Sunday, April 28, 2013
Art Is a Veil, Not a Mirror
Art finds her own perfection within, and not outside of, herself. She is not to be judged by any external standard of resemblance. She is a veil, rather than a mirror. She has flowers that no forests know of, birds that no woodland possesses. She makes and unmakes many worlds, and can draw the moon from heaven with a scarlet thread. ~Oscar Wilde
I had some fun digitally enhancing my own hand-painted art work this past week...I was feeling hesitant about starting, so finally I just sat down and painted without THINKING. I did both of these paintings very quickly, not worrying about any mistakes. As soon as an idea about what to do next popped into my head, I did it without second guessing or worrying what it would look like.
Once I was done, I scanned them into Photoshop Elements, which is my favorite part of the process. As someone who still feels self-conscious about my beginner art skills, I like that I can load my paintings into PSE and make them look a little more polished. They still have that simple, primitive look to them, but the digital effects give them a slicker, more contemporary feel (in my mind, anyway). It covers up the rough spots and flaws and makes everything look a little more cohesive. I can also add text to the artwork in PSE if I want to.
I enjoy using the "cutout" effect in PSE with my paintings - it's what gives them that more modern look. I reduce the opacity down slightly but I love what this effect does. Before applying the cutout effect, I also added multiple textures (using reverse layer masks) to add interest to the backgrounds and details...I love finding my textures and patterns from old books (copyright free) at archives.org. I look for pretty flyleaf patterns and/or stained pages from these books...it's like a treasure hunt to search for them and I could spend hours doing it!
If you're someone who is hesitant to try painting, don't let your fear of imperfect art work stop you...do it anyway! Any time you express yourself creatively, a good thing has happened...whether other people like it or not, it shouldn't matter (easier said than done, I know - these words are as much for myself as for anyone else who reads them). It's the act itself that should be celebrated...it's a victory that you took some time from your stressful, external life to turn inward and create a piece of art that you can physically hold in your hands. Art is about intuition and spirit, two things which are easily snuffed out by the grinding demands of everyday life. These two pieces I did are very small, by the way, which seems to be less intimidating for me - each piece is about 3X4 inches. That way there isn't so much blank white space to cover!
Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful Sunday.