Sunday, May 14, 2017

Symmetry - Let's go digital for a change!


I've loved mandalas since i first set eyes on one. 
Incredibly detailed, psychedelically colorful, mind boggling, and entrancing.



"A mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल, lit, circle) is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe.[1] In common use, "mandala" has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe.
The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. Each gate is in the general shape of a T.[2][3] Mandalas often exhibit radial balance.[4]
The term appears in the Rigveda as the name of the sections of the work, but is also used in other religions and philosophies, particularly Buddhism.
In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and trance induction".
A few years ago i started doing symmetrical images in Photoshop:


I have loads of sky photos, that was the starting point. Then I continued adding things to the images:


And reshaping them any which way that occurred to me.
I quote Robert Rauschenberg in my artist statement:

"I think it was Robert Rauschenberg (correct me, someone/anyone, if my attribution is wrong) who said it best - "It starts by YOU telling the picture what it will be -- in the end, THE PICTURE tells you what IT will be...".
I also have several boxes of things I've collected thru the years, from walks on the beach - stones, bones, shells, these are a small part of my 'visual library' so to speak.


I guess maybe i could call them 'modern mandalas.'















This takes you to a portfolio page of images:


This goes to a 'how to' page, showing how i built this image:


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And now a few words about my books:
(Check 'em out - i doubt you will be disappointed.)

After many years of making darkroom photomontage (since the late 80's), and not being able to get arrested for it except for a few appearances in competitive group shows, and some assignment illustrations in various magazines ....I am designing & publishing books I make at Blurb with 'Bookify' - two of them are on Amazon, one is at Blurb.

'California Beach Trip':
On Amazon:

'Desert Trip'
On Amazon:
This includes an image i have recently posted, titled 'Desert Time'.

'Seeking the Vibe'
On Blurb:

Previews of all at:


As the Terminator most famously said: "Ah'll be back"



Monday, March 20, 2017

Window to soul

I've been wrestling w/ some nasty developments lately - my aging (65 YO) lower spine has gifted me w/ this thing called sciatica, which makes bending over the easel, especially to use the grain focuser, and bending over those smelly trays of chems. into a very painful experience. So it's time to go digital with montage. I never thought it would happen but now that it has? ....WTF, 'continue on, dude'.
Taking 'fun' drugs is a youthful pursuit. 
The drugs i take now stave off several not so nice conditions.

This one was done painfully, refusing to take one of the 95 or so hydrocodone pills i have. They totally wack your system. I won't join the legions of people who are addicted to this shit.

It went thru quite a metamorphosis from beginning to end.
It's a sandwich, two negs together in the enlarger neg holder, exposed at the same time.
The P'shop sketch looked pretty interesting.
Here's the window neg:


And the sky:



It needed some serious photoshop help, and got it, 'cause i really like what's going on. The window was shot somewhere in the mojave desert; the totally weird cloud, shot off my rooftop deck in SF, both many years ago. How i managed to combine such disparate elements i have no idea.
There's a saying: 'shit happens'. 
But serendipity happens too.
Is the cloud inside the room, or somewhere beyond? 
Make up your own answer. 
Mine is 'both'.
Windows are common and finite, the clouds are infinite, at 20,000... 30,000 feet.

First, the digital sketch that got me going.


Then a quick dig colorizing that had some interesting possibilities:


Then the darkroom print:



and finally the darkroom print w/ some digital color.


The key to making this work w/ the digital coloring is 'balance'.
There's a blue hue sat layer affecting the window, a selective color layer hitting up the background, and another SC layer wacking the details in the background. It's not really very complicated, you just have to have a plan that really addresses your ideas, and execute it, carefully and tastefully.
Yes, beyond 'balance'? - 'careful and tasteful' are the keywords. Always!

=============================

After many years of making darkroom photomontage (since the late 80's), and not being able to get arrested for it except for a few appearances in competitive group shows, and some assignment illustrations in various magazines ....I am designing & publishing books I make at Blurb with 'Bookify' - two of them are on Amazon, one is at Blurb.


'California Beach Trip':
On Amazon:


'Desert Trip'
On Amazon:
This includes an image i have recently posted, titled 'Desert Time'.


'Seeking the Vibe'
On Blurb:

Previews of all at:

Signing Off - the silverwizard ;-)