Monthly Archives: March 2020

Making abstract paintings and then digitally manipulating it

All these images are taken on my iphone…. regretably the quality isnt the best and I later found out that photographying the painting while they were still wet created the best results for smooth textures and colour vividness.

By the time I realised this come of my most successful images of manipulation cant be redone with the same visual impact in high resolution – shot on a DSLR

I started to find the more ‘ugly’ I tried to go with colours and technique the more interesting the results



  1. 1.the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. 2.a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment,[1][2][note 1][3][4] which one develops through the practice of meditation and through other training.[2][5][6] Mindfulness derives from sati, a significant element of Buddhist traditions,[7][8] and based on ZenVipassanā, and Tibetan meditation techniques.[9][10][note 2] Though definitions and techniques of mindfulness are wide ranging,[16] Buddhist traditions explain what constitutes mindfulness such as how past, present and future moments arise and cease as momentary sense impressions and mental phenomena.[7][17][18] Individuals who have contributed to the popularity of mindfulness in the modern Western context include Thích Nhất Hạnh (1926– ), Herbert Benson (1935– ), Jon Kabat-Zinn (1944– ), and Richard J. Davidson (1951– ).

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing attention on what is happening in the present. And — importantly –accepting it without judgment.

One of the goals of mindfulness is to enhance your appreciation of simple, everyday experiences. By learning to focus on the here and now, you are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past.

Mindfulness is often learned through meditation. That is a method of regulating your attention by focusing on your breathing, a phrase or an image.

What to read and research? Who/what can I relate to on paper??

Laia Abril – The Epilogue /103814026

David Horvitz – Mood Disorder

Christian Patterson – Redheaded Peckerwood

Shawn Tan – Tales from outer suburbia

Shaun Tan – The arrival /74292820

Rob Woodcox- Bodies of Light

Alex Prager – working collaboratively

Dictionary of the Obscure Sorrow – John Koenig

It’s a blog, but been in the works to be a published book.

Gratitude – The school of life

German untranslatable words – The School of life

Experimenting with abstract art and overlays

I came across an interesting tutorial on a web site called Skill share which was about distorting images to make abstract art.

This tutorial showed experimental ways on how to use an Ipad and photo editing apps such as Glitched, Mextures and Procreate to transform ordinary image into something more interesting and dynamic.
The three following images were some of the results I got. I like the colours, distortion and movement.

I then took these images and experimented with them in Photoshop as overlays onto some of the previous shots I took with my model Josh . H…..
It’s interesting results… but I don’t think i’m sold on this style yet… might give it some more work and see if I can oush it to another direction.

New Inspiration!!

So this Covid19 lockdown has got me surfing the internet at home a bit more and I have come across some new inspiration. Some of these are artists I have followed on social media in the past but a lot are new to me. Its the colour, movement and digital influence on these works which is steering me visually towards a more abstract and colour explosion style.

Jon Jacobsen

Frederic Fontenoy

Justin Bower


Lynsey Levendall

Terri Weifenbach


I have Jon Jacobsen features at the start of this blog entry. He is fantastic. I wish I was doing what he was doing. I love his digital inclusion into his work. the colour, contrast and metalalic look is awesome.


Simple sets, the dancer/model isn’t just posing but interacting with the props… reflections is something I really want to work with.

Love a dramatic floral arrangement.

Could embroidery be the new photoshop? wonderful effect

HOW DO I EDIT LIKE THIS? how does one distort mirrored/reflections of the subject? HOOOOOW?


Trial shoot with Verni A.

Experimented with shooting through printed silk. Bringing more colour and feminine look to the concept.

Experimenting with gif animation.
Working in photoshop trialling the use of the hue and saturation slider and cutting out part of the image I tried some new ways to bring movement in the silence of the image.

I gave painting over the top of the image in multiple layers ago but this time trying to cover the entirety of the image. Not set on the brush, colours or style. This is a trial and will keep experimenting with looks and style till something feel right.

For this gif the brush strokes are too thick and I think I want to try more of a formula pattern for the colour animation.

Trial Shoot with Josh H.

For this shoot I wanted to test out:
– lighting with a soft box
– Trialing drawing textures with the human body
– Painting over photos to make a gif image
-Play around in photoshop and with traditional media — I want to get around to trialing painting oil paint over a printed photo.

Could explore this Idea further: maybe more layers, longer animation, fill the entire photo…. that there is so many layers you can see what is underneath…. you get a caricature of the person at the end

Making a textured backdrop

The goal was to achieve a background that was cost effective with dark ample texture.
My inspiration came from the company ‘Unique Backdrops’ who make studio backdrops which are beautiful, professional and have the perfect mottled concrete look I lust for.

