The Oracle Consults Her Muse

Or, Another Step Closer to Figuring Some Crap Out

Or, Before Enlightenment, Chop Wood and Carry Water.

Or, After Enlightenment, Chop Wood and Carry Water.

This piece of artwork has kept me busy, on and off, for the better part of the past two months. I mentioned in an earlier post how much I love Maggie Taylor’s art. I’ve set about teaching myself an entire other way of doing/seeing/being. Oh dear. Hmmmm. I suppose I should also mention I have begun a new personal practice of The Dance of Shiva. Insights and breakthroughs could happen. Yeah, I know….better watch it with the airy-fairy stuff.


Anyway, like I was saying, I’ve been going in some new directions with photography and art.  One of the things I love most about Maggie’s work is a certain ‘tactile’ sense it has.  Admittedly, my piece is ‘slicker’ in feeling than Ms. Taylor’s work.  I view this as a sort of self-imposed ‘class project’.  I have to learn the techniques before I can really fly, so I worked with the tools at hand.  My original inspiration for this piece was a photograph I took of my oldest daughter many years ago.  At that time, I was basically doing a film and motion ‘test’ in the studio.  The original photograph was shot on Agfa 1600 speed film, known for it’s fabulous graininess.


You may recognize the moon from my earlier piece.  Look’it, artists and creatives revisit and reuse many of the same motifs over and over.  Just like Joss Whedon uses a lot of the same actors and actresses in his movies and shows time and again.  Or, how about how Tim Burton’s stuff all has a certain look and feel?  You’re probably going to see that gramophone a few more times too.  Anyway.  Where was I?  Talking about me…and one of my favorite things is angst.  Not really, but it’s a good way to segue into a ‘detail’ shot of my latest masterpiece.  Did I just say ‘masterpiece’?


That little rat is such a tiny part of the whole and all but imperceptible, yet I was compelled to work on it as much as if it was 20 feet tall…..’cause I’m sick like that.

I decided at the onset I didn’t want my ‘oracle’ to be a real person.  Instead, I wanted her to be more of a mythical, fantastical creature.  Therefore, head removal was required.  In my layered file, I have a layer entitled ‘neck hole’.  Yep.  It doesn’t get more elegant than that, folks.   Neck hole.  Don’t make me have to rip off your head and spit down your neck hole!  I’m here to single-handedly do away with the notion that artists live in their heads and don’t possess a powerful physicality.   As a matter of fact, you can’t chop wood or carry water without a body.

Speaking of layers, my final image has 29 separate layers, and that doesn’t include the effects layers, such as drop shadows and outer glows.  It is a MAMMOTH file, at 490 MegaBytes.  I have learned SO much through the process of creating this piece.  For example, blend modes.  Yeah, just blend modes.  I duplicated many of the layers and used different levels of opacity and blend modes to create different effects.

I harvested my oracle from iStock.  I also have a portfolio of images with iStock that other people purchase and use.  I wrote a post about earning passive income with micro stock photography a while back.

Owl Face

On a final note, aside from designing a bee tattoo for myself, I’ve been playing around with ways to incorporate a bee into my signature.  Deborah is a Hebrew name from the Old Testament, meaning ‘the bee’.  I am neither Jewish nor Christian, but I am……Deborah.


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