NOTES FROM THE STUDIO/LAB Encounters with Art and Science February 2023

NOTES FROM THE STUDIO/LAB Encounters with Art and Science February 2023


TOUCH OF BLUES -Photograph of crystalline tartaric acid found in wine. -NEW!


"I think that sometimes we need permission to stop and adore, and a work of art grants us that." -Patrick Bringley, author




When the St Francis Hotel in San Francisco's Union Square first opened its doors in 1904, it immediately became one of the city's most prestigious addresses. Its 6,000-square-foot lobby has always been one of the busiest rendezvous locations in the country. Ansel Adams, who was hired by the St Francis in 1939 to photograph the hotel's interior, has a collection of his photographs on display there.

The iconic St Francis has survived earthquakes, fires, scandals, and an abundance of famous and not-so-famous personalities as guests, so considering this rather astounding pedigree, you can imagine how honored I am to announce that my crystal photograph, Blossom, will grace the permanent art collections in two of the St Francis' newly remodeled 31st-floor suites.

If you have an occasion to check into one of these sure-to-be sumptuous lodgings, please send me a photo. I've heard the view is quite extraordinary from up there.

- Lee




The view is also quite extraordinary at the Arizona Fine Art Expo, home to my studio/gallery until March 26. This is my eighth season under the big (40,000+ square feet) white tents, which I share with 80 very talented local, national, and international artists.

You can find me there every day with the exception of Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition to plenty of crystal photos on display, I'm able to have a fully functioning crystal growing laboratory, complete with my microscope and a monitor to show visitors all the action. So be sure to tell your friends and plan on a visit to the show.

The Arizona Fine Art Expo is located at the SW corner of Scottsdale and Jomax Road, 26540 N. Scottsdale Rd. in North Scottsdale, Admission for a season pass is $12 for adults, $10 seniors and military, and children under 12 are free. Show hours: 10-6 pm daily. Wheelchair accessible with Free Parking.



July 22-23, 2023 Broadmoor Arts Festival -Colorado Springs, CO

July 29-30, 2023 Avon Arts Festival -Avon, CO

August 4-6, 2023 Kimball Festival of the Arts -Park City, UT


EBB AND FLOW -Photograph of crystalline tartaric acid found in wine. -NEW!



Seeing and Believing

We all have blind spots. In the center of the eye's retina is an area where the optic nerve fibers join together to allow our 126 million photo-receptors to send signals to the brain for processing. There are no photo-receptors here, and at that nexus of fibers, no image can be formed. So why is there no "hole" in our vision? Our brain simply makes a best guess as to what occupies that empty space in the visual field, then literally fills in the blanks with made-up stuff.

This adaptability of vision and brain was truly put to the test when 20-year-old Pete Eckert was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable genetic eye disease that was to rob him of his sight. Eckert decided to channel his feelings of loss into art and set out to teach himself photography.

The result has been a very successful career as a commercial photographer. His photographs employ long exposures and "painting" with light, Eckert builds pictures in his mind, using both sound and touch to visualize his subjects."I actually build the images with layers and layers of information -- I'm memorizing the layers as I put them together," said Eckert.

His ghostly images have been published by Playboy magazine, which commissioned a series of eerie nudes, Swarovski jewelers, and Volkswagen, which hired Eckert to photograph its new car for an advertising campaign.

Photography by Pete Eckert

"You come to understand the 'sound signature' of an object," he said. "Take a stop sign, for instance. A stop sign shimmering in the wind vibrates and (projects) this image that oscillates. At first, you can't hear the pole holding up the sign ... but it has a sound shadow that's many feet long. "I actively listen to things, and then go up to touch them so I can relate the sound shadow to what that object actually is," he said. "I'm slowly building a language of sound to associate with the objects."

"Like a bat, I can use my voice to echolocate my model. In (my pitch-black studio), I layer light, measuring what I've done until I'm satisfied with the image in my mind's eye.

Pete Eckert's artistic journey is a reminder of how our ability to see and interpret the world around us is wonderfully fluid. In art, as in science, observational skills lie at the forefront. Through close examination we notice the slight and subtle differences, the quiet connections between things, and the result is so much more rewarding than just filling in the blanks with made-up stuff.

Photography by Pete Eckert

"You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle." -Paulo Coelho -author

If you enjoyed my newsletter, please forward it to your art loving friends, we will welcome them into our family.

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