Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: shadows



In the late afternoon today, the sun was streaming into our office, filtered by the trees outside and plants in the window. My youngest daughter was using the inkjet printer for a school project, when I turned around to leave the room and was struck by this image on the wall opposite the window. Erika grabbed the camera and captured this ephemeral moment. Just a little PhotoShopping to increase contrast and to crop, and voilà!

Marja-Leena | 13/03/2005 | 8 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Photography


Not unlike some of your art, eh? I mean the light and the darkness, and the edge of meaning between....

Very perceptive, Tom! And I was merely eager to capture the moment and Erika was quicker with the trigger, er..shutter!

That image is really evocative. I've always been in love with shadows, in college I used to play around with projected images and shadow puppetry. This picture reminded me of that and how I'd like to get back into that someday soon.

Thanks for sharing!

Projected images and shadow puppetry sounds like fun and full of all kinds of interesting possibilities, Elise!

In my latest works I've been working with layering - the top layer is clear mylar with some images, which cast shadows on the layer beneath - challenging yet exciting. Maybe these kind of ephemeral moments will make their way into future works, hmmm...

Wow, I can't wait to see those. I used to make photocopies of black and white images (and text) onto transparent mylar and hang them in windows and then photograph the shadows they made at different times of the day. It was pretty cool.

I used to do a lot more experimental stuff. After my next two shows (which I'm already committed to do) I'm taking a year off from exhibiting so I can get back into playing with ideas and concepts more than just doing oil paintings.

Visiting your site almost make me pine for printmaking again. Speaking of which, I notice that you referred to your friend's prints as "archival inkjet prints". In the printmaking world (which I've been out of for many years) is that prefered to using the term Giclee?

Yes, there's something to be said for not having shows to prepare for. I prefer to do the work first, then apply, but it does mean a lag of one or two years sometimes. I've certainly been lazy about that though it's on the 'to do' list.

Giclee printers used to be commercially operated or in major American print studios, and very expensive, but the new inkjet printers have come down in price and also have archival inks. Probably not much different, but we just want to label honestly. Ours in the studio is the HP UV 5000, 42" wide - great printer! Bonnie's earlier prints in the Finnish show were lightjet prints done at a service bureau, before we got this HP.

Lovely image! It often seems to be the way that the quick response image sings the most! Its just having the moment to capture it and you have both achieved that here - beautiful!

Also I have had trouble getting your rss feed to work - I'm told by others wiser than me that it is because the file extension is rdf not xml. Thought I would let you know anyway, just in case it is a problem for others as well.

Fabulous digital prints as well - very inspiring for they have a strong quality of print and depth often lacking in digital.


Hi Linden!

Thank you! Yes, it is amazing how such a quick thing can be so powerful.

I don't know what type of RSS reader you have, some do not read all types of feeds. Mine doesn't. Just a few days ago I had a problem on my site where I lost all the entries. J, my son-in-law who manages it's structure, fixed it but there are still a few leftover glitches here and there. I noticed the RSS reader was doing some funny stuff too - would that have been your problem, if it's just a recent one? Let me know.

It seems to me that printmakers bring a different sensibility to digital prints, compared to say, painters or designers. Have you done much digital work, Linden? I continue to enjoy visiting your lovely site as part of my regular daily round! Good luck with your application for the master's program - you are dedicated!