Copyright: All artwork/content protected under ©2007-2011 Lynne Ciacco

All content herein copyright © Lynne Ciacco

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Art for All and All for Art

During an ongoing and rather mad attempt to clean up my photo files, I came across this vase of lilacs languishing in my Photoshop pile of unfinished business.  Of course I got drawn into playing with it, adding more layers and effects, rather than categorizing and weeding out my messy photo files.

©2010 L.Ciacco, Aged Lilacs,  Digital Art

I'm not sure what the popular preoccupation with making perfectly fine photographs look faded, worn, stained, marked and generally grungified is all about.  Turning a silk purse into a sow's ear?  But I must admit it is fun.   I do generally like playing with a not-so-great photo and turning it into something very much "other"--a hybrid that is not quite a photo, not quite a painting, but a new sort of art form. 

In this picture, I've used a background from one of my acrylic paintings from the Calabria Series (Mezzogiorno). Those rust-coloured lines are taken from some paper I bought at the Dollar Store and scanned into my computer, and the topmost overlay is of markings that I photographed on a jail wall at the local county museum.  The lilacs were from our yard.

I dunno, something in me feels like it's one of those cork-bottomed drink coasters with lots of stains on it.  But it could look like a very intriguing piece of art if made into a giclée print, or even a card.

Which makes me think--have you seen what great bargains of big pieces of art can be had for little money as giclée prints?  I was in Home Sense last week (with the rest of the city, it seemed) and I was just floored by the number of printed canvasses that actually looked good.  If I wasn't a painter myself, and if I actually had a steady income, I would be sorely tempted to line my walls with some of them. 

How do you feel about this new form of mass-produced cheap art?
Do you own any?  I must admit, I have one myself. 



  1. I happen to love lilacs and you managed to give this photo soul...markings, aging gives it the same beauty only through the lens of an old and fading memory.
    I have not seen the latest in giclee prints on canvas but I know things can be produced in amazing ways.

  2. I think the aging effect or distressing as I like to call it, is a response to perfectly detailed glossy high end digital camera productions. One can only take so much without craving something else. I pretty recently moved into my place and have absolutely nothing on my walls. I enjoy the peaceful emptiness but have been tempted to consider purchasing one of these mass-produced decorative prints for above my fireplace. Anyway, I love your lilacs and the treatment very much.

  3. I love what you've done - there's lots to be argued for and against deliberately roughing stuff up - but done well (as you have) it looks great

  4. Blue Sky,
    Nothing quite like the scent of lilacs in the late spring, is there? We're lucky to have a few big old lilac bushes in our yard that provide several bouquets to place all around the house in that heady season.

    I like what you say about the markings and layering giving a piece "soul" --and of seeing through the lens an old and fading memory. A truly lovely perspective. Thank you!

  5. Stickup,
    But your photography is so chrystalline clear and perfect in its detailed beauty! Well, yes, you do add some "distressing" sometimes, when the subject matter is appropriate. It's wonderful that you can appreciate both approaches. I suppose the layering/aging/mark-making/distressing effects I like to play with in Photoshop reflect the type of thing I'm doing on canvas with paint, fabrics, textures.

    I seriously doubt I could live in a place with nothing on the walls. Go get one of those big giclée art prints if you find one that speaks to you. The original was, after all, made by an artist. But what about your own photos? Those are works of art and I'm certain they would look fabulous on those clean blank walls.

  6. Lulu,
    Thanks for your compliment about my abiliies of "roughing things up." I guess it all started back in my early teen years when I bought a pair of tapestry-print sneakers and deliberately dragged them through the dirt and cut holes in them to make them look used and "cool."

  7. This looks like an old world painting to me--very nice! Love your new banner. Have a wonderful trip out west!

  8. Robin,
    Thank you so much. An old world painting is lovely praise. And I'm glad for the vote of confidence in my new still surprises me every time I open the page. Surprise can be good, no?