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

All content herein copyright © Lynne Ciacco

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Art Play

I have to fess up--I haven't been making much art lately but here are some variations on a page from the art-play book I made a few weeks ago from an old magazine.

This is the full page with paint and some collage on it.  Very quickly done, not much thought and no plan.

Here I cropped a section of the page and put some extra Photoshop lovin' into it. Seeing a waterfall behind a bridge that spans the centre ground,  anchored to a big rock on the right, with some bamboo leaves waving in the foreground at the top, (see what I'm talkin' about?) I added some lines with a digital paintbrush to emphasize this vision.

And here I really dug into my Photoshop bag o'tricks, flipping the original image on its side and adding a scan of a Tibetan mandala from an old calendar to add texture and the illusion of a collaged element.
I call it a Question of Balance, though I'm not sure how well the composition is balanced--the perpendicular line cutting the "canvas" kept bothering me, but I couldn't resolve it.
But that's okay, I'm just trying things out.
I'm always grateful for any opinions or reactions to my little experiments, should you feel moved to make a comment. You might be happy to know that I've removed the Word Verification hoop from my blogs.


I received wonderful reactions to some of my previous digital art from British writer Deborah Lawrenson awhile back and she recently did me the honour of mentioning my work again on her blog, Provence, The Luberon and an Old House on the Hill, kindly adding links back to the work that touched her.
If you haven't discovered her talented writing, intriguing stories, and glimpses into this beautiful area of France, do pay a visit to her blog.


Maxims of the Week are on hiatus for a time but they'll be back!


  1. Your Irish Buddhist friend, Bag O'Tricks, is a good collaborator.

    I like things done with a collage as a metaphor for life.

    I used to try to see myself as the result of a linear arrangement of coordinating parts of almost mechanical efficiency. But now life seems more like a pile of disparate elements that I try to arrange in pleasing shapes with small amounts of wisdom and whimsy. The meaning may be less what I ordain and more what is seen by others.

    Wait. Didn't we already have this conversation?

  2. Love this Lynne! This organic way of making art - looking for what emerges and going with it. It really gives free rein to the unconscious.

    As your previous commentor says, it also models how to live a life -working with what you have: turning things around for a fresh perspective, accepting the results though they may not be 'perfect'. If only we all learned at a young age that we can make art out of the givens of a life.

    In your last image I see the middle perpendicular line as the spine of a book and thus doesn't distract (for me) at all!

    You've inspired me to get busy today and make some art out of disparate elements of my life - literally and figuratively!

  3. DCW,
    Is the "meaning" of our lives, comprised of that hodgepodge of disparate elements that we try to collage into more pleasing configurations, no more and no less than others' perceptions of who we are? Can another ever truly "see" us? Essentially we are all the same, but it's those random elements and sticky bits that create the unique canvas that our identities are scrawled upon. Nothing linear except the perceived and inevitable march of time from cradle to grave...but my Irish Buddhist friend once told me over a pint of Guiness and bowl of rice that that march is also an illusion.

  4. Bonnie,
    I like your concept about making art "organically". I think it's a more apt description of the process than the usual term of "intuitive," which can sound a bit intimidating, though, essentially, is what's happening. Organic art gardening: throw some elements around like seeds and see what pops up. Of course, the seeds need some good fertile ground, which is the imagination. And what is imagination but letting go of the preconceived and allowing the fantastic to gradually come into sharper focus. What is art and life about but unveiling "what lies beneath"? Perhaps this is partially why we're so enamoured, you and I, of all those juicy layers of imagery/meaning/texture that we can create with programs such as Photoshop.

    I'm very pleased to hear that the vertical line in the last picture isn't problematic for you. One gets too close to the work and can't really see it anymore, so it's realy gratifying to receive another's perception.

  5. Before I read your text, I took the last one to be a tree or plant with the vertical line being the trunk or stalk. It's funny how the brain always wants to create something familiar for itself. It makes me laugh, but there it is. So I started spinning stories about the Tree of Life and so forth, inspired to bring home another new house plant. Viewing art is as organic a process as making art and a good piece inspires such flights!

  6. Stickup,
    I love your concept of viewing art as an organic process (esp. when envisioning tree trunks?)which is just as creative as making art. It is amusing to "watch" the brain scrambling to make sense of or spin stories around essentially abstract forms, which is a process I use in my art making. In fact, I spent quite a bit of time trying to incorporate a photograph of a tree into that background but, ultimately, it just didn't jive. Far better to let the viewer's imagination fill in the dots...or branches.

  7. The imagination you have...gorgeous art work! I wish that I could do such digital things also.

    Wishing you a wonderful, art-filled week!


  8. Gaby Bee,
    Thank you so much for your kind comment. We each have our own special talent and way of being/seeing in the world. I wish I could make lovely soldered jewellery like you. If we really wanted, we could each learn to play in each other's sandbox, at least enough to make some mud pies. And that would be fun!

  9. Something Japanese in your inspiration??

  10. Otli,
    Yes, you're quite right. Something about the composition reminded me of a Japanese landscape print so I tried to emphasize that feeling.