Mad In Pursuit Notebook

sleep not

"Jim always wanted a small house in the country"

31 Oct 2012 -- I am trying to be inspired by the surreal photography of Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor. We have a print by Uelsmann -- "Small Woods Where I Met Myself." I pulled it out of the stack of "miscellany" in Jim's study and found a frame to fit it from the frame pile in the garage. It's very haunting. It shows that Uelsmann is about creating worlds -- and moods -- not simply constructing a funky photomontage. He is a master of craft (doing it all still in the darkroom -- no Photoshop). His work feels deep -- the product of hours, days, weeks, years of digging into the dark corners of his consciousness.

I want to go there.

I want to explore my own dark corners, maybe because I'm starting to get too old to travel to Timbuktu.

Ok, first craft. <Sigh> I started another online video course on Photoshop. A couple tricky techniques into the course, I got an inspiration to transform a pretty ordinary shot of Jim (below) into something wilder (above).


It took me all afternoon to mask out unwanted elements, including the wall, to position a grassy close-up from an outing at Mendon Ponds Park, to make the sheers really translucent, and to create the color overlay that would pull it all together. The little project involved me 100% and took me somewhere I hadn't been before. It had no real purpose except maybe to entertain my Facebook friends -- it was practice, a tonic, a meditation on the wandering mind of a quiet man reading the Sunday paper.



"Small Woods Where I Met Myself" by Jerry Uelsmann (1967)