Of a Feather

I actually finished a painting in under a month. Which is warp speed… for me, anyway.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: “Helm… warp one… engage!”

Patrick Stewart – Star Trek: The Next Generation

About this image: acrylic painting on 12″x 24″ canvas

Empire

Here’s a mixed media thing I made a while back. So… that happened.

General Maximus Decimus Meridius: “Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?”

– Russell Crowe – Gladiator

About this image: (where to start?) map drawn in colored pencil – stained  & tinted with acrylic; charcoal portrait – gel medium transfer onto painted paper – mounted on wooden frame; hand-built polymer clay mosaic tiles – painted with acrylic; all mounted in 12″x12″ stained wood panel

Chica del Sol

I’m not sure what’s up with all the color I’ve been using lately. Too much sun, maybe. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Buster Bluth (climbs out of car trunk): “Mexico.”

Narrator: “In fact, Buster was in Santa Ana, a town six minutes inland from his own, but the combination of losing his glasses and breathing carbon monoxide had impaired Buster’s judgement.”

Buster Bluth (seeking shelter under a trampoline): “Eeehhh… this shall keep me safe from the hot Mexican sun. ”

– Tony Hale – Arrested Development

About this image: digital media – vector art created with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

Bottle No. 3 (liquid emulsion)

A flashback from ye olde darkroom days! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Maude Lebowski: “What do you do for entertainment?”

The Dude: “Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback…”

– Julianne Moore & Jeff Bridges – The Big Lebowski

About this image: Ilford 35mm film print on 6″x6″ canvas panel via liquid emulsion

Riddle

I built most of this curious contraption, but the text / ‘Devinette’ embroidery was outsourced. Hot-glue gunnery is problematic enough for me… it seems like operating a needle would really have been pressing my luck. Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

About this image: digital photograph moderately modified and mounted in 12″x12″ framework with found objects

Fresh Fruit

You might be thinking, “Is that… a little… um…” Well, maybe. But it’s completely made-up, so you get to create your own narrative. Which is more fun anyway. Right?

Ned Plimpton: “You don’t know me. You never wanted to know me. I’m just a character in your film.”

Steve Zissou: “It’s a documentary. It’s all really happening.”

Ned Plimpton: “Well, d**n you for that.”

Owen Wilson and Bill Murray – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

About this image: Replicated supermarket ad created in Adobe Illustrator then printed, stained, distressed and collaged on 16″x16″ canvas – large text painted in acrylic and distressed – figure and fruit painted in acrylic – sides painted in white crackle/distressed acrylic with some torn bits of ad and painted text wrapping around

Statue to Painting

A few people have asked about my faux wet plate collodion photos, so I’ve included more info about them below (please feel free to skip my rambling). Either way, the above is ‘Statue to Painting’ by Louis Saint-Gaudens (it flanks the St. Louis Art Museum’s main entrance along with Daniel Chester French’s ‘Statue to Sculpture’). Both were done in plaster for the 1904 World’s Fair and later reproduced in marble. Have a great weekend, everyone!

About this image: digital photograph heavily modified to replicate wet plate collodion (see below)

Nothing holds a candle to real wet plate collodion, but until I can bankroll the set-up and find a place to store chemistry I have to ‘fake it’.

In-camera tips: In my opinion, you’ve got two choices… replicate ‘period’, or create an obviously contemporary image. Anything in between feels suspect to me (like someone tried to go old and missed). If you want to replicate a period image be sure to remove any/all modern elements from your shot. For interior portraiture, try using a tripod, natural lighting, shallow depth of field and a long exposure. Period lenses required long exposure times, so I think some blur from accidental sitter movement adds to the feel.

The plate: I use clear acrylic sheets (like those used for framing/glazing). They’re relatively cheap, and thin ones are easy to cut/break, too. I get mine from Blick Art Materials.

The ‘collodin’: I use a water-based polyurethane (from a home store – you could experiment with a fairly fluid gel medium, glue, etc., too). Basically all I do is ‘flow’ polyurethane over an acrylic sheet, and then dry it. That simple. How it dries creates various effects. Letting the whole thing dry slowly/completely produces a fairly smooth, translucent ‘pool’. Allowing the edges to dry and then rinsing off the center produces a perimeter ‘ridge’ and flow-like streaks (the longer the plate dries the further that edge creeps in). Using a hot hairdryer creates wrinkles. Other tips include pressing a finger into the polyurethane while tacky to create a fingerprint, and/or scoring/breaking off a corner. I then throw the plate on a flatbed scanner (using a black backdrop) and pull it into Photoshop where I ‘layer’ it with a photograph using various blending modes, curves/levels/contrast adjustments, etc. If you find there are too many ‘artifacts’ in your plate or a few distract from your photo you can airbrush those out/back.

Editing tips: Find a good example of a real collodion image for a guide to curves/levels/contrast/tint adjustments, etc. Mask off the edges of your photo along the polyurethane ‘edge/ridge/perimeter’. Also, some early lenses had an interesting swirly bokeh (when shot wide open), which can be replicated (kind of) with a Radial Blur (masked/faded off from the center outward). And the original images are/were mirrored, so don’t forget to ‘flip’ your photo (especially if it includes text, etc.).

As always, if anyone has specific questions, I’m happy to help if I can!

Forces

This is a fairly intense image, but life isn’t only about tea sipping birds… right? That wouldn’t be honest, somehow. Anyway, I’ll find something milder for the big Thursday show. Also, I’ve forgotten any/all specifics about the above equations, but they relate to force(s) somehow… I think. And there are a few deltas thrown in. Which is always fun.

Chuckie: “So this is… this is a Harvard bar, huh? I thought there’d be like equations and s*** on the walls. ”

– Ben Affleck – Good Will Hunting

About this image: pinhole photograph of digital photograph/text, further modified digitally