Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Take on Our Haunting Holiday

Daisy Pushkin & Claude Graves doing
The Zombie Stomp

Everyone I know loves Halloween.  

For artists especially it is a time to revel in interpreting all the icons of the season in a variety of wild and crazy ways.  My former partner and I designed characters complete with costumes and makeup.



But everyone else also becomes super creative while indulging in costumes, makeup, decorations and food like hot apple cider, caramel apples and pumpkin pie. 

Halloween has its roots in early religions but has evolved into a time that ushers in the winter months when we want to be cozy, well fed and lifting our spirits with parties and celebrations.  Besides all that, this first holiday of the season indulges our need to challenge the things that scare us the most like ghosts and goblins and even death.  We meet them head on, enjoying the thrill. 


Tee Shirt Design

The costumes, decorations and artwork can be scary, downright ghoulish, but also satirical and even funny. Add horror films into the mix and you have covered the whole spectrum.  I spent several Halloweens past doing professional makeup and costumes for partygoers.  The most popular looks back then were Zombies (still hot I understand) and Cats from the Broadway show.   I photographed and sketched a lot of this work and some of it evolved into digital images I created for amusement and sometimes for Tee Shirts and such.

 Claude Graves & Friends for Tee Shirt design

Dancing Zombie Bride & Groom for Tee Shirt design

Zombie Bride prizewinning costume & makeup


Vampire makeup for Tee Shirt design



Funny Frankenstein Monster makeup

So, Halloween for me has always been fun and very creative.  One year we spent the evening up in Jerome, Arizona in an abandoned and very spooky old hospital which had been rented out by the city for the night to a group throwing a huge party.  My partner and I did makeup on location for everyone attending the celebration and even helped stage some grisley scenes in a couple of the old operating rooms.  It was quite a success.


Daisy Pushkin at the Jerome Hospital Bash

It is a rather eerie but very expressive season and I hope all of you reading this enjoy it to the fullest!

Al of the images in this post are copyright protected 2010 by Elinor Mavor.    

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

INTERVIEW with Australian Fractal Artist Helene Kippert



Flow

I first saw Helene Kippert's spectacular digital imagery on Facebook.  I have seen other artwork online that is technically in the same category, but hers really stands out ... way out.  See for yourself on this blog post and here.  Her pieces are sold throughout Australia, the USA, UK and Europe on the website, Redbubble.

I am keenly interested in the digital art form because I engage in it myself, although with totally different results.  And there is still an active dialogue about the validity of artwork produced by this method as opposed to traditional painting, for instance.  Every new art form seems to create this sort of controversy and the answer has often been to gather the avant-garde artists into a movement that has stringent guidelines and a very solid purpose.  Not surprisingly, there are, indeed, a growing number of digital artist groups forming that will ultimately resolve the issue.


Helene Kippert
Helene has been accepted into a new artists' group called the Energy Art
Movement which is attracting amazing people using all types of media.  She is one whose fractal creations epitomize what the title implies:  artwork that "exudes energy whether in light, color, motion or form".  This movement may well become as important a landmark as Impressionism or Abstract Expressionism.

Elinor Mavor:   Helene, tell us how you became dedicated to the digital medium in general and fractal imagery in particular?

Helene Kippert:  I've always been drawn to playing with my drawings digitally ... somehow I never feel a drawing is finished until it's been scanned and manipulated.  In early 2007 I joined an online art site called Redbubble hoping to sell some of my art, and about six months later I found out about Apophysis (fractal editing software) through a friend there.  Once I discovered fractals, that was it for me.  I knew I had found my medium.


Dancing at the Edge of Time
 
EM:  Tell us about "Energy Art for the New Earth".


HK:  I was looking for a way to describe my art without using the words "visionary" and/or "spiritual", since I felt both had been overused and they certainly weren't going to get me noticed on google!  Ever since I started making fractal art I've known that my images are about the depiction of energy.  One day I came aross an art competition run by a group called the Energy Art Movement and I had that "aha" feeling, like, "Oh, my god, there's a whole bunch of people out there doing exactly the same thing I'm doing!"  It really was a revelation for me, because I see it as a manifestation of a significant shift in the collective consciousness.  The "New Earth" is a reference to this massive transformation.


