Monthly Archives: December 2010

Rabbit Makes Snow Angels

The second in my new series of Angels is finished, I like my process in these compositions. Amazing what one can do with a small editing program and a ton of persistence. When I grow up I hope I can afford to purchase Adobe Photoshop at some point, that is some expensive software!

I love angels and what they mean. Everyone defines angels a little differently and I like what each person brings to the experience of looking at these altered images which have become angels.

  Doing these pieces is an interesting exercise because I am looking for the exact open moment in time when a person is caught in the perfect pose for my images. So, friends and loved ones I will be prowling and looking for your photographs to angelicize you all before I'm done. And here is my Snow angel at the end of the school year last year, growing up fast at the age of 12.

 

Altered t 

 

Rabbit sez Christmas can be fun(ny)

For the viewing pleasure of my non Facebook friends I am posting these antidotes to Christmas blahs. I hope the Scrooges and the folks that adore Xmas enjoy equally! More as I create them from my collection of old B/W photos.

Christmas wishes 
yes, he got her a vacumm cleaner…

 

Peepswithdog 
The dog has big plans…

 

Puppy prezzies 
My dog Nellie's ancestor I'm sure

 

Too much sugar 
The effects of too much sugar in the Santa line

 

We believe 
The girls have been into the eggnog again…

 

Playing With Fotos Can be Fun

In between chasing the new puppy and keeping up with puddles, I keep working away at figuring out the art of building  photographic images with layers on my MS Digital Image program. Alas, I am too po’ to afford Adobe at its rather large price of about $400.  It amazes and intrigues me to see what I can accomplish by manipulating an image even with my poor imitation Adobe product.  If I can make something completely new from disparate pieces,  it transcends tourista snapshots and becomes art –if I do my job right.

My brush is a mouse and my palette is point and click. Scissors are “moused” with a line and bits and pieces are electronically moved around. Filters can take the whole thing to the next level along with tinting. It amazes me how much time this building process can take. This piece, Angel Baby, after the old song, took over three hours. This is my son Tor in one of his graduation photos. I love these pictures and how they capture a moment in time so completely. 

I have a whole collection of angel photos from cemeteries and statues around the US and in Europe for my personal reference and a raft of pictures  I took from Pere La Chaise, the ultimate cemetery, in Paris , France. In this piece, the background is the old French cemetery and the wings are from a bird. I threw in a diffuse glow with a brush on the background and in layers on the foreground after tinting it sepia and adjusting the lights and shadows. Putting the layers in was crazymaking  and getting it all to sit on the background I chose was an excerise in patience.

Angel
 Angel Baby, very James Dean vibe in this pose

These pieces are intended to tell a story in one swoop, sort of photographic poetry for me. I am really attracted to the romantic side of art/life, at least for visits. Living there would be tough, but I love the flavor of other times and places in my work.

Everyone I know had better hide from me and my camera because one of my winter projects is to catch me some angels…

Rabbit’s Inexpensive Ideas for Christmas Dex

I love getting maximum bang for my Christmas buck. I'd rather spend the bucks on a nice bottle of cognac to sip while enjoying the holidays than expend hundreds of dollars on things that are ephemeral to say the least. In otherwords, when January one rolls around I want this stuff out of my life for another year.

Valentine tree 

Decorating idea: leave your tree up until February and hang hearts on it.

 I have never been one of those people who have a tree still up in February, its poor little skeleton shedding needles like a bad dandruff commercial.  At least hang a few hearts on it and go for the Valentine's day thing. My granpa was Scottish-Irish, which probably explains a great deal about me, but he had a few notions that have stuck to all of us. One is the first footer, the first person who comes to your house on the New Year brings your luck for the year so you'd better hope its not a bill collector. 

Another familial quirk is the superstition–but is it superstition? hmmmm…..that however your house looks on New Year's day is how it will look for the rest of the year. This resulted in insane cleaning frenzies the week after Christmas in my family of origin during my youth. I have relaxed from that stern Methodist stance, but the tree is down, the decorations are packed and the house is clean on New Year's day. I guess I can't escape my genes but I can modify 'em.  I am not cleaning closets and cupboards like my ma used to do, you can only stretch crazy so far before it snaps.

