Artists ~ Paul Davis

Artist’s name: Paul Davis
Shop name: Rhode Trip Photography
Facebook: www.facebook/

1. Tell us about your work.
My photography is like a fine art time machine. A combination of collecting, Rhode Island, and photography done with real film and a mechanical camera. I've combined my 25 year collection of Rhode Island memorabilia with film photography. All of my work is made by hand one at a time in a traditional darkroom or in my studio.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
Rhode Trip Photography is a play on the word "Road" giving it a Rhode Island twist and often times people take a trip down memory lane when they see my work.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I've known this is what I wanted to do my whole life. My whole family is creative. I would die in an office environment. But this particular twist on my art took many decades to come together. To produce the work that is truly who you are as a person takes a very long time.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from a life of collecting. I have an incredible collection of Rhode Island memorabilia, and these items are the subject matter for my photography.

Along with these images, I also head out into the landscape and photograph natural Rhode Island. It's hard not to be inspired driving across the beautiful state of Rhode Island.

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
My favorite pieces to create are my landscape photos. With a mechanical camera, you have to know how the picture will look before you take it. The image is captured on film, not on a screen. It may be a month before you can develop that film and see what you got. So you are very selective out there and the images are better quality.

Watching the image form in a tray of developer in the darkroom is always exciting.

6. What’s your best seller?
My best sellers tend to be my JAWS and Rocky Point Park gelatin silver prints of the original ads that ran in the Rhode Island papers at the time. Recently, my Polaroid transfers in repurposed Kodak film developing hangers and in antique photographic frames have been very popular.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I grew up in Cranston and lived there for 18 years. I live in Boston now but have lived in Providence as well. All of my shows are in Rhode Island.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
Too many things. Narragansett Town Beach at 6am, Allie's, Del's, Matunuck Oyster Bar. I love it all. There's no place like home!

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
Matunuck Oyster Bar

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
My advice would be to put down the digital camera and give film a try. It's not about TAKING the picture as much as it is about MAKING the picture. Learn how the camera works. Ask yourself what you really love and make your art based on that. And, most importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP! I can't even begin to tell you how many people I have known who do not make art anymore. Yes, you will probably not make a living doing this, but if you really love it, you will not stop doing it.

11. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
My work is for Rhode Islanders, both transplanted and local. While I have a high attention to detail and craft, my photography is meant to be fun and approachable. I'm not trying to save the world and I don't have fancy artist statements. It's about the art of discovery and exploring the Rhode Island of past, present, and future. And doing things the old fashioned way.


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