Archives for category: Digital art

mum-comp copy

This is the very last composite I did in Photoshop and it is a very personal and painful one. I think I did this one in late 2014 or early 2015. (I haven’t even dated it, as I am not sure whether it is finished). It is a reflection of my mother who was an enigma to me all her life. I think you have to be German and of a certain age to understand.

That is enough about my art and from tomorrow I will write about the puppets again :)

Modern Man

Tony, who is not only a puppet maker but also an x-ray artist (visit his blog: xraygraphics), commented on my post yesterday that the artwork I put up is very tactile. He put his finger right on the core of my art. To explain where it comes from I have to dive down into my personal history. In a nutshell: back in the day I took to Photoshop like a duck to water and have been teaching digital imaging for 20 years. In the beginning I really enjoyed working with blend modes and masks to create amazing textures. But along the way, I realised how much our brain tricks us into perceiving surface properties. When you touch a print it is always flat. The appearance of texture is created by our brain interpreting what we expect to be there. So we see texture that really isn’t there.  Over the years my yearning for honest textures grew stronger and stronger.

I created the picture I’ve put up today in 2007. This is one of my favourites from my Photoshop era. In this triptych I used 4 different background photographs (a wooden door with flaky paint, a stone wall with a window, an iron watch tower in a forest, and a 200-year-old lace curtain) and combined them in different ways to bring different properties to the fore. My work is generally about relationships. This one describes that in a good relationship you should be allowed to be strong or weak at times.


magician dede live

While most of the Dedes are still looking for Lil’ Sculpture and Lizzie, Magician doesn’t have much time to be sentimental and is pushing on with the jobs at hand.  Devil started all these projects over the last year, but never really finished – like the website for the dede workshops. I found Magician sitting at the computer burning the midnight oil last night. When I asked him what he was doing, to my suprise he answered, “I’ll let you in on a secret, there is actually no such thing as magic. Things only happen by sheer hard work.”

I looked at him in disbelieve and he obviously had seen this kind of look before. “Well, yes, my parents should have called me Determination, but they thought that would make my life more difficult!”

“And what about the funny hat?” I asked.

“That is another secret… You always have to look the part!”

Then he turned back to the computer and proudly announced: “Here, that is what we need, a website to promote the workshops.”

I have to admit, I was impressed, particularly since he has only been in the job for how long? Three weeks? Though on closer scrutiny, I had the feeling that Devil had done most of the work and it only needed a bit of tweaking to finish it off. At least Devil is still the poster boy. Magician had made no effort to start from scratch and come up with a new strategy. If you are interested, here is the link to

mouse packing

This morning Mouse was packing her bags again to return to the burrow and the others. I had to ask her: “How is it going up there, it must be quite crowded?

“No, no, it is a very spacious burrow. I wonder how Harvey, who is constantly broke, could afford it. He must have done a lot of work himself.”

“And how is it going with Pavlova? Isn’t she sick of having you all around?” I remembered how Pavlova sat quietly in the corner at our last party watching the others rather than partaking.

“That is the biggest surprise” Mouse stopped for a minute and looked at me. “She is really, really nice. She is the perfect host.”  Then she told me that she thinks it must have something to do with it being Pavlova’s own familiar patch and she makes everybody feel comfortable without being overbearing. And Harvey just adores her and is so proud of how she looks after the house and everybody.

“I am surprised to hear that. I thought she is focused on having a good career. Didn’t Harvey say she put herself through school and landed a good job in a lab? Now you say she is the perfect host. You say she is a good home maker.”

“Yes, right, but this isn’t a contradiction, is it?” Mouse asked, then gave the answer herself.  “She has made her own cosy nest and feels secure in what she is doing. That’s her world. With all the pressure from her family I can understand that. Can’t you?”

mouse high five

Alien was indeed a bit too impatient. He had just left the room when the first story arrived. Written by his admirer Leopoldine from Austria, it’s a lovely long story in German recounting what happened when Alien was first beamed down to this place in the Dede World.

Mouse was truly delighted when the first story came in and she sends a big fat thank you to Leopoldine. Part of her delight was that she could stick it to Devil. Even though he is a very good mate of hers and she loves working with him, he can be a bit of a bully. Maybe it is a male thing – he truly believes he has the final say in everything and can get quite loud if he doesn’t get his way. He wasn’t a great fan of the story-telling competition. But Mouse stuck to her guns, trusting that Alien had come up with a good idea and believing she had good support from the rest of the Dedes, who – she sensed – were keen to try it.

