Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"LUNA" a Pareidolic Portrait [what's Pareidolia?]

This is "Luna," a new mixed media portrait.

 Materials are: Junk Mail, Acrylic Paint, Glitter, Textured Glazes.

Pareidolia is the experience of “seeing” something in a stimulus or an object that’s simply vague and random. An example is the Shroud of Turin. Remember when you were a child lying on your back in the grass, watching the clouds go by and you saw a bunny or a castle in the sky, or the man [or woman] in the moon? Or the Madonna on a piece of toast, or a cluster of cactus? Maybe you've even heard messages when records are played in reverse [number nine? number nine?].

Carl Sagan believed that the ability to recognize faces from a distance or in poor visibility was an important survival technique. While this instinct enables humans to instantly judge whether an oncoming person is a friend or foe, Sagan noted that it could result in some misinterpretation of random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces.
Leonardo da Vinci wrote about pareidolia as an artistic device. "If you look at any walls spotted with various stains or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills."

So often, people compare my work to those photo mosaics they've seen at Disneyland or in magazines... an image made up of thousands of photographs created in a computer.
Photo Mosaic at Disney

In fact, many people believe I use some sort of computer program to create my work. I'd like to say that no... I actually DRAW...PAINT...CUT...GLUE... using nothing more hi-tech than pencil, brush, scissors and sometimes and exacto knife.

So, I decided to tackle one of the most common Pareidolic images, the man in the moon... but I love women's faces better...
It's only a Paper Moon
I began by creating a monochromatic background and crescent moon in large squares - if you look closely, you'll see movie tickets [Knight & Day how apropo], greeting cards, advertisements, invitations, fly cards, postcards and photographs. Yes, I have a room full of paper. I save everything. I recycle everything. It took HOURS to cut and sort by tone all of those pieces! I reversed the progression on the moon.  It's only a Paper Moon!

Then the painting of Luna took shape... I kept to a somewhat monochromatic color scheme, only adding a bit of pink paper to the lips and greige shades for the hair.
Luna before the asteroids...

A Crater!

I was pretty happy when I got there, but never leaving well enough alone, I grabbed palette knives, brushes, glitter, gravel, textured gels and my own fingers to create peaks, valleys, craters and rocky textures.
This changed the perfectly flat "collage" into a textured moonscape. Now my woman in the moon looked like she was ON the moon!

This portrait, one of many in my collection of paper mosaic portraits is 30x40" on 1" museum wrapped canvas. Edges are painted black. Wired, ready to hang!

See more here: Schimmel Art Web Site

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