Saturday, January 29, 2011

Final Thoughts - Nellie

The piece that best exemplifies all of my creations for this year long challenge to interpret a chosen photograph is this one of a scene in Annecy, France submitted by Beverly.

"Under the Bridge" 13" x 17"
Fabric, tulle, mono filament thread,
oil stick pastels, ink-jet printing
The physical elements that comprise this interpreted picture are a combination of my signature "ortwork" technique with an ink-jet printed portion of the actual photo. The piece is readily recognizable as my style as well as the particular place presented by the photo.  It represents my perceived intent of these challenges for the group.  The line of thinking for my approach to these challenges is akin to how musicians interpret, or translate, a musical score ... a successful interpretation being one that's recognizable as the composition written by the composer.

I very much enjoyed the monthly adventures in exploring possible view points and techniques to meet the challenge.  One direction that was new to me, and that I took often, was using the computer as a design tool.  Previously, it had only been used to check out the values of a composition by converting a photo to black and white.
Otherwise,  it was used to edit and store photos of my work.  I learned to utilize the Photoshop Elements program.  In particular, experimenting with the image in all the various "filters" to get a different view ... to gain a mental distance from the actual image.  And, too, printing those results or portions of the photo onto fabric is another aspect of the computer I had never done before.  In the piece pictured at the top of this post two copies of the building's reflection in the water were printed on fabric.  They were cut apart into serpentine shapes and recombined to fill in the width of the piece.  The butterfly in this piece is cut out from an image I found online and had printed onto fabric ...

Using the computer is now added to my "tool box" of skills and will be readily considered in making future work.

You may have noted that all my pieces are the same size, 13" x 17".  The first one, my self-portrait, just happened to end up those dimensions.  That size fit the place mat setting for the plate of Chinese food of the first photo challenge, so I used it again. After that, I designed each piece to fit this format either in a vertical or horizontal orientation.   A consideration for an exhibition of all these pieces was part of my thinking, too.

The piece that I had the most fun with is this one.

Before taking part in this challenge I had never considered working from a photograph.  Now I realize that it's possible to incorporate my view and techniques to make a unique piece that still relates to its source.  This success, plus enjoyment of the challenge, makes me consider the prospect of doing commission work ... something to which I had previously said, "NEVER".

I will miss being a part of the monthly reveals.  Finally letting everyone see what had to be kept under wraps for the month was as exciting as getting to see my fellow participant's results.  I loved that!

Photos and brief descriptions for all of the interpretations can be found on "Nellie's Page" (clickable).  At the end of each month's description is a link to the full post for that particular piece.

Photos of each month's challenge are also posted in my Flickr Album.


  1. I enjoyed seeing all your interpretations and your style did shine through on each and everyone.
    I thought Nelliephant was such a hoot! Still makes me smile.

    I think you chose right with "Under The Bridge". It is fantastic and the technique you chose for the reflection is so inspiring.

  2. I will echo Barbara here in stating that your obvious style of work was very clearly represented in all the pieces you did. I felt you consistently and thoughtfully considered each picture and its alternatives before interpreting it. You produced a strong portfolio of work. Congratulations!

  3. I liked the way you were able to combine various techniques and yet always produce a piece that was recognizable as yours. Keeping them all the same size was an excellent idea too. They would make an interesting, unified exhibit.

  4. All of the pieces when viewed together or seperately certainly stand out as your work.That is important when creating a body of cohesive work. "Under The Bridge" is a great example of your signature style.

  5. Your style always shined through- I think I could pick your work out of a lineup! I learned a ton reading about your thinking and your processes, thank you for that. I agree, you produced a strong body of work over the year. I loved each and every one of them.

    I also learned that making a consistent size has its benefits- a lesson I will be putting into practice this coming year.

  6. I tried but I couldn't decide on a favorite. I have instead this medley/collage of what I love about your pieces that comes from your artistry and unique attention to detail, and the ineffable joy I feel when looking at them. I decided it was okay as it is a Ort-view of your work: clean plate, confetti, black lace, glasses (both pairs - I may go back and check that butterfly!), your technical mastery of water, two-sided strata, and moonlight! Brava!

  7. Oh I am partial to Nelliphant! I love the humor! But agree that the bridge is a wonderful cumulation of your techniques. The end result is a 'Nellie' quilt!

  8. I have really enjoyed your work each month and seeing how you pushed yourself to try new techniques. I have three favorites but believe "Under the Bridge" is my favorite. This is just beautiful seeing them grouped together like this. The variety of techniques is growing and growing. I can absolutely see why you will miss this.


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