June 22, 2017

The Duality of Art Model/Photographer; April-lea

There are few people that can claim they have experienced art nude photography from both sides of the camera.  There are fewer still as accomplished as Canadian based photographer/model April-lea.

This article explores her photographic work, understanding that each role influences the other.

Her work tends to transcend the beauty of her subject by creating images that are layered in a narrative of symbolism, emotion, and character exploration.  There seems to be a common thread that stimulates one’s sensual and often times, voyeuristic predilections.  

I feel that April-lea is able to accomplish this through a keen awareness of the human psyche.  She is able to capture what motivates the mind, soul/spirit in a tangible, physical way.

There is an apparent level of comfort and trust between April-lea and her subjects that allows the viewer to experience genuine moments.  Perhaps this is due to April-lea’s common bond of being a model herself, which offers a kinship of understanding with her subject. These moments are artfully captured in April-lea’s  own distinctive style.

In her words:
"I am a film photographer and art model from London, Ontario.  I started shooting film and working in the darkroom at the age of 17.  I instantly fell in love with film.  To me, nothing compares to the nostalgic feeling that goes along with film.  The grain is always gorgeous."

"My career as an art model helped me photograph art models in the ways that I always loved to be photographed.  I love to see a model’s confidence shine through in a photograph.  I adore the expression, sexuality and sensuality while photographing nudes.  Women of all shapes and sizes inspire me everyday, I feel that a woman’s body should be celebrated.  As I continue being an art model, I learn much about myself and how I want to shoot others.  It’s a win-win situation for me, I guess.  Constantly learning about oneself and also meeting wonderful artists along the way through my work and travels."

"My work can be seen in Taschen's New Erotic Photography Volume #2 and the re-edited version of Taschen's Book of Lesbians for Men (my photo is on the cover).  I am also featured in The Mammoth Book of Erotic Photography, Volume #4 as both a model and photographer"

Some self portraits by April-lea

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

June 19, 2017

The colors of Dave Levingston

Member of UdA since 2007

Dave Levingston
published in Photo

Dave Levingston is a Master and a close friend since the opening of this magazine.  I remember how impatient he was to know if Photo published him. I bought one and my "yes, you're in !" made his day. Dave is always happy and funny, simple and humble. He never said me no and always thanks me to believe in him. Dave is in my heart forever.

From California to Maine in the most outstanding natural landscapes, with a perfect master of light and colors and always working with wonderful and creative art models, Dave Levingston photographies the female body with a great kindness and an awarded talent. By the way he shoots also splendid indoors photographies as you'll see it.

I love his endless inspiration, his colors and his pleasing words that you may read in his active blog Exposed for the Shadows.

Dave, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wamful frienship and your confidence 😃

"Another Fuzzy Farm Photo"
Art Model Angeliqua Oryx

"The wave"

Dave Levingston by himself :

A photographer for more than 40 years, I have concentrated on photographing the female figure, often outdoors in natural settings, since 2002.  I believe that artists discover, rather than choose, their subject matter.  For me, women, and specifically the female figure, are the subjects that have repeatedly drawn my attention throughout my years as a photographer.

I photograph the female figure for many reasons.  I believe the female body is the original aesthetic object, the source of all our ideas of what is beautiful.  Therefore, the female figure provides the perfect subject matter, just as it has been an important subject since the beginnings of art.

"Eden in a slot canyon"

I choose to work in color rather than black and white because color is more challenging.  I’m interested in the abstraction of objective reality…finding the truth of abstraction in the things we see (but don’t see) every day.  Black and white is too abstract by its nature to be truly useful in this work.  And, besides, the world I see is in color.

While I don’t focus on the erotic in my work, I also do not shun it.  The idea that a photograph of a nude woman could be without any erotic content seems absurd to me.  In some of my photographs I like to allow the model to express her own unique personality.  My best photo shoots are with creative models who contribute their own ideas to the work, leading to a creation that goes beyond what any one artist could produce.  I’ve been privileged to work with many wonderful models who often work much harder to create these images than I do.


