative challenges.  In addition to and because of the disease that we “own” [as one friend told me –  Marina :^)  ], I believe that we were just given an extra responsibility and challenge in our creative lives, to overcome – and in the end, that should make us stronger – in fact, it MUST make us stronger.  Does this make any sense…?

* What contribution should I make today, for myself, my family, and in this universe.  What could I do that would be something meaningful in a grander scale? 

Here I go off in another direction.

I do not like selfish behavior – I do not like the “Kiasu” attitude that is so prevalent today.  “Kiasu is a Hokkien and Singlish word that literally means ‘fear of losing’.” (Source – Wikipedia).  This attitude is a ME-CENTRIC selfish sort of behavior.  People selfishly cutting in line (any line, at the store, while driving, etc), that is one type of Kiasu behavior.  What if instead of thinking of yourself first, that you thought of other people first?  I am not saying that self-preservation is not important, not at all.  What I’m saying is that some people go WAY-OVER the top with selfishness.  What about being helpful to other people?  What would that day look like?  Sure, you should still be thinking of yourself, but not so aggressively, especially when other people get hurt in the process.

By the way, this post has nothing to do with my photograph (above), well, nothing that I can think of at the moment.

As George Carlin said:  “I don’t do transitional work as you can see,” moving right along to the next thought.

And moving right along…I’m very sorry if this post sounds a little depressing, or… I don’t know…I think I’m in a bit of a funk.

I just want to move forward.

I just want to take more risks so I can fall on my face a lot:  I know it will be painful, but at least I’ll be moving forward!

My favorite quote on moving forward is from Brooks Jensen, the founder of LENSWORK Magazine.  He said:  “Even if I’m falling on my face, at least I’m moving forward.”  That thought is very powerful.  To risk, to do, to even be brave enough to look foolish because you did something outside your comfort zone and failed – that means you are falling on your face…that means you are learning and moving forward.  I want to do that more.  I need to do that more.

I need the “right people”…by that, I, as a freelance artist and photographer, need my work to be exposed (pun intended I guess) to art buyers.  Art Buyers are those people who make decisions about whose artwork will be purchased for some purpose.  For an artist to survive, we need to grab the attention of art buyers.

Sometimes, I wonder, “Where the hell are the Art Buyers!?!”  “I am an Art Photographer – I have some interesting work, I think?, HERE ME SCREAMWhat more do I need to do?  Where are you?”  These are quite important questions.  As artists we need to be fulfilled by our creative works – this is something that comes from our creative soul.  However, to be in business, it is a must that we sell our works and our services.  The whole ideal of being in business is to make a profit.  I don’t think any artist really wants to live a  Vincent van Gogh-life – do they?

Reality is…as an artist, we need to find the key that opens ‘artistic’ doors,  and we also need the keys that open opportunities to successfully fulfill our economic needs.  This is not so easy.  I know I need to constantly be productive.  I must always be creating new work and getting it out there into the world, e.g., I MUST PROMOTE my work in all ways possible.  If I don’t shamelessly promote my work, who will?  No one.  I am responsible for creation and promotion.

I think I’m having some sort of crisis…you can just ignore me – it is OK.  I don’t want my crisis to turn into some sort of virus – I don’t want my funk to affect anyone else…please forgive me.  I will dive into my work and I will be fine.

And speaking of “time”… (remember, I don’t do transitional work).

Yeah, sometimes I think about the question, “How much time do I have?”  I would guess that it is a very legitimate question to ask yourself.  Don’t obsess over this question – no, no, no, that’s probably not healthy.  However, to be aware of this question and knowing that your time is limited, is of some value.  We should know that we must do things that are bigger than ourselves…that are bigger than our own desires…things that help other people.

I do believe that our actions are like an echo that sounds out and returns to us:

If you yell out, “I hate you!”  The echo yells back at you, “I hate you!”  If you yell out, “I love you!”  The echo yells back at you, “I love you!”  What you do and put out there does return to you.  Thus, make sure what you put out there is GOOD STUFF!

Well…these are more words than I usual write in a blog post.

I hope that everyone who has stuck with me this far, my friends out there, new and old, I really wish that you have a very fulfilling and creative day.  I wish for you ONLY the BEST in life.  I wish for you that the love you send out into the universe comes back to you.  I am a firm believer in the Newtonian Law – Newton’s Third Law of Motion:

Third law: When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body.

I believe that this law also holds true in how each person exerts a certain force (i.e., attitude, love, positivity, compassion, etc; and this law holds true in the opposite direction, with negative things, hate, negativity,  cruelty, etc.).  Both positive and negative “vibrations” exist.  I guess it is the type of vibration you wish to put out there in the world, which is important.  I know that if I send out good feelings to other people, nearly always, I receive good feelings in return.  I want that…I want more of that in my life.  This makes me feel happy – happier.

I know I’m jumping around here; I believe I am being a bit random in this post.  Oh well, I think my mind is feeling a bit random today.  I better go put some of that randomness-energy into some new artwork.

Take care my friends.

RUSTED EMOTIONS ME, Edit G

RUSTED EMOTIONS ME, EDIT G

Subject: Me – Self-Portrait.
Title: “RUSTED EMOTIONS ME, Edit G.”
Photographer: Nawfal Johnson
Artist: Nawfal Johnson
Style: Abstract Expressionism.
Materials: Acrylic on Skin.
Year: 2012.
The Floor: A HUGE Mess!

ABSTRACTIONS on 13 November 2013, No1

Title:  "ABSTRACTIONS on 13 November 2013, No. 1." Collection:  ABSTRACT PAINT. Collection History:  2012 to 2013. Copyright 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur ~ All Rights Reserved. Penang, Malaysia.

Title: “ABSTRACTIONS on 13 November 2013, No. 1.
Collection: ABSTRACT PAINT.
Collection History: 2012 to 2013.
Copyright 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur ~ All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.

Title: “ABSTRACTIONS on 13 November 2013, No. 1
Collection: ABSTRACT PAINT.
Copyright 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur ~ All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.