Happy new year! I’m starting the new year with my latest recipe for art.
I had a fun time developing this mixed media collage called, simply, The Longfellow.
The result is a 16″ x 20″ giclée print made from a collage of stamped images (the rowhouses), carved rubber digitally painted (the water), a digital pen drawing (the bridge), and a finger painting done on an art app on my tablet (the sun).
After carving a series of little rowhouses approximately two inches tall, I stamped them with a blend of orange and yellow inks. They looked like this:
Then I photographed the stamped images. Using several layers in Photoshop, I pieced together two long “streets” of the houses.
For the water, I carved water-like waves into a slab of rubber, and then skipped the inking process altogether. Instead, I photographed the slab, and then translucently painted it in Photoshop. You can actually see the knife gauge marks in some of the waves if you look closely at the finished print. (The one I’ve posted here is a low resolution image.)
For the bridge, I made a digital pen drawing using my Wacom Intuous pen. This pen is what I use for pretty much all my painting and drawing in conjunction with Photoshop. As I draw with my right hand on the black pad, the image can be seen on my computer monitor.
The idea for the bridge grew out of an experimental project I did with another artist — a fellow UPPERCASE Magazine reader. (*Details on that are further down.)
The final piece of this collage was the sun. I finger-painted this using the art app Kaleidoscope on my Samsung tablet.
Kaleidoscope and Paper Artist are two art apps that let you create mandala designs which may seem quite basic and overly-automatic when you first start using them. I have found that the more I practice, the more thought and control I am able to exercise in creating mandalas.
The possibilities are diverse. Here are just two examples:
So that’s how I made the Longfellow Bridge collage.
*Here is how the bridge idea originated:
The idea evolved from an experimental project I did with another artist back in October. The project, a submission for UPPERCASE Magazine, involved being voluntarily and randomly paired with another reader and learning something about one another. This was to be the jumping off point for a 6″ x 6″ image or a piece of writing.
I was paired with artist Penelope Harris of Vancouver, BC. She and I both had an affinity for bridges, and shared a similar experience related to a bridge overseas. We discussed the ways bridges serve as connections, and conversely how connections serve as bridges.
Long story shortened, we each chose two bridges (one older, one newer) from our respective cities, and set about combining a section of each of them in an art piece. We agreed they’d connect on the same plane to create one bridge in the required 6″ x 6″ format. Penelope did this with two bridges from Vancouver, and I did it with two bridges from Boston. I combined the historic Longfellow Bridge and the modern Zakim Bridge; the past connecting to the future.
To date, there’s been no word on whether our submission will be shown. In the meantime, I had become motivated to make a brand new drawing of the Longfellow Bridge on its own. From there I developed an expanded 16″ x 20″ piece that would include more rowhouses and an additional street.
And that’s how it all began.
You just don’t know where your next creative idea is coming from.
Seriously, inspiration is unpredictable! Be open to it, however it visits you.
Paula Ogier Artworks