CJ Hockett spent most of his youth outdoors on his father’s ranch in northwest Oregon. At 14, he bought his first camera in Times Square on a New York City trip. Smitten, he took college visual art electives, but never imagined becoming an artist. Instead, he embarked on a 40-year career as a US Navy aviator, flight surgeon, and Chief of Psychiatry at the US Military Hospital in Kuwait. He retired from the Navy in 2005.
In 1998, CJ began formal photographic training at the Tidewater Visual Art Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, then alongside professional wildlife photographers throughout the United States, Japan, Canada, and the Falkland Islands.
CJ achieves rich color by infusing dyes into the surface of specially coated aluminum. He believes this also helps preserve the prints, making them moisture-proof, scratch-resistant, and exceptionally color-stable.
I aim to create iconic images of wildlife that stimulate the viewer’s imagination. I use visual artistry, photographic, and print making skills to achieve a degree of abstract realism, reducing nature to its most basic forms so that the viewer is drawn into the mystery of these wild creatures.
I use a professional digital camera and long telephoto lenses to observe wild creatures without influencing or disturbing their behavior.
The surfaces of my metal prints have a microscopic quality that captures more light and creates a sense of increased depth, like a layered Old Masters painting. In fact, my fine art prints are often mistaken as paintings.
I especially cherish the owl print. The young owls have just flown from their nest. They roost in the top of the barn until total darkness occurs. Then they fly down to perch on the haymow window and be fed mice by their parents. After 7 -10 days, they learn some hunting skills and disperse, never to return to this nest site!
I hope my photographic art increases awareness of nature and inspires a sense of responsibility for preserving our wildlife and their habitat.
Artist’s website: www.cjhockett.com