The Tulip Anthology

Ron Van Dongen - photoThis is my interview with Ron van Dongen.

Who influenced you to start photography? My photography teachers and mentors Lela Hersh and Roger Minick.

What do you find inspiring? Looking at Golden Age paintings, whether it is landscapes, portraits or still lives. But most of all, the natural world. This can be our back yard, the beach, the forests or the mountains.

What was the best thing about working on this book? Being able to go back to all the places where I roamed the fields as a child.

What was one of the best things that happened because of this book? The book won best ‘Nature/Garden’ book in France in 2011 (“Le Prix P.J. Redouté”).  I had no idea it was even nominated for a prize.

What are your favourite gadgets? My favorite gadget is the iPhone. I’ve started to use this device to create a monthly ‘visual diary’, which has become a favorite activity of mine (when I’m not in the studio). The results of this diary will be viewable on my web site in the near future.

What traditions from the Dutch culture do you incorporate in your life? I am VERY fond of freshly baked, whole grain breads. The Netherlands has many great bakeries where the assortment of breads is excellent. Although there are very good bakeries here in Portland, I regularly bake my own bread.

Do you collect anything? I collect stamps. Some of them are truly tiny pieces of art.  I also collect and dry some of the leaves and flowers I photograph; this is turning into a precious collection. I have now started to photograph these dried species. The first results are posted on my web site.

What is something that most people might not know about you? I am a big soccer and basketball fan. I also love to fly.

What other themes or book would you like to work on? I would like to start making portraits again, in the studio or on location.

What are you working on next? Early this year I bought a new camera and am still getting used to all its possibilities. Because of that, I’ve not been working on new projects but adding new work to my existing portfolios and trying to establish continuity within those portfolios.  

Read my review of ‘The Tulip Anthology’ here.

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