Sunday, 4 August 2013

Untitled (035) and Untitled (036)

Not much to say about these two. I really like 035 but am not fussed about 036. The latter has that much to 'clean' effect. Still, it has got something (?):confused::(o_O just not sure what.

Untitled (035)
iPhone 4s, iPad 4.
Camera+, Snapseed, Repix, Procreate.
The original image is a section of an old (failed) watercolour painting.

Untitled (036)
iPhone 4s. iPad 4.
No Camera. Procreate, Snapseed, Repix.
This is an experiment attempting to create a digital painting without using a 'camera'. I started it in Procreate using native brushes and also some that I had made myself. Then I just began layering the work as I would if I were painting with oil or acrylic or graphite. It basically used Cubist strategies for its composition and colour, and references both Modernism and Postmodernism. I also dipped into Repix for additional marks.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Bushland. Using Aquarella and Glaze apps.

I love watercolour as a painting medium and have dabbled in it at times. My favourite artist is Charles Reid, who is fairly conservative but adventurous in his use of the medium. Anyway I have had the Aquarella app for some time now but have only used it on probably two images last year. I have been inspired by Garry Ryon and Sarah Jarrett. I came across a series of images by the latter artist last year and they just blew me away. Very subtle but engaging use of some watercolour app. Garry has done some super work recently with his "Old Cars" series. So I thought I would have a go and make a determined effort to get my head around this app.
This image originally was just an ordinary shot of our local bushland where I walk. On my iPad I did some basic tweaking in Snapseed (image 1). 
Then ran it through Aquarella - can't remember the filter (image 2). 
Then layer blended both in Laminar Pro (image 3).
I then ran image 3 through Glaze (image 4).
I then blended 3 and 4 again in Laminar Pro.
Back to Snapseed for more basic tweaks.
This is the basics of what I did with a number of failures and also trying different settings. Also trying different blend modes.
So I have come up with this image. I am not sure if it is quite what I was looking for but I am relatively happy with the result. I think.
It does seem to have an element of 'heading for abstraction' which I like. And I find the colours extremely seductive and yummy.

Bushland. iPhone 4s. iPad 4. Shot with Camera+. Post processing: Snapseed, Aquarella, Glaze, Laminar Pro.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Untitled (33) and Untitled (34)

Untitled (33)

Untitled (34)

Since Christmas I have been on a very intensive art making campaign.  Thinking about nothing but art, reading books on art, talking about art, etc. I was beginning to feel a bit jaded, and in light of this I decided to take a sabbatical for awhile to let my creative juices recharge, so to speak.  Over the years this is a fairly common occurrence, and one that I don't fight, although I have read many of those articles about breaking free of the lack of inspiration, or artistic block, which could be useful to some people, but not, I think, to myself. I tend to move in and out of the "zone" somewhat randomly, and such is my creative journey. I find that if I am true to myself, the angel of inspiration will infuse me of her spirit and away I will go again.
I have always been rather fond of boardgames, in particular, historical tabletop war-games that create some bygone and famous battle. Also Eurogames, Ameritrash, and games that refer to elements of contemporary pop culture, such as Super Heroes, Zombies, or Science Fiction. Unfortunately it is a very niche hobby and the little coastal town we retired to some years ago is bereft of any opportunity to play these games in a social setting. These days I play solitaire boardgames or games that have the ability to be played solitaire.  Its not as good as having the social interaction between other players and the game, but is still lots of fun.
Of the two images put up Untitled 34 is my preferred one.  The other has a "too sanitised" feel to me. But I do like it.  It does seem a little too clean, and bright though.  The second one, I just love.  It has that wonderful feel of 'darkness' and perhaps an eldritch mood about it. It also has a spontaneous feel to it, with a good range of marks that are layered and moving back into darkness. I will more than likely use this one again as part of a sequence I have planned. 
Both images were shot with my iPhone 4s and post processed on my iPad 4, using Camera+, Snapseed, Handy Photo, Procreate, and Repix. The starting image on both was a small section of a painting, that I had completed some years ago.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Untitled (026) - (032) Screaming Man

beneath the prison
the flooded dungeon
cthulhu dreams
venomous water moves
in dark currents
fondling trapped souls


Untitled (026)

Untitled (027)

 Untitled (028)

Untitled (029)

 Untitled (030)

Untitled (031)

Untitled (032)

The images were photographs of small sections of old paintings that were created as part of a Prison series of paintings based on my experiences within the prison system.
Shot with iPhone 4s and processed on iPad 4.
Camera+, Snapseed, Handy Photo, Procreate, and Filterstorm.

