Monday, June 13, 2011

New Photoshop Collages

Or are they montages. Or assemblages. The definitions are a bit vague, and there's a lot of overlap. Actually, not to worry. I just play around and make the things. Let someone else do the due diligence about clarifying the art-historical definitions. At the moment I can't be bothered.

Some recent work, then. Some new pieces. Some experiments in Photoshop in combining elements into a new work. Some experiments in photography and and typography, and overlap between. Some type effects made in Photoshop, still an underutilized design tool. The design tools are only as good as the designer's conceptions, after all; it's the user that drives.

All of these made from photos taken within the past month, on a few evenings when I wanted to make something, but was too tired to do much more than sit in the comfy chair with the laptop. The process of creativity often begins with looking at what you have, then starting to play around with it. Ideas and concepts might emerge from the play, leading you towards a particular artistic outcome, but the process of play is at least as important as the product, to the artist. I play around like this a lot, but not all the products get finished, or are exceptionally interesting, or even good art. You have to be willing to fail.

(Click on images for larger versions.)

Spring Flowers 2011

Including a haiku spawned by the artwork, written in response to the flower essences, and included in the work:

spring awakening
at the well of pollen
divine light of bees

Bushmills Warhol

Could also be titled "The monkey approaches the blowtorch." A spontaneous bit of photography Alex and I did with our cameras at a St. Paul pub near his apartment on my last visit there, before he moved down to New Mexico. We had been running errands all day, and stopped in for a meal, and also a drink with the meal. We got into playing with the close up and macro features of our cameras, using props on the table, and, well, our monkey selves.

So this is sort of a self-portrait, Warholized, but not really, since Alex took the shot. Or did he? I can't remember.

Roads 2011, no. 1

Photos taken while driving. Here displayed side by side, in order, as a triptych. The hour was blue, twilight after sunset, driving home from far away. I love how headlights make streaks of light on longer exposures.

Roads 2011, no. 2

A layered composite of the same frames previously shown side by side. Various masking and combining techniques used in Photoshop to get this. Using Layers in Photoshop is a basic technique for collage, or whatever we want to call it.

What really caught my eye here were two elements: the overpass bridge, the way it both defines and breaks up the skyline at dusk; and the reflections of blurred lights on the hood of my own vehicle. My eye keeps going to those elements, more than to others. The overall effect is pleasing, though. It will interesting to try something like this as a video, again with long time exposed frames.

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Blogger Dave King said...

These are brilliant. I've been constructing montages (as I call them, though technically they are probably not) from our photograph albums for our daughter's 25th wedding anniversary celebrations. I don't have photoshop, just one of the cheaper alternatives, and I am full of admiration for your achievements here, especially the road traffic ones.

3:59 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Hi, Dave, and thanks.

I love the idea of making montages for family albums. That's a great gift to give. I did something similar for my parents' 50th anniversary, some years ago. A lot of family history goes into those, and people really enjoy them.

10:25 AM  

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