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Christopher Gatelock’s Photography Reveals More Than You Expect

Christopher Gatelock is a published, professional photographer who recently moved to South FL.  His studio is in the Northwood neighborhood.  The Rickie Report shares an interview with this photographic artist, whose renditions are engrossing.  Christopher’s re-composed images in bright, deep colors will  captivate you as well. In addition, Christopher offers specialty portraiture that incorporates your vision and his artistry.

 

 

Christopher Gatelock

Imagine Studios

512 Northwood Road

    West Palm Beach, FL 33407

561-516-0606

Christopher Gatelock

Christopher Gatelock

www.cgphotogoart.net

www.imagineportraiture.com

 

"A Life"

“A Life”

TRR: What were your early influences on this artistic path?

CG:

Art has always been just a part of my nature. I have always been a creative person and at the same time I have always been easily bored. As a result my creative nature has carried me through many different artistic endeavors including leather craft, photography, ceramics, painting and on and on starting at a very young age. My father bought me a Kodak Brownie Camera when I was around 7 years old and I took particular interest in photographing most everything I saw in the world around me and that has continued on in one form or another my whole life. Later in life I was able to invent and patent a number of machines and products sold by my manufacturing company and even designed and built a race car that I raced for number of years.

 

I was raised in a very conservative, military family and as a result I lived under strict discipline with hard and fast rules; the chiseled-in-stone kind. As a result, being born with a natural free spirited personality I was quite rebellious, but I was still able to maintain a healthy enough respect for authority to stay out of serious trouble.  The rebellious part of my personality is very dominant and drives much of my creativity and life even today.  I recognize very few limitations in my artwork and in fact I thrive on trampling over the fine lines of society’s rather random and inconsistent rules of acceptance as often as I can. I recognized a long time ago that rules were really made to be broken, but it was of paramount importance how you broke them.

 

"Palace Vizcaya"

“Palace Vizcaya”

TRR:  You’ve said,” Life has a way of taking you to different places than you may have envisioned yourself going”. What do you mean?

CG:

After I did my own stint in the military service and discovered that I was not really a fit to that kind of environment, I attended college and took my first photography class. That was when I actually fell in love with the art form. I worked as the Sports Photographer for the annual and school newspaper and received a very solid, practical education in photography basics, both with the camera and in the darkroom. After graduation however, due to circumstances I really had little control over at the time, I went to work as an engineer in a manufacturing company. It was a short time later I become one of two sales executives of the company and was in charge of marketing and in turn entertaining our many customers with specialty sales events. Of course, photographing all of these events was an important part of our business structure so I doubled as the company photographer. Several years after that I started a manufacturing business in which I did all of the marketing and product photography for sales literature and website development.  So, to answer your question, I feel it is important to discover early in life your passion and to always keep that passion active, even if when life takes us in various directions we seem to not be able to predict or control completely. There are many ways to pursue your passion, even while doing things that seem to be completely unrelated to it. You just have to make it all work together to get what you want.

 

Fall

“Surreal Forest”

TRR: It’s clear that finding a new way to be creative is part of your psyche.

CG:

Yes.  That idea is a major force in my life.  I am easily bored and that attribute being coupled with a rebellious streak that runs through the center of my personality, I hate the ordinary. I strive to go beyond what is considered the norm by society and create something that calls into question the accepted.  I am naturally repelled by the normal, the ordinary, and especially the rules that someone somewhere decided were the “limits” of acceptability.  I never want to become pigeonholed into being thought of as a certain king of person or doing something a certain way all the time. When I do too many things that are too similar I loose the sense of who I am as a person and as a artist, but more specific I  loose touch with the center of my creative self. Most photographers become known as landscape photographers, glamour photographers or any number of other designations within our art and they will be forever remembered for being “that” kind of artist. I get much too bored and I am way too rebellious to limit my creativity by becoming just one certain kind of photographer. I do have a well-developed style that permeates my artwork, but I have no limits on the subjects of my work and will never set one.

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“A Martian View”

TRR:  How did you come to West Palm Beach, FL?

CG:

In 2009, my manufacturing business was hit hard by the recession. Also, after 17 years it had become unbearably boring. The physical labor that was required had become a burden as I had become older.  I had purchased my first studio equipment and first digital camera in the 90’s, but in 2009 I decided to dedicate 100% of my efforts to become a professional artist in Photography. I began accumulating professional camera equipment and after some concentrated serious self-teaching and courses at the Academy of Art University I became proficient in my art. In 2010 I sold my old business and moved to New Mexico, which is one of the well-known artistic hubs in our country, as well as a landscape photographers dream.  After a year of photographing the beautiful Northern part of that state I decided move to an area that was the exact opposite of New Mexico and so here I am. One strong draw for me to move here was the fact that my oldest son had moved to this area while I was in New Mexico. 

 

girl

“Dark Girl”

 

TRR: Take us from the beginning of an idea to a finished piece of work

CG:

Since I work in several areas within Photography I have different ways that I approach my work. In landscape and architecture I like to keep things pure. My creativity in these areas lies in surrealistically expressing what I want the landscape or the building to look like. It is about presentation of beauty and uniqness. There is very rarely any message except “look at how this could be if only they would let Gatelock design it”.  I am not trying to save the world, just present it in a unique and more beautiful way than it really is.

 

In my other types of work there is always a message in the composition. The images will more than likely still have the visual artistic characteristics of  what I do in landscapes and architecture, but with different subject matter. I tell a story with each of these photographic composites.  About 95% of all my work involves composites. When I capture an image with my camera that is only the beginning of where I want to go with that image. In landscapes and architecture, the composites are mostly about esthetics. In my creative pieces, whether they are documentary, street, or portraiture, the compositions in addition to the esthetics are about conveying a message or a story. It’s not just what I am looking at through the viewfinder that is important to me. I’m already thinking about the possibilities of what I can do with that image or parts of it combined with other images or parts of them to create a completely unique, meaningful, and memorable creation.

