Recently I wrote about my transition from photography to tradigital art in the blog Loving Abstract Artwork. Tradigital art is mix of traditional art, such as painting or photography, and digital art, generated on the computer. (Wikipedia has an interesting article on the subject you might be interested in: Tradigital Art.) My style has developed rapidly since those first experiments with textures and I am now approaching each new art piece with joyous anticipation.
You see, I’ve remembered my love affair with color. When I was in art school, I ended up majoring in ceramics because… well… it’s a blast to play with clay! At that point I chose to focus on shape and texture, with natural colors, to evoke an earthy, primitive effect.
However, I had a number of drawing, painting and design classes that developed my understanding of 2-dimensional texture, pattern, composition and COLOR!!!!!! Even then my 2D style wasn’t realistic in any way… what can I say? I can’t draw worth a darn! But I do love color.
As I delve into the mysteries of Photoshop, I’m discovering how rich the possibilities are to create 2D work with a vibrant and passionate color palette, complete with the textures I love. With each new project, my personal color palette is emerging. There are some colors I am deeply drawn to and if you look at my abstract work you will begin to see it. You can see this in all artists’ work actually. Each person not only has their own style but their own color palette as well.
I just finished a project focussing on a photograph of a raven. I came away with three different images of this raven and am posting them to my online gallery this evening. As I was finishing up the pieces I thought about what my mom would think of them. She was there when I took the photo of the raven, and she is extremely proud of me and supportive of all of my artistic endeavors. However, she admits to having to get used to my new abstract direction. I realize the joy I get out of viewing the strong colors and vivid, abstract nature of my recent work, doesn’t translate to everyone enjoying it (my hubby for instance ).
So what I thought I’d do is show her, and him (and all of you) the recipe for my raven series.
Take one photo:
Place in Photoshop Elements (one of a number of design programs for the computer).
Take five different “textures”. These are images that have textures or writing or color (or any or all or something else) on them. These are the ones I used for this project in various combinations.
Layer them like lasagna in your Photoshop document with the crow at the base. Then PLAY! Change the properties of them. Change the order of the layers. Soften the intensity of one, boost the intensity of another… make one or more layers invisible… and you finally come up with something you really like! In this case I had more layers than I usually have and so found three combinations of the layers that I really liked. So I’m keeping them all. Here are the results:
I realize this is probably still Greek to my mom (and many of you), but maybe it gives you a bit of an idea of the magic that happens when such disparate elements combine through the imagination and skill of the artist. I mean, look at the colors of those “ingredients”…. they are far from what I ended up with. Yet somehow, in the visual cauldron I created, they transformed into the deep and richly vibrant COLOR filled final pieces of art.