A very Happy New year to you. I hope it's a peaceful one for all of us.
I'd intended to put this post up three weeks ago, as usual, life got in my way. The post is a mixture of computer generated art and modified photography. There are 22 images in all. I hope you enjoy them.
I decided that rather than just post the images, I'd say something about the inspiration or thought processes that lead me to create them.
The first one is a modified photo of two of my Arabic/Fusion Dancer lady friends. As I was looking at the original, I realised I'd not seen them for a long time, until I took this photo. I began to realise that remembering friends is bound to give you a slightly distorted view as time passes. That lead me to try and create an impression of such distortion. Here is the result.
Next is a photo of two of my wife's Arabic Dance coin belts hanging up. I like the textures and colours and didn't think it needed any thing doing to it.
Now for something I've been meaning to take a photo of for several years. Once a year in late August, we go to the week long Whitby Folk Music festival. For my overseas visitors to this blog, Whitby is on the East coast of Yorkshire in England. Some of you will know that I was a professional singer, musician and storyteller until ill health got in the way. The cottage we stay in, is about 300 years old. The walls are plaster, painted white. One wall has an area of plaster that had not been smoothed for some reason. I noticed that it looked like a medieval Jester's face, complete with hat. I took it's photo last August. All I've do it is changed the colour to make it stand out more.
Jester. (Hey nonny nonny my Lord).
I was out for a walk at the start of January, it was a sunny, bitterly cold and frosty day. I walked along part of the Calder and Hebble Canal and the scene below caught my attention. The multi-coloured lights are a happy result of the sun shining on the camera lens. I thought it made it look magical. All I did was to increase the colour saturation and enhance the texture of the water.
The image below started life as an area of rust on an old steam railway engine, in York Railway museum. I like the textures of rust and paint. I'm always fascinated by that sort of image. As soon as I saw it, I knew I could make a "Modern Painting" from it.
Still Life #4.
Now for the last of the landscape format images. It's my interpretation of what a newly sunken ship looks like to a diver.
Now for four square format pictures:
First is my fanciful try at portraying a human aura - the spiritual energy force surrounding living things. Humans are very seldom beings with one aspect to their personalities or moods. Very simply put, different colours of an Aura show different aspects of the person. (I don't want to get in to a deep explanation here). Blue, is a healing and spiritual colour. Red can be strength or anger. I tried to show the mixed nature of the human Aura in "normal" conditions.
I created the next image to be the cover of a CD of quiet jazz, suitable for a Valentines Day meal, (14th of February, don't forget) or any romantic meal for two.
Jazz For Lovers.
The one below was inspired because I'd been out on a mushroom finding session with the local fungi recorder. She has an amazing memory for facts about fungi. I thought I'd have a go at creating a logo suitable for a fungi society. Just to explain, the fungi hunting people I know are NOT foragers. We simply record, with photos and location, where we find certain types. They get sent off to an area recorder, who publishes an annual report on what had been found in their area.
I was looking up at a telegraph pole one day. I suddenly realised what a magical thing sending voices, images and text along bits of wire, all around the world, really is. We take technology for granted, familiarity tends to do that. However, I don't believe that we should ever loose a sense of wonder about the world. As I looked at it, I thought "It's like a wizards's hat". That was the birth of this image.
For a great many years, I have believed that buildings can speak to us, if we are prepared to listen. The builder/decorator we use, was looking round our house last year. He was getting ready to do some major work inside it. He looked at me, then said, "Sorry, I was listening to the house, I want to know what it wants us to do to it. Too many people don't listen to their houses. They end up doing things that make the place uncomfortable to live in". He was thinking along the same lines as me, it was wonderful to find someone who feels the same.
Some of you will have heard people say, "If only these walls could talk, I bet they could tell you a tale or two". The picture below is a story waiting to be told. I used four of my photos, each on it's own layer in Photoshop, to create this image.
A few minutes up the hill from where I live, there are three Japanese Larch trees. Over the years, I've taken several photos of them at different times of the year. I kept trying to get "THE" photograph. With the picture below, I think I have finally done justice to the trees. In case anyone wonders, I only used two of the trees. The third one is a little distance from the others and didn't frame well.
Liminal spaces are thresholds, points or places of entering or beginning. Liminal space is where all transformation takes place. Author and theologian Richard Rohr said, "This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed". There is an ancient legend of liminal spaces having Guardians. The Shinix is one. These Guardians can respond to prayer and offerings (sacrifices). I created the image below with this in mind. It was layered from several photos. The strange thing about the image is, that there is nothing in any of the individual photos that could produce the figure you can see in it. A friend and I studied the image and the separate photos used. In the end I said I thought that perhaps I shouldn't look too deeply and he said he felt that was right. I don't have any explanation for the result, but he is there and holding something that, again, we couldn't find in the layers. There is a lot on the Net about Liminality, articles and images, should you wish to dig deeper into the subject.
I think it's time for one of my Abstract Expressionist artworks now. I couldn't decide if I liked the colours in the piece below at first. They seemed a bit subdued compared to a lot of my work. I tried several colour pallets on it. Finally, deciding to go with the one I started with, it's quite a restful piece. I'm proud to report that a poetess I know liked it so much, that a copy is now hanging in her front room,
The next image is a straight photograph. It looks as if I've spent a long time layering images in Photoshop but all I did was take a photo of a shop window. The result was far better than I ever expected. So much so that a week later, (the 29th of January this year, if anyone's interested). I got the bus to Halifax and spent an hour taking photos of shop window reflections. It was Sunday, it's the best day for this. There are not as many people about to walk in front of the camera at the wrong moment. Also, most shop lights are turned off. This usually gives better reflection shots. I did take some with the reflection of shop lights and they came out well. I'm starting to make a book with the best photos as soon as I get this blog post online. There will be 36 images in it, one to each A5 page.
City View #1.
Regulars to this blog will know that I'm a big fan of pop art. From time to time, I create a piece in that style. I'm going to put five examples below.
Port to Starboard.
Magical Mystery Tour.
The next bit of pop art, titled Barnstormer's, is a tribute to the daring and skill of the pilots and performers who did public shows. They did stunts like, flying a plane though a barn, having people stand on the wingtips whist they flew and a lot more. barnstorming became popular in the USA during the 1920's. There are a lot of video's showing Barnstorming on YouTube. There are some from the past and some of people still practising it now. I liked the modern one with two Englishmen flying wingtip to wingtip through a barn. Once mistake and they would have had a terrible accident. They must be mad to want to try things like that. I'm happy if I cross a road without being run over.
This is the final piece, it's called Hy-Brasil. It was an island which appeared on maps as early as 1325. It was still being shown on maps in 1865, where it was called Brazil Rock. On most maps, it was shown to be about (200 miles) 321km off the west coast of Ireland, in the North Atlantic Ocean. It was described as being cloaked in mist except for one day every seven years, when it became visible but still could not be reached. This was the home of a wealthy and highly advanced civilisation. There is a lot of evidence to support it's existence. Anyone wishing to read more about it could start by looking at the link below.
Well, here we are at the end of another Blog post. It's been far too long since I posted, I'll try not to let it be so long next time. I hope that some of these images stimulate people to read up on some of the things I mentioned. Better still, go out with a camera, sketch pad and pencil or working with a graphics program and creating their own art.
Until next time, be nice to one another and have fun. Gordon.
Until next time, be nice to one another and have fun. Gordon.