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

All content herein copyright © Lynne Ciacco


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Abstraction

Bonnie of Pixel Dust Photo Art has presented a challenge to create a piece of photo art using two of her free textures, plus one or more original images to create an abstract piece of art.  How could I resist?


This was the final result.

What is often really engaging about a piece of abstract art is how the mind seeks quite desperately to find something identifiable within the canvas.  If we cannot identify something recognizable then we at least need to sense an emotion that the abstract field provokes within us while viewing it.

In this composition, I cannot help but see a bird standing on a twig or log by a bog or some sort of body of water.  Do you see that? Does it jump right out at you on first viewing?  But it is really only a suggestion of something that is not actually there.  Our mind creates the story and shapes the image from the abstract.



Here's another version.  You can see the original elements of the photo more distinctly.  It was merely a pitted, scraped wooden board.  But the additions of textures and adjustment of layer modes in Photoshop change it into something quite "other."



This is the original photograph, 
straight off my camera's memory card.  
I must admit, I find it very pleasing just as it is. 
It's a pure abstraction but the lines, shapes, textures
 make it pleasing, at least to my eye.

What about you, dear viewers? 
 Which version speaks to you?
Do you see something other than a bird?
Once I said "bird" was it possible to "unsee" it?

To view other's abstractions, do pay a visit to 
Bonnie's virtual gallery. 

***
For those who want to know:
Process of picture transformation--
  1. Adjust levels of original image for greater contrast
  2. Add PDPA's Dropped Petals texture @ 67% Multiply
  3. Add PDPA's Splash of Gold Texture @ 70% Pin Light
  4. Add PDPA's Bamboo Dream Texture @ 58% Overlay
  5. For blue version, add Solid Colour #eddfad @ 80% Difference

36 comments:

  1. These really are true abstract- mine tended towards semi-abstract. I like all three - but the middle one I like best. I like the way you have used almost neutrals so that we are drawn to the texture.
    In the first one I saw a book on it's side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorik,
      I find that really interesting that you're drawn to the second version. I was torn about which one to post in Bonnie's "gallery" but went with the blue as I felt it was a little more amorphous and, thus, abstract. The browner-toned one is more "natural" in its neutral tones.

      I see what you mean about the book!

      Delete
  2. Beautiful and serene. They look very oriental, I prefer the warm colors of the second print. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    Replies
    1. Gracie O,
      Bonnie's Bamboo Dream texture really helps enhance the Oriental feel of the piece. I thought the suggestion of shapes and subject matter was a bit "zen" so that's why I was inspired to use that particular texture.

      Delete
  3. my first thought (before reading your text) also was the bird... like a (little bit plump) heron standing on one leg on a twig in the water. yes, our brain seeks for the concrete, and maybe it prefers what we like best (or sometimes what we are afraid of?)... who knows how our subconscious works...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Johanna,
      You're so right: our subconscious works in mysterious ways and sometimes reveals feelings we'd perhaps rather not bring to light, or surprises that we're delighted to discover.

      Delete
  4. I like this excellent abstract textures and colors, is wonderful in all three versions ... good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leovi,
      I appreciate these words from a real master of abstraction such as yourself!

      Delete
  5. I first saw a turtle half submerged in a pond, now I see the bird. I like the first best - but all are absorbing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helena,
      I love that idea of a turtle half-submerged in a pond. It keeps with the "zen" and "nature" feeling of the piece.

      Delete
  6. I love the strong abstract feel to these.

    Mollyxxx

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    Replies
    1. Molly,
      Thanks! I guess I could have pushed it to an even more abstract level but I liked the suggestion of a subject.

      Delete
  7. All three are beautiful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anki-itte,
      I am so pleased you find beauty in each of them. Thank you.

      Delete
  8. I was drawn to it cause it resembled a bird standing on one leg. It didn't look abstract to me at all, but I'm a nature nut.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gwen,
      I did hesitate to call the piece "abstract" but I guess it is an abstraction of the idea of "bird" rather than an actual rendering of a bird. When I look at the board without any Photoshop tinkering I love the pure abstractness of the shapes and lines...and yet, I see a feather there (must have birds on the brain)... We get along well you and I: a nature nut and a bird brain!

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Pat,
      Thank you for your visit and kind comment. It's always nice to receive encouragement.

