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story.lead_photo.caption Edward C. Robison III is a photographer and owner of the Sacred Earth Gallery in Eureka Springs. (Courtesy Photo/Edward C. Robison III)

Arkansas -- and many would argue the northwestern part of the state in particular -- is a hotbed of artistic talent. In this week's Meet The Makers, we shine a spotlight on more of the folks who make up the creative, diverse heart of the state's art scene.

Lisa Krannichfeld

According to her bio, Lisa Krannichfeld "was born and raised in Little Rock in an interesting cultural mix of a Chinese family living in the American South. Her experiences growing up in these two intermixing cultures and their traditions have greatly influenced her work, which primarily focuses on the woman as its subject. Her expressive portraits refute the traditional portrayal of women being passive subjects to gaze upon, evident in their confrontational, and at times defiant, expressions. Breaking traditions further, Lisa often uses traditional Chinese ink and watercolor materials in a nontraditional uncontrolled, free-flowing way often mixed with unconventional materials. Lisa's work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications nationally and internationally including shows across the United States, Asia, Australia and Europe."

Please tell us a little bit about your work. What do you create?

I am a figurative artist that creates paintings mostly of women. My paintings are composed of a lot of different materials including ink, watercolor, collage and resin.

When did you first start thinking of yourself as an artist/creator/maker? What were some of the first things you remember creating?

Does "always" count? I was a very creative kid and remember digging up the clay-rich Arkansas dirt to make little pottery bowls when I was very young. In high school, you never saw me not working on a drawing. However, I wasn't comfortable calling myself an "artist" until my mid-20s. Imposter syndrome runs deep in the creative world.

Where can we see/purchase your work?

Locally you can see my work in person at M2 Gallery in downtown Little Rock. My portfolio, as well as prints and small originals, are available on my website at www.lisakrannichfeld.com. I also am represented by Fort Works Art Gallery in Fort Worth and Saatchi Art online.

What's your favorite part of the creative process?

It's difficult to pick just one favorite part of the process since it involves so many steps and materials. However, if I had to pick one, it would be the first part, which is the ink and watercolor painting part of the process. I paint in a very free and spontaneous way, so it's like I am discovering the painting rather than controlling it. It's very therapeutic.

Have there been any responses to your art that you found particularly moving or memorable?

On several occasions, I have found that my work has gotten beginning art enthusiasts really excited about art, which I find really rewarding. Whether they have been a viewer coming to their first art exhibition or a collector buying their first piece, it is awesome to be there at the beginning of a person's new relationship with art. Art is magical, and I hope to turn as many people onto its power as possible throughout my lifetime.

What is one tool in your studio you can't live without?

I have this one watercolor brush that I had to buy for a class in college well over a decade ago. It is my absolute favorite brush. It is now pretty ratty, and I don't know what I'd do if it ever bit the dust. The handle is just bare wood because the coating and brand name has all flaked off, so I wouldn't even know what company makes it to replace it. Let's just hope it never dies!

Do you have any advice for a creative just starting out?

My advice for beginning creatives is always the same: Make a lot of work. I think some creatives get so focused on achieving "success" as their main goal that they forget that it all starts with the work. You have to make good work first and that takes time and practice. You have to get through a lot of bad work before you get to the good stuff.

Edward Robison III

A Missouri native, Edward Robison III got hooked on photography right out of college. Since then, he's dedicated himself to documenting the nature and landscapes of the Midwest. His work can be found in many private and public collections, including the U.S. Federal Courthouse, BKD, Capital One and the National Arbor Day Foundation. He's the owner and operator of Sacred Earth Gallery in Eureka Springs.

Please tell us a little bit about your work. What do you create?

In the most simplistic terms, I am primarily a fine-art nature/landscape photographer. Although the imagery I capture is traditional, my work also incorporates a lot of cutting-edge technology, such as augmented and virtual reality. I have been capturing images of the natural world for approximately 25 years, and I began publishing interactive books of my photographic work and building iOS and Android applications to accompany them around five years [ago]. My first interactive book brought my photographs to life with augmented reality and time-lapse photography. When you would point mobile devices' camera at the printed book page or framed art, it would "come to life" and animate with a time lapse I had created at the same time I had captured the still image. More recently, my books and prints have taken things a step further and now incorporate 3-D models to build entire 3-D scenes of the still image.

When did you first start thinking of yourself as an artist/creator/maker? What were some of the first things you remember creating?

I always enjoyed art classes in grade school, and when I got to high school, I took as many art classes as I could. I then began to focus on painting as a possible career path. I gravitated towards photo-realism and tried to re-create reality with a paintbrush. During a high school photography class, we studied the work of Jerry Uelsmann and at the same time in my painting class we were studying Salvador Dali's work. They were both working in a surrealistic style, and it heavily influenced my work at the time.

