Thursday, July 31, 2014

Checking In ...

Hi my lovelies!

Could not let the month of July slide by without connecting with you!  Hope each and every one of you is well and enjoying your summer (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, that is).

I continue to be consumed by painting (and taking tutorials on various styles of painting and specific techniques), with occasional forays into the garden to 'dead-head' and weed.  My husband just happens to be an excellent 'weeder' so he does most of the grunt work for me (thank you!).

Here are a few photographs of flowers on the gallery, deck and various flower beds:

Every year I have several pots full of various herbs and nasturtiums and one with an assortment of greens for salads.  It's such a treat to open the door and pick whatever I need.

Gorgeous hydrangea bushes dot our woodland garden.  They seem to be able to tolerate the shade.

These hydrangea bushes produce glorious apple green blossoms that turn to white as the summer progresses.

After I complete several paintings, I take photographs of them (visible on the left) and then have to perform a few edits (straightening, cropping, adding light, etc.).  This allows me to create a professional portfolio of paintings and to post decent images of them on Saatchi and Etsy where I sell some of them.

As you see, I have two computer screens which makes the work very easy.  I organize a lot of my photographs in Picasa (left) and then drag them over into Photoshop for editing. When set up properly, you can drag any images or documents from one screen to the other.  I love it!

This book is grabbing my attention right now.  If you are dealing with any chronic health challenges I would really recommend it.  Very interesting research is highlighted and it contains many practical suggestions about consciously incorporating the placebo effect into a get-well regimen. 

Update:  Speaking of health issues, after having walking pneumonia and bronchitis in the Spring I had coughing spasms that dragged on into May and June.  After visiting two different ENT specialists (ear, nose, throat) the second one said the coughing had nothing to do with the previous bronchitis, but was probably caused by "hidden acid reflux".  Huh?  I had experienced no heartburn .... but it turns out my cough was being caused by my stomach!  A prescription for acid reflux medication has ended the coughing spasms.  Go figure!  So glad to have finally solved that aggravating and tiring mystery. Once I finish the above book, I intend to try out the suggestions to stop the production of acid in my system and to eliminate the pain in my back.  Fingers crossed!  :)

 Cleome overtake one of our large flower beds every year.  But we don't mind they are such show-stoppers!

 One lone echinacea perennial trying to make a statement among the cleome.

 I leave you with this beauty.  Forget it's name at the moment.  Can anyone help me?

I'll be back soon with some photos of my latest paintings and with some new texture sets.  See you then!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Quick Hello

Hi Everyone!

A quick post to let you know I'm thinking about you.  Created this sweet texture this afternoon and want to pass it on to all of my favourite photo artists.

This texture/background is called "Light Source".  You can apply it to your photographs as a texture or use it as a background for a composite piece of photo art.  I just love it! Let me show you how I used it this afternoon.

 I selected this SOOC photo of gerberas from my front porch on which to apply the texture.  

 Here is the result.  Used the blend mode of Pin Light at 70% opacity.  How easy is that?!

For an extra dash of photo art panache, I applied my go-to PS filter, Poster Edges.  Love it!

No, I didn't forget ... 
You can download pdpa Light Source texture HERE.  

Thank you for all your recent comments and emails with good wishes.  My health is slowly improving.  In case you missed my previous post, Photo Art Friday is on hiatus until the Fall, but as you see, this blog is not on hiatus.  I will be posting regularly. See you soon!  Be well.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

news ... and a studio visit ...

Hi Friends,

Just popping in to announce that I have decided to put Photo Art Friday on a little hiatus for a few months.  

It has been hard to attract and keep participants when PAF is only a monthly affair.  As participation has dwindled, so has my energy ...  seems what I thought was bronchitis, that started the first week in March, is actually walking pneumonia.  Almost three months along and I'm still having coughing spasms, am really weak, tired and lacking energy.  

So thought I would take a bit of a break for the summer, beginning now (there will be no Photo Art Friday in June). Hope you understand.  I'll still post now and then - especially when I have free textures for you.

For all of you who have been die-hard participants over the months and years, I thank you so much for your submissions.  You truly are an amazing and inspiring group of digital, photo artists!!!  Do keep your eye out for PAF to return in the Fall.

On another note, I've had a few requests for another visit to my art studio.  I'm afraid it has not been a very busy or productive studio of late.  These photos of  it were taken a few weeks ago. 

In case you have not visited the studio with me before, it takes up 1/2 of our large garage.  The garage has a couple of windows and is painted white so it is nice and bright.  It also has a large sink, which works well for the water required to paint and for cleaning up. There is an long "L"-shape, waist-high workbench which allows me to work on a few paintings at the same time, two standing easels, and two large tables for tools and paints, and for allowing paintings to dry.  Come on in and take a peak!