I have long been a fan of the classical horror writer H. P. Lovecraft.  His major influences were Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Machen and Algermon Blackwood. He wrote his "Cthulhu Mythos" stories between 1925 and 1935 approx., and has been a profound influence on many modern day writers such as Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, and many others. Anyway, having dabbled in writing short stories, and remembering a story I encountered at a prison I worked at in the 1980's, it seemed like a good idea to use the prison and that story as a 'template' for a story based in the Cthulhu Mythos. I have attempted to write this particular short story many times without success, but recently, with my interest in iPhoneography, I though that it would be a good idea to attempt to evoke something of what I perceive to be the mood/atmosphere that accompanies Lovecraft's stories, in a series of images along with a short poem.

The prison story I mentioned described how the prison was closed down in the 1950's or thereabout.  It had a dungeon that had been sealed off for many years, and had flooded.  Apparently a young boy had somehow found access to the dungeon, and had drowned. A very tragic tale. The prison itself was built in the 1850's primarily out of massive granite blocks, that were mined and carved from local quarries. The buildings, prison walls and towers, had, for me, a dark beauty.  It was a strange polarity - one the one hand, it was a prison, housing people that had committed some truly terrible crimes, an ugly place; and on the other hand, the architecture had a unique beauty to it, with characteristics that are only found in such rare and antique buildings.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Within the Woods

within the woods trees whisper,
gnats dance in patches of dying light,
hakea, tea tree, banksia, ironbark,
ancient spirits painting the landscape
with sighs

after rain, the smell of eucalypt and earth.

a breeze moves gently among the leaves,
within the woods trees whisper.

All images:
iPhone 4s. Processed on iPad 4.
Hipstamatic, Snapseed.

Its incongruous and wonderful that we have an area of urban bushland two minutes walk from home. Once in the woods, one can be a million miles from anywhere, or a thousand years from the here and now. The Bunurong People are the traditional owners of this land, a fact that I wish to acknowledge.
I have ignored some of the accepted conventions of photographic practice, preferring instead to give priority to self-expression. What's the point of rules if one can't occasionally break them.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Untitled (25) Digital Zen

Untitled (025)
iPad 4.

I was at our monthly camera club meeting and was showing a friend how to use the Procreate app, and quickly did this painting. It took me all of about 30 seconds to set it up, and 5 seconds to paint. I had a look at it again at home and quite liked it so decided to add it to my abstract sequence. 4 strokes and a chop. This opens up a whole new approach for me. Anyone familiar with this kind of art though, would immediately notice that each stroke or line has no calligraphic characteristic. That is, each line has the same width throughout the stroke. This would be viewed as very inadequate and inept. I have two pressure sensitive styli, a Pogo Connect and a Jot Touch which will give me a variable line, but it is very difficult to do this kind of painting, even those styli, as the iPad glass is very slick, and there isn't the brush/paper, friction/resistance and, of course, the painting area is very small, only approx 6x8ins. Still I have been practising to see what I can come up with.
What I really like about this work is its "cleanness", its simplicity, and its almost minimilist aesthetic. I love the colours also, the red, which, for me, is somewhere between the earth colours Light Red and Indian Red. The black and the cream toned "paper". The painting also hints at some sort of hidden meaning, almost like a rune. I tried this with a slightly textured paper but it didn't work very well. Again, this is intuitive mark-making - working fast without thinking.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Untitled (024) Bit Frustrating!

Untitled (024)
iPhone 4s/iPad 4
Camera+, Snapseed, Glaze, PS Touch, Superimpose, Aquarella, Filterstorm, Procreate.

I'm rather fond of this one. It was originally an image capture of a watercolour painting. I ran it through Glaze which created some nice effects on the 'continents' within the painting. I couldn't make it work though, and, wanting to try something different. I used PS Touch to selected each continent and save each individual one as a single image. I created a brush of each image in Procreate, ahhh, love this app. Now I can put them into artworks in any size, any colour, and any opacity, in any type of composition I desired. I created a base/texture layer in Aquarella for the watercolour paper effect, and just started adding the forms. Again I couldn't make the picture work, the trouble being, I think, was that the type of painting style of the continents, was so different from anything I could do in Procreate, that the original forms and the new procreate forms were fighting each other. I am sure that there is a way around this, but being such an inexperienced user of Procreate I wasn't sure how. I was going to dump the image and decided to try one last thing. I liked the composition so decided to go with that and just paint over the major forms with a large brush and using intuitive colour. I allowed some of the original forms to peak through in places, and now I could pretty much go berserk with all the Procreate brushes. With this kind of composition there is always a conflict between negative/open space and mark-making. Again it is a very intuitive process for me. When selecting the colours, although it is largely an intuitive process, I do 'grey' them down from their full strength. For instance the primary 'red' in the painting would become an Indian Red (earth colour), the orange would become a Burnt Orange and so on, once the chroma and tone had been adjusted.
Nothing jumps out to me in terms of what the picture 'means', it was just an exercise in mark-making really.