Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mark the Occasion!

Good tidings to you!!
Wrapping up the year, I decided to post several of this year's creations made from collaging in Photoshop. These images were all designed to give honor to special occasions or memories.  We humans need our rituals to mark time. 

Tucson has a neighborhood we all know, Winterhaven, which lights up all its houses and decorates like crazy at Xmas time.  The streets close down and everyone walks around.  The background of my Solstice image is from one of those houses. 
I took the moon photos last winter at 2am during an eclipse.  We just had another eclipse last week but I missed it, even though I only would have had to wake at 7 am for that one.:)  
I like the title, because at Solstice, I celebrate the return of brightness (which is implied if the full lyrics of the song start to fly through your mind). 
Tutu really does lay on Lulu like that - not photoshopped!  I love that they have each other.

If you are into technicalities: The house was changed with a gradient map and edge filter. The pups  were adjusted with a posterize filter, single hue saturation and contrast. Me and my beau were saturated in the brown, pink and teal hues and then I put a diffuse glow filter on us. To match and look like we are all there together, I painted my boots by sampling Tutuli's fur and painting with a semi-translucent spray. Of course, I selected and erased all the background objects to change the context of the collaged imaged. The rest of the black in the photo is the night sky of the moon photo.

Creating this image was such an enjoyable way to celebrate my grandma. I think it even portrays Alzheimers in my eyes. It represents to me the way memories are emptied and how I worried that she felt alone and trapped in her head.  But what the disease really taught me was how dedicated family could be to giving good care and how much love creates health, happiness and memories. I used my mom's stories to include granny Hazel's favorite birds. My mom's memory that she recently shared with me was of Hazel looking out the window at the birds and flowers while taking care of the house for the kids.  To me, the birds represent family around her.  

Small details: I painted their shoes blue so that they can have fun and get ready to dance around.  The robins also have a slight red hue which I wanted in order to subtly show though from some secret dimension.

 This one, I dedicated to my grandpa Ted and I made it for the Alzheimers walk, the disease which he suffered from at the end of his life.  I like to hope that somehow, somewhere in there, he left with an internal reality of even more out-of-this-world fanciful musings. 
I gathered the inspiration for it from my dad's fun legends about his dad, including how he made a fur coat for his sister by trapping cats in inner city Chicago (she did not like that when she found out!), dressing up fancy to take my grandma out dancing, living together with his sister's family raising children together so that my dad swapped dad's with his cousins, and renting an airplane to fly his sister around and figuring out how to be a pilot as he went. 
Art comes more readily to me when I am thinking of representing someone.  
My dad made the wreath, in real life, out of grandpa Ted's old tools.  Ted (Thadeus Mierzjewski) was a mechanic for part of his working years.

Techniques:  I added blush to their faces to make them look more present and put a shadow on behind the plane for some dimension.

Collaged card for my Dad's B-Day book which my mom is assembling into an atlas by physically collaging and decorating with multimedium from many friends and family's contributions. Inspired by Dr. Seuss (copied and altered many different pieces and some of the words). The theme was Turing 70, which is why I have 70 tops turning.
Cards and real mail are a real treat... and, when I make time to create the card myself, it feels especially good to have put the thought into them.

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