Rorschach Moon By Jim Plaxco, 18″ x 27″
Rorschach Moon is a picture that I recently submitted to the IAAA (International Association of Astronomical Artists) Critiques Page under the title Discordant Moon. The purpose of the Critiques Page is to make it possible for an artist to get feedback from fellow artists about a particular piece of art.
I typically submit pictures that I have completed but which leave me wondering if I’ve got it right. This is both the blessing and the curse of working in the digital medium. Because it is so easy to go back and make changes, you get in the habit of going back and making changes in what could become a never ending cycle of “tweaking” your picture.
The idea for the title Rorschach Moon came to me as a result of a comment made by Walter Myers about the Moon reminding him of a rorschach inkblot. This is sort of the effect I was going for and immediately felt that a name change was in order. The idea for doing a mirrored moon came to me as a consequence of having read the book “Adobe Photoshop Master Class” by John Paul Caponigro. One of the techniques that he likes to employee with his photography is to produce mirrored images or objects. For my moon, while I did want it mirrored, I did not want to have it perfectly mirrored about a central vertical axis. Such an effect would be too obvious. Instead I created an unbalanced axis lacking perfect symmetry thus making the effect slightly more subtle.
Having said all that, the real purpose behind my writing about this picture is because of one of the comments that I received about the picture. Fellow artist Garry Harwood felt that this picture was a “stylistic departure” for me. This left me scratching my head. What did he mean? In response to my question, Garry pointed out how this piece differed from my previous submissions, primarily with respect to contrast (narrow vs wide dynamic range) and colors (pastels vs strong primaries). Reflecting on this I realized that he was absolutely right – I had just never been conscious of it. In fact before submitting this image, I had considered going back and pumping up the colors and dynamic range.
Bottom Line: Sometimes the best way to learn about your art is to listen to what others have to say about it.
Ad Astra, Jim