 

The kapok tree near the Flagler Museum…

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The jetty on Singer Island… 

Jetty on Singer Island 

And a sunset scene in Key West…

Sunset at Key West

The final image:

The Old Kapok

The concept behind this image is this: Here stands an old Kapok tree whose unlikely life begins as a wayward seed that somehow finds itself in a most unlikely and potentially lethal situation; tossed among rocks and concrete slabs next to the ocean and salt water with very little soil to take root in.  But in a miraculous way, it overcomes nature’s negatives that surround it and threatens its very existence and it actually begins to grow.  It becomes a thriving tree in spite of all the obstacles present in its’ environment.  It adapts.  It does what it takes to not only survive, but to even excel beyond anyone’s expectations. It is standing here now as a monument to tenacity and a positive view of life that actually goes beyond an attitude or a frame of mind, but that issues into action. The Kopak tree is a living example of what it means to overcome the worse kind of adversity and succeed beyond expectation.  What we see now is the tree in the twilight of its life standing in all of its glory with a beautiful sunset to represent a beautiful ending to an amazing life. The image is meant to mirror the best of who we are as human beings when we overcome the adversities that occur in all of our lives and exceed beyond even our own expectations we place on ourselves, if we will only be tenacious and live a positive life.

 

"Happy"

“Happy”

TRR:  Please tell our readers what you like most about being a full time artist and where you find challenges.

CG:

 

I love everything about what I do. The most important element of my life as an artist is the freedom I experience in creating what I feel emotionally every day of my life. It is the ability to express what I feel inside of my soul to the rest of the world. Not that I have anything meaningful to share because that is ultimately a judgment the viewer of my work has to make, but it is so liberating to me to be able to bare my innermost person to others. I have no idea how to explain this in practical terms because it is not practical. It is an emotional impulse I just have to do. It is my nature, it is who I am as a human being, good or bad.

 

Every artist’s challenge is balancing the amount of time one spends being creative vs. marketing his or her work.  It’s been said that the worst thing for anyone, especially an artist, is to be ignored.  Whether someone likes my art or they don’t I cannot control, but more than anything else, both from a financial as well as an emotional point of view, I want my art to be noticed. The most challenging part of what I do is being required to concentrate so much of my time on making a living with my art rather than being able to spend all of my time creating art.

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“Surreal Castle” (Composite  featuring the Bethesda Episcopal Church in Palm Beach)

TRR:  What advice do you have for beginning artists?

CG:

You cannot learn creativity.  It is a mind-set that really comes from the soul.  That being the case, a new photographer‘s first priority is to take LOTS of photographs. Welcome to the wonderful world of digital photography!  One picture costs the same as 1,000!

 

One easy, but absolutely necessary way to improve your creativity while using the camera as a tool is to take the basic camera setting off of “Automatic” mode and set it to “Manual” and capture images while playing with the light, shutter speeds, and aperture of the camera. When one learns to control all of the camera’s individual functions, that’s when one starts to develop their own creative style!

 

"Spanish Mission, New Mexico"

“Old Spanish Mission, New Mexico”

TRR:  We understand you’ve recently completed a local commission.

CG:

 

I am honored to have my work commissioned by the Tremont Partners, LLC.  on display as a permanent collection in the main conference room in the Chairman’s Club Building in Palm Beach.  The amazing interior designer, Shannon Cleland, approached me last year to do the commission after visiting my gallery during an Art and Promenade event held in Northwood Village every last Friday of each month.  She presented examples of my work to Amy Dittami, the CFO for Tremont, and gained her approval for the project. There are seven surrealistic images printed on metal, including a nine-foot panoramic view of the West Palm Beach shoreline along the intercostal waterway on display.

 

"Surreal Falls"

“Surreal Rapids”

 TRR:  How do you recharge your creativity?

CG:

 

I am constantly looking for concepts to create. This is a mindset I have developed and it is turned on 100% of the time, even when I am sleeping. I keep a little brown notebook with me at all times so I can write down ideas as they come to me. I constantly look at the work of other artists, I leaf through some kind of magazine on a daily basis, and I’m a huge movie buff so I pretty much watch at least one movie every day. I have a quiet time when I first get up in the morning. I will sit alone in a quiet room drinking a cup of coffee and do nothing but think about whatever comes to mind. I suppose this could be called meditation, but for me it is not sophisticated. It is just time to allow my mind to roam freely with no outside interference.

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TRR:  Besides creating these wonderful photographic scenes, you also work on specialty portraiture.

CG:

“Imagine Studios” is a specialty portrait service. The specialty element to my work is that I go beyond the simple personal portrait by combining artistic imaging with the client’s vision. I work closely with my clientele so as to create a one-of-a-kind, personal photographic image that enhances the unique beauty that the client possesses. One client may want a sexy boudoir image while another may be interested in a more artistic portrait or an elaborate fantasy creation. Anything is possible. I spend a lot of time consulting with each potential client to discuss with them what they are looking for in a portrait as well as a beautiful piece of artwork to put in their homes. I combine the two so that the portrait is not just a portrait, but also a creative piece of artwork with the client as the centerpiece.

 

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"Avana"

“Avana”

For more information about Christopher Gatelock’s photography or portraiture please call: 561-904-6615, email  cgatelock@live.com  or visit  www.cgphotoart.net  or www.imagineportraiture.com  or www.facebook.com/christopher.gatelock/   or www.facebook.com/christopher.gatelock.photography

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

 

To read previous posts, click TheRickieReport.com and scroll down.