CHROMA BLAST ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY Series: Household Collectibles That Have The Look and Feel of Water

CHROMA BLAST- WELL DROP

Marisa D. Aceves CHROMA BLAST: Well drop. digital photography

Check out more of my digital photography at acevesart.com

Another anxious droplet breaks the silent surface. Brilliant fuchsia, violet and tangerine erupt from its center as it radiates waves of energy. A small, imitation sun is born boldly and dies gracefully as the ripples settle.

My cousin, Stacey gave me these beautiful glass collectibles for Christmas.  I like them so much that I enjoy their beauty year round.  I placed the wire angel display for the ornaments in our office.  Occasionally, I will look away from the computer screen. My tired eyes will fall upon the angel and I will remember Stacey’s thoughtful gesture. So in honor of my cousin (After all, it’s her birthday today, so wish her a happy one!), I decided to post this on a Saturday, instead of my usual Sunday post! I sincerely hope that you all have a wonderful and restful weekend.

Furniture That Looks Like Exotic Landscapes

Abstract pic of Sofa

Marisa D. Aceves. Dune 1. digital photography. 2015

To check out more of my work please visit acevesart.com

Soft light gently caresses the weathered, wrinkled surface of this inspired desert landscape.  A new day begins.  The scratching, clicking, and chirping of unseen insects fills the air with natures latest symphony.

It was another one of those long, dreadfully boring evenings.  I grabbed my old college lamp with the adjustable accordion neck and attached it to the edge of the portable shelves.  Finally, we could settle down to read. Strong, warm light hit the surface of the furniture at just the perfect angle. A rolling desert landscape emerged. I lifted my phone camera up and tilted it so that the direct light would not obscure my view. Then, I took the shot. Some photos are just given, others require the occasional hunt or chase.

New Abstract Photography: Kitchen Supplies That Remind Us of Landscapes

Tinscape-Object 150

Marisa D. Aceves. Tinscape Object 150. digital photography.

Feel free to check out more of my work at acevesart.com

* Unfortunately, there has been a slight change in format because some of the features for my WordPress blog are not cooperating.  I kindly ask that you please be patient while I’m trying to correct this problem.

Shards of light dance excitedly on a fractured surface. The golden geometric mountain heaves and twists with each labored breath. Bits of bright poppy red and fushia explode like spring flowers as they bravely invade each shard of this well worn, knotty landscape. 

When I first noticed this object, I liked the way the light reflected off of its surface.  It seemed to gladly inherit the colors around it so that each shot had it’s own unique personality. Finally, I settled on this particular picture because I liked the warm color combination.  I felt the bright cheery color was as much a celebration of spring as it was an extraordinary exploration into something we are all familiar with, yet take for granted.

Kitchenware That Looks Like Sleek Monochromatic Abstract Design

Blue Equilibrium copy

Marisa D. Aceves. Blue Equilibrium. digital photography

To check out more of my photographs and paintings please visit acevesart.com

Small water droplets form upon the tinted, transparent surface. A rich blue-violet hue slowly fades in concentration as it travels upwards toward a semi-circular cloud of condensation. Two bold, brown and white figures sit in the upper middle of the composition, a curious clue to what lies behind the veil…

We had just finished our dinner. The object I photographed for this post sat right in front of me.  It had faithfully occupied the same space each evening of the week and yet I hadn’t considered capturing the qualities that made it unique and artistically valuable.  I like to imagine that it was patiently waiting there in plain sight for the time when I would see it from the right angle. Then resistance to it’s apparent charms would be futile.  There are 2 versions of this photograph.  In the version featured above, the color is more concentrated.  The other version, shown here, Blue Equilibrium-Dark copyis darker and the overall effect is more dramatic.  Which version do you prefer? I guess it all depends on your mood.

Styling Tools that look like Rhythmic Op Art: Abstract Photography-Obsidian Rhythm Composition 10

Obsidian Rhythm-Composition 10

Marisa D. Aceves. Obsidian Rhythm – Composition 10. digital photography

Feel free to check out more of my work at acevesart.com

As I gingerly opened my bathroom drawers, I noticed the plethora of specialized brushes, makeup wrappers, hair picks and other beauty paraphernalia.  The small drawers could barely hold years of accumulated styling tools.  I knew instantly that I had to engage in a little activity that none of us like to admit that we have to do, spring cleaning. Then, they jumped out at me.  They were small, black and had interesting ridges that were easy to notice when the light moved across their narrow surface. After taking several pictures with my phone camera, I realized that the results reminded me of many examples of 60’s Op art that I’d seen in heavy, college art books. The neutral black of the objects made it even easier to focus on the pronounced rhythms the lines formed.