This is the part of the "L"-shape workbench which is under a window.  You can see some of my paints, gels and glazes, and the little TV for the times when I feel the need for some background noise.  The blue flower piece is a little painting for a special waiter in one of our favourite restaurants.  The one to its right is an abstract landscape in progress.

The landscape in progress you just viewed is one in a series, like this one, of woodland scenes.  I will soon add a turquoise glaze to this one in the series, to enrich the colours and add depth.

This painting is almost finished.  I like to leave each painting up where I can view them for a while and decide whether or not they are complete.  This one is even more richly textured than what the photograph reveals. I've always thought of it as more beige and off-white than black, but this photo seems to make the black areas stand out more.  I wish I were a better photographer.  The photos I take of my paintings always disappoint me!  :-/

I've been trying my hand at some quirky pop art.  I'm the only one in my family who sees any merit in them! Oh well, they are good for a giggle - while painting them and when showing them!  :)

My family likes the more contemporary or traditional abstract paintings, like the blue one on the left here.

The one on the left was done with "crackle paste" which makes all kinds of cracks in the base layer of paint or structure paste.  It's a bit difficult to see the cracks with this photograph.

This is a mixed-media piece using a printed digital image. The image contains some of my textures and it is now married with a painted background and some stenciling.  I am not happy with it at all at this point. It will end up being painted over.  It stands there patiently awaiting my decision about its life expectancy.

I think I did this painting about the same time as we were doing the "quirky selfies" for Photo Art Friday. Wonder if there was any connection?  Have no idea what I will do with it!  It's ripe for interpretation and I have to admit that viewing it always makes me smile.

Another quirky piece where a New York Times crossword puzzle forms the head and the clues to the puzzle are slightly visible in the lower left-hand corner.  One could actually fill in the crossword ... but I think that decision should be left to its future owner.  My son says the image looks like a drunken hockey goalie.  :-/

And so ends our tour for today.  I'll take you around again when I have new pieces to show.  Until then be well!

Monday, May 5, 2014

PAF FAV for May!

The image that received the most FAV votes for the May edition of Photo Art Friday was made by:

Andrea, whose blog is From The Sol

If you missed seeing her beautifully edited image of her cat Diva, click on the above link.

Andrea, please email me with your selection from the prizes which can be viewed on the PAF FAV page. I'll then get the chosen texture set off to you.  Congratulations, Andrea!

Please mark your calendars with the date of the June edition of Photo Art Friday:  June 6th - 7th.

The optional theme/challenge is "monochromatic".  Looking forward to seeing you then!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Photo Art Friday, May 2nd - 3rd


Time for the May edition of Photo Art Friday!  

You are invited to showcase a photograph you have edited into a piece of art.  

If you are new here, you can read all the guidelines on the page Photo Art Friday.  Don't be shy.  Beginners and professionals are welcome to display their artwork in our virtual gallery.  Participants come here from many different levels of experience and expertise.

May's optional theme is COLLAGE.  My last post featured several different types of collages - from the simple to the more complex.  Any kind of collage (grouping, collection or composite) is welcome if you choose to follow the theme.  Of course, you are always welcome to post any piece of photo art.

You will be able to link up your photo art beginning on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. EST until Saturday at 6:00 p.m. EST.  Then a 24 hour period will start where you have to come back, review all the submissions, and vote for your favourite.  The person who receives the most FAV votes will be able to choose a two-texture set of textures from among these three as a prize.

Am still dealing with bronchitis, so I am pulling a composite work from my archives to share this week. Sorry, but can't recall if I have already posted it here at some point.  If so, here it is again!  Just could not find the energy to begin even a small, new project.  :-/

This urn is an art installation outside of a gallery in Old Montreal and is the only photograph used to create the following collage/composite.

Here the photograph has been 'flipped horizontal' and then the mirror images merged in Photoshop. Everything neatly marries in the middle to create a wide stone on top, just crying for some text, a second urn and the squared-off stairs.

I then took several crops of the urn itself and placed them on the above flipped horizontal image.  A chiseled-looking font was used to add some text.  Eh voila - a collage made from one photograph.

The next edition of Photo Art Friday will be on June 6th - 7th.  The optional theme for June will be:




of or having one color.
of, pertaining to, or having tones of one color in addition to the ground hue: monochromatic pottery.

Personally, I am thinking of several tones of one color rather than just a single color, but you are free to interpret the theme as you choose, as always!  :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PAF Alert and a Free Texture

Hi Everyone!  Hope this note finds you well.

The May edition of Photo Art Friday is only about a week away - May 2nd/3rd. Where does time go?!!!

The optional theme for the May edition of PAF is COLLAGE.  There are so many ways to make a digital collage - thought I would give you a few examples to spark your imagination for YOUR contribution to PAF, if you choose to follow the theme.

This is the most basic form of a digital collage - with different photographs displayed in rows. It does require some 'shuffling' around of the photos to produce an appealing arrangement.

