Thursday, November 18, 2010

Last night I dreamed that you came home

shot and processed iPhone 3GS

By now, some of you may have read my recently-published piece in Artful Blogging, that touches upon my experiences of adoption disruption and subsequent struggle with anxiety and depression. While I don't wish to define myself by what has happened to me, it did happen and has left me with a very sharp view of a particular emotional landscape. Finally, after three years, I've summoned the courage to redecorate what was my daughter's pretty, pink bedroom.The original plan was simply to apply a fresh coat of paint, but I ended up removing the paper on the wall around the window and will have to reline it. Now I'm attempting to paint the other walls, but the pink stubbornly refuses to be obliterated. Memories of preparing for our daughter's arrival come flooding back with every brushstroke and it is taking an age to transform the tiny space. My instincts are telling me that fresh paint is not enough, that I'll never feel comfortable in this room that is to be our home office unless I scrape off every last scrap of lining paper, go right back to the bare walls, and completely begin anew. This could be due to my innate belief in "doing a job properly" but I suspect a deeper motivation and need.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The leaves that are green turn to brown

shot & processed iphone 3GS

shot & processed iphone 3GS

shot & processed iphone 3GS

shot & processed iphone 3GS

This is my first post in over a month and the first one written from my new studio. It is everything I'd hoped for: there is (pretty much) room for everything and the space is light and airy but at the same time, a warm and snug retreat from where I can watch the seasons change as I work. This afternoon, twilight and raindrops are falling on our pond and clinging to the bare branches of the elder tree. To my right, I should be able to catch a glimpse of the hill, but shrouded in English Autumn weather, it has completely disappeared from view. A few weeks ago, I took a walk up there and shot the photographs that were the beginnings of the images posted above. The apps used were Toy Camera, PhotoFx, Iris and Photo Copier.

Monday, September 13, 2010



digital print
IPhone 3GS shot of erotic film-clip, cropped and processed iPhone 3GS
Textures by Les Brumes

Last week, we received notification that our planning application had been passed and so now, it's full-steam ahead! In front of our house, there are four tons of gravel that will be the new base and surround for our tool shed when we move it 2 metres further down the garden, to the very back of the plot where my studio is to stand. Sadly, the Honeysuckle has had to go because when the space was clear enough to allow us to measure up and draw an accurate plan, we realised that there was not enough room for my studio and the shed unless the studio was: 1. orientated across the plot rather than lengthways and 2. situated a lot closer to the pool/bog than we had originally intended. John, the unflappable gentleman whose company is building and installing my studio, coped very well with my panic attack and drew up a revised set of drawings in the hour he had before leaving work for a week's holiday. The new arrangement will be better because the the building will be wide and shallow, rather than narrow and deep, so more natural light should get into the space.

Those of you who have been asking how I make my iPhone collages may wish to purchase the Autumn edition of Somerset Digital Studio where I reveal some of the Apps and techniques that I use. In the side bar on the right, you'll find a link to where you can order a copy. Writing the tutorial was a challenge as I'd been asked to recreate a specific collage: one of my first. By some good fortune, the images that made up each stage of the collage's development had somehow escaped several hard-drive clear-outs, but I still had to recall and retread every step of what was quite a fiddly and complex process. I hope to write more tutorials: if you get sight of a copy, do please send me some feedback!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shadow Gardens

Shadow Gardens 01 & 01

digital prints shot and processed on iPhone 3GS: Photo FX, Iris & LoMob apps

Just when it had begun to feel like Autumn must be around the corner, we have been blessed with a few warm days and bright sunlight. This has given me some lovely shadows to play with and I've created the two images posted above.
We're taking advantage of the good weather while we can, as our garden is the scene of a major project. Much as I love our home, I'd gladly leave this town: too many sad things have happened to us here, but for the moment, we must stay put. The compromise is to build a little studio space for me, at the bottom of our garden. Today's task has been grappling with an old honeysuckle that scrambled, in a free and easy fashion, through the trellis pergola and fence that bound the area where my studio will be situated. I've been brutal with the loppers and secateurs but it takes a lot to kill Honeysuckle and I'm confident that this time next year, it will have sprung back with renewed vigor. Of more concern to me are the Grape Vines that trailed through the other side of the now-dismantled pergola. This year, for the first time, the vines have borne grapes that are actually sweet and edible and I am leaving it in the ground until the very last minute. With any luck, I shan't have to move it at all and I'll train the vines over the replacement pergola I'm going to build in front of the wooden chalet. We're having to find somewhere to put all the junk, I mean: "vintage treasures and things that might come in useful" amassed over the past 20 years, so the rest of our garden resembles a reclamation yard. This makes me very anxious and so, in an attempt to keep calm, I'm doing lots of visualisation exercises: in my favourite, I'm sitting under a vine-clad pergola, outside my cosy studio, sipping a glass of home made elderflower wine, whilst admiring my beautiful, newly-planted borders as rain pitter-patters gently on the garden pond. Ah yes...the reality, it's an overgrown bog and will remain so for yet another year, should the weather turn foul in October...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Angel Of the Fallen

