Friday, September 26, 2014

Black and White Weekend - 9/26/14: "Quaking Aspens"

asks us to post a black and white photo. No spot colors. No sepia. Black and white, only.

I just spent several weeks in Portland, Maine.  I took over 1500 photos of the city, the harbor, charming old houses (most built in the 1800's)  You can find some of those (more will be added in the future) and many of my other images on my Flickr page.  View my entire photostream or click on "albums" to the right of my profile image to view a specific set of images. 
There is an album titled "Maine."  The one called "Black and White" contains images that may have been posted for this meme ---or may be posted in the future. 
Click on any individual photo, then scroll down a little to find more info about that image.



"Quaking Aspens"
along a hiking trail on Mt. Humphrey
Flagstaff, Arizona


At 7,000 feet in elevation, with mountains that rise to 12,000 feet,
Flagstaff 's cool, high environment is conducive to aspen propagation.
The aspen is a deciduous tree native to cooler areas of North America. Their leaves seem to quiver in the wind. Some of the names used to refer to this tree are: quaking aspen, trembling aspen, American aspen, quakies, mountain or golden aspen, trembling poplar, and white poplar. 

The trees have tall trunks, up to 25 m (82 ft) tall, with smooth pale bark, scarred with black. Leaves become golden to yellow in autumn. The aspen usually propagates through its roots to form large groves in which individual trees are all clones of each other and share the same root system. Because all the clones in one grove are the same sex, seeds rarely 
sprout.


Beginning in 1996, scientists noticed an increase in dead or dying aspen trees. As this accelerated in 2004, word spread and a debate over causes began. No insect, disease, or environmental condition is yet specifically identified as a cause. Trees adjacent to one another are often stricken or not. In some instances, entire groves have died.

The Quaking Aspen is the most widely distributed tree in North America, being found from Canada to central Mexico, at cool, high elevations.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Good Fences - 9/25/14: "Mosaic Wall"

Good Fences Thursday asks us to post a photo of a fence or gate each week.



I just spent several weeks in Portland, Maine.  I took over 1500 photos of the city, the harbor, charming old houses (most built in the 1800's)  You can find some of those (more will be added in the future) and many of my other images on my Flickr page.  View my entire photostream or click on "albums" to the right of my profile image to view a specific set of images. 

There is an album titled "Maine."  The one called "Fences" contains images that may have been posted for this meme ---or may be posted in the future.

Click on any individual photo, then scroll down a little to find more info about that image.


I'm not quite sure if walls qualify as fences, but they often serve the same purpose, to keep things out, keep things in, to add privacy, or for decorative purposes.

When I lived in Brazil (1967-69) I had just graduated from college with an art degree. I loved that in many cities, and especially in Salvador (which I visited from time to time because our regional office was there) many buildings had art work on them. The side of a building might be covered with bas relief sculptures, or the entrance might have a mosaic design, or an apartment building might be painted in various colors to form a geometric design on its facade.

When I visited in 2011, I didn't see much of that anymore, probably because in the intervening years, the country has developed a middle class. There aren't as many very poor people who will work for practically nothing. Therefore, few can afford those extra artistic touches in building decoration.

In 2011, I walked past these mosaic walls surrounding a parking area for one of the tall buildings there, which may have  been an office building or apartments. I had walked along this street (Avenida Sete de Setembro) many times when I lived there and don't remember these designs, but I may have forgotten, or else, they were added sometime in the last 45 years.

Although there are not as many decorative designs and public art as there once were, there are still some to brighten the city and make it as colorful as its people and culture.

Contemporary mosaic design on a wall in a parking area.
Salvador, Bahia
Brazil
(August 2011)
Detail of the above design.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Digital Art - 9/24/14: "Gaillardia Arrangement in Space and Time"

NF Photography alternates an Abstract Art prompt with a Digital Art prompt.
Scroll to the very bottom of this post to see this week's Digital Art composition: "Gaillardia Arrangement in Space and Time."

