Category Archives: Mobile Photography Art

Project Palimpsest/Butterick: Some Art I Just Created

Following on from yesterday’s Freebies, and in line with my recent obsession for mixed media art, here are some examples of Art that I’ve created using close-ups of my Project Palimpsest/Butterick canvasses.

The images on the left are of the close-ups, and on the right are the results after blending. There is some discrepancy with the size of the originals and the results – this is because I have resized the final image.

The App I use most for blending images these days is called Photo Blender. Not the most imaginative by name, but it offers the highest number of blend modes than any other App I know of. I really enjoy playing with the different blend modes until I come across one that I like. All effects are tweakable by simply swiping your finger across the screen.

Here is the link to Photo Blender: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.primary0.photoblender

You can click on any image to see a full-page version of it. Enjoy!

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P/S: I think I just might put these up for sale on my Society 6, RedBubble, Zazzle and FineArtAmerica stores. Hmmm…:-)

Project Palimpsest/Butterick: Part III (FREEBIES!!)

I’ve taken some close ups of sections of my 2 Palimpsest/Butterick canvasses, and am sharing them here now as FREEBIES.

If you wish to, you may download them to your device or computer and use them as elements for your own collage or mixed media projects. These are JPGs, but you can easily convert them into PNG format to suit your projects.

Enjoy!

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Art Journals

As a digital mobile photography artist, I love how my medium is clean, with no mess to tidy up, no paint splashes to mop up, no brushes to clean or pencils to sharpen and put away. My chosen medium suits me to a T, really, especially as it’s the ultimate portable studio in a pocket. And also especially as in real life, my drawing or painting is at kindy level. 😄

Over the years, I’ve found myself drawn (excuse the pun) time and again to collage, altered art, altered books and art journals. Maybe it’s because I love colours, layers, textures, strange juxtapositions, mysterious scribbled handwriting, ransom-note-style lettering, ephemera, stamping and vivid washes of watercolour. Maybe it’s because these are artforms that anyone can achieve, with some imagination, passion and practice. It’s not high brow art, it’s accessible art and an expression of one’s creative soul, being highly personal.

The other day, while lurking about my local scrapbooking store (Made With Memories in Rockingham, Western Australia), looking for creative ideas and inspiration, my eyes lit upon an Art Journal sitting on the shelf behind the counter. Having never come across a real life Art Journal before (I know, sad, huh), I was naturally curious about it. So I asked if I could take a look at it, hands on.

Made With Memories holds courses on scrapbooking and journaling, aside from selling scrapbooking papers, stamps, embossing equipment, inks, decoupage kits, washi tape, art paper, glue, pins, brads, all manner of twee adornments for journaling etc.

This particular Art Journal belonged to one of the teachers, and had notes on her courses in it, as well as examples of her work. Some of the pages were held together by bulldog clips, which I dare not disturb in case anything were to fall out. The journal was heavy in my hands, filled with flashes of emerald greens, blues, yellows, bits of paper sticking out here and there. I caught glimpses of stencilled on text, intriguing stamped and embossed symbols, glued on birds and flowers, pieces of twine were dangling from between pages, there was even fairy dust. The book was so thick it couldn’t even close properly.

Oh, it was a glorious mess.

I loved it.

I’m not sure if I will ever make my own Art Journal, but I might give it a try. I found this book up in town, and it’s really motivating me to get started. And I don’t mean digitally, I mean the really-make-a-mess-and-clean-up-afterwards-hands-on kind of activity.

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Art Journal Art Journey: Collage and Storytelling for Honoring Your Creative Process https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1440330077/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_ESO2ub0TSWPRQ

Meanwhile, I can dream, right. And drool over these examples of Art Journals and altered book art, that I’ve curated from Google:

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I think I just might take on this challenge. I have dozens of failed tissue paper prints of my digital artwork that I can use as background colour, and several old dictionaries that I can tear pages out of, lots of washi tape, stamps, ephemera, stencils etc that I can use.

Okay, I’ve convinced myself…😄

They’re Here!

Aliens, I mean. No, no, well yes, aliens have been on Earth for quite a while now, only I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting them face to face. But that’s not what I meant.

I meant to say that my INSPIRATION DECK has arrived from the printers. And they are beautiful, and exactly how I envisioned them to be.

