July 16th - August 1st

This will probably be the most coherent I am for this entire month as I've decided (on a whim no less) to partake in fellow photographer, Brook Shaden's 15-day creative challenge. 

That said, I can't do what I do and make 15 images in 15 days, it takes a bit too much time to nail the illusions I create, so I'm aiming to complete the 15 images by the end of August. Which still puts me under pressure, but at a more realistic timeline. 

Today is the first day, and thus, I completed an image I have wanted to tackle for months. (!!!) 

My intentions just happened to line up with the challenges first day's suggested theme, so I sat down and sussed it out. I'm delighted with the results, and I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. 


Sometimes the best ideas come to you as separate little nuggets that are pieces of the whole, that you don't see until later. This image is no exception. 

Mr. J found these thorns for me last winter at a job site; he knew I would find a way to use them, and I was indeed excited when he brought them home. However, I found that the color didn't photograph well, and I didn't have any plan that could involve these huge thorns in the works, so I just parked them in storage until I came up with something. 

Sometime later, while watching an old art history documentary, I heard the phrase, "She was in a gilded cage," or at least something similar to that, and I knew I had to make something with that idea. I quickly scribbled the phrase down in my sketchbook and went back to watching the documentary.  

And like ideas are wont to do, my brain eventually put these two together while in the shower. I don't know what the trigger was, but I came out with freshly washed hair, and with a fully formed idea. 

From there, all I had to do was spray the thorns gold, which nicely addressed the problem of the thorns natural dark red/brown color not photographing well. 

I debated between using one of my butterfly images, or one of my chrysalis images. Both options would have worked well enough, but I decided the delicate wings against the sharp thorns adds more tension. 

-MJ 

"Gilded Cage"  // Digital Collage in process. 

"Gilded Cage"  // Digital Collage in process.