Natalie Mcguire

Natalie McGuire
Mixed Media Artist-creator of Photozaics

Natalie was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her mom came here from Germany and while dad was born here in Saint Paul. She currently resides in Saint Paul, she loves the small town feel that the city offers and the location, proximity in the US is perfect for her travels.
Natalie became interested in art at a young age, recalling that she grew up in an “ugly frame” household. Looking back, laughing, she says “I don’t blame my family, as this is what started my creative side to flourish”. Her favorite holiday memory, at seven years old, Natalie went in the local woods and found pine branches that the city parks staff trimmed off and decided to make a wreath for her parents that Christmas. She pulled all the materials into her room and began to tie each branch to an old wire coat hanger using mom’s scrap yarn. Her parents were so impressed with her talents that neither of them could take credit for it. That was only the beginning. Natalie could look at craft, study the formation, and replicate it. She went on to make crafts with other neighborhood friends and we would sell them on the street corner. She got my first camera in sixth grade with scholastic bucks (with the help of other classmates). The rest of the year Natalie photographed her classmates and fell in love with photography. She learned later in life that her grandfather (dad’s side) was a photographer, and this is where she received her natural born talents from. Grandpa would shoot black and white and then would hand color the images as he didn’t have the money to shoot color film. Her Aunt Natalie (mom’s sister) is where she got my creative side. She would take her to plays as a kid and teach her to make Ukrainian Easter Eggs and showed her the star consolation sky. Her Aunt saw and encouraged her creativity and helped form Her to whom she is today.
Her formal training started out with community education classes to learn the language of photography this was after high school. Natalie received her Associates degree in fashion merchandising, but this didn’t pay the bills or fuel her creative side like she thought it would. So, she decided to go back to school and attended Hennepin Technical college to pursue her photography career.
She studied under Paul Sinkler, Tim Gray and Tom Hanly until the program closed. Natalie continues with your education in non-conventional ways like reading blogs, searching the internet for tips and tricks. She has been tied involved with a few local Center for the arts and most recently she joined Minnesota Mosaic Guild in 2017, SAMA 2018, NEMAA 2018, Warm and networks with other local artists.
She started her photography career doing portraits and wedding, but her love of the nature is what really drove her creativity. She started selling matted photos and simple framed artwork at local art shows in 1998. It was a trip to the north shore that really gave her creative side a boost. While on a day trip visiting a friend’s cabin, she and another went to the shore to pick rocks. It was there that an annoying horse would not leave her alone, forcing her into Lake Superior for relief. Looking down in the water Natalie saw a great photo opportunity and snapped the shot of rocks under water with a gorgeous light beam highlighting some of the rocks. Immediately the light bulb went off and she thought rocks in the photo, rocks on the frame! From there she toyed around with driftwood, acorns, leaves, flowers. People at the shows loved the unique frames and preferred them over just a plain matted photo. 2000 this same friend introduced her again to mosaics and it was a natural progression to use stain glass as one of her materials to bring the essence of the photo out on the frame. Natalie calls this process Photozaics (start with a photo and finish with mosaic). Her collectors went nuts for these Photozaics. Natalie enjoys mixing up her photography from color to infrared. Driven by Mother Nature’s drama from the weather and locations play a big part if Natalie shots color or IR. She shows her art at a few local galleries; high end art shows and exhibits around the US.
Natalie’s awards started back in 1998 when she won Editor’s choice award with International library of photography. Her next major was 2003 when she took 1st place in the humor category from Lake Country Journal Magazine and received a cash prize and publication in the magazine. 2006 She placed 2nd in the photography category in the Brained arts in the park show. But her most notable is the Student photographer of the year in 2012 that she received from TCPPA (Twin cities Professional Photographers Association).
Natalie has always been a fan of Ansel Adams and Bob Ross’ style, even though Bob was a painter, she loved watching his programs on the local PBS. Really drove her to get out and be with nature. Her parents loved to travel via RV when Natalie and her brothers were younger. They believed the road trip was a part of the journey and they all got to see a lot of the America that you just can’t get from a plan.

