Jan - 2019
A simple garden find while clearing the autumn garden tidy up. I've added a few twigs from the garden just to add something to give it a place.
The egg was purchased from a gift shop in Avebury, Wiltshire. The standing stones and its history are fascinating. One of those places I could visit over and over again. I know the egg looks a little big but I like the idea behind the small nest and the large egg. I'm not sure which bird created the nest but would love to know if anyone can add it in the comments, that would be kind.
The basic image was take on a simple background and then textures added to add emotion and the abandoned feel. The trees were an after thought really, just needed something to add to the empty space.
The images are always processed in colour and I always do a final mono conversion, it just allows me to know if it works or not. For this image I decided to give the print a slight warm tone.
I'm not greatly concerned about the how or why I make my work but for those who are 26 Layers in 4 Groups and four added textures. Printed on Bamboo (Hahnemühle Fine Art Papers) as it's eco friendly and has a beautiful soft surface to print on. A perfect mix of images and paper.
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.
A White Shirt
This is a creation inspired by a friend who was throwing out some old work shirts. Not being someone who likes throwing things away before I photograph them. I retrieved some and photographed them. There are several in the set but these are the most imaginative.
The Art Shirt was my first in the Shirt Series. I originally thought the shirt would make a greta overall from me. I love to play with paint and crafts and always get paint or glue on my clothes.
Another inspiration for this was a visit to The Tate Exhibition where they had the artists paints and coat on display.
White Collar Dreaming
This was inspired by the idea that when you're sat in an office all day and the suns shining, you'd love to be somewhere else. So I created story of where this white collar worker would like to be.
Walking in the open air with trees and open spaces. Just, somewhere away from the office but not really wanting to be seen by the office staff either.
White Collar Sailing
Another shirt on a similar theme dreaming looking through the window in the office. Wanting to away from the office and out in the sun enjoying sailing around the world in this boat and exploring the world.
A friend of mine said if she could buy this shirt then she would buy it. maybe I'm in the wrong business. :O)
I'd love to know where you'd like to go if it was your shirt.
Spiral of Time
The Spiral Set were part of my Fellowship Panel. I've given them a little reboot to make them as I see them now, rather than so many years ago!
The Fellowship Panel was created around Gormley Men and my Heads. These are neither I hear you say. no, they're not. The original idea for these came about when there was and old broken Skelton in the rubbish at work, sadly headless. After asking the caretaker nicely if I could have it I put it in the boot of the car.I hate things going to waste. So, home it came, many of its parts broken. I've photographed it on several occasions by eventually it want to the tip. Processed in an early Photoshop approx 48 layers and several textures.
The spiral background are ammonites, taken in Liverpool Museum. The background colours are from textures. It took some time to create the fish but they seem to work well with the ammonite shapes and have a similar feel.
The ammonite shape also added an extra element to the set, it was added to ae Gormley Mens the third to balance the Panel. The original images where pastel and gentle but I really like to punched up colours on them.
A walk in the woods or local park can change the day ahead and make the world look so much brighter. The trees where taken on a drive in the trough of Bowland. The trees in winter or early spring are always a favourite too photograph as they have more shape and form, like a skeleton. One thing I have missed during lockdown is seeing animals. Finally we can go to the zoo or visit natural areas to take them again.
The trees in this set of work came from a winter drive in the Trough of Bowland an area I've always loved. There are special places, I love to have a picnic and vast spaces of landscape to wander in. A sense of freedom during difficult time and a need for freedom. All the tree images have been taken with my iPhone.
Trying out a new technique is always great to explore and I love to push the idea to it's limit. Being self taught, I learnt by playing with Photoshop to find out what each tool and element did. This I think is why I'm so diverce in my work. The idea comes from some tiny seed in my head. Sometimes it potters along and goes nowhere, the often explodes into something I enjoy and can explore for days and occasionally months. The idea and technique is always there to rekindle when I need it, often in another form.
The images make themselves and aren't to complicated but are fun to make. My aim is to create a mood and atmosphere of a walk alone in the woods. Dreaming about things that I'd meet and animals that would be hiding there too. The theme of the Mythical White Stag in the talks of old. Another a stag in the autumn trees. My personal Favourite is the sheep sheltering under the trees. The fun one is the Blue Dog which makes me smile. Finally the two with the hidden man in them, one of which is on my Etsy Shop.
