Fine Art Storytelling: Dorothy in Oz
Three or four years ago, I was driving down 72 West toward Huntsville, in Alabama. The music was blaring, and the road stretched before me in perfect, late Spring glory. If you've ever traveled down this stretch of country highway, you'll know it's possibly the most beautiful patch of Alabama, rolling hills and low mountains hugging every curve, weathered barns scattered here and there in fields of growing cotton and soybeans.
It was one such field that captured my attention on this particular day: a rich golden sea of freshly bloomed canola blossoms, a ripe red barn nestled amid the rolling yellow, the scene crowned with brilliant blue sky.
Suddenly, a vision: an allusion to the yellow brick road, Dorothy lost in that field, and the frightening foreshadowing of events to come. For just a flash, my imagination ran wild, combining my love of "The Wizard of Oz", my personal experience with tornados (they're very common in Alabama), and a snatch of memory from my college days, studying American artist Andrew Wyeth and his masterful painting "Christina's World". At that moment I knew I needed to create this vision of mine.
I secured my model, the lovely dancer Sarah Catherine, purchased wardrobe and a few small props, and scouted out the perfect location. The photo session went off without a hitch, resulting in many beautiful images.
But ever the perfectionist, I was forced to shelve my original idea until I had the additional necessary ingredients to craft it solidly -- namely a believable cyclone dramatic enough to convey the richness of my vision.
And then photographer Ashley Kirkland invited me to sample one of her photo overlays: a twister. I was elated to see that her creations were so realistic, and so easy to work with. Finally, I had all the necessary ingredients to finish the image -- and with it, an additional art history reference from another American painter, Grant Wood's "American Gothic".
I'm so pleased to share these images with you now, a complete Storytelling set. I hope you enjoy them, and that they take you back to that wonderful place you most likely visited as a child, as I did: the land of Oz.
Enjoy this speed edit video of the fine art creation process of "Dorothy's World" (below):
Edited in Adobe Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CC by Lauren Bee: located in Inverness, FL; now serving Orlando, Tampa Bay area, and Central Florida; custom commissions available worldwide
Model: Sara Catherine
Styling: Lauren Bee
SONG: "Still Standing" by Anno Domini Beats
Textures by Jessica Drossin
Tornado: Ashley Kirkland Photography
Sky Photo by Jodi Mair Photography