“The Sound of Glass Breaking #5” is a look at the explosion of color. I colorized the vintage photo of the woman (I do with all my vintage photographs) and then layered mosiac tile I found on the Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Access site on her jacket and her dress is layered with the painting “White Plum Blossoms and the Moon” by Ito Jakurchu. The rest of the piece is made up of images I have taken. Sunflowers from a farm in Connecticut, graffiti, cityscapes, and landscapes. All layered to create an abstract background.
Finished #4 in the series. This one I wanted to celebrate women in science. I used a few Photoshop actions to get some of the layers. One of the action is a Da Vinci drawing effect which takes an image, in this case the woman at the desk, and turns it into a drawing that has all the writing and feeling of a Da Vinci drawing. I then brought the original image back in as a layer and removed the drawing where I wanted the original image to come through. I have close to 100+ layers on this piece.
Third in the series, I worked with a background of Times Square in New York City. I brought in other images I had taken in the Bowery, Sheridan Square, trees looking out from a park overlooking the Queensboro Bridge and SoHo. I also used images I had taken at Trolley Graveyard, Carrie Furnace and Packard Plant and an abandoned Catskill resort. I have approximately 60-70 layers in Photoshop that I used to create this piece. I love being able to use the thousands of images I have taken over the last 11 years to create new pieces of digital art and collage.
The second work in my series “The Sound of Glass Breaking #2”. This again is made up of a majority of my own images. The vintage image is from the Smithsonian Museum Open Access Program. Her dress is decorated from a beautiful mosaic that I photographed in the Lexington/59th Street Subway station. The mosaic is by Elizabeth Murray. The background and wheel are from an airplane graveyard I photographed as well as graffiti from the Packard Plant in Detroit and images from the Tribeca area of NYC. Vintage butterfly and bird cage are from Graphics Fairy.
I’m really enjoying working with collages. I have completed 3 works in this series so far and I am in the middle of working on a fourth. I’m hoping to have a total of 5-6 pieces for this series.
I started a new series of work, “The Sound of Glass Breaking.” I watched a great presentation on collages through the Metropolitan Museum of Art and decided to really work on a piece. This series is inspired by my love for Amanda Gorman’s poetry, Kamela Harris being our first female Vice President and a great T-shirt . The T-shirt is a picture of broken glass with a a pair of converse sneakers among the shards and it says “Where shoes ladies, there’s glass everywhere.” I ordered the t-shirt through Etsy because I just loved it.
The image above is composed of 99.9% of images I photographed over the years. I enjoyed the whole process of creating this piece because I had to look back over thousands of images I made over the past 11 years. I didn’t realize the breadth of work I have created. The process of layering pieces and taking just little parts of an image is just so much fun. I don’t start with any preconceived idea. I just let my emotions take over and create it.
I photographed the woman in this image at MOMA when it opened it’s new section in October of 2019. I used Fotoda to combine that image with a few of my other NYC iphone images to create this “cacophyony” of colors in NYC.
One of images that I took walking around the city when I use to work there. I love the way light and shadow falls upon the building there.
Photographed this at Wampus Brook Park in Armonk, NY several years ago and decided to work on it a little bit. I wanted to give it a softer painterly kind of feel to evoke the quietness of snow.
The room was photographed at Pennhurst State School and Hospital. The siren is from the painting “The Bathers, 1884” by William Adolphe Bouguereau from the open access at the Art Institute of Chicago. The ships are from the painting, “Harbor Scene: An English Ship with Sails Loosened Firing a Gun” by Peter Monamy. The miniature forest in the background I photographed in the New Jersey Pine Barrens the whale tail is a stock image.
I photographed this a long time ago at the New York Farm Colony on Staten Island. The graffitti was so incredibly vibrant.
