Layered Photography

If you are into arts or crafts you may be familiar with collages.  Layering various materials to achieve what ever idea you have in mind.

Many think of art as creative expression.  A way that some can “work through” various issues they have emotionally.  I’m sure some do.  I never thought of art as a way to express myself.  If I did I’m sure I would create much more and very different art than I usually do.

I just love collages.  I enjoy seeing others ideas and hoping something touches me.  Personally I create any art with beauty in mind be it visual, music, dance, etc.  Some modern art is downright ugly and offensive.  I don’t care if it is someone’s expression, if it’s ugly I don’t want to see it.

Some things can be a mess to some and I might like it.  Then there could be another mess that actually looks like a mess to me but someone else gets it.

I have always been enamored with the Old Masters.  They were perfection.  They had talent and went for realism.  Then came the sloppier impressionists.  They helped bring about what I call “crap on canvas.”

Speaking of which, I do love my collages.  The ones from altered books, pages, pictures, paints, papers, lace & anything else you can glue on.

This was one I layered from various photos to look hand made.  Usually when I create layered photos I have a different technique, similar to the one below which might be various flowers with complementary colors layered on an enhancing background.

 

Glue Gun Art

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I was fooling around with a glue gun tracing the leaf transfers that I adhered on canvas with acrylic medium.  Canvas painted a very dark blue with the idea to manipulate pictures of leaves I had taken and scanned in the fall.

I thought about how the blowing leaves do not float down perfectly in the sky, but swirl and twirl all over the place before they land.  First using Microsoft PhotoDraw, Distort Effect Twirl and fine tuning or adjusting the setting or the amount of the twirl of the leaf I applied it to each leaf separately to create the desired effect.

I verified the size leaves needed for the canvas size of 16 x 20.  Wishing to show the effect of blowing leaves, but totally experimenting because I had not done these techniques before, I printed some of the leaves on regular printer paper, some on transfer paper and some on tracing paper just to see the finished look after fusing them to the canvas.  I carefully cut each leaf out and auditioned them around for a while until I was satisfied.  After the Liquitex Matte Medium dried thoroughly, I painted over each of the leaves with various shades of metallic harvest colors, enhancing the original color of the actual leaves.  The actual transfer paper had the most pronounced leaf veins show through the paint, followed by the ones I printed on high quality printer paper.  I actually preferred the effect that the tracing paper leaves had after painted.  The base is so thin that the canvas outline came through in spots giving it a more textured appearance, which I preferred.

Looked boring so I decided to jazz it up by outlining it with a glue gun, painting over the glue ridges with the same shades of metallic paint and once completely dried, used metallic rub in a lighter shade of gold over the leaves and some of the canvas leaving streaks, enhancing the idea of blowing wind.

It’s ok, still have a lot to learn, but practice makes perfect.  Please see the following slide show for more details.

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The next gallery shows a few shots from some other collages I’m working on including one created for Christmas to reflect all the freaking snow we keep having this year!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

Many years ago I was designing various graphic images on other wars on terror.  This one was war on terror in the home to bring attention to domestic violence.  I layered images on some of the text before adding to the computer graphic image.

The base was a picture taken in a cemetery that was layered with busts of angels and parts of computer altered photographs placed at the top.  I then layered the altered designer text in place.

I can work for hours altering and layering pictures hoping for that perfect combination.

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Ghost in Garden Collage in Progress

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I still have much to do and will update after I feel there is something more to show.  I like to use photo transfers from my inkjet printer on all kinds of paper and cloth.  Computer software is great for making all kinds of special effects to customize your mixed media art.  I usually make a transfer off of construction paper or vellum due to the thickness of the paper.  I will just affix any pictures printed onto tracing paper with the paper, inkside down.  You have to be very careful when you are working with inkjet photos instead of laserjet, because they smear worse.  I always apply the medium to the canvas or the board and then affix the picture ink side down carefully in place so you don’t have to move it.  Then you are free to add additional medium to the top and edges to firm in place without any fear it will smear.

I know that I will be adding additional paint and perhaps stamping techniques, maybe even covering up some of the images that are already on the canvas.  I will sometimes work something over so much that it is no longer recognizable from the first creation.  Like any artist, I just keep working until I feel it is complete.  I do plan on adding more mixed media hardware and fabric as well.  

More to come.