It’s not always apparent which objects I should photograph. Sometimes I have to wait patiently until something speaks to me; then I have a visual conversation with the object I’ve chosen. In this particular case, the objects were small and thin. It took several to form the surface designs that would give this picture it’s defining quality.

New Abstract Photography That Reminds Us of Sea and Surf: Chroma Blast- Blue Crush Wave

Chroma Blast- Blue Crush Wave copy 2

Marisa D. Aceves. Chroma Blast – Blue Crush Wave. digital photography

 To check out more of my photography visit acevesart.com

 Several shards of light like tiny white arms push and stretch the blues and greens as they bend gracefully into a familiar curl. This isn’t the first wave nor is it the second, but it will have it’s time. Those brave enough to ride it will have spotted it immediately. They will see the waters subtle, seductive smile as she urges them to take the plunge. With hawk eyes, natural athleticism, and an unquenchable hunger for the unknown they will advance. Some will move cautiously; years of experience will have taught them when the time is right. Others will launch immediately, never considering the possible dangers they might face. With every atom of their bodies, held together with sound, they love the sport. It is, at it’s very essence who they are.

A couple of Christmases ago, my cousin Stacey had given me a pretty, decorative wire angel that was supposed to function as an alternative version of a tree. Several glass ornaments with simple, graphic patterns were included with the angel. Some were shaped like small droplets of water, others looked like spinning tops. The subtle patterns of light formed by the overlapping shapes resulted in some intriguing abstract photography. When taken out of their original context, some of the photos, like the one above, suddenly looked like familiar places and objects that many of us have seen or experienced.

Ordinary Objects That Look Like Curious Sea Creatures: Jellyfish 1

Loofa ]ellyfish 1 copy 2 small

Marisa D. Aceves. Jellyfish 1. digital photography. acevesart.com 

Soft perforated waves of fabric twist and turn as they gracefully emerge from the silent darkness that envelops them. Although this peculiar breed of creature can’t be found  in any of the vast bodies of water that populate the planet, it reminds us of the structure of life we might experience if we visited the oceans depths. High-contrast monochromatic treatment of this simple, widely used subject helps to enhance the illusion that we are somehow included in this rare discovery.

Earlier this week, I was busy looking for objects to photograph. I stumbled upon this object hanging out in the my bathroom with the towels, soaps, body washes, and countless styling tools.  At first I didn’t want to disturb it, especially since it’s undramatic, vanilla beige didn’t initially attract me.  However, I quickly changed my mind as I noticed the objects intriguing texture.  Since color was obviously not going to be the star of this photo, I chose to focus on line, shape and form. The decision to portray this object with black and white photography gives it a timeless, elegant feel.

NEW Abstracted Nature Florals: Old Rose- Abstract photographs of familiar flowers

Abstract Nature- Old Rose

Marisa D. Aceves. Abstracted Nature Florals: Old Rose. digital photography acevesart.com

Deep crimson petals slowly unfurl from the center of the small, delicate, drying flower.  Though the initial freshness of youth has gradually left this miracle valentine rose, she still retains the underlying structure that continues to draw us in and take our breath away. All it took was the proper lighting and close attention to detail that only a macro shot could provide.

My aunt Irma’s birthday was a day before Valentine’s Day and my uncle Jesse wanted to take her to a Valentine’s dinner at the military base. We attended the dinner along with my cousins Tanya and Michael, Michael’s wife Krystina, Irma’s sister Yolanda and her husband Cipriano. Before we left their home for the base, each of the women were given a single rose to pin to their blouses. When the event was over, my mother carefully removed her rose and gently placed it in a small medicine bottle filled with water. Occasionally, she would empty and refill the bottle to keep the tender rose from rotting. It lasted a week and a few days after my aunt’s birthday. By the time I had taken this picture, my mother’s rose had significantly dried, yet the majority of it’s petals remained intact.  You might say that with her extra care, it aged gracefully. I’d like to think that this photograph  represents the aging process of many of the great women we have all been fortunate enough to know throughout the years. While they may physically change as they mature, they still retain the inner beauty that makes them unforgettable.

How To Determine Which Color Filter Is Best For Your Photographic Subject

Bubble Landscape (Red)
Bubble Landscape (Red). digital photography. acevesart.com

If you have never experimented with the color filters on your camera or photo editor, now is the time to try this useful exercise.

You have already chosen a specific photographic subject, but you have to determine what your are trying to say with that subject.

Whether it’s line, shape, or color that you are trying to emphasize, one has to maintain dominance.