I found an easy tutorial from a portrait photographer Jake Hicks on how to make a dark background using black board paint and white chalk. It looks great on his website… how could it possible go wrong for me?
So it begun! I ordered 12 ounce duck canvas online and then made a trip to Bunnings for supplies.

I bought:

-pole roller

-hand roller

-paint tray

-black board paint.

I cut 3.5 metres of the canvas and did 2 coats of the black paint.

The instructions said to use chalk.
I could not find white chalk ANYWHERE. I looked at Kmart, Target, Bunnings, Coles, Safeway, craft shops, $2 shops…. NOTHING.
Then. I had what I thought was the most brilliant idea of all time.

I was flabbergasted as my own genius.

HOW-BLOODY-SMART. WHAT COULD GO WRONG? *scroll down my friends*

I inhaled more baby powder than what you see on the floor. It is the asbestos of the craft world.
Removing it from the backdrop was mayhem. I spent around an hour trying to woft it out the door then scrubbing it off the canvas with a damp cloth.

I ended going back to Bunnings and purchasing 3 Taubmans paint samples with 3 different shades of grey to try and fix the botched job I’d had made so far.

I watered the paints down in jugs 2 parts water to 1 part paint and dripped the paint from a stick over the canvas. Then using a moist hand roller to spread the paint in small areas at a time. I repeated this action in about 8 layers using different shades to add depth.

The end result was ok…. It was the first attempt so I wasnt expecting it to be perfect… Ill probably paint over it in future … maybe attempting a lighter look…..


I worked on a 2nd background. I painted the base black. And using the same watered down paint mixture I applied it this time by sponge in random semi-circle patterns.

I did two layers of this with the darkest of the greys. Once it was dry I went over the top ‘glazing’ it with a watered down black, This helped tone down the texture and allowed it to blend with the background somewhat.

The end result with the fluff models:
The grey paint had a light sheen finish which lights up from studio flash lights. This is something I didn’t realise would happen until shooting. I don’t mind, but in future I will use matt paint to get a more subdued look.

Folio Proposal

Kimberley Munro

Master of Arts – Photography


Assignment One: Folio Proposal

Working title:

Visual tension

Anxiety is almost impossible to define. To list all the phenomena people have subsumed under this term would create a huge inventory that would involve some exceedingly subtle observations” (Sigmund 1964, p.478)


Mental illness is an invisible illness which can’t be seen as a physical aliment and this project will concentrate on making this visual through colour, shape and texture. The project will focus on anxiety as it is a common disorder and a symptom of mental illnesses. I want to attempt to depict it and give it a physical appearance and evoke the viewer to see something which isn’t there. The final outcome will be a combination of prints and digital gifs.


Anxiety is hard to understand. It is a personalised experience and is felt in different intensities and brought on by a range of fears and experiences. In a study by Beyond Blue they found 26.3% of Australians from the ages 16- 85 have experienced an anxiety disorder in their life.

There is also a stigma around mental illness that because it isn’t physical it isn’t as serious.

Research from the National Survey of Mental Health Literacy and Stigma shows that a common misconception about how society views anxiety is 

‘most people believe that anxiety is a sign of personal weakness. The other two common misconceptions include:

most people believe anxiety is not a real medical illness’; and

most people believe that people with anxiety could snap out of it if they wanted to’ (Beyond Blue)

The stigma itself is destructive to the sufferer, making the person experiencing it feel like their experience isn’t valid or would be taken seriously reducing the chance of the sufferer from seeking help.

I want my images to connect to those with conditions, building a discussion and showing a representation for this community in the world of art as well as raising awareness for those who don’t suffer that anxiety exists, that it is in different severities and that it doesn’t discriminate and can therefore affect anyone.


Is it possible through the use of photography to document anxiety and in an attempt to reduce the negative stigma that is often associated with the illness?

Key terms to explore:

  • How an experience feels vs to how it appears to be is a significant factor in issues with mental health which leads to their downfall.
  • How we deal with the trauma and mental health issues should be the main focus as this is what achieves understanding and rehabilitation for sufferers.  
  • The happiness of your life is decided by the quality of your thoughts not what is currently happening to you.
  • Having positive coping mechanisms is a solution to deal with mental health issues.


My goal is to explore portraits, body scapes, still life and manufactured environments to illustrate the feelings and appearances of anxiety.

I will work with models, actors and performers to be the people I photograph in this series.

Using a DSLR camera to photograph, manipulating photos through Photoshop, constructing scenes and objects through Maya 3D and using procreate (which is an Ipad app) to paint in elements are the tools I will use for image making.

