Child of Woman

Child of Woman

The latest and penultimate image in my #daughterofwoman series – Child of Woman! 

Yes, he is my baby, minus his head 🤪, and he was a bit of a wriggler to photograph! 

I wanted to keep the colours more harmonious in this image and less chaotic to represent the lack of cognitive dissonance in babies and young children compared with adults. 

Image details

I love the calmer feeling  in this one and the beautiful butterflies in the background. The background image is part of a scrapbooking paper booklet I found titled ‘Natural History Museum – From the Archives’.

All the papers in it are beautiful works of art and like old wallpaper or fabric designs. I had originally wanted to photograph vintage wallpapers to use as the backgrounds for this series. Unfortunately, Covid-19 meant I couldn’t go to the national heritage sites and stately homes to take the photos. It was such a stroke of luck to come across this book!

Lightbulb or not?

I toyed with the idea of not having a lightbulb for this image. I don’t believe babies are aware of cultural / societal expectations and pressures like older children and adults are, so perhaps the lightbulb was not needed.

But I loved the shape of the lightbulb and knew I wanted use it. I thought the shape was more child-like. This is the original lightbulb, no warp of distort!

Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments. Are there any scrap bookers out there? 🙂

Take care,

Michelle

Why I love Surrealism

What do I love about surrealism? 

I love that there are no rules and no boundaries to what I can create. I love that I can create fluidly and freely

I love that it doesn’t have to have a deep message or hidden concept, and I love that it can have both.

I love that is challenges my understanding of reality and extends it.

Sleepy Head

As an INFJ on the Myers- Briggs scale, my inner world is rich and complex. I’m introverted and get lost in my own thoughts and imagination. I could get away with it more as a child, but my staring into space haze gets noticed as an adult!

Inside I work in pictures and feelings and it can be hard to articulate. Working within surrealism gives me a free reign to communicate without explanations without trying to make people understand. Because ultimately, as an INFJ, people find me difficult to understand, and so I don’t share myself with many people. I create a persona which functions well in society instead.

I’m grateful for having art and surrealism as a means to express myself, in what I feel as a safe way.

What are you grateful for?

Take care,

Michelle

Husband Of Woman

The third image in ‘Daughter Of Woman’ series is finished!

Husband Of Woman

I love the patterns and colours in this image and the contrast between the two.

The lightbulb is original, only cut out and not warped or anything. I hunted down all these unusually shaped lightbulbs in the series.

The wallpaper is a book of scrapbook papers based on designs from the Natural History Museum in London. They resemble more closely the vintage wallpaper I had in mind when I was conceptualising this series.

Many thanks to my almost husband for modelling the shirt!

I’ll post some information on how to get your hands on limited edition prints soon!

Take care,

Michelle

Selling limited edition prints

My ‘Daugter Of Woman’ series is the first time I have created work to sell as a limited edition series.

Wife Of Woman – 20x20cm Limited Edition Giclee print – Artist Proof

So I had to do some research on how to work with limited editions and what mine would look like.

Things to consider when selling work in limited editions:

Size

  • Will you sell one size or different sizes?
  • What sizes will you sell?
  • Will they be printed with a border?

I have created 3 sizes in my Daughter Of Woman series: 20cm; 40cm and 80cm. I’ve written down now, I have too stick with it! It has been so hard to choose sizes. I wanted to offer 3-4 sizes, with one, small affordable print.

Having border is also a consideration. I started out with a 2cm border in my artist proofs. But I think I’m going to change that to 5cm. This is due to framing. After doing some research, I think it will be easier to frame with a thicker border, plus I think it really draws your eye into the image. It’s such a personal decision!

Paper

What paper will you print on?

Generally speaking an archival grade paper is advisable. This means the ink won’t fade over time. A thick paper, above 180gsm gives the print stability, durability and a looks lovely too.

Edition size

How many will be printed in each size?

Each of the sizes in my ‘Daughter of Woman’ series has a different edition number. The 20x20cm images have an edition of 50, this is my affordable size. The 40x40cm have an edition size of 15 and the 80x80cm have an edition size of 5. Generally speaking, the smaller the edition number, the higher the price of the prints.

Edition numbers often reduce as the size of an image increases.

Editions sizes are totally up to the artist, there is an element of personal preference and trial and error to see what works! I’ll let you know how it goes!

Pricing

This is another tough one to think about and get right! Price too high and you risk your work not selling. Plus it doesn’t look good when an artist lowers their prices! Price too low, and you miss out on income, Ahh!

Start lower, if they sell like hot cakes, you know you can up the price of your next edition.

Think about:

  • How much the image cost to make – props, location, models. Will you pay yourself an hourly rate? How many hours did you work on the image?
  • How much it cost to print. Include the border in the print cost calculations, as you pay for the total amount of paper used – that caught me out!
  • How long you have been making fine art for and how well established you are? I am just starting out in the Fine Art world, so I won’t be attaching a premium to the cost of my limited edition prints.
  • Rarity – the smaller the edition, the more value it becomes because of how few there are in the world. An edition of 2, will be more valuable than an edition of 200.

I have been backwards and forwards for weeks and weeks on this. I just to take the plunge and commit to a decision, and see how it goes.

You don’t need to stick to the same edition and pricing structure for every image / series. So if this doesn’t work out, I can change things for my next series of work.

If you have any tips of selling limited edition prints, I would love to hear them!

Take care,

Michelle

Wife of Woman

Here it is, the second piece in my series ‘Daughter of Woman’!

Titled ‘Wife of Woman’, my aim is to create a ‘family’ in this series. The title concept links the pieces through them all being ‘of woman’, aka ‘born’ from a woman.

However, the main concept linking all the pieces is ‘the duality of the ego.’ The parts of us we show the world and the parts we keep hidden. I believe the parts we hide can often be our most beautiful parts (hence the flowers), which we feel too vulnerable to show.

We could debate why we hide our vulnerabilities in our society, but I might save that for a different post!

Head over to my Instagram stories to see the editing process.

Take care, Michelle 🙂

How I create my fine art photos

To create my images, I deconstruct my original idea into a number of individual images.

Then I capture those images on camera whenever possible. I prefer to use my own images. But if an idea requires an image I can’t capture, then I use stock photo sites. Unsplash and Pixabay offer some good quality free images.

Next, I use Photoshop to layer, blend and adjust the images to create one perceived photo. Believability is something I work hard on in Photoshop. I like my work to have a sense of realism.

To ensure believability, where the shadows and highlights fall are especially important.

Check back in a few days for a post on adding shadows in photoshop.

Take care, Michelle 🙂

Through the Flamingo Glass

Through the Flamingo Glass

Is it ok to create art without a concept?

When I’m looking at submission guidelines there is often a large box to describe the concept behind the images. The big ‘why’ that propelled you to create your project. Often artists and photographers have a poignant message or story behind their images: A representation or insight into a cause.

My Surreal Furniture project didn’t start with a concept. Rather a desire to animate inanimate objects.

Maybe there is a story behind these images. A story that writes itself with each image. Each image bringing a new character to the story. I have no real plan, only others characters I want to create. ‘What if’ is something I hear myself saying a lot.

So I guess what I’m asking is can concept and story be created through art rather than be represented by it?