Artist Joey Morgan uses a digital photography technique to create stunning abstract textural imagery on patina copper. See more by visiting her website.
I would create patina-style copper every day, all day, if I had my druthers.
There is just something about the unpredictability of the colors and patterns created. “When chemistry becomes art,” I like to say. Even though I wear gloves, my fingernails and cuticles somehow always manage to become discolored—but still, I would do it. (Pro tip: lemon juice works wonders!)
So now I have all this crazy cool patina copper—what to do with it? Take photos. Then what? How about digitally merging these photos with images of texture that I find in nature. Crazy thought!
And just like that, I have a creative workflow that has endless possibilities and gets me outside to explore and appreciate nature. Most of the time we admire nature from a distance. Even if you’re out hiking, how often do you get up close to a tree to study the bark, or a plant’s leaves? Nature is an entirely different wonder when viewed close-up.
Several years ago, I was walking on the beach in Puerto Penasco, Mexico and took photos of sand patterns. When I returned home, I started going through some of these photos in Photoshop.
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Once I began digitally layering images on top of one another and applying filters to each layer to create more intriguing images, I was hooked! And suddenly a simple sand pattern became, “Wow, this is sooo cool.”
At some point, I decided to digitally merge an image of a piece of traditionally green patina copper into a very detailed, multi-linear sand pattern. Mind blown! Eight years later that particular piece of artwork is still one of my favorites. A metal print of it sold at one of my first shows. Rock on!
It’s been an ongoing experimental process and love affair ever since. My iMac has nearly seventy-five folders of texture photos just waiting to be picked for the next piece of art.
Tree bark from Northern California, a canyon wall from Paria Canyon in Northern Arizona, jackfruit from the grocery store, leaves from Iquitos, Peru. A seeded sunflower from the farmer’s market, dried up ferric nitrate that was once liquid that I forgot about, pinecones from Yosemite that I probably wasn’t supposed to take home…the list goes on. And so does the inspiration.
Traveling the world in search of the great next “texture find” for artwork wouldn’t be so bad. Of course, I’d have to take my dog Scout, become one of those travel bloggers and live in a van!
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