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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Symbolic Meaning of Death


Hello web travelers. I hope this week is treating you well and not giving you any tricks. Tis the passing between seasons and the beginning of autumn. That also means Halloween is just around the corner. So, today I decided to ponder the symbolic meaning of death and how we use it to describe various stages or events in our lives. Now I am not talking about literal death as in kicking the bucket. I mean the changing of ourselves. Those times in our lives we let go of something. Many times this is through trauma but sometimes it is of our own choosing.

As an artist, I have seen myself go through these cycles of life and death within my art. Going from one medium or period of creativity to another. In my case it is my relentless search to try and better myself or find a better outlet for my inner vision. Thus my recent push in photography which has given my inner vision an outer manifestation. But, the other issue for me is that I have been missing the actual making of something with my hands. Since the onset of arthritis in my left hand sculpting is all but non existent. It is too painful to do much of it. So, I began to feel sorry for myself. Now what will I do?

As the Universe always does, it gave me a push and an answer. I was recently asked to create a healing doll for someone. In the past when I made these on a regular basis, I made them entirely out of cloth and other fibers. So, I decided to do the same this time around. Once I began to contemplate how I was going to do this, I remembered that once upon a time I used to design entirely in cloth. Gave that up once I discovered clay and all of it's detail possibilities. But, now the spiral has come around and I am once again looking at cloth. It will be slow and steady, but it will get me into the grove again. You can also bet that photography will feature heavily in the mix somewhere.

It will be fun to try something old in a new way. Glad I didn't throw out all of my old pattern designs. I will have fun tweaking and updating some of them. Will keep you all posted of my progress.

Have a great weekend.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Discarded Portfolio Part 1


Hello Saturday surfers. Hope your weekend is going well where ever you are today. I have been going to a season full of art openings which I do enjoy. It is nice as it gives me pause to look at the work I have been making over the past year or so. In my last photography class our final assignment was to create a portfolio based on a theme or subject of our own choosing. My final choice was that of trees. But, that is not what this post is about. Instead I thought I'd share a few images from my discarded ideas. One was that of images of dolls in a human environment. I like the idea of these dolls living in an alternate time frame along side of we humans. We don't see or perceive their movements. We are out of time sync with them. I know that sounds very scifi or Dr. Who'ish but, that's my way of looking at them.

The above picture is a black and white treatment of one doll I made I call the Prophetess. She is a little touched, whether by God or not remains to be seen. But, she spends her days preaching the coming doom of all doll kind to anyone willing or unwilling to listen. I thought this treatment gave a particularly creepy vibe.


The second image is that of my fortune teller psychic Willimena Tomko. I wanted to create a painterly feel for this image. It was one I snapped after I had finished her and she was sitting on my work table. I just love the lighting of this image. I am planning on a more elaborate photograph of her with all of her tools of her trade. She photographs quite well I think.

So, I have been busy exploring a variety of subjects figuring out what I want to say with my art. Let me know when I get there will ya. Hope you are enjoying my journey as much as I am at least. Hope you all have a great weekend whats left of it.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sleepy Saturday


I thought I'd share with you some of the black and white images I have been playing with today. I took some shots of the two sleeping dolls I created out of some Monster High dolls. I love their serene look once they are posed as if taking a cat nap. Here is Katrina above taking a little snooze. I actually converted to a black and white infrared image with a bit of fog tossed in for good measure. It lends itself to the dreamy quality of the image.


Here is a close up view of her as she  travels through dream land.


Next we have my sleeping princess. Princess Nay Neh is dreaming of her prince to be as she takes a break from her duties. Here again I converted the image using a black and white infrared process. I like the dreamy feel.


Finally here she is in a close up. It makes me want to curl up and take a nap too. I was finally able to rehab her dress. I took off the long skirt part and added a lighter flouncy paw print organza. It's all in shades of pink to contrast her greenish skin tones. Obviously you can't see that here. The awesome thing about black and white is that it allows one to play with light, texture and contrast without dealing with colors that might not otherwise work together.

Well, that's it for now. Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Apparitions

Greetings one and all. Sorry for the delay in my weekly postings. I had been out of town for a four day weekend to Washington DC for a friends wedding. I had the opportunity to visit some interesting sights as well as national monuments. This afforded me the chance to take some images I may not get a chance to do again. However that being said, my photographic skills were certainly challenged. I forgot to take a tripod which is essential for night photography. But, despite that I had a great time and came away with some interesting images.

Now to the point of this post. I have been wanting to experiment with black and white and the idea of apparitions. I am trying out a technique using a combination of blur and blend modes to give me the effect I am trying to achieve. I wanted the image to be somewhat recognizable. Yet, ethereal in feel. I discovered that this was a great opportunity to use the blurry images that didn't turn out that great for other things. So, you be the judge.

 

This first image was taken at the Lincoln memorial. It was one that I took at night and with my cell phone. I couldn't get my expensive Nikon to get a good image. I really like the ethereal feel of this picture.


This was taken at the FDR memorial. I really find that statues really make interesting subjects. The only downside is the hard lines of the sculpture. Real people have a softness about them that lends itself to a more believable apparition..


I am not sure who these two are but, I took this at the same FDR site. I just liked this composition and the bit of text that appears in the image.


