Our first introduction to Marc Jennings happened on a hike through Glacier National Park in late summer 2004. We were walking a trail from Many Glacier lodge up to the glacier and I was feeling really nervous about the Grizzly Bears! We’d seen several from our car in previous days and had also noticed bear scat on the trails as we walked – so there was no doubt that they were close by.
At an opening in the trail we came across a photographer setting up for a shot. I noticed he was using a Hasselblad camera and quick as a flash, all my bear fears went flying out the window as I watched him work. A Hasselblad is like a monument to the best of the best for me – I’ve never used one but the quality of the camera together with the whole mystique of all the famous artists who have used them has a special place in my life.
We spent some time chatting with Marc while he was setting up – enjoying both the conversation and that palpable feeling of happiness you feel watching an artist at work.
We chose Marc as our featured artist for this week because his photography communicates the power and beauty of nature’s moods in a way that is accessible to all people. We hope you enjoy his work too and very much appreciate your comments at the end of this feature. If you would like to contact Marc his website details are included at the end of the article.
[kml_flashembed movie=”/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/slideshow_jennings.swf” width=”550″ height=”300″ base=”.” /]
Note: Use the slide-show controls to pause or go to a specific image. Mouse over the images to see details about the artwork.
Marc Jennings spent his early years on a farm in Washington state -Â an ideal location to explore, hike, and climb the wilds of the Canadian Rockies, Glacier National Park, and the rugged Northwest Coast.
At 13, an uncle gave him an old German-built AGFA Record folding camera which he had been planning to discard. Marc loved the camera and quickly immersed in its simple technology to create a series of monochrome landscapes of Western Glacier Park. He entered one of the photos is a local photography competition and won first prize. Marc says that was the first time that he experienced an absolute sense of certainty about something – when he first saw that photograph, he knew that the first prize was his.
Marc continued his photography through school and went on to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. He now focuses on color landscapes of Ocean Waves, Desert, Clouds, and Mountains, and his work has been featured in many shows and galleries in Washington State and British Columbia.
My artistic discipline as a photographer is based around minimalism. I strive to execute only a few images each day â€“ this challenges me to search for the subject, color, structure and composition which will give the most poignant moment on ï¬lm.
Over the years I have gravitated to four areas of specialty with my work â€“ Desert, Ocean Waves, Clouds, and Mountains. Each represents a personal passion and together they form complete mosaic of earths landscape.
I work mainly with medium format ï¬lm and 35mm digital cameras and with very little extra equipment – I am often wilderness hiking and camping as I work and therefore need to travel as light as possible. I avoid usingÂ ï¬lters as I want my work to show the true nature of life, not a stylized interpretation. Similarly, I do not in any way manipulate the images digitally after the initial shot.
Growing up in the wilds of Washington State gave me an appreciation of landscape and wilderness from an early age.Â I hope that my work will allow more people to experience natureâ€™s wisdom, even if they are unable to travel there in person.
The Art Marketing Secrets Signature 6 Questions
1. What led you to become an artist?
From the very first moment I picked up the Agfa folding camera that my uncle gave me as a child I was hooked . That camera became an extension of me and I was always seeing life through its lens. My life made sense for the first time.
2. What happens for you and what do you feel when you are in the creative process?
I’ve been doing this for a while now so many of the technical details and camera settings have become second nature to me – like how driving a car becomes almost automatic. That allows me to really immerse in the moments I am capturing on film. The best way I can describe the creative process for me is that its like a beautiful dance – I’m watching and moving with the landscapes I photograph until the perfect moment arrives like a gentle kiss.
3. What is your favorite piece of your own art and why?
Surprisingly that’s easy! “Clouds Over Wyoming 1” has been my favorite for a long time. I shot that image back in 2004 after spending 3 weeks camping in Grand Teton National Park. I love this image for two reasons:Â (1) I think it’s a particularly beautiful and powerful rendition of clouds, and (2) It instantly transports me to a very happy time in my own life.
4. What would your perfect artist-life look like?
I probably have very close to what I would think of as the perfect artist life – at least for me. I’ve been fortunate to be able to maintain a fairly low living cost (good training as a kid!) and that means that I can live comfortably on the sales of my work. As a result I can focus most of my attention on my work and on extending myself into new creative challenges.
5.How are you marketing your art?
I use my website (www.marcjennings.net) as a general all-purpose brochure when I tell people about my work. However most of my sales go to a few regular clients who have been collecting my photography for several years. The most important thing is keeping in regular contact with them to update them about my latest work.
6.What else are you busting to tell the world?
I really care about nature and the powerful healing effects it can have in all our lives. I honestly believe that most people’s problems and illnesses would fade away if they would just spend more quality time in the wilds of our pristine national and state parks.
Because of my experiences with nature and the value it holds for all of us I am very concerned to see that many of our national and state parks are being neglected and under-funded. These parks are a great legacy left for us by a group of visionary people including Roosevelt,Â Gifford Pinchot, and several others. These men understood that power and money are gifts to be used wisely for the betterment of mankind and the National and State Parks are a great tribute to their vision.
Please make use of your state and national parks and tell your senators and members of federal and state congress that you expect them to fully support and fund the parks systems!
I'm so excited when I hear of artists who are making a living from their work. That is such a great gift and I'm not there yet. I love the image of Sedona – it really captures that place – good for you Marc!