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The column this month is as much about the arts as it is a life lesson. A wish that everyone could find the special place many artists enjoy.  Creativity, joy, and of course the gratitude that we live it.

Now for the art. When it comes to photography I define it as a practical art with the purpose to record. I guess that comes from many years spent in BioMedical photography.

I consider it fine art only when it is elevated to a level deserving of it. In my mind it must follow the same rules and principles, whether broken or applied that an artist uses in executing a painting. I see a distinct line drawn in the sand.

This is how I see an amazing photographer, Judy Hardiman. Painters in any medium could certainly benefit from studying her work. Although her camera catches the initial photograph her tools are different. Just as a painter would work on an easel with brushes and pigment, Judy works on her computer with software and plug ins. Those are her tools and she uses them to narrate and create beauty in the ordinary.

Judy was first captivated by art when her grade five teacher took the class for a field trip to visit A Y Jackson.  Although in his 80’s he answered questions about his art career. Judy says he had a profound effect on her future endeavors as an artist. That experience lead her to the group of seven and Emily Carr. She was influenced by her favorite of the group, Lawrence Harris with his soft curves and colors.

Judy is self taught, only began to paint in 2005. Starting in acrylics, she now dabbles in different mediums.  She always had an eye for a good image and knew what she liked.

She would ask her husband Jim Hardiman, an accomplished photographer in his own right, to shoot images for her to paint.  It seems he didn’t see things the way she did so she took up photography in 2009 to capture her own images. The more she learned the more she enjoyed the camera as a tool.

What I love about Judy’s work is that at first glance it is a very simple image but linger for a moment and it pulls you into a complexity of...
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