Tag Archives: eLITHOGRAPH

Next Season

All season long, every day looked promising. He was so elusive, but you were sure the Buck would finally walk into your sights.

But it didn’t happen.

You could feel that big buck just writhe with glee – if that is possible for a deer – when he dropped another can of ‘deer season whoop-ass’ on you again.

Why, you even got a bit of a chuckle.  “Dang! That deer is schooling me hard. Givin’ me a complex you are Big Boy. A regular complex!  Next year. That’s MY year. You wait and see who’s laughing then. Yeah!”

Alas this season ended on the same note as the previous 3. Despite your confidence filled pronouncement, you got your butt kicked again:

Hunter 0  …  Buck 7.

Seven times you’d come to the hunting ground.  Seven times, in hand, a perfectly engineered planned.  Seven times YOU went home seeing nothing more than beautiful sunrises, memorable sunsets, dozens of birds and small animals.  You observed as nature used the shade creatures, formed as the clouds, dancing across the sky to trace the passage of time for all in attendance; you included.

Each day that passed, you left the woods later and later.  Sure the hot coffee, soup and a very welcome, 3 fingers of Scotch, were always a luring siren.  But a stronger pull; even stronger than the urge to hang the Buck on the cross-beam, was keeping you in the woods.

In the early days when you first started hunting you didn’t understand.  It just didn’t figure! Dingle-crackers!… it was cold, wet, tiring, cramped, windy … it was down-right miserable at times.  But so many times, you didn’t even notice it.  You even began enjoying it.

That’s it.  You stayed longer because you just plain liked being in the woods.

After a time, you began to realize that finally, you had begun to act natural.

Everyone who is veteran hunter of a few years, knows that no one needs to head out to their stand at 4am in the morning.  Only a masochist or a neophyte would do this.  Right?

Well, yes.  For the first few years.

Then you would just keep on doing it, because you realize there’s no better place to get your morning shut-eye, wake-up to warm coffee and a roll, see the sun rise, hear the birds wake-up ritual and watch the entire woods world come to life.

Any questions?

Naturally you did your fair share of eyelid surveys. Most likely this was when the Buck got His chance to see you as well. Yeah.  if you hadn’t been having such a good time you might just have taken that ‘big bad boy’ home this year.  Eh?

But you never laid so much as an eye-twitch on the Buck. Yeah. That’s true. That’s OK. There’s next year.

To keep in pattern with the previous years, you religiously went back to the scene of your miserable failure to revel in it’s success.

Because you knew he still roamed the hills, woods, creeks and swampy bottoms.  He was still there; whether you were or not.

The wind would drop and the frost clinging to the trees, glistening like diamond dust with the first rays of the sun would shimmer in place; or the high-noon shadows pouring through the leafless canopy would suddenly go mime; or the misty glow of the forming evening fog would provide a sanctuary backdrop for the moment you’d see him.

Ah, but not before He had slipped silently out of his bed. Never quite revealing his ‘serta-in-the-grove’, stealing his way to a splendid spot, befitting of his regal offering: your annual chance to see Him. Then He would offer his annual greeting snort. On cue, as choreographed as a Shakespearean actor, you look up!

There HE is.

Wow!  He’s grown so much.  His rack has become huge; intoxicating.  His massive shoulders and neck still showing the muscle and blood engorgement of the rutting and mating ritual and exercise.

What a sight He is.

What an opportunity. Yeah, you think, “OH! If only it as still ‘in season’! If only I had my bow! If only …”, but this fades and gives way, to just .. “Wow. He is beautiful. I know he’ll spook and be gone for another year. Wouldn’t I love to capture this image to look at any time of year?” And that’s when you raise the camera and take the 3 photos you get before He is out-of-sight.

Make no mistake about it … this IS His domain.

You know it.

He knows it.

So do all the other animals in the woods.

“Yes.”, you say to yourself.  The the ephemeral wisp of the moment takes on a Brigadoonesque atmosphere.  Time just seemed to stand-still while He stood there.

Surrounded by the royal walls of his riparian realm.  Each woodland surface draped in the muted glow of the diamond dust of late fall frost.  Winter is soon to appear.  His rack will once again fall, feed the mice of the woods and possibly tantalize a woodsman seeking the fallen coronets.

The ice fog hangs thick across the winter wheat field in the distance. “My, Oh, My!” You repeat to yourself as you remember how it provided the ermine backdrop so fitting this royal creature.

The fog begins sending drizzles. skittering down through the branches now as you make you way back to the truck.

One last time you turn and look at the opening where He, The Buck, stood, showing Himself to you. A shiver runs through your system.  No, it’s not the cold.  It’s the anticipation.

