I’ve been mesmerised by images for almost a month now, to the point where words on Beautiful Railway Bridge seem to have evaporated from the page. I didn’t intend to get hooked on images. The first one was just an innocent Philosoraptor on July 3, an attempt at meme-play because I could, enabled by a new reconditioned MacBook and a drawing program on NeoOffice. Moan Lisa’s Art Akadamie on Google+ got me started, drawing hundreds of impressionable wannabe artists into an online program that showcases their work. And I already had a gateway activity that fed into art, in the form of photography. But still representational, no messing with the picture. As someone who dropped out of art school, how could I resist this opportunity to dive deeper?
I thought the craving was under control. Another Philosoraptor for G+, and a labour of love in Excalibur for Dummies. This cartoon has been sitting on various hard drives since the mid 90s, in the form of a pdf file with huge amounts of white space and the cartoon squeezed into a corner. Now, with the ability to crop, I could display it properly.
It went downhill from there. Hedgehogs, bison on G+, and the addition of words to my own pictures followed, but nothing could have prepared me for the horror of collages. It was inevitable, I suppose, what with Picasa having that tempting button – create collage – and my finger itching to press it. I’m here to tell that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
The first was Collage, under the umbrella heading of ArtyFakts, a tag designed to warn off readers who couldn’t take any more. Even in my present degraded condition, I am capable of some fellow-feeling. I was charmed by the magic of repetition, all pop arty, and the range of colours and effects I could inflict on you, dear readers.
Crass Commercialism came next, followed by a new, disturbing element in my work – sadism. I unleashed my personal daemon - Chucky - on the world in nine different versions. One would have been unnecessary. The most egregious instrument of aural battery is Shop Window Confusion, which began life as an innocent picture of a square reflected in a shop window. Perfectly acceptable in the most respectable home.
What did I do with it? Made it into an eight panel collage, in jarring colours and effects, that make your eyes go doolally and leave afterimages when you look away. Because I could. Mea Culpa!
But perhaps the most disturbing are Double Vision and Richard of York, examples of what you might call my gross pathology period. I used an optician’s photos of my own eyes to produce a composite image of both eyes looking left, right, up, and down. Then, in Richard of York, reproduced it in different colours. Last week I went for an endoscopy (mouth end) and only just stopped myself from begging the doctor for photos.
In any 12 step program, it is essential to apologise to those you have harmed. I do so now, unreservedly. This is my penance. While I cannot promise to cease and desist from further ArtyFakts, for the craving is still too strong, I will write a 500 word blog post every day. In so doing, I may find a way back into the sane world of words.
Thank you for your support.