Artist Statement

When I was a teenager, my Mom inherited a small amount of money and told me to "go out and buy something fun". So I bought a camera and a few rolls of film. I went out to the rural countryside and immediately started arranging all the shapes, forms, lines, and colors, within the rectangular shaped viewfinder.

When I got those negatives back from the processor and held them up to the light, there was an immediate connection - I knew that this was something that I had to do. So I kept at it. The more I images I shot, the more mistakes I made, the more I wanted to do it. The insistent drive never stopped.

So here it is 30 years later and the insistence continues. I am still journeying through the chaos of the natural world, in hopes of restoring order within the confines of that rectangle. To create that elusive perfect image, while spending some quality time with the greater powers that be.

--Jeff Gracz

Artist Process Statement

Nature based photography from digital and film based cameras. Original images are scanned or imported into the computer. The computer is my darkroom. Software is used to create the final product before output. Call it "manipulation", if you want, but I prefer "enhancement". The amount of which, depends on the mood of the piece.

All output is created with archival quality materials. This starts at the ink and continues through to the paper and mounting board. All my pieces are limited edition. They are signed, numbered, and dated on the back, and include Certificate of Authenticity.

Traditional Prints

Output is on paper using Epson Pro printers (4800 and 7900 models). I use luster, pearlescent, glossy, or matte paper for my color work. I use matte paper for my black and whites. My papers are supplied by Red River Paper and Epson. All my printing work is performed in my studio by me personally using a color managed workflow. I do not use an outside lab, unless the size of the required print is beyond the capability of my printers. I use Nielsen Profile #99 matte black metal frames.

Aluminum Prints

Images are printed out on special transfer paper using special inks in a large format inkjet printer. Aluminum sheets are acquired from a manufacturer in KY. The manufacturer has cleverly applied a coating to the metal sheet. When you look at the raw sheet, it is pure white with a glossy coating on it. The image on the transfer paper is placed business side up, the aluminum sheet is then cut to size and placed on top of the paper, business side down. The two pieces form a sandwich.

This sandwich is placed in a large clamshell-like press which operates at 400 degrees. When the press is closed, the inks are vaporized off the paper, they rise up (since they are a gas at this point) and settle on the aluminum. They transfer through the coating on the aluminum, which opens up under the heat. Once on the aluminum, the gases change back to a solid. The image is literally infused onto the aluminum. The two pieces are brought out and allowed to cool. The paper is then peeled off revealing the images now on the metal. This entire process is known as dye sublimation and works in the same way that t-shirts get imprinted.

The result is a highly luminous presentation of the image that has an almost 3D look. The coating on the aluminum now acts as a UV protectant. It is also very durable - fingerprints and smudges are easily cleaned with a window cleaner. Scratches are extremely rare. They are perfect for your covered outdoor patio or high humidity bathroom.


How it Started
I was born and raised in Upstate NY. I garnered my first camera in my late teens. I thought of it as an interesting hobby and no more. I took the manual SLR camera out with me whenever I could. I made lots of mistakes. I always tried to learn from them and strived to do better the next time I went out.

It started really clicking when I started to travel. Seeing new places always make people take photos, and I certainly took my share. But I coupled this with my urge to do better. I studied the works of others and the principles of design. I slowly learned the difference between a good picture and an exceptional image.

I concentrated on nature subjects by no special plan. I took many pictures of many different subjects, but the ones that brought me the most satisfaction, were the nature based ones. So really, it was happiness that determined which way to go. Mother Nature is the most profound artist there will ever be. It's the main reason why I do, what I do. Mother Nature does all the hard work, I just show up for the performance.

And then it really started coming together when people would say that my images were just as good as what was appearing in magazines. So I starting submitting to publishers around the country. I got a ton of rejections, but I also got a few publication credits.

But my ultimate goal was to sell prints of my work. The most satisfying feeling any creative person can have, is seeing their work admired by others. If you can, for just a few moments, take people away from their busy lives and see things in a different way, well, that is just about the greatest feeling in the world. This is the second reason why I do, what I do. I get to connect with some truly awesome people.

People: First and foremost, Edward Weston. His unique vision, ability to make an ordinary object look extraordinary and breadth/depth of work, are his greatest traits. Also: David Muench, Galen Rowell, Art Wolf, William Neill and William Garnett. Beyond Photographers, I admire the work of Miro, Picasso, Kandinsky, Albers and Mondrian.
Books: The Life Library of Photography series, Photography by Upton and London
Places: Southern Utah, Southern California Deserts, The Pacific Coast, The Adirondack Mountains.

Tools of the Trade

Throughout most of my career, I have used film to record my images. I have employed many different sizes: 35mm, to medium format, to 4x5 large format. I started using digital in 2006. Currently, I shoot full frame Canon DSLRs. I also employ b&w film with a 4x5 large format foldable field camera (Canham DLC45 v2). I process my own b&w negatives. b&w negs are then scanned into the computer.

Photoshop and Lightroom are my darkroom. Most images receive only modest amounts of adjustments in the computer. Some images demand more enhancement. It all depends on the image at hand and what I see in my mind's eye. I am a big fan of the NIK Software series plug-ins for Photoshop. My output is either pigment ink on archival paper, or dye sublimation on aluminum.

