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… Twice More

September 19, 2012



° ° ° ° °

After setting up the last posts’ tillandsia photos I wasn’t quite ready to move on. I had to see how these diverse air plants could be used to complement, or accessorize, two faces. I chose two wooden masks from my collection as models, purposely going for a pair that couldn’t be more opposite. One’s a razor-cheekboned glamour girl from the 1940s and the other is a grimacing nightmare apparition from Mexico. For a background I chose a rusted perforated steel panel from a neighbor’s backyard sale. The forms of the tillandsias — grass-like filaments, fine curlicues, floral explosion — suggested how they should relate to the faces, and I arranged them accordingly. Looking at the finished photos (see insets) they looked fine … but needed something. So, I began rooting around in the garage and found inspiration in the form of an old box of photographic slides, specifically the negatives … holding them to the light, I loved their “off” colors and seeming X-ray effect. Inspired, I went back to the computer and opened my original picture files in Photoshop, easily achieving the same negative effect by inverting them. They looked great. But not content to leave well-enough alone, I added textural effects and scratches. Now they were perfect: The glamour girl was even more haughty, not to mention phantasmagoric, and la mascara looked totally insane with its writhing serpents and staring eye (the title translates as Pure Madness).

I’m leaving tillandsias alone for now but I plan to revisit them in the future. There are just too many unusual varieties I have yet to lay my hands on, including some in colors other than shades of green. Imagine the possibilities! Tillandsias for this post were purchased from Etsy shop, PlantOddities. Click here to visit their shop, and here to visit their Facebook page for lots of great tillandsia mounting ideas!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2012 1:21 pm

    Beautiful still lifes. I love the steel panel that you used as a back drop, I want one (smile). I also love how you were able to make them appear as one dimensional when you photographed them… at least it seems that way to me. Throw some glitter on them and you could have a great subject for Papaya, one of my favorite card and calendar stores.

    I’ve always loved the look of airplants, but I’m not sure how to take care of them. If you attached them to an item, how do you water them?

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 20, 2012 1:48 pm

      Thanks, WF — I’ll have to add glitter to my tool kit! Here’re some quickie air plant care tips from Air Plant City ( ):

      • Protect them from frosts

      • Most prefer cool night temperatures – below 60 degrees if it can be provided.

      • Give them bright, filtered light.

      • Provided the atmosphere is not too dry (as in an air-conditioned home) they require relatively little watering.

      • If you are growing them indoors and the air is dry, you will need to submerge the plant in water for 2-3 hours about every two weeks. Otherwise, in a shade-house or unheated home, you can use a soaking mist once or twice a week in summer, once a month in cooler weather.

      • Fertilize by adding a pinch of Orchid fertilizer to your mister.

  2. September 20, 2012 2:29 pm

    Amazing! In the inversions, they look painted. You make way cool stuff, mister!

  3. September 24, 2012 1:32 pm

    Reuben, in celebration of my 500th post today I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blog Award (no obligation):

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 24, 2012 2:36 pm

      Well, thanks, J.A. and congrats on your 500th post! … I’m hoping to get there someday myself …

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