About me - Russell Houlston

I have been a photographer since 1966. My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic, which was a square format film camera. Since then I have graduated from film SLR's to, first, Medium Format, and then back to Digital SLRs. I still tend to be addicted to the square format, but try to resist.

My work has won many local awards, Northern California Camera Club awards, and has been published in magazines such as The Cantuarian, Peninsula Magazine and Camera Magazine (the latter two, I believe, out of business), and also Communication Arts, which is still in business. I have also been awarded Photo of the Day by the Smithsonian Magazine, and my work has been exhibited at Focus Gallery in San Francisco and recently also at the San Diego Art Institute. Most Recently, I was invited to create a Portfolio at LensCulture to share my work with the  international photography audience.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I am a color blind photographer. I see only yellows and a narrow band of blues. Some of my yellows are, according to my children, orange. The world I see is amazingly beautiful, and yet my children always feel sad for me not being able to see what they see. This inspired me to build a body of art which can show them how stunning my world is. The project is a collaboration with them and with you about the human emotional response to color.

I have learned so much from their feedback, and they have learned to accept that I am not disabled as an artist.

My inspiration comes from a childhood appreciation for Van Gogh, who I believe was colorblind in the same unusual way I am, and for John Constable who eschewed the landscape styles and subjects fashionable in his era. Van Gogh's color palette stands out as profoundly more beautiful to me than any other painter's, and it seems improbable to me that his choices, being so vividly visible to me, were coincidental.

My color senses help me see composition and texture more keenly than I would if I saw things just like my audience. The differences often start an interesting collaboration between us.

Normal people have a visceral connection to an image based on color alone, and they do not realize that in doing so, they are color blind too, in an ironic and inverse way. The colors they resonate with are ones they expect.

Because my sense of color is unusual, I seek to challenge expectations and share a different and no less magnificent view of the world.