Orchid

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Orchid I see you flying,                                                                         Up through Sun and space                                                                     growing tall and twisting,                                                                     bricks and tiles supporting. ..

I don’t know why I like making these pictures from ordinary photos. I feel like they are alien views of life. If you had faceted eyes you may see things like this. In fact human and animal eyes project an image upside down on your retina. The brain has to turn it the right way up. The same thing happens with a telescope, the image you look at is upside down, but how many people look through a telescope?

The orchid is new, its in our kitchen, but the cat knocked it off the cupboard and although I have put it back in its container its looking a bit poorly. I think its too cold.. I’ve got some new orchid medium so I’m going to re pot it.

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Grey man

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Actually green man, but I decided to see what he would look like in black and white.

I took the photograph at Salts Mill in Saltaire, Yorkshire, about 4 years ago.

Green men are found all around the country, representing the spirit of the fertile world?  I guess so. This one was a design on a large gardinere in the Salts Mill complex. I think he is probably a Victorian design. There us something quite disconcerting about green leaves growing out of his mouth. It reminds me of when a was a child, when I was told if I ate apple pips an apple tree would grow inside me!

We also visited a green man shop in Pickering, in the north Yorkshire moors a few years before, and came home with a tiny green man and a plaque of a lady surrounded in sea shells and seaweed. I’m not sure exactly where it was, I think it was near the railway station, in the centre of the town, it may have closed by now.

I like painting green men and women, there is a succulent power in them, green and verdant.

 

Youdraw pictures

Imagine a website where you can only draw in a small oblong in portrait mode. Imagine you only have a thick and thin black pen and a thick and thin white eraser. Then imagine drawing complicated images with only these tools.

That’s Youdraw, I don’t go on it anymore because my old computer is defunct and my tablet does not let me use a proper stylus pen.

The images above are my drawings, taken from the site and then changed in Photoshop so that I could colour them.

I found it captivating to be able to use the site to  draw so many ideas. The shape was better suited to portraiture, but you could fit landscapes in, abstract ideas, botanical images, anything black and white. Some of the artists there could draw incredibly detailed pictures, one person at least built up a huge interconnected picture of 100 images, maybe more.

If you go and have a look at Youdraw.com you can see what is there now.  I’m not sure if its still taking images. The plan was to collect 500,000 drawings to publicise the population explosion on Earth.

Hopefully I will go back and draw there again one day.

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Surreal canal

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Using the Layout app from Instagram, I created this surreal image using a photo of a local canal with a strange thin building projecting upwards from what appears to be a circular or oval pool, the water was so still it had a lovely reflection on it, and this has added to the final picture.

The building is the edge of an old, derelict, warehouse that stands like a cliff face next to the canal, in the past ware from the pottery would have been transported from the pottery, south and east to the Midlands or north and west to the coast at Liverpool or up to Manchester and beyond. In fact Stoke-on-Trent lies at the heart of the canal system, and was built around the coal, clay and water of this area. Manufacturing of pottery, steel making and coal mining was on a massive scale here. Industrial archaeology will reveal the landscape as an amazing historical treasure trove of creativity. Some of the buildings were lost to demolition and decay, many bottle ovens have gone. The rest have protection orders on them, but are not necessarily being maintained. Warehouses and factories are crumbling. It is sad that history is being lost.