This story Natalie tells is one of the most valuable compliments she could ever get. While doing a fall art show in the North-east suburbs of Saint Paul she had a couple come in her booth and viewed her mosaic work. The gentlemen came to her and asked, “how did you do that?” She replied, “well I take the photograph and color match the glass to each part of the photo….” When he responded with “no, no, how did you create the art can be appreciated up close, mid-range and far back?” Now she’s blushing and replies with “That’s how I see life”. “I was raised in a family that didn’t take much thought in the framing process and drove me nuts when I was a kid! I wanted to change that and as you see, I did” This man then introduces himself as a retired University of Minnesota photography teacher and said she has a natural born talent. To this day when she tells the story, Natalie has a big smile on her face.
Natalie’s clients returning and telling her where they hung the artwork and how the guests that come over can’t stop complimenting her work. This, Natalie says, “Never gets old! I love when my collectors come back and tell where hung their piece.” She had one couple that purchased what was named, Deer Portrait. This couple loved the art, and it was a little out of their budget, but they decided to purchase it anyway. The following year Natalie returned to the same show, the couple came back and said it was the best money they could have spent that year. The whole family loved to sit around the art and just stare at it and wonder what the deer was thinking. Natalie could tell at that moment her piece of art would become a family air loom.


Portfolio:

Photozaics

Photozaics
I believe it’s the little experiences we encounter daily that help complete the big picture of life. You will see that I do this in my Photozaics. When looking at my art don’t see as broken pieces; but look at the complete picture and it will captivate you like Mother Nature does for me.
I start with a photograph; this will include a planned or a spur of the moment trip. I go out with an open mind allowing Mother Nature to show me what she wants me to capture. I decide which image will be made in a photozaic.
I color match the stain glass to my image; hand cut and tumble. While cutting, my process is time consuming in a rhythmic way allowing me to zone out and only focus on my art.
I create photozaics; (I start with my photograph and complete in mosaic). My art engages your curiosity wanting to know what lies beyond the frame. Each work of art is unique and has their own personality.

Pine Edged Road 30x26x1 “Pine Edged Road 30x26x1”

Fall of 2017 I had an opportunity to go to Estes Park, Colorado; entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. This trip I decided to grab my digitally converted infrared camera and toy with it while in the mountains. Upon arriving in Estes Park, I filled up my gas tank and headed straight into Rockies. Being a typical tourist, I pulled off at all the possible location to take in the majestic views. This included the storms racing down the mountain side. I shot the scenes using both color and infrared, while editing the images I fell in love with the infrared as it accentuated the drama of the storms and landscape.

This shot was taken somewhere on Trail Ridge Road and because the storms were rolling over the mountains I pulled out my infrared camera to capture the raw moodiness of the storms coming over the mountains.

Golden Gate Bridge 30x26x1 “Golden Gate Bridge 30x26x1”

I headed to San Francisco for an art show and decided to give myself a few extras days to explore this great City by the Bay. I packed both cameras, color and infrared. I loved walking the shores as the fog filled the bay and covered up Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and other land marks. As the fog lifted I snapped photos of the various areas in the Marina District. I chose to use infrared as this type of photography shows the textures and brings out the moodiness of a scene. I use this technique on heavy overcast days, or with storms rolling in.
The fog burnt off quickly for me one morning, so I walked the beach, up a long hill to capture this photograph. Nature can really make all these colors work together.

Pine Cones 26x22x1 “Pine Cones 26x22x1”

I was drawn this photograph by all the texture and movement of the needles. Taken in my brother’s back yard years ago. I love when I make this one in a mosaic, each one has its own personality.

Poplar n Pine 20x17x1 “Poplar n Pine 20x17x1”

February of 2017 I took a day trip to northern Wisconsin to check out Amnicon State Park. This photo was taken as we left the area, turned right, and drove down this dirt road and stopped as the poplar with the pine trees were speaking to me. I love the straight white lines of the poplar trees.

Crissy beach 26x22x1 “Crissy beach 26x22x1”

I headed to San Francisco for an art show and decided to give myself a few extras days to explore this great City by the Bay. I packed both cameras, color and infrared. I loved walking the shores as the fog filled the bay and covered up Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and other land marks. As the fog lifted I snapped photos of the various areas in the Marina District. I chose to use infrared as this type of photography shows the textures and brings out the moodiness of a scene. I use this technique on heavy overcast days, or with storms rolling in.

While walking the beach I took this photograph because of the high contrast of white against the black, sky and water. Love how you just see a hint of Alcatraz

Ghostly Golden Gate 26x22x1 “Ghostly Golden Gate 26x22x1”

I headed to San Francisco for an art show and decided to give myself a few extras days to explore this great City by the Bay. I packed both cameras, color and infrared. I loved walking the shores as the fog filled the bay and covered up Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and other land marks. As the fog lifted I snapped photos of the various areas in the Marina District. I chose to use infrared as this type of photography shows the textures and brings out the moodiness of a scene. I use this technique on heavy overcast days, or with storms rolling in.

