Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Texture Tuesday 30 October Free & Easy eDition

A fairly simple and straightforward affair, this one. Actually this is entirely a practise photograph. I was taking odd pictures BEtween doctor appointments a couple weeks back and this is the fountain that blasts BEtween the buildings. 

I used kk_coolgrunge over my cropped image [colour burned 83%] at darken 88%. Then I added kk_canvas grunge at multiply 83%. I screened the word rise at 37%.

I almost felt sure of myself DOing this one. Which is important for me to note and acknowledge. There is still a vast amount I don't know [and more still that totally befuddles me] yet I enJOY my one-a-day.

And I enJOY learning from others at Texture Tuesday, too. 



Monday, October 29, 2012

Curious Shadow ~ Artist's Play Room #33

Whatever else I may know, one thing is certain, I AM what I think and what I think about. The whole of this quote reads:

We are shaped by our thoughts; 

we become what we think. 

When the mind is pure, joy follows 

like a shadow that never leaves.

I like to think good thoughts. I like to speak them [or write them] "out loud" where anyone can know them. 

It is all too easy at Present to stay in my shadow, to dodge in and out of the light, and to play small. And I think often I DO just that, fearful of ruffling feathers, so to speak.

With all that is going on in the World BEyond the Wee Cottage, I've been keeping something of a low profile. I'm practising how to simply observe, to notice yet DO so quietly.

There are things to say, things I'd like to say, yet I choose the words I "speak" aloud with great care. If they don't bring what is good and kind, better I keep quiet.

This week's theme for Artist's Play Room #33 is Shadows. With the Elections, Halloween, November, and the storming of Sandy, there is much casting shadows on Life as I know it today.

May the one I cast bring JOY, Hope, and Light. Now, and Always.

just add water silly's blog hop link

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Derelict ~ Photo Art Friday 26 October 2012

Awhile ago I BEgan to make some changes in my art. Lately I have been inspired by Photo Art Friday to come back to some of my paintings with new eyes. It's nice how that works. Really nice...

BElow is a detail of a painting called Broken. Broken was very different BEcause I often use a LOT of colour. This was very colourless, save for a bit of red in the abandoned car's rotting body.

Another painting I made at this time I called Remembered. Again, the colour that was LACKING was what I was focused on. I was responding to an encouragement to make a painting that reflected loneliness.

It was actually a challenge for me to see through such dull and lonely eyes. To leave colour OUT. To convey a whole mood that was different from where I usually went.

Yet it was also wonderfull and inspiring.

For this edition of Photo Art Friday I took these two paintings and brought them together using PSE8, several pdpa textures, Picasa, Picnik, [that remains] and my own willingness to BE surprised.

I know there will come a time, somewhere down the road from Here & Now, where I will see this effort with a smile similar to the one which Broken and Remembered brought me this week. This is what I love about this opportunity to BE prompted, inspired, and invited to share my photo art. 

Thank you, Bonnie. You have blessed me and your Photo Art Friday is a gift that just keeps on blessing me.

Photo Art Friday

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pairs ~ Artist's Play Room #32

The octopus (play /ˈɒktəpʊs/; plural: octopusesoctopi, or octopodes) is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms and, like other cephalopods, they are bilaterally symmetric.

And I just thought they were funky!!!

What DO these two photographs have in common?!

And does this one BElow make any sense to you?!

I have to say that somedays it feels very much that someone has taken my brain out for a washing and left me a strange "loaner" to get me by...

Such is the case with Artist's Play Room #32...

just add water silly's blog hop link

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Photo Art Friday & Leafy Landscape Texture

I am very tired and BEyond cranky as I write this. I say so only BEcause I hear it is better NOT to keep such things inside where they build up and I am just saying... thanks for listening ;~D

It thrills me, though, that I am putting this wee post together and sharing one of my favourite pieces that I have regaled with texture, playing about, and seeing what happens if...

This little painting of mine I did back in March of 2011, when I was experimenting with incorporating digital images, mildly tweaked, into my collage work. 

When I was first learning what adjusting opacity even was or meant or looked like, a young man in Office Depot used a photo of this painting and made it get all kinds of weird. Seeing makes a HUGE difference to understanding!!!