In this demonstration, we will be covering color filters and how they affect the look and feel of the photograph.

Example #1: Bubble Landscape (Red)

Here is a an example of a photo which I have previously featured on this blog:

Bubble Landscape (Red)
Bubble Landscape (Red)

Bubble Landscape (Red). originally featured a bright swatch of red that led the eye into the picture, but the color was a little dull. After adding a small concentration of additional red using the color saturation filter, the subject of the photo comes to life as the plastic bubble texture appears to be floating over a brilliant red plane. The unusual texture coupled with the intense hue  create a decidedly modern statement.  As you can see, color is the dominant factor in this photograph, but let us examine how the look and feel of this same picture can change when we remove the red color that originally drew us in.

Bubble Landscape (RED) B&W version
Bubble Landscape (RED) B&W version

In this next example of the same picture, all of the color has been removed from the picture to create a high contrast, black and white monochrome version. When the color disappears, our focus is centered on the lines, forms and values present. Now the photo has an interesting, conceptual, almost industrial feel. Form is dominant, line follows. Notice how the repetitive forms of the bubbles create rhythm.

Bubble Landscape (RED) Sepia

In the third example we will move on to the sepia filter to see how it effects the picture. The sepia filter gives the photograph an antique feel that seems in conflict with the modern lines and forms. Instead of looking like a piece of metal or glass, the sepia lends itself to a more scientific interpretation. The photographic slide feels more like a cropped petri dish or a sample of the eggs or scales of a 19th century specimen. Again, form is dominant.

Bubble Landscape (RED) Blue TInt

For this last sample I used a concentrated cyan blue. Form is still strong, but once again, color becomes the main focus of the photograph.  The cool, cyan blue reminds us of the ocean.  The small plastic bubbles suddenly  have a new meaning as they gradually begin to take on the appearance of a school of jellyfish swimming in unison.

Example #2: Ornamental Op Landscape (Rose) 

If you have been following this blog, you will immediately recognize this picture:

Orna-mental Op Landscape- Rose

Line, Shape and Form work together, but color steals the show. The metallic green half sphere in the middle of the design seems to bust forth as brilliant oranges, greens and  magentas radiate from it’s center. It’s the color that draws you into the picture. The photograph has a floral theme even though the subject of the photo is not a flower. Color saturation was used to slightly intensify the color.

Orna-mental Op Landscape- Rose B&W

When we strip the photograph of it’s color, we begin to notice the difference that it makes on the way the same subject is interpreted. Now, the object looks like a large metallic eye, staring intensely at the viewer. While it still has somewhat of a floral look and feel, an uneasy surrealist/sci-fi effect is immediately attached to the object. High-contrast monochrome (black and white) has been used for decades, but your subject will help you to determine whether you feel that monochrome is appropriate for your photography theme.

Orna-mental Op Landscape- Rose Sepia

A sepia filter is then added to the monochrome and the photograph looks as though it were taken in the later part of the 19th century. The unusual subject looks like the eye of an unknown cryptid (unclassified creature), perhaps a once thought extinct species of fish. As we have discussed before in the previous example above, sepia added to a photograph immediately appears to give it an antique feel that sends us mentally and visually back to the era of the birth of photography.

Orna-mental Op Landscape-Blue

Finally, we end with a cyanotype blue filter which makes us think of the regular, geometric shapes  of water crystals or snow flakes. The icy, rich cyan blue also mimics the effect of looking into a  well. The repetitive lines, and shapes pull us into its’ unknown depths.

In conclusion….

I chose the vivid color version of both of these photos, because I wanted to draw the viewer in with color first as many people have an immediate, emotional attachment and reaction to certain colors. Most people are not as attached or attracted to common everyday objects as they are to people, pets and favorite locations. The challenge of every abstract (non-representational) artist, particularly photographers,  is to develop people’s interest in things that they would ordinarily dismiss.  So drawing people in with dramatic color helps to create interest were there is none.

The other choices that we have covered are certainly viable options for both abstract and representational photographic subjects. It all depends on what you are trying to convey to the viewer. Is there an underlying theme to your work? This information is important to consider as you compose and edit each picture as well as entire essays.

Why Thinking in Absolutes is The Grinch That Could Steal Your Creative Christmas

Orna-Mental Landscape 1

 Ornamental Op Landscape 1. digital photography. 2015.

To view more of my work, please visit http://acevesart.com/

article by Marisa D. Aceves

Artists are peculiar creatures.

When you’re an artist, you use your active imagination to create works of beauty, works that  speak the truth, and question the nature of reality.

