Today, another little glimpse of artful goofing to re-imagine an existing piece of my work. I almost never tire of reworking/revisiting my old artworks from time to time. In part, it’s a way to critique and edit my stuff and see how I can grow and change over time. Mostly, it’s just good technical practice–a little bit of re-training my eye and hand and, when I get lucky, learning a new skill or two. In this instance, I took another of my pipeshade designs done in 2007 in preparation for Martin Pasi’s carving the wooden screen panels for his Winnetka instrument and I did some Photoshop playing with it to turn a pair of the panel designs into a merged single image and then ‘hand coloring’ it digitally to redefine it as a wholly new looking picture.
The whole Winnetka project was based on the church’s part of the collaborative team’s desire to have their organ artwork reflect local character. Since Congregational churches don’t tend to wish to fill their worship spaces with traditional religious iconography but rather prefer a more generally meditative space, so it made sense to aim for a design more simply nature-based and reflective of regional beauty. I decided to incorporate some of the Illinois state symbols into the design. This pair of panels featured the state bird, Cardinalis cardinalis–the Northern Cardinal. Is a cardinal too religious a symbol? Oh, that’s right: not a Roman Catholic church. Okay, cut me some slack.
Not really necessary to elaborate, is it. I just decided to show you the Before and the After versions today, and dispense with the intermediate steps–they’re not entirely thrilling to see, being a series of steps mainly devoted to converting the graphite drawing to a crisp black ink-outline appearance (only moderately laborious with the help of Photoshop) and then using my digital ‘coloring crayons’ to fill in the blanks to create a full-color version. This time, I opted for something much more cleanly graphic than yesterday’s reworked image. Who knows what happens next time? That, in fact, is the fun of both making art in the first place and then, in having the option of revising it, maybe even more than once. Can you say, mercurial? Nahhh, we know that I’m still just a big kid with a short attention span. No need to dress it up. I’ll just spend the dress-up energy on the art, if you don’t mind too much.