Finally this is FDR again as a younger man sitting in his study I think. I am not really sure as it was really dark and hard to read the little plaques. But, all of these images were converted to black and white and processed with a blur and blend mode. It is fun to experiment with some new ideas.

I hope your week goes well as we are headed towards the end. May you have peace, love and a whole lot of creativity grace your path.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Looking Upward and Onward


Happy Thursday to you all out there in cyberland. I hope you are doing well and are finding some fun and creative things to do with yourselves. I have been immersed in a photography class in the later half of the summer. It has been fun and very challenging thus far. But, well worth the time and effort. One thing I like about these classes is I am challenged to think and find new ways of looking at the world around me. As a budding photographer/artist I am still trying to find my voice or vision so to speak. It is in moments of sheer exhaustion that I realize some nice little insights. Since I started down this rabbit hole of photography, I have been in a big rush. To where you might ask? Well, it is one of those strange things I seem to get myself into. In the back of my mind I hear this voice saying,"Hurry up and develop your style. You need to get noticed and start that career of yours". So, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make everything count as if my artistic career depended upon it. Ultimately this creates many stumbling blocks, procrastination's and feelings of defeat.

Now that I am aware of this self sabotaging process I can better manage it. Looking at each class, each lesson and each day I am out shooting images I am creating myself. The thing is I am now telling this voice relax. It's OK we will find our voice. Perhaps the best part is the learning of new things, processes and techniques. I feel as if I just opened this great big toy box filled with all sorts of possibilities. I am not too old to start over or to reinvent myself. That in and of itself is a big challenge.

About this set of images. This weeks class was about looking up and how we can interpret that idea. I literally looked up in most cases. So, I chose a few examples to give you the idea. The first image is one I took on one of my walks home from my studio. It was a nice cool day with a bit of sun. There are a few interesting landmarks along the way and this sign really struck me as odd and fun at the same time. I chose to treat it as a black and white image to give it more of a fine art feeling.


The next image above is one I took while our class walked to a local gallery/coffee shop to see the current show. I loved how warm the light was falling on this little church. Though I am not particularly religious oriented, I love old churches for some reason.


Finally, we have a shot of a Ferris wheel that I took at the Circleville pumpkin show. I like how the vignette gives this shot a vintage cinema feel.

The bit of good news I hinted at some weeks ago is that I have been invited to show in a local photographers studio gallery. His name is Kent Krugh and his work is amazing. Click on his name to go and see some of his work. I was so honored to be asked. He shares a space with two other photographers whose work is also quite good. But, I felt a kinship with Kent's work right from the start. Dates have not been set yet. It is my job to come up with enough pieces for a show. I want them to all be related thematically. So, I am using this summer to try and get that accomplished. In other news I have entered a photo in the Cincinnati Public Library's current photo show and will hear in mid August if I am one of the lucky artists. Lastly, to round out the number of shows I promised myself I would tackle this year, I am entering yet another show at the Manifest Gallery. It is a part of their participation in the national Fotofocus series of exhibitions. This is the fourth of the four I promised myself I would enter. It is my way of showing the Universe I am trying.

That's it for now. Hope you have an awesome weekend ahead and keep doing what you love and love what your doing.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ghostly Images of the Former Self


Happy weekend and Saturday to everyone out there who ventures a visit to my blog. Hope you are doing well. This post is dedicated to this weeks photography class assignment of soft focus images. I decided to show just two this time around. Because they really speak to me in a few interesting ways. Both of these images were taken with a piece of hosiery or gauze placed over the lens. This creates a soft focus right in camera. The camera had to be manually focused as the auto focus would focus on the texture of the gauze which I did not want.

This first image is one I took of a doll sleeping in a chair. I place her and the chair on my bed because it offered the biggest ground. I love how ghostly she looks in the image. I am very much attracted to the idea of capturing images of ghost or apparitions. There is something so ethereal about that. Once I got the shot I then proceeded to convert the image to black and white. I thought the process was quite successful.


In the second image the dolls face and upper body were shot using the same process. I thought this produced an even more ghostly image. This process evoked a sense of those early Victorian photographs of the dead at their funerals. It is a nice process to keep in my play book as I would like to explore this technique a bit further at some point.

Well, that's it for this entry. I hope you all have a great weekend. Next weeks assignment is titled Looking Up and that will be a fun one to explore. Until then keep on keeping on.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Solutions


As I posted in the last installment, here is the cat girl character in a full pose. You can see the little dress I designed and made for her. I think it suits her. I love these little sleeping characters. My attempt at redoing the faces on both dolls is a bit crude by most artists who do this sort of thing. But, I like them nonetheless.


This is a picture above of the sleeping princess character. You can see I used a dress originally made for a Barbie doll and just altered it to fit the monster high body. I am still not sure if I am going to redo the dress totally or make a new  one from scratch. I like the contrast of the pink to her greenish skin tones.


Here are a few shots of the dolls I have changed the hair up a bit. The first is bee girls new do and he new antennae. I used a black sheep skin wool for the hair and wire and glass beads to create the antennae. She looks like a wild child and ready for some action. 


This is puma boys new hair. I like this wild look. It reminds me of the characters in the musical cats. I also added a bit of furry fluff to the end of his tail. He too is a bit of a wild child.

Thant's it for today. I need to get busy with some work on my upcoming phto assignment for my class and get some much needed studio work in. I want to finish up the set for the first few images before I move on to other ideas. Hope you all have a great weekend out there.