Monday, April 17, 2017

Being Wen Redmond

That's just wish-fulfillment, of course. What I'm actually doing is imitating Wen Redmond. I recently bought her Digital Fiber Art. I've admired her work for years but hadn't realized how much she uses Photoshop to get her wonderful, colorful, complicated, layered images. Immediately I wanted to fool around with some of my own pictures in Photoshop to see if I could get similar effects.

After fooling around with Photoshop-generated backgrounds, I decided it took less time to make a colorful collage and scan it than it did to mess around in Photoshop trying to make one part of the background look like painted lace, another like torn paper, etc. I made a couple of quick and dirty collages using spray adhesive and my copious collection of paper and fabric scraps.

This is a snapshot I took in New England, of a deserted house under bare trees.

Next I applied the Stamp filter to get a strong black and white image.

I cropped the picture so that the large tree on the right was the dominant image, overlaid it on the pink collage using Multiply blending mode, and cropped again.

This weathered door was another snapshot taken in New England.

Because I wanted to keep the peeling-paint texture of the door, this time I didn't run it through any filters; I just overlaid it on the yellow collage. What? In overlay mode, what else?

I like the subtle, mystical effect of the overlay blending mode here - the door seems to be floating in space. Cutting away the image on either side of the door and inserting a contrasting layer made the floating effect even stronger. This cut's not perfect, but good enough for experimental purposes; if I decide to print this one onto fabric, I'll select the sides very carefully before doing anything else, and try out filling them with different colors and textures. I'm thinking a dark, cloudy sky might look good here.

And finally, here's a snapshot of a jali in Udaipur, layered in Multiply mode over two layers of the yellow collage (one rotated 180 degreea) and the top collage blended in Difference mode.

Nothing so great here, but with a bit more fooling around I think I might come up with something that would be interesting to print on fabric and then to embroider/bead/quilt.

2 comments:

  1. WOW! I too bought Wen's book but too busy here in Florida to do anything with some of her techniques. Your photo's and your process are really cool! Love the house pic end result. Really cool!!! Jail is great too!

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  2. Maybe you'll have time to play with them in Michigan?

    She's got a lot of great suggestions for printing on unusual surfaces and how to coax them through the printer, too; I haven't tried those yet...

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