Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Somewhere They Are Smiling. Computer Montage.

Here is the final version of this series exploring the idea of a lineage descended through seven generations of sequential mothers. It is also the last of this series using Photoshop as a tool in creating montage.

This generation of women were placed in the foreground, while those of past generations were depicted as a reflection in an antique store window. The dress and bouquet on the youngest member of this matrilineage were also created using layers in Photoshop. The various faces shown were drawn from various stages in their lives, and the final version does not depict a single moment in time.

Each version of this series was carried through in the spirit of joyful play, with the ideas spurring me on, through multiple time-intensive steps. (Computer art is not less time consuming, nor is it easier, and no, the computer doesn't do the art work.) But for me, the use of Photoshop has become second nature, and is used like any tool using paint or pencil, minus paint fumes.

In spite of working with the computer, I frequently return to other traditional media, because those forms can do things the computer cannot. I use my hand-rendered images interactively with other media and photographs within Photoshop to create a final result. Computer art allows an artist to save each step, to be used in multiple new ways in new images later on.

I invite questions if I have not gone into enough detail. My aim here was not to overburden anyone with too much information, but to say enough so someone else working with a computer could explore some of these techniques. I would also love to learn what others have discovered in their artistic journey.

Images and writing are the exclusive property of Ruth Zachary.

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