Bryn Forbes - February 2012 Featured Artist

Bryn Forbes

Portland, OR, though sometimes I think I should have my mail forwarded to Seat 12F United Airlines.

When was the last time you ate a pancake?
A couple weeks ago, I was shooting surfing on the north shore of Oahu, and macadamia nut pancakes are the highest form of pancake, if you ask me, so I made sure to go for the full stack after being up for sunrise.

Favorite day of the week?
"I never could get the hang of thursdays" Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Favorite website besides your own?
Who thinks their own website is their favorite? Anyway, everybody knows to wish for infinite wishes, so I'd have to say my favorite is Google Reader, because I can use it to keep up with so many blogs.


Give us a brief description of you and your artwork.

I'm tall. I hate writing about myself. My background is in computer engineering. I'm overly (at least by common standards) parenthetical.

My work is alternately very highly detailed and realistic (I love cityscapes or landscapes where you can get lost in one small section of an image, pondering the story that plays out there) and also very impressionistic. I like to use long exposures and intentional camera movement to capture the essence of motion or the colors of a place while eliminating the distracting details. I like the more abstract pieces because I, as a viewer, can keep coming back to the image each time bringing my own interior landscape to the image rather than having everything spelled out in the image. As far as subject matter, I'm all over the map, as I have a lot of diverse interests.

What's your goal as an artist?

My art forces me to keep an eye on the world around me, always looking for the visually interesting, and finding beauty whether it's far away and obvious, or close and hidden. My goal is to keep myself looking, and to share the beauty I find with others. I think it's important for us to make the good louder in our life to compete with the onslaught the media and our own mental news service brings us. So in some small way, I'm trying to hang on to a small fraction of the moments of beauty I've seen and preserve them on walls.

Why did you choose photography, fractal, and mosaics?

My father is an excellent photographer and he inspired me to try photography and it has been a lifelong passion of mine since.

My first introduction to fractals was my high school calculus teach who connected a camcorder's output to a tv and pointed the camcorder at the tv. The feedback loop made such cool patterns, but it wasn't until many years later that my love for detail and resolution in large formats combined with my computer engineering background, led me to set my computer rendering for weeks at a time making fractals. When the computers rise and take over I'm sure I will tried for crimes against computerdom making my computer work so hard day and night.

I know when and where I started doing mosaics but I can't completely explain the why. It went something like this: I was reading a web page listing strange things available on ebay. One of the items was 5000 blue dice. I remember thinking who on earth would buy 5000 dice? Here's where it gets fuzzy. Shortly thereafter I realized that each side of a die is a different brightness given how many pips there are (I was working on medical imaging technology at the time and thus surrounded by and probably dreamed in grayscale). I realized I could make a "grayscale" image out of the dice. I've kept playing with other items I can acquire in bulk (lego men, ikea tea candles, and so on) because I like that the mosaics are interesting from up close and far away, and it toys with my awe at the complexity and size of this world.

Favorite type of melon?


Where do you draw inspiration from?

I wish I knew so I could get more of it. Seeing new things is very energizing for me, so travel is very inspirational. I guess the engineer in me is inspired by new technology that triggers my brain into thinking of new ways to make images utilizing the new technology. My parents and my sister are also very inspiring as people (my sister is a novelist check out Misdirection by Melinda Skye. I also am inspired by all the amazing art that is posted on the internet, but the vast quantities of high quality work that already exists can be dis-inspirational if that's a word.

Top three movies of all time?

Die Hard. I grew up in the 80s so Top Gun and Secret of My Success were my favorites, but now I'd probably have to go with Elizabethtown, Lost in Translation, and of course, Die Hard.

What was the last full album you listened to?

Bliss - Quiet Letters. It plays in the "gallery non objectionable background music" playlist, and also in my "I am not in the zone but need to be, perhaps I will isolate myself from the audible world while I take pictures to try to get in the zone" playlist.

Who would win in a photography battle royale Ansel Adams or Henri Cartier-Bresson?

Well Bresson certainly has quickness with his rangefinder, but if Adams gets one good hit in with his large format camera, he could put a serious hurting on the french man. Not to mention Ansel's talent in the darkroom and his bathtub of toxic chemicals. All logic says A.A. is the heavyweight favorite, but something says Henri's knack for keeping one off balance and perfect timing could be the surprise underdog winner.

Why do you chose to show your artwork on Plywerk?

I love the richness of the warm wood tones from the side, the sturdy heft and the buttery smooth finish. I feel it turns a two dimensional print destined to obfuscate a blank wall in to an object of importance.

Breakfast cereal of choice?

I grew up on Cheerios, but I treat myself to raspberry granola every now and then.

More about Bryn

Bryn is an incredibly diverse artist with an equally diverse background. He has been shooting since elementary school (having started with a 110 disc camera), then became more deeply involved in high school and college shooting color slide film and black and white print film with Canon EOS SLRs. Currently he shoots almost exclusively digitally with a range of digital SLRs and a significant array of lenses. He's also an outstanding baker and makes chocolate chip cookies that Plywerkers have fought over. He also just re-found this excellent quote and asked us to share it: "The Muse visits during the act of creation, not before. Don't wait for her. Start alone." -- Roger Ebert

Win a Bryn Forbes Print on Plywerk

Post a comment bellow and you will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a 12x18 Bryn Forbes print mounted on 3/4" bamboo Plywerk!!! We'll select a winner at random at the end of the month so make sure you come back to the blog in early March to see if you won and to check out the new featured artist!

33 thoughts on “Bryn Forbes - February 2012 Featured Artist”

Leave a Reply

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.