      Delete
  10. i thought it was a heron too and once seen like that it is difficult to see something else. Even in the original picture I see a bird, not a heron, something smaller.
    I really love what you have done here and will try to look for more abstract in patterns and shapes. Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miriam,
      Isn't it fascinating to see how one's brain focuses on an image/concept and then can't let go of it? Once an image has been named it's stuck with that identity. I'm very happy if you've found some inspiration here on how to look at the world around you a little differently. That's what one instructor in art school promised we'd come away with, and I think it worked.

      Delete
  11. The first one speaks to me because it has such a strong atmosphere, a softness that I like. Yes, the bird became real but again the first one kept everything rather translucent. The second one I could make out more parts of the whole and the third was clearly the clear view of what is. Nice ride...thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blue Sky,
      "Translucent" yes, I like that description of the blue-toned image. Not quite defined but definitely present. A watery,fluid sort of atmosphere? I think we're on the same page with this little exercise. Glad you enjoyed the ride and sights en route.

      Delete
  12. Beautiful and interesting work... interesting words too. I see birds, and books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ö,
      Ah, perhaps the picture is about a book on bird-watching! I'm glad you found things to please you here.

      Delete
  13. When I first saw the icon I thought it was a bird, it wasn’t until you pointed out that it started out s a pitted scraped wooden board that I started to see it as something else. It’s a really neat piece in that it started out abstract and ended up looking less abstract in the end. Both images are beautifully done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kris,
      Yes, it's a bit ironic that in doing an exercise in creating something abstract I actually ended up making the abstract form of the original picture more representational in the edited piece. But I'm glad you like the results, nevertheless!

      Delete
  14. such an interesting photo as it was, SOOC, and then your additions and adjustments made 3 distinct works of art. I appreciate all I learned here about abstract art and abstraction itself. really remarkable!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Currie,
      I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed seeing the evolution of the SOOC image. I'm not sure how accurate my thoughts about abstraction may be, but that's the way I see it.

      Delete
  15. Before I read anything about your piece I was drawn to what I assumed to be an image of a bird standing on a book. - I am amazed to realize now this was just a piece of worn wood. Absolutely wonderful editing here. All the versions are great but I think my favorite was the blue toned version. It has an air of mystery about it that I find appealing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ida,
      I love that you immediately saw a bird standing on a book! It really shows how the mind needs to identify something new and make it familiar. Thank you for your kind words about my editing. I think your description of the blue version as having an air of mystery is what I like about it as well, though I hadn't thought of it in quite that way.

      Delete
  16. I find it almost impossible not to see a bird or a wing. I really appears to me as an Egyptian hieroglyph,the bar below feels as though it should also have meaning......a nest ....... or jeweled pin .........

    Ruby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruby,
      Oh what a wonderful interpretation--an Egyptian hieroglyph! So true, and it never occurred to me. Yes, it should definitely have a meaning. I wonder if the Egyptians had a bird god that represented learning, such as Athena's owl? That would be appropriate. If not, let's say they did!

      Delete
  17. Oh my - it is sweet to see a real artist at work. You have such a great eye ... I was surprised to see the sooc ... after viewing the images that you processed, I was sure there was a bird there, albeit a seemingly headless one!

    This post is such a good 'lesson' for we aspiring artists to keep an eye out for the myriad abstractions that can be found in nature.

    All three images speak to me, but if I had to choose one to hang on my wall it would be the first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, Bonnie, you've just got to squint a little harder at your computer screen: see? the bird has a head, even an eye and a beak! It's just that he has no neck; but you know how birds pull their heads down into their "shoulders" when they're cold or sleeping? See it now? (Okay, so there's a wee glimpse of what it's like to be in my head. Lots of echoing space for my imagination to roam.)

      Markings on stones, boards, walls, table tops, etc. etc., all provide a wealth of fodder to play with in making an abstract piece of art. I have lots stored away to use for textures (still unprocessed) but I think they could just as well be viable subjects in themselves. Thanks for giving me a good reason to finally bring one out of my "vault"!

      Delete
  18. I immediately saw bird and twig before reading your words. i like number one and number three the best. so interesting what you can do with photoshop and an inventive mind.

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    1. Sukipoet,
      ...an inventive mind or too much time on my hands in conjunction with a lack of self-discipline and a slight obsessive/compulsive artistic disorder? Interesting that the bird/twig image was immediately apparent to you. I'm glad you like the original photo as well. Really, I think I prefer it, in the end.

      Delete