Question: Is There A Discussion Or Group Where Artist Peel Back The Curtain?
I'm fascinated to learn about what goes on behind a piece of work: The thoughts, the choices, the intended meaning, the technique...the inspiration. Is the big splash of color the result of a frisky feline saying hello at the wrong moment, inspiring you in a different direction? How did you do that? I too would enjoy this type of converse. OR is it better to preserve the mystery? Thoughts?
Not really looking to get bogged down into the technical specs per se (this could go on for years lol) just a sharing....
Don't know if this is what you mean and I'm sorry if it's TMI... Well, Halloween is coming up soon!
An image of an old abandoned church near Langford Estates on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
You could say I have an affinity for old abandoned structures. Thinking back on it now, I feel rather stupid, taking the chances I did, going through these decrepit places when they could have collapsed at any time or had wild animals taking refuge there. Many of these dilapidated structures ceased to exist shortly after I visited them to explore and take pictures.
At the time, my parents lived near this area. There was only one way in and one way out and you had to pass by this old abandoned church on every visit to my parent's house.
Next to this church, near Langford Bay Estates, were some modest headstones in a small neglected, cemetery. Not long after this image was taken, while traveling to my parent's home, I noticed the old structure had vanished.
Exploring the Church... As I started walking across the floor of the old church, camera in hand, a window on the right side suddenly flew up of its own accord. Don't ask me why I didn't high-tail it out of there pronto, but I'm convinced the vibrations I caused while walking triggered the window. When I looked on either side of the window, hanging inside the walls were ropes with counter-weights which at one time would have helped one to more easily raise the window up. Although an unexpected surprise, the experience proved to be a very interesting excursion into this old abandonment.
The original picture was taken with a Konica SLR film camera many years ago during the colder months. I breathed on the lens, aimed, and waited until just enough evaporation before snapping the shutter to obtain the foggy effect.
On an unrelated (I think) but also strange and unusual occurrence, I left my parent's home and was on my way back out to travel to my own home near Baltimore. It was warm weather and I had the windows of the car rolled down since it had no air conditioning. The Eastern Shore of Maryland is pretty much all country, made up of flat farmland. Traveling to and from my parent's residence consisted of roads between fields for much of the trip.
As I was traveling, and incidentally near the area of the old abandoned church, suddenly something from outside shot through the passenger side window. It hit the headrest and in the next instant there were green feathers floating about in my car. When I checked the back seat I found a small dead green bird!
Two things were very odd about this event...
One, the actual occurrence of a bird flying into an open window of the car while I was speeding down the back road.
Two, I had never seen a green bird on the Eastern Shore of MD my whole life growing up there!
For whatever reason, it seemed appropriate to call this event, an OMEN.
This has always been a problem for me - discussing the art I make.
It doesn't matter the medium or how I accomplished what I did; I just find it hard to discuss. It doesn't seem to matter if the process was very easy or terriblely difficult, talking about it has never interested me. Talking about others art is fine - just not my own. Going beyond saying I had an idea and this is the result I seldom feel like doing.
That said, this piece Out of the Ashes in Living Color is a digital painting inspired by those affected by the weather events this summer. And that is when I just want to say - here is the piece.
Brian, this was exactly what I was hoping for. Great back story. Really brings life and context to the image. I would add this on your image page if you don't have it there. I love photos of old buildings, the mystery of it all. But to have you tell your story, just breathed such life into it. Also, the added bonus (also what I was looking for) of how the image was made by breathing on the lense. As a digital artist, my first thought was this was enhanced in photoshop. Wow. Now it's even better.
Abbie: You kill me LOL
L A: Always love it when you show up.....I always thought these were interesting. Made it more so knowing how it all came about
Val Arie: No worries. Thanks for sharing your thought behind it.
Interesting premise for an art-speak thread.
I cite this image b/c it was a huge challenge for me, a first FOGGY! And answers your wanting to know what prompts us
to do what we do. This challenged me, spiritually…I peered out and down from my balcony, and HAD TO capture
this moment! And then, !!! , it consumed me to get it ‘just so’, to honour the moment. Lotsa delicate manuevering in
my ‘go to’, Picasa..voila! And a first for me. Thanks for asking 🙏
I work in all sorts of mediums, many times the medium dictated by
what is available at the moment.
After reading the original book of Beauty and the Beast published in 1740,
I was inspired to illustrate the story and chose soft pastels, because for me, pastels offered
the visual texture and the soft flowing gradations I felt the painting needed.
And I really like the way pastels blur the boundaries between drawing and painting.
Beauty and the Beast is generally thought of it as an anonymous story handed down
from the distant past, in fact, the tale is a literary one, created by the French writer
Madame Gabrielle Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740.
De Villeneuve's La Belle et la Bête is over one hundred pages long and
published for adult readers, it is also somewhat different than the shorter version we know today.
Beauty's destiny lies in the hands of her father, who gives her over to the Beast
(to save his own life) and thus seals her fate. The Beast is a truly fierce figure,
not a gentle soul disguised by fur. He is a creature lost to the human world that
had once been his by birthright. The emphasis of this tale is on the transformation
of the Beast, who must find his way back to the human sphere. He is a genuine monster,
eventually reclaimed by civility, magic, and love, and it is only then that Beauty can truly
love him. Beauty's nightly refusal of the Beast and the slow awakening of both her attraction
and her sexuality are contrasted with the Beast's struggles to contain his own animal nature.
