I bought my first computer, a Macintosh, in 1995. Although I had spent years working in the varied media of painting, collage, sculpture and woodworking, the computer fired my imagination in ways I’d never experienced before. The computer, plus a scanner, made it possible for me to utilize textures, or the representation of textures, in much the same way I had while working in collage, but with one major difference: using the computer I could enlarge, reduce, colorize, distort, etc. the captured image. Images could also be layered in various ways and numerous compositions tried before committing to a final version.
My digital abstracts begin with the photographing of natural materials and objects. Anything with an interesting texture catches my eye: weathered brick, cracks in asphalt, rocks, broken glass, stucco, leaves, etc. These images are then taken into Adobe Photoshop and saved as patterns. As patterns, they can be applied to selected shapes and areas of any other image.
The initial image that will eventually become an abstract work could be anything from a photo of my cats, people at a flea market, cars lining my street, etc. I then use the numerous tools in Photoshop to alter the image in a variety of spontaneous ways. I never know quite where the process will take me. Hopefully, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Once the process has brought the image to a place I’m happy with, I choose certain areas and shapes within the image and begin applying various of my previously collected patterns. Some of the selected areas and shapes will also be given highlights, drop shadows, etc. to give them a 3-D appearance. Each piece requires numerous steps and of the literally thousands of possibilities, I must select the few that give me that “aha!” feeling.