Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Daily bit of creativity, #010: Bad Art

This is not good. Well, I think it’s good, but it’s really not.

Yesterday morning I got up really early and began working on this piece. It went through a lot of changes before I began feeling it was coming together. I prepped it for uploading to Fine Art America. Named it "Ecliptic Shadows." Keyworded it. Wrote a description.

My final step is always to look at the image at 100% to make sure I’ve not accidentally cloned something improperly, to make sure everything’s in focus that should be in focus, etc.

And that’s when I discovered my mistake. My big, big, mistake.

This is a photomontage, and the big brown semi-circular element is a scan of a monoprint, a print I’d made using a gelatin plate. I’d painted an image on the plate and then, before the paint dried, pressed a piece of clean white paper onto it, transferring the paint from the plate to the paper. It looked good!

My mistake was that in pressing the paper onto the gelatin plate, the paint you see toward the top of that circle was thicker and it squished down more than the rest of the paint. So even though the print was scanned and perfectly in focus, that squished area looks soft. Really, really soft. It’s a sharp image of a blobby section. It looks out of focus.

I had spent hours on this photomontage. I was finally satisfied with it. But in my rush to create something, I was careless. I should have examined the focus on that section of the circle before I did anything else.

I thought I might be able to fix it. But damned if I was going to rip the whole thing apart and spend more time at that point!

So here I am this morning. I tried a number of tricks to fix just that one layer, and none of them worked. I have to give up. It will never go on sale at Fine Art America. But it’s GREAT as a teaching tool!

And the lesson is this: Before you jump into any photomontage in the future, puhleeze check all the elements to make sure they’re sharp if you want them to be sharp, soft where you want them to be soft. Don’t wait to check until the end of the whole process, when your energy is depleted and your hopes dashed.

You do not want to begin your day with dashed hopes! Think I’ll go watch a cat video…

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.

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