You’re already planning the Next Season.

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Sankalai

Nothing moved.

Not sound. Not time. Not my mind.

Everything was in lock-step frame.

Only my eyes were in motion. But not real motion; scanning, perceiving, transmitting. They were only in a primal recording mode.

Time – and everything in its being – was on hold.

Three months earlier I had set out across the vast array of preserves spanning the wild back country of Botswana. I was in pursuit to find and locate the perfect bull elephant for my wall.

No. Not pursuing a dead head, with lead, but an image of pixels.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hunter and I don’t have a problem with pulling the trigger and delivering lead to a target. However, I reserve that option for animals I will personally consume. Elephant is not on my dietary list. Therefore, I personally don’t shoot them to kill them.

I neither condemn, nor condone the actions of those who do kill these beasts.

In some instances the killing of the giant beasts becomes a necessity. An unpleasant reality in our over-crowded and resource strapped world, it has become a necessary, if not unpleasant business.

Managed kills are accomplished, in many instances, by sport hunters with large wallets and a lucky draw. The economics are sound. The fees paid do bring beneficial stimulation to strapped economies and to provide funding of protective forces; Game Wardens; for numerous species occupying the killing fields.

For me, though, there is neither pleasure or purpose in killing these amazing beasts. Thus I would not participate in the killing – outside of self-defense.

My preferred wild life capture technique is through the lens of a camera. The end uses for my efforts, find themselves as varied as the subjects themselves. Mostly though, they are a record of my life experiences while leaving only historical preservation as any trace of my being there.

Whether animal or vista, each is chosen for visual consumption in the same manner. I venture into the grounds, I pursue quietly and unobtrusively. I observe and note particular habits and quirks of each environment as well as the season. All of this is done long before I partake of its riches. In the truest essence of the word, I am hunting whether it be animal or location.

Whether for myself or for my clients, I choose the hunt carefully. The KEY word here is …choose.

Two months, 26 days, 12 hours and 14 minutes later; after 12,000 plus kilometers had been tallied on the Land Rover’s odometer; and numerous blistered seat-rashes had been recorded on my butt; I was still without the photographic goal.

Oh, there were photos. By the gigabyte. They would be filling my larder of visually stimulating projects for years to come.

But, the trophy bull elephant image, was still only a dream.

That is – until 5 minutes ago.

The morning had opened with the customarily expected noise of the bush. A slight breeze and the ubiquitous hum of the insect life: good, bad and the ugly. A chined offering, conjured a raspy pied-piper allusion, floating on the breeze with the chatty voices of the birds. This day had begun like any other.

But there was a different air about it.

I sensed a moment coming. The only question was, would I be ready for – IT?

Captured moments don’t just happen. They are the result of planning and execution.

Yet, regardless of the effort put into getting into that moment, the exact timing -when it happens- is never a known commodity.

The three axioms of Moment Experience Planning are:

  • You are in charge of preparing for the execution.
  • You have a shot at being at or in the execution.
  • But, you have no control over the timing of the execution.

Thus, in reality we are never really in control, of anything: at any time. We are only along for the ride. Learning to ride the wave of the unknown, toward -hopefully- an exhilarating conclusion we can survive.

That’s the rush. The excitement. The draw of it all.

Of course anyone can experience a moment by accident. It’s what we call, luck. Such encounters more often result in lost, rather than in captured, opportunity.

To hedge one’s odds for realizing the full impact of any potential moment, work. Every element must be brought as far as conceivably possible, toward a successful conclusion – fully expecting the moment hoped for – to execute. This is the ultimate thrill, in a moment experience.

Preparing for the moment and getting into it, is the very heart and soul of HUNTING.

Hunting, contrary to the vacuous opinions of the uneducated, is not about killing. Hunting is about properly executing on a vast array of knowledge. Any part of which, found out of order, could spell failure with little to no hope for a mulligan. All of this is necessary before any consummating opportunity to kill is presented.

It is therefore, quite possible to hunt and never kill and still have a great hunt. But, equally true, the hunter can never know the true power within the hunt, without consummating the hunt with a kill.

Misunderstood by many:

Not every hunt must end in a kill to make it a good hunt. But equally true – a human must experience the mental and spiritual challenge that is found only in the kill – at least once – to fully appreciate the value and power found in the responsibility that rests with the choiceto kill or not to kill. This is not a lesson learned intellectually.

The scene that unfolded before me, in that split-second of time, was as unplanned as any in all my life.

I had no control of – or over – the moment.

I did have control of the use in that moment.

The camera found footing on the monopod.

