The Creative Evolution

People ask, how do I come up with my abstract works, what inspires them? So I am going to pull back the curtain to my studio and show you my creative process.

I began with this photograph of a neighbor’s yard taken years ago. I was inspired to take the photograph, because the different levels reminded me of old photos I had seen of gardens in Charleston, South Carolina, where my Dad’s family originated.


The photo turned out rather average, but the colors and different textures were nice, so I decided to transform it into a “Digital Watercolor.” Photo realists make paintings that look like photographs. I do the opposite, which gives me a pop art kick, I have to confess.

After I had transformed the picture, I still was unhappy with the composition. offers a 4:1 proportion production option, meaning they can create a work that is four times longer than it is wide. So I cropped my favorite slice of my new artwork, in that proportion to load at a later date.


Imagine this three-and-a-half feet tall! I’m suddenly feeling a whole lot better about my wonky, quasi-Southern photograph. Then I tune into the snap dragons and fall in love with the color and shape, so I make cuttings of the snap dragons.


It’s just a wee little image under 350 pixels long and in this form reminds me of England in the 30’s, somewhat pale and pretty, but also a bit of a yawn.  So I flip it. I skew it. I have to enlarge it, but the program I used to edit it, fotosketcher, can only enlarge by 300 percent at a time.  The trick is that every time an image is enlarged it needs to be reprocessed in order to have sharp edges, without it the artwork looks fuzzy and in extreme enlargements, pixelated, which won’t do. Now, I’m having fun, adjusting colors, composition, direction, and contrast. The end result:

Sell Art Online

You never know how the creative process will turn out, but it always feel so wonderful. I was able to create three abstracts! To see the series, CLICK HERE.


4 thoughts on “The Creative Evolution

  1. I must admit I was totally unaware of the fact that offers that kind of editing. Odd that FAA didn’t say anything about it when they merged the two. I’ll have to check that out. Love what you accomplished with this James.

  2. Lianne, thank you for your comment. I made some changes to the text, thanks for pointing that out, it was confusing. The editing was done on the program fotosketcher. Pixels, formerly, Fine Art America, can produce painting in the 4:1 proportions. So I cropped a chunk of the image in that proportion to upload at a later date. I have a gallery of vertical 4:1 on my site if you would like to see other examples.

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