Thursday, October 14, 2021

Labyrinth Project Creators Journal - Richard Alan Scott (New Entry 10/14/21)



Author: Richard Alan Scott
Rhode Island, USA


10/14/21

The next project I called up in my writer's journey was an unpublished Novella that I am punching up for publication, and it is a doozy. Woo-hoo!

My favorite historical figure of all time is none other than the libertine holy-man, the miracle worker, the horny charlatan, advisor to the last Czar and Czarina of Russia, and competitor to basketball great Wilt Chamberlain as the most prolific stud of all time: Grigori Yefimovich RASPUTIN!!! Yes how could I not have a major project about the guy who I've spent countless hours thinking and reading about, my old pal the Mad Monk himself?

St. Petersburg, Russia via 1917, the fall of the mighty Romanovs, the splendor of the palace and the debauchery of my beloved sinner/saint, ah, what a blessedly fascinating time in history and my most cherished in fact. To have supped with high-bred ladies of nobility then find nourishment at one of Rasputin's great orgies, well, "say no more" about holiday festivities! It makes John F. Kennedy's Camelot look like a kid's birthday party.

To the uninitiated, Father Grigori was a man of the cloth who dabbled with non-stop adultery between the linens. For a Catholic boy praying in church on Sunday that the beautiful middle-school classmate Linda would go out with me, and perhaps in a moment of solitude let me steal a kiss, ah, what better role model and all around renaissance man than the Imperial spiritual advisor and symbol of a doomed society? As I grew, I came to realize that RAS (my initials), was the closest thing the world may have ever seen to a holy devil made flesh, at least until Aleister Crowley came along.

I kid about the hero-worship, but this dark figure in actual life could not help but become an enormously villainous figure of fascination to this young writer. A guy who went from poverty in Siberia on a farm to the grand halls of Royalty, all on his wits, his dick, his faith, and his unexplained ability to harness the power of the Virgin Mary to perform clairvoyant prophecies, and, most importantly, healing upon the Romanovs Anemic son, Crown Prince Alexei. When some royal family members got the idea to silence this meddlesome advisor to Czarina Alexandria for good, it turned out to be a very long night trying to kill a seemingly indestructible force.

One legend has the group of unnerved, misfit assassins castrating the Siberian Svengali and passing down his manhood through generations, eventually to a Soviet Sex Museum and lord knows where else. And thereby hangs the tale, my novella The Grischa Trilogy (for which I need a new title due to the success of the Shadow and Bone series of books by Leigh Bardugo, [who'd have ever imagined that would have gotten taken?]).  My story centers around a group of S.Kingian modern day folks who are affected by the supernatural elements trapped in a group of objects that Romanov collectors obtain through an early Twentieth Century black market auction. I stumbled upon the idea of objects with disastrous historical events trapped in them that possess their owners through an old classic British television film of the Sixties called The Stone Tape. I had only a description of the film available to me all these years, until the entire thing showed up in YouTube recently; where it is worth a watch if you've never done so (the script was written by famed Weird writer Nigel Kneale whom also penned Quatermass). The Stone Tape Theory is that “Inanimate objects from the past may store a haunted ‘recording’ of abnormal or violent events.” 

When we get together around All Hallow's Eve, I'll guide you through the perilous and profane nature of my novella and the spooky reactions from an enraptured writing group.

Until then, pray for some great debauchery, mmmhhhuuuahahahahahahaha!


Friday, October 1, 2021

What is the Abstraction Point in Digital Art?

 The Abstraction Point is the specific moment when an object oriented piece of art crosses into total abstraction. The digital artist who is aware of the abstraction point can control the piece of art so that it is both object oriented and abstract at the same time. 

Digital art walks a fine line of layers and techniques to build the final piece of art. If it crosses the abstraction point it can totally change the piece of art, making it unrecognizable from its original form. In some cases this is a good thing, if total abstraction is your purpose. But if your purpose is to maintain a ratio between the object and the abstract you can easily tip the whole piece of art and lose your original intention. 

Developing your skills as a digital artist means that you are extremely conscious of when and wear the piece of art changes into something totally new. 

Always remember that the success of any given piece of digital art isn't simply in finding a filter and using it over and over again. Instead its in subtly maneuvering each filter and merging them together in a constant development process until you achieve your goals for the piece of art. 

This is no different than an artist using dozens of different brushes to achieve a final painting.

