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About Cathy

Cathy Leaycraft has been photographing for over 30 years. In 1976 she moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where she resides today.  At that time she was working with other artists creating Video Documentaries. This led her to the study of still photography, which she started at the University of Delaware and continued at the Maryland Institute College of Art.   Today she uses reflected and refracted light to create a unique viewpoint before she even snaps the shutter. Her companion on this... more

Reflected Landshape

My current artistic focus is on the use of a glass sphere to create layered images of landscape. Put simply, I use a hollow glass ball. It is about twelve inches round and made of clear blown glass. I do not directly photograph the landscape. I photograph its reflection on the glass surface; the environments behind and below the sphere create additional layers of imagery.

When doing a photo shoot, I choose a location that I think will produce intriguing imagery. It could be a garden, a beach, or a friends yard. Once I am there, I set up my “glass studio” on the ground and begin exploring potential images. I move my body and camera around while looking through the viewfinder. In this work, I have shunned computer manipulation in favor of manipulating light and reflection, before it reaches my camera.

I strive for a dreamlike quality, and a sense of timelessness.

Nature Portraits

I am a photographer of landscape. There is a long tradition in the portrayal of landscape. While I am rooted in that tradition, my approach is not traditional.

The unusual look of my photographs is created by the use of a glass sphere. I do not directly photograph the landscape. Put simply, I use a hollow glass ball. It is about twelve inches round and made of clear blown glass. My images are created by inserting objects into my glass sphere. These objects then find themselves surrounded by layers of imagery (distorted landscape beyond and beneath the glass).

When doing a photo shoot, I set up my “glass studio” on the ground; I insert my subject, and begin exploring potential images. I move my body and camera around while looking through the viewfinder.

In this work, I have shunned computer manipulation in favor of manipulating light and reflection, before it reaches my camera.

Tiny Toys

Since the end of 2005 I have been exploring the use of a clear glass ball in my photography. Until this year, landscape and plant life have been my primary focus, with an occasional glimpse of human habitation. However, this past year (2016)I decided I needed some new subject matter.

My introduction to this new subject matter started when I was asked to participate in an exhibition featuring the nude. I had not photographed a nude figure since the 80’s, and knew that my 12” ball with a 1” opening would not accommodate a full sizes human being, so, I started thinking of miniature human replicas. I ended up photographing a tiny plastic baby purchased at Party City. While this image did not make the show, it sparked an interest in tiny replicas available in supermarkets, toy stores, and tourist shops.

Because the opening in my ball is 1” wide, I began carrying a tape measure in my bag, so I could measure a potential subject to see if it would fit through the opening. Traveling introduced me to the fun of combing through tourist shops looking for the perfect object to slip down the hand blown neck and into the belly of my glass sphere.

Just when I thought I had finished exploring all the possible options, this new subject matter has inspired me to keep pushing the boundaries of a 12” clear glass ball.

  • Green Lizard

    Green Lizard
    This green lizard came in a bag bundled with other brightly colored reptiles. I photographed it on the park grounds of the Washington County Art Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown.
  • Truck

    Truck
    Dan (my husband) bought this little truck for me as a surprise gift from a shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts. I photographed it at the Rehoboth Art League.
  • In the Beginning

    Plastic baby in abstract environment
    This plastic baby started it all. It was the first tiny toy to be photographed for this project. I took this image in my backyard. The baby was purchased at Party City.
  • Ant's Contemplation

    Black ant looking into blue field
    This black ant was in a bag with other colorful imitation insects. I photographed it in the garden of the Rehoboth Art League.
  • Blue Dolphin

    Blue plastic dolphin under water
    I thought this blue fish was a shark until someone informed me that it was a dolphin. I photographed it when I was on Monhegan Island, Maine this summer. I placed my dolphin-containing sphere in a puddle between the rocks at low tide.
  • Chinese Bridge

    Chinese Bridge over reflections
    I purchased is object from an import store in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The reflections in my backyard made the perfect streambed.
  • Fallen Blue Bird

    Painted wooden blue bird lying on it's side
    This blue bird is carved out of wood and painted. It was designed as an ornament, but I cut off the loop. I purchased it in Wellfleet, Massachusetts from the Left Bank Gallery. It would not sit upright, so it’s a fallen bird.
  • Mermaid Goodbye

    Green toy mermaid waving goodbye
    I found a package of two mermaids hanging in the isle of the Giant Supermarket; one was red and the other green. I photographed this green mermaid in my sphere at low tide between the rocks. We were preparing to leave, so she is waving goodbye.

Connect with Cathy

Cathy's Curated Collection

View Cathy's favorite works from other Baker Artists