Which brings me to another of the so-called Scot's traits. Cheapitude, thrift, I prefer to call it clever myself. I love, love, love Christmas lights. I have clear lights on my horrible but wonderful Kiwi hedge year round. Think kudzu vines for the northwest to visualize our ongoing struggle with control over the hedge. I keep clear fairy lights on it because they remind me of fireflies in the summer– and this way I don't have to undecorate that part of my world. I just replace the lights once a year–when everyone is clearing out lights after Christmas I go buy a whole ton of them and rathole them until a net burns out. Net lights, the light fairy's gift to me. I love those things.  

Lights 

Bring the Christmas lights inside the easy way

Here's a quick idea to bring colored lights into the house that is fun, bright, quick and easy. Joanne's , Michael's, Wal Mart, anywhere you buy your Christmas lights has little bitty strings of lights for a little bitty price. I buy a bunch of them and save them all year long. They are only about two bucks for a string of 20. Get out your favorite vases, pitchers, empty wine bottles, any container that lets light shine through. Pop a string of lights in the container, plug it in and you have instant Christmas color. Put 2,3, or more together and you have a festive arrangement.

For anyone who is trying to figure out what the heck the thing in the middle is–I have collected sheep statues forever. Two of them date to my childhood in Germany, one I picked up in France, and so on. At any rate, I just took a cookie sheet covered it with moss, lots of that in the Pacific Northwest,  and plopped the sheep on top, shepherds abiding in their fields, etc. Terry is making me a gigantic metal star out of our tin ceiling stash to go on the wall behind the sheep.

In the summertime, put your lights in wine bottles and put them in a group for party lights. You can usually plug 3 strings in one on top of the other and then into your extension cord, surmounting the only drawback, which is the short cord from the neck of your container. Tip: don't leave them out in the rain to fill up with water unless you intend to toss your light strings after use, don't even ask how I know this….

Hydrange 

Glittery dried hydrangea

If you are a gardener or have access to hydrangeas, some of them dry beautifully. Cut them in the summer when they are at their best and hang the bunch upside down where its breezy and dry. I hang mine from the ceiling of the studio and just leave them there. This Christmas I pulled the bunch down, sprayed the heads with good old Aleene's spray glue, and glitter queen that I am, doused them in clear glitter. They are gorgeous tucked into the tree and look frosty and sparkly.

 You can do the same thing with those cheesy 'silk' flowers we all refuse to toss out. We know they should be useful for something. Try roses or lilies or cheap poinsettias glued and glittered. Even silk ivy is beautiful. Transformational! I wouldn't suggest daisies or things that are too glaringly  spring-like, there is something  way too odd  about snow covered daisies. We all know I like odd, but snowy daisies is one glitter bottle over the line kids.

I'm off to the studio to glitter more snowballs, good old tennis balls wrapped in batting and tied up with bows, and I'll lead some little snow globe glasses; this time for my tree and gifts for friends  instead of the tree that ate Cleveland. I have some for sale too, that part is fun!

Note to self: go buy some really nice cognac today…

 

 

Next Year

My friend Emily loaned me Maira Kalman's amazing book/journal/experience the Principles of Uncertainty. Highly recommend it, what a delight. I have decided my fun project for next year is to create a blog entry at least once a week–more if I can, that will have an original drawing or illustration to go with it. I'll have to create a new category for it so friends can track "Schrodinger's Kitten"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger's_cat

Heisenberg came up with the original uncertainty principle in physics and Schrodinger came up with the absurdist quantum physics (very confusing and detailed–see the link if you want more) thought experiment that a cat in a sealed box could be alive or dead depending on what happened or did not happen in the universe.  Life is kind of like that, we are either dead or alive in our world depending on what happens in our own personal universe.

Schrodingers cat 

Sometimes we are alive and feeling dead, and sometimes we are absolutely dead but feel very alive. Are you following where I'm going with this? So Schrodinger's kitten will be a lavishly illustrated and terribly philosophical chapter of my journal/blog for 2011, depending on what I feel alive or dead about next year.

 I used Microsoft paint for this silly kitten,  I like paint, its pretty primitive and suits the kid in me perfectly sometimes.