I decided to try two things tonight, one of which is way outside my comfort zone. The first is a place where I feel quite comfortable, in the technical world of photography. The second is in the realm of writing, an area that I have great appreciation but little confidence. I have been struggling conceptually through this whole year of the Making it Daily saga. I am making art each day but I have not been able to pull together a real body of work that speaks of me. I am making art each day, drawing, painting, mixed media, illustration or photography but I am not speaking about anything of much depth. My big goal in this last semester of Making it Daily is to change my approach to my art making and to build something of substance. I have slowed down my production to focus on bigger pieces even though it may not be as interesting for our readers. The next step is build some ideas or concepts to play with. How can I generate these ideas, reading, research, writing and sketching/testing.
Tonight my plan was to do my daily art using a photography process I have not played with in a while, light painting. This is process requires that you work in a pitch black room, with the camera on a tripod set to a long exposure or the bulb setting. The photographer typically wears all black, including a black gloves and long sleeves. Many photographers neglect to wear all black only being concerned with their hands and sleeves not realizing any color will bounce light and color into the shot. The photographer is armed with a flashlight or the very expensive light painting tool (a flash light can work perfectly). With the camera set and focused on the tripod, lights out, the shutter is clicked and the photographer takes the flashlight painting light on the subject. I used a couple of old sculptures for this image. I did many different versions painting happily with light. My exposures were 30 seconds and I used a simple small LED flashlight. I equate this to burning and dodging in camera rather than in the darkroom or Camera Raw for the digital era.
When I finished with my light painting I decided to go downstairs to look at my old creative writing book from my freshman year. I have kept it all of these years as it was the basis from a very unusual English 101 experience. At the art school I attended we focused on the creative part of writing and less on the technical aspect. I wish I had more of the technical but I adored the freedom that “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg provided. I had the book in hand and I opened it to a list of writing prompts. The first one on the list was this:
“Tell about the quality of light coming in through your window. Jump in and write. Don’t worry if it is night and your curtains are closed or you would rather write about the light up north –just write.”
I found this quite interesting that both my writing prompt and my art choice involved light and light quality. So I decided to just write a free write list about the lighting of light painting. So here it goes.
Flicker, flutter, and skim around the background of bumps, textures and line. Do I hold or move massaging the light into the crevices and corners of cement? Pulling light into the eye and around the brow. Girl Scouts playing with flashlights, creating creepy faces with the lighting below and the shadows above. I use this example teaching lighting, how to create good lighting and avoiding ugly shadow forming on the face and neck. Soft lighting, continuous. flickr flutter with the clunk of the shutter closing the door to the light
Just a shorty