A week on the Road.

I hope everyone is having a lovely week so far! For this blog I will be discussing some of the things I’ve been up to these past two weeks as I have been on the road quite a bit presenting some of my works as well as the preparation of the Resident Art Exhibition which by the way will hold a gallery talk this Friday October 21st at 5pm in the The Bascom’s Education Gallery located in Highlands, NC. Make sure to come out, have some wine, and support your local artist! cover

This past Wednesday I had the pleasure to present my projects at The Hudson Library, our local library. I spoke about my first project that I conducted during my first month at The Bascom as a Resident Artist. I also spoke about the technique and process that is required to bring about these illusionary images. If you missed last Wednesday’s presentation, there will be another presentation this Wednesday, October 19th that will focus on American Street Photographer,Vivian Maier, and YES! we will be watching the film Finding Vivian Maier. finding_vivian_meir

On Thursday morning I had the privilege to be a guest speaker at Susan Martin Photography Class. I was a fabulous experience to be able to go back to the place where I was a year ago as a student and present my current work and my experience after graduating, something that at the moment seemed a little unclear. I would like to send a huge Thank you to Susan Martin for giving me the space and time to be able to give back to WCU.wcu_mushroom

After speaking for about two hours I followed to have lunch with a couple of grad students, instructors, and other visiting artist that were at western that week. I spent the rest of the day at Paul Farmers Exhibition Opening, which was spectacular and I got to meet his lovely family and friends that came from far away for this special day for Paul.

After Paul exhibit I met up with an David who is an undergrad student who also has a passion for photography. Once the Sun set we took on main street on Sylva to do some night photography. We worked on long exposures and had a beer at Innovations Brewery while we spoke about post-production. david_collaborationsmallFinally I would like to send a huge Thank you to Diana Farfan who invited me to participate in an Exhibit last month in Greenville. The Show is coming to and end, but I know our friendship and collaboration is just beginning. Diana, Thank you for all of your support! You are the best! Make sure to check out her work, Everyone! fall-16

Side note: The mountains are taking on different colors this past week. If you drive from Cashiers to The Bascom, this is what you will most likely encounter! Hooray Mother Nature!


Two Days with Greg Newington

This past week I had the pleasure to join Greg Newington’s Fall Photography Class. It was an intense 12 hour workshop dedicated to color, composition, and light metering. On Thursday we met at the studio and the accomplished photographer Irv Welling shared some of his colorful work with us. Then we followed to study light; it’s intensity, brightness, and how we are able to control it by altering the subject or changing the angle of the camera.

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We then followed to take a few pictures at Mirror Lake in order to practice for the next morning. We spoke about light and focused on different techniques to meter light in order to accomplish the right exposure.

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We met the next morning at the same spot and applied what we had observed and learned on the previous day. It was a cold morning, but everyone managed to capture a particular part of mirror lake from their point of view.

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In the afternoon after lunch we met back at the studio and discussed our successes and problems we encountered while wondering around at Mirror Lake in the morning. I gave a short presentation of my images from my point of view and everyone followed to share their images as well. It was quite an experience learning from one of the best and being surrounded with people who share a similar passion for photography. Here are some of my images from that morning. I hope to see everyone soon! and don’t forget to share your images with me!🙂

-Byron Tenesaca, Photography Artist-in-Residence

Figure Drawing at The Bascom

Come to Life Drawing at The Bascom!

Join us the first Monday of each month from 10am – 1 pm- That’s this coming Monday!

I love drawing and painting from a live model, and it is a very important part of my practice.  Here are some images of my figure drawings-ranging from 20 minute poses to a large scale, finished drawing that took 16 hours.  All drawings are charcoal or conte on paper.

Happy Friday!

