"My eyes adjust to the light surrounding me, everything is ethereal, clear yellow-gold. It feels like there are spikes of tall grasses made of yellow sunlight, or grasses bathed in golden light. Off to my left there is an opaque black darkness providing a high contrast and sense of a hillside. The petaled water creature, with a rainbow of pink and greens on its petals swims beside me through the golden grasses, swimming through the air like it’s water."
I scanned my hand-drawn sketch (left) into my computer yesterday and spent the afternoon creating collages, using layered duplicates and coloured screens. In this post I'll explain my use of 'creative photoshop' but first, here's a bit of background on where the image comes from:
from my dream journal:
One seed sprouts and blooms, becomes a petaled-creature like a mermaid made of flowers. She swims out into the void, her petals rippling like seaweed.
This image, was created by layering two copies of the image over top of one another and applying an 'Exclusion' filter to one. This ensured that both were visible, and the overlapped areas became a reverse image (whites became black, blacks became white).
It was a hot summer evening and as I walked underneath the trees, the hot bright sunlight was low in the sky.
In sun-lit patches the light picked out leaves and plants for my attention - back-lighting them beautifully. Most notable was the sun-shot spiderweb encasing these dried flower heads. Multiple photographs and a film were taken.
Looking at the image (pictured) I was startled by the depth, and sense of movement, like looking through water.
Observations: â I've been attuning to the watery lately.
A 'mermaid' made of petals
was seen in my minds eye
swimming through the air above tall sun-lit grasses.
â(See pictured drawing below).
caught spectacularly in the river of life.
Sun warms the water layering it with
eddies of warmth sliding sensually over the slow deep chill of darker waters.
Light strung out, sweeping sideways across my vision, plant-stuff floating,
memories woken, silver spiders weaving elemental surprises: streak like acrobats on fine strong wires:
Thread that binds and thread that holds
their visual prayer. A dream like whisp, a
floating pause, holding me still in this:
a sun-jewelled affair.
I was wearing orange that day (a colour associated with the sacral chakra, element: water) and as per my usual method, I created an improvised film to layer against my observation of the web. Resultant film stills (one below) were posted on Instagram.
Maija Liepins is an artist who has been writing stream-of-consciousness poetry since she was fifteen. She practices what Jung calls 'active imagination' which is similar, but with dreams instead of words. Improvisation has led her to add sound and embodied movement to the mix.