I always say that my work is highly intuitive. What I mean is I sense when I have an image that will work for me and feel mostly, rather than think, my way through the creative process. This, of course, after a lifetime of loving art, studying art and making art.
This image pretty much started with the leaves falling. Soon after I got serious about using a camera, I became enamored with Autumn leaves...not those on the trees, mind you, but the ones on the ground. I didn’t have time to drive out to the country and wait for a lovely sunset, so I looked in the most obvious place possible…at my feet.
I was looking at the ground when I saw this wonderful pile of leaves that had formed themselves into an attractive curved pattern. I always leave nature in charge of creating the arrangement; and she never lets me down.
The color was subdued, not what you see here…that’s where the art came in later. What I saw was relationships, relationships between various types of leaves, all in different stages of life, all beautiful and unique. I saw potential and snapped the shutter.
Now came the fun part. Once the image was on my computer, I got to work. I wanted to highlight the texture from the rain drops and bring out the distinctive colors of the leaves. I manipulated the color, contrast, and saturation with my editing software. As I did this, an amazing thing happened. The colors and relationships that were not obvious in the original photo were now visible. Each leaf had its own personality in relationship with its neighbors.
My last step was to crop the image to create the strongest possible composition. It’s important to me to remove anything that doesn’t contribute to the final art piece. I’ve also been known to crop a single image into four or five different compositions. If that results in an image with less pixels, then so be it. I have no problem with that.
Ultimately, my art is about evoking a feeling in the viewer. In this piece, I believe I achieved that by finding a way to reveal the inner beauty of these leaves in relationship to one another and creating a strong composition that allows the viewer to focus on that very thing. What has struck me during my work with fallen leaves is the unique qualities they take on really in the final stages of their lives and how truly touching that beauty is.
Feel free to check out my website here at www.judithschmidt.com. My art can also be seen at www.judithschmidt.imagekind.com and on hundreds of products at www.zazzle.com/jujusplace*. Let me know what you think. I welcome your feedback.
© JUDITH SCHMIDT