The lens drew its focus.

The synapse began firing in reflex mode and the hold was as smooth as any trigger hold ever executed. As in anything in life that exudes success, timing is everything. And this moment was all about timing.

When the shutter stopped firing, 14 frames of one of my most memorable experiences in life had been captured. The span of that moment-in-time, was less than 24 seconds.

The bulk of life is truly the Journey and not the Destination.

But it is the Destination, to which we look, for Journey justification and the dream of a return.

I will return.

Thus, two months, 26 days, 12 hours, 14 minutes… and 23.7 seconds later… I had my bull elephant trophy.

And so do you.

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Ruff Double Memory

What hit me first – even before the crawling chill making its way through the clothing layers since stopping, hit me – was the distinct memory: “I’ve been here before.”

Déjà vu? No, not at all.

I had been there. In the exact spot. It was December 1958 and in a light snow, with a very crisp chill in the air. Only then my feet were a size 6 boys and freezing like exposed chicken knuckles! At least now, my feet weren’t freezing. But the blood laced adrenalin jitters were still there. And I loved it.

As I look down at the single ruffed grouse posing in ‘la mort avec l’honneur’ alongside my dad’s old double-barrel shotgun, resting in the skiff of snow, I am launched back in time to my first grouse hunt on that cold December day in ’58.

Dad came into my room well before light to wake me. But he didn’t need to, I’d hardly slept all night. He barely got the door opened with I popped out of bed like the 20 gauge shells from dads old side-by-side. “Well, aren’t we perky?” He said with a big grin forming around the deep cleft in his chin. “Breakfast in 15. See you in the kitchen.” “Yes sir. Be right there.”, I replied, while jumping into my clothes.

A few splashes of water on my face, brushed teeth and a token stroke of the comb and I was good-to-go.

Mom was just finishing the pancakes, oatmeal, cold raw milk and coffee when I slid into my chair.

“Say bud. ‘Spose we could get this ‘early rise and ready quick action to become a regular part of your morning ritual? Hmm?”, she said, smiling in front the more serious suggestion.

I knew I was busted. So I tossed back a bit of humor hoping to get unhooked. “Well, I guess I could, if there was a hunting or fishing trip connected.” I attempted to slide that slick sales job by with a ‘cute kid grin’. I lost. Oh, well, who cared. I was heading out to hunt with dad.

Breakfast is never better than those taken just before you head out afield or to the water with dad. Odd, the viewfinder on the camera fogged up just as I remembered that bit of history. As I waited for the fog to clear, I remembered the few moments before that first grouse bust out of the cover.

When I went with dad in the field and there was a gun present, I quartered dad on his left side like a shadow. Dad stood between 6’1″ and 6’2″ tall in a lean 175 lb. frame of all muscle and sinew. Grandpa, his dad, always told him – and me and my brother – that what we needed most was…’seasoning’. This was Grandpa’s way of telling you to get back to work and toughen up. I don’t believe Grandpa was much into fun. He was too busy being a drill sargent in practice. As a result of many years of conditioning, dad was not easy to keep up with. But when we hunted in the woods, he was a lot easier to shadow. I was eager and he slowed down a bit. He enjoyed being in the woods and didn’t want to loose any time of it. A great combo that worked to keep me from a constant, “Hey, keep up!” reminder.

I really enjoyed those times. Even more so now the older I get. Well, of all things, that eyepiece keeps fogging up. Gotta wait for it to clear again.

Old Suzi, dad’s 10 year old Brittany spaniel, pushed ahead of us at a comfortable distance with her nose to the ground and one eye in the trees. She knew those birds sat in trees and she wasn’t about to let one get by her. It didn’t happen often either.

I was a chatter box as a kid, but I knew to keep my comments, questions and musings to myself once we hit the trail. If I had a serious question, when I could get dad’s attention, he’d gladly answer it. But I just knew that I really didn’t want to over-use my ‘field access’. So I learned to compartmentalize the questions and formulate them into as few as I could later on. A valuable lesson as I learned later on in life.

As I was doing some of this ‘formulation’, meaning I wasn’t paying attention, dad pulled up in an abrupt stop. Yep! I ran right into his left hip pocket. He didn’t move but I bounced off. Dad looked over his shoulder with his finger to his lips, then reached down an helped me up. We had no sooner gotten regrouped when the grouse blasted from the bushes!

That bird scared the holy bejeebers outta me! That’s for sure. But dad, he just went into one of the prettiest ballet’s I’d ever witnessed to then … and possibly since.

