Marisa D. Aceves. Where (Wear) It: Chain Stitch. digital photography.

Textured waves gently emerge from the darkness. They roll and twist like desert dunes straining to meet the light.  A discerning eye sees unexpected landscapes. The mind travels to hidden places yet to be explored.

In the midst of necessary remodeling and summer cleaning, I decided to use my wardrobe as inspiration for my next abstract photography series.  Lighting these objects to create the right mood, state of mind and illusion was a challenging endeavor.  There were times when I really wondered whether a certain object was interesting enough to photograph. Finally, I committed to the series and faced the technical and compositional problems that presented themselves during each shoot. Some artists that are not photographers seem to think that all a photographer needs to do is find a worthy subject and just snap a picture. They do not always respect the fact that each photographer has to instinctively know what will make a good photograph and from what angle they need to take their subject in order to engage the viewer.  Just as other artists have their tools, photographers also have to learn how to use their equipment to get the best results. This is a process that can take years to master.

Furniture That Looks Like Exotic Landscapes

Abstract pic of Sofa

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

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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.

The Fastest Way To Nowhere: Creating Without Intention


Marisa D. Aceves. Satellite 3: Uncharted Landscape: Dune 1. Digital Photography. 2014

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Let’s face it, when it comes to creating art, sometimes we encounter a serious mental or emotional block.

When we’re desperate for answers to our general lack of enthusiasm and productivity, we search the internet for websites, blogs, art magazines etc. that are willing to address this issue.

Eventually, we discover a general pattern in the advice that we receive from some of these sources.

This particular advice is as follows: “Always show up each day to work in your studio. Don’t be afraid to play with your materials to get over the fear of creating art.”

However helpful this advice may seem, it is only useful if you consider one very important point:

All the playing and experimenting in the world won’t help you unless you create with intention.

What is “creating with intention?”

When you create with intention, you create with a specific artistic goal in mind before you begin experimenting with your materials.

This particular goal will help you to define how and in what way you play and experiment with your materials.

For example, let’s say that you want to create a series of  urban landscape paintings, but you are unsure as to what colors that you want to use. You might play/experiment with color scheme in order to decide what type of mood that you wanted to convey with your work.  Executing small painting studies with several different variations of either warm or cool colors might help you to achieve this goal.  Painting studies might also be used to determine which composition you find most interesting or pleasing etc.

In these two examples, “playing/experimenting” would be considered effective in determining the final version of  your urban landscape paintings.

In the above example, I used painting, but this same concept could be applied to a variety of different mediums, sculpture, photography, drawing and digital art.

There are some people who say that it is “freeing and fun” to just paint or create without any worry or concern about the end result, but I disagree with them. Sooner or later, you will be driven to seek meaning and purpose in your work.

When you finally do decide to create work that you want to share with the world, you will find that you can’t do so without both an adequate understanding of the basic foundations of all successful art (line, form, shape, composition, etc.) and a specific goal in mind.

Creating without intention is to create without purpose.  While that may have it’s momentary joys, creating with intention, (though sometimes challenging) is far more rewarding.

If you have any questions about this post please let me know, I’d love to hear from you!




Abstract Landscape: Desert 1247


To mix things up, I decided to gather objects from around the house, particularly ones that I had used in previous pictures to create an entirely different abstract landscape. I decided to experiment with a different kind of camera. I used one of the settings from one of the modes on my small phone camera to achieve this look. People sometimes get the mistaken idea that if they don’t have a $500.00 + camera in hand, that they can’t take a decent picture, but that is simply not the truth. If you study the history of photography, you find that people have taken some of the most interesting pictures with small pin hole cameras that they assembled themselves. While I will agree that owning expensive equipment is never a bad thing and that many excellent photos are taken with professional quality cameras, it is nice to know that you can experiment with a variety of different cameras to create different effects. Never pass up an opportunity to create your art. The conditions are never perfect, so be creative and work with what you have.