Okay, the deck I created only had 24 designs (I thought I uploaded 25, but maybe I’ve forgotten how to count in my dotage). I’d doubled the designs and trebled a couple, to get a pack of 54 in a white window box. This is only a test deck, at the moment, while I surreptitiously work away on more inspirational sayings and backgrounds.

The real INSPIRATION DECK, when it’s ready, will have 50 different designs. And it will be expandable, so should I be able to muster the strength to make another lot of designs, they can be purchased as “Booster Packs” and added to the existing one.

The purpose of these cards? To serve as a daily reminder that Life is good and not to lose sight of your dreams as you rush about your everyday lives. Keep the cards for yourself, or share them with friends or strangers, it’s up to you. My hope is that the cards and sayings inspire you to be your best, and give you good cheer on hard days.

I’ll be abandoning half of this deck in and around Rockingham, Western Australia, on the weekend of Valentine’s Day 2015. It’ll be my Secret Valentine’s Day present to unsuspecting folks. I’ll also be giving some to my adult cousins and my Aunt and Uncle the weekend after, when we gather for our Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner.

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Artist Inspiration : Ann Baldwin

Just today I was reading a wonderful book on mixed media art, Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists and I got curious about the author and artist, Ann Baldwin. So I decided to look her up on Google.

On Ann’s website she explains her transition to photography after many years as a painter:

For several years I have been making the transition from painting to photography.

I was a mixed media painter for many years, selling through galleries, art fairs, and my studio. Luck was definitely with me when in 2008 I was asked by Quarry Books to write a book on Mixed Media painting. ‘Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed Media Artists’ was published in 2009. One chapter focuses on the use of photography in paintings. By then I had become a full-time closet photographer! Once the book was launched, I made the decision to give up painting and ‘come out’.

Some of the fine art photos you see here use the same approach of multiple composited images and (digital) paint that I used in my paintings. Only now it’s all done in my camera and in post-processing with Photoshop and Nik software. I am a passionate picture-maker!

Currently my husband, Mike, and I are co-Presidents of the Berkeley Camera Club, which keeps us very busy and inspires us to try new things.

As a mobile photography artist dabbling in mixed media, I can totally relate to Ann when she talks about transitions. For Ann, it was a move of mediums from mixed media to digital photography. For me, it was the other way round…my medium has always been digital photography, but in my quest to give my photographic images texture and dimension, I’ve been experimenting with magic mushrooms mixed media and paints.

Funny how things go round in cycles.

If you’re curious about mixed media art, I highly recommend reading Ann’s book, and experimenting with the techniques and materials discussed within. Only through trial and error will you find your own “voice”.

Here are some examples of Ann Baldwin’s works, both mixed media and digital photography. The difference between the 2 mediums is primarily that in mixed media, with the addition of ephemera, heavy paint bodies and glazes, you get interesting textures. With digital photography and printing, the image is 2D.

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THE INSPIRATION DECK

I wrote about my INSPIRATION DECK Project a short while ago, in the post “The First Twelve”. Since then, I’ve completed 25 different card designs, all with inspiring phrases on them. And I’ve decided that they should be part of a deck that’s expandable. So, the first deck of extra large (3.5 x 5.75 inches) cards will have 50 different designs. And any subsequent “booster” packs will have the same back designs, so one can simply shuffle the new cards into the old.

I’ve gone ahead and ordered a deck with 2 of each design. Now, here’s the method to my madness:

1) the printer’s templates offer a maximum of 54 cards per deck. The price is the same regardless of whether your deck has 1 card or 54. So, it makes sense to double up on the designs and use up all the card allocations, for the one price.

2) I’ve sent off for a deck now because I’d like to be able to let my adult cousins and my Uncle and Aunt choose a card for themselves over our annual Chinese New Year Reunion Lunch at my 2nd Uncle’s. Like a party favour. I’m the “poor” cousin, and good for comedy effect as well as entertainment value LOL. CNY 2015 is on Feb 19th, which is mid-week, so I guess our family reunion will be the weekend after.

3) I’ve promised The Kid that we’ll have the cards ready before Easter. We intend to pop the cards into envelopes with Art Abandonment tags or labels on them, and then randomly drop them into people’s letterboxes around our area. Might make someone’s day, who knows?