The New York Farm Colony was built in 1898 as a place the impoverished and socially outcast were sent to stay and work on the farm. The farm produced fruit, vegetables and grain which allowed the farm to be self sustaining. By the 1930’s the farm became a home for the elderly and was officially closed in 1975. During the 1970’s several children disappeared and shallow graves were found on the property. A cult move called “Cropsy” looks at the urban legend that developed from this. The famous “Willowbrook Mental Institution” was located right behind the farm colony. Needless to say it is a very eerie place.
Photographed with my iPhone X at Rockefeller State Park in Pocantico Hills, New York. I was driving through Pocantico Hills and saw all the sheep and cows in the fields. I had to stop and take some pictures. I added a few textures and painting affects to get a dreamy quality.
“The Undirected Play Of Thought” ©2020 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved
“The undirected play of thought” from a quote by Andre Breton on Surrealism.
I was driving by a local park, Wampus Pond, on a foggy day and stopped to capture it with my iPhone. I decided to make it a surrealist piece by adding a sink from an abandoned asylum. Drips from the faucet I found on a free image site that I cropped and resized to fit. Textures were added for mood.
“A Rememberance Of Things Past” title of a book by Marcel Proust (À la Recherche du Temps Perdu}
I wanted to create a mysterious piece using a vintage image. The woman is from the Smithsonian’s Open Access program, the door is an image I photographed at the old Dixie Cup Plant, the clock on the floor I photographed at abandoned Tewksbury State Hospital in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. The castle in the background is from the Metropolitan Museum is a part of a Caspar Freidrich painting.
This particular piece took me a little over a month to produce with various versions. I finally settled on this one.
“Look for the girls with the sun in her eyes” words by Lennon/McCartney from the song “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”
Another combination started in the app TaDa and finished off in Photoshop using a texture sky from Distressed Textures. The photo is a combination of images I photographed using my iPhone from Baxter Preserve in North Salem, NY and my own garden.
I love the psychedelic look that gives it a pop of color yet it appears, at least to me, calm.
Photographed a few years ago at an airplane graveyard which also had a lot of trucks and cars. I loved the colors that were reflected on the hood and windshield.
“The Doors of Perception” by Aldous Huxley is a book about his psychedelic experience on mescaline in 1953.
This is a mash up of photographs I took and then combined in the app TaDa and Photoshop. The main house is a building that was part of the abandoned Fairfield Hills Hospital in Newtown, Connecticut. Graffiti is from various locations in NYC and abandoned sites. The sky is actually a zentangle I worked on and imported into Photoshop.
I just loved the psychedelic feel of the colors.
“Bel Canto” translation “Beautiful Singing” or a type of Italian singing style used by Rossini and Donizetti in the first half of the 19th century.
A composition of a piano I photographed at the Tewksbury State Hospital, tree at Waveny Park a few falls ago that was such a brilliant red color, portrait is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Access and is a photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, and the angels are also from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Access and is a painting by Luis Falero titled “Twin Stars”.
I just loved the colors and mood the combination made.
A composite made of various images I have photographed with my iPhone. The main picture is of an old Airstream that is actually a small restaurant Mexican Restaurant on South Street in lower Manhattan. I mirrored it and mixed it in with some landscapes and believe or not a portion of my garage door! I worked on this on both my iPad and Photoshop and turned into a black and white photograph because I loved the pencil sketch look to it.
A few weeks ago I photographed this abandoned administration building at Letchworth Village in Rockland County, NY. I post processed on my iPad and then did a little more in Photoshop. I wanted that very eerie feel to it because it was a very eerie place!
I combined a bunch of images to get make this composite. I started with an image I photographed at the old Dixie Cup Plant and then added an image of a dollhouse from the open access collection of the Rijksmuseum. I added words from an old french postcard and the figure of the woman is an image I purchased through ItKuPiLLi Imagenarium on Mischief Circus. I added part of a Sutra Box (Kyobako) early 17th Century from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to make her dress or tutu prettier. I also added to the background an Asian Scroll “Birds and Flowers (Ming or Qing Dynasty) from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Access.