The grouse quartered left, dad was in full sight, swing and follow-through when he squeezed off the left barrel. I just happened to be in the perfect line to see the entire scene. Dad, in swing, squeeze of trigger, flight and crumple of the grouse and Suzi in her trademark, hindleg hop-n-point! Just before dad would shoot, she’d look more like Trigger under Roy Rogers than a Brittany on point.

Like it all happened seconds ago, I can still hear the sounds of the rustling leaves, the drum of the grouse’s wings, dads wool clothing rotating on his body, his feet making a bit of a rotation-friction squeak, then the click of the hammer – then the entire world was encompassed in the blast! Man! for a 20 gauge shotgun, that gun could really make noise.

Well dogged! The viewfinder fogged up again. At this rate, I’ll never get this thing photographed.

You know, I was surprised, when even through the racket, I never took my eye off that grouse. In mid flight, one moment it was heading out of sight, then it just crumpled and fell in a rocketing arc, hit the ground and scooted in and under the leaves. Before we could flinch, Suzi was already on the bird, mouthed it and was in return. I remember it was smaller than I’d thought. Beautiful. Soft. Limp. No longer flying. It was dead.

I had a sudden pang of conscience. I looked up at dad and asked, “Did we have to kill it?”

Dad looked back, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “No son, we didn’t have to kill it. But we chose to. That one idea is the most important thing to learn about hunting. When you decide to take an animal’s life, that decision will be a permanent choice. One that you can’t undo. You cannot take back that decision. It is a natural part of life; taking an animal’s life. But we must always do so being fully aware of the results of our decision. Something will die because of our choice. Never take that responsibility lightly. That’s a big lesson for a little guy. But I believe you’ll understand. If not now, then in time. Are you OK?”

I looked at him and then at the dead bird on the ground at his feet. It sure was pretty. I looked back up at him to say something about how ‘pretty’ the bird was. I remember noticing his eyes looked… ‘moist’. I started to ask him, but he just smiled that wonderful smile that only my dad could give and said, “After all these years, I still take the responsibility seriously. Always remember that.”

The camera lens fogged up again. Must be the cold.

Memories are like that. I’ve never forgotten it. I pray I never do.


View the print, Ruff Double Memory and the details for ordering a print.


Cotton Humid

he air of thick humidity is like the air of impending doom. Persistent, dreadful and overpowering. It makes your nerves scream for solace. Yet all you get is the sensation of a fresh line of sweat beginning to role, in a tortuously slow bead, down the middle of your back.

No mercy.

Humidity hangs like the clumps of Spanish-moss draped over and smothering the whole plot of live oak trees in the back yard.

Stringy, clingy, sticky, itchy… and thick. I can hear it, feel it, taste it, smell it… and by the sweat dripping from my armpit – hate it.

And to think it’s not even daylight yet.

Oh, what a way to begin a day.

Well, that’s how they’ve begun in the deep south for … I guess since the dawn of time. It’s not changing now, ’cause it’s not changed in all those eons of time. It’s just one more thing about this area you just learn to deal with.

Glorious.

One more reason to dislike living in the south.

Hmm, that sure sounds a might ‘Yankee like‘, now don’t it!

I gather fixings for coffee and listen to hear the clear voice of the mockingbird as it mimics through it’s repertoire of songs. From one solitary bird, I hear the voice and chatter of every bird sound it has heard during it’s short but melodious lifetime.

I don’t need a couple of dozen birds flittering around the yard, I have them all in one: my mockingbird. With a half-dozen mockingbirds I’d be enjoying a whole forest of song birds and not have to deal with the sparrow crap that covers my car each morning: no matter where I park it.

I hate sparrows.

The incredulous fool who brought those filthy little waste buckets over here from England -’cause they missed their melodious little songs. Yeah right! I’d like to stake him over big ‘ol fire ant mound; sure ’nuff!

What a stupid act of imbecilic short-sightedness that was.

On the same par as the ‘too smart’ conservation folks back up my way, in the mid-west, who promoted the planting of an Asian prickly bush called the multiflora rose all over the place. In the name of conservation, touted to be grand ground cover; for anti-wind erosion and extra places for the critters to live. Only problem, the stuff took over!

Seems the ‘too smart folks’ forgot to tell the birds not the fly around and shit the seeds all over the place. Where it grows – and that’s just about anywhere – nothing else can grow or go! Now the ‘too smart folks’ have to pay other ‘less smart folks’ to dig it up and threaten to fine and jail ‘other folks’ if they dare plant it again!

The birds still eat the berries and shit the seeds, so the problem still exists. Why didn’t they just plant the native blackberry bushes? Sure both plants are prickly as all get out. But at least with blackberries there’d have been berries both man and bird would have enjoyed!