It’s going to be such fun!

Anyway, here are some of the 25 designs, which I’ve collaged together into a frame, for ease of uploading to WordPress. See, this old dog can learn new tricks still! 😄 When the deck arrives from the printers, fresh off the press, I’ll be sure to photograph them all and blog about it in a later post.

Meanwhile, enjoy!

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Interview by Kess InHouse – AlyZen Moonshadow

I was honoured recently to be interviewed by Sara Gupta (now Sara O’Neill), co-founder of Kess InHouse designs. Kess were kind enough to take a chance on me and offer me an Art Licensing contract for my mobile photography art. I have a number of pieces with them, and continue to submit more. Kess’s products include duvet covers, pillow cases, shower curtains, fleece blankets, place mats, desk mats, cutting boards, rugs and pet products, including dog beds, pet bandannas, feeding mats and bowls.

Answering Sara’s questions was an interesting exercise in retrospection. I never realised how far I’d evolved from the starry-eyed ingenue behind my first iPhone in 2010.  It was a walk down Memory Lane for me, and reminded me of my various experiments and love affairs with different Apps, filters and effects. Has it really been 4 years since I started my mobile photography adventures?

Here’s the link to the interview,
http://www.kessinhouseblog.com/artist-spotlight-alyzen-moonshadow/

And here’s the transcript:

KIH:  Your artwork has a fun blend of mobile phone photography and graphic design flair.  When did you discover your passion for photo manipulation?

AlyZen Moonshadow: I bought my first iPhone 3 in 2010, shortly before I emigrated from Ireland to Australia. Whilst job-hunting in Australia, I decided to experiment with photo editing on my iPhone. I started out with some Apps for Lomographic effects, then got into textures and grunge, and the whole thing snowballed from there. I practised a lot in the early days, averaging between 5-10 manipulated images a day.  The more I practised, the better I got, and also the more selective about effects and filters. In 2012 I discovered some graphic design-type Apps, and for a while I was really into Swiss-style graphics. I even designed some mock CD album covers using these, and some t-shirts. In the same year, I switched from the iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy S3, and discovered Android Apps. These days I use my Samsung Galaxy S4 and my iPad 2 for my photo manipulations, so I really have the best of both worlds.  

KIH:  Your pieces are very colorful and use unique color pallettes.  How do you find color effects your art pieces and how do you develop color choices while making a new composition?

AlyZen Moonshadow: I usually start by uploading a photo to an image editing App on my Samsung Galaxy S4, then just playing around with various filters and effects. When I find one that appeals to me, or that I think merits further processing, I then move on to the next step, which is finding other elements to add to the image. Sometimes if I’m not satisfied with the colour scheme, I will edit it again to change the hue or saturation, until I’m happy with the result. I went through a brief phase early on in 2011 when I tried faded, vintage, old postcard styles, but found I’m more drawn towards bright, vibrant colours. This may come from my love of flowers in natural surroundings. If I have a favourite colour, it would be turquoise. Whenever I find a filter that gives me the colour turquoise, I try my best to keep it in the final edit. I like colours that are translucent rather than matte, so whenever possible I try to create my pieces with a sense of depth in them. I also like an element of randomness in my work. I have a folder of colourfield backgrounds that I created using photos and a very simple Android App called “Impressionist Fingerpaint”, which gives me the colours I need. It’s perfect for giving me 2 things – a sense of depth and translucency, and the element of randomness when blended with other images.

KIH:  Your latest collection of art pieces showcase stacked teacups as an homage to Alice in Wonderland.  Where did your interest in this subject spark?

AlyZen Moonshadow: I’ve always been fond of Alice in Wonderland since I was a little girl, and I got the idea of stacked teacups from surfing Pinterest online. I had a couple of teacups and saucers lying around, and some real and silk flowers, and I posed them together and edited a number of images. The flowers soon fell by the wayside, as I decided the teacups and saucers made very interesting subjects in themselves. I went through a phase buying vintage teacups and saucers on Etsy, then stacking them up higgledy piggledy for staged photoshoots. I had the idea of creating my own Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (I spell my series The Madhatter’s Teaparty), so an entire series of 100 images was born in 2012.

