ART SHIRT was the first in a set of three. The other two much more complicated. The shirt idea came about when a friend was throwing out some white shirts. So, I asked for one to use as an art shirt when I do painting and other messy stuff. It was nicely pressed and folded. The more I looked at it there I thought I could photograph it. This is where the story beings really. I simply played as usual and the we'll see what happens next. Firstly, I wanted to add colour by adding textures. This simply wasn't enough. It needed more, popped couple of brushes from the pot into the pocket and I was so much happier with it. The final touch was adding a dragonfly that I'd photographed from another image. Then the final touches that I always add to my image. I really like the contrast to the orange against the blue and the square format. It was well received at the SRGB Critique group.
The next two shirts become a labour of love. I tried to think of all the ways 'A white shirt' would be worn. These two show office shirts and the wearer dreaming of the weekend and where they'd like to be.
WHITE COLLAR DREAMING - a walk in the countryside and the maze to get there.
WHITE COLLAR SAILING - Sailing the seas and exploring the world, even though it maybe only in the imagination.
What story does it tell you? It's interesting to see how people define these and how it interpreted in their own work.
Visiting the Red Squirrels is always been a day out at Formby National Trust Property for many years, as it's local. There is a sense of space and tranquility while walking through the trees and seeing nature unfold. We took our children there from being small to tall and I've been on several school trip there too. Finding Red Squirrels isn't as obvious as it seems as they're wild ( Squirrel Walk ) but do like nuts. More recently, there are fewer due to the horrible virus carried by the Grey Squirrels, which are not native to the country.
This squirrel was another story. There was no wait for the it to turn up or the obvious question 'Is this the right spot?' It came to visit while we had our picnic at Chester Zoo. A place it had visited many times before wanting scraps.We didn't expect to see a Red Squirrel living wild in t he zoo but when you think about it it's an obvious place, lots of treats and food.
Creating was not too difficult. It didn't work with giraffes in the background so I had to create something in the background that added a more natural environment. I was thinking about the environment you see at Freshfield and how they live there. I was looking for a more woodland background. Two texture, additional images and flipped the images horizontally. A total of only 13 layers. Printed on a Textured paper for the final touch.
Work to protect the Red Squirrel in the UK
One, of those places that I've known all my life. I used to spend many hours at the fairground on the rides and meeting up with friends. I have so many good memories of weekend meet ups and the sparkle of the light at night.
The Location has moved from one over to another now owned by Norman Wallis. His singular vision has regenerated Pleasureland into what it once was and so much more. The site has a variety of new rides and the old favourites, it's alway clean and tidy and well staffed.
We've wandered round and photographer many aspects of this fairground. These's something for everyone from Scary Rides,Dodgems and the Children Carousel.
There are also many special events to attend and don't forget to put them in your diary.
Th images are created more recently. They're where created for the Critique Group at SRGB. I only actually use one. I applied some brighter textures and mixed images to create fun feeling images and adding of bit of emotion too.
I'm happy to admit that when I created them I wasn't sure but that's what the groups about. Trying new things and sharing the ideas and thoughts.
Three Red Feathers
Three Red Feathers, the simple composition and added texture really makes a difference. There's nothing difficult about creating this one, three strips of newspaper and three feathers, found in the garden. Photographed on a piece of mount board, to gives a simple background to start the textures on. The image has several oppositions and balance points in it to strengthen the composition.
There's 23 layers in total. Two textures. One from a whitewashed greenhouse at a National Trust property. It features in several of images. This adds arty feel and contrasts. The square canvass was a simple choice, as it creates a tighter images and brings the eye straight to the focal point in the centre of the image. The added Colour isn't from a photoshop gradient but part of the second texture.
On finishing an image I aways check if it works as a mono. Not all images do. In this case, I did a black and white conversion in photoshop and added a tone, which adds softness. The mono has to be the treated differently from the colour, adding eleven layers to the file. The additional layers are the put in group in the same saved file.
Three Red Feathers has achieved serval awards and acceptances in colour. I wonder which you like best?
A Landscape of Colour
time to play. 2019
Most of my work is using a love limited colour range. I tend to work in expression emotions and the feeling of being there. There are times that I can't do anything, no matter how I try. The images I create just don't work. The Trash soon fills up and get frustrated by the last of clarity. Time for break. Walk the dog or simply watch TV.
A way I kick start images it to play with an image to manipulate it and see what happens. I used a variety of filters and transform tools to achieve the final Patterns. Once I'd created the pattens, They needed something to give it a focal point. I played around with different shapes, figures and lines but inn the end I went for the old favourite, the Tree.
The colour in the landscapes creates a mood and reference to what and where the landscape is and what it would mean to you if you visited the location.
These are just for fun.
