A Chat With Local Artist And Gallery Curator Lisa Renèe Ludlum
As a little girl, Lisa Renée Ludlum fluttered around the yard, tiny pocket camera in hand, shooting black and white film pictures of bugs, plants, butterflies and her mom’s roses. She compares herself to “Alice in Wonderland” on a magical treasure hunt, slipping through a rabbit hole and ending up in a secret garden. With a talent for finding beauty and intrigue all around, photographer and artist Ludlum, a Palm City resident, decorates her Gallery 36 with fascinating and fabulous works.
Ludlum says she worked for a quarter of a century as a bookkeeper before finally deciding to dive into her passion and embrace the journey of becoming a full-time artist and gallery owner.
What inspires your photography/art?
My lens is an extension of my eye, and my camera is a window into my soul. With my camera, I zoom in and bring life in focus. I receive great joy out of sharing my visionary images through the magic of photography, and I believe nature is a gift, a symphony, a true masterpiece—awaiting the grand finale. The magic of photography and life itself are a treasure chest just waiting to be discovered. Photography truly suspends moments in time, creating an infinite thumbprint of our present and a parallel visual key to our past, leaving a lasting gift for the generations of our future. I am a natural photographer. My composition begins in the field with my eye, and that is where I believe my strength lies. I do not use Photoshop, HDR or any other digital, graphically manipulated photography editing. I choose to remain as natural as possible. It’s just me, my eye and my camera.
What fuels your imagination
when picking a subject to photograph in nature?
I like to focus on the beauty of our local and Florida art. Macro photography, which is often thought-provoking, is my truest passion. It is like discovering a treasure in the smallest of subjects and sharing it with the world. It is not every day that you get to see the grids in a dragonfly eye or see a swallowtail butterfly lay its tiny eggs on a pipevine. It is simply amazing, and I love capturing and sharing these gifts with the world.
Do you have a favorite piece?
My dragonfly images are my favorites. They serve as the signature image of the Gallery 36 logo, and they have symbolic meaning because the dragonfly symbolizes change and self-realization. Those images are also the most challenging to capture because they take significant patience and time to capture the perfect shot. You have to be one with nature.
Do you find artistry to be a difficult business?
Business brings new challenges, of course, but if you are doing something you love and are passionate about, it’s all fun. It’s also exciting to work with clients and design new, customized walls for their homes, offices, yachts or in personalized shoots.
To what do you attribute your success as an artist and businesswoman?
I totally believe in the power of positive energy, sharing my talents and giving back to the universe and those around me. It all is like the circle of life itself—it all comes back in one form or another. The more positive energy you put out there, the more positive you get in return. Life is good, and I am truly blessed in my life, with my husband and best friend of 30 years, my son and now my dream job gallery.