(1) Do not try to beat Mother Nature, it will make her angry.
(2) Regardless of the weather, there are always images to be had, you just have to look for them.
(3) When you are concentrating on one image, don't forget to look behind you, there might be something even better over there.
(4) Trust your instincts and always strive for more. Be your own worst critic.
(5) Carpe Diem. Work until you are exhausted. It is interesting how creative you can be in altered states of consciousness.
(6) Study the works of others - what makes their work so special? But then don't go out and imitate them, work on creating your own personal voice.

Upcoming Art Shows, Galleries and General Goings On

Society of Washington Artists Group Show
Feb 1 - Apr 10
Gallery 360
The Hilton Hotel - 2nd Floor
Downtown Vancouver, WA

2024 Clark County Open Studios
Nov 2 - 3
10am - 5pm
My studio will be open. Come on by to learn more about my process and see my work in person
4115 NE 133rd St, Vancouver, WA 98686
Artstra WebSite

Anstine Gallery Duo Show with Gregory Manin
Nov 1 - Feb 27 / Mon - Fri
8am - 5pm
The Rebecca Anstine Gallery
Clark County Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin Street, 6th Floor
Downtown Vancouver, WA
Clark County Arts Commission WebSite

Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival
Apr 18 - 21 / Thur - Sun
9am - 8pm
Main St.
Downtown Ft Worth, TX
Booth 803

Edmonds Art Festival
June 14-16
Friday: 10am - 7pm
Saturday: 10am - 7pm
Sunday: 10am - 5pm
700 Main St.
Edmonds, Washington

Washougal Art Festival
August 10
9am - 3pm
Reflection Plaza
Washougal, Washington

Boise Art in the Park
September 6-8
Friday 10am - 8pm
Saturday 10am - 8pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
Julia Davis Park
Boise, Idaho



2007 Clackamas Farmers Market
2007 Lake Oswego Millennium Marketplace
2008 Lake Oswego Millennium Marketplace
2008 Clackamas Live! Arts Show
2009 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts
2009 Salem Art Festival
2009 Lake Oswego Art in the Plaza
2010 Bellevue ArtsFaire, WA
2010 Sunriver Art Fair, OR
2011 Lake Oswego Art Fair
2011 Sunriver Art Fair
2011 Bellevue Art Fair
2011 Jackson Hole Arts Fest
2011 Art in the Pearl Art Festival
2011 West Linn Arts Fest
2011 Best of the Northwest Fall Festival
2012 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts Fine Arts and Crafts Fair
2012 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts Headline Exhibit "From Pinhole to iPhone"
2012 Sunriver Arts Faire
2012 Silverton Arts Festival
2012 Corvallis Fall Festival
2013 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts
2013 Sunriver Art Fair
2013 Silverton Arts Festival
2013 Corvallis Fall Festival
2013 West Linn Arts Fest aka ArtBurst NW
2013 Boise Art Museum Art in the Park
2013 Sacramento Festival of the Arts
2014 Salem Art Festival
2014 Art on the Green, Couer d'Alene, ID
2014 Sunriver Art Fair
2014 Art in the High Desert, Bend, OR
2014 Boise Art Museum Art in the Park
2014 Corvallis Fall Festival
2015 Umpqua Valley Arts Association Summer Arts Festival
2015 Edmonds Arts Festival
2015 Art Fair Jackson Hole
2015 Art on the Green, Coeur d’Alene, ID
2015 Sun Valley Arts and Crafts Festival
2015 Boise Art in the Park
2016 Edmonds Art Festival
2016 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts
2016 Salem Art Festival
2016 Bellevue Arts Museum ARTSFair
2016 Anacortes Art Festival
2016 Sunriver Art Festival
2016 Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
2016 Boise Art in the Park
2016 Corvallis Fall Festival
2017 Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
2017 Boise Art in the Park
2018 Wilsonville Festival of the Arts
2018 Wedgwood Art Festival
2018 Salem Art Festival
2018 Kirkland Summerfest
2018 Boise Art in the Park
2019 Wilsonville Festival of the Arts
2019 Gig Harbour Arts Festival
2020 Boise Virtual Art in the Park
2021 Boise Art in the Park
2022 Sun Valley Art and Crafts Festival
2022 Boise Art in the Park
2023 Vancouver Farmers Market
2024 Main St Fort Worth Arts Festival
2024 Edmonds Art Festival
2024 Washougal Arts Festival

Group Exhibits
2008 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts - Chronicle Exhibit WebSite
2015 Larson Galery 39th Annual National Juried Photography Exhibition WebSite
2015 Evergreen Fine Arts Association Abstract Show WebSite
2015 Clark County Open Studios WebSite
2016 Cascade Sothebys Gallery Showing WebSite
2016 Clark County Open Studios WebSite
2017 Clark County Open Studios WebSite
2018 Clark County Open Studios WebSite
2019 Clark County Open Studios WebSite
2021 Clark County Open Studios WebSite
2023 Clark County Open Studios WebSite
2016-2017 Lara Sydney Gallery Showing WebSite

2008 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts - Chronicle Exhibit Honorable Mention

2008 Portland Photographer's Forum Slideshow and Artist Process Lecture

Flower & Garden Magazine
National Gardening Magazine
Storey Communications
Garden Gate Magazine
Economy Label Sales
The American Gardener Magazine
Ortho Books
The John Henry Company