January 24, 2010

A Confession for Day Three

Reluctantly, I have to admit I struggled a bit with this one. I looked at the original that Angi sent me, and I got nothing, no vision for what I wanted to do. I looked at the collage and wondered "What is she trying to say?" And then, as I was studying the collage, I began feeling that this woman seems worldly, not a huge stretch given all of the buildings on her head, I know, but hey at least now I had a starting point. Then I began reflecting on when the "Digital Smackdown" started:  I began with the image of a young woman at the pivotal transition in her life where she is deciding what path she'll follow to find her destiny (see Day One). The second collage is a young adult woman which inspired the fertile and nurturing Empress (Day Two). Well now, I'm thinking that this woman has "arrived", she's chosen her life path, maybe raised her family, has a wealth of experiences, knows her own mind, and while she's still looking forward to all that is yet to come, she has accomplished much and is somewhat self-satisfied. Here's what the original looked like:

Now clearly to achieve my new found vision for this piece there were going to have be some changes.The turnkey in her back - gone, this woman was in control, she can't depend on being wound up to get where she wants to go, and she gets where she's going under her own steam, so bye-bye birdie. I added some of the great landmarks of our time into her headress, representing her worldliness and accomplishment. A tiny hot air balloon hovers in the distance to remind us of her desire for future adventures. A few more additions, some more photoshop adjustments and voila:

Smackdown Day Three is done! I'm hoping that you see her as accomplished and worldly as I do, and you've enjoyed these "smackdowns" as much as I have! Thanks Angi!!!

January 6, 2010

Smackdown Day Two!

For day two of the challenge, Angi sent us this scan of her original collage. I knew in an instant what her transformation would look like:

So this is what I came up with...

I've been fascinated with the gorgeous designs featured on Tarot cards for a very long time. I just love the way every single element on the cards have a purpose, no single element is ever there by chance. With skillfull intrepretation the "reader" can divine the cards meaning and significance. So when I saw Angi's original collage, the nest, flowers, and bunnies immediately made me think of the Empress. Surrounded by the bounty of the earth and symbols of fertility, the Empress represents Matriarchal authority, the birth of new ideas, and creativity. I  placed three eggs in the nest to represent her maternal nature and also the new ideas that she is nurturing (three specifically, because the Empress is the third card of the Major Arcana in the deck). The crossed arms are added embracing the nest in a gentle, yet protective fashion. A crown, a halo, a few more layers and adjustments and ta da....The Empress.