Shake Your Tail Feathers

Pumped-Up Peacock_base2
Peacock at the LA Arboretum

My term as Artist-In-Residence at the Los Angeles County Arboretum was during prime peafowl mating season. When I hung the show, the males had yet to grow in their signature tail feathers. They still had their striking blue neck and head feathers to easily distinguish themselves from the less flamboyant females–but the trains were yet to come.

By the time I began creating art onsite at the Arboretum, the transformation occurred; mating season had begun. And so had the unrelenting mating call, reminiscent of a small child in distress. Of course, the highlight of the ritual is the display of the colorful tail feathers, spread out like so many iridescent eyes. I began to notice hearing a rattling sound when a female was around. It seems the peacock is able to vibrate his train in such a way that the long hair-like feathers attached to the main quill flutter while the eyes stay pretty much in place. This must be very attractive and mesmerizing for the peahen. It was for me!

Pumped-Up Peacock

Quite fittingly for the surroundings, the subject of my first piece at the Arboretum was “Pumped-up Peacock,” a celebration of very showy fertility.

Here’s an interesting article about peacock “train rattling.”

 

 

 

http://www.arboretum.org/library-spotlight-peacocks-at-the-arboretum/

Check out this image on my online store!

Third time’s a charm at the Arboretum

Peace Lily Montage by Karen Hochman Brown
Peace Lily Montage by Karen Hochman Brown
A montage of images use to create Peace Lily Nouveau

The peace lily exudes calm and serenity.  Its starkly beautiful form and chaste simplicity easily flow into languid patterns.

At my third session creating artwork on site at the LA County Arboretum, the weather was gloomy. The diffused lighting allowed me to capture the delicate differences in the shades of white that cannot be captured when the lighting is bright.

I will return to the Arboretum on Saturday, June 4, 2016 (11:00 AM to 4:30 PM) for my fourth and final time making art there in conjunction with my exhibition,”Reflections in the Garden.” I will once again take up residence in the Gallery at the Arboretum Library, creating another artwork on site!

 

 

Stacking up an artwork – Goji Draco Fabrication

Goji-Draco-Fabrication

Enjoy this short animation that shows how the layers of Goji Draco Fabrication have been stacked to create the finished artwork. The first transition shows the image that was used as the base for all of the reflections.

Artist-In-Residence, take two, at the LA Arboretum

"Goji Draco Fabrication" shown with its base image and the reflected foundlings that were used to make the artwork
“Goji Draco Fabrication” shown with its base image and the reflected foundlings that were used to make the artwork. Click the image for an enlargement.

This last weekend at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, they celebrated the official opening to their demonstration garden, Crescent Farm, highlighting steps to create beautiful, bountiful gardens with less water.  To tie into this milestone, I took my inspiration for this artwork from photographs I captured at “the crescent.” The area is abundant with native wildflowers. Additionally, there are interesting garden accents honed from natural materials. I found a mulch of bark laid out in a curved fan pattern. There were pathways lined with lengths of dried bamboo and logs around a tree in a talking circle.

But what really caught my eye was a woven support for an otherwise unkempt plant. What was once a bunch of garden castoffs is now a functional and esthetically pleasing structure. A Dragon Tree provided the material for the weave that now supports a variety of Goji Berry.

The piece I created as Artist-In-Residence at is “Goji Draco Fabrication.” Maybe it would have looked more dragon-like if I had known the source of the brown/orange material. I didn’t learn the identity of the plants until the artwork was complete. Many thanks to the Arboretum staff for helping me identify the subjects of my work.

@LAArboretum  #KarenHochmanBrown #ArtistInResidence #liveart #digitalart #kaleidoscope

 

Recap of 1st Arboretum event

RITG-AIR live 1
Karen Hochman Brown (r), Artist-In-Residence @LA Arboretum

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of sharing my art-making process at The Gallery at the Arboretum Library, (Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden). I started at 11:00 in the morning by setting up my computer station. I am using a MacBook Pro with an external monitor. This enables me to mirror my screen and be able to talk face-to-face with people; they can see what I am doing without standing behind me.

Peacock Art with foundlings
Pumped-up Peacock with components. Click the image to see enlargement.

The next step was to take photographs to use for base images. I found some lovely bird of paradise and some gorgeous cacti. But I honed in on a peacock strutting his stuff. Many peacocks live at the Arboretum in Arcadia, CA, and in fact, peacocks are the official “city bird.”

Once I decided on the image, I began creating layers of kaleidoscopic reflections. The program I use for this is ArtMatic Designer. It gives me some very powerful tools to change the shape of the mirrors. In a normal session, I will render out at least a dozen layers to select from. Click on the image of Pumped-Up Peacock for an enlarged version to see the layers and base images that were used to make the artwork.

For the remainder of the work I use Photoshop. The layers are cut apart, stacked and shaded until I decide the piece is done. This is the first time that I have created an entire artwork outside of my studio at home. I wasn’t sure I could do it considering the time constraints. I did it! I was able to finish the piece in five hours.

Next Artitist-In-Residence event:
April 16, from 11:00 am – 4:30 pm.

The gallery show continues through June 30, 2016.
Check the Arboretum website for hours.

 

Arboretum Artist-in-Residence

The Forecast Is Fern
The Forecast Is Fern

My kaleidoscopic artworks are still on display at the Gallery at The Los Angeles County Arboretum. The show, Reflections In The Garden runs through the end of June, and is housed in the Arboretum’s newly renovated Library.

I’m happy to announce that I will be demonstrating my creation process on four separate occasions, onsite at the gallery. I’m taking my camera and computer and will create a new piece, from start to finish over a five hour period. In each session, I will begin by taking photographs around the Arboretum grounds. I will select an image to work with and then make several layers of the image, reflected in many ways. I will continue with my process until I (hopefully) finish an artwork. Come watch me work.

Join me at the Arboretum!

To get to the Gallery at The Los Angeles County Arboretum, go to the main entrance and the Library is immediately to the left, through the double doors. Admission or membership are required to tour the grounds, however it is not required to visit the Library.

301 North Baldwin Avenue • Arcadia, CA  91007

11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Reflections In The Garden at the LA County Arboretum

I am very happy to announce that I am to be the inaugural artist of the newly renovated Library at the Arboretum. The interior space has been designed with the intent to show local artists whose work complements its surrounding botanical collection. I am installing my kaleidoscopic artwork in early January with the show running through the end of June.
Reflections In The Garden notice