Framed 5 X 7 Gallery
I've been hard at work once again crafting a slew of the smaller versions of my larger pieces of work, this time producing the 5X7 framed images displayed here on these pages. Since the start of the Great Recession five years ago now, I, along with many of the artists I've talked to, have seen a drop in sales of their work at galleries, in stores and at the various arts and crafts shows all of us participate in. No doubt, this can be directly attributed to the harsh financial times many Americans have suffered through in these years past and a testimony to the lack of resources shoppers have for such luxury items as arts & crafts. I started producing the framed 5X7 versions of my larger pieces a few years and have seen sales of these items out pace any of my larger pieces during this same time period. It became evident to me that a page on my website featuring these newly created items, needed to be offered.
The Great Recession hit me like it did many across this landscape of ours, like a sledgehammer on your frostbit fingers over an anvil! While I had adequately mixed and matched education, professions and income over the years to make ends meet, in 2008 when this economic calamity hit, I was not the least bit prepared for it. When I was laid off from the pretty decent job I had as a project manager working for an engineering company out of Salt Lake City, Utah, I was forty-eight years old, not finished with the pursuit of my bachelorís degree at that point, saddled with two mortgages on my quaint house in Pittsfield, MA and buried in credit card debt. I quickly expended the financial resources I had available to me at the time even though I did qualify to receive unemployment for a number of weeks and later months, as a result of returning to college for two semesters of fulltime study. But by the time I finished that degree in December of 2009, I had run out of unemployment benefits, amassed over $9000 in new college loan debt and had absolutely no job prospects in western Massachusetts! I struggled on for another year without much hope and then was finally led (by my two older brothers) back to northern California where I spent over three months in late 2010 and early 2011, trying to find a job and the right place to be. Some of those times are captured in the Pacific Coast section of my website. While the scenery and times were memorable, they did little to resolve the financial free-fall that had started for me in late autumn of 2008.
When I arrived back in Massachusetts, I had to vacate my house in Pittsfield, to rent it out to a family for a reasonable amount of money. I moved in with my brother and sister-in-law in Northampton, MA, setup a little wood shop in their basement and there, first started constructing the smaller 5X7 framed images for sale in the few arts & crafts shows I had enrolled in for that summer. They sold well enough and inspired me to create more. Obviously, income for simple items, even such as the weathered barnboard I use for the frames, was not easy to come by at that point as I had to watch every dollar going in and out of my pockets (should have been doing that more tightly prior to 20008!) Anyways, I made batches of the 5X7 framed pieces got them out into new stores and sold them at shows and did quite well with them during this time period. One footnote about the weathered barnboard that I actually put into use for these 5X7 framed pieces; the wood actually came from a set for a Barrington Stage Company production at the Berkshire Athenaeum in the summer of 2006. I was working for Barrington Stage Company at that time as their Facilitiesí Manager and salvaged the wood in question at the conclusion of this particular show. It was rough-cut pine and painted to look like real weathered barnboard. I had in storage at my sisterís and brother-in-lawís barn in Lanesboro, MA since, but put it into use for these pieces, albeit, I set it outside for a season to let the untreated side of all these boards age naturally Ė which worked fine!
So we have this batch of 5X7 framed pieces, nineteen in all to start and all the images pictured here taken within the last nine months from the upstate New York region where I now live. Some of the images were captured while paddling on Round Lake last summer with my honey, others while touring the Adirondacks last fall or this past winter (also with my honey!) As you can see, the focus of my lens has not changed, Iím still aiming for those timeless, bucolic, back-roads/America-kind-of-scenes. There is no end to the roads here in upstate New York for me to explore, nor the barns and farms scattered about this landscape I hope to photograph. Besides the Upstate New York unframed photographs section of this website, this is probably where Iíll feature my newest photographs going forward. If I produce them as 5X7ís and they do well, Iíll start producing them in the more typical larger format framed photographs. Of course, if you see something you like here and would like to see that same photograph in a larger size, please do not hesitate to ask, I can produce almost instantaneously!