Thursday, September 27, 2012

Abstractions From Nature ~ Photo Art Friday 9.28.12

The Little Flower That Could

I'm generally NOT one to photograph flowers... And yet earlier in September I was inspired by others' photos of flowers, their wondrous processing, the vivid colours, their scents... well, generally I was moved, so I decided to try my hand at it.

I was cleaning up after one storm and another. The "grass" outside the Wee Cottage was somewhat lawn-like, and here and there were flowers disguised as weeds. I'd never noticed some of them until I was hacking away and then, all of a sudden, like Alice, I was drawn into their little Universe.

Granted, I didn't really get brave enough that day to take this particular photo into PSE8, but I did have a good time of it in Picasa, and in the past 3 weeks have noticed it sitting in my September photos, wondering if I would ever take it to "the show."

So that's what I did, today. And here's HOW I fiddled with it in PSE8, layer by lovely layer...

1. Multiply 75% [the digitally fiddled with version]
2. Drips of Rainbow texture [pdpa] darken 80%
3. Sweet Thoughts texture [pdpa] screen 25%
4. posterize Normal 75%
5. photo filter underwater 100%
6. Soft Light Overlay texture [pdpa] difference 100%
7. Because I can text difference 88% wave-warped
8. curriesilver weecottagewonders screen 47%

I still can't REALLY explain the why or wherefore of the above "recipe," but I CAN say I am learning and I am way WAY less intimidated with PSE8 Now. Just one week of one photo a day and I don't even get anxious...

Thanks Bonnie and all of you playing along.

Photo Art Friday

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Exercising the Freedom To Choose ~ APR #28

This week's Artist's Play Room is "You Choose" which, ordinarily, might make me spin... Instead I had fun, learned some things, and truly PLAYED.

I made 3 digital collages, keeping myself on task with my one-a-day commitment to learning to use Photoshop Elements 8. 

Each of these digital collages were made from some of the mountains of photos I've used over the last 5 years writing my daily Gratitude. I used to just gather up possibilities searching Google for treasures... it was several years BEfore I ever considered using my own photographs. [frankly I had no clue HOW to DO it]

Hold On

Love One Another


The fun part was, as always, the Digital Fiddling. I'm fairly certain that one of these days I will truly understand what each thing does. For Now, however, I am getting lots of use out of UNDO. 

I enJOYed, too, that Jenn let this week's offering BE my own choice. It made me think about what I'd really like to try out and offer up to share. 

This has been such a glorious addition to my Life, APR, as well Texture Tuesday, Photo Art Friday, and, the place I got started, Creative Every Day

I didn't think, for a long while, it was for me. I thought I wouldn't fit in or BE welcome, both among the ways that I keep myself small and apart from others. Instead I have BEgun to look forward each week to participating and more excited, too, to see what others are up to. 

The real gift for me is that I am NOT playing here all by myself anymore. Sharing and getting to visit and comment on others' links is the highlight of each week. Amazing how good it feels to have been wrong... AGAIN!!

just add water silly's blog hop link

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Partings... NOT Always What I Think

Lately I have been taking the photographs from my 366 Daze of Grace blog and play-practising with them in PSE8. I've been taking one each day and just messing about. 

I am having a LOT of fun. Which is essential.

I am also learning to trust myself.

To trust the process.

And to enJOY 
A] I did something
B] To DO what I want to DO...

I was excited for this Texture Tuesday using Kim's texture, Partings.

And I even think I know what I did!!!

Here is the original photograph:
Gracie Digging in Sedona June 2005

Here is my initial edit in Picasa for 366 Daze:

At this point, I opened it in PSE8:
Layer 1: Soft Light 80%
Layer 2: KK_Partings Screen 38%
Layer 3: The world offers itself... quote Normal 85%
Layer 4: Mary Oliver Normal 53%

I'm thinking I am onto something, DOing one photograph a day in PSE8. I got comfortable in Picasa by DOing a bunch of photos until things sort of felt second nature. Actually that was also using Picnik when that was still Picnik, but the repetition factor works for me. So I'm applying it here. 

I am so grateful for Kim and for all of you. [I tried to visit you all last week, but I know I missed a lot] You are GENEROUS BEyond measure and I love playing in this playground... REALLY. ;~D

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Little BEauty Unfolding

Gracie and her "Mama" Deer

When I first heard Bonnie's prompt for this week's Photo Art Friday, I was pretty sure which photos I would use. These two always make my jaw drop, first BEcause Gracie seemed to BEcome a "dog" instead of a puppy, and second BEcause the two just happened to turn up, nothing at all intended.
I tried all sorts of things, using textures, fiddling with the photos themselves, zigging and zagging BEtween Picasa, Photoshop Elements, and Pixlr Express, and finally settled for this "collage" of the two of them. Sometimes I make myself a little crazy, and I KNOW there will come a time when I look back at this and laugh loudly. For Now, I am smiling.

