This week we are highlighting a selection of photographs by award-winning photographer and Arkansas native, Clint Murchison. Since graduating from the University of Arkansas, Murchison has experimented with various mediums from graphic design to wood and metalwork. He is best known for are his photographs depicting the local Arkansas wildlife with which he enjoys spending time. That love for the outdoor shows through in his photographs in the way that he frames his shots to take advantage of nature’s symmetry and in the way that he embraces the vibrant colours of a flower’s petals or the feathers of a bird. His monochromatic photographs demonstrate a complexity in the subtle play with shadows cast by tree branches.
The first piece that we would like to feature is this macro photograph of a unique looking plant similar to a dandelion –the white pappus floating in the air in stark contrast to the khaki background. The contrast in colour makes this piece unique and exhibits the skill of the photographer. The fluffy white seeds at the centre of the photograph are perfectly balanced by the dried flowers that frame it, showing the various stages of the plant’s lifecycle. Here Murchison finds beauty in what would otherwise go unnoticed. A weed has its place in nature, and given the right lighting and focus, it has a place in a gallery as well.
Next, we have a striking photograph of two red Cardinals delicately perched on branches as snow falls around them. The emphasis of the photograph is on the bright red colour of the birds. Their presence is so majestic that the viewer sees them first and then the context of their habitat. Murchison strikes a gentle balance in this piece through his use of colour. While the background is filled with falling snow and tree branches, the colour scheme is neutral enough that it allows the eye to gravitate towards the subject of this scene. This photograph is a perfect example of Murchison’s skill as a photographer to transport the viewer into his world.
This beautiful monochromatic portrait of a squirrel further shows Murchison’s commitment to exalt nature so that we see it as he does. His use of Bokeh, a photographic technique that renders distant points of light out of focus, moves the eye from the squirrel, situated just left of centre, out towards the background. This photograph needs to be appreciated for its striking detail and the subtlety in the use of colour. Even with a limited colour palette, the texture of the squirrel’s fur and the peeling bark shows through.
This landscape showcases the intentionality with which Murchison setts up a shot. The cornflower blue sky progressively transitions to a light saffron and a slight crescent moon can be seen between the umbra of branches belonging to two trees on either side of the photograph. A tranquil feeling washes over you as you look at this photograph. You can picture yourself standing in the photographer’s shoes on a warm summer evening taking in the sunset.
Visit the Murchison Collection to view our complete selection by Client Murchison
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