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Last spring I got some “snow in summer” flowers for free on clearance at Greg’s Garden’s over in Longview, and promptly took some close up shots with my new-to-me macro lens through my front window screen because the light on them was so lovely. I had read (on the canon website I think) that there is a way to take photos through obstacles like that and have the camera focus them out, So I was experimenting with trying it out.  It’s a bit tricky to do and I don’t think I quite have the knack down,  but it sure would be convenient to not have to take out the screen every time I want to snap a shot of a beautiful sunrise or sunset through the window.

Around the same time I learned about  and started experimenting with using my macro lens to take texture shots for use in my photo editing process. This really yields some dramatically beautiful results. While I was in the process of applying layers of my texture photos to my snow in summer close up shots I came across a video on twitter about artist James C. Christensen. I wish I could find it now to include here because it was really good and influenced the development of this piece.

One of the things that got me thinking during the video is when he talks about how he had all these sketches he “did for fun,” but never thought of selling, of these comical figures and one day a fellow professor said to him why don’t you paint those and sell them? He replied, they’d never sell, there’s no market for it, nobody else is doing anything like them . ..and then it hit him  like an epiphany that THAT was his niche. Once he started painting those subjects in that style that were unique to him, that’s when his art sales really started taking off.

So I got to thinking about “what is it that makes my work unique? what is my niche?” In doing several of my digital works of art/photo-manipulations I have had a lot of fun putting in and discovering “faces” that are kind of semi there with forest lore/fairy/nymph/ mythology symbolism and I thought “maybe that could be my niche?” So I went through my texture photographs and tried out several different ones with faces in them and started over several times because it just didn’t have the right feel.

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If you want to see some other works like his I have other blog posts about them here:
marriage of Titania; Salmon berry floral duet   Aeriel’s Gift
snowflakes and a bit about textures  Midsummer Daydream, water soluble oil painting

Once  it got to the point where one of the flowers resembled a blue star or nebula it called to mind something I had read recently about a group of stars anciently that were named after the Hyades who wept when their brother died. However, somehow I got it mixed up in my mind with the story of Hercules and the Garden of the Hesperides with the apples that were supposed to give eternal life, but which were guarded by a dragon (which is interestingly enough “serpent” in Greek.) I also liked the name Hesperia and found fascinating how similar the thematic and symbolic elements in the story are to those in the Garden of Eden. Even though I was a bit mixed up at first, the star bit still fits in since the father of the Hesperides is supposed to be the god of the evening star in some stories, and even without that there were stars named after them.

Honestly I’m still not sure  if this is my niche or not. For one thing, I got tired of working on this one several times and set it aside for months and months at a time –although that might have more to do with my frustration with the tedious process of blending the edges of the dragon on the computer (yeah I know I should really get one of those Correl paint tablet things for my computer), and for another thing I only put these transparent layers,  with “faces” created out of abstract textures and shapes, into my digital art rather than any of my more traditional artwork. Perhaps it is just too early in my artistic career to tell what is going to be the best niche for me. For now I am going to keep experimenting, learning, and having fun along the way.

What do you think?

garden of the Hesperides by Dawna Morton
garden of the Hesperides by Dawna Morton
~see it framed

In this work of digital art, a semitransparent dragon –like a fiery furnace of hot molten glass–curls around fiercely, menacing and breathing fire, and poised to strike the warrior Hercules who dares to approach Hesperia’s garden in search of the precious apples there. Multiple layers of abstract semi-transparent, translucent shapes and textures overlaid on a floral photograph create an ethereal milky-way like scene in which  a starlit night merges with a garden where a larger than life profile of Hesperia’s face is overlaid on the apple tree in such a way that she appears to weep.  Beyond her, one of her sisters gazes in wonder at a blue flower, nebula-like in the glorious process of creation.

Although vastly different in scope and meaning, similar symbols, elements, and themes in the story from Greek mythology echo those of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. This calls to mind the idea that history tends to repeat itself,  and much like our predecessors we have our own ‘dragons’ to vanquish, sorrows to overcome, and quests to undertake, and victory to be won all while finding moments to create or discover “joy in the journey.”

Archival inks and papers, canvas prints,custom framing available on imagekind Fine Art Prints from $10.44 and up. Prices subject to change.
garden of the Hesperides on RedBubble cards starting at US $2.40, photographic prints US$6.60+, matted, mounted, canvas, framed, posters, shirts, stickers, iPhone & iPod cases prices subject to change.
garden of the Hesperides on zazzle.com western Posters and art starting at $9.95, prices subject to change

*NEW* now on fineartamerica.com

Any other artists out there have anything you can share about what you have done to develop your style, discover your niche, and make an income from your art business?

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

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This is the painting I entered in the Columbian Artists Association 36th Annual Judged/Juried Spring Show (June 18, 2012 to June 27, 2012 at the ROSE CENTER FOR THE ARTS Lower Columbia College, 1600 Maple Street Longview, Washington):
Womans Autumnal Twilight Serenade by Dawna Morton
Woman’s Autumnal Twilight Serenade by Dawna Morton~
see it framed

A country girl in a white dress and cowboy hat pauses to listen to the sound of the wind before continuing to fiddle a serenade. Autumn leaves fall peacefully downward through the dark, but tranquil forest in the background, as their silently drifting shapes create an air of magical wonder —glowing in the light in their downwards spiral towards the forest floor. As the wind flutters her dress and her hair, it also picks up the notes of her music from her inward ear, and carries them afar to the world.

For a peek at the painting as a work in progress see my album on facebook
Archival inks and papers, canvas prints,custom framing available on imagekind Fine Art Prints from $10.44 and up. Prices subject to change.
Woman’s Autumnal Twilight Serenade on RedBubble cards starting at US $2.40, photographic prints US$6.60+, matted, mounted, canvas, framed, posters, shirts, stickers, iPhone & iPod cases prices subject to change.
Woman’s Autumnal Twilight Serenade on zazzle.com western Posters and art starting at $9.95, prices subject to change

Woman’s Autumnal Twilight Serenade on fineartamerica

I first got the idea for this painting when I was cleaning up some gentian violet that spilled all over the bathroom counter. I made the mistake of setting the wadded up  cloth diaper which was used in the cleanup on the edge of the bathtub–which just made a bigger mess; however, when it was removed later I noticed the stain left behind resembled a cowboy hat, and upon closer inspection I saw a cowgirl playing a fiddle in my imagination. There are photos of the stain in my facebook album also.

I took a bunch of photos of the stain from all sorts of angles , and set them aside to use as a reference later before cleaning the whole thing up with a bleach spray. Then when my friend Heather suggested I should enter the competition, I thought this would make a great painting for my entry.

With a bit of a folksy feel, this painting has come to have a spiritual meaning to me. The wind can be symbolic both of trials and of the Spirit. Notice that the Tree in the background looks gnarled and weathered and bent by the winds that have beset it. We are like that sometimes, our past and the trials we’ve been through sometimes they make us feel all gnarled up inside, and we have to move beyond that and find healing. the leaves falling and glinting in the light symbolize change and the beauty of shedding the old so we can put on beautiful and tender new growth when after the process of weathering the winter season. The woman in the painting appears to have found a moment of peaceful clarity as she listens to the sound of the wind (or the Spirit)– then after listening she begins to play what she has heard, what she has learned, so that the wind can then brighten lives by carrying its message through her music to the hearts of listeners throughout the world.

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

You can also find Dawna on flickr

 

Dawna’s Facebook Fan Page

Dawna’s RedBubble Gallery

Buy my art

Dawna’s tweets

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