I am glad I got it here BEcause I sure learned a LOT about how it is to use an effect multiple times, and how to make two different photos play well together! I might NOT have accomplished what I hoped to, but Now I actually know what I don't know and how to DO something I hadn't known how to ask about until Now. That's worth the little bit of crazy...

Photo Art Friday

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In My Own Backyard ~ Artist's Play Room #27

I surely did go through a few ideas BEfore settling on this photo. Since the Atlantic Ocean is almost literally our backyard, I thought this photo of Gracie one early morning heading down there would work quite well for this week's APR.

It is perhaps one of my all-time favourite captures of my girl just BEing a beach-dog...

just add water silly's blog hop link

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Daily Paper Prompts #37 to #48

#37 Block Letters
#38 Music
My past 12 days of Daily Paper Prompts.

Lots of fun... thanks Tammy!!

#40 Practise Painting Lines

#40 Thought Bubbles

#40 Thought Bubbles

#41 Draw a Silhouette

#42 Haiku

#43 Circles 

#43 Circles

#44 Leaf Prints

#44 Leaf Prints

# 45 Two-for-One
Block Letters + Music/Song Title

#46 Texture Collage

#47 Stamping Circles

#47 Stamping Circles

#48 Doodle Flower

#48 Doodle Flower

Taking on a Texture Tuesday 9.18.12

Learning is fun. In fact it is as essential as air for me. As this is my first go at Texture Tuesday, I am happy to report I am only a little bit nervous. I know that first times are often weird-feeling, but by looking at some of the names in here I know I have friends here.


Anyhoozle... I can tell you how I did this [BEcause I wrote it down LOL!!] although I don't understand how you get that info to print out. 

All in its own time, Currie...

I started with a photo of one of my funny fish I've been using in my Under the Sea paintings. I'll admit I played with it a wee bit in Picasa, first, BEcause that's what I know, and then brought it into PSE8, along with a sweet texture from Kim called wettile.

The most important part for me was Just DOing It. NOT trying to get fancy or overwhelm myself. So first I did the Colour Dodge thing at 70%, then HardLight at 25%. 

Next I scootched the wettile texture in and did Multiply at 78%. [after I made everything go all flooey a couple of times... though I promise neither fish nor humans were harmed in this experiment!!]

I added the text from one of my previously made funny fish, "make BEautiful mistakes" in Viner Hand [which took away the BE and made it be] and the first layer was orange with Difference 96% then the second layer Overlay at 56%. 

Don't ask WHY I did these things, I was just playing, trying things out and seeing what happened. I even turned the eyeballs on and off and saw the path I'd taken. FUN!!!

I've decided I am going to learn this the way I learned Picasa and that's by DOing one photo each day and letting the learning marinate itself into me...

One thing I don't understand is why the file size is so gigunda in PSD. Well, one thing I think worth mentioning if anyone can enlighten me ;~D

That's all for Now. Looking forward to seeing what others came up with!!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Quiet thoughts on a rainy Saturday afternoon...

While I don't have any real "following" for my blogs, I DO have wonderful people stopping in and leaving their thoughts whenever I put my art out there for one challenge or another... And that's pretty cool. 

What I DO have is an insatiable curiosity and love of seeing others' art. It has taken me the past 4 hours to wander through all the great entries for Artist's Play Room #26 and Photo Art Friday's 7-word sentence prompt. It is delightful to see what my "friends I've never met yet" have been DOing since last week.

So, it's especially fun today to BE able to help out Jenn with getting the word out about the new FEATURING magazine...

It looks amazing and delicious. Pre-order issue 2 and you're entered into a draw to win one of 30 free inchies that will be displayed on the back cover of issue 3. The giveaway ends September 21st. Here's the link.

Actually, you might want to check out this link to Jenn's post for more wonderful information and a closer look.

It looks to BE a wondrous magazine and full and overflowing with the smorgasbord of art that I have been marinating in today!!!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Learning Is My Heart; It Completes Me.

When Bonnie first put this prompt out there, I was drawn right in. I love words. Like I love to breathe.

Suddenly I was thinking about all the many words I have written on this Life Journey. I was waking up with one string of them or another.

And then...

The words right BEside this and every one of my posts, words that I actually feel came through me rather than from me, woke me one way early morning...


