Joseph Fiedler
The Evolution of Alouisia.
My most recent best shot at a digital Alouisia hybrid.

A long time ago, I found an old Ellis Island photo in a borrowed book and for whatever reason; the particular form, contrast, ghost, whatever,  appealed to me so much that I appropriated it under the auspices of geneology. I made a visual claim to it as representting my paternal grandmother, an Austrian immigrant named Alouisia Wolf who immigrated to the Untited States around 1889 or thereabouts. The photo on the left is the REAL Alouisia, the only one that I have and as you can see she's at an advanced age. I imagined her as a younger woman "crossing over" the water as it were. The whole geneology thing sort of dovetailed with the idea of displacement and immigration and next thing you know, Houston, I had content!
I had never met Alouisia since she died of "dropsy" prior to my birth. I wish that I had though,  I'd have loved to have heard her stories. Photo of actual Wolf family gravesite in Mogersdorf, Austria.
The most recent digital incarnation is my finest attempt at "painting" with pixels.  Somehow, I can never get "it" right but I'm trying to approximate the same effect as oil paint layers applied both opaque and transparent without literally using a a paint platform with "fake" brush strokes, etc. Most of, if not all, images originate as hand-made elements, are scanned and then manipulated. I'm a technical "outsider". It gives me great pleasure to explore this world in this way.  Unexpected results can be very exciting and I doubt if I could come upon them so easily if I relied solely on traditional, analog means.  I discovered this all by my self without any outside help. Since I'm suspect of relying too heavily on recipes and pre-packaged stuff I find the excitement of discovery to be more compelling personally.  I don't think that I qualify as a risk-taker but perhaps it is here, in this form and within limits, I can enjoy the "risky" life.
Of course, one of the coolest features of digital manipulation is the ability to enlarge sections of an image at here-to-fore unprecedented degrees. Prior, and even still, in the analog stages, I have to use an OptiVISOR made in USA by the Donegan Optical Company which provides 8-10 times magnification.
Detail @ Actual Pixels. Even so, this image is smaller than the "actual" Actual Pixels.

The original photograph, a pencil tracing and an early manipulation sketch.

Older, analog examples employing the Alouisia model, Alkyd on Paper and Acrylic on Canvas-from 8X8 inches to 4X4 feet. The original photo-xerox was fairly vague so it functioned mainly as a jumping off point rather than a literal reiteration. All but the bottom right image were done as classroom demos.

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Fiedler is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!