While walking another section of the Erie Canalway Trail recently, I came up with a lot of terrific images. A few were downright awful, but not too many ... and this one, a messy blur, seemed to have some redeeming value in the bare, forked branch you see here. More to come as the body of work grows and begins to gain a little more - no pun intended - focus!
"Childhood" digitally manipulated drawing & photograph by Mick Mather original drawing by Leighlund Ruth Vincett - click on image to view full size -
The weekly theme at Thursday Challenge this week is childhood. One of the sub-themes was play and this photograph of my granddaughter doing just that in her sketchbook seemed a perfect fit. After putting her drawing through the paces at the Secret Visual Laboratory the finished manipulations were knitted together. As I look at this, it seems amazing that she was just 4 years old when she drew this selfportrait ... well, maybe it isn't a selfportrait, more likely it's Cinderella or the Little Princess, both of whom she adores.
"Hat, Coat, Umbrella" digital collage by Mick Mather
All things considered, I can't complain too much about the weather. It's been a warm, dry spring thus far and we could use a few days of steady, soaking rain. A good thing too, since it's here to stay for the next few days.
"Selfportrait of the Artist with Emily Haines" digital collage by Mick Mather
It's been so long since I've added to this series that I had to go to my back-up disks to find out where I am! Let this be a lesson to those of you who haven't been backing up work and files to set aside however much time it takes to do that ... and soon! Moving right along, I've recently discovered the Toronto, Canada-based band, Metric, and their most fabulous female singer, EmilyHaines. Love at first sight springs eternal, yes?
As this first, unofficial weekend of summer comes to a close, the anticipation of the actual arrival of that season and another few months of vacation begins for most kids. In spite of our current state of affairs I'm certain that I'll soon be hearing a familiar paean, "Life is good"!
Times are hard and pickings seem slim. Recently, as I was perusing the help wanted ads, an appropriate opportunity popped up and I wonder how many people will be after it. Either way, the advert itself was scanned, layered with a MEN WORKING icon and put through the usual paces at the Secret Visual Laboratory.
"Kate in the Background" digital collage by Mick Mather
Whenever I look at photographs with the intention of creating a collage, the background, more often than not, is what I find more interesting. Such is the case here with the added benefit being that the multi-layered, finished product resembles two dear friends of mine ... ahhh, the wonders of the super secret array! :)
"Cracked" digitally manipulated fractal flame by Mick Mather
The theme of the week at Illustration Friday is cracked. Not so long ago I posted a few images in the Database Series that fit pretty well, but I've already used them. What to do? A search of my fractal flame files was rewarded with a piece that I knew would work just as well after a detour through the Secret Visual Laboratory. I'll be off for a few days, although you're not likely to notice ... in the meantime, please keep those who fight for freedom in your thoughts and prayers over this Memorial Day weekend.
"Trees I" manipulated digital photograph by Mick Mather
The theme is trees at Thursday Challenge this week. I should say, and any who've followed this blog for any length of time can agree, I have plenty of images from which to choose for this topic. Not wanting to drift too far into the obvious, it occurred to me that a recent photograph taken in the living room - of some interesting patterns of light - also features an old photograph of mine. Standing in a cheap, paper frame just beyond a most interesting floral candle, is an old shed. It sits, perched beyond the crest of a hill, among a small stand of mature, experienced oaks. Their position and the battered, well used demeanor of the shed gave up one of my favorite double entendre titles: "Over the Hill".
"The Fabulous Red Cloak" digital collage by Mick Mather
I've been in one of my "playing around" modes ... trying new filters, doing different things with old filters, employing old methods and turning said old skool ways upside down. Today's post is one result of this annual spring renewal and sudden flurries of activity. Sorry to say, I must dash, later dudes!
"Stimulus Package II (Purple Mountains Version)" digitally manipulated photograph by Mick Mather
I was fiddling around with the Disintegration Collaboration photographs for Part II of Seth Apter's project. It's a lot of fun seeing what one can do with a simple photograph of a piece of string and todays post took a distinct left turn from what I thought I was creating. Anyway, here's another of the series of digital prints that will be revealed on August 1st.
"Cold Streets" digital collage by Mick Mather - click on image to view full size -
Nothing special or fancy with today's post. I've been playing around with the normal assortment of 'found' images and an old manipulation tool that I was never quite proficient with until the last month or so. Too, the days here have been sunny and almost perfectly warm while the nights have been breezy and cool ... too cool? Not for me.
"I Ate All the Candy" cut & torn paper collage by Mick Mather - click on image to view full size -
I went to The Everson Museum of Art last night for a series of exhibition openings. At the top of my list (since I had a secret of my own) was the Post SecretExhibit. I've known about this project for years and always promised myself to send Frank Warren a secret of my own. Well, in a round about way, and with the sort of community spirit that was, I believe, originally intentioned, I've done it.
This week's theme at Illustration Friday is contagious. While doing some thinking and a bit of research it happened that this image is somewhat reminiscent of Mary Mallon, a cook who infected 53 people in the early 1900's. After 100 years, is society likely to be so afflicted again? As the recent flare-up of the swine flu, a rise in cases of malaria, tuberculosis and polio seems to indicate, the answer might be yes.