I just spent several weeks in Portland, Maine.  I took over 1500 photos of the city, the harbor, charming old houses (most built in the 1800's)  You can find some of those (more will be added in the future) and many of my other images on my Flickr page.  View my entire photostream or click on "albums" to the right of my profile image to view a specific set of images. 

There is an album titled "Maine."  The one called "Art from My Photos" contains images that may have been posted for this meme ---or will be posted in the future.

Click on any individual photo, then scroll down a little to find more info about that image.


This week's Digital art image and where I found my inspiration:
Although most artists want to develop their own style, we are all consciously or unconsciously influenced by other artists. When I see something I find unique or interesting, I might borrow an idea, but I try to change it to become my own.

In July I attended an artist talk and photo exhibit opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Artist Corey Escoto uses innovative methods to create his photos, but I caught only about 15% of what he said because he didn't project his voice, mumbled, and faced away from the microphone when referring the slides on the screen behind him.

I liked his basic idea, though. He uses old Polaroid technology. He creates black stencils to mask parts of the Polaroid film, exposes the unmasked areas, then uses other stencils to expose or hide additional areas, creating compositions with numerous exposures. He presented some of those framed photos in his exhibit along with sculptures he created using mounted photos to create 3-D houses of cards, to cover the sides of pedestals, and combine photos with an assortment of materials to create 3-D works. I liked some of his work. Other items left me cold.

 Here is a small sampling of Escoto's work, 3 photos and 2 sculptures. (click on any image for a larger view.)




I especially liked how he created images that almost appeared to be mounted photos arranged to create the appearance of 3-D space in the 2nd image above.  I decided to attempt to create something similar myself. I, however, didn't use Escoto's Polaroid technique, but created mine digitally.
I cropped the photo to create a
square image.
"Gaillardia Mix"
Using several photos of the gaillardia in my
garden, I began by creating this digital
composition in Photoshop.
 
"Gaillardia Arrangement in Space and Time"

Finally, I created this digital art composition to give it the appearance
of mounted photos in a 3-D arrangement. In addition to using 
principles

of perspective, I made the images at the back slightly smaller, darker, and 
with less contrast and saturation to add to the appearance of depth.

This took about 5 hours to create.  I had to redo some of the images several
times before I was satisfied.  The one good thing about creating
a symmetrical arrangement was that once I was pleased with an image
on the left, I was able to duplicate and flip it horizontally to add the
same image on the right.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Abstract Photo, Good Fences, Wkend in B&W - Sept 3-6: "Wrought Iron"

NF Photography Abstract Photo prompt alternates with a Digital Art creation every other Wednesday

Good Fences asks us to post fence photos each Thursday.

Weekend in Black and White is a prompt to post a black and white photo each weekend.


SIMPLICITY:
Simple can be unsophisticated, but it can also be elegant. It is usually basic, straightforward and uncomplicated.

My original photo is simply a small section of wrought iron fence and the shadow it casts on a sidewalk.

ABSTRACT ART attempts to achieve an aesthetic effect with lines, shapes, colors, and textures without depicting objects as they really are. It may be representational  or nonrepresentational. It can be simple or complicated.

My abstraction was created by taking parts of my black and white photo, rotating, scaling, overlapping, and coloring them. The abstract is much more COMPLICATED than the original photo.  It is not as straightforward, but it is more interesting visually.  

Some people prefer one over the other, but simple and complicated both have their merits. 


I'm taking a 2-week break.
I hope to have a bunch of new photos by the time I return the week of Sept 21st.


"Wrought Iron"
original black and white photo
taken at North Park, Allegheny County, PA
"Wrought Iron"
abstraction created from the photo above

Friday, August 29, 2014

Black and White Weekend - 8/29/14: "Train"

asks us to post a black and white photo. No spot colors. No sepia. Black and white, only.

See my photostream on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cj_proartz
Below my name, click on albums to find a particular type of photo (Black and White, Landscape, Still Life, Autumn Scenes, Bridges, Animals, Art Created from My Photos, etc.)

"Train"
Antique locomotive, Pioneer Museum
Flagstaff, Arizona