Artists in Nebraska

A View from the Edge of the Milky Way Galaxy #17

Title: “AVFTEOTMWG #17”.

Creation Date: 28 July 2019

Copyright 2019 Nawfal Johnson

All Rights Reserved.

The Galaxy: Milky Way.

Series: “A View from the Edge of the Milky Way Galaxy.” (2018 – 2019)


☆ You can buy a museum-quality print of this Artwork from my Imagekind sales gallery website, just click on the following link :

“The term Milky Way is a translation of the Latin via lactea, from the Greek γαλαξίας κύκλος (galaxías kýklos, “milky circle”). From Earth, the Milky Way appears as a band because its disk-shaped structure is viewed from within. Galileo Galilei first resolved the band of light into individual stars with his telescope in 1610. Until the early 1920s, most astronomers thought that the Milky Way contained all the stars in the Universe….The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy with a diameter between 150,000 and 200,000 light-years (ly). It is estimated to contain 100–400 billion stars. There are probably at least 100 billion planets in the Milky Way. The Solar System is located within the disk, 26,490 (± 100) light-years from the Galactic Center, on the inner edge of the Orion Arm, one of the spiral-shaped concentrations of gas and dust. The stars in the innermost 10,000 light-years form a bulge and one or more bars that radiate from the bulge. The galactic center is an intense radio source known as Sagittarius A*, likely a supermassive black hole of 4.100 (± 0.034) million solar masses.”

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Abstract Light Streaks #355

Title:  “Abstract Light Streaks #355”.

Series:  ABSTRACT LIGHT STREAKS.   Series Years:  2015 – 2017.   This is my largest photography series with nearly 400 photographs in the collection.  These photographs are created from nighttime lights in Penang, Malaysia.


Influence:  I am highly influenced by my favorite artist, Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), an Abstract Expressionism Painter, some researchers call his style Fractal Expressionism:  he was an important and influential member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism of  the 1950s – 60s.  I take the Abstract (Fractal) Expressionism concept and translate it into abstract photographic art pieces.  Being left-handed, I’ve always been attracted to ambidextrous and mirrored visuals, and I create many ambidextrous visuals—all things equal on the left and right hand sides.




Abstract, Expressionism, Mirrored, Complexism, Fractal, Nawfal, Chaos, Order, Modernism, Photography, Lightstreaks, Urban,

My New Book, Smoke Art, Arthritis and Depression

What does Smoke Art Photography, Arthritis and Depression all have in common?  Well, these are the main topics inside my new book (just published earlier today)!

The description in the photo caption (above) gives a really good indication of my book’s content.

  • My book shows 34 of my smoke art photographs, the Ethereal Dreams & Hope Collection, which includes photos taken between 2007 and June 2011.

Because I have suffered with arthritis for many years, a little over 30 years now, and have coped with long bouts of depression, I wanted this book project to be more than just a book of photographs.  I wanted to mix in words of hope, and together the photos and the words of hope make up this project.

  • I discuss a little about my beginnings with photography.  I also discuss very general details about ankylosing spondylitis, and depression.  I talk about some of my own personal experiences finding out that I have these conditions, and some story about dealing with these medical issue.

Over all, I just want to offer my book as a way to help other people dealing with pain and despair, a way to see things in terms of ‘hope’, and to stress the importance of ‘action’ to make ‘hopes,’ ‘dreams,’ and ‘goals’ to come true.

  • If nothing else comes out of my book, I will be very happy if someone, somewhere, has gotten some reassurance from my words, that things can be better even when living with pain and sadness.  It does not always have to be this way, but much of the effort will be up to you.

Perhaps by reading my book, this can be a small step, at least to see things in terms of ‘hope.’  You may also like seeing my photographs of smoke art – and that would be a real added bonus.

Thank you and take care!


HOT STUFF v6 Scanography

HOT STUFF, v.6, originally uploaded by N. Nur.



Title: “HOT STUFF, v.6”
Creation Date: 26 Nov 2009
Location: Penang, Malaysia.
Genre: Scanography.
Equipment: UMAX ASTRA 5600
PPI: 1200.


Scanography is the opposite of photography. The same rules hardly apply to the other. Being a photographer for so long, it is tough to think in the opposite – and that is an odd feeling.

  • Subject Placement & Lighting

In Photography, you shoot with the subject facing you (usually), and your goal as a Photographer is to apply lighting to the surfaces of the subject from whatever direction you think will get you the best results. Often times, this is from the front, overhead, the sides, and maybe in addition, from behind the subject.

In Scanography, the side of the subject you want to capture is placed FACE DOWN (on the glass) toward the optical lens of the scanner. The main light, and most of the time the only light, is coming from the scanner. For special effects, you can attempt to use additional lighting on the opposite side of the flatbed surface, but the way a scanner captures an image is WAY DIFFERENT FROM A CAMERA.

  • How the Subject is Captured

The camera captures what is seen through the camera lens. The scanner captures the image as the optical lens slides along, underneath the flatbed scanner glass.  The scanner slides (captures the scene as it slides) and lights in progression as it moves across the subject.  Thus, the same lighting rules do NOT apply for photography and scanography.

Scanographic images also work best, in my opinion, with the lid down over the subject to reflect as much light back onto the subject.  Although, for creativity’s sake, other materials and colors can be placed over the subject to create a background other than white.

  • Scanography as an Addition to Your Creative Tools

Scanography can be used as an additional tool in your creative tool kit.  Scanography is a rewarding art form to use to create art pieces that are different from those created with photography.  Scanographs definitely resemble photographs, but as you can see from my “HOT STUFF, v.6” scanograph, the results are different.  For example, notice in the scanograph of the chillies and silver fork the location of the water:  The liquid settles on top of the chillies, as if to defy gravity (settles in the foreground). This experience is the exact opposite of what happens with a photograph setup, where you will see the moisture settle down on to the background material.

