Gaze Into The Crystal

I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know what is in the future. But the world out there is looking a little bit scary. I open up my computer and am bombarded with news of a world gone crazy—politics, gun violence, climate issues, terrorism, race, greed, corruption and more. My Facebook feed will give me nice things to look at, even beyond cute kitten videos and baby’s first steps, but I still have to wade through the muck of frightening stories. The internet is a hard place to find peace.

Animation showing the base image and layers of Magnolia Focus

I create art on my computer. Each of my pieces represents hours spent in competition with Tweets and updates and news. My calendar reminds me to make blog posts (like this one). Banners flash across my screen letting me know I have a new communication. The whole world screams for my attention.

It takes steely self-control to actually make my art. But once I begin, once I have really dived into the crystal display, magic happens. The lights blinking for my attention melt away. I find total focus. Hours go by without me even thinking once about the latest poll numbers. Amid the noisy outside world, I am able to channel inner calm and create with abandon. I am transported into a state of total focus, of joyous celebration in the act of creating.

So now, you are reading this on your device desktop. I am begging to be the distraction in a small slice of your day. The irony is not lost on me. But it is my dearest hope that you find my artwork and animations more peaceful than the news and more relevant than puppies in flower pots.

Magnolia Focus_merch

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The difference is in the background

Passion Tendril Vessel
Early version of Passion Tendril Vessel.

I am always amazed at how what seems like a small change to a working image can transport it out of my “working” file and into my accepting it as a finished artwork. The piece Passion Tendril Vessel came together nice and easy. I had used a new technique to create the contoured edges of the main disk and loved the results. I had to battle a bit with the intensity of the tangle of vines that I used as my base image, but I was happy with the balance of the smooth spaces against the busyness of the vine.

Then I had to place my platter on a background and that’s where the fighting began. I always felt this was a dish of some sort and wanted to show it off like one might do for a fine porcelain plate. I fashioned clips from the vines and tied them into a simple background. It didn’t work the way I had wanted it to. I think I even lost the dish aspect; sometimes I’m too clever for my own good.

Back to the drawing board. After more false starts, I finally created the square themed background and was satisfied. The dark interior of the square helped set off the central motif. The vessel feels nested and safe in its new treasure box.

Check out this image on my online store!

Digital Painting on Aluminum

I use “Digital Painting on Aluminum” to loosely describe my artworks. They are not strictly paintings and I certainly don’t paint them on aluminum. I manipulate images using sophisticated computer software to the point where the image is no longer literal. I feel my pieces fall outside the bounds of traditional photography. I use the image as “paint” that I squeeze and tease through fantastical mirrors. Composition and shading are essential elements—and are completely within my control.

My pieces are created on a computer and must be printed for you to be able to hang them on your wall. But when I print out my work on paper, even on super glossy paper, I lose the vibrancy that I see on my computer monitor. I choose to print my work on aluminum because it offers the closest thing I have seen to the back-lit glow of a screen. The results are a vivid print, almost glowing with color. Details are crisp and there is a depth in the surface that accentuates the modeling I do with my artwork.

I do not create aluminum prints myself; I must have them printed through a service. The process involves coating a sheet of ridged aluminum with a special ground. Then, my image is printed and embedded in this base coating. They are lightweight and easy to hang. As a bonus, the print doesn’t require a frame or glass, instead, mounting hardware allows the image to “float” above the wall.