Here is a collage where one photograph edited with a variety of different textures and manipulations are placed together, helter-skelter, to produce a collage. This kind of collage requires you to place and size each image in the position you want it to appear.

A collage similar to the one above, but where I have used the main edited photograph as the background and then took cropped pieces of that same image and placed them on top.

A digital collage where the black background takes up one third of the image and is then used to feature a poem that I like.

This collage is composed of only two photos - one of tree branches and a macro of pink petals.  In Photoshop I placed the petals on top of the branches to produce a pretty semi-abstract effect. Here the collage process is morphing into a composite more than a collection of photos. Collage is more a collection of photos placed side by side, where a composite is about using the different photos to compose (composite) a new piece entirely.

This is a collage/composite that you saw recently on this blog.  The digital components are a texture, a photo of leaves, and a photo of a bouquet of flowers.  Don't forget that you can use textures as a component in your collages.

Here is a piece of photo art where I digitally 'collaged' (the French word for 'glue' is 'colle') many different images together to form a new image. The components are:  brushes, buddha, butterfly, flower, moon, bells - all placed on one of my backgrounds. This is a collaged composite!  :)

Another example of a composite where I use my own photos of buildings, singer, and photos from the web of a soldier crouching in grass, a man walking on sidewalk - all placed on textured background. (When you include images you find on the web in your collage work, do make sure that they are in the public domain and that you are not infringing on copyright.) These last two forms of collage or composite require more work and ability to use masks to remove unwanted parts of the various components.

Of course, I'm sure many of you can think of even more creative ways to make a collage.  But for those of us who are new to the process, this gives a few examples of what can be done for the theme 'collage'.  AND you have a whole week to experiment with it!  Remember, you have to be patient with yourself and your editing program!

Perhaps a new texture would help you get started with a collage.  Here is a free texture that could easily be used as a background if you choose to create a composite piece of artwork for the May 2nd/3rd edition of Photo Art Friday.  Enjoy!

To download your free copy of pdpa Musique texture, simply smile and click HERE.  :)  

See you next week!

Friday, April 18, 2014

New Textures With Blend Examples

Popping in to share the new texture sets that have been added to my two shops.  Two of the sets are ideal to use as backgrounds in photo art composite creations.  They can be found, of course, in the Background Textures Shop.

Four new sets have been added to the Mini-Sets Texture Shop.  Each set has at least one texture that looks like beautiful stained glass.  Below you will see a few examples of just what these textures can do.

A screen shot showing photograph of an orange tiger lily that has been transformed to black and white (background leaves and flowers were erased).  New texture Stained Glass 3 from the pdpa Designer Deco Texture Set is applied to edited photograph.

Photo and texture blended in Color Burn at 100% opacity.  No further edits applied ... yet.

 Blended in Screen at 60% opacity.  Two stylets from Rad Lab and Poster Edges were also added.

New texture Stained Glass 1 from pdpa Designer Deco IV Texture Set.

Blended in Multiply at 100% opacity.  No further edits ... yet there are many possibilities, just want to stick to showing what you can get using only Blend Modes.  Where there is further editing, I tell you what it is.

 Blended in Darker Color at 100% opacity.  No further edits.

 Blended in Screen blend mode at 100% opacity.   Using a mask to remove texture from flower would be my next step here.

 Blended in Difference at 100% opacity.  No further edits applied ... yet.  A levels adjustment could bring in more light and I might even try sharpening.

Blended in Exclusion at 100% opacity.  No further edits ... yet.  An application of the filter Poster Edges could help camouflage the areas of the blend that are cloudy.

Blended in Luminosity Blend Mode at 75% opacity.  I love trying Luminosity blend mode when I am applying textures.  Sometimes you get something really surprising and lovely.

New texture Stained Glass Sky from the pdpa Designer Deco IV Texture Set

Texture and white cosmos photograph blended in Difference at 80% opacity.  Poster Edges added and 2 stylets from Rad Lab were added to add more light and warmth.

 Blended in Difference at 90% opacity with no further manipulations ... yet.  :)

Same photo and texture blended in Luminosity at 75% opacity with Poster Edges as finishing touch.

Screen shot of application of new version of a previous texture, now called Asian Delight from the pdpa Graphic Design Background Set.  The bowl in the photograph is blue and is sitting on a green banana leaf that came with a big bouquet of flowers.  The two were blended in Difference at 90% opacity.  A levels adjustment was applied to bring in a bit of light.

 I really like this piece and will play with it a bit more in the future.

Thank you for looking at the above examples of what can accomplished using a few of the new textures I have created for you.

Back soon with some encouragement and ideas for the May edition of Photo Art Friday on May 4th/5th. The optional theme for May is "collage".  Why not begin to work on it now and then when PAF arrives you will simply have to link up.  Since we are still voting for our favourite piece each month, you have a chance to win a two-texture-set prize. Please join us!