-Kristina Rose Baker




During my undergraduate degree at RISD, one of the best painting teachers I have ever had told me that if there was anything that she hoped I would take away from her class, it would be how to get myself out of a painting rut.  For the duration of the semester, every time I or one of my classmates hit a major roadblock, she would be there to throw curveballs at us, getting us out of our habits and out of our own heads.  That was where innovation began, and when breakthroughs happened- at the cusp of desperation, fear, hopelessness, and the other emotions that accompany the challenges that come with being a painter.  I like to compare being “stuck” in my painting practice to climbing a mountain.  The challenges lie when you are headed towards a peak; all you can see in front of you is the uphill struggle, and all the work you have to do.  You certainly can’t see the other side or the view from the top, where things becomes clear and everything is worthwhile. But determination and perseverance pushes you forward and keeps you going.   And when you finally reach the top of the peak, when you reach resolution, the whole world shines brighter; you can sail on the downhill, knowing that when you reach the bottom, you’ll do it all over again, because the challenges are worth it.

I have systems to help me get “unstuck” in my paintings.  They are exercises I have created for myself to get me to think and work differently; essentially creative problem solving.  One of my systems right now has been to create a “color calendar”.


This is the beginning- This grid is a calendar; the month of September.  Everyday I access how I’m feeling, and imagine that feeling as a color. It has to be incredibly specific.  I mix the color with oil paint, and fill in the little space on the grid for that day of the week.  Easy.  I also established a rule for myself- whatever color I am feeling that day has to be used in another painting I am working on, whether that means continuing on a larger, long-term painting, or creating a small painting I can complete in a few hours.

These are two examples of small paintings that were completed in a single session based on this color system.  Both are self portraits.  I frequently return to self portraiture as a subject when I am having a difficult time and need to find some relief within my work.

Relying on this system has taken away a lot of the anxiety that sometimes comes with the uncertainty and decision making in painting.  I have many other systems and rules I construct for myself in order to breakthrough difficult spots.

This week, The Bascom has had the privilege of welcoming The Southern Lights to teach a 3-day abstract painting workshop.  Observing the workshop, I noticed many systems and exercises that would be useful for any painter to overcome painting challenges.

Students chose a limited color palette to work with for the remainder of the week.  They then painted the same thing multiple times, changing their placement of colors in the composition to determine the most successful proportions within their paintings.  In another exercise, they used alternative painting tools to create new and different marks instead of only those obtained from using a brush.


I was really drawn to the painting demonstration that The Southern Lights gave on the second day of the workshop.  Each of the three women took turns painting on a large horizontal surface while the class dictated the actions of the painting, shouting out abstract instructions.  “Use the color orange and paint the feeling of disgust”, “Use lime green and paint the how you feel when you sell a painting”, and “Paint the same shape three times in different sizes” were just some of the suggestions that were then applied to the painting.  It slightly reminded me of Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies”, which were random suggestions he gave to musicians in order to push them and get them to perform in new ways.  I use and apply those Oblique Strategies to my paintings as well, and have many times surprised myself in solutions to creative problems.

-Kristina Rose Baker


Photography: Create your own world

There isn’t a day where I go without viewing new photography or works by photographers and artist around the world. Weather it is through Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, or Facebook, social media is fabulous place to share your work, connect with other artist, and to get inspired. Yet, sometimes we don’t efficiently use these features of social media. If what you see and read about on your social media leaves you feeling angry, then it’s time to clean your newsfeed. If you have a passion for something go and find those people who are also crazy about the things that you do. Trust me, they are out there. Follow their blogs, like their page, subscribe to their newsletters and listen to their podcasts. Your social media will become a place where you’re constantly learning about the things that you adore, live, and breathe for.

For this weeks blog, I would like to share some of my images that aren’t necessary going to be printed, but that I just have kept because they I can’t seem to get rid of them and they are a good study of light and subject. Make sure you guys share some of your works! 🙂  you can find me on Instagram: @Chulla-vidaa

  1. The first image is of a man walking behind a waterfall in NC called Dry Falls. picssharing

2. This could be part of my street photography portfolio. I love rainy days!

3. The following are images of The Bascom’s Campus.

4. A couple of Self-Portraits

5. Some works of art that you can find when you visit The Bascom.

6. Leaves with nice patterns and color combinations.

Portraits of some of my students and art instructors who have now become my friends.

Stayed tuned for more photography news!

Byron Tenesaca, Photography Artist-in-Residence