 "Brooke in the hay"
Art Model Bella Brooke

 "Sappho Eve"

"Nemesis and the Moon"
Art Model Nemi

In recent years I’ve worked a great deal outside the studio, exploring the relationship of the figure to the natural environment.  The nude figure seems to me to inherently belong in scenes of natural beauty.  In my photos I seek to integrate and show the interaction of light and shadow, form and patterns and color.

My work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe.  Collectors there and in South America own my prints.  I am regularly published in Europe, including in French PHOTO magazine.  My work is in the permanent collection of the Kinsey Institute, was included in the Erotic Signature books and international traveling exhibit in 2008 and 2009 and has been shown in a several venues in Dayton, Ohio and in the Detroit area over the past several years.  Most recently my work was included in the book f-eleven published in December 2009 and f-eleven volume 2 published in April 2010.

I am one of the 15 named plaintiffs in “Free Speech Coalition et al v. Holder” which has been filed in federal court in Philadelphia. This lawsuit is aimed at having the law known commonly as “2257” and “2257A” declared unconstitutional.

In recognition of my active participation in that lawsuit to defend the right of free expression for photographers, Carrie Leigh’s NUDE magazine awarded me their first annual “Arts for Humanity” award for 2009.

"2257 lawsuit"

"Candace in the studio"
Art Model Candace Nirvana

I’m interested in light and shadow, the essence of photography. I am interested in the tension between light and dark, both in photos and in people.

Both light and shadow are needed to define the form of the body and the person. Without the shadows that are within all of us, the light is meaningless. In my work I try to examine the dialectic of light and dark ; the necessity of each to the other ; the dance of relationship that counters value judgments and makes us examine the concepts of good and evil.

I choose to work in color rather than the traditional black and white because color is more challenging. I’m interested in the abstraction of objective reality…finding the truth of abstraction in the things we see (but don’t see) every day. Black and white is too abstract by its nature to be truly useful in this work. And, besides, the world I see is in color.

Art Model Sarah Ellis

"Green Hawaii"
Art Model Leona Anne

Art Models Hope Hoffman and Rachel

I’ve become known for my photos of nude models outdoors. This is one of the photos that originally started creating that reputation.

I’ve been a photographer, and I’ve photographed nudes, for far longer than I like to think about…much longer than many of my current models have been alive. But it was this shoot in Maine when everything from all those years finally came together and at long last my personal style was defined.

Art Model Theda

For me, the real joy of this shoot was the experience of working with nature.

You can never predict what weather, sun, plants, insects…nature…will present when you go out for a shoot. The fun is to take what nature gives you and work with it to make the photos that are there to be made.

That’s what I love about working outdoors. It’s a Zen thing to me. I think of it like surfing. You can’t succeed if you fight the waves. But if you understand the waves and connect with the power of them, you can have a blast and go somewhere.

Art Model Charlye Raine

The indoors of Dave Levingston


"Serene Kat"
Art Model Kat

"Mystical Doorway"
Art Model Charlye Raine

June 12, 2017

"Substratum" by Carlotta Dongar with Ange Bonello

A new member of Univers d'Artistes

"L'art est mon mode de vie: la photo est l'étoffe qui me sert à vêtir mon monde et l'aquarelle en est le fil qui tisse le tout en une cohésion visuelle."

Carlotta Dongar is a renowned photographer and water-colourist from Martinique after long years of travels all around the world. 

She sent me a lot of high res photographies when I told her I would love to exhibit her beautiful work. I'm so happy and proud of her enthusiasm. 

Of course, and as usual, I have had to make a choice. After a long meeting with myself in my conference room, all the photographies on the floor like my beloved Carrie Leigh did it before to publish my friends, I choosed her impressive and emotional portraits of Ange Bonello. Carlotta Dongar has captured his essence in a long and inspired series. 

And as she is multi-talented artist, I have added some other facets of his work.

Carlotta, you are sweet and lovely. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your joy and your confidence. Welcome on board ! 😊

By herself : 

Issue d’études universitaires en Art et Archéologie à l’Université d’Ottawa, j’ai étudié les arts et la photo dans le cadre des deux programmes que j’avais choisi. Après avoir oeuvré pendant de nombreuses années comme professeur d’arts visuels dans différents lycées de l’ouest canadien et au Québec, j’ai rejoint les Antilles-Guyane où j’ai privilégié la photo comme moyen d’expression.

