Beauty in simplicity: The photos of Lowell Snowden Klock

EMMA_Klock_Pink Door_2

Pink Door” painting by Lowell Snowdon Klock


By Janelle Faignant | Correspondent.

There’s a fresh fish market near a courthouse in town, with a parking lot in back that sits next to an old abandoned house. The house has probably caught the attention of different people for different reasons, but as a photographer, it struck Lowell Snowdon Klock as she was turning her car around, and she stopped to capture it on film.

Her aesthetic ranges from fruits and vegetables to doorway arches, bodies of water, flowers and weeds. Various objects become the subject of her camera’s lens, turning out a prolific photography career since she began doing it in 1985.

“I love windows and doors, especially old ones, with peeling paint and reflections,” she said. “That kind of thing.”

Klock is among the ten artists of EMMA, East Mountain Mentoring Artists, whose photography has been exhibited in local galleries for years. She currently has photos on display at Compass Art Center in Brandon through the month of October in the “What EMMA Loves” exhibit.

Her subjects are usually deceptively simple, producing captivating photos — an enormous, leaning tree she shot in Wales, its branches bare, or a staircase free of handrails, built into the side of a plain white stone wall. A sea of blue chairs in a classroom.

“The intimate size of these images compels the viewer to approach closely and examine the world through the photographer’s eye,” Liza Myers wrote in a review of one of Klock’s exhibits at the Brandon Artists Guild.

“You look for certain things,” Klock said. “You don’t want something smack in the middle of your picture, like a tree trunk.”

There’s a rule of thirds, when composing a photo, which Klock doesn’t consciously think about when she’s taking pictures, but says if she were teaching, the guidelines are shoot high, shoot low, but don’t put your center line right across the center.

She has a professional Nikon camera with several lenses but is apt to use her iPhone 6 if she’s on the road. “I stop and take pictures when I see something really good.”

She had her own darkroom for a while but digital cameras continued to get better and better, including the paper and the printers, and it made more sense to embrace it. So she prints and frames all of her own work herself.

“My computer is my darkroom,” she said.

Though she uses Photoshop to adjust the darker, lighter or brighter aspects in a photo, she generally doesn’t alter them beyond that.

“I might take out power lines. Things that I can crop. But if there’s no dog in the picture I don’t bring a dog in. If I did I would say it’s a manipulated photograph.”

Klock joined EMMA when it began three years ago, and says the casual atmosphere and honest feedback the artists provide is so helpful, not just in the process of molding a piece of art or a photo, but in keeping motivated to continue pursuing it.

After a recent morning she spent walking around EMMA artist Heather Shay’s property in Cuttingsville taking pictures, they decided to present a joint demonstration at Compass Art Center on October 4. Using the same photo, Shay will demonstrate her work from a painters point of view, Klock from a photography standpoint.

“I have taken art courses and I’m thinking of starting again, because this group is so encouraging,” Klock said. “We’ve talked about using some of my photographs to paint from and I’m thinking about doing some painting with the group. It’s a great group, very inspiring. Great ideas, and drive, and I need that.”

Compass Art Center

Compass Art Center

333 Jones Drive, Brandon


Janelle Faignant is a freelance writer living in Rutland.


EMMA artist talks, demos & classes
The artists of the Rutland-based group, EMMA (East Mountain Mentoring Artists), will conduct a series of artist talks, demos and classes to share their breadth of artistic skills and experience. The series will take place on Sunday afternoons at the Compass Music and Arts Center while their exhibit “What EMMA Loves” is on display. All events are free. See below for dates and details on each event.

October 4, 1 p.m.:
Heather Shay and Lowell Snowdon Klock
Painter Heather Shay and fine-arts photographer Lowell Snowdon Klock will demonstrate and discuss the differences in how they each approach the same subject with their different mediums. Shay will show the whole process of creating a painting, starting with the decisions on composition, the original sketch, blocking in the colors and finishing the work.
Shay is a former student of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum School in Boston, a juried member of the Chaffee Art Center and has exhibited at Okemo Mountain in Vermont and throughout Boston, Klock has an associates degree in photography, is a former student of Frank Lavelle and Elizabeth Opalenik, as well as a juried member of the Brandon Artists’ Guild, the Chaffee Art Center and artist member of the Southern Vermont Arts Center.
October 18, 1-2:15 p.m.:
Mary Crowley – Making the Grammy Book
Mary Crowley, the author and illustrator of the children’s book, “I Love to Visit My Grammy,” will explain how she came to write, illustrate and get the book published. In addition, she will talk about her second book, and the one she is working on now.

Compass Music and Arts Center is located at Park Village, 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Rd.).

Janelle Faignant

Janelle Faignant is a freelance writer living in Rutland.

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