Category Archives: Imagine

The imagination of the image is only surpassed by the volumes of words used to describe what it does on one moment

Background on: Cotton Humid

First off, it’s true! I really don’t like humidity. And I’ve worked at hard, backbreaking labor in hot, sticky humid weather. So, when I speak of a ‘dislike’ for humidity… I did not need to ‘get into character’ to write about it!

Secondly, I really enjoyed this print and the story that flowed from it’s imaginary wordsmithing machine. Cotton Humid, by Les Booth; eLithographic print

Most of my eLithographs come from multiple photographic sources. But no so with Cotton Humid. I took the original photo not 2 miles from my brother’s house near Adel, Georgia, in September 2007. My wife and I were driving back to their horse farm when I saw the flock of cattle egrets in the odd stand of grass. The massive thunderheads leering over the cotton patch and those white birds gleaning for bugs and critters in the grass made a compelling image. I took several shots hoping one or a composite would make a nice photograph.

When I rendered the RAW image files into JPEG format, I was – at first – disappointed in them. The seemed just too busy and lack luster; too ‘plain-jane’.  So, I put them aside.

Then one day in early November 2007 I took a look at them again as I was sorting through images from that trip.  I looked a several of them – wondering what I could do with them – when suddenly I saw it.  I zoomed into the image to see how ‘sharp’ the egrets were in the photo. They weren’t of the quality I’d hoped, but what I did fine was a wonderous scene. In fact – almost entirely what you see in the print, Cotton Humid.

A few cloud rearrangements and an occassional errant weed covering a desired image reworked … and it was ready for the special ODG eLithographic treatment. When the image was fully rendered I was amazed at how all the dynamics of it was retained and emphasized. This was especially amazing considering just how small a part of the photograph it really represents!

Then when I began to write the story … well, let’s just way the words flowed quickly. I had a good time in it. And I really enjoyed ‘getting into’ the character who is the ‘voice’ of the story. I could stay there for a while… and I just might do it !!

Yes, rattlesnakes and water moccasins really do take shade in cotton patches… and they do provide a bit of a challegne at times for the field worker; though now, most cotton in the south is harvested by machines. So, the amount of actual human-snake encounter has really been reduced.

Cattle egret and herons are called, pond skoggins, too. Where that name comes from … well, I can’t really find anyone who lives in the Wiregrass Territory that knows the definitive answer to that question, but I have heard a number of iterations on the theme, “Well, peers to me I remember my grandpa sayin’ somethin’ ’bout ….” .   A mystery within a mystery shrouded by a colloquial pathwork of oral tradition.  I love it!  And like I said, it’s not a term of indearment for the bird – or the occasional reference to a human – either!

And that’s the scoop on the print, Cotton Humid and short-story, Humid in Cotton Country.


How 1000 Words Works

The blog, A Thousand Words, is a unique blend of visual and literary art. It has also been a long time in coming; at least to this point.  I’ve had a few false starts, under different names and formats.  But the style and content has remained the same.

I do hope you take the time to look at the art and read the story that accompanies it. It is my hope and pleasure that the work will be appreciated to the point that enough readers will support my efforts so I can continue to create and produce OOAK art.


I create images, through a process I have developed over the past 15 years. I have called the process eLithography and the products of the process, eLithographs.

The eLithograph is a computer graphic that is constructed from photographic elements. An eLithograph can be from a single photograph, or more likely from multiple photographs. Some contain traditional forms of illustration in them. The end result is an image which looks more like a watercolor, pen & ink, oil, pastel or serigraphic work of art.

The eLithograph is displayed either as an electronic image, via projection: flastscreen or digital viewer (ie, LCD or Plasma screens); or as in the traditional manner of a printed image on fine, archival, substrate. The stand process for printing the eLithograph is the ‘giclee’ printing; generally from wide-format inkjet printers.


I do not declare the eLithograph to be a workd of ‘fine art’… at least not at this point in time. There is a vast difference in what I do to produce a piece of artwork and what a traditional artist will do. I consider the traditional artist – the ‘fine artist’: of immense talent. A talent I can perform, but in more limited and painful process that I am able to accomplish via the eLithograph. Hence the reason for its creation.

Only time and the judgement of theviewing/buying public will determine whether the eLithograph is a work of ‘fine art’. But I will not declare such. I make that distinction up front. Now that such revelation is out of the way, let’s get on to enjoying the works produced by the OOAK Digital Gallery.


The short-stories, essays and poems are another unique element of an OOAK Gallery prsentation. The idea is not completely unique now as I finally begin to introduce it through the blog, A Thousand Words. However, if I was not the originator of this idea, I was certainly very close to the genesis. I do not know of anyone else who was doing this when I begin thinking of the process needed to accomplish it, in early 1984, when I created OOAK Designs. And today I know of only two other artists who do similar ‘story-with-an-image’ concepts … and both of them had those ideas seeded through conversation with me. I’ve seen a couple of ‘photo-journalists’ who use the similiar technique of writing from a photo – instead of using the photo to illustrate and event.

So… the short-story, essay or poem you will read that goes along with a given image is written directly as an influence of that image. This makes it a unique part of that visual as well.

