The Altered Image: Ready to Create & Fly

September 3, 2012

I was super inspired by a 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 community chat hosted this week-end by Australian art therapist Fiona Fitzpatrick to finally begin working on my art for her workshop The Altered Image: Hands On Photo Manipulation. Fiona’s offering focuses on changing the surface of a self photograph by hand (instead of digital manipulation) through a variety of altering techniques and media.

I was excited to use watercolor crayons I had received as a gift years ago (but haven’t used very much lately) from the material stash of Katarina Bruner, an ATR supervisor who always reminded me about the importance of making our own art as art therapists.  I also remembered Katarina’s own interest in the richness of self-portrait work for reflection and awareness.

Instead of loose sandpaper, I used a nail file for distressing the surface of the photo which worked well. The rounded edge of file was also great for going back into the image to create more texture. I also used some of my alcohol inks, which was a really nice combination with the watercolor crayon and the photo’s glossy surface:

My intention was to create this altered image with light, growth, strength, and lots of positive energy. After some altering, creating, and stepping back from the image, I was also delighted and surprised by the lines and movement behind me & around my shoulder that reminded me of wings and the permission I have to FLY!

This photo is 7 x 5 inches, which will fit really nicely in one the file folder pockets of my 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 gluebook. Fiona suggests that this image technique can also be great to use with visual journaling.  Many thanks to Fiona for the inspiring idea of altering photos this way , introducing the 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 to this process, and community members for their encouragement. I look forward to seeing more that develops from this workshop!

4 Responses to “The Altered Image: Ready to Create & Fly”

  1. Lani Says:

    Totally inspiring. I’ve got to dig out some alcohol inks and water color crayons! Wow! Thank you so much for posting!

  2. Hannah Says:

    Much fun to see this Gretchen. I was inspired by your permission to fly and took off on my own altered image that I began last week. Thanks!


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