What’s Your Story?

  

The other day I received what I consider to be my first ‘negative’ comment on my Instagram feed. It wasn’t necessarily a bad comment but one I felt definitely had negative intentions.  

I can honestly say, though, the comment was eye opening – in more ways than one.  

The comment came after I’d received several complimentary comments about a particular (abstract) image I had posted.  

This commenter wanted to know: ‘What is abstract art?’, ‘Where is the talent??’ and ‘Would someone please explain this to me!!’

For some reason I felt compelled to give an explanation even though I had doubts as to the sincerity of the question. Wouldn’t an ‘artist’ know what ‘abstract art’ was? Especially an artist with such ‘confidence’?

And when I said the comment was eye-opening I did mean it in a good way!

First of all it caused me to stop and think what ‘having talent’ actually means.

How is talent defined? Who gets to decide who is talented and who is not? And, more importantly, why did this person even care? Did my ‘lack of talent’ offend him? Did it take away from his ability to make art? It may sound as if his comment really bothered me but I assure you it did not.

It made me think

Why do I create the art I create? 

Why in this style, in this way? With these subjects and these colors?

Why?

I realized his comments made me want to defend my art but not in a defensive way at all. (And no one could have been any more surprised by this fact than me!)

‘Abstract art’, I informed him, ‘is a visual language that does not attempt to represent an accurate reality but instead uses shapes, colors, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect. If it engages the viewer it is considered successful. All art is ultimately valuable for its effect on the viewer and (in most cases involving true artists) for the effect is has on the artist who creates it. Whether or not the artist is viewed as ‘having talent’ is a non-issue for it is far more important for the artist to be able to tell their story through their art. Thanks for asking!”

And here it was.

The answer to the question I did not know I needed an answer to.  

I do what I do because this is my story to tell. And this is how I choose to tell it. I hope you enjoy it but its ok if you don’t. I share it because I can only hope you might benefit from it in some small way (or even in a large way) that it might change your day for the better or simply serve as inspiration. I create this art because I can’t NOT create it. If it helps you too then it’s a good day – whether talent is involved or not!
You can see my stories unfold at: http://www.instagram.com/AKALIGHTBLUE

Really?! It’s been three months???

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I can’t believe three months have gone by since my last post – I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun!
With the holidays approaching and other end-of-the-year activities going on I found the need to switch gears a bit with my art-making. I started posting images to Instagram. I wanted to become more familiar with the social platform (and also find more ways to stay creative each day without having to dedicate large portions of time to do so). I soon discovered these short bursts of creativity worked very well with my current schedule.
Not only that – I’ve been experimenting (and now focusing on) altering my photography with apps – a new direction. The best part is: I carry my studio with me. No more excuses for not having time to make art.
I try and limit my art supply ‘stash’ to images currently in my camera roll – I alter and layer and alter some more to create imaginary worlds and other abstract style images.
I’d love it if you stopped by sometime!
http://www.instagram.com/AKALIGHTBLUE

Damsel in Distress

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I’ve been spending a LOT of time playing with images and apps lately. There are so many options it’s almost overwhelming. I’ve decided to try and limit myself to working with just a few so I can focus on the process more and not worry so much about what ‘else’ I might could do with the image. It’s just like picking out wallpaper (to use an outdated example)– too many patterns and books of patterns to choose from and you never decide on anything for fear you’ll like something better in the next pattern book. It’s a vicious cycle.
So, after experimenting with a texture app called Grunge HD, I came up with this version of an image I made while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park last Fall. I liked the image as it was shot but am really drawn to the distressed and rustic feel it now has. I call it Mountain Plaid.

Notes from the rabbit hole

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“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Another creation using the apps, Living Planet and PaintFX

Ooh Baby

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First, let me tell you about the new hard drive I got this weekend. It’s a Seagate Wireless Plus. It’s about the size of a smart phone – just a little thicker – and its for mobile device storage. It also works as a hot spot which is really a nice plus (probably where the name came from) when you like sitting in your car or at a restaurant whiling away the hours learning new iPhoneography tricks like I do.

Which reminds me…found a great new resource for that as well…www.thetheatreprofessor.com (definitely worth a visit!).

The hard drive is 1TB. And so far I’ve uploaded 19,438 images.

I didn’t have that many images on my cell phone or iPad – it also lets you upload from your computer too – which is great if you’re like me and have a few images stashed here and there.

I have no idea how many images a terabyte will hold (it’s one level up from a gigabyte, if that helps at all) but I have several more places to pull images from yet- so I guess I’ll find out sooner or later – hopefully much later.

One slight problem though – it doesn’t seem to like Raw images – so either I will have to revert the Raw images and re-upload or try and figure out a way around it.

So anyway….while I was at the restaurant whiling away the hours tonight, I stumbled on some of my Lensbaby images. I’d forgotten how much I love looking at them. This image is straight out of the camera – no post production work here at all.

Is this not the most delicious looking light OR WHAT?!?

I made this photograph in Colorado – the birthplace of delicious light.

Yum.

Art of Subtraction

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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

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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!