Finding Inspiration – Determine color, style, and elements for your next artistic project
In preparation for the last phase of my winter passion project, a photo shoot was planned at the Camden Opera House in Maine. I’d been there many times for dance recitals and shows and was anxious to see what would result from the shoot. We planned for three hours. Corie and Annie were on board for a 50’s style movie star shoot, the theme was simply ‘Drama,’ the women could interpret it however they wish.
I really don’t know why I wanted to do this shoot. Maybe it was because I had become obsessed with 50’s style portraiture, or maybe just because my friend Kim has a fabulous collection of vintage hats, or maybe I just thought it would be cool. Whatever the reason, a little playacting was the plan and the girls came prepared with a huge wardrobe to work with.
I knew the lighting would be a challenge. My studio lighting would be lacking for the space and the opera house would only have house lights and stage lights, neither of which would suit the style I had in mind. To add to that, the entire auditorium is cream, gold, and red; strong and reflective colors. But I was not deterred, as I knew the architecture would be awesome and the space inspiring.
Behind the scenes – unedited shots.
The shoot went fabulously but it was a while before I could earnestly sit down and work with the images. Well, to be honest, there was major procrastination happening. I couldn’t seem to get started as is often the case when I am really not sure of my direction. I had a rough sketch in mind, but when I finally began, I was struggling. The images felt forced and constrained.
I showed the work I had done so far to my husband (who is also my creative cheerleader). He said the work was stodgy. Stodgy!! Me stodgy!!! He explained that it didn’t have that edge, that surreal quality that he personally loves.
With that, I realized that I was not putting my whole self into the work. I set out to make a better plan. I did extensive research to determine which direction I wanted to take. The colors, the style, the elements needed to change. I created three mood boards and found several different artists that completely inspired me. The mood boards were created in Canva with images collection by taking a cropped screenshot from the images I collected in Pinterest: the Camden Opera House board and the Abstract Art board. (Command/Shift/4 on a mac for a selective screen shot)
To execute my vision, new textures and overlays needed to be created.
Inspired by the work of Vilde Rolfsen, I layered crumbled pieces of tulle and parchment paper in front of the window and photographed them. I did the same with wax paper. It just snowed so the trees beyond were covered in white which made for a perfect backdrop.
Next, further inspired by the work of Beth Nichols, I tried my hand at poured paint textures. Sure was fun! I simply poured the paint on a board and encouraged it to run in the direction I wanted. With some, I layered another board on top and moved it around before lifting it.
I edited the images from the Opera House with a warm black and white edit in order to have a neutral palette to work with.
I am excited to show you the results, a composite of all three elements, coming in the next blog post. For a sneak peek, head over to Instagram.