The images and prints of the prose are available through the OOAK Digital Gallery store. Each OOAK print is available as an ‘original’ print and will have 100 prints pulled, through the giclee process, to complete the printing of that image. No more prints – of that exact image will ever be produced again. The print is closed. Prints 5 through 20 will be accompanied by a copy of the prose on matching 90# archival watercolor paper. Suitable for mounting. Giclee printed and illustrated.

Do enjoy.
… akilologos

Low Tide: Parts Make Parts

Ma Pek, was my first attempt at melding artistic image rendering and prose into a single displayable entity. This post is provided as a discussion of the process behind Ma Pek.

Ma Pek was produced in the reverse order of how I currently construct the Akilologos art. Personally, I prefer my current process, where I create the image, then write the story. The result for both pieces of art just seems -feels- more genuine and real. Yet, I still enjoy Ma Pek. I may revisit it one day with another image and story – or perhaps a replacement image; there are so many in the story.

But the ultimate test of merit still resides with you; the reader.


The Image

“Low Tide” originally came from several different images; photographs, brochures … even a calendar. The concept for the image took place while writing the short story, “Ma Pek”. In the story an old fisherman, named Phillipe. Phillipe’s character is mirrored by his lifelong fishing partner, a red boat named, Ma Pek. I could see the image of the boat and its resting partners on the shoreline, fading in the paint bleaching sun, while being the gallery for the moored boats of the “fleet” of today. Though I am an illustrator, by the time I get started I’ve lost interest and the mental image begins to fade faster than the paint on those boats in the tropical sun.

So, a quandry. What to do?

The Answer

The answer is simple, Find images that match what I “see” and use them to build the image. But, how do I do this and what do I do with them? Digitzed images. Either digital photographs or scanned images. Once digitized I can redraw, reform, recolor, enhance color, add-to or take-from the forms to create the image I envisioned.

For some crazy reason I am not distracted nor do I loose the vision though this process. In fact the image takes on a life of its own … sort of like the pictures of Marty’s family in the movie, Back To The Future. Bit instead of fading, my visionary images become crystal clear with each stroke, effect or abstraction added.

The Result

As the image grows, it takes on its own character. That character feeds the rest of the image and the creation process itself. The reward is the final image fulfills the concept and the initial vision. It also allows the reader an ability to view, with me, what I was – in a sense – privately seeing in my own minds’ eye.

The Example

In this example the various areas of the image are labeled to show their separate sources and how they all fit together to build the final visualized image.

Low Tide Image Lesson

Some Pointers

There are a couple of areas I would like to expand on a bit so the reader does not get the wrong impression of either the method or the difficulty in producing an image of this type.

#1 The origin

Each of the “parts” … all items used in making this image have been sufficiently restructured so that the only resemblance to the ‘original source’ image is, what they are: ie, boat, sky, beach, cloud, etc. The original meerly formed the basis from which I built the image and/or canvas. For the most part, my images are constructed from my own original photographs or sketches. However, due to the fact that I do not have the luxury (yet !! ) of expansive travel, I cannot get to all the places I bring to life in the images or stories. Therefore, for those items I rely on ‘other images’ as a ‘temporary bridge’ to get to my visualized image. My work is no more a “copy”than the images made by all the “famous” artists who view life and convert it to canvas, paper or clay; whether in photographs or visual. The result is quite original .. even if the elements were constructed from recycled thoughts and concepts — my visual is still my own.

#2 The building

When constructing shadows, they should not be, as I state on the example, a matter of just ‘dumping’ so much black coloring into a spot. To truly create a believable shadow, you must build it up — shade upon shade — as you would normally do in any traditionally produced work of art, by whatever medium: pencil, charcoal, pastel, watercolor or oil work.

It’s truly a laborious process and very prone either mistake or loss of interest, for those like me who are prone to bouts of impatience.  So, when attempting this type of art, be very judicious in your patience … keep with the ‘slowly-as-it-goes’ routine and you will be very pleased with the outcome.  It gets easier and faster the more you do.

#3 The use

Maximizing the use of textures in certain elements of an image really sets the image – or that element – apart.  Experiment and don’t be afraid.  This is digital – redo is as easy as blinking your eyes!

In Low Tide you will notice a distinct grainy texture in the sky and water portion that is not seen in the beach section. That’s because there is grain in the sky and water .. but NOT on the beach. Now .. hold on you say … “The beach has sand on it — therefore grainy — NOT the sky!”

So what gives? Well, just that — you noticed, didn’t you! That’s the whole point.

Subliminal evocation.

While you were looking at the sky/water interface, and trying to figure out what was ‘wrong’, your mind was looking at the entire image and drinking in the image’s message. Once you figured it out, you didn’t really care because now you saw more that interested you than the manufactured ‘dilemma’ .. Hmmm, pretty sneaky, eh?? Art is as much psycology as it is creativity.


Now that you know more on how I did this image go out and build your own vision. Find the ‘parts’, take the time and follow your path to make your mental vision a reality.

Happy creating!

Check back every couple of weeks as I’ll have a new image with tips and commentary.