Guest Blogger Tore Bellis discusses newest art piece, The American Dream


Editor’s Note:  Tore Bellis has a new art piece in the Big Inspiration, Small Works exhibit at the Lewisville Grand Theater.  The American Dream, is one of his more labor intensive works and I thought it would be interesting for readers to learn more about the piece.

He used a technique called focus stacking, where he took multiple photos then merged them together to make a crisp, detailed photo.  He changed the focus of each of the photos but kept the camera position in the exact same position by using a tripod.  Translation:  Lots of work!   – Denise


The American Dream, by Tore Bellis

Artist Statement:

The American Dream has inspired generations, and tiny houses are all the rage. HO scale house, lighted with detached garage. Focus stacking of 22 exposures.

Guest Blogger:  Tore Bellis on newest art piece, The American Dream

The assignment for the Visual Art League of Lewisville was Big Inspiration, Small Works.

Having fun with a literal interpretation, I went with the American Dream, something that has inspired generations.

I built an HO scale (1:87) diorama, which certainly is a small work, then put a mat and frame over it (no glass, of course) to drive home the idea that this is the “picture perfect” dream.

Guest Blogger:  Tore Bellis on newest art piece, The American Dream

I photographed the set using focus stacking (22 exposures) so there would be no tell-tale “small model” depth-of-field blur. This is the idyllic dream, after all, not reality. To further pull it into the unreal, I masked out the actual background and gave it a perfect gradient.

I built the house from a kit, but modified with lighting, floors and walls (so the windows can light differently or be dark. The porch light is made of fiber optic to an LED on the inside.

Guest Blogger:  Tore Bellis on newest art piece, The American Dream

Hidden in the basement is a Li-ion battery and circuitry to control charging the battery (via USB) and regulating the power to the LEDs.

The garage is a used building purchased at a train show. I disassembled it for a complete cleaning and rebuild, painted it to match the house, and finished it up with weathering (oil-stained concrete, for example) and a light.

The little truck was too perfect, so I weathered it and gave it a primer coated fender. Denise Holguin loaned me the people and the soda bottles seen in the truck bed (and garage).

Guest Blogger:  Tore Bellis on newest art piece, The American Dream

Landscaping and a llama complete the scene (because it wouldn’t be the American Dream without a llama, right?).

Guest Blogger:  Tore Bellis on newest art piece, The American Dream

All of this and I don’t have a model railroad!


Visit the Lewisville Grand Theater to see Tore’s art in person.

Exhibition Dates:  February 26 – March 26, 2022

The art is available for purchase, contact Tore Bellis for more information and be sure to follow him on Instagram.

Guest Blogger:  Tore Bellis on newest art piece, The American Dream

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