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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Transforming Photographs

Welcome dear readers and visitors to my humble blog.  I hope you are having a great weekend so far. Today's post is all about play.  Specifically playing around with some interesting creative techniques with some basic photographs that I had taken a few years back. I have discovered a few software components that enhance ones images in a variety of creative ways. The company called Alien Skin Software have created a few little processing modules to help we artists to make the most of our images.  One such module allows one to create the look of a more traditional artistic media such as oil paint or watercolors.

In the images provided here I have utilized the oil paint filter to create the look of painterly images. The one above as were all three, taken at Yellow Springs Ohio. The first one is the arched entrance to a restaurant. I love how this becomes a nice oil painting with just a few clicks of the mouse.

This is an image of a cafe and shop and it reminded me of an old style train station.

This image used a chunkier paint stroke in order to create a more impressionistic look to the scene.It makes me feel as if I had sat out and painted in Plein Aire. These photography modules may come in handy for some of my images.  I am using them on a trial try basis and will decide if I wish to keep them. Let me know what you think of the effect. For fine art photography I think these have real potential.

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have a great weekend. It's sunny here and I am really enjoying that.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Matinee and Gifts

Hello my creative friends out there in cyberspace.  I hope you are finding your Saturday is a good one.  If not, I will wish you to have a good one. I have been snowed in a bit.  Fortunately I did not have to go to work today. Good things, I got to play in the studio with a few things.  I am working on Miss Henrietta and while waiting for this and that, I decided to play with some of my doll collection and my little camera. It is fun to create a dialogue using photography and a few simple things.

Here is one such example.  I title this "Asking the right Questions". As you can see, I have used a few of my toys to tell a little story here. Another good thing is this new software I am trying out that gives me the look of old films and or movie stock.This one I used a preset collection called Wizard of Oz. I love the warmth and film look it gives the image. One interesting thing about this software is that it is made to help your images obtain that look of film. It's called Exposure 5 created by Alien Skin Software.

Next we have "Advice Given". In this image I use a preset treatment called summer blockbuster. Truly gives this photo the look of a warm film stock. I am trying this out as a free trial but, I really like it and think that I will end up buying it as a nice bit of extra pizzazz to give my images.

Besides the software, I am having fun with composition and playing around with perspective. The saying that many photographers use that the lens is an extension of their self is so true for me. I was telling a friend today that it is like an extension of my creative soul.  My soul guides me through the camera.  All I have to do is get out of the way and let it happen. Kind of like trusting the force.

On a little side note. A good doll and teddy bear making friend sent me the most awesome of gifts.  I received from her my first ball jointed doll.  It's a Tonner Hermione doll from the Harry Potter collection.  It is such an exciting thing to find waiting in the mail.  It made my month so far.  Thank you Tami, you are a sweet heart.

Well, that's it for now.  I need to get back to making dinner.Have a great rest of your weekend. Don't forget to say I love to those you do. Love to you all out there and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday

It is a popular trend these days for artists who have web sites or blogs to post blasts from the past. In keeping with that trend as I am trendy you know, I am offering some of my favorites.  In many ways these serve as a new bit of inspiration to me.  We tend to forget places we have explored creatively.  These series of images represent some forms I think I would like to reexamine. Updating and thinking of how I might utilize the elements in new ways or just keep them as they are intact. I haven't really made many of this type of figure. These two were inspired by Cirque de Solei.

They were polymer clay sculpted heads and hands.  The bodies were wire armature that was then wrapped with layers of cotton batting and strips of fabrics.  I then layered fibers over the subsequent layers.  Then the final touches of ribbons, beads and some shoes completed the pieces. They had a nice bit of movement to them.

This last piece I called Shaman's song.  He is a medicine worker and dream weaver. Not a very complicated form.  There is something to be said for simplicity. I enjoyed playing with color and texture here with the use of the various fabrics and fibers.

Looking back sometimes can help us move forward.  Because of my limited sculpting these days. I am finding I need to maximize what I can accomplish.  Arthritic hands can certainly slow an artist down.  But, I think I can at least do a head or two from time to time to keep me interested.

