Sunday, February 24, 2013

PDN Photo of the Day

A great honor/pleasure to have my work be featured as PDN Photo of the Day on Friday, February 22, 2013!  My current NYC photography exhibition, "Park Slope/Prospect Park" has been extended through March 9th by popular demand.  I am sure the coverage by PDN was a factor.  Read the article here:

Ellen Fisch studied photography and architectural drawing in college, and went on to lead two separate artistic lives: one as a photographer, the other as a painter. “I never combined the two,” she says. For the past 12 years she has focused on photography and says “I did OK as an architectural photographer,” but she adds, “I missed drawing and painting.” So she started drawing on her photographs with pencil, pastel, charcoal, and gold leaf. The results surprised and intrigued her. “I noticed that when used as accents and in small amounts, other art materials add depth and subtle nuances to photography.” She describes her technique as “enhanced photography.” She shoots digitally, desaturates the images before printing them on a fiber-based paper, and then draws on them. “I like the blacks,” she says. “I have the ability to [draw in] the real darks, and highlight the foliage so it appears to be capturing the light on the surface.” The images shown here are from Fisch’s “Park Slope/Prospect Park” series, which is currently on view at Jadite Galleries, 413 W 50th Street in New York, through February 26. Fisch will be at the gallery on Saturday, February 23 from 1-6 p.m.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Success Realized

There are many ways success may be realized.  Today was my day to reach a height of success that was deeply gratifying.
Last week I had the pleasure of making Valentines with my granddaughter's 3rd grade class.  I was invited back to talk with the children about Chinese Art today because they are studying China.  Being asked back in itself is indicative of success!  I was quite pleased.  The teacher knew that in the 1970's I had studied Chinese Art at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.  For several years I was a student of Sumi ink painting.  This form of painting is reliant on 7 brush strokes that are the keys to depicting all subjects: mountains, waterfalls, flowers, birds, boats and people.  I incorporated many of these Sumi techniques in my own watercolors, while developing a deep appreciation for Chinese Art.
The third graders were very receptive to my brief talk about Chinese Art and my own experiences with this very beautiful cultural expression.  Then, with bamboo brushes and watercolors, the 3rd graders made their own paintings.  It was a wonderful swirl of color, design, creativity, curiosity and fun. 
One lovely little girl came over to me with her picture of a river and a flowering tree.  "You came to my class today.  It was the best day of my life," she said shyly.  My success was surely realized!

Chinese Art:

My watercolors influenced in part by Chinese Art:
Three Brothers, by Ellen Fisch

Forest Lake, By Ellen Fisch

The Trek, by Ellen Fisch

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Windows are wonderful.  You can see other spaces/places/subjects through them.  Even if you are looking out through a window onto a brick wall or air shaft, make it worthwhile:look at the  brick patterns or find that "shaft" of light. Many times I've examined seemingly simple or boring walls.  The longer you look, the more you may see.
There are other windows.  Those look out onto vistas of great beauty or, conversely, scenes of destruction.  The day I went shopping at Lord & Taylor on NYC's 5th Avenue, I found a window that presented an historic view.  Imagine the days when many of the buildings on 5th Avenue looked like this:

Art genre: Sepia architectural detail/art photograph with color

Photography tip: Windows are great subjects because they frame a second subject!

Location: 5th Avenue, NYC

Monday, February 18, 2013


I don't Give to Get.  I give because it makes me feel good to share information.  I always get information in return.  I listen when I give a workshop because I encourage people to tell me about their own experiences with photography/art/architecture.
On February 2 I gave a photography tour of Grand Central Station/NYPL at 42nd Street and on February 16 we reviewed the photos back at the Center for Photographic Art.  Everyone shared information and everyone compared notes.  We all had a exciting and enjoyable time exploring the architectural wonders of iconic NYC places and sharing our views on photography, architecture and art.  Each image that was shot on the tour and presented at the follow-up workshop was of the same places, but so different.  Because each photograph had the unique imprint of its photographer.
The gift of knowledge is priceless.  The interchange of ideas beyond value.  The icing on the cake: Albert Merrifield's portrait of an equipment ladened me in Grand Central Station.  Al is a great photographer.  Check out his beautiful site:
Thanks, Al and to everyone who joined my Grand Central Station/NYPL at 42nd Street photography tour!