EM:  Do you have a body of work prior to your digital work?

HK:  I wouldn't call it a body of work ... more like a collection of drawings and paintings from my art school days.  My art aspirations were put on hold for a number of years while I built my house, and I only started to take my art seriously again after I joined Redbubble.


Flow 7
EM:  Tell us about your approach to each new composition and the various techniques you may use.

HK:  My approach to my art is intuitive ... I put my critical mind aside and play.  I have an ever-growing library of fractal images, and I will look at one and wonder what it will look like if I layer it with another image, and then another on top of that one.  When the image looks complete to me, I bring my critical mind back in so I can place the image into a context and find a title for it.

EM:  What inspires each compostion?

HK:  A sense of curiousity and wonder, and a desire to make the invisible visible.  For so many centuries, humanity has believed that our world is nothing more than a random collection of physical objects, and now we're beginning to perceive the underlying energy that holds it all together.  I feel we're undergoing a collective paradigm shift, and despite all the violence and suffering in the world today, I believe this is a magical time to be living in.  I want to share my sense of that magic with others.



Matrix 5

EM:  I really like the poetry presented with each one of your beautiful paintings.  How did you come to select the verses of 13th-century Persian poet and mystic, Rumi, to accompany your work?  Readers can see examples here.

HK:  Rumi has been my favorite poet for many years now, but the idea of combining his writing with my art actually started with a group I am in on Redbubble called Abstract Digital Art and Writing.  One of the group rules is that you have to submit your art with a piece of writing.  Thanks to that group I came to see that a piece of writing can spark the imagination and provide a gateway into the art for the viewer, especially if your art is abstract.


EM:  How long does take you on average to complete a finished piece?  Each one is so incredibly complex.  

HK:  Elinor, that's really hard to say!   When I create there's a sense of flow and timelessness  that is hard to translate into left brain terms ... there really is no getting from point A to point B in my process.  There's the time it takes to create the initial image and the time it takes to blend each layer ... and there can be many layers and the blending often takes place at different times.  I have pieces that will sit for many months before I find just the right layer to complete them.  So you can see how hard it is for me to keep track of the time it takes to create a single finished piece.   Also, should I take into account the hours I spend making all of my fractal images ... the ones that don't work out as well as the ones that do?  Like everything else, I guess it all depends on your parameters and your point of reference. 

Shatter 5

EM:  What do you think your next project beyond Energy Art for the New Earth will be?

HK:  I don't see energy art as something I will move past.  From an evolutionary point of view I see it as an idea whose time has come, and I 'll continue to work within the genre.  I'll experiment with different software and ways of working, but really I can see myself doing this as a long-term thing.

EM:  Who are some of your favorite artists?  Especially those who have inspired you.

HK:  I'm inspired by Monet and the Impressionists.  In a way, I see them as precursors to the Energy Art Movement, since the Impressionists painted light and we paint energy.  I also love the work of Susan Seddon Boulet, a visionary artist who painted shamanic figures morphing into animals ... amazing and very beautiful work with a very strong sense of energy and other levels of reality about it!


Embryo



EM:  Anything else you'd like to share with us?

HK:  I've published a collection of my fractals called: Fractal worlds: A journey into vibration and light.   Just click on the title if you would like to see it.

EM:  Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse into your remarkable world, Helene.  Your exploration into painting energy with fractals and the philosophy behind it are fascinating.

Helene Kippert lives "amongst the Karri trees in the southwest corner" of Australia.  She graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1981 with a BA in English Literature, and from Curtin University in 1983 with a Graduate Diploma in Library Studies.  She has worked as a public servant, librarian and market research interviewer.  Although she had some traditional art training at the Claremont School of Art (1993-95), Helene has always been more attracted to digital art and she is now committed exclusively to energy art created with fractals.

All images in this article: copyright 2010 by Helene Kippert.