Six short weeks ago the CLMOOC 2014 edition began, and it is soon to end. In these short 6 weeks I’ve learned some new technology, collaborated with other CLMOOCers, and had lots of fun in the process. I really don’t want this kind of fun learning to end, but life (and work) goes on. The inspiration won’t be leaving me any time soon!
The task in the 6th and final Make Cycle in the CLMOOC was to make a 5-Image Story. It was fun, not seemingly difficult, and a bit addictive once I got going with it. The major process of this Make was to choose ONLY five images to tell a story. Being the shutterbug that I am, I have sooooo many photos to choose from. This was no small task to sort through the thousands of photos I have and create a story from it.
My first attempt—and to make a quick post—led me to look for photos in Google Images on a topic near and dear to my heart—Union Beach, NJ. There were so many photos on the Internet that it still wasn’t an easy task to choose ONLY five to make a story from all that I saw, but I chose five and made my first 5-Image Story. My description of the story was simple: “If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then here’s my 5,000 word contribution.” Some of the comments from those who viewed the images were “poignant” or “wow” or “powerful” and Kevin Hodgson even said, “That first house …. gosh …. more than a 1000 words there” when he was looking at the iconic photo of the half house, which made the cover of Newsweek magazine. There really is much to tell about a story, just by looking at a photo. Add four more photos, and I could write a book based on what I know about this small beach town in New Jersey.
In my second attempt to make a 5-image story (below), I sorted through some of my artwork and looked for images with the similar shapes and colors to make a collage. The most obvious photo in the collage is that of a large eye—my eye—manipulated in PhotoShop. It was looking, watching, observing, and noticing all that surrounded it, which were photos with shapes of circles in the various shades of greens and blues, and with other colors, too. The iris of an eye is also in the shape of a circle, which goes along with the theme I was striving to point out, which was inspired by the song “Windmills of Your Mind” and all of its circle metaphors.
My artwork represents some of the crafts I have learned while a college student. It was just 5 years ago when I received my bachelor’s degree, and at that time was taking several studio arts classes. The photography class, with Joe Sharp as a professor, allowed me to explore what I could do with a camera and use my imagination, as well as learn how to use Adobe PhotoShop. The stained glass class led me to be part of a team to create a mosaic bathroom sink and mural above it, which was a collaborative effort of mine along with 4 other classmates to turn a sad, dark little bathroom on the campus of Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ, into a stunning work of art. I think that was accomplished, don’t you? The three photos along the bottom of the 5-Image Story are probably not what you think and all were manipulated in PhotoShop. The left photo was a stained glass piece, which was actually red, white, and blue, then manipulated to draw out the other colors of the spectrum. The center photo is a daisy sent spiraling like it was in a pool of water, and the bottom right photo is a pancake in a frying pan, giving the impression of something almost cosmic. My children thought I was crazy snapping photos of breakfast, still in the pan!
Crazy or not, the mind works in mysterious ways; ways which seemingly run in circles, lest nothing would be remembered if the circle didn’t return to its origin for some information. To quote one of the metaphors from “Windmills of Your Mind,” I find that my mind is “like a snowball down a mountain” with my mind going round and round yet constantly adding new “snow” to the circle; snow in the form of information to add to the size of the circle—new knowledge. Eventually some of the snow will melt in there, but the memory of most of it will remain. (I’m thinking about a computer’s hard drive at the moment, like my mind is the circle there, and the snow which has melted is the part of the disk that has been cleaned up and defragmented.)
There is so much good information to be shared and learned, and the CLMOOC has certainly done that for me these past weeks. By using my imagination, I created some unusual works of art, with stories to be told or imagined. Being creative is what I’m all about, and it’s the way my mind works when I make it my own.