The search for The Christmas Card is always a daunting task each year. Trying to get something different but something that appeals to friends and family. I normally print and post a short run of cards. It's nice to give something when I don't send gifts or its simply too far to see them. This year especially with the restrictions of the call for Coffee and swop gifts due to Covid and government guidelines on mixing.
I played with several visions of of the the christmasy pet pictures and Star Wars figures with gifts etc.I did post one of these on Facebook, 'Alone at Christmas'. Nothing really did what I wanted it too. I was trying to avoid The Tree as it's my fall back Christmas Card. I'd created a background for the Christmas cards already with a star night sky. I definitely want to use this. I played around from a couple of days not really settling on anything or simply deleted the files.
I gave up and started playing with the stars and trees to break the chain of failures. The more I played with the simple tree idea the more the set came together. I just needed a change of direction. A set of three Star Trees and a Christmas Card.
It's an interesting idea and works so many other images. I hoping to do more in the near future.
White on White
On a Tuesday Photo Day out in 2019 . We aimed for the galley because of another exhibition which we really enjoyed by Grayson Perry. The main exhibition was a galley of was mainly white on white paintings part from a couple of figure studies. The exhibition consisted of large canvases painted white with another object painted in white, highlighting the shadows and form of the objects. It fascinated me that such simple things could be so intense in the setting of a gallery married with the amazing skills of the artist.
One, wet winters day I wanted to do something creative. I looked round the house for something to photograph. On my craft desk there was a roll of masking tape, this was the first of the set of images. white on white. I've not repeated any of the objects from the exhibition but be simply inspired by the idea. That started a search round the house of white objects that would be interesting printed. I took several thatI didn't use so a limited section of images, so far. It's a set that I'm hoping to add to with another set at some point. I photographed the images in natural light from the window and changed them to mono image to enhance the shadow details in the shots.
I've had some interesting comments, one from a camera club who told me he was painter and decorator and said he'd never considered photographing Masking Tape.
It's challenge I set when I go to clubs. photograph something on the same coloured background. great competition Theme.
Why not try it round the house while we're on Lockdown?
A Street of Bikes 2016
A visit to Cambridge, after a talk tour in the area. We visited various locations, including the Museum. The city is named after the river Cam. Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages and finds have shown evidence of the early Bronze Age. What a great history.
Coming out from the museum, I spotted the bikes, which Cambridge is famous for, as the students run round the city and pedestrians need to beware of the them. Bikes are fastened up on any area available around the city. Even having signs saying no bikes, so they're not secured to the buildings. The bikes that took my eye were fastened to the bars on the windows of a building with blacked out windows. They fascinated me, all bikes have their own individual personality given by the owner.
This set makes a good triptych and has also done well as individual images in external exhibitions. There are approx. 33 layers in each image with the addition of three textures to each image.
Chester Zoo 2009
There's something about visiting a zoo that gives you a chance to see the animals that might not be around in years to come. I've been taken to the Zoo since I was very small. There's something magical about creatures that share our world and the there's also the sadness people who only see money in them. Chester Zoo is a favourite zoo of mine, it's one of the best and local. You walk in the grounds and there's a special sort of anticipation of seeing the favourites and the new babies.
One of the first things you see as you wander in, usually early morning, is the elephants. It's a lovely well built enclosure with lots of viewing spots to see them better. We looked at them having fun and walked on to see lots of other beautiful animals in the zoo and taking lots of photos too.
Time to go home, it had been a long day and our feet started to ache. One last look at the elephant family before we go. When the zoo starts to close the elephants often go for a bath in the waterfall and pool. Here you can see various members of the family drinking and bathing and usually the babies playing in the water. The older ones also love standing under the waterfall to cool off on a summers day. This is where I took the base image for this. there are 23 layers in total including the print layer.
I’ve included a couple more Elephant shots the Elephant Portrait was taken at Colchester Zoo and the two young elephants on a later visits to Chester Zoo.
A Daily Walk
With the dog 2019
We're all expected to do our daily walk but it has to be local. There's only so much you can do It reminded me of the images I made in 2019 about waking in a fantasy of colour and shape. .
One of the things I do enjoy when I'm playing with images and painting is using something simple to make somethings new.
This set is created from Colour Splash images that I've created and have used for many images as Backgrounds and Overlays. There's nothing like getting messy and having fun with colours no matter what the medium.
These are just for me. So, no rules or expectations and they created simply to create.
A painted splash image is the start for this image,
I have 8 layer only in this one. It’s fun to play with new ideas. In the case I’ve been playing with colour and shape. to create the daily walk we all take, sometime simply repeating the same path and seeing different things along the way. Other times going to a new walk and exploring the things you see along the way.
Here’s a couple more from the set. Still playing with the theme going for a walk. Sometimes feeling alone and sometimes running and enjoying the freedom of space and time.