Hope you like them :O)
A Bit of Fun with Flowers - Processed in Photoshop - Seven Groups including 56 layers.
Sometimes it's just fun to play and simply enjoy yourself. The original image was a shot of Red and Purple Tulips, in close up.
There was a variety of images created from this simple image. A Bee a spider and an Alien all of which I didn't really like. My rule when something doesn't work is simply to bin it and start again. This one is a winner. I liked for the colour mix and the simple shapes of flowers. The background is very important and should reflect the focus image and bring it forward for the viewer.
I created many of this type of image at the time. It's a great a way to get out of the groove of club photography and move into something that's more original and more fun. Never really knowing what the outcome will be.
After finding this one on an old hard drive I think I need to get back to doing more of them.
I've included a couple of snap shots from the main image so you can see the detail and blends in the image.
on Wood. 2019
Tulips are my favourite flower to photograph. They are so delicate and have so many variations, it's aloe a sign of warmer lighter nights after the dark and cold of winter.
I aways start by finding an interesting background that I've not done before or haven't done for a long time. My choice on this occasion was wood. I knew I wanted wood to contrast with the purple and green of the flowers. This would create texture and add something different from my pastel backgrounds of overlaid textures. Off the the garage, to see what we have got in the scrap pile as I didn't want anything too big. Nothing interesting took my eye. Looked around the other things in the garage and found a sheet of plywood, it had been painted and then some of the paint removed when it was recovered from its location which to start with was slightly annoying. Take the opportunity when you can so the more I looked the more I thought it a great opportunity. It had very distinctive marks on it which could be used in various way and lets face it no one else has that background, so no copies.
I tried various ways and looks lots of images these are just three fron=m the shoot. All taken in Natural light from the window and textures added to give the white washed look.
A Magical city 2019
London is one of those places you either lover or you hate. The busy streets with people following their daily lives. The tourists, that includes me, lost and bewildered but finding new things at every turn. There is wonder and magic, theatres and museums to explore. There is also the sadness of the soldiers now forgotten and the homeless, sitting on the corner simply waiting but not sure what for.
The first things you see are those landmarks you've always known were there. St Pauls, Trafalgar Square, The Tate Modern and the National Gallery. There are so many places to see and so many memories to make. There's always a somewhere to go, something to aim for, as place to visit. The top set of images are Rainy Day in London and did it rain. There are several in the set.
The National Galley, how can anyone not visit this amazing art venue, the history, the famous painting, to see the brush strokes that they actually made. The Tuner landscapes, Vincents madness in the depth of the brush strokes and of course Monet. There are so many different styles of work and imagination. There are some you always walk over to see, no matter how many times you've seen them before. Bathers at Asnières has a fascination in the colours and the skill of pointalism. . Self Portrait at the Age of 34 Rembrandt the unmistakable style of the master of light. Sunflowers there's always a crowd around this one but how can you not wonder at them. The Fighting Temeraire by Turner. you can disappear int he depth of the paint and blends of colours. There are so many more. On every visit you see something new to inspire the imagination.
Trafalgar Square, Taken from the steps of the National Gallery, I came out of The National Gallery and it was heavy rain but this created a gift of reflections of the busy people running to get out of the rain. This famous site always has some fascination. The people and performers interacting, The music of unknown faces and bewitching songs and melody while the lions look on if only they could tell the stories they've seen.
St Martin's in the Field beautiful building and a place of worship. There has been a church on the site since at least the medieval times. The earliest record for the church is from 1222, but there's been a grave found from about A.D. 410. This building was constructed from 1722–1726 and designed by James Gibbs. . The church is one of the visual anchors adding to the open-urban space around Trafalgar Square. You are drawn in to its passing community, hearing the skills and passion of musicians that play their magic. It's place to rest and relax listening to the music. Well worth a visit.
The Tate Morden, It is based in the former Bankside Power Station which closed in 1981. Tate holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day and international modern and contemporary art which opening in 2000. My favourite part of The Tate is the Tanks, they have very special feel to them. Art not to be missed Gormley Man , and the Rothko Galley. Once you've seen the exhibitions and had good food and coffee, then it's time, to look at the building it's self, the enormity of the turbine hall and shapes of the introduced concrete, intimate corners and of course the textures.
For those who worry about these things between 14 - 27 layers for these. Set of 8 images in total.