Altered Horizons 47

Altered Horizons 47 Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops fabricated landscapes in dealing with depression and coping with change.

Well over half a century ago my kindergarten teacher told my mother I was talented. So began my career in art. By the 3rd grade, I was well established as a “good artist” in NYC PS94, and they gave me an easel in the back of the packed classroom where I could paint and draw all day during lessons. For years I painted and drew, and later sewed, my way through social studies reports, science projects, college term papers, and a master’s thesis. Art was a major part of my identity. Then, one day I quit. I couldn’t stand to even go near pencils or paints. People occasionally expected handcrafted cards or gifts, and I struggled through the process of “doing art” for them. Until I discovered I could “paint” with my photographs in Photoshop.

Here I’ve painted a seascape using a photo of the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia, taken after tossing some of my daughter’s ashes into it. The frothy-looking land at the horizon line is the bubbly edge of an incoming tide at a beach where I attended family reunions in Sanibel, Florida. The sky is taken from an image of a sandy riverbank in Maryland where I rented a cottage with a friend during the first COVID Christmas. And the sun is my favorite gold pendant, enlarged, inverted and de-saturated in Photoshop.

When I “paint” in Photoshop I get lost in the process. Using images that pull at my heart and history, I now “do art” with a similar drive to what I had when I was young.

Altered Horizons 47

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6 thoughts on “Altered Horizons 47

  1. Lynne Taetzsch

    That’s great, Robin. I, too, have had periods in my life where I stopped making art. And one period where I got totally wrapped up in leather craft for several years–even started a company, Holy Cow leather, in Ithaca many years ago.

    Whatever calls to you–love your photoshopped images!

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Holy Cow Leather! That was you? I remember Holy Cow. Yow, that goes WAY back. Okay, now I can feel justified in all my own artistic ramblings. Maybe these periods of change and immobilization never end. Makes you wonder about what could possibly come next.

      Reply
  2. Elaine Mansfield

    I love knowing a little of your history as an artist and I’m glad you found a medium that works for you now. This is my favorite of your recently shared abstract photoshop pieces, especially the sun and reflections in the water. May your days be filled with inner light and peace.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thank you, Elaine. Inner light and peace sounds perfect. I’m wishing you the same. It does feel like Photoshop is more my medium than words ever were. I cannot believe how you can come up with so many amazing words and ideas all the time. If it weren’t for my webmaster bugging me about SEOs, I would simply go silent these days. Images are my language now. It’s in my history, yes. But I’m still in awe of what words can do and I don’t regret all the time I spent trying to be a writer.

      Reply
  3. Lucy Bergstrom

    How wonderful that your urge to art came back to you, in a new form. I will have to work on finding a new form…I think when you make art your living, it becomes something you “have to do” and the joy goes out of it. I once cleaned the oven to get out of doin a commissioned drawing. I’m so glad you’ve found your joy again, Robin. I find your images touching even though midst of them at made from industrial waste!
    Love ❤️ Lucy

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I know exactly what you mean about the joy going out of art when it’s something you “have” to do (as in making a living). It also disappears when you feel, or put yourself, under pressure to do better and better. When you start having not-so-great dreams about your art, or start doing the dreaded chores you’ve been putting off for months rather than produce – it’s probably time to make changes. I found I couldn’t write anymore. Not joyfully, anyway. So now I’m focused on “painting” in Photoshop using my photographed images. It’s kind of amazing where one can put their creative energies. At times I’ve found myself cooking incredible things. And I’ve gone through phases where I sewed gowns for myself and Marika. And remember when I was playing my cornet? Luckily, my collaging in Photoshop seems to have lasted. Ten years so far. Not sure where this need to create will take me next. Knitting? Gardening? Poetry? Looking forward to hearing about your “new form” when it surfaces.

      Reply

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