Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Scrabble, Crosswords & Making Art From Them

This entry is about word games and art.  Weird, huh? It does sound that way but I hope to convince you that art is a lot closer to you than you think it is. Anything can serve as inspiration.  I play Scrabble and do Crosswords every day on both my iPad and my Mac Air.  I find it very restful to do this.  It is almost like taking a tranquilizer. I don't play against other people.  I like just playing against the computer. I just helped Rebecca pick out her first Crossword book, the New York Times Monday Crosswords.  That is the best book to get one started. The extremely difficult puzzles, like the New York Times Saturday Crossword, I no longer bother doing.  I do not want to spend all day on it.  Monday takes me 8-10 minutes to solve. Tuesday 10 minutes and we steadily go up.  Sunday is a mix of all of them and I can usually do it in 45 minutes to an hour.  That is my longest and some weeks I skip it because it takes too long. I was a late comer to these games.  I started about seven years ago.  Many people have been doing these their entire lives so coming to it in my late 50s is rather unusual.  But if you have a good vocabulary, you catch on quickly.

There is one aspect to this I did today though that I don't think too many others do.  I decided to show you I could make modern art paintings out of my Scrabble game and crossword today.  I did them all in the Photoshop Touch App which is on my iPads. 

Here is my first one and it is simply a completed scrabble game as played on my iPad.  I am now ready to move it into Photoshop Touch and make it into an art work.


In this version I have changed the shape into a landscape plus I have warped and distorted the letters. I also began running other colors through it.


With this one I decide to add more colors and swirls into this, to get even more motion and light in the image.



Here I crank up the swirls to the max so it is like sound waves across the scrabble tiles.





Now I turn to my crossword and what I want to do is make a crossword painting and then blend the crossword and scrabble paintings on layers. In case you hadn't already guessed, I like rather wild looking art.



First I need to make the crossword into a painting so I play around with some filters and colors until I have something I like.









Then I combine the crossword with the scrabble and get this. The crossword is all the overlaying letters in white and green.








I go back to the painting of the crossword I made and convert it into a horizontal shape, as a landscape instead of a square.


Again I blend it with the horizontal Scrabble so that the two are now combined into a horizontal painting. I also add a paint filter to get a more melting tile look, kind of like Dali's melting watches.

Personally I like the purple and green ones which are just made from the crossword.  But I will go ahead and use them for awhile as wallpaper on my Mac Air and iPad. Sometimes a week or two will go by and I have changed to liking a completely different piece out of the series. You really can't tell until you live with it for awhile.  I also might hate all of these in a week and pitch them.

In reviewing all of the above, I draw your attention to the very first image at the top of the page which is the two games in their original format put on a background of the green and purple puzzle.  I am beginning to like that one a lot more than some of these others.

This is an exercise in seeing how the creative process works.  In particular, note I just used something out of my everyday life to create art and then at the end of the process, I don't even know if I have anything.  Do I care? No, after a long enough time spent doing this stuff, you just find yourself being grateful to do it. Especially at this late stage, what does it matter if I've got results or not?

If you want to print any of these out or use them as wallpaper like I do, go ahead.  They can make interesting ecards too by just copying and pasting an image into email.  These images are hosted on this web page so there is no need to make them into an attachment.

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