I am a self-taught artist influenced by an artistic family. I collage primarily abstract pieces by using bits and pieces of original texture photos. My studio is the phone or tablet with a digital application optimized for blending like Photoleap of Photoshop. Each piece contains 4 to 200 texture photos and can take several hours to several months. I started painting with self-portraits to attempt to convey the invisible pain.
The figurative pieces are not drawn, so pieces like "A Love Supreme" - John Coltrane, was collaged on the phone using nature photos of bark, dirt and leaves and took thirty hours a week for three months. Unlike traditional collage the original source material is often hidden and many layers are needed.
The early animated paintings are created using Davinci Resolve and the more recent animations are done using Photoleap/VideoLeap. The early animations are done by using the saved process images. Animations like "Chagall Dance" (rep'd by Octavia Art Gallery) started with photos of muddy puddles in Boulder, Colorado. The dirty foamy images that appeared had Marc Chagall like-figures and it inspired the work. This painting, like many, is about transforming suffering and the dance is a celebration of our innate abilities to resurrect ourselves again and again. For the soundtrack, I often collaborate with my father, Theo Saunders, a jazz pianist/composer or mix my own open source music.
For all my paintings/animations, I collect my palette from the streets. I get oddly excited about aging textures on a wall, car or floor. I am looking for buildings that are weathering, an interesting line like a splatter of paint, a geometric shadow element and a vast range of colors. I am also looking for textures that embody a certain place, city or subject ie: New Orleans series or "Cyclo de Las Setas (Cycle of Mushrooms) commission.
I began digital collage on the iPhone ten years ago in order to stay creative while mostly bedridden or confined to a dark house. The small emitting light screen was the best option given daily severe migraine and pain from head to toe. Now that I have found a way to manage my conditions, I have switched to the tablet.
I incorporate integral philosophy, the art of perception, nascent ideas, the process of creation and nature’s ever-unfolding creative drive. The central column seen in a lot of paintings references humanity's evolutionary, creative drive that powers a constant forward movement of "what's next." The central column moving upward is also personal and mirrors my own willpower to endure and transform chronic illness/pain.
Mobile digital devices are the perfect tool for those of us limited by our physical bodies. I am exploring the boundaries of this technology and my palette of photos acquired from the streets are now in the RAW format. The resolution has greatly improved since the first smart phones and this allows for much larger prints.
The digital medium is an exciting field and I am only scratching the surface.
"DESPITE THE PAIN"
The evolution of perspective from the individual to the cosmic. Five years, five collections to form one universal snapshot.
After years of isolation, living in India due to crippling physical pain, I emerged from a dark cave and witnessed a world throbbing with light and color. I could no longer do normal photography. I worked exclusively for five years on a grand scale abstract collection in Switzerland, France and California.
By moving with my camera, I created “earth swabs" to form a tiered collection with the evolution of the imagery growing in complexity every year and paralleling the migration of the Monarch butterfly and my own journey. The collection includes 122 pieces that are broken up into five tiered groups. I capture with the moving camera and enhance the colors and dodge and burn in Photoshop.
This collection attempts to reflect the microcosm and macrocosm. The journey does this by mirroring and taking inspiration from two paths.
First is the Monarch butterfly from cocooned (New Papillon Series) migration (Migration Series), mating (Union Series), conception (Conception Series) and offspring (Creation Series).
Mirroring my own life from isolation to emergence then from travel (terrain subgroup) and finally to love (see subgroups below).
The second inspiration mirrors the evolution of the universe from its seed state of repose to the early chaos and finally to the life-forming creations.
Both paths declare the successful story of creation despite the intensity of the journey.
The final series leaves abstraction and enters our world of creation to show the offspring phase in the evolution of the Monarch and the universe. This series uses a single image from a mountain, a patch of dirt or small section of a muddy stream and with a stitching technique, duplicates it.
The evolution of perspective from the individual to the cosmic. Five years, five collections to form one snapshot.
NEW PAPILLON: Cocooned. Emergence. Culmination stages
MIGRATION: Stirrings, Evolution, Terrain stages
UNION: Co-Creation. Forging. Emergent stages
CONCEPTION: Conception, Incubation, Creation stages
CREATION: Muddy Stream. Water Mountains and Bushes Trees and Dirt
Please note: *The Creation series (final series) uses no digital photography, kaleidoscopic methods or microscopic imaging to create the patterns seen and the same image is replicated. Simple processing techniques are implemented like dodging and burning plus color enhancing in order to accent the intricate symmetry, geometry and archetypal components that already exist in the original nature captured.