Anyhow, I recently came upon the image and started to play with it again. I did some of it in Picasa and Picnik, per usual, then into PSE8 it went. I used Bonnie's pdpa Leafy Landscape texture twice, and tried out Posterize, just for fun. 

Next I took it to Pixlr Express, which, amazingly, has BEcome far less obstreperous since last I played there... Hmmmmmmm, must BE I am learning!! I tried a bunch of things with Overlays and Effects and ultimately found I could probably play with this forever... So I stopped and here is the result.

And Now it is time to fix some supper and get ready to call it a day... 


Photo Art Friday

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Artist's Play Room #31 ~ Celestial ~ Stargazing...

This week is unfolding a bit differently than others, so I decided to use a painting of mine from early this year, one that has sort of never had a place until Now.

My son is down here this week with some friends and came over early this morning. He hadn't seen the Wee Cottage since shortly after I moved in, and I had a blast sharing and showing him my art. We only had a couple of hours, but WOW!!! was it ever the sweetest and most deLIGHTfull couple of hours.

I had framed 3 paintings for him, and then we were looking at some others and I pulled this one out and here was the story that fell out of my heart...

This is your brother. He's always up there, watching over us...

In fact it is a photo I had taken of a little boy I adore, and I'd been fooling around back in January with some transfers and...

And yet in that moment what I said was true. We lost a baby, a boy, BEfore Timmy. I actually made this painting 35 years AFTER the miscarriage.

Life is strange. Art imitates Life. There it is...

just add water silly's blog hop link

Look Up ~ Texture Tuesday 16 October 2012

It was funny, this Texture Tuesday's theme of Look Up brought me straightaway to this photograph taken in May of 2006, of a cottonwood tree. I have always loved photographing what I see looking up into trees... especially tall ones like this one.

Here is the original photograph with only a tiny bit of digital fiddling...

Then I played in Picasa and Picnik to put it into my Gratitude yesterday [15 October 2012]

The layer-by-layer HOW I did this in PSE8 is:
Background + Ctrl J Soft Light 80%
Zen Thing Linear Burn 74%
KK Providence Hard Mix 47%
That's it, that's all.

Very fun, one of these a day. I'm actually sort of sensing my way round Now...


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Photo Art Friday 12 October 2012 ~ Liquid

I had several ideas for this prompt, yet ultimately I went for simple. Simple works for me. Especially at the moment...

Last week my "baby boy" turned 34. Does that ever get old?! I don't think so. Since I had been working and working and getting nowhere with this Very Old Photo of him, one I DO NOT have anymore, I was delighted with how I was able to tweak and digitally fiddle to make it into something I really really like.

I added the poem when I made it into his birthday card. It is a poem I wrote back in February, and it seemed like it was just right for Right Now.

Today I brought it back into PSE8 and fiddled more... 

1. I used the "original" from Happy Timmy Day 2012 at multiply 74%. 
2. I added Bonnie's pdpa dreamwonder texture at multiply 100%.
3. I added Bonnie's pdpa vintage vellum texture at multiply 38%.
4. I added my name and 2012 in viner hand 14-point screened 100%. 

[I don't quite get how to make a standard watermark or signature that will go on everything, so I have that on my list for figuring out next week. Anyone with an easy way, please feel welcome to share ;~D]

I love that Timmy calls Nantucket "my island" and that he and his wife have made a wonderful home there. He has his own care-taking business, ACK Property Management, and a wonderful group of friends who I had the pleasure of meeting when he and Justine got married in 2010. 

He wasn't as fond of the water as I hoped when he was little, yet I will never ever forget this image of him sitting out on a dock with his ball, just BEing tamed and taming the water surrounding him.

I'm looking forward to what all else people have come up with for Photo Art Friday. What a grand group of very helpful and encouraging people, starting with Bonnie and running right on through every single other person I am having the pleasure of "meeting" and getting to know, little by slowly...

Photo Art Friday

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Masquerade ~ Artist's Play Room #30

 noun \ˌmas-kə-ˈrād\
Definition of MASQUERADE
a : a social gathering of persons wearing masks and often fantastic costumes
b : a costume for wear at such a gathering
: an action or appearance that is mere disguise or show

Even though I rarely take this step, recently I have found it Very Interesting to see how close MY definitions are to the dictionary's. Thus the above...

