Six months ago Maryellen Hains pulled together a diverse group of local artists and proposed a show themed around the number seven. After a bit of reflection, discussion, and some very tasty lunches at Hunan Gardens, the group settled on the concept of working with the seven planets of the ancients.
The show was based around the concept of two artist first working independently on their pieces, and then coming together to create a collaborative piece.
Weaver Gretchen Hugget and I drew the planet Jupiter. While I was fascinated by the mythological and astrological aspects of Jupiter, I found actual images of the planet to be much more compelling.
And so I decided to create a photograph of the planet for my personal entry. A macro shot of algae floating on a mud puddle was the starting point – tweaking the color channels to turn green to blue resulted in a background that looked a lot like a starry sky. The denser part of the algae took on the form of a nebula, and the many air bubbles floating under the surface of the water took on the appearance of distant stars.
For the planet Jupiter itself, I took a bunch of photos of textures and colors and melded them together into a square tapestry. I more or less used things under the astrological rule of Jupiter to do this, drawing in the mythic and cultural aspects of the planet. After creating the square image I digitally transformed it into a sphere, and spent far too much time blending the layers and working on the shading and lighting effects.
The show opened this evening at the Carnegie Center, Three Rivers, Michigan. It’s simply smashing, if I say so myself.