I will also be using studio spaces and available spaces with artificial studio lighting, making backgrounds and sets, painting and sculpting to create the looks and set for the people/subject matters.

I will experiment with the themes of texture, gravity, shadow, lines (pulsing veins/roots) and reflections to depict different ways to represent anxiety.

-My outcomes will be the results of set-up shoots which are then altered digitally to get the final results for either printed images or gif animations Ideal for gallery setting or online exhibiting.


I have been inspired by natural occurring elements such as the moving of shadow, how gravity pulls objects in motion back to the world, the feeling of high blood flow when adrenaline has taken over the body, taking real elements images and doctoring their appearance for new meanings.

Artists who inspired this further are the Japanese sculptor and photographer Yuichi Ikehata who makes sculptures of bodies under construction and then manipulated his own body in parts over the sculpture. He explores the difference between reality and fictions. What I take from his work is seeing the human vessel abandoned amongst its construction. That constructing the ideal human is a job worth giving up on, the distress and suffering of these partial constructions show a mixture of intense emotions, crumbled minds and isolation.

Another key reference is American photographer Rob Woodcox whose stunning manipulations of dancers bodies in mid air defy gravity in beautiful arrangements. He showcases a range of feelings evoked from an interpretive pose and collages the model making an ensemble of emotions

I’ve also read a passage in the journal Narrative and the section about Hannah Starklys practice, the following is a key quote:

Photography has an endless potential to explore questions about ourselves in relation to the world around us…these photographs explore the psychological and physical space of an individual in contemporary western society ……the characters portrayed in each location seem to be at odds with these environments, appearing dislocated and isolated’ (Bright, S. 2011)

In this summary the writer has described what I want to achieve with my work. Like Hannah Starkly I want to work with set up manufactured scenes which explore the psychological of characters in their environment showing the feelings of isolation and indifference, showing in my case how anxiety can look in reality but also showing how it feels in a surreal method.


For this series across the 18 months I anticipate I will shoot 15-18 different shoots. While the majority wont feature as end/final submissions for my solution to my folio brief, the first 1-10 shoots will serve as trials for ideas, concepts and experimenting.

To finish with 6-8 of my shoots with final images for exhibition is what I’m aiming for. Getting an animated gif portrait from each shoot as well, utilising the models I work with for at least 2 concepts, giving me around 8 high quality gifs. Leaving 6-7 final printed images at the minimum, to be used as representations and solutions to my proposal.


week 5work on computer reading and researchwork on computer
March 20th   painting
week 6painting reading and researchShoot model
March 27thwork on computervideo + studio class work on computer
week 7work on computer CG Futures conventionwork on computer
April 3rd video + studio class Speak to mentor
BREAKreading and research reading and researchShoot model
BREAK video + studio class painting
Week 8work on computer reading and research 
April 24th video + studio class Speak to mentor
week 9work on computer reading and researchShoot model
May 1st video + studio class work on computer
week 10work on computer reading and research 
May 8th video + studio class Speak to mentor
week 11work on computer reading and researchShoot model
May 15th video + studio class work on computer
week 12threading and research   
Mat 22ndwork on computervideo + studio class  
 Speak to mentor after presentation   

  • Where is says ‘Shoot Model’ due to the current situation with COVID19 I may substitute this with shooting still life, online tutorials or computer work.


Bright, S 2011, Art photography now, 2nd edn, Thames & Hudson, London.

Sidman, M 1964, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Anxiety, vol. 108, pp. 478–481, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.

Veale, D & Roberts, A 2014, BMJ: British Medical Journal, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, vol 348, London.

Beyond Blue 2020. Viewed 11 March 2020, <>

Beyond Blue 2020. Viewed 11 March 2020,<>

Kurian, S 2020. Mind Framed, The Week , Viewed 17 March 2020, <>

Martinovic, J n.d. Enter the surreal, Gravity-defying World of Rob Woodcox, Prohbtd,  <;

Wheeler, E 1965, The School Counselor, ANXIETY, MENTAL ABILITY, AND REPORTED VIEWS OF SELF, vol. 13, pp. 33–35, Sage Publications, California.


Hay, H & Marshall, S 2018. Posturing: Photographing The Body in Fashion, Self Published Be Happy, London.

Kleinman, P 2012, Psych 101: psychology facts, basics, statistics, tests, and more!, Adams Media Corporation, Holbrook.

Murphy, D & Moya, P & Fox, M & Rubenstein, L & Wendland, J & Timpano, K 2013, Anxiety and affective disorder comorbidity related to serotonin and other neurotransmitter systems: obsessive — compulsive disorder as an example of overlapping clinical and genetic heterogeneity, Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, vol. 368, pp. 1-18, The Royal Society, London.