I hope you have enjoyed looking back with me today.  May you have a great rest of the week and a happy Valentines day.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Miss Lepina Carriota Bartlett

Miss Lepina Carriota Bartlett is the second of the grand lady series to be finished.  She does not sport as fancy of a dress as the Madame in the previous post.  But, she is grand nonetheless.  Her fame comes from her fabled gardening abilities.  She is known far and wide in Codyland for uncanny ability to grow anything in just about any place.  Not to be known only for her gardening Miss Lepina also owns and runs the Codyland Farmers market place which is the largest seller of food stuffs in the land.  Her philosophy for dressing up is she likes to be comfortable and also loves color.  Her current outfit was made for her by her dress maker friend Sassy Bootsky.

Lepina's dress is made from recycled cotton and silk clothing and lace donated by a friend. She is a polymer clay head sculpt and wire armature body.  Her hands are premade purchased ones and her feet which are not visible her are also made from polymer clays. She stands about 16" tall and is completely posable. The jewelry is also made form things I have been given by friends.

The next figure yup for completion is Lepina's sister Henrietta. Hope you stay tuned or come back for a visit soon. Have a great week and for those of you in the cold, stay warm where you can.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

The First of the Grand Ladies of Codyland

Success, I have managed to finish a new character doll for my photo series.  She is the first of the grand ladies I had been designing and planning.  Her name is Madame Willamina Tomko.  She is the resident fortune teller and psychic for Codyland.  I have included a shot of her earlier self at the end so you can see how she came into being.  The head is a polymer clay sculpt and when I saw the finished head she reminded me of an acquaintance of mine.  I am not sure he would be all that thrilled about the being inspired by thing.  But, more of that inspiration will come in the photo series when her story unfolds. Her body is a wire armature that has been made with strips of cotton batting to fill out and create the body shape.  Her hair is a wool fiber I purchased from a place called Black Sheep farm here in Ohio.  Her dress is designed by Frederico Goodin one of the resident fashion gurus here in Codyland.  Willamina's jewelry is bits and bobs that I have acquired over the years from friends.  I recycle stuff, even the fabrics for her dress.

This is a bit closer view of Willamina and as you can see she is quite the lady if not a bit eccentric.One of her favorite music groups is Depesche Mode much to the dismay of her husband.  You will meet him later on.  His name is Dr. Mordan de Muertos.  He is the grim reaper of Codyland.  But, I will speak more of him in another post. I just love how this particular character came about.  I have several on the worktable at the moment and she demanded that I finish her first.  Perhaps she saw it in a vision and sensing my procrastination gave me a bit of a push.  I sure am glad she did.  I just love her and hope she will grow on you too.

This final shot is a reminder of her humble beginnings as a character.  She beat out the other two to finish first and now the other two are anxious for me to get going on their outfits.  The other two are sisters from different mothers.  In case you are wondering, they were adopted by an older couple who couldn't have children.  These two were not very popular with the other possible adopting parents.  But, the Bartlet's felt sorry for the girls and wanted to give them a good home.  Fortunately for the girls, the Bartlets live in Codyland.  They had an awesome upbringing and have made quite well for themselves. But, their story will come later as well.

Thank you for helping me to welcome Madame Willamina Tomko into the world of Codyland.  I am really getting itchy to get going on the Codyland series photo shoots. Hope you have a great week ahead.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Just Me Myself and I

There are days no matter how many good intentions you have, you just can't get started on anything.  When that happens, I just go with it and take time to just be and be with myself in my favorite place, the studio. Listening to my favorite music, looking around at all the things that make me happy and define who I am.  Sorting through potential photos of the day for Facebook, doing my taxes (Yuck!), having a cup a Joe.  You just can't beat those moments of sheer blissful oneness.  It isn't achieving some lofty spiritual form of consciousness but, purposefully being where I am at this particular moment and being fully aware of it.  Loving all of it no matter the condition, state of grace or disarray.

Often times we ignore this simple practice and try and make ourselves feel guilty for not working on anything "important".  My inner voice will say, "Where's the fire?"  All I can do is relent and surrender to the moment.  Peace of mind and soul at it's simplest and most joyous.  My little picture of the toy family I have been collecting is a great example of just such a state.  They are what they are and they make me smile every time I see them.  They don't have to do anything but just be.

Maybe today I will get something creative done.  Maybe I won't, who cares?  It's my time to do with as I please.  Times like this you can dance to your favorite tunes, scream with joy, laugh and, and whatever it is that makes you happy.  Hopefully you get the picture.  You have my permission to be just as you are and with yourself in total happiness.  Not that you really need my permission, but sometimes we need to hear that from someone else.  Take those few moments and allow yourself to experience your being.  It is not just food, but nectar for your soul.  So, go feed it already.  Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to just be.