I had some fun playing with this word, the idea of it, and how I would like to play with it for this week's APR #30

I did a few things, some for fun. Some for mere curiosity. As I've been learning and practising what I am learning in PSE8, I've turned up a few nifty little tweaks that let me really explore the theme: MASQUERADE.

This is what a bit of a colour exploration and effects experimentation I got with the mask, Comedy. A wee bit wacky, to BE sure, yet fun and most interesting.

And this, I think is what I REALLY enJOYed most of all...

I lined-out a jester and coloured it in, painted round it, and then scanned it with the colours inverted. I continued tweaking it post-scanning in the digital fiddling stage. 

These are the sorts of seemingly silly activities that really encourage me to keep exploring and finding out What Happens If??? 

I am really looking forward to seeing what all others come up with for Masquerade.

just add water silly's blog hop link

With That Song In Her Heart ~ Texture Tuesday 10.9.12

The way this whole blogging and digital fiddling thing BEgan for me was making this calendar with photographs of Gracie Mae, my Golden girl with the absolute BIGGEST and most loving heart.

Throughout 2012, I have fiddled with one of my oh so many photos of Gracie and posted it along with a little thoughty thought. 

So, for Texture Tuesday's Anything Goes eDition, I am using this photo of Gracie from late December 2005, at about 9 months old, out on "her" chaise lounge on our porch in Sedona.

I used my original edit for 1 October on 366 Daze, then I used it to practise on PSE8 yesterday. I used Kim Klassen's All My Loving texture at Hard Light 74% and then again, Multiply at 47%. 

Then I used it this morning in its new form. 

Fun. It's just FUN FUN FUN learning as I grow...


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Happy Timmy Day 2012

Today is my sweet boy's 34th birthday. Amazing... I tell you, it's just amazing how extraordinary a human bean he is. I got a little busy last week making this for him, then I scanned it and fiddled a bit and Now I am going to post it on his wall. It's so much fun BEing able to share like this. I will grant you I am NOT a HUGE FB fan, but it surely has a way of letting people seem close when in Real Life we are all too far apart.

EnJOY & Celebrate!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Work-in-Progress ~ The Painting That Won't Go Away

30 Days of Get Your Ar On

I am in a bit of a quandary today. Over a painting. A painting that has had so many reincarnations I wonder if I should just let it go already?!

It was started in April of 2011, got tossed into a reject pile, came out again in late 2011 and got collaged-over, painted, and experimented on like a monkey. Got another toss into reject-to-re-DO. 

I was going through a bunch of paintings a few weeks ago BEcause I am ready to give them away, to move them on if they have a Life to BE lived BEyond Here. BEyond Now. 

And there this little bugger was. Screaming at me like I'd absolutely destroyed its hair on class picture day!! Calmly, with a feeling of greater calm than I had ever noticed in me BEfore, I brought it back in to work on. 

I tried collage, again. I sanded it way back. I tried some rigourous de-collaging, and then I let it BE. I let it sit and tell me what it wanted.

It seemed to call for some painting. Again. But it was hideous. So it sat. Again.

Then I got the idea to try a texture on it that I'd used with another painting earlier in the summer. [I know it is October, but it is still very much "summer" here in South Florida.] I kind of clumped it on and the whole effect was pretty darn cool.

Then again it sat. What I have learned from this painting is Meditation. Pause. Wait.

For a time in my Life I painted houses. I learned to paint fast and cover well. This knowledge and skill is counter-productive when I am painting with paint rather than my usual painting with paper. 

It has never played well though it HAS taught me. About value. About why it is good to let paint dry BEfore painting over it. Or near it... And that painting isn't always about covering; often it is about revealing.

So here I was, realising that I simply have to Wait-and-See where to go... I got a "vision" of an under sea World, which I have been on about Now for about 2 years, only very different, very textured and layered and the feeling of the space and time under there more than the crazy critters and brighter colours. 

I even dug out one of the few books I kept after the sweep of books sent to Amazon in April. I knew it had a painting process like what I had the idea to DO here. I knew it had information I needed to marinate in to understand HOW to DO what I envisioned...