I photographed this a few years ago near the Morgan Library on 37th Street. I actually shot from the street capturing one buildings reflection within the glass of the building across from it.
Photographed down around Bleeker Street in New York City. I photographed this several years ago so I am not sure if this is still there.
The colorful graffiti caught my eye but I loved the black fire escape cutting through all of it.
Photographed with my iPhone X at Fable Farms in Ossining, New York. They have wonderful produce and have implemented an order online with curbside pick up. I am able to get fresh vegetables and stay safe at the same time. I took a picture of the goats standing on a box in their pen from my car while waiting to pull up to the barn. I just love goats.
I photographed this building recently up in Letchworth Village in Rockland County, New York. Letchworth Village was an residential facility for the physical and mentally disabled. It opened in 1911 and consisted of 130 buildings . It closed permanently in 1996.
I used my iPhone camera and processed the image on my iPad using various light and texture filters.
Photographed at the Packard Auto Plant in Detroit, Michigan. I loved the hole in the wall that made the room beyond look like a painting or a piece of a jigsaw puzzle hanging on the wall.
What was once a beautiful resort now lies in dampness and decay. This once grand stair case led from a lounge and bar area above down to where people would check in and have their hair done in the beauty salon and other spa like services. The wall paper now hangs limp from the walls and the carpet is covered in moss and mold. Amazing how mother nature reclaims what was once hers.
The room was photographed at Pennhurst State School and Hospital in Pennsylvania. I added a part of a painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art “Imaginary Landscape” by Gaspard Dughet as the landscape through the windows. The two vintage girls are from a Jermiah Gurney daguerreotype “Two Unidentified Little Girls” also from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I colorized them and placed them on a chair that was actually in the room at Pennhurst.
On of my Abandon America trips to the Pennhurst State School and Hospital also known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble Minded and Epileptic. A lot of atrocities were done within these walls. When I photograph these types of locations I always do so with respect to the people that had to be placed here.
I photographed this back in 2013 at the Scranton Lace Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was my first trip there with Abandoned America. I had gone back numerous times to photograph it and over the years more and more of the factory disappeared. It was torn down completely last year. It was my all time favorite place to photograph. The entire complex was over 600,000 square feet and every time I went I discovered areas I had never seen before.
Photographed a couple of years ago with my iPhone using the Hipstamtic app with the John S lens and BlacKeys Supergrain film. I love the way this particular combo is so high contrast. It really pops the white lines and arrows and captures a crisp day in downtown Manhattan.
“Something Tookish” from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I mixture of several different images including a few abandoned hospitals and green houses. Mostly photographed with my iPhone X and brought together using the FotoDa app.
I photographed this with my iPhone as a passenger in a car going across the Tappan Zee Bridge. The day was dark and stormy. I loved the blurriness of the image as well as the lines that cut across the frame. I used the Hipstamtic app with the John S lens and the BlacKeys SuperGrain film.
“What’s the Frequency?” inspired by the song “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth” by R.E.M.
“As My Mind Unweaves” from the song “Chest Fever” by The Band
I went for a walk along the beach at Playland in Rye, New York on Monday. It was such a a beautiful day and I just wanted some fresh air. It felt so good. I photographed this using my iPhone and the Hipstamatic app using the Penny Lens and Aristotle film. I just loved the dreaminess of it.
I photographed this amazing room with the graffiti windows at the old Dixie Cup Manufacturing Plant. I loved the way the light entered the room and the splash of blue color on the windows. The enormous letters are so graphic. Photographed with my Fuji X-T1.
I photographed this scene awhile back down in SOHO with my iPhone using the Hipstamatic app. I just loved the blurred edges, the colors of the ripped signage, the one light blazing at you and the word “Blair” in black on the wall. Made me wonder who is Blair?
I photographed this image through a window at a former jail in western Pennsylvania. I decided to completely crop out the window sill and frame because I liked the straight lines from the bars juxtaposed against the geometric shapes on the tudor barn structure. Keeping with my art through a window series the view formed its own abstract artwork.