Yesterday Mouse noticed that she might not have been totally clear with her rules. The story doesn’t need to be very long, it could also be a very short story, or even an extended caption. And everybody is invited to write, not just long-standing friends of Alien :). At the same time we don’t want to bully anybody into writing only because they are a long-standing friend. It is just an invitation to be creative. We are really curious what you make of us :)

You also can win the book ‘Hermit’s Web’ or 10 Dede puppet postcards. The rest of the rules you’ll find here.

Devil said to Mouse we shouldn’t exclude our Facebook fans either. Mouse doesn’t have much experience with Facebook and she  isn’t quite sure how it would work for them sharing their story with our blog friends. But of course if they want to do something they are very welcome as long as they let us know where to find their story.

pavolova thinking

Pavlova is not a particularly convivial companion. She is very focused on her work and defines herself by her successes rather than the amount of friends she has. Instead of going out to parties she prefers to stay at home and have a glass of red wine and win a game of chess against her partner. Harvey is not really a challenging opponent for her, but he plays anyway to keep her happy.

Because of this she still hasn’t been formally introduced to the other Dedes. Harvey is very keen on getting her to meet the others, particularly as he finally became aware that he has a reputation of being a douchbag. He is convinced that when the others see how well he treats his new girlfriend they will change their minds. Little does he know how long it takes to sway the opinion of others once they are firmed up.

I certainly support Harvey’s efforts to get Pavlova to meet everybody and I suggested we should have a little informal get-together tonight as we haven’t had a party for a long time. Harvey virtually begged me to invite Pavlova personally. Only then will there be a chance that she shows up. First of all I thought what a prima donna, but when I spoke to her, I realised she is just very, very shy.

friends again

Can you imagine Sunny’s smile getting even bigger? It did when he read the comments from ArtistatExit0. Sunny was adamant that what he had done was legitimate. Being inspired by fellow artists is common practice. I agree with him on this one. Of course you are inspired by what you see… that is simply called life. But there is a very fine line between appropriation of ideas and a rip-off.

“Why should I, as an artist, produce new work and put my sweat and life-blood into it, when the next person can simply come along and copy my ideas?” I asked.

“It will never be the same anyway” Sunny retorted. “And you obviously have never heard the saying ‘imitation is the highest form of flattery’!”

What ensued was a very long, yet infertile discussion. We were going nowhere in a hurry. Our opinions were just too different. Words like ‘generation gap’ were mentioned and ‘all-for-free-internet-society’. None of the other Dedes wanted to participate, let alone take sides. Finally Sunny suggested we should ask our readers about their opinion.

So, what do you think? Can Sunny be proud of his achievement or was it a blatant attempt to falsely take credit?

It takes twenty-one days of hard work to form a good habit. Why does it only take three to slip back into bad ones?

This image here I took six years ago. I like the juxtaposition of the lines with the round crater. For obvious reasons I originally called it “Square peg in a round hole.” It is just a close-up of some rocks we were climbing over at the time.

When I accidentally came across this image today, a totally different interpretation jumped out at me.

There is a little story to go with it: A friend of mine, a school teacher, was once asked by one of her pupils: “Tell me Miss, what was the world like when it was still black and white?” I just love this story. The pupil was of course referring to black & white photography and TV.  When I first heard the story, I thought it was so cute I laughed. Today, my answer would be: “The world was more colourful then…” as there must have been so much more room for imagination.

Today, when I glanced at the photograph, I instantly saw a smiling face with a rock hurled at it from a giant fist. When I showed my discovery to a friend,  he couldn’t quite follow. So I coloured it in for him in Photoshop. Now the image is called: “Honestly, I didn’t see this coming!”

However this is a very disturbing interpretation, and I went looking for another image. It took me a while, but this time it is called: “Life is beautiful!” It shows two playful figures in the sun.

Thank God you always remember what you saw last. I have difficulties seeing the giant fist now when I look at the black and white original.

I have a couple of obsessions. Maybe obsessions is too strong a word – Recurring topics might be better –  Barbed wire is one of them. (I am sure, a psychologist would have something to say about that. I haven’t asked one yet.)

Last year I had a few images on display in a cafe up the road. It doesn’t count as an exhibition in my books (and how it came about is a funny story in itself). It was put together rather quickly and the photographs were chosen by their mass appeal rather than artistic merit.

The feather was one of them. I personally like this photograph, as for me it has a specific meaning. I am pretty sure, if you search through a stock library you will find heaps of images of feathers on barbed wire, some better resolved than mine.

However, I have been asked countless times, whether the feather was already there or whether I had placed it there.

Does it really matter?