I'm feeling out of sorts today. Maybe it's because I'm getting my hair cut; that always makes me anxious. Maybe it's because school starts tomorrow with our first inservice of the year. I am just not ready to go back. Maybe it's because of myriad reasons that I can't even put into words.
Some days are just like that.
In any case, I can feel that band of anxiety tightening across my chest, and I just feel trapped.
I thought about that feeling and an image blossomed in my brain. Along with the image came the phrase from Maya Angelou, "I know why the caged bird sings." And I feel like a caged bird. But I feel like I just can't sing today.
And so, I turned to Photoshop, as I often do, to get this out of my system. What I really wanted to do was to create mixed media piece, but that just isn't going to happen with a toddler and a decided lack of necessary media. So, as I built this piece, I tried to build it as though I were working with mixed media: papers and paints and pictures....
I started with several text-based textures from an artist who goes by Les Brumes on Flickr. I wanted my background to be like I use a variety of book pages. Over that, I added some free painterly textures by Distressed Jewell (also on Flicker) so it would like I had painted over the paper. I started, then, with this:
Next, I started adding in and layering images from a wonderful free site called The Graphics Fairy. She had just the vintage images that I was looking for. I used a large raven image as part of the background. Ravens tend to have dark connotations, and I wanted that element of darkness. I chose a vintage print of a girl to represent myself. She's looking upward with a mixture of hope and anxiety on her face. As soon as I saw the image, I knew it was the one I wanted to use. I also found a vintage bird cage. Perfect.
Then, I added the birds by using brushes provided by Jerry Jones at Shadowhouse Creations. I used several brushes in order to get all the birds on the right side of the image. I also used a single bird brush that was different from the previous ones. This bird symbolizes hope and freedom and escape.
I added the text next. That's how I'm feeling right now. I want to sing but can't remember how.
And finally, I added two of Kim Klassen's freebie textures to bring the whole image together.
Then, voila. Here's my final image:
Between creating the image and posting this blog, I do have to say that I feel a little bit better...