digital print: shot and processed iPhone 3GS

Two weeks ago, despite inclement weather, I enjoyed a weekend at the Fairport Convention: an annual music festival held near the village of Cropredy in Oxfordshire. Whilst there, I spent time with my cousin Kevin, a fellow genealogist, and together we visited just a few of the many beautiful Oxfordshire churches where our Romany ancestors were hatched, matched and dispatched. In one of them, I took a photograph of a war memorial from which I made the image posted here: I can't recall exactly which one it was, but possibly Tadmarden, where my 3 x great grand parents Moses and Lucrecia Smith buried two of their children. Moses and Lucrecia made baskets, nets and skewers, plying their wares around the villages of Oxfordshire and Northamptionshire. They slept in bender tents. and can't have made much money but, in true Romany tradition, they honored the resting place of their children with a beautiful gravestone.

I have somehow managed to loose all my pairs of distance spectacles and break the ones I use with the computer. Suddenly, the World looks like one of my photos...very disconcerting.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Le Livre D'Automne

Le Livre D'Automne

iPhone collage

We're going away on Thursday and there are one hundred and one things to do, but, of course, I can't focus on any single task.
So here is another collage that I made last night from a photograph taken and processed back in January. I can't recall how many, or which particular Apps were used but I have Renee, of Playing With Brushes, to thank for the inspiration! Thankyou Renee!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 9, 2010

Looking back at January Mourning


Series taken and processed: iPhone 3GS

These images have been developed from an iPhone photograph that I took during an early morning coach ride to London, back on January.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Salvaged Fragments

Rispa's Gift

Joy Of Joys

I've had four nights of unbroken sleep, which is a record for me and can possibly be attributed to two things: Slowing right down and giving up coffee. Neither have been easy! Learning to be still and calm is a daily challenge for me and I feared I would not be able to get myself back into a creative routine. Now I'm allowing myself a little time, during the day, to conduct some iPhone experiments and I've returned to my love of all things scratched, mottled and only partially seen.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Three iPhone Portraits

Three iPhone portraits to share this evening!

1. My nephew, known as H. Photo processed with PictureShow and CameraTan apps
2. My nephew Dan, H's older brother, processed with PhotoGene and CameraBag apps
3. My sister Prill, processed in PhotoFX and CameraBag apps

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Big Society

Created with iPhone 3GS

Original images from London: A Pilgrimage, by Gustav Doré; and The Daily Mail Ideal Home Book 1955

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Buried Treasure 2010

The Cabbage Field: original digital collage and versions reprocessed With iPhone 3GS

Clumber Street Shrine: panel 1. Original digital collage and versions reprocessed with iPhone 3GS

Clumber Street Shrine: panel 2. Original digital collage and versions reprocessed in iPhone 3GS

Clumber Street Shrine: panel 3. Original digital collage versions reprocessed with IPhone 3GS

The ever-generous Seth Apter has woken me from my blog-slumber by once more inviting fellow creative-bloggers to select and share something from our archives, for inclusion in his marvellous blog: The Altered Page. I've chosen to revisit a series of images that I was working on last year, just before I began my creative love affair with the iPhone. Rather than simply re-post, I've re-worked the collages on my iPhone. There is no definitive version of each photograph, but a series, suggestive of the passage of time.

Last year's Buried Treasure was a huge success and many new creative friendships were forged. Do pay a visit, but be warned: you could be glued to your computer for several days!

Just before you go, like to share the news that recently, I was a runner up in the Eye'Em Mobile Photography Awards. This is a new international contest, promoting the art of photographs taken using mobile devices. There were over 3000 stunning entries and I am thrilled that one if my photographs (posted below) was selected in the final 15. An exhibition showcasing the competition has been staged in Berlin and I understand that there is to be a publication. I'd like to thank the Eye'Em team for all their wonderful work, promoting this new artform.

A Boy's Own Story: digital collage. Runner-up in the Eye'Em Awards 2010

Here's the link to Buried Treasure 2010:

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This Is The End, My Friend...

Mrs Whistler Finally Gets A Visitor

digital collage January 2009

In response to today's announcement that the pension age is to be raised, I'm re-posting one of my very early blog entries...

"Old Mrs Whistler? Oh yeah, she's in the room at the end of the corridor. Funny old stick, doesn't say much, never wants to go in the lounge with the others. We've put a telly in her room but she hardly ever watches it. She's got a son, artist or something like that, but he never comes to visit her. Would you like to take her cup of tea in with you?"

It can be a lonely, scary place and we're all going there.
Please support Help The Aged and Age Concern

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Little Night Music

Yet another sleepless night has dragged into a bleary-eyed morning but at least I've had the beautiful sound of nocturnal rain to soothe me. This series of iPhone images was created back in March, following an early evening walk in winter rain.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone