The artwork above, "Who Among the Angels Will Hear Me?" is based on a photo of a concrete cemetery statue (likely mass produced) in a small cemetery in Duluth, Georgia. Oddly, this statue is not a grave marker. Instead she stands under a beech tree all by herself. What is truly astounding about the statue is the detail, which is the kind one would expect to see in a marble statue. The face appears to be modeled after a real person. The title of this work, Who Among the Angels Will Hear Me? is a reference to a Rainer Maria Rilke poem.
I created the background for this artwork by brushing a cleaning solvent on an old National Geographic magazine. The cleaning solvent melts the ink and often creates beautiful painterly effects. I then photographed one of the pages and combined it with the photograph of the cemetery angel in Adobe Photoshop.
I have created a whole series of digital paintings based on statues and sculpture (some of which are my own sculptures that I use as props). Over the course of producing these artworks, they have grown to look more and more like paintings and less like photographs. In fact many visitors to my studio refer to them as paintings until I explain the process.
The whole process of creating an art photography/digital painting can often take 10 to 20 hours. I will tinker endlessly with different combinations of filters and effects in Adobe Photoshop until I achieve a result that pleases me. Often I stumble on a composition or an effect totally by accident. I’m really terrible about taking notes on the process of each piece, but in the end, each piece is different, and the Photoshop effects that work on one artwork will most likely not work on another. The reason for this, I believe, is the level of serendipity that occurs in the creation of the National Geographic “melt” backgrounds. After I photograph the background I frequently tweak or completely change the color in Photoshop. I will also turn the background in various directions to see what works best.
Tannery Row Artist Colony 554 W. Main St. Buford, GA 30518