Thursday, July 29, 2010

Amphibionicus - Symphony of the Frogs

This is my playful attempts at keeping the digital pixels flowing.  I drew a little inspiration from the artistic genius of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.  Their work in "Surrealism" opened the door to a whole new realm of fantasy for illustrators and artists alike.  And since I enjoy creating little worlds of imagination and wonder, who better to honor and emulate then these unique masters of imagery.

This piece like the last one I did " Utopian Sunrise", started to take on a life of it's own once I started working on it.  I started out with a general idea of where I was going with the initial imagery and then somewhere along  the line, the spirit of the work revealed  itself.   

The whole process for me in doing one of these, takes days if not weeks, in this case, of experimenting with different images and arrangements, until I start to get a feel for the over all piece in regards to lighting and color, and of course theme. And then there are the dozens of layers, filters, effects and fine tuning. Until I get the image somewhere to a desirable state.

The basic concept for this piece came from some photos I took on visit to Central Park, NYC,  this past Spring. I used a picture of the lake and some low lying trees for the background.  Then I decided to include the infamous Band Shell stage, where many a Shakespeare play was enacted back in the day. Then I added some lovely pink flowering trees.  So the stage was set so to speak, but had to step back to decide what would be unfolding in this scene.

During the whole process of creation, I had stopped over a friends house, who had a small frog pond in his back yard, which I thought was very cool.  And while sitting outside watching them, they started to sing.  The rest as they say was history, I decided that the theme to this piece would be a " Symphony of Frogs".  And that is more or less how I came to this visual conclusion!  That and the help of some cooperative amphibians, that agreed to pose for some pictures!

And not unlike the immortal words of Leonardo Da Vinci, sometimes works of art are not so much completed, as they are abandoned!  You get to a point where you either hit what you were aiming for, or you didn't!   The curious thing is that even when I am done with any work, whether it be a simple drawing, or one of these digital monsters.... I will spend days afterwards studying it.  To see what works, and what doesn't work.    And in some cases, I even end up getting ideas for newer works. Or better ways of achieving certain techniques and effects.

But for good or for bad, here is what I came up with this time around. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Utopian Sunrise - A Newer Beginning

Greetings my friends, it is long over due, but managed to dig down deep into the recesses of my creative energies and actually produce some work. Sometimes the energies are just not there, and sometimes when you get lucky, things come together in perfect harmony!

I have been struggling to to find something that spoke to me in a creative voice, and this just spoke to me in volumes. I like painting and drawing, but over the last few years, been just amazed at what you can do with some photos, and a little bit of digital magic.

I tend to live in a little fantasy world of my own at times, so it is no wonder that much of my work reflects that! I enjoy putting together these fantasy landscapes, composed of imagery from places I have visited in my travels. Sometimes art is not just about exploring the creative spaces of your mind, but the beautiful and complex places of the world around you.

The photos I have used in this, are from several different places, and composited together using Photoshop in CS3. I like putting things together to magically transform the context in which the images or places actually exist in reality. Creating a whole new world in the process.

Much of my work, and especially this piece is inspired by the creative genius of Roger Dean, and most especially Maxfield Parrish. I like the serene Utopian imagery he produces in his art. And Roger Dean is such a visionary with his use of color and design.

It usually takes me about three or four days to composite the image, once I have the main components. Constantly changing and refining the layers as I go. Usually going blind while staring into my computer screen for hours at a time.

I really wanted this piece to be special as I have not done one like it in a very long while. But I am very happy with the results. I find that each time I step away from doing work of this kind, I return to it with a greater desire and a better understanding of how to best achieve the effects and atmospheric conditions I am trying to attain in my little fantasy worlds!

I hope you all enjoy it!