In this way, scanographs can create a bit of an optical illusion that makes the viewer’s brain wonder, “What is it that is different in the scene?”  You know something is different but it may take a couple of moments to figure it out.

You can kind of get the same visual results (as a scanograph) with photography if you placed the subject on clear glass and photographed from the bottom upward, but it would still appear different, maybe in subtle ways, but different all the same.

  • File Size and File Dimension Differences between a 1200 ppi Scanograph and a ‘typical’ Digital Photograph from a Digital Camera

Another marked difference between Scanography and Photography is that scanographs, at 1200ppi create HUGE digital files with BIG dimensions. This image ended up (in the original before cropping) at around 6000 pixels wide by 8000 pixels high, and the TIFF file size was around 150MB!  You won’t see that much information captured in one shot with the majority of modern digital cameras.  Of course, the optics of fine photographic equipment is superior to scanner optical lenses, but it is a different tool used to create a different type of visual.

Another interesting item about scanography is that the Scanographist (not sure, but maybe that is a made-up word) has a wide range of settings to play with when creating a scanograph:

  • You can set your desired ppi – I like starting with 1200ppi.
  • You can set your desired file type – I like TIFF output.
  • You can set your desired file dimension – I like A4.
  • Scanography as a way to be Creative when You Feel ‘BLAH’ about Photography

For myself, Scanography is a kind of refuge, especially when I’m feeling distressed with the sameness and the madness of digital photography, where the ‘industry‘ comes up with the next best digital cameras that you MUST purchase or dare you be obsolete, and this seems to happen every six or nine months.

When these feelings of, well, for the lack of a better term, “BLAH“, happen, then I swerve off the road of what Brooks Jensen says is ‘the hamster wheel of digital progress.’  For me, I like to know that I can switch things up a little, and work on some scanographic imaging, so I can be creative in a different way.

In Memory of my Uncle…

In Memory of my Uncle…, originally uploaded by Nawfal Nur.

I dedicate my Abstract Expressionism photograph, “Abstract Tree & Smoke, v.3” to my late Uncle, Lamont Yonkey, of North Platte, Nebraska. This art photograph is bright, colorful and lively, just like my uncle…I think he would have liked it.

He was a great uncle, who I always looked up to. He was a good American, and a dedicated and brave Marine who served America with honor and bravery during the Vietnam War.

I was born on the same day that “Operation Rolling Thunder” started, and my uncle left for Vietnam about a year later, in 1966.

He served two tours in Vietnam. His first tour was with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. His second tour was served with the 27th Marines. While in Vietnam, he received several commendations and a Purple Heart when he was wounded by shrapnel. My Uncle was discharged in June, 1969.

He continued to serve America and Nebraska as a State Trooper, Troop D. My Uncle served with the Nebraska State Patrol from 1972 until he retired in 1997.

My Uncle was ‘hit’ with Lung and Brain Cancer over this last year, which was terminal.

Lamont Paul Yonkey died on August 13, 2008 in North Platte.

I wish I could do more. It is a great loss. It is a sad time for me, but I will always have fond memories of my uncle and will always know that he was a brave man, with a big heart, a good American and a dedicated Marine.

Uploaded by Nawfal Nur on 16 Aug 08, 4.03PM MYT.

"Arts in Nebraska"

Below, is a notice sent to me by email about a new show featuring artists and “Arts in Nebraska.” This should be a very good series: Please check it out.



Arts in Nebraska” is a series of short video segments that provides glimpses into the creative thoughts and processes that inspire this artistry. Tune in Thursday, Aug. 14, at 9:30 p.m. CT on NET1 and NET-HD for the initial broadcast.

But if you miss it, the program will repeat on NET1 and NET-HD on Sunday, Aug. 17, at 11 p.m. CT; Monday, Aug. 18, at 10:30 p.m. CT; and Sunday, Aug. 24, at 1 p.m. CT. It will also be broadcast on NET2 on Saturday, Aug. 16, at 1:30 p.m. CT and Thursday, Aug. 21, at 8:30 p.m. CT.

Artists featured in the program include:
Chiara String Quartet, artists-in-residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Music, travel by bus through western Nebraska with performance stops at Minden, Curtis, Alliance, Halsey National Forest and North Platte;
Wanda Ewing, an Omaha painter, opens a show exploring concepts of beauty inspired by fashion magazines at UNL’s Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery;
Mark Gilbert, a portraitist from Scotland living in Omaha, who does portraits of patients and caregivers as part of a project exploring the connections between art and medicine;
Leslie Iwai, an Omaha performance installation artist, whose installation at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney explores the classic tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”;
Jun Kaneko, Omaha-based internationally renowned sculptor, discusses artistic philosophy and creative process;
Leah Sorensen-Hayes, Lincoln textile artist, working on an experimental quilt incorporating nontraditional quilting techniques;
Thomas Thomas, wood sculptor in Omaha, who creates life-sized creatures and animals out of wood;
Bob Wilson and Beth Davis, Omaha ceramic artists, creating a series of 80 ceramic mosaic murals of some of the earliest pioneers in jazz and blues music.

The individual artist segments will also be available for viewing anytime on NET’s website, The segments will also be accessible to the public on several other media platforms, including YouTube and iTunes.

Production of “Arts in Nebraska” was funded in part by the Nebraska Arts Council.


Thanks Larry K. for this information!