At the Heart: Pondering My Process

I can’t wait to show you the drawing I’m working on of the Glover Park fountain. My new hand-drawing process is taking much longer than I expected, though, and it’s not done yet. So I decided to post my latest digital piece in the meantime, and write a short blog about how much quicker it is to add color in Photoshop.

"Cuore," 11x17in., digital art, copyright 2011 Shelley M. House.

But then it occurred to me — this piece has actually been over 8 months in the making. So here is a long blog about how “Cuore” came about.

It started as a photo I took last September of a green crystal.

Study for "Cuore," copyright 2011 Shelley M. House.

Two months later, I was playing with several images in Photoshop. I altered this crystal photo using the Difference blending mode, layering pure magenta red underneath…

Study for "Cuore," copyright 2011 Shelley M. House.

…then I simplified the details with the Palette Knife filter.

Study for "Cuore," copyright 2011 Shelley M. House.

I was thrilled with my new glowy art piece, but it still felt incomplete. It sat in a folder titled Pink Rock Project with my other experiments for a while. Then I cropped it and put it on my desktop background, hoping a poem or title would come to me to help give this piece meaning.

Study for "Cuore," copyright 2011 Shelley M. House.

What words could convey how it made me feel, like light bursting from the heart of creation itself? It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I was reading about my friends’ visit to Italy that it came to me. The Italian word for heart — cuore — feels to me like it reaches right into the depths of all that really matters. I found what I was looking for in a single word, and I could finally call this art piece complete.

I was delighted to have this framed and on display at the last Artists Market.

Watch for it at my next exhibit in the gallery, opening June 3rd, the night of the next Art Walk on Marietta Square.


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