Thursday, January 13, 2011
For our January 2011 self-promotional mini-calendar we conceived of a story to be shown in six parts of a beautiful ballet dancer who finds a bouquet of exquisite flowers, falls in love with them, gives them up to a mysterious bird who appears to take them from her, finds herself bereft at the loss, then is filled with joy as she realizes the bird was not taking the flowers to keep but to show his flock which now showers her with more of them, until finally she is surrounded, jubilant and filled with love.
It's a romantic and ultimately positive and optimistic story which gave me the impetus to create a piece of art that is illustrative both visually and prosaically of my vision, and I was thrilled that Martin was willing to trust me with producing a set of images like this for a calendar that was going to represent his design firm as well as my photography business.
We had the opportunity to work with the very beautiful and talented Lindsey Twynam, a trained dancer who was willing to let me choreograph her in my studio on a white backdrop. We had basically one bunch of flowers which I shot in various combinations and from various angles knowing that I was going to have to make them look not only bigger, but as if there were a lot more of them than there really were. With permission from the ROM I photographed the one bird that I selected from their hanging display as having the appropriate characteristics and being situated within the multi-bird display such that I could shoot multiple angles without it being obscured by the other birds in the display.....lots of close-cutting involved after that. That one bird had to be digitally reworked so that it became a small flock that didn't look like it started as one bird.
Once the photography was completed and the digital alterations made, the compositing had to be completed based on my storyboarded layouts. Then it was time to layer the printed images with acrylic, pencil crayon and encaustic (pigmented wax) on board. The final step, almost, was to do photographic copywork of those panels. The real final step was taking Martin's advice and digitally reworking the final panel image to reduce the area covered by the surrounding flowers and make them less visually heavy and overpowering, just for the calendar, since the images reproductions would be so small. So if you happen to see the original art piece (with the 6 panels attached to each other to make an approximately 16x30 inch piece) which will be hanging in the new Davis gallery in Stratford as of early spring 2011 you may notice that the final panel looks a bit different from the final image in the calendar.
I've already received some heartwarmingly positive and much appreciated feedback from respected clients. I'm so thankful to Finesilver Design for the opportunity.