Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October Texture Sale!

Hi Everyone!

Hope this post finds you well.  Can't believe it has been over a month since I've checked in with you. My health concerns have resolved after a lot of investigation and differing opinions from a variety of medical specialists.  So good to feel 'normal' again!

Better health has meant more time in my studio - painting.  I've uploaded some of my latest paintings here, if you want to take a peek.

It is also about time for a healthy discount on the texture sets in both of my shops.  For the next three weeks (from today October 7th to Tuesday, October 28th) any purchase will be automatically discounted by 40%.  You won't have to bother remembering and entering any codes.

Do you make calendars using your photographs and photo-art to give as gifts to friends and family before the new year?  I do every year and the ones using my photo-art (which use my textures) have been a big hit.  I often combine the images with some inspiring quotations - an image and a quote for each month.

It does take time and thought to make such calendars so I encourage you to get started now.  I use Shutterfly to design my calendars, but there are many such sites from which to choose.

You simply upload a group of images you think you might like to use.  Shutterfly offers you many different templates for each page/month of your calendar (you can have several images per page (month), or just one - so upload more images than you will ultimately use.  It is nice to have a selection of images from which to choose as you create your design.  With their templates you can also add text around your images and, as said, I often add quotations (e.g. from Eckhart Tolle) for each month.

These calendars are wonderful ways to use your photo-art and make some concrete documents with which you, your family, friends, colleagues, etc. can refer to and appreciate your artwork.

If you have not done so already, you can make some fabulous photo-art from your photographs by using my textures.  With 40% off for the next three weeks, now is the time to create some great photo art designs and then make some gifts for the holiday season using them.

Wishing you an October full of connection and creativity!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Photo Art Friday Update

Hi Everyone!

Just want to let you know that I have not forgotten about Photo Art Friday - in fact, I've been giving it a lot of thought.  I struggled with making the decision, but have decided to continue the hiatus of PAF.

The medication that helped get rid of my chronic cough has started to cause some unexpected side effects. Health issues are such a drag aren't they?  I know many of you are struggling with your own.

Anyway, just feel I have enough on my plate for the moment.  I will give you lots of notice when I am ready to get it going again.  That will probably be when I  'get it going again'! :)  Apologies for any inconvenience or disappointment caused by this decision. :(

I haven't even been painting for the last couple of weeks due to these health issues, but I did post some of my latest paintings here.  These are a few of my favourites:

"Welcoming Emotion"  20" x 28" x 1.5" 
When I am not working at the easel, I work at high counters that I cover with newspaper. One day some words on the newspaper under my canvas jumped out at me.  In the Cultural Events section laying on the table there was an article about a up-coming symphony called, "Welcoming Emotion" - Tickets on Sale.  I could not resist cutting it out and incorporating it into a piece of art. The above is the result. You can click on the images for a larger view.

 "Landscape III"  24" x 36" x 1.5"
I've done about seven paintings of abstract woodlands and gave up on giving them each a unique name.  This is number 3 in the series.

"Walk With Me"  24" x 24" x 1.5"
While painting the background of this piece, it occurred to me that most of my stroking had been vertical, so I quickly 'threw' in a few horizontal strokes.  When the painting was complete those horizontal strokes seem to take on the appearance of a building in the upper centre.  Love when happy little surprises like that occur.

Here are a couple of examples of paintings I did after viewing instructional demos on YouTube.  Australian artist Carole Foster posted her tutorial which I followed to produce the painting below.

 While not