So I started out, layering, like strata, something I learned about in my workshops with Sherry O'Neill at Old School Square Now Delray Center for the Arts from 2009 to 2011.

I was patient and deliberate. I had a couple other things going on so I wouldn't stare and will the paint to dry. So I wouldn't try to BE how I have always been when painting with paint. Sherry made it look so easy, yet she always said she's had a LOT of practise. Those first thousand weren't anything too grand, or something to that effect.

Even still, I got too many colours and mixed up more mud than colour. I have a long way to go on this learning curve, but this time I am NOT going to give up and tell myself that I suck. BEcause I may indeed suck but as a painter?! 

I'm still a work-in-progress...

So here's where it stands Now... 

[And I realise the colour isn't "all that" so it may look "better" photographed than In Real Life. But work with me here. I'm "getting my art on" and this is something I've never done on this blog.]

Only cropped in Picasa

cropped and slightly digitally fiddled with in Picasa

and REALLY digitally fiddled with in Picasa and Picnik
 [funny, I didn't take a single photo of its previous incarnations, but I can feel them, layered in there, and I remember them all]

What I notice straightaway is that I am able to DO with digital fiddling the sorts of things I find so baffling with paint and brush. MayBE this is just one of those thousand+ learning curve paintings for me...

I am very much open to any thoughts anyone might have about this process. Sometimes I really miss that workshop and this has been a good way to recreate a bit of it for myself. Sharing my work-in-progress. 

The painting that won't go gentle into the good night...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Figure[s] Photo Art Friday 10.5-6.12

I am discovering that themes, prompts, or a simple word-as-inspiration each and all work quite well for me. It shifts my focus into a more abstract place where I discover things I hadn't really SEEN BEfore.

Such is the case for this Photo Art Friday. Bonnie's optional prompt, Figure[s] worked itself through my birdbrain and just when I thought I was certain what I would share, my mind had a "sea change" and wound up taking me somewhere else.

I loved that Bonnie also shared these encouraging words last week:

This blog is not about 'conformity'!

 Do YOUR thing - and share it!!! 

 Inspire us with your unique interpretation!

You see, I remembered that Photo Art Friday is NOT about a photo of a painting, but this one actually IS a painting of mine, one made up of a variety of photographs. It was something I did during a workshop where we were "prompted" to work a little opposite our usual bent. For me, this "darkness" is way opposite my usual bent. And yet...

I still managed to add the colour!

And here's what else: I had tossed this little painting in the recycle bin BEcause it had already been digitised which meant I was good to go to digitally fiddle with it, same as I am with any of my photographs.

So, what IS photo art?! Yeppie, shades of gray!!!

I also have a little more to say about this painting-turned-photo-art: I used it recently for my daily PSE8 practise photo. I played with textures and other little tweaks, none of which really changed it all that much yet ALL of it, together, creating a true photo-painting.

Bonnie's encouraging words above accompanied me through a recent "attack" of: I am thinking about DOing this again and remembering why I am NOT going to. There is a local art league I've considered "joining" but they are Very Clear about digital art. That it isn't "real" or even "art." 

UMMMMMMM??? Hello. So Bonnie's words really "figured" into a LOT of this week for me. And for that I thank her, profusely, and with a wink and a nod, too.

I am so glad that my weeks are Now deliciously punctuated with things like Photo Art Friday, Texture Tuesday, Artist's Play Room, Creative Every Day, 30 Days of Get Your Art On, and upcoming in November, Art Every Day Month

In each case I am stretching and building my artist "muscles." In my following-up to see what others did/DO with the themes or prompts, I am building my repertoire, discovering answers to questions I never could have asked BEcause I didn't know what I don't know but suddenly, like a thoughty thought-bubble over my head, there it is. Asked, answered, and oftentimes even understood!!!

And perhaps the Very Best Thing Of All The Good Things is that I am making friends, round the globe, and finding that my Life, while lived happily in a solitary fashion, is immense in its generosity of so many wonderFULL people to spend time with each week.

It will indeed BE intriguing to discover how others respond to Figure[s]. It is already tickling me to see the variety of ways it's played out in my little World...


