An Art Adventure

Yesterday I promised to blog more on WordPress, and so here I am, with another blog that I posted on Steemit a couple of months ago.

Steem is a crytpocurrency, and Steemit is the social networking platform that uses Steem as a form of rewards. That’s a nice incentive to blog, but as you can see from the post below, I put far more effort into my blogs on Steemit than the small reward merits. This post was written for one of the many contests that you can find on the Steemit platform. The contest is very special for me, because I’m not an artist and yet I get to play around with art. The name of the contest is Let’s Make a Collage (LMAC). Each week (most weeks, anyway) the contest sponsor, @shaka gives the community an original photo to play with. Out of that photo we are supposed to make a collage, using only copyright-free elements. Most of the people who participate are graphic artists. Not me. I failed art in the eighth grade, but @shaka welcomes my participation anyway.

Without further ado, please enjoy (!) my evident enthusiasm below. If you follow the link, you can see what others did in this edition of LMAC.


Garden of Magic and Wonder

Let’s Make a Collage

shangri la 16 gif.gif

This is the photo @shaka gave us to work with

shaka march8.jpg


When I began to imagine ideas that might work in this picture, I recalled the early sixteenth-century triptych, Garden of Earthly Delights, by Hieronymus Bosch. Every inch of Bosch’s painting is filled with phantasmagorical details. The three panels that make up the piece tell a story: creation, fall from grace, and damnation.


wizard light.jpg

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Heronimus Bosch

Panel One, Upper Left Portion

heronimus bosch uppper left panel.jpg

Here we see the Garden of Eden. This is only the upper half of Panel One. The lower half shows God introducing Adam to Even. The theme is innocence. Light and beauty prevail.



Panel Two

Once again, only the upper portion of the panel is shown here. This is the largest of the three panels. Bosch does not spare us. He shows humanity depraved, insatiable, consumed by vice. Confusion and corruption prevail.



Panel Three



When I look at this panel (only the upper portion is shown here) I think of Dante’s Inferno. This is hell. It seems the damned are consumed by the appetites that drove them in life. Hell’s residents prey upon each other. Darkness and chaos prevail.

One well-known image from the lower portion of this panel is of a pig wearing a nun’s veil.



bosch pig nun.jpg


Trivia



Source for the following information is My Modern Met

The Painting
  1. 7′ by 13′
  2. Oil on oak
  3. When the panels are closed, there’s a picture of earth.
The Artist
  1. Year of birth is uncertain, although it is known he lived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
  2. He was born in the Netherlands
  3. About twenty-five of his pictures remain.
  4. He was well-known in his lifetime.
  5. None of his writings have survived, so art critics can only guess at the meaning of his art.



My collage took shape in these steps:

shangri-la-326126_640.jpg

I downloaded a picture from Pixabay (credit: mariamichelle).

shaka march8 plu shangri-la.jpg

and connected that picture to @shaka‘s.

Then I went to Paint 3d and looked for greenery and magical images.

shangri la small gif.gif

Finally, I took that blended picture and headed over to GIMP, where I added lighting effects, and turned the whole thing into a GIF.



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Blogging on Steemit

Paul Gauguin blog revuew 080 public
This picture accompanied a story I wrote on Steemit, Anhelo: Ode to Color

 

It has been so long since I posted here, on WordPress.  My attentions have been elsewhere, on Steemit.  This is a platform I highly recommend, but with a few caveats.  Don’t expect to get rich quickly, or get rich at all.  You may make money.  Maybe a lot of money, but if that is your prime motivation, disappointment is likely to be the outcome.

I’ve been posting on Steemit for ten months.  It is a rather absorbing enterprise.  One of the chief advantages, for a writer, is that there is no boundary.  Whatever catches your interest may be material for a blog.

Over the last months I have written stories.  I’ve written on Chinese art, ants, land use in India, the Guinea worm, cryptocurrency…whatever subject caught my interest.  All these blogs had one thing in common–I worked hard on them.  I didn’t cheat the reader.  Sometimes the ‘payout’ was paltry.  That has not been my standard for success.  My standard, every writer’s standard has to be, I think, did I give my all?  Did I shortchange the reader?

If you do join Steemit, I recommend checking out some of the communities that may coincide with your interests.  There are a few science-oriented communities, creative writing communities, communities dedicated to blogs in different languages.  Take your time looking around.  Dip your toe in one place or another.  Soon you’ll find several that match your inclinations.

So, I’m recommending to everyone who likes to write: check out Steemit.  After a few months, if you produce good material, you’ll start to attract attention.  You’ll get feedback.  You’ll have an audience.

And, there is always the chance that you will actually make some money.

The Shack

the shack masks blog 2018
I created this digital sketch for my book, “Arrows Axes and Scythes”. Although the skills displayed are crude, the picture helps to tell my story and conveys the mood of the day.

I’ve been working on and off on a memoir, “Arrows Axes and Scythes”.  It’s an odd book.  Because it is about my early childhood, many memories are vague, but impressions are not.  As a consequence, I created pictures, using “Paint” and “Gimp”, to help recreate the scenes I recall.  The narrative below explains what is happening in the picture.  My book, in yet again under revision. I hope to be publishing it…soon.

 

As I explained earlier in this book, my first years in school were not successful. Everyone believed I was slow. This assessment persisted into at least November of the third grade, when my teacher wrote a sympathetic note to my mother and lamented my poor performance. Between November and the end of the year something remarkable happened. I learned to read. By June, I had become one of the most advanced readers in the grade.

With this improvement in skills came an insatiable appetite for reading material. There was none at home, until we discovered the shack. This humble building, shown above, was concealed by thick overgrowth in the forest. When we investigated, we found that comic books covered the floor of the ramshackle shelter. We helped ourselves to these, though we did not know who might have proper rights to them.

The shack was my library.

Reading was one of the great gifts of my life. Socially I remained awkward, but peers and teachers showed new respect simply because I seemed to be talented. The conversion from being a dolt to being an excellent student taught me an important lesson. I was the same person before and after my transformation, but people around me changed. Previously, they had punished me for being dull, a circumstance over which I had no control. And then they rewarded me for being bright, a gift I’d done nothing to earn. The folly, the sheer cruelty, of their early behavior enlightened me. It taught me to place little value on the judgment of others. And it allowed me, for the rest of my life, to see worth in people whom others disregard.