Hill Digital Quilt Project
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Hill Digital Quilt collaborative project
I like viewers to have a say in some of my artistic decisions, to be an active part of the creative process. So a very big "Thank you" to all the participating viewers who chose the winning photos from the dozens of candidates. These winners were transformed into the final panels, then printed, framed and installed in the Quilt Matrix located at the Hill Center on Capitol Hill.
Of course the project took longer to finish than anticipated, but I am very pleased by both the process and the outcome. It was quite interesting to see which images gathered the most votes - not always the ones I would have expected. My favorite transformed panel was always the one I had just finished, so the final few panels are my final favorites.
This project was also a prototype for future collaborative art projects. I've been working with the concept of evolution for many years now, how images can morph into other images, or start whole families with generations and siblings and cousins. In the past I always had to provide the forces that transformed the images, as well as determine which would surrive to the next generation. With the internet, this survival-of-the-fittest decision can be crowd-sourced, providing a more natural force to work with. This project proved the concept to be viable.
So again, many thanks to you all. I have many ideas for future projects, and hope you will participate again.
Florist Window, 11th Street
Surroundings, a marvelous florist enterprise that faces Lincoln Park, has a small glass addition at the entrace. The windows of the original buiding in the lower left are reflecting trees from the park, and there are more tree reflections on the outside glass. Between the planes of reflections are orchids and plants and an arch for climbing things, providing a lovely selection of shapes and colors to work with. The original was a very small file, taken with the first version of Paper Camera, so the challenge here was to size it up considerably as I transformed it.
Racks of shiny new kitchen tools at Hill"s Kitchen provided the starting point for this artwork. The original photo was taken with the Camera360 App, so it was a very small file that needed to be sized up a great deal. I really liked the original texture I had to work with, so I took great pains to maintain it throughout all the processes.
Frager's Hardware is a friendly old-fashioned store that has everything. It has been a local institution since 1920, and has steadily grown to occupy several adjacent buildings in a sort of rabbit warren way. There are things up these stairs and down those, in this add-on and that out building, in the back and around the corner. The main parts still consist of several rooms with old wooden floors and narrow aisles all chock-a-block floor to ceiling with wares. Each aisle has a white square painted on it with a big red number. These are all worn down, some almost completely.
Much of the Capitol Hill neighborhood was built around the turn of the last century, and there are many very old, very big trees. It is not an unusual sight to see a mighty oak that has slowly engulfed the iron fence it was once next to, or has overtaken the curb or sidewalk.
Nearly all of the front yards on the Hill are surrounded by cast iron fences, and this is one of the finest motifs. I caught this one during the "Blue Hour", that time of day when the sky has started to darken to deep intense blue, but there is still enough light to see the forms and a bit of color.
East Capitol Street
One of the nicest aspects of the Capitol Hill neighborhood is the easy walk to some of the world's finest cultural institutions. The Folger Library houses a spectacular collection of Shakespeare's works and other period references, as well as a wonderful version of the Globe theater and some of the most beautiful spaces in the city. This engaging face resides on the floor of the exhibition hall.
The Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital is surrounded by a distinctive old cast iron fence. It has historically significance and has been beautifully restored. This interesting shadow was cast by the gate leading to the old Carriage House, and shows some of the fence's main motifs upside down.
This wonderfully crusty old fire hydrant posed several challenges. First, it's a tightly cropped vertical, and I needed a square format. It couldn't just be cropped without losing important detail. Second, it was taken with an early version of Paper Camera, which did great things, but had VERY small resolution. I needed to make it about four times as big.
I had taken two other pictures at the same time, but with different filters, at different angles, and with different lighting. I spent many interesting hours cobbling together an entity that would work. I have all the steps saved for a Step-byStep demo, but there are 15 layers, so I probably won't get to it right away.
These distinctive chairs cast equally distinctive shadows on the brick patterned ground, providing strong shapes of light and dark, plus some nice theme-and-variation elements. I used seven layers in the painting process.
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Nancy Freeman is a native of California who lives now in Washington, DC. A lifelong artist, she paints portraits and other commissions for a living, which keeps her traditional skills tuned and supports her decades-old obsession with computer art, and pastel painting.
She is currently using her 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th computers, but remembers
when Dick Tracy had to make do with a two-way wrist radio.