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

All content herein copyright © Lynne Ciacco

Thursday, December 2, 2010

One Porch, Three Takes

While out west recently I took the time to visit my friends in Seattle.  They have a cozy older home with a big, inviting front porch. 

©2010 L. Ciacco, Front Porch Grunge, Digital Art

I think this version captures the essence of the porch: well-worn, welcoming and warm, in atmosphere if not temperature (it was November, after all).  A secluded but bright place to sit and read,  or work on a knitting or sewing project, or do a bit of drawing, or just sit and dream.   

©2010 L. Ciacco, Front Porch Paint, Digital Image

I pushed this version a bit over the top with an added layer of peeling, cracked paint plus a canvas texture.  In the course of experimenting, I hit on a blending mode (Photoshop speak, sorry) that turned some of the areas a surprising blue which I rather liked, so I kept it.  I was going for a  painterly effect.  Do you think I succeeded?  Is it a little too much for you?

 ©2010 L.Ciacco, Front Porch Tintype, Digital Image

And then I got to wondering how the picture might look as a monochromatic image.  I tried to get the effect of an illustration that one might find in an old book, or a tintype image.  It's a bit hard to "read" perhaps, but there's a certain air of secrecy and mystery to it, I think.  Definitely time-worn.

And this is the original photo.



  1. oh god such a nice works! I like all maybe more the second one?? or the tirth one???

    like really a lot

  2. all three set a different mood,
    they are all wonderful!

  3. nouvelles couleurs,
    Thank you so much! I think maybe the second one is a little bit like your multi-coloured expressionistic paintings.

  4. nancy,
    It's great to get support for my efforts. After staring at the images in Photoshop for so long I sometimes lose sight of them, so it's good to hear that someone else can pick up on the different moods each picture has to offer.

  5. I love what you are doing with Photoshop. I think it adds much depth of character and releases one from digital tyranny. Personally, I like the first image. I think it has the most depth and the color palette is subtler, the green elements carry my eye from foreground to background. Then the shots of red dance about the space. The ochre holds it all together. It seems everyone will bring something different to any piece of art. It's pretty amazing...

  6. Stickup,
    Have you ever taught art, or the theory of art? You always speak so knowledgably & with great understanding in your comments. I agree that the overall tone of the first picture, that ochre, does unify the elements and tones. Nothing jarring, just soothing, like it is to sit awhile on a secluded front porch.

  7. The things that you do! Great work.

  8. Patricia,
    Thanks! Always a pleasure to have word from you. Encouragement is much appreciated.

  9. Wow! This is a tough one. Three beautiful images. I do love the mystery of the black-and-white. It's as though one wandered into an unknown house that had held many secrets for years. Number one has a lot of warmth to it, moreso than the original photo, I think. It really is quite beautiful. You've gone with an interesting affect for number two which gives it a richer texture. I see the blue which popped up; it's pretty and fun. However, the foliage on the back wall became yellow, and one may not realize it was originally living, green foliage. What do you think, Lynne? :)

  10. Margaret,
    For a minute there I thought I was standing in front of Tyra Banks on "America's Next Top Model" as she tried to choose between the last 3 standing. (yes, I admit it, that TV show is a sometime guilty pleasure of mine)

    I get very involved with my images as I make them so it's hard to step away and look at them dispassionately.

    But I agree with you that the first picture has a lot more warmth--and I would say character, as well--than the original photo. It says more about how the porch makes me feel.

    You're right about the second version's greenery going yellow. I had trouble with that hue, but I think it lends a certain edginess to the picture. The blue/yellow- green/high texture of the piece all serve to push it deeper into the realm of a mixed media piece.

    The monochromatic version is the most problematic for me, probably because I mostly create with colours, but I do like the "oldness" and sense of long history it suggests.

    Thanks so much, Margaret for taking the time to consider each picture so carefully. It's lovely to have you back making the rounds.

  11. The porch looks wonderful- makes me want to visit your friends for a long porch-sit (maybe with a nice glass of wine). I really like the first two versions, and don't mind the color shift at all. What actions did you use? I agree with you that the monochromatic version doesn't work as well, but I think it's due to a lack of contrast in the original photo. Great job; I'm a photoshop-er too!

  12. Sharmon,
    A glass of wine would be just the thing for a nice afternoon of porch sitting, but I think we'll have to wait until spring now.

    I'm a bit foggy about what actions I used on the pictures...I know that the blue popped up when I used Exclusion as one of the blending modes. I used a few textures from some of my collages and paintings, as well as cracked paint I'd photographed on a wall. I get so involved in trying different blending modes and adjusting levels, saturation, etc. that I tend not to pay attention to what I'm doing but just go on how I feel about what I see as it develops. Isn't Photoshop FUN?!

  13. absolutely love these images! what fantastic work!!! fabulous!!!

  14. Gypsywoman,
    Thank you for your enthusiastic response. It's good to feel your fire again.