I photographed this at SUNY Purchase even though it looks like it is in field somewhere. They have this great ornamental grass right outside of the Neuberger Museum of Art. The day had these dramatic storm clouds so the lighting was really cool. It was the same day I photographed last weeks image of the red parking lines.
I was walking through the parking lot at SUNY Purchase and where the staff parks the spaces are indicated by red lines. I looked down on this wet pavement and saw this great abstract look. Photographed with my iPhone X then worked on in Snapseed on my iPad and Topaz 2 on my iMac to pop the colors and work a little bit more with the look I wanted.
I photographed this room at Tweksbury State Hospital and had the idea while I was photographing it that I would put someone or something in it. The bather is from the painting “Birth of Venus” by Alexandre Cabanel which is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is part of the “Open Access” program.
I added a few things in…the faucets and bubbles I purchased from ItKuPiLLi Imagenarium. I resized and duplicated these items in order to place them exactly where I wanted them to go. My goal was to create very surreal photograph and found that when I made it black and white it really took on that quality.
This is a composite of a few different images but the main image was photographed with my iPhone out of the window at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). I loved the light and colors the mixture gave me.
Yesterday it was in the high 60’s which is unusual for the month of January in New York. I could not bear the thought of being inside on such a gorgeous day so I went off to one of my favorite places, Baxter Preserve in North Salem, New York. This is a view looking up one of the many paths on the property. The wide open spaces here are just breathtaking. The clouds were so dramatic.
I photographed this with my iPhone X using the hipstamtic app. I brought into Photoshop to just give it a little softness.
This was photographed in the old Dixie Cup factory in Pennsylvania at an Abandoned America workshop. I loved this blue train looking machine peeking out of the door. The colors were just so vibrant. Seeing this train reminded me of the song by Randy Newman, “Dixie Flyer.”
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious” a quote by Albert Einstein
A combination of a lot of images. The control room sides were photographed at the Carrie Furnace in Rankin, Pennsylvania. One of the Abandoned America trips I had taken a few years ago. The sky, blimp as well as the back wall clocks I purchased from Ikupilli Imagenarium. The floor is one of my FotoDa mashups and the man is one of the vintage images I purchased and colorized.
This is one of the images I started a couple of years ago and could not get to where I wanted it. I opened it up a few weeks ago and let my imagination run this time.
I photographed this image from a bus window the other week. I was going in with a group to see the “Christmas Show” at Radio City Music Hall. The birds in flight caught my eye against that very dramatic sky. I used my iPhone X with the “Blackie” app. One of the best camera apps for black and white photography. I worked on it a little more in photoshop.
This image is just so New York to me.
“A Spirit, yet a Woman Too! from the poem Perfect Woman by William Wordsworth.
This is a piece a started well over a year ago that I never was completely satisfied with and came back to it last week and reworked it. I find that if a piece is not working, walking away and coming back to it after some time allows me to look at it with new eyes and ideas. I find this piece to have a romantic air to it and also that slight haunting look that I like.
The background which I kept very dark was photographed at Waveny Park in New Canaan, Connecticut. The window is from one of the many abandoned buildings I have photographed. The vintage images came from free sources on the web.
With winter starting to come upon us I thought I would share this autumn image I took at Blue Hill Stone Barns on the Rockefeller Estate in Pocantico Hills, New York. I love the golden sun of autumn.
Photographed from the Tweksbury State Hospital. I loved the tools on the sill looking out over a beautiful New England autumn scene. The tattered shade with the minute holes in it just added to it.
A side view of the Battery Maritime building that was built between 1906 and 1909 and is in the Beaux-Arts architectural style. It is located in the Battery Park area of New York City at 11 South Street where South Street and Whitehall Street meet. The terminal is still in use today and is where you catch the ferry to Governors Island.
It is one of my favorite buildings in New York and when I worked down on Wall Street I would take my daily walk by it. This particular day had blue skies with a little bit of storm clouds coming in.