Photo Art Friday

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Botanical Retrospective ~ Artist's Play Room #29

In March of 2009, during the last of my days living in Arizona, a friend invited me to join her for an afternoon at the Desert Botanical Gardens. After 12 years in Arizona, I was FINALLY going. I don't think I was ever all that thrilled, turned-on, or excited by the whole desert thing... until that day.

What made this such an intriguing adventure was experiencing it with the Chihuly exhibit. The mix of these two, during the height of desert blooming, was as magical as Alice's Adventures through the Looking Glass.

I took many pictures. SO MANY. My friend wondered that I couldn't actually enJOY the adventure with my camera so busy, yet there was NOTHING I missed. 

Oftentimes I think that my camera highlights experiences. It captures something unnameable yet essential. 

And the best part?! Here I am, 3 and a half years later digging into them once more. Seeing things I did NOT see then. If only BEcause Now I know how to digitally fiddle with my photographs...

For Artist's Play Room #29, Jenn has given us the theme BOTANICAL to interpret any way our little hearts desire. So... I went through my photos and chose around 18 I wanted to play with, brought them into Picasa and cropped them and turned them into a collage, also made in Picasa. I see this is as a work-in-progress, and I am very excitedly looking forward to playing individually with these photos.

Thanks, Jenn!! I'd all but forgotten about this stash!!!

just add water silly's blog hop link

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Make Time for Noses ~ Texture Tuesday 10.2.12

Sedona Summer Morning 2008

This week I took one of the photographs of Gracie that I used in 366 Daze of Grace, the blog I am creating to make a perpetual calendar of Gracie. I DO this very early each morning, and so it was a real challenge to my learning curve with Photoshop Elements 8, yet surprisingly enough I had much MUCH more ease with this one.

I have to say I DID this largely in response to a few "recipes" I sort of gathered from other Texture Tuesday-ers last week. In this one I used Kim's Partings texture 3 times. It's still baffling to me, but I keep at it and am so VERY GLAD to have somewhere to share my efforts AND others who are so generous in sharing theirs.

1st layer: 28 September from 366 Daze
2nd layer: kk_partings soft light 75%
3rd layer: kk_partings screen 27%
4th layer: kk_partings multiply 100%
5th layer: make time for noses screen 50%
6th layer: CurrieSilver2012 overlay 73%

It's pretty cool, getting the hang of this... I just canNOT thank you, Kim, and you all playing Texture Tuesday ENOUGH for your encouragement, insights, suggestions, and simply BEing. 

DOing one-photo-a-day in PSE8 is already making me less "graspy" and "breathless" with the process. 

Very cool beans...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 1 of 30 Days of Get Your Art On with Traci Bunkers

30 Days of Get Your Ar On


There is nothing quite like hitting the ground running. Especially for me, since running is no longer something I  am able to DO. I find other ways and means to get that running feeling. And today it was making art and making my art into art. It was ALL about Timmy Day 2012 [my son's 34th birthday on the 6th].

First up, a photocopy of a photo I no longer have. This was taken in I am going to say 1980... we'd rented a wonderful little cabin tucked away in the woods in Vermont. 

I scanned it, then "digitally fiddled" with it to my heart's deLIGHT in Picasa and Picnik [that which remains of Picnik]. I added in one of my poeming poems that I felt fit this birthday wish to a T for my sweet T.

Next I brought it back into Picasa and played with colours and heat maps and inverting and cross-processing and the always fun make-a-collage feature. It was great fun and even though I never got into Photoshop Elements with it [yet] I realised that I've been learning from that and it enhances my capabilities in Picasa!! Nothing quite like that JOY & Surprise of learning!!!

Last, yet definitely NOT least, I scanned in the 6-by-6-inch collage I  made for him. Then I brought it into Picasa and fiddled to make it into a JPG that could BE printed. I don't always take this step, but since I was "getting my art on" I just went ahead and pulled all the stops out.

And Now I am ready to work on a wee writing project I dreamed up for myself.

I'm thrilled with this 30 Days project Traci came up with!! I've just completed 122 Days of Index Card A Day for 61 days and the Daily Paper Prompt for 61 days with Tammy at Daisy Yellow Art. It's nice to have a new resource and reason to keep making art each and every day.