"So Big the Sky II" digitally manipulated photograph by Mick Mather - click on image to view full size -
It's time for Thursday Challenge again. If I'd had my wits about me, I could've used this image for big, the theme for this week. In some ways, I'm kind of glad , otherwise I may have continued to pass this particular piece by. I'll be posting the first version of this at No Matter What Shape-The Archive and you can see that one here if you have an extra minute or two.
At the lunch hour again today, my plan is to walk the Gere's Lock section of the Old Erie Canal from the opposite direction. As I focus on this particular walking art project, today's post seems like it may be in the running for the documentation book cover. Sorry, I'm off again!
"A Set Director's Midnight Dream" digital collage by Mick Mather
Lot's to do today and most of the week so forgive the hit 'n run posting that's sure to be the rule for the short term. Before I make a run for it, this image should be viewed to the tune of Don Henley's "All She Wants to do is Dance".
"Stimulus Package II (Circle IV)" manipulated digital photograph by Mick Mather
I'm already hard at work on the sequel to Seth Apter's project, Disintegration Collaboration, with a series of digital prints. These will come into existence as manipulations of a series of photographs I took of the only bit that remained from Stimulus Package I, a piece of string. You can see the original photograph at my other blog, No Matter What Shape-The Archive. I've also begun toying about with the idea of creating a sculpture that will use the string as a foundation, coating it with plaster and shaping it as I go along. Then what? Out into the wild again for further disintegration? ... and he scratches his head!
"Waiting for the Parade" digital collage by Mick Mather
Parade is the theme at Illustration Friday for the week and this post is one of a series of images I was working on as I sweltered in 80º and 90º heat at the end of April! So, our lovely beach bunnies are left, as am I, waiting for the parade of summer at the beaches ... still a month or so away by my reckoning but it's getting better every day!
"Apple Blossom Time" digital photograph by Mick Mather - click on image to view full size -
Today was the perfect day to document spring, this week's theme at Thursday Challenge. As I was enjoying a short picnic lunch along the towpaths of a one mile-long section of the old Erie Canal, I came upon an apple tree firmly rooted within the course of that aged, neglected and overgrown, waterless waterway. I think today's post is more than fitting, enjoy.
"After John Mora" digitally manipulated fractal flame collage by Mick Mather - click on image to view full size -
When it comes to inspiration, my blog roll features a few dozen individuals that have earned the right to sit where they do. I visit most of them every day and one of the more recent additions, John Mora's TYPOS.DAYLIGHT.FATE, has been playing with my head for months! Well, as I was aimlessly tottering about with a few fractal flames, my favorite digital drawing program and some of the usual suspect plug-ins at the Secret Visual Laboratory, up jumps the devil! It's impossible for me to deny the influence, John, so I dedicate this piece to you ... and, by the bye, it might be fun to see where you might take this after running it all through your chop shop! There's no urgency or pressure here, it just sounds like fun from where I sit.
I've said it before, sometimes images take a left turn along the way and take on a life of their own. That's what happened here and it ended up as a bit of a spoof on hairdo's specific to the 1960's and 1970's ... at least, as far as I can recall. Tongue-in-cheek here, enjoy!
It's that time of year again when the pretty girls are out walking, shopping or engaged with a cup of coffee and a good book at lunch hour. Book reports are due at the end of the week ... what are you reading right now?
"Stimulus Package I (Before & After View)" digital photographic composite by Mick Mather - click on image to view full size -
For those of you who may have missed yesterdays post of my final documentation of "Stimulus Package I" at No Matter What Shape - The Archive, here's a before and after composite. We now know that the next step in the Disintegration Collaboration is to take what's left of our individual projects and create something new. I've already begun playing around with the photographic record with an eye toward creating a limited edition portfolio of digital prints, more composites and who-knows-what 3D object will escape from the studio.
"Hierarchy" digitally manipulated fractal flame by Mick Mather
Something fun for this week's Illustration Friday theme, hierarchy. I ran an old fractal (that seemed a good, abstract fit for an ascending order of things) through the usual array at the Secret Visual Laboratory and posted it here for your perusal. Now, I'm closing in on the cocktail hour ... cheers!
In its short-sightedness, blogger has turned its back on those of us stuck with old operating systems and I'm forced to find a new blog host. You will now find MickMathersARTblog at Blog.com - use the direct link found in the masthead and remember to update your bookmarks.
This place will continue as another archive for a large body of my work. As many of you know, my primary medium and working method is digital collage composed of manipulated photographs often combined with digital drawing & generative images.
Netlabels, bands and musicians can view samples of my CD Cover Art at Mick Mather Illustration located on Tumblr.
In another life I was an Arts & Culture consultant specializing in revitalization planning through creative public art projects and programs with Economic & Community Development Departments of towns, villages and cities. In these hard financial times this work is more important than ever and I still accept consultancy inquiries. You can contact me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org