Mes photos reflètent mon amour pour l’aquarelle et c’est l’effet recherché: le photo-aquarellisme, terme que j’ai créé pour décrire mon art: faire des aquarelles avec mon appareil photo. 

Des dialogues entre la lumière et ses contrastes, les couleurs et des des échanges visuels entre les formes et les graphismes de la nature.

Shooting de "Substratum" avec Ange Bonello

Ma première intention photographique se rattache à Ange Bonello, l'être qu'il est au plus profond de lui, son message, sa cohésion avec son art, ses arts, sa sensibilité et son expression du monde contemporain qui l'habite avec tant d'élégance et de mouvance. On ne peut être indifférent à cet homme doué de milles facettes colorées et intenses tel un phare dans l'obscurantisme actuel.

Ma seconde intention photographique est de montrer au maximum les émotions qui émanent de ce corps. Pour ce shooting ma technicité en macro, qui est ma préférence en photographie, m'a servie de guide et j'ai cherché à ne regarder que certains aspects du corps et à les mettre en évidence plutôt que de prendre en photo des 'scènes' dans leur intégralité.

J'ai opté ici pour une approche très intimiste, très 'macro' et surtout très sensible à tout mouvement de Ange. 

Favorisant tantôt le visage, tantôt le torse, tantôt les jambes et le tout au gré de ses mouvements que je scrutais à la loupe, j'ai attendu ces petits instants furtifs où la vie se dessine d'elle-même sur le corps de l'artiste que j'avais en face de moi.  J'ai suivi du regard toute son évolution, dans les moindres changements de messages et dans les mouvements les plus imperceptibles. Très attentive à toute sa performance j'ai reçu en plein objectif chacune de ses émotions.

Chacune de ces photos est le résultat d'un ressenti profond et tellement insoutenable que mes mains se comportaient indépendamment de ma volonté,  comme imbibées de conscience visuelle et universelle.  

Merci Ange pour ces moments de pure splendeur artistique et de pure éternisation de l'être humain.

The other facets of the talent of Carlotta Dongar

 Arrangement Cosmique

Les Fous

Magie diurne

The palmares of Carlotta Dongar :


Arts visuels et aquarelle:
Regina, Saskatchewan, Calgary, Alberta, Vancouver, Colombie-Britanique (Canada)


- ‘Entre mer, ciel et terre’, Le Carbet et St-Pierre Martinique, 20 juin au 20 juillet 2016
- ‘Etincelles aquatiques’, St-Pierre, Martinique, 16 juillet au 20 septembre 2016
- ‘Pool Art FAIR’ Martinique, 24 au 28 novembre 2016, salon d’art international, exposante photographe.
- Créatrice de ‘Fusion’Elles©’: un concept de fusion entre mes photos et l’art d’une artiste peintre: exposition de cette collection du 25-29  mars 2017 à St-Pierre, et à partir du 2 avril au 2 juin à la galerie d’art de l’aéroport du Lamantin.
- Collection ‘Taijitu’ en exposition au restaurant La Case Thaï, à partir du 4 mai-4 juin 2017, en préparation.
- Photographe invitée en Gaspésie, Québec (Canada) été 2017 sur le thème de la mer ainsi qu’à Montréal en  juillet 2017, en préparation.

Créatrice et/ou co-fondatrice de:
- Imagin’Art, guilde de peintres, Regina, Saskatchewan (1991)
- ‘Schooll’art Club’ dans trois lycées, ouest canadien (entre 1991 et 2006).
- 'Groupe de la Paix: Art et Création’, lycée Calgary, Alberta (Canada)
- ‘Association ‘Passifoto’, Martinique (2014)

Professeur-enseignante d’arts visuels, lycées:
- Father Lacombe, Calgary Alberta (Canada 2006-2008)
- Calgary French Immersion School, Calgary, Alberta (Canada 2003-2006)
- Campbell Collegiate, Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada 1993-2003)
- Artiste photographe invitée pour dispenser des ateliers de photo et d’art à l’hôpital du Carbet,
   avril-juin 2017.

Juge photographe: concours photo de l’association Paul Gauguin, Le Carbet, Martinique (2016)