KIH:  What is your favorite piece (on KESS)? How did you develop the composition?

AlyZen Moonshadow: It would have to be images from my Madhatter’s Teaparty. For the photo manipulations, I used predominantly Photoshop Touch, especially the “Difference” filter to bring out the colours and to introduce an element of serendipity, as I was never sure what the results would be using that filter. Before Kess InHouse found me and my Madhatter’s Teaparty, I’d printed 35 of the images onto stretched A3 canvasses, varnished and all…in case I ever held an Art exhibition. I like to think that Alice herself would’ve been proud of my teacups!

KIH:  Your artistic process generally starts from your mobile phone.  What do you enjoy the most about utilizing cell phone cameras and applications when creating your artwork.

AlyZen Moonshadow: I think the best part is the portability of it all. I have my entire Studio in the palm of my hand, literally. No expensive paints or equipment to buy, no messy paintbrushes, no splatters on the carpet, no clearing or cleaning up to do. If I make a mistake, or if I don’t like an effect, there’s the handy Undo button, or even in extreme cases, the Delete button. I can transfer my work between my Samsung Galaxy S4 and my iPad2, or even to my desktop Mac for resizing. I can work almost anywhere, anytime – on the bus, on the train, while waiting for my coffee to percolate. Every now and then I download an App and test it out; if it adds anything to my creative process, I keep it and use it. If not, I uninstall it. Some of my fellow mobile photographers like the idea of having thousands of Apps to utilise, and bemoan the fact that the Android platform does not have half as many Apps as Apple iOS. However, my personal view is that in reality, you only need a dozen or so decent Apps to be able to create a wide variety of effects. The magic is in finding the right combination of effects. Sometimes less really is more.

KIH: Many of your pieces have abstract textures and psychedelic imagry to build up the subjects of the piece.  Where did you pick up this artistic style and what other artists made an impact on your work?

AlyZen Moonshadow: Colour is important to me, followed closely by depth and texture. I like to introduce an element of the surreal into some of my pieces. An early series that I created in 2011 is titled “Dalienutopia” and is based around photos of the Baigup Wetlands near where I used to live in Perth, Western Australia. The title is a combination of my homage to the artist Dali, and the words Alien and Utopia…and the images are surreal and weird. Another series titled “Surrealism” in 2012 came from when I was experimenting with strange objects and juxtapositions. I learnt about Dali and his contemporaries funnily enough in Music History when I was a student at college, and the ideas just stayed with me. Another artist that inspire me is Georgia O’Keeffe, you can see her influence in my photo manipulations of flowers. When I was creating my flower photographs, some friends told me my images reminded them of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings.

KIH:  Where do you do most of your work?

AlyZen Moonshadow: My trusty workhorse, the Samsung Galaxy S4, is rarely out of my hands, and it is also my portable Studio. So basically, I can and do work almost anywhere. For printing purposes, I have my printers (an ink-guzzling Epson Artisan 1430 and a mellow Canon Pixma MX870) in the spareroom/storeroom, which during the summer months is shared with an ongoing succession of baby Japanese Quails, that I incubate, breed and sell. The room is too small for a proper worktable, so I simply spread butcher paper over the carpet on the floor, lay out my prints on that, and do any gluing, varnishing, etc right there. It’s easy enough to tidy away again afterwards. Someday I hope to have a traditional gypsy caravan installed in my front garden, where things can be more permanent.

Couple in Love(This is my “Couple in Love” image, available on Kess inHouse here)

The First Twelve

A short while ago I wrote about a Project to create Good Fortune Cards, see link here.

In the latter part of 2014 I created several Lenormand card decks (of which more in a later blog), utilising my skills as a digital mobile photography artist.

One day, The Kid and I were at our local thrift stores and I hit upon the idea of buying up some inspirational books, wrapping them up in plain brown paper, sticking on an Art Abandonment sticker, and of us both doing our 2nd Art Abandonment exercise, this time along the Rockingham foreshore close to home. I’m hoping that these little gifts will find their way into the right hands, to people who may need a spiritual boost or some positivity in their lives. We did this on the Australia Day long weekend just gone; you can read about the exercise here.

