Storytellers – Faeries by Catherine Restivo | @msrosecat

Catherine Restivo is an iPhoneographer with a broad range of styles. Her work for the most part has been apped photos with lovely grunge textures. Now, Restivo is trying her hand at something new and taking her skills to the next level in a new faeries series where she utilizes grunge, texture and collage techniques to give life to her fanciful creations.


Catherine Restivo – Faeries

One of the photographic/artistic styles I have been very interested in learning to create is the layered, collage type pieces. When I’m browsing through artist’s photos, I’m always drawn to these the most, and fascinated by the stories they tell through their many layers and bits.

In yearning to create collages I’ve had to master a few apps – FilterStorm, Juxtaposer, Superimpose, ImageBlender. Some of these had a high learning curve for me, but with practice and the help of some great tutorials, I experienced some “aha!” moments and felt confident to try my hand and step out of my comfort zone.

I also realized that to create collages, I needed lots of “bits”. I don’t always see the bits when I’m out taking photos – I see the whole picture, and that’s what I shoot. So I’m still trying to train my eye to photograph bits and pieces that can be set aside, like a special collection of odds and ends.

Since I can remember, I’ve loved fantasy and magic. My most beloved books as a child always had something to do with this topic, and they still do. Books that I read and re-read as an adult were written by Clive Barker, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling…thus my current Faerie series came to be.

The first in my Faerie series is titled Blind folk see the fairies…

Blind folk see the fairies

Blind folk see the fairies.
Oh, better far than we,
Who miss the shining of their wings
Because our eyes are filled with things
We do not wish to see.
-Rose Fyleman

I got the idea when I took a photo of a mannequin several months ago, and thought I could use it as the body. Using ImageBlender, I added the mannequin to a textured background I had created and erased most of the photo, leaving the head and torso.

Then I had to figure out what the parts of the faerie would be made of. I am a terrible drawer, so I knew that the many drawing apps such as Brushes or ArtistsTouch wouldn’t work well for me. One of my favorite subjects to photograph is nature: flowers, bugs, trees, landscapes, and my camera roll is filled with this subject. I chose a photo of a dead moth for her hair, adding this with ImageBlender. I thought that a photo I took of lotus pods looked like they could live in a faerie garden, so I added those using SuperImpose. I added grunge and mood with VintageScene and Iris Photo Suite.

The land of fairy

The land of fairy,
where nobody gets old and godly and grave,
where nobody gets old and crafty and wise,
where nobody gets old and bitter of tongue.
-William Butler Yeats

This piece started out similarly with a textured background I created, and using ImageBlender, I added a photo of a woman in a tutu, the mannequin’s head and arms, a cone flower for her hair, and the same moth wings, this time as her actual wings, plus one of the lotus pods. Again, this was run through VintageScene and Iris Photo Suite for mood.

I hope you enjoyed my Faeries! I still have a few more flitting around in my head, waiting to magically appear on my iPhone someday. Edi, thank you so very much for letting me share my thoughts and process.

19 responses to “Storytellers – Faeries by Catherine Restivo | @msrosecat

  1. I still don’t understand why I can’t seem to get my iphoneography posted on this site. I am long time member of IPA, i am in galleries across the country and the USA, I am one of the 68 images that sold at the LA-MAF, Took 1st place and Honorable mention this year in the IPPA awards.. What does one have to do?


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