Remember when it snowed on the poppy field in the movie, Wizard of Oz? Well instead of leading to the Emerald City the poppy field ends at Narnia! I also rather loosely tied Oz and Narnia together because they both have lions. But enough of justifying the WHY of my image! This post is more about HOW I put the photo collage together. It all started when I read this CoffeeShop Narnia Fantasy Art Tutorial for Photoshop/PSE. I use PaintShop Pro X6, but it was easy to adapt the tutorial. I also used free images from Pixabay and a free snow overlay from the Florabella Collection.
I need to figure out how to make more use of Google Friend Connect, which is on most Blogger blogs, and how it works with Google +. So far I don't use Google +. Does anyone?! I also use Networked Blogs.
To actually read blogs I like the Blogger Dashboard's built in Reading list. But for something more robust, that you can breakdown into categories, I like feedly. When Google Reader shut down a lot of users migrated to feedly.
As I take my art and blogging more seriously I hope all these services will be even more useful. Right now they are giant time suckers. I can hop around all kinds of blogs, wishing I had done this project orthat thing to my own blog.
Over at 14 Secrets the theme for the week is "What Is Your Creative Manifesto". The challenge is to visually express your creative manifesto rather than write down your objectives. (Is this reinventing the old "artist statement"?) To me that means just keep plugging along. I can't quit my day job. I'm not kidding myself into thinking I could make a living with my art. I am a fishmonger and a wannabe florist. That's it. However, I wouldn't mind having my work in a few magazines. That's more of an attainable goal. For me that's the dot in the middle of the labyrinth. The twists and turns on the way to publication are: finding a sense of style and using brighter colors. My work is too bland and monochromatic.
Enter The Labyrinth
(click image for a larger view)
A good part of the journey is learning something new whenever you work on a piece. The history of labyrinths is interesting and I learned how to draw this one from here. I would love to put one on a floor canvas and have it to walk on as a form of meditation. After I drew the labyrinth on parchment paper, I penciled in guidelines for the calligraphy. The Tolkien quote is in Italic and was completed using calligraphy markers in different sizes and colors. The drawing and calligraphy left large areas of white space. The page was torn and creased, stained and spotted with coffee, and edged with a Tim Holtz Antique Linen Distress Ink pad. Once I had decided what I was doing the whole piece took about an hour.
I had worked on this triptych for my Smeared and Smudged Blog Hop post but it wasn't quite finished. So in honor of Poe's birthday I finally completed the piece. It had photographed rather "new" looking so first of all I gave it a darker black wash and wiped it off... again. MUCH better. Then I turned the triptych over to add THE MAN BEHIND POE, THE POUGHKEEPSIE SEER, ANDREW JACKSON DAVIS. Davis was a clairvoyant whose lectures on mesmerism Poe had attended before writing "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar". Davis, (born in Blooming Grove, NY, 1826) moved to Poughkeepsie, NY in 1843 when he was 17. He died in Boston January 13, 1910, just 6 days shy of Poe's birthday. Who cares? You may ask that! I grew up in Poughkeepsie and a few years ago they celebrated Poe-keepsie (pronounced the same way) at Vassar College for The Big Read. The lectures by Davis that Poe attended may or may not have influenced him, but I would like to think so. Therefore... I added THE MAN BEHIND POE both as a play on words and to add a personal touch to the triptych.
I use PaintShop Pro X6 and the image includes lots of layers and a few plugin effects for the ice and snow. Molly is not only frozen solid, she is frozen in time. It was lots of fun putting together and time passed quickly while I was lost in the creative zone. Yikes! After midnight! It's late, and I'm freezing cold.
Poe's Requilary is a piece for The Smeared and Smudged Forum's January Member Blog Hop. Even though I had a limited amount of time to work on it I had lots of fun with putting it together. I started with a cheap Italian triptych. It was nearly the same as this one someone is trying to sell for $145! OK, the hot glue gun design and the Madonna With Child picture was different but they are really similar. Did I ruin a $145 antique triptych?! I didn't Google one till AFTER I had altered it. Oh well. First I painted the triptych silver. I left a bead of gold around the inside of the frame. I glued in an image of Poe from a Free Vintage Printable - Edgar Allen Poe Collage available at Free Vintage Digital Stamps. I painted black around and into the image. I highlighted Poe's face with a bit of white on the forehead, nose and chin. I doubt that you can really see it in the picture I took, but it enhances the pop-out effect from the background and makes Poe look more ghostly. I gave the frame a weak wash of black and used a baby wipe to take some of the paint off the raised design. I rummaged in my stash and found a scarlet ribbon rose along with some thin black ribbon. A sliver of one of Poe's finger bones was a sacrifice by a Halloween necklace. I had just as much fun with setting the stage for the picture I took. The raven and the skull snowglobe were from this past Halloween's merchandise at Walgreens, of all places.