Essence of Joy

Art as Rebellion

There are no Rules in Art. There are only ideas that work, and ideas that don't. What we call Rules are simply explanations for ideas which usually work, most of the time.

Creating Art is Rebellion:  against what we think we are not allowed to do, against conventional thinking, against limitations of ideas.

There are no Mistakes in Art. You will make dozens of mistakes to find ideas that work. Most ideas sort of work, its a matter of figuring out how to make them work better.

Once you have an idea or a process that works,  polish it until it is a tool you can use again. If you like a result, try it again on a different image. Try ideas over and over, until you understand how and why they work. Study your ideas until you can repeat them with predictable results. If something works, write it down.

Practice your Art daily.

Extract of Dahlia


Rebellion is the antithesis of Perfectionism.

I am struggling with the overly critical Perfectionism, which tells you that you are never good enough.   That finds fault with anything you attempt. That says you are stupid for thinking an original thought. 

Worst is the Perfectionism that won't allow you to even try.

“If I can't do it perfectly, why try at all. "

Curiously, Perfectionism doesn't help you do a good job, it makes you do a poor job, because you don't have self confidence to do good work. 

Don't punish yourself for mistakes.  Just push ahead and keep going. 

No one can be perfect on the first attempt.  Everything takes practice to achieve. 

I am just allowing myself to try stuff, and see what works.  I expect to make mistakes.  Version 5 will be better than Version 1.  

One thing I learned in college, you throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.

Rebellion the Project

I registered for a course on Artistic Photography in Oct/Nov.

There is a project based on a theme, a word chosen from a list.

I got to the party late, and most of the words were gone. I picked Rebellion, which is perfect for the ideas I have been meditating on.

The images I chose for the project are these dahlias, which I was playing with in Photoshop (PS). I had learned about a technique to strip away the colors, and just have the textures remain. Then I added back bright, joyful colors, and many variations of colors to see what works and what doesn't. 

Rebellion of Dahlias

Joy of Dahlias

The dahlia photos were taken at Swan Island Dahlias, in Canby, Oregon. 

I used a Sigma 85mm macro lens, on a tripod, with manual focus to get sharp images.  Sometimes if the center of the flower is sharp, the edges can be soft.  This may or may not be acceptable to the artist or the viewer.  

My first efforts included adding electric colors to texture only layers. At my wife's suggestion I figured out how to put color over the black backgrounds.

Interestingly the different blend modes in PS result in different effects, which are only partially predictable. You just have to try and see what works.

The color effects are also not predictable, especially when mixing layers of different colors. Some color combinations work together, some clash.

Growing up in the 60s I have a high tolerance for psychedelic color themes, and black light posters. 

Abstract Color Variations of Dahlias

Pine Cones

I enjoy working with intimate nature scenes, and finding subtle elements in  natural objects.   Pine cones were a pleasant surprise.  I like the coarse textures combined with soft, rich, dark colors.   The images below are progressively more  heavily manipulated and further into abstraction.  The earth tones red, brown, and orange feel relaxing.  These are easily recognizable as pine cones. 

The bright, crystalline effects are intriguing. It is easy to identify the texture and patterns of the pine cones.  But the images with blue, green, cyan, or magenta may push the idea of what a pine cone is supposed to look like.

I now have a bag of pine cones in my living room.  My wife is very patient.

Rebellion Gallery

I have added a new gallery featuring these abstract dahlia and pine cone images.

All my images are available as prints and wall art.  Orders are  fulfilled by Bay Photo, and shipped directly to you .

Sometimes its refreshing to look at things from a unique point of view. To see what is essential to identifying a flower as such.  To see defining shapes and textures of a flower with unreal, but joyous, colors. 

The bright joyous colors express what is most essential, the joy and beauty of the flower

Treasure your joy, don't let anyone take it from you. 

Heart of Joy

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