Contact Jonah

To acquire prints, license images or simply say hello, please complete the form below.

Join my Mailing List

Receive periodic updates from my studio, new artwork, news, exhibits, special promotions for subscribers, and more. Unsubscribe at any time.

  In The Studio

From Raw Material to Dream

Raw Material #2As shot in camera

I wrote two weeks ago that photography has a disadvantage of being based on reality. Something has to be in front of the camera for a photograph to result.

if this is a negative, why is photography my chosen medium?

For precisely the same reason—that photography is based on reality.

Compared to other visual arts, photography is the closest to reality. I want my artwork to have a semblance of reality, such that the viewer has to wonder whether the artwork is “real or not.” I want viewers to feel like they are in a dream.

And the way I achieve this dream-like feeling is through my process.

I mentioned a while back that I use photographs as raw material. This is why I don’t post work-in-progress images. Camera images are essentially unfinished. The transformation from raw materials to finished image is pretty stark:

Raw materials:

Raw material #1 of sky and the trees, as shown above, comes from an image that I took in a southeastern Maryland golf course!

Raw material #2 is a gate I found around my Baltimore neighborhood. I loved the medieval character of this gate.

Raw Material #1As shot in camera

Juxtaposed together, I get the final image:

The Unremembered Gate, 2012Cyanotype Print With Digital Drawing. 17" x 11.4". Limited edition of 12. © Jonah Calinawan

When I took the image of the sky, I didn’t know that it would end up in the final image. I love creating work where I don’t actually know what the final picture will look like--until the moment I create it. I like to create a final image that did exist in front of the camera.

My work is printed—not in color or black & white—but using the cyanotype printing process. More than any other printing process, the cyanotype blue heightens the dream-like feeling that I’m going for in my artwork.

To what end?

To elicit a sense of awe, which is one of the purposes of myth.


#art process

Interested in My Work?

Join my Mailing List
© 2012-2019 Jonah Calinawan. All Rights Reserved.