During one of our thrift store forays, The Kid (he never ceases to amaze me with his bright ideas) said “Mum, why don’t you abandon some of your Lenormand cards too?” I thought about that, and decided that as Lenormand cartomancy isn’t straightforward and needs a degree of research and study to understand, it would not carry as much meaning to someone, as would cards with clear, written text on them.

That off-the-cuff remark by my 12-year-old has since kickstarted me on my “Inspiration Deck” Project. I already know that the 2 printers that I use for printing my Lenormand decks would be able to print me extra large cards, suitable for my purpose.

Here are the websites of the 2 Print On Demand printers I’ve used for my Lenormand fortune telling card projects:

PrinterStudio

MakePlayingCards

Since then, my project has now grown to 12 artworks created using only my Samsung Galaxy Note 4, with more in the pipeline. My intention now is to do a test run, by ordering a deck with multiple image repeats (to fit their 54 card template and save money). Then, for our 3rd Art Abandonment caper, The Kid and I can put a card in an envelope with the Art Abandonment tag on it, and perhaps this time cycle around our surrounding neighbourhood and pop one in random letterboxes. Hopefully they make someone’s day. We’d do 12 cards at one time.

Anyway, here are The First Twelve.

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My 2015 Fortune Cards Project

Last year I spent several months learning about the Lenormand system of cartomancy. I studied the archetypal images and their meanings, 2- and 3-card combinations, 9 card readings, and the Grand Tableau which utilises all 36 Lenormand cards. I bought a couple of excellent books on the subject:

1) The Essential Lenormand: Your Guide to Precise & Practical Fortunetelling https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0738736627/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_pI7Pub1PD29CG by Rana George

2) The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1620553252/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_.J7Pub087721E by Caitlin Matthews

I also bought several Lenormand decks, self-published and licensed, modern and vintage, to study their artwork and design.

I joined a vibrant Tarot & Oracle Card Collectors Group on Facebook, and engaged in interesting conversations about various different decks. I also joined a Lenormand Cards Study Group and one on Lenormand Cartomancy. I made new friends and learnt loads. These days, when you see me logged in on Facebook, I’m more often than not hanging out with my groupies.

Last year I created 10 Lenormand card decks. These can be found for sale on eBay and Etsy under the name AlyZen Moonshadow. It was an intriguing learning curve which covered several subjects at once – Lenormand, print-on-demand, a little bit of Photoshop (using templates), and the pros and cons of being a self-published cartomancy deck seller.

This year I’m also going to research how to get my creations licensed by established publishers.

I did start creating some Oracle cards last year, and wrote about them on my blog, but then I got involved in studying the Lenormand cards and went away with the fairies in that direction.

Now I’m ready to resume my Oracle Cards Project. Only it has evolved somewhat since last year. I’ve decided that, instead of one-word texts on each image, I’m going to write a short, clear phrase. Project No.1 for 2015 will be called “The Inspiration Deck”. Not so much Fortune Telling cards, more like cards containing affirmations and positive living philosophies. Something you can perhaps draw on a daily basis to give you a morale boost, or make you pause and ponder.

While creating my Lenormand cards last year, I built up quite an archive of public domain images and clip art. I can put these to good use in my “Inspiration Deck”. I’ll also be using in-App clip art and graphics, as well as my own photography.

Here is the first card I created. Bear in mind it’s still at an experimental stage and I have not finalised every aspect of it. It might even be that these end up as posters, postcards or even t-shirts instead of just divination cards.

I hope you like it and will continue to follow me on my mad armchair adventures.

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A new creative project: Steampunk Art

This just came in the post today, yippee!

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It’s Dover’s Steampunk Sourcebook, which I bought from The Book Depository (a great online bookseller, especially if you live in far flung places, as all their items come with Free Delivery as standard). This book comes with a CD-ROM, so I can load all the images therein onto my computer, for future reference. I’m already a fan of Dover Pictura, the division of Dover that specialises in selling royalty-free images for online download.

I’ve already amassed a collection of copyright free Steampunk images from the British Library’s archives. Add this to my arsenal, and a few other images from my collection of scrapbooking papers, and I should have the makings of a Steampunk Lenormand cards deck. Or even a Steampunk Oracle cards deck. Hmmm, I might even create some t-shirt designs or canvas art using these images. How exciting!

Here are a few photos showing the contents of the book, to whet your appetite.

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