You can also use that same imagination to torture yourself by adopting a fatalistic attitude toward your life, artwork and relationships.

When things are going well you are able to reach your goals easily, colleagues, friends and strangers compliment you on your work and your confidence soars.

You tell yourself that you can go anywhere and do anything you please.

Life is beautiful because you’re the art star you always wanted to be.

This sudden surge of self-esteem leads you to take on an enormous and costly project that might be a little beyond your present abilities.

A series of things go wrong.

You try to shake it off, but you feel the irritation growing.

You’re over budget and your clients are breathing down your neck.

Nothing seems to satisfy them.

The project fails.

You kick yourself.

A barrage of negative thoughts run through your head as you try to recover what little self-confidence you have left.

Did you make a horrible mistake?

Have you chosen the wrong career?

Will you ever experience the high of success again?

In order to try to curb this relentless cycle of mental flip-flopping, you must learn to address the individual issues in your life and art business that cause you to view things from an “all or nothing” perspective.

While “thinking in absolutes” can’t easily be dismissed, you may take important steps to minimize the effect it has on you and your art business.

Here are some tips that you might find useful in combating this extreme form of thinking:

1) Stop Taking Yourself and Your Business Too Seriously- While it is important to be a responsible business owner, you can’t get so wrapped up in art production, awards and figures that you forget to focus on meaningful, positive relationships.  When artists fail to learn the art of communication, they don’t know how to deal with project failures or how to smooth things over with unsatisfied clients.  A great sense of humor goes a long way. If you can laugh at yourself and your past mistakes, you can gain the confidence to seek help when you need it without giving in to time sucking negativity.

2) Failures Are Not the End, They Are the Beginning of The Learning Process- When I am tempted to beat myself up over a failure, I try to recall the man that created the Dyson vacuum cleaner.  He went through several unsatisfactory models before he arrived upon the design that would eventually make Dyson a household name.  If you view your failures as just steps to finding out what will work for you and your art business, you will begin to see them as opportunities for growth. There is risk, as they say, in everything.

3) Don’t Underexaggerate or Overexaggerate Your Abilities- When it comes to your art business, know your strengths and weaknesses.  The success of a current project may make you feel like you can attempt anything, but you need to be honest with yourself about what you can and can’t do at this stage in your career.  If you are entertaining taking on a more complicated project, I urge you to do your research to find out if you have the skills and budget you will need to finish the project successfully.

4) Rethink your Business Strategy- When you are experiencing difficulty with certain aspects of your business, isolate those areas that are causing you the most problems and take steps to improve these areas.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help with organisation, business relationships, and artist technical problems etc. When you are aware that you are trying to solve a problem that has been bothering you for a long time, the anxiety associated with that problem may lessen.

5) Be Humble yet Hungry- Constantly bragging about your successes or thinking that some success makes you a master in your medium or genre sets you up for extreme disappointment once reality sets in and you begin to find out that you know a lot less then you thought you did.  Instead, let success motivate you to improve your skills while understanding that you don’t know everything there is to know about art.

6) Don’t Be Pessimistic, Be Positive Yet Realistic- I know there are probably many dreamers out there that would like to personally shoot me for making this statement. However, I believe that there is truth in such a suggestion. There is nothing wrong with a positive attitude or dreaming about what you’d like to achieve in the future, but reality teaches you that things happen in steps, not all at once. When you ignore this fact and something goes wrong (eventually it will), then everything appears to fall apart and you find yourself descending into negative thought patterns again. This only makes the situation worse. It is easy to fall into extreme optimism and propose pie-in-the-sky solutions, but when those fail, your optimism goes with them and you are ready once again to visit melancholy land. Be aware of all the obstacles that you will encounter as you learn the skills you will need to reach the goals that you dream about. Approach these in a healthy, but realistic manner, knowing that somewhere along the way, things are going to get tough.  However, you can seek the help, do the research, put in the hard work and practice it takes to overcome them. Unrealistic thinking and approaches to your art business set you back instead of helping you move forward.

7) Learn to Love Problem Solving – When problems arise, try not to give in to frustration.  It’s natural to want things to run smoothly.  When they don’t, it is easy to blame yourself or others around you.  However, every job has its difficulties.  Choose to start seeing obstacles as welcome challenges.  Each challenge offers you the opportunity to learn a better way to approach the situation you encounter.  The second time you experience a familiar situation/problem, you will know what to do about it.

The majority of extreme thinking results from an unrealistic perception of ourselves, our abilities and the world around us.

Once we understand how to properly view our current situation, we can come up with more effective ways of dealing with the problem of “thinking in absolutes”.