Friday, December 26, 2014

What did we do before smart phones?

I've always been hopeless with directions and seldom had my camera with me when I really needed it.  Enter the smart phone and shazaam!  I can find interesting places with little forethought and take so many more pictures than I used to before this addictive little piece of metal and plastic became permanently attached to my hand.

Enter the victory dance over boredom...
My Mother

My mother likes to shop.  There, I said it.  She's particularly fond of antique stores.  I've discovered a nifty way to entertain myself while she is sifting through the never-ending minutiae of tchotchkes. Most of these stores have mannequins and busts from various eras.  

I'm especially fond of the busts with fake eyelashes. If I have more time to kill, I wander around the store again looking for interesting textures to sandwich with these plastic faces.  Old upholstered chairs, text in vintage books, rusty metal, scarves, and vintage table linens have all proved useful. Mentally, this is really just an extension of the work that I've previously enjoyed doing in Photoshop, but the immediacy of having the camera and the processing all in the palm of your hand whenever you want it is awesome.

Here's a before and after example:

This antique mannequin from a wonderful vintage clothing store in Ohio didn't have the prettiest of faces but she took on this mysterious personality once combined with other images.  She has been combined with a shot of some paper star lights from a shop window, bare tree branches, and some texture from a curtain.

On to the techie side of things...  I consider myself a complete neophyte when it comes to processing on the phone and not in Photoshop.  There is a ton to learn. I was first introduced to this idea by Susan Tuttle's wonderful work and tutorials. 

These are the apps I've been exploring:  Oggl, Image Blender, DistressedFX, SuperImpose, ScratchCam, BlurFX, PicGrunger, and FilterStorm.

Image Blender in particular is a favorite.  It allows you to combine 2 photos using a process similar to Layer Effects in Photoshop.  You can choose the amount the top picture effects the bottom one and in what way.  It also gives you the ability to doodle a mask to hide parts of the top picture.

A few more examples:

This new way of working has reignited the creative spark once again.  Now I'm ready for my Mother's next shopping trip.  In fact, she's probably going to be dragging me out of the stores now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Remnants Finale

Amanda J. Cawby, Page Turner,
Melissa T. Hall, and Mary Rezny
There is a week left for the Remnants show but like a meteor skipping across the night sky, it is almost time for the Remnants show to sail off into the great beyond. 

No - don't be sad!  There was one last creative whirlwind to help us reach a creative crescendo.  Page Turner came into town from Virginia to attend the Remnants artist reception and to teach her 2 day Intuitive Found Object Assemblage Workshop.  
It was delightful to meet someone who makes me look practically spartan when it comes to the collecting of "stuff"!  Page brought an amazing amount of ephemera to be used by her students.  It makes sense that if objects are your palette, then you are going to need a wide variety of accoutrement.  That's my new excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Bundles were laid out at each workstation to get each artist started.

Page gave a wonderful presentation introducing us to assemblage as a fine art form and showcasing examples of contemporary artists who work in the medium.  

She got us started and past being nervous about ripping into materials.  I hadn't even realized I felt constrained, but Linda wasn't for sure!

Next we all got busy.  Walking around watching the evolution and inspiration was so much fun.

Trish came prepared!  Page was impressed by her bag of power tools.  I've already spoken to Santa about these...  They were from the Craftsman Bolt-On Series.  Trish's drill could be turned into a router, sander, reciprocating saw, or even a hedge trimmer!  Sitting next to Trish turned out to be a tad dangerous though.  I kept dodging flying bits and pieces.

Linda earned the title of the Bundle Queen!

This was my first time meeting Anna and Holly, who were a delightfully creative mother/daughter pair. 

Kevin's work took on such wonderful narrative qualities.

Remember those nice, organized bundles Page handed out at the start of the workshop? Well here's what they turned into very quickly:

Page even took us on a field trip of the parking lots and drain culverts surrounding the gallery to find new bits to use in our work.

Of course I had to stop and take pictures
instead of looking for interesting flotsam.
We finished off the workshop with a lovely discussion and critique of the work which had been produced.

I want to thank both Page and Amanda for joining me in this show.  They are both such wonderfully creative spirits and I was honored to be entrusted with their work.  

Page also can't be thanked enough for putting on such an awesome workshop in conjunction with the show.  It was wonderful to meet such a generous, warm-hearted fellow artist and to get to learn about the depth and meaning behind her work.

On behalf of Page, Amanda, and myself, I want to thank everyone who came out to see the show, bestowed words of encouragement, continued to be patient while we were all working crazy hours, took Page's workshop, and/or perhaps took a little something something home with them from the show.