Featured Artist David Zlotky

Artist David Zlotky uses dramatic lighting and composition to share a sense of place and time, and hidden stories in his photographs. See more of his portfolio by visiting his website.

 

“Morning Light” Photography, Sizes Vary by artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Morning Light” Photography, Sizes Vary

 

For me, fine art photography has evolved as an extension of my years as a painter. I’ve been fortunate to have my paintings included in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, the Truman Library and the Air Force Art Collection. Observing the world as a painter has made me who I am today as a photographer.

 

“Picnic with the Travel Air, 1926” Oil Painting, 48” x 24” by artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Picnic with the Travel Air, 1926” Oil Painting, 48” x 24”

 

As a painter, I was particularly interested in illustration and making paintings that related to hidden stories. As a photographer, I still love the hidden story.

 

“The Olson Place: Wake of Shadow” Photography, Sizes Vary by artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Olson Place: Wake of Shadow” Photography, Sizes Vary

 

Some of my favorite images are of the ruins of old homesteads, long ago abandoned. I wonder who lived there and what their lives were like. In some cases I’m able to learn about them. I try to capture their ghostly presence in the spirit of my images.

 

“Supernatural: Full Moon Rising” Photography, Sizes Vary by artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Supernatural: Full Moon Rising” Photography, Sizes Vary

 

To me, the objects left behind by people in the past are symbolic of their hopes, dreams and struggles.

 

“Be Prepared” Photography, Sizes Vary by artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Be Prepared” Photography, Sizes Vary

 

I usually find something interesting to photograph in or around an old barn or outbuilding. There’s grace in the patterns and arrangements of things as they hang just as they were left.

 

“Barn Tools” Photography, Sizes Vary by artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Barn Tools” Photography, Sizes Vary

 

I love the sense of humor displayed by the people living in the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas. There is always a collection of old boots on the fence posts that border this intersection at Boothill Road.

 

“Boothill RD” Photography, Sizes Vary by artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Boothill RD” Photography, Sizes Vary

 

For me, printmaking is an important part of my creative process. Years ago, as a silversmith, I came to appreciate the value of fine craftsmanship. For that reason, and for creative control, I print my images myself using an Epson 24 inch inkjet printer. I sell my work through my website and several galleries.

 

“No Place Like Home” Photography, Sizes Varyby artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“No Place Like Home” Photography, Sizes Vary

 

I’m always hunting for the beautiful light and the interesting point of view. Since the eclipse was going to reach totality in northern Kansas near my home, I drove with my son up to the Nebraska border, only to be met by an overcast sky. I was more interested in capturing the changing light on the landscape than the moon and sun so I found a beautiful pasture and waited for totality. When it came, the effect was fleeting and extraordinary.

 

“On the Cusp of Totality: Eclipse 2017” Photography, Sizes Vary by artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“On the Cusp of Totality: Eclipse 2017” Photography, Sizes Vary

 

Although my old darkroom now sits unused, the many hours I spent under the safelight have not been wasted. The lessons I learned while making silver prints still guide me as I dodge and burn my images in Photoshop.

 

“Serenity” Photography, Sizes Vary by artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Serenity” Photography, Sizes Vary

 

I’ve been inspired by the work of a diverse group of painters, illustrators and photographers. I love Rembrandt for his use of light and shadow and Andrew Wyeth for the dry sense of spirit that haunts his work. I admire the landscape photography of Ansel Adams and my friend Cole Thompson for their beautiful compositions, craftsmanship, and rich tonality. Moving forward, I’m particularly interested in capturing the moody light and atmospheric beauty exemplified in the Tonalist painting movement.

 

“Boardroom, Catherine Cook school, Chicago” Photography, Sizes Vary by artist David Zlotky. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Boardroom, Catherine Cook school, Chicago” Photography, Sizes Vary

 

Making art has been a wonderful journey full of discovery, occasional frustration, and eventual triumph (usually!)—all part of the creative process. My greatest pleasure is in sharing it with others.

 

Artist David Zlotky invites you to follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. Great work, David! Very inspiring! I love seeing the cross-over influence of painting to your photos. There is a sense of curiosity and wonder in all of it. Two thumbs up!

  2. Donna Swaffar says:

    Thank you not only for the beauty that you capture, but for the young hearts you have inspired as a teacher of art. And thank you for disproving the notion of outsiders that Kansas is nothing but flyover country!

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