Ellen Hoverkamp Captures Nature’s Fleeting Beauty In Scanner Photographs
October 26, 2015 - garden totes
Perfection in one’s garden is singular — and fleeting. It’s a common lamentation among those who work to awaken pleasing plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables from a soil: You should have seen a peonies final week, before they were smashed by a rain. Or: Try to stop by really shortly to see a roses; they won’t last. And: Why was we divided on vacation, usually when a tomatoes were during their peak?
Relentlessly, those ideal garden moments pass in a blink of an eye. And so many grand glimpses are missed.
“Nature is so ephemeral,” says Ellen Hoverkamp, an artist who has found a smashing approach to safety a well-developed beauty of a annuity of gardens.
Hoverkamp, who lives in West Haven, began scanning detailed images of flowers from a neighbor’s garden in 1997. By 2004, she says, she had a good peculiarity scanner, and she now uses an Epson additional vast format flat-bed scanner.
An art clergyman for 33 years in West Haven until she late 5 years ago, Hoverkamp, 60, was a print-maker, batik artist and painter of vast abstracts when she detected scanning.
She pronounced she wanted to put her students’ design online and someone suggested she indicate it. When a resources of her life necessitated her spending some-more time during home,
Hoverkamp satisfied that scanner photography was something she could do “in a margins of my time.”
Her work is anything yet marginal. Hoverkamp has an well-developed eye for color, form and composition. Many of her images on black backgrounds are suggestive of a still-life paintings of Flemish and Dutch masters (though yet a occasional passed fish, fowl or rabbit). She relishes a beauty of surprising vines and pods, mosses and lichens, and a infrequently mutant carrot.
One intriguing piece, patrician “Harvest Mosaic,” is stoical of grapes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, garlic, flowers and seashells that emanate a stage of a object — it’s indeed a sunflower — rising between dual purple hills. Hoverkamp points out a likeness to a child’s sketch of a object between hills, yet also cites a work of Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo — famous for formulating illusory portraits stoical of fruits, nuts, flowers and — as an inspiration.
Other of Hoverkamp’s images are unabashedly flattering Victorian-inspired bouquets.
Three years ago she collaborated with garden author Ken Druse on a book “Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations” (Abrams/Stewart, Tabori Chang), producing 144 botanical images to illustrate tone and hardness combinations, plant families and anniversary themes — work for that a Garden Writers of America awarded her a bullion award for photography in 2013. Her acclaimed work some-more recently has graced a September/October cover of Connecticut Gardener magazine.
“The primary goal of my work is to applaud a efforts of gardeners and nature’s artistic beauty,” Hoverkamp says.
Hoverkamp achieves some extraordinary effects with a scanner. She creates her artistic arrangements face-down on a scanner’s glass, infrequently propping or weighting a elements of her compositions, or suspending them from wires so that ethereal blossoms won’t be dejected and to emanate a apparition of defying gravity.
In one of her many renouned images — patrician “Magic Carpet” — a furled root appears to boyant in a air, as do a pears, rose and hydrangea freshness above it.
Hoverkamp scans in a dark; a usually light on a fruits and flowers comes from a scanner, so many of her images are on a thespian black credentials that puts a colors and ethereal sum of a plant element in even crook service so that tendrils and roots seem to dance before one’s eyes.
Lately, though, she’s been experimenting with aflame backgrounds, scanning her compositions with illuminated light behind them, in a array called “In A New Light.” It has led her in some new directions, as in her square patrician “Terrarium Dream,” that is decorated like a deconstructed terrarium.
“I’m perplexing to move courtesy to nature’s beauty — and I’m perplexing to do that with a detailed process that we consider surpasses HDTV. I’m looking for high definition, a thespian display of a artistic beauty of nature.”
The beauty isn’t idealized, though. These are all genuine plants, cuttings she has selected and ecstatic in a cooler. Hoverkamp says she enjoys artist residencies, both grave and informal. She recently spent about a week during Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Mass., scanning cuttings she was invited to make there. And of a shelter she spent during Chanticleer, a high estate garden in Wayne, Pa., outward Philadelphia, she says, “The sorcery takes reason and we never wish to leave.”
Hoverkamp, who mostly speaks to garden groups and clubs, says she likes to move courtesy to some of their projects. The Connecticut Valley Garden Club, caretakers of a Heritage Rose Garden during Elizabeth Park, has asked her to sketch a roses there, including some heirloom varieties that date behind centuries. She also is scanning a flowers and plants during a McCourt Memorial Garden during a Lyman Allyn Museum in New London, named for Ruth McCourt, a New London Garden Club member who died in a Sept. 11 militant attacks, “to uncover a plants, a seasons and a clarity of place.”
Mostly, Hoverkamp is gladdened to friends who open their well-developed gardens and farms to her. She is stability work on her “Artful Edibles” series, undoubted feasts for a eyes that include many of a varieties of vegetables and succulent flowers grown by her longtime crony Michael Russo during Trout Lily Farm in Guilford. In a winter she plays around with compositions of objects such as plant bulbs, marbles and globes. “I get initial and weird,” she laughs, yet her “Nesting” array of poetic scanner photographs of birds’ nests, eggs and feathers — a winter plan — can frequency be called weird.
Hoverkamp says she hopes her work is enchanting and noted and that it leads to “a deeper appreciation for inlet in general, and that people caring about inlet and they wish to live with nature’s beauty, yet they’ll also be some-more aware of a approach they provide nature. And that they competence caring to grow something, and that it competence inspire them to have some-more beauty around them.”
Archival prints of Hoverkamp’s scanner photographs are accessible by her website, www.myneighborsgarden.com