In this story, the final transformation does not occur until after Beauty weds her Beast,
waking up in her marriage bed to find a human Prince beside her.
Beauty's task is to look where others would not, and to perceive the man within the Beast.
The Beast's own task is patience, and the reclaiming of the humanity within himself.
Wind is from a photo of three trees bent over from long exposure to rain and wind in the Pacific Northwest. I wanted a certain effect, it took me five tries, the first four were trashed. I was determined to get the result I'd envisioned. It was the most time I've ever spent on a single subject.
VIVA: Ah, I see the group link, I saw there was more to it than this discussion (which I like).....Love the image, so green, and the light. That's one thing I haven't done is stir up the patience to wait and get the right shot.
Ed Meredith: That's one of my favorite stories, in general, though not familiar with the original. I love this piece, will definitely put this into my FAVORITES. Thanks. All this adds so much meaning to the artwork. Again, thanks for sharing.
L A Feldstein: "Wind is from a photo of three trees bent over from long exposure" Forgive me, was this inspired by a photo or is an enhanced image? Either way, lovely.
I spent the day at a beach with my lady friend. She lives on the other side of the river so a ferry ride is involved in visiting her and coming home. After I dropped her off at her house I headed to the ferry terminal. My timing was bad and I had about 50 minutes to kill waiting for the ride across the river. I got out of my car and wandered around a little bit. Rain clouds were forming over the river and the sun was setting. I couldn't help but notice a few photo ops so I made use of my down time. I knew this was going to be a black and white conversion as soon as I saw it. Sometimes the unexpected locations produce good results. I'd never have thought of shooting next to the ferry terminal if it hadn't been for the wait I've taken that trip many times and never noticed the possibilities.
In November 2019, I went to Cabo San Lucas with a couple of longtime friends because one of them owns a timeshare (not there), so we were about to get a week at a 5-star resort for almost nothing. One of the things we did during that week was went on a sunset booze cruise to El Arco, and of course I was there snapping many pictures in between drinks. A bunch of things worked against me - like anything touristy, the area was infested with all kinds of other boats doing their own sunset tours. Plus, it wasn't like I could ask the captain to stop at the perfect composition. Also, since it was sunset, of course it was getting darker... and even if the boat was "still", the water was still moving and therefore so was the boat, so slower shutter speeds were challenging. At one point, that tall ship was perfectly positioned within the arch, so in the few seconds while it was in position I quickly snapped that in the hopes that it would be usable. I ended up taking probably close to 300 pictures during the cruise, making attempts at different settings in the hopes that at least a handful would turn out. None was particularly good overall, but each had parts that were good. This picture is a composite of maybe 10 of these pictures in order to remove all the boats, have a properly exposed sky, etc.
This is my most sold image - I think I've sold it around 10 times, though none on FAA.
Where to start... I am just fascinated with the world around me. Photography has been a hobby of mine for about 50 years! I really like all kinds of photography, but lately I have been interested in experimental photography. It's taking something familiar and changing it up a bit.
I enjoy beach scenes, travel photos, food photography, abstract, reflections (I prefer to be behind the lens so this is one way to get a photo of myself). I like the emotion and mood that black and white photography brings to the viewer as there are no color distractions of clothing for example. At the other end of the spectrum, I enjoy bright colors too.
I also like to look at the details of things... for example, look at the details of the Eiffel Tower. Truly beautiful.
So in a nutshell... i take photos of most everything. You won't see any photos of snakes or alligators though as I will be the one screaming and running far, far, away.
So overwhelmed by the great stories and your art here. It's 5AM so I'll come back and comment on each, but for now to all who have posted thus far, my many thanks. Now, where can we get a book to put these all in, huh?
Last winter the water level in town along the Saint Clair River was insane and quite startling. The Saint Clair River runs between Lake Huron and Lake Saint Clair on the eastern "thumb" area of Michigan. I always go down to the boardwalk to shoot the ice on the river and this year and last fall, the water level was damaging people's docks and boat houses. Even washing away part of their lawns and the road south of town was closed off and on due to flooding. Anyway, the ice level was actually AT the level of the boardwalk and it had built up next to the retaining wall. When it was a sill day and the current was not moving the ice on top, I was able to get some interesting ice shots just leaning over the railing along the boardwalk, pointing straight down into the river.
This was quite a challenge for me to pull off. I surprised myself with how wonderfully it came out.
I was hiking with my dog & saw this amazing scene. The hard part was how to get the sunrays & prism effects in them. With watercolor, you just get one, maybe two chances. You have to get it right the 1st time, unlike oil or acrylic where you can cover up mistakes by painting over them.
I first painted the scene without the sunbeams & took a photo of it to have in case I ruined it when I put in the beams. After practicing doing different style beams on a practice paper I finally went all in.
