GIMP is a (free!!!) Graphic Image Manipulation Program that I am currently studying. People tell me it is much like PhotoShop. I figure maybe I will have to do about 500 creations before I am anywhere near proficient. I am fortunate to have an artist friend who knows her way around GIMP and so I was able to take two classes with her at the start. I own one book about GIMP which I am very slowly reading. There is also good help online, thank goodness, because the mysteries of GIMP are many. But mostly I just play with the software and try out different tools. Here are a few of my experiments:
I loved learning how to use the bucket tool to pour paint onto this black and white postcard image of a ferris wheel. Then I added Da Vinci's Vitruvian man to finish the collage. A lot of my imagery comes from Dover Publications. I have been buying their books for years and using their images for collage. Some of the books came with CDs, which I am now also putting into use.
This landscape-like collage experiment is made using scans of my Gelli prints. I have spent many hours scanning these prints into my PC. That way, I can create with them digitally even after they are cut up and pasted down into a "real world" collage.
These flowers were made learning how to use the Fuzzy Select and Color Select tools. The original flowers were photos I took in our backyard. I am by no means saying this is a finished piece of art! But who knows, maybe I will use a few of the flowers again later in a GIMP piece.
Star Babies, anyone? I used the Brush and Pencil tools to play with these black and white images. Starting out in GIMP, choosing black and white imagery against a white background almost feels like cheating since no one can see your clumsy cut lines! Herein I also learned to use the Rotate and Scale tools.
This image started out as a bunch of GIMP scribbles. I then turned to my Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI software to make a kaleidoscopic/mandala-like image from the scribbles, always a fun experiment.
Finally, here is an oddball constellation of mandalas, all of them made with some combination of GIMP and Paint Shop software. Playing herein, I had to do a lot of rotating and scaling to get the circle forms to work together. With this image, I am about 70 experiments into GIMP. I've got a long way to go (at least 500 experiments I should think...), but am determined not to put pressure on myself about it, not to overdo GIMPing to the point where I get a sore mouse finger or carpal tunnel syndrome, but rather to play and explore without giving up my printmaking and "offline" collage practices.
This month, I feel lucky to have two pieces of art in a Visual Arts Alliance show at the Silos on Sawyer here in Houston. I won't put the images up today since this is a GIMP-related post, but look for them in the future.
As printed on one of my favorite t-shirts: Make Art, Not War!