The abstraction point does not stay stationary. It changes based on your intentions for the piece of art. Being able to identify when the abstraction point is reach each time you create a piece of digital art is as much an instinct as it is a science. But if you can refine this skill it can be the difference between a mediocre piece of art and a masterpiece. 

Example #1

While there are many different layers to any given piece of art, the abstraction point can most easily be seen by looking at three key parts of any given digital art piece. The example below is called the "object point". Its where the objects can clearly be seen within the art and most of the primary elements are now present.


Example #2

The second is example is the "Abstraction Point". Note that the original objects are now 80% or more obscured. If the piece is taken just a slight amount further you will lose the objects completely and be left with a total abstraction


Example #3

And here is the finished work, showing how we manipulate the original objects back into art.


Keep in mind that there is a lot more at play here than a couple of filters. To achieve this final work, there are at least 50-100 steps in between. But if you can identify where the abstraction point is, it will make an incredible difference in your work 

Monday, September 20, 2021

09/20/21 Haitian Refugee Being Whipped by Border Patrol Guard (Crisis Point Art)

 


Crisis on the border as Border Patrol agents think they are cowboys, roping and wrangling poor refugees attempting to get food from organization trying to help feed them. 

Crisis Point Art

Crisis Point Art is art based on actual video footage of any given crisis filmed during the crisis. This can include video from news or independent sources captured on anything from an IPhone to Video Cameras.

The process involves reviewing video taken in and around the crisis and isolating single frames of the video which are then screen captured as a low resolution image. The image is then transformed to a surreal high resolution piece of art which captures both the essence of the crisis and elements that create an emotional surreal view of the crisis at hand.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

09/19/21 Volcanic Eruption, La Palma, Canary Islands (Crisis Point Art)

 


The Cumbria Vieja Volcano is currently erupting on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands. This art was spontaneous art created from live feeds of the eruption. 

Crisis Point Art

Crisis Point Art is art based on actual video footage of any given crisis filmed during the crisis. This can include video from news or independent sources captured on anything from an IPhone to Video Cameras.

The process involves reviewing video taken in and around the crisis and isolating single frames of the video which are then screen captured as a low resolution image. The image is then transformed to a surreal high resolution piece of art which captures both the essence of the crisis and elements that create an emotional surreal view of the crisis at hand.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Life & Death of the Man

While the world suffers from Covid and Hurricane Ida, massive wildfires and a host of other climate related issues (And yes I consider Covid part of the climate change narrative), I am reminded that this weekend should be the annual Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert.

For a second year the festival has been cancelled due to the pandemic. And while it might get overlooked, there are some of us who remember and honor the man from afar. 

But I posted this to talk about the image above. This was sadly taken within moments of Aaron Joel Mitchell, an attendee of the festival, jumped into the flames in 2017 and committed suicide. 

You may ask why I bring up such a melancholy thought right now. First, because I would like to honor his memory, at a time when little thought is given to the matter. Second because I think we need to acknowledge that there are many many people out there that are screaming out for help and that this is only going to get worse. Third because in some ways he represents the cleansing by fire that Burning Man has always brought to so many symbolically. Sadly he took the most direct route to that cleansing. 

On this weekend when the Man should have burned and once more cleansed those who need it, many are left bereft of that symbolic healing. Here in New Orleans where the hurricane has yet destroyed our city. In the west where fires are sweeping through whole towns and many other places where disaster has hit, we need to symbolically cleanse ourselves of the pain. without destroying ourselves in the process.

Burning Man is not just a festivals for hippies to frolic naked in the desert. It is a healing time and one that I hope will come again in future years. 

For now, cleanse yourselves in the best ways possible, and remember that there are others that understand. Reach out to us. We are there. 

A Dystopian Triptych - Los Angeles

In the early morning hours before Hurricane Ida made landfall, I began working on this triptych of the Los Angeles skyline. I'm not sure what was motivating me, other than angst at the coming storm and dread that the power was going out. But I completed it a few hours before we lost electricity. I'm only now. 5 days later, getting a chance to upload it from our hotel room where we have taken refuge until the power comes back on.  

If you don't think climate change is real, you might as well go stick your head in the sand. This will only get worse and climate refugees such as myself will only become more noticeable in the coming years. 

This art is uploaded in its full size, so use your slider bar if you can't see the whole thing. 

~Grey~