The first is to cleanly lift out thin lines of pigment by using a ruler & dragging a tiny bit of wet sponge. If the water leaks out it causes a dirty mess of mud, so the sponge had to be almost dry, lifting off pigment, rinsing, squeezing, and repeat several times on each beam.
Once I had all the beams lifted, I then had to go in with the prism color. I think I took a picture first in case I messed up this part. I dropped in some yellow in the upper beams & blues & purples in the lower portion.
So happy that I captured exactly what I wanted. Otherwise, this painting would have become another piece of scrap practice paper!
One look at my collections and you will probably conclude and hopefully agree that i am trier. I try most mediums, subject matters and more, i’m always looking to add new digital art styles to my portfolio and my next collection is Sketch Style. Taking photos from my various photography collections and playing around digital art style to offer something new. Offering new content is part of the game and i will keep trying.
This collection is all about Sketch Style Art, why i have not done this before is beyond me, but i have now and i like the look of the results, but feel free to click through the initial 36 from the image below and offer critique if you wish, i have lots and lots of potential photographs that i could turn in to sketch style art, so some feedback would be great.
A few months ago I started drawing hands, and I also had some ongoing conversations with VIVA about black and white images. She published a photo of her hands that is absolutely fascinating, I asked it I could draw them.
"Two hands with their backs facing up, reaching upwards, ready to seize life . This is a black and white hand portrait drawing in charcoal on paper . Permission graciously ceded from an original photo by VIVA Anderson for this drawing by James McCormack."
I would not have produced this if we had not been conversing ( and continue). There are very personal elements that change the drawing, making it less academic, at least from my point of view. I continue to draw hands, generally I look for live models, but as we are all online, I find myself getting to know more folks online and that becomes part of my art.
Well, where does one start? Of the few things that may have gotten from my dad was the ability to draw - not nearly as good as he did. But my heart took a leap about 1980, when I really did not have the time, to take up watercolor. I started with thinned down acrylic paint until my art supplier asked why I didn't use the 'real thing' artist quality watercolor paint. One thing leading to another I was pretty good with what I was doing and joined the local artists guild as well as a small (dare I say it) elite little watercolor club. You learn a lot when you have other 'real' artists critiquing your work and asking questions. I began to enter shows and contests, garnered a few ribbons and prizes and began selling my work. Well, to get into many shows and contests you needed to produce slides of your work and your display set up. I continued down that road for 20 or so years and having to get a 'decent' camera to photograph my work. When I ran out of steam with the painting, there is only so much room under the bed and in the closet, I took up trying to photograph what I saw and where we went. I got a better camera - and so began the adventure into editing them. Warning - I am NOT into editing photographs - for me there is no point in getting a thousand dollar camera that will do most of the work and then having to play with it - I hear the intake of breaths, no, I've shot in raw, and in manual - thank you - I do use some of the other stuff that my cameras have - but seldom use anything other than, dare I say it - automatic. So, I'm not "really a photographer" and do as little editing as possible - cropping and straightening for composition and maybe a little judicial minor adjustments levels and contrast - but that's it. When I first started taking photographs, sunrises and sunsets dominated, then trips out west, honing perception and composition skills. Back home, the back roads called, many of them dirt with overhanging trees, like a tunnel. Then the roads through the national forest called. and always there were flowers. I'm probably not, and never will be a 'great' photographer, but I do try to make them more than just snap shots.
What I did discovered in my editing program - you could take a photo apart, destroy it, used the parts, and color, manipulate them to create digital abstracts. I once did 100 in a month - since then some of them have been deleted and others have had other adjustments made to them. Now, I am in the process of marrying up FAA images to their 'original' files - you should have kept good records to begin with, I know - and there is more opportunity to 'fix' some of the abstracts, some just have to be deleted. At first I was doing 50 or so a day - now I'm good to do maybe 4 a day, after all, there are more than 900 of them and I think I am about half way done.
Like Douglas above, I've started fiddling more with my photos. I'm always looking for more places to go close by that I can visit in the evening after work, but lately I've run out of ideas of anywhere that's less than say an hour away, so I find that I'm looking through my older photos and thinking "what else can I do with these?". I found a couple of tutorials online that show how to do an oil painting effect, and a few more that show a watercolour effect (interestingly, Douglas' sketch drawing looks like one of the steps of the watercolour tutorials). Here's one of my oil painting conversions.
In March of 1999, a fresh red rose was presented to me and each of my siblings in honor of my mother as we were about to depart the cemetery concluding her funeral. Arriving home later that night, I absentmindedly left the rose on the back floor of my car where it lay secretly and discreetly for over a month before rediscovering it, completely dried yet still in tact. I placed the single dried rose in an empty green vase and set it upon my kitchen windowsill where it faces eastwardly greeting the sunrise of each new day.
This dried flower is not only a reminder of my mother and her beauty but also a symbol of her strength, determination and fortitude. My mother lost her struggle with cancer, but her legacy lives on for the many people that loved her and miss her still.
This version was created using additional texture layers via Photoshop. I also removed the original color and digitally painted colors back into the image for a more artistic appearance. The result is a paint effect.
Please login before posting a reply to this message. If you do not have an account on Fine Art America, click here to create one!