There they are. 
7 simple words that speak ME
ME as an artist. 
ME as a human. 
ME as ME...

I wanted to "DO" this more with Photoshop Elements, and I wanted to tell you how I did it, and I even did another version... 

Ultimately I went with my heart, using a photograph I took on my move west to east in 2009, wandering one day in St. Augustine, Florida. And I added the sentence in Picnik and that was enough.

I suppose that just proves the truth of my 7 words.

Learning is where I live Life.
It is how I live.
It is what Life is all about for me.

Photo Art Friday


Learning curves are curious little bends in Life... they can BE like a rollercoaster, taking me up up up, higher and higher, the World looking tiny from way up there, and then drop me in a blink, utterly breathtaking [and literally taking my breath away] and unnerving.

And so it goes with me. I think I understand a thing but I don't, I mean, I couldn't explain it, couldn't tell you how I got from start to done. And I will ask questions and re-watch YouTube and other how-to video options, over and over [and did I mention OVER?!] again... 

And then, like the rollercoaster's sudden surprise, I shoot down and only when I realise I am heading back up again can I see where I was, no clue where I am heading Now.

This is how it goes, making art. 
For me. 
In the Wee Cottage. 
In September 2012.

It is good. Even if it's unnerving. Somedays...

I am grateful for the challenge, the gentle nudge, the idea which then takes its time making itself clear to ME. Well, somewhat clear...

JUICY. That was it. The rest, well, I could try to explain how I got there, here, but it would take more time and room and frankly, this is enough.

For ME... 

just add water silly's blog hop link

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Moving... Photo Art Friday 7 September 2012

After a brief hiatus, Bonnie has put out the call for Photo Art Friday. This week's topic, should I choose to use it as inspiration, is MOVING... 

Although it brought back a whole lot of way too many actual moves I've made,  it actually took me to a very old, 32 years, mayBE 33?! photo I took of my son running on the beach...

the original photo which I actually quite love as it is...

edited in Picasa, and I notice I AM getting a little more experimental even there since I've been learning more about PSE8

and edited again exploring the possibilities...

I am looking forward to seeing what others have been up to after the break. DO check it out when you have a chance!!!

Photo Art Friday

Daily Paper Prompts #34-#36

I may BE having entirely too much fun... I'm loving these prompts, trying to interpret them simply, easily, and discovering that I really quite like the daily opportunities to get out of my nice and comfortable own way!!

DPP #34 was Puzzled... which puzzled me, at first. And then I said, Hmmmmmmm... what about?! 

Puzzling A Word Scramble

thus a whole new twist to bring along when I am teaching [playing] afterschool with kids...

Next DPP, #35, was Ten Tiny Things with Rhomany. I skipped right on past my automatic reflex that I "can't draw" BEcause all that really means is I can't draw like somebody else... I decided to meet the challenge in my own way...

First I picked out 10 tiny treasures that live here in the Wee Cottage...

I scanned them...
Played with them a bit in Picasa
And finally I drew on the scans, coloured them, and played with "drawing" them my own way...

Actually this process taught me a LOT and I have to say I am grateful I didn't just go so-so with it!!

And next up... Daily Paper Prompt #36, Found Words with Natasha and while I DID use paper in the found words, the real treat for me on this one was finding out HOW to finish a painting I have had sitting looking at me, half done, for well over a month!!!

And with that...

I am off to see what's waiting to prompt me today!!

My Favourite Colour?! How About ColourS?!

Artist's Play Room #25

This week's challenge for Artist's Play Room Jenn asked,
I want YOU to show ME YOUR favorite color. Go, make a piece of art that celebrates your very favorite color. If you just can't pick then I guess you'll be submitting a rainbow! Hehehe.
I am pretty sure she had me with "rainbow" as that actually IS my favourite. I have been this way for a Very Long Time. And while I tried, really I did, to nail down the one that stands above all others, I ultimately surrendered...

I've been on a bit of a tear for months and months Now with funny fish, odd octopuses, silly seahorses, crazy crabs, twisted sister sea turtles, and loony lions of the sea. I did finally manage to get above sea level in one painting, but still, I seem to BE all about the sea...

Funny thing, the pair of paintings I am submitting I'd painted turquoise awhile back when Jenn was asking us to combine turquoise and lime, which happen to BE her favourite colours, and then I went an entirely different way in that challenge.

So here are two of my Under the Sea series which clearly explain my dilemma in choosing a single colour as my favourite...

And this painting, where I actually got most of the way OUT of the sea, again, the colours are rainbow with a side of sunshine and sea...

Imagining Santorini

just add water silly's blog hop link