Saturday, February 13, 2010

victorian valentine

Since it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow… clearly, I’m not avoiding the kitschy pink, the flower petals, the cute kitties… I don’t normally post any of my composite works here – the Picture of the Day is hardly ever tweaked more than through moving the sliders or the lines around using Photoshop’s “levels” or “curves” functions. But ever since I saw the reviews of the current exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of Victorian decorative photograph albums, where disembodied heads are stuck into prepared watercolor scenes, or playing cards, or arboreal family trees; or photographed figures are snipped out wholesale and set down, like collage, into rural scenes, I’ve had my eye on Valentine’s day.

This picture retains something of the collage, deliberately – a couple of hard edges between various discreet images – but I used blur functions, and overlays with shifting degrees of transparency, whilst working in, and moving around, about fourteen different layers – achieving a depth that it would be quite hard to do with ordinary collage. My only rule was that each cat would appear twice. But it was surprisingly hard to get the final composition quite right – I think I’ve just about nailed it – I’d printed out two different versions before I arrived at this one, and was kicking myself for not having wired up the laptop to a big editing screen first. All I have to do now is smuggle the 13x19 print down to the breakfast table…


  1. Lovely, Kate. Happy VD to you and yours!

  2. Thank you! I hope you stayed off that roof - I couldn't help but think of you when I posted the latest... Ice dams! I'd never even heard of them until forced to google by your tale of woe. Good luck.