Photography isn’t a verb.

Photography makes me happy.

You know, I kinda just now came to that realization.

Now I know that statement must sound a little crazy considering how much I enjoy photographing things and the fact that I have an entire blog (practically) dedicated to the medium – but it really comes down to this:
Photography is something I’ve always enjoyed doing.

DOING. Participating in. In the verb sense of the word (if that makes any sense at all).

But just now while playing around with this simple little image, an image that I took with my iPhone (in my car, through a dirty windshield no less) I realized that, with each swipe of my finger, with each new result of my playing, I found that my heart was beating a little bit faster and an honest to goodness swelling of emotion was building up inside.

And this happens all the time.

Not only do I enjoy the process of photography; the searching, the discovering, the capturing of images – that process involves me actively participating in something. But what I’m talking about here is – this process has an affect on me.

Continually. Even after the searching is over.

I’ve just realized I’m in a long term relationship!

And it’s a beautiful one!

Through my dirty windshield, South Congress, Austin, Texas.

Art of Subtraction

Here is a simplified example where I grabbed an image from my camera roll, painted over it with blue, outlined a few simple shapes with a pen tool, and erased within the shapes to reveal the original image.

The great thing about it is that you can change the opacity before you start drawing (if you’re not into surprises) and be as precise as you’d like with your drawing (for placement purposes).

I’m still using my finger to draw and paint, mainly because I like the rough, organic feel it gives but also because I’m really getting into this new, spontaneous way I’ve found to create art every day – but using a stylus would give you even greater control.

Btw…it’s the iColorama app I’m using — I have it for both the iPad and the iPhone – they’re a little different and (I’m ashamed to admit) I can’t seem to figure out how to use the one on the phone – but I prefer working on the larger screen anyway.

Melts in Your Mouth Not in Your Hands



Another great thing about using an app to make art besides no messy fingers (and that’s a pretty good reason in itself) is the ability to add layer upon paint layer without worry of overloading the substrate.

In this example using iColorama (my latest obsession) I’ve started with an image from my camera roll. I then ‘painted’ over the image to create a solid color background that I could then ‘reveal’ selectively by erasing and then adding to by adding even more layers; erasing, adding, erasing, etc.

Changing up the ‘tool’ selection created variety and also gave me a chance to experiment and see what would happen.

And since this was just an exercise in experimentation, I felt absolutely no pressure to create art.

Now, how easy was that!



Another great thing about using the iPhone to make art – is that you can get by with images already in your camera roll.  You’d be surprised at what you can do with what you already have.  And its those images that you’d least expect, the ones out of focus, or those accidentally taken, that will surprise you the most.

Don’t think that because it turned out blurry, or if you didn’t get the composition just right that its worthless…more times than not those images will give you that unexpected, spontaneity that is difficult to re-create on purpose.

Very rarely do I discard an image.  NO matter what.  You just never know what you might need one day to do the trick.

And not only are you creating cool new pieces of art with each new creation, but you’re also giving yourself more images to create new work from. 

Its all about layering.  And sometimes, the more layers the better.

Say you’re using Blender (app) and you’ve combined two images together that you’re happy with.  Simply save that new image, and start a new ‘session’ using that newly created image as your new first layer and pick another image to blend it with.  And so on and so on. You can continue on in this way for as long as you like.

I call it layer stacking.

WARNING!  Its addictive!!!

The above image was one of those ‘not sure what it is but might want to keep it anyway’ images.  And this is what it looked like before.


See what I mean?

Lost in the Fog Tubes


Having so much fun combining random images and merging with Blender…

Such a great way to get your fix when time is limited!

Improbably Delicious


Oh the joy of creating with reckless abandon; without care or concern for the outcome.

And why, if I know this to be true, am I constantly surprised with the results each and every time??

Here, I have simply grabbed a couple of unlikely images (those without a drop of potential) – or so I thought – and carelessly merged them together with the iPhone app ‘Blender’.  I then tweaked the (pre-set) Blend Modes until I came up with these fun results!

You must try this at home!!

Already Art: A New Project

mixed media

I’ve written posts before about how much I enjoy photographing parts of my artwork…how extracting smaller juxtapositions can create completely different perspectives of a piece and turn it into something completely different.

Well, this weekend I stumbled upon yet another way to do just that.

But in this case I’m taking the smaller part and building on it.

I’ve started a new project – a new journey, if you will. A mixed media journey where I travel as lightly as possible.

No paint. No glue. No encaustic medium needed.  Its a journey you can embark on when you’ve got a few minutes (or a few hours) – depending on your addiction – and it is very addictive!

There’s something truly wonderful about traveling lightly and in this case having everything you need right in the palm of your hand – literally.

This new project is one where I will create art simply with my iPhone and the apps I have on it; compositing in its simplest form, without turning on the laptop; setting up the workspace, or importing into Photoshop.  Very low tech.  The point is to keep it very simple; to use what I already have on hand – to build on what I’ve already created: to breath new life into ‘already art’. I’ll be using the phone to take images and to make art from those images.

The above is one of my first attempts.

This is the result from wandering around the studio snapping photos of various artwork, dried paint palettes, found objects, etc.; manipulating the images (via apps) and then combining the parts or the whole into one image.

Does the scribbling look familiar?  That’s from the image in ‘What Are You Waiting For’ (my previous post). The polka dot sheet is a piece of tissue paper I had on hand that had been covered in encaustic medium.  All photographed by the iPhone and all manipulated/combined with iPhone apps.