- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
For Anne Machetto, it’s the fog that is most captivating.
“There is a softness, a calmness,” said the photographer, whose work “The Artful Photography of Anne Machetto” is currently on display at the Mattawoman Creek Art Center in Marbury.
She also tends to favor landscapes and seascapes, focusing on scenes she finds when she ventures out in the early morning hours to capture scenes shrouded in smoke-like fog or those that catch her attention.
Favorite haunts include Ocean City, Allen’s Fresh, Popes Creek, Southern Park, Cobb Island and the Mattawoman Creek watershed.
But she has traveled to India (she is a yoga instructor and longtime devotee), Belgium, Portugal and Norway with some photos from those adventures in the show, which will run through Aug. 19 at the center that is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Machetto has always liked artistic endeavors. When she was a kid she was so proud of being able to pen a cartoon character that could get her foot in the door of art school if she wanted to. She made paper dolls, drew and tried her hand at painting.
Painting didn’t stick, though.
“I would overthink it,” Machetto said, but with photography she found an outlet that let her be just as creative.
Usually armed with two cameras — a Canon and a Sony — she seeks out nature scenes, some bursting with color.
One of the show’s photos is of a blushing lotus that was in bloom in front of a subdivision (Machetto was tipped off to the flower by a friend); another is of a longtime umbrella vendor in Ocean City, the Ferris wheel looming in the background.
She finally captured one of the eagles that perch in her Newburg neighborhood (“The light was perfect,” she remembered. “There were no trees in the way.”); a print of flutes that she snapped for a class assignment at the College of Southern Maryland and shots taken in foreign town squares neighbor those of the piers of Capt. Billy’s and Capt. John’s restaurants and atmospheric sailboats cloaked in fog.
“I think her photography is a very sophisticated sort of photography,” said Mary DeMarco-Logue, the art center’s publicist. “It’s interesting because it’s etherial. Everyone has their own muse. [Machetto’s work] is sort of lonely but in a beautiful way.”
Machetto prints her own work; two of the photographs in the exhibit are printed on metallic paper which gives a subtle sheen (the first two guests at the opening reception on July 22 that could pick them out won a print of their choice).
The pearlized paper adds another dimension to a photo. A gray sky takes on a silver glow that enhances a landscape instead of distracting it with glitz.
Other prints are printed on canvas allowing them to appear more like paintings than photographs. While Machetto doesn’t print the canvas works on her own, the option gives her work another depth.
Machetto seeks out calming subjects, likely because that is how she tries to live her life. A student and instructor of yoga since the 1970s, she finds the practice focuses her and makes her a better artist.
DeMarco-Logue can pick up on the influence yoga has on Machetto’s work.
“It invokes finding your center,” she said. “An appreciation of being one with the world.”
The show is Machetto’s first solo one at the art center, about five of the pictures on display have nabbed first place awards in the center’s past members shows. She shared a 2011 show “Islands in the Mist” at CalvArt Gallery in Prince Frederick with watercolorist, Carl Wood, which paired his painted landscapes with Machetto’s snapped ones.
Preparing for the current show took about five months, with the last two leading up to the opening finding Machetto working every day on selecting the best of the best, making sure the frames are show-ready, and that the work was showcased in the best possible presentation.
Machetto favors white mats and for most prints a barely there photo frame. Other prints, like those of candy-colored blooms, can hold their own against weightier frames.
“I don’t want to distract,” Machetto said. “I don’t want to detract from the picture.”
For budding photographers, she said that the digital revolution has been a blessing.
“Get a camera and take as many pictures as you can,” she said. “Really pay attention and [you’ll] start to develop your own style. And trusting your own instinct,” is important.
“It’s an eye,” Machetto said of photography.
Sure, there are natural born artists out there but for those willing to put in the time, work and patience can add to a photography portfolio and boost their talent. “You can develop it.”
Mattawoman Creek Art Center will host “The Artful Photography of Anne Machetto” through Aug. 19 at the center in Smallwood State Park, Marbury. The center is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Call 301-743-5159 or go to www.mattawomanart.org