Where can we see/purchase your work?

Currently, you can view my work on my website at www.ECR3.com. I also co-own and operate the Sacred Earth Gallery with my wife, Janalee Robison. It's located just west of Eureka Springs on [U.S.] 62, and features my work, my son's photography and my wife's paintings. We are currently closed due to covid, but hope to reopen in the fall. I have also created a 360 interactive virtual tour of the solo exhibition I had last year at the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum: https://www.virtuelle3D.com/NatureOfPhotography

What's your favorite part of the creative process?

I'm torn between two aspects of my work. On one hand, getting out into nature and enjoying the peace and solitude it has to offer is what got me started in photography and is still one of my favorite parts of my artistic journey. On the other hand, learning new skills and problem solving are constant driving forces in my work. I really enjoy the technical challenges that come with creating a unique image or new type of media. I am constantly trying to push the boundaries of what photography is and will be in the future. That kind of trailblazing can be extremely challenging at times, but the reward of seeing a completed work is always worth the effort.

Have there been any responses to your art that you found particularly moving or memorable?

Many years ago, I sold a large framed photograph, which is of one of my personal all time favorite photographs I have created, titled "Ancient Spirit." The photograph is a black and white of an old twisted cedar tree clinging to a bluff high above the Buffalo River. A couple months after I sold the photograph, I had the customer contact me asking if they could exchange the photograph for a different one. The lady told me that she bought it because the tree reminded her of her late husband. She explained that she absolutely loved the photograph, but that every time she passed by it she would break down in tears. She said it was just too emotional a piece, and she really needed to exchange it.

How has your work changed or evolved over time?

Although my subject matter has remained pretty constant throughout my artistic career, WOW, has photography changed since I first began! I started with black and white photography around 1990, and I got serious about capturing nature images with a large-format film camera in 1997. Around 2003, I began to make the transition to digital photography. However, it wasn't until 2008 that I fully transitioned to an entirely digital work flow. Digital photography, of course, had a profound effect on my work as I'm sure it did for most other photographers. I no longer had to wait days, and sometimes weeks, to get back the film from a photo shoot and see what I had captured. I could now instantly see what I was getting on the back of the camera! This superpower allowed me to create images in a whole new way and take artistic risks I would have never taken with film. In 2015, iPhone photography surpassed more "traditional" digital SLR photography, and the era of Instagram had begun to dominate the photography market. The mass consumption of imagery, as well as the exceptional new video capabilities of DSLR cameras prompted me to shift my traditional still photography to incorporate video, time-lapse photography and 3-D modeling. About this same time, I created my first augmented reality book of interactive photographs. It was one of the first books of its kind, and I was using a mobile app developed by HP to power the augmented reality aspect. After that book was released, I realized I needed to learn to develop my own applications. I spent the next few years learning to code and develop my own augmented and virtual reality applications. 3-D modeling has now become an important part of my creative process. Many of the models I create use a technique called photogrammetry in which you take thousands of photographs around an object or scene to create a photo-realistic 3-D representation. I'm excited to see where this next chapter of photography and image-making takes me!

Do you have any advice for a creative just starting out?

My advice, stay true to yourself. Create what YOU want to create, not what others want you to create. You can be inspired by others' work, but then go on to create something unique with your own spin or take. Don't be afraid to experiment, and try things that haven't been done before. Your work represents you, so put passion and soul into everything you create and always make the best work you can!

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“Esprit de L’Escalier” by Lisa Krannichfeld. Chinese ink, watercolor, acrylic, paper collage, cyanotype and resin. (Courtesy Image)
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"Moonshiner Falls," by Edward C. Robison III. (Courtesy Image)
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Robison has been experimenting with multiple concepts to make static time-lapses appear more 3-dimensional when viewed with an Augmented Reality app. To create this interactive content, Robison masked out the foreground rocks from the background timelapse video and separated them by a few millimeters in virtual 3D space. This creates a parallax effect which gives the viewer the illusion of a 3D video.
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“Glass Ceiling” by Lisa Krannichfeld. Chinese ink, watercolor, acrylic, paper collage, cyanotype and resin. (Courtesy Image)
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“On the Scent” by Lisa Krannichfeld. Chinese ink, watercolor, acrylic, paper collage, cyanotype and resin. (Courtesy Image)
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Lisa Krannichfeld

Edward Robison III

During covid-19 closures, see Lisa Krannichfeld’s at lisakrannichfeld.com and saatchiart.com and Edward Robison’s work at ECR3.com. Also enjoy a 360 interactive virtual tour of his Fort Smith Regional Art Museum exhibit at virtuelle3D.com/NatureOfPhotography.

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