Portrait of Ellen Fisch by Albert Merrifield

Friday, February 15, 2013

Special Valentines All Day

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, always a favorite holiday.  From the beginning, Valentine's Day was special; it was my Mother's birthday.  Unfortunately she did not get two presents, but my brothers and I benefited deliciously from her birthday cake and the huge heart box of chocolates my Dad always gave her.  As a child, I loved all the lace, ribbon, flowers, Victorian drawings and paintings depicting the day!  I remember the lavish cards that were commonplace then: satin pillows with a pair of feathered doves on a greeting card!  And the roses in every store window.  I still associate red roses with the fragrant brightness in icy covered Brooklyn shops. 
Yesterday I had the joy of art all Valentine's Day.  In the early afternoon I was very pleased to help my granddaughter's elementary school class to make Valentines.  My daughter and I brought in ribbon, paper lace doilies, sparkly stickers and samples of Valentines in all shapes and sizes, colors and designs. The teacher, herself an artist, greatly added to the art fest! I was gifted with two beautiful Valentines from two very sweet children.  I also learned a lot about art and design: kids are great teachers!
Later in the day, I went to a wonderful Valentine's Party to celebrate the marvelous New Yorker Cartoonist, Frank Modell and his extraordinary career.  I met Frank a few times and he is a joyful person with a rapier wit.  I grew up on his cartoons, which gave me much delight.  Here is a web site with some of Frank Modell's cartoons: ENJOY!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Ellen Fisch Talking to Kids About Valentines

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Fabulous Surprise/Honor

Surfing the web can yield amazing encounters with often wonderful results!  Imagine my surprise when I chanced upon an article about me and my latest enhanced photography in Swide Magazine: The Dolce & Gabbana Luxury Magazine Online!  Reporter Ben Taylor wrote a magnificent article about my new photography that I am enhancing with pencil, charcoal, pastel and gold leaf.  Ben also included photographs from my current gallery exhibit at Jadite Galleries in NYC.  Thanks so much to writer Ben Taylor and Swide Magazine!  I am honored!

Photographer Ellen Fisch Featured in Swide Magazine

Photographer Ellen Fisch Featured in Swide Magazine

Reporter Ben Taylor

Check out Ben Taylor's  complete article:

Sunday, February 10, 2013


On Thursday, February 7, I had an opening of new work at Jadite Galleries in midtown NYC.  I am always somewhat on edge when showing my work and openings are especially high key for me.  I never know who will be there; what they will say; most of all: how the work will be received.  This time especially I was anxious because the work was completely new.  It is unlike any work I had ever done before and unlike any art I had ever seen.  Of course, artists old and new have given me references on which to build.  And my art/photography studies gave me and are still giving me a foundation for my latest work.  But my new photography/art has journeyed into uncharted art space and I am excited for the challenge! 
My art has evolved over time and always is threaded to and through my past.  The current images are of an area that I spent much time in as a child: Prospect Park/Park Slope.  Recently I repeatedly visited these wonderful places in Brooklyn, NY and took many photographs.  Then I culled the images that had the most appeal based on several criteria: characteristics of the place; timelessness; visual beauty and interest.  The next step was to use fine art paper to print my photographs which offered the perfect medium to draw into and gild the images.  This combination of materials used on the artworks is a culmination of my years as an artist/photographer.  It is the perfect place from which to grow as an artist.
A final word: As one guest left the gallery opening she said to me, "Your work reminds me of Atget, but it has a quality that is unique to you."  All the work and years I spent on my art could not have received a greater validation.

Ellen Fisch Opening at Jadite Galleries, 2-7-13

Ellen Fisch Opening at Jadite Galleries, 2-7-13

Ellen Fisch Opening at Jadite Galleries, 2-7-13

Ellen Fisch Opening at Jadite Galleries, 2-7-13

"Prospect Park," photograph with pastel and gold by Ellen Fisch

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Influences: James Tissot

Influences may come from many sources: nature, architecture, street or known people, fashion, photography, painting among numerous others.  Recently I have been adding pencil, charcoal, pastel and gold leaf into my photography which I print on fine art paper.  These more painterly photographs remind me of paintings.
One of my photographs suggested the marvelous French painter James Tissot's paintings to me.  I have long admired Tissot who  lived and painted in France and England during the 1800's. Tissot knew that his calling was art when he was a teenager and despite his father's disapproval, Tissot went off to study painting in Paris at a time when many great painters, such as Manet and Degas were there. During the course of Tissot's studies, he became reunited with his father who had an enormous influence on Tissot's paintings.  Tissot's parents were in the fashion business and their son became a painter who recorded the society of his day, especially focusing on fashion.  Essentially art reflects some aspect of the society from which it emanates and Tissot had a fine eye and wonderful talent for depicting the luxury and refinement of Paris during one of its most fashionable periods.  I especially love the use of background detail in his paintings.
When I saw the leaves over a small architectural structure in Prospect Park, I immediately thought of a Tissot painting in which the leaves echo the graceful elegance of the woman who was Tissot's subject. Tissot's painting of the background leaves in his painting influenced the way I presented the leaves in my photograph.

Self Portrait: James Tissot 1898 (Wiki)

Woman-October by James Tissot

Prospect Park: photography with chalk, pencil and gold leaf