Short-sighted for sure.

It seems no matter what we humans decide to bequeath this land we take for granted, we end up doing it more harm than good. The meddling mess-ups, we so nobly refer to as natural resource management, are painfully well documented. It just doesn’t seem anyone in charge ever bothers to read the results. Doesn’t anyone see a connection? Well, don’t they?

I guess not.

But of course why should those poor bastards start using their heads now? What could they possibly accomplish if their actions were actually accompanied by a dash of common sense? Not likely they’ll begin to think to change their current patterns of failure. As it will not likely add one more stitch to the lining of their already over-stuffed, greedy pockets.

Not likely.

Breakfast is over and I just can’t stall the inevitable of the day: cleaning out that cotton patch.

Backbreaking work. It’s hot. It’s dirty. And it’s a bit dangerous in ways people not from the country, nor used to workin’ cotton would think of.

The shade of the cotton plants offer the local rattlesnakes and cottonmouth, in those areas near the river bottom, a cool, shady place to wear off the afternoon heat. A reptilian encounter is not what I need today. I don’t need it any day, but I really don’t need it today. I’m in a mood. A mood where I’d likely kill something and I don’t really like killing snakes.

Not that I mind killing something that needs or deserves a good killing, but snakes tend to do a lot more good for the land- and in turn me- than most folks given them credit. So, I’d just rather let them be and go on my way.

But blast-it! anyhow! Those fool-headed varmints won’t just let me pass, regardless of my intentions. They coil up, ready to strike and just dare me to blast their little pea-size brains all over the cotton stems. And sometimes I accommodate them.

But I still don’t like it.

Well it’s almost time to hit the field. I’ll give it a bit more time; no sense in being too, pushy with the time now.

I like that about the south.

Folks here move to a much slower clock than those who live north of the ‘humidity line’. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I grew up with humidity in the Midwest, so it’s not like I’m unfamiliar with humidity – ’cause I am, familiar! But humidity in the south, well- now… we do it with a whole new vigor toward torture. I just don’t like it… humidity that is.

I really don’t!!!

I don’t like being hot. I like even less being sticky and hot in a dusty, dirty place. ‘Cause when you work in stuff like cotton, you end up feeling like half the junk from the field is stuck to you before you get home. That’s what makes the humidity so bad. You just can’t escape it. And you can’t escape the dirt, either. Humidity sucks. No two ways about it. But cotton humidity? Well, that stuff’s just plain nasty.

I’ve been covered in all kinds of hard work humidity, but cotton humidity is about the nastiest of all. ‘Course I can’t say that with complete authority. I never worked anywhere farther south than these cotton fields of the 31st parallel. As hard as it is to imagine, humidity in the real tropics has got to be worse than it is here.

It just plain hurts to imagine that much humidity.

But I reckon, in all fairness, I got to.

Looking out across the pasture I see those crazy cattle egrets are dowsing for ‘hoppers, crickets and whatever bugs and critters they can gobble up as they sachet across the pasture.

Now, there’s one funny critter: the cattle egret.

Down here, most folks call them and their taller relatives, the white egret, great blue heron and it’s white-color phase, pond skoggins. I don’t really know where that name came from, but it’s not a term-of-endearment. Of that, I am very sure.

Those things make a wretched sound. Sorta like a feller chokin’ on his own blood, as if he’d just had his gullet slit. Nasty! An awful sound. Scares the daylights out of most normal folk.

But… they do keep the ‘hoppers, crickets and critters cleaned out of the fields. Odd, they don’t seem to have a fancy for the boll weevil. Now that’s a shame. Cotton could use a friend in that category.

I’d better get-to- gittin’ on down into that field, ’cause on the horizon, just above that cotton patch, I see the build-up of a huge ‘ol thunderhead. Looks like we might get some rain after all.

It’s been a dry season; dryer than normal. Maybe this high humidity will be worth it’s torture if we get a good rain.

Maybe. However, I’m not totally sold on that notion yet. Reckon I’ll let it on the table.

Think on it.

Judge it later.

It’s time now to go clean that cotton patch, sweat a river, dodge the snakes and watch those pond-scoggins chase the critters in the pasture.

I’d best not forget to watch out for that new electric fence line, neither.
Cotton Humid
Cotton Humid by Les Booth. eLithograph giclee print on archival 90# watercolor paper. Print run of 100 only. Short-story, printed on matching paper, accompanies prints 5-20. Available as extra item.
Available through the OOAK Gallery.
Thanks for visiting.

Low Tide: Parts Make Parts

Prolog
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.

Enjoy.

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.

Epilog

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.

OOAK