On Saturday April 29 I joined Ann Elizabeth Rea live at a Hangouts on Air Interview talking about the Making Art Making Money Semester. Check it Out!
London’s Ephemera – Art Brightens Our Spaces
Art does so many things we take for granted. Art on our walls brightens our spaces, focuses us, even for a few seconds. I find when I gaze upon my favourite art on my walls it immediately calms me if I feel frazzled and refocuses me on what really matters. Art helps us commune with our spirit, and the more we allow ourselves to be exposed to it the more possible it becomes to bypass (and turn off) the incessant mind critic, that censor that would like us to believe we are wasting our time and that other stuff is more important than art. It’s impossible to contemplate art and be agitated or worried at the same time.
Art is connection.
This photo artwork, London’s Ephemera is is composed of several of my original photographs and the theme is London a new take on some famous London icons, then made the centre of a new piece of artwork and transfered on to stretched canvas. Many different textures are layered on to make this piece and I used the rough plaster and paint textures to bring out the background. This was a fun piece to do. London is probably the most photographed city in the world… which makes it an interesting challenge to express a slightly different vision that lines up with the one in my head and stays true to my artistic mission. So, in London’s Ephemera the blue watercolour sky represents lightness and hope and freedom, while the red London telephone boxes are about communication and endurance (there are still old red telephone boxes about in London and I find I take photos of them where ever I tend to find them). The photograph of St Paul’s Cathedral was blended in; this is one of my favourite pieces of architecture to shoot and it represents many things. In this particular artwork St Paul’s is representing endurance, victory, safety, faith and history… especially as it was almost destroyed in World War II. And of course I have climbed the 160 odd stairs into the tower at the top, so I think that gives me some bragging rights! Anyway, part of the wonderful thing about art is that it is whatever the viewer wants it to be.
My mission is to remind us all to cherish our experience and memories. Art can gently remind us of those experiences. It can also be past experiences we’ve loved in the past,places we love, things that made us happy,or wistful, homesick or even sad. It’s all about the emotions. Most of all art makes us stop for a while. I find sometimes that time, life even, seems to fly by in a mad rush, where every other demand other than our own seems to take precedence. (As I write this I cannot believe we are in mid-March). Perhaps we need to stop and smell the roses a bit. On my recent visit home to London, my memories brought back mainly positive happy feelings. Some things have changed but in London some things stay the same. I took photographs and shared them with others in a new group I’d joined who knew what I was feeling (because they are Brits abroad as well) it was very powerful in a way I hadn’t expected. And that was another experience for me, a reminder that our memories are important to us and that we also share experiences and feelings with others and it is part of what unites us. That’s why my photography and especially my photoartistry is a big part of my memory keeping and connection. Nostalgia, yes, however modern-nostalgia as it’s connected to the present (not least by technology that allows us to share our memories and experiences with others almost instantly).
Is there a name for this feeling of “Oh I know exactly what you mean, and how you feel”? If not there should be.
Coming up next: A cool way to share my art. You will love it.
See London’s Ephemera here
Ancient and Modern – Tower Bridge and London Assembly Building
Ancient and Modern – Tower Bridge and London Assembly Building is the name of one of my latest composite photoartistic creations. It’s a composition I did as part of a project to represent the interesting theme of juxtaposition. It was particularly challenging because juxtaposition has to have context and be somewhat recognizable and real and at the same time be strange enough to take you a little bit by surprise. Which meant I had to create the context – ancient and modern architecture. Another way of thinking about juxtaposition is “opposites” or even “related opposites.”
To make this composition I combined several of my photos and used many blending modes, masks, paint elements, brushes and some vintage to contrast the old Tower Bridge and the very modern glass London Assembly Building. I extracted the people from another of my London urban photographs and they, along with the colour palette helped to make the overall feel very spacey and other worldly. Perfect for my theme. Photoartistry gives me a lot of creative freedom with my photos with a theme like this I had to work backwards and keep the original brief in my head in order not to stray into the realm of the surreal. And when collecting the ideas and the artistic materials, it’s critical to think of how they all work together. At the same time it’s important to play and have fun. Art is creating something completely new from disparate bits if necessary, and a vision. Thankfully Tower Bridge is instantly recognizable so it was a great place to start (plus I have many photos of Tower Bridge). I was very fortunate to have taken some photos of the London Assembly Building too(the architect is the same one who designed the Gherkin another of my favourite London buildings) and in fact this is a blend of about four of photos taken at different times
I never quite know how a final piece will turn out so as with all my work it is a question of whether I am moving in the general direction of the inspiration. After that it’s a question of trying different things and then deciding when to stop. The best feeling is when I feel what I call “the shift.” The only way I can explain this feeling is that it’s a time during the creation of a composition when everything just flows. I may have 100 layers or I may have 10. There is this shift when trial and error moves into a kind of knowing, in that I know exactly what I want to go where and for each element of the piece. It’s a fantastic and exciting feeling… and often it can appear after some days of working on a piece. It happened on “Ancient and Modern,” I just never know if or when it’s going to appear. In an update I will talk a bit more about my thoughts on juxtaposition. In the meantime, Ancient and Modern is an addition to my urban theme of Britain and iconic British icons, again with some emphasis on architecture given a grunge treatment.
Own this print – it’s available in a range of different finishes, including fine art paper and even wood prints. I created it with canvas wrap in mind though – I find the canvas makes the textures really pop and brings every single element to life. Browse or purchase in the artstore.
See more art on NickyJamesonPhotography