This infrared image really gives a ghostly look to Golden Gate Bridge. Reminds me of the old black and white noir movies.

Yellow Gerbera Daisy 20x17x1 “Yellow Gerbera Daisy 20x17x1”

I was shopping at my local grocery store and saw a lovely bouquet of flowers. I purchased them and when I came home, I took this photograph of the Gerbera Daisy cutting it off in my composition so I could make in a mosaic frame.

MIlkyway 20x17x1 “MIlkyway 20x17x1”

I was up at my friend’s cabin on Rainy lake in Canada. I wanted to go when there was a new moon so I could photograph the Milky Way. I adjusted my white balance to help give me the blue hue I was looking for. Best night light ever in my book.

Rainy Lake Blues 20x17x1 “Rainy Lake Blues 20x17x1”

I was up at my friend’s cabin on Rainy lake in Canada. They have the best sun sets from their island, this one was no exception. August sun sets are much cooler in temperature than June or July that I have seen.

Infrared photography

My images are little mosaics pieces of my memory that I capture and share with the world. Photography is second nature to me and allows me to express how I see things in day to day life. This gift was given to me by my father.
My subject matter is driven by my ability to go out shooting with an open mind allowing Mother Nature to show me what she wants me to capture. I look at my scene and decide am I going for color, texture, lines, mood, or drama? This helps me decide if I shoot color or infrared.
My photography is many things, depending on my environment when capturing the image. When shooting infrared, this style of photography brings another worldly look to my photographs, almost like a dreamlike state and has a 3D effect. My images in color I primarily use to grab the vibrancy of Mother Nature’s glory. I create images that make you feel like you are there with me in the scene.
My photography can stand alone or be combined with my photozaics.

Beached “Beached”

I headed to San Francisco for an art show and decided to give myself a few extras days to explore this great City by the Bay. I packed both cameras, color and infrared. I loved walking the shores as the fog filled the bay and covered up Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and other land marks. As the fog lifted I snapped photos of the various areas in the Marina District. I chose to use infrared as this type of photography shows the textures and brings out the moodiness of a scene. I use this technique on heavy overcast days, or with storms rolling in.

I loved how this abandoned wood boat was just left beached with its ores still attached.

Crissy Beach “Crissy Beach”

I headed to San Francisco for an art show and decided to give myself a few extras days to explore this great City by the Bay. I packed both cameras, color and infrared. I loved walking the shores as the fog filled the bay and covered up Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and other land marks. As the fog lifted I snapped photos of the various areas in the Marina District. I chose to use infrared as this type of photography shows the textures and brings out the moodiness of a scene. I use this technique on heavy overcast days, or with storms rolling in.

While walking the beach I took this photograph because of the high contrast of white against the black, sky and water. I also wanted to give that feel to draw you into the photo and did this by centering the board walk. Love how you just see a hint of Alcatraz

My Happy Place “My Happy Place”

This infrared photograph is taken on my parents’ home in northern Minnesota. The lake is named Duck Lake; it’s a quiet lake with just around 2 dozen homes and feeds various birds Like Swans, loons and Bald Eagles. At any given time, you can sit out on the dock and watch a Bald Eagle catch a fish; land in a nearby tree for lunch. I love this place for its peaceful tranquility and allows me to recharge my soul.

Ghostly Golden Gate “Ghostly Golden Gate”

I headed to San Francisco for an art show and decided to give myself a few extras days to explore this great City by the Bay. I packed both cameras, color and infrared. I loved walking the shores as the fog filled the bay and covered up Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and other land marks. As the fog lifted I snapped photos of the various areas in the Marina District. I chose to use infrared as this type of photography shows the textures and brings out the moodiness of a scene. I use this technique on heavy overcast days, or with storms rolling in.

This infrared image really gives a ghostly look to Golden Gate Bridge. Reminds me of the old black and white noir movies.

Golden Gate Bridge “Golden Gate Bridge”

I headed to San Francisco for an art show and decided to give myself a few extras days to explore this great City by the Bay. I packed both cameras, color and infrared. I loved walking the shores as the fog filled the bay and covered up Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and other land marks. As the fog lifted I snapped photos of the various areas in the Marina District. I chose to use infrared as this type of photography shows the textures and brings out the moodiness of a scene. I use this technique on heavy overcast days, or with storms rolling in.

I shot the Golden Gate bridge using infrared photography to I could capture the bridge’s grandeur. I love how the black and white really adds drama to the photograph

Pine Edged Road “Pine Edged Road”

Fall of 2017 I had an opportunity to go to Estes Park, Colorado; entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. This trip I decided to grab my digitally converted infrared camera and toy with it while in the mountains. Upon arriving in Estes Park, I filled up my gas tank and headed straight into Rockies. Being a typical tourist, I pulled off at all the possible location to take in the majestic views. This included the storms racing down the mountain side. I shot the scenes using both color and infrared, while editing the images I fell in love with the infrared as it accentuated the drama of the storms and landscape.

This shot was taken somewhere on Trail Ridge Road and because the storms were rolling over the mountains I pulled out my infrared camera to capture the raw moodiness of the storms coming over the mountains.

Storm if Forming “Storm if Forming”

Fall of 2017 I had an opportunity to go to Estes Park, Colorado; entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. This trip I decided to grab my digitally converted infrared camera and toy with it while in the mountains. Upon arriving in Estes Park, I filled up my gas tank and headed straight into Rockies. Being a typical tourist, I pulled off at all the possible location to take in the majestic views. This included the storms racing down the mountain side. I shot the scenes using both color and infrared, while editing the images I fell in love with the infrared as it accentuated the drama of the storms and landscape.

This was taken on Trail Ridge Road almost to the peak at an area called Forest Canyon overlook. I really wanted to show how the storm popped off the mountain, it has a 3D affect for me.

Rolling Peaks “Rolling Peaks”

Fall of 2017 I had an opportunity to go to Estes Park, Colorado; entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. This trip I decided to grab my digitally converted infrared camera and toy with it while in the mountains. Upon arriving in Estes Park, I filled up my gas tank and headed straight into Rockies. Being a typical tourist, I pulled off at all the possible location to take in the majestic views. This included the storms racing down the mountain side. I shot the scenes using both color and infrared, while editing the images I fell in love with the infrared as it accentuated the drama of the storms and landscape.

The pine tree on the right captured my attention, so I took this shot with focus in the foreground as well as the backdrop. Looks like a painter came in brushed black across the mountains.

Bridge To Wonder “Bridge To Wonder”

I was going for a dreamy wonderland look when I took this photo. The Willow tree on the right and the path wondering out of the scene are what drew me to capture this image. The contrast of black against white really works in this image. Located at of my favorite local parks- Lake Phalen in Saint Paul.

Under the Tracks “Under the Tracks”

This is one of my favorite places to shoot (when not fenced off). Graffiti artist use this area as a blank canvas and the dilapidated docks; old pillars add character to the scene.

Timmy's View “Timmy's View”

As I was driving the Peak to Peak route in Colorado, I looked in my review mirror and saw this image. I pulled over and took this shot in honor of my father whom passed away earlier this year and he loved the mountains and our national parks. So, this is for my dad.

Colorado Bound IR “Colorado Bound IR”

My destination this year was a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico for an art show and decided to extend my trip to include an extra week of driving the New Mexico and Colorado landscapes. This trip I documented both in Color and Digital Infrared photography.

As I was heading out New Mexico to explore Colorado this single lane highway was repaved by the local DOT. I loved the jet black popping off against the mountain range in the background and the bright blue sky holding the white puffy clouds. The infrared has this 3d affect that draws you to explore the image.

Colorado Bound IR II “Colorado Bound IR II”

My destination this year was a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico for an art show and decided to extend my trip to include an extra week of driving the New Mexico and Colorado landscapes. This trip I documented both in Color and Digital Infrared photography.

As I was heading out New Mexico to explore Colorado this single lane highway was repaved by the local DOT. I loved the jet black popping off against the mountain range in the background and the bright blue sky holding the white puffy clouds. The infrared has this 3d affect that draws you to explore the image.

Royal Gorge “Royal Gorge”

My destination this year was a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico for an art show and decided to extend my trip to include an extra week of driving the New Mexico and Colorado landscapes. This trip I documented both in Color and Digital Infrared photography.

Decided to see the Rio Grand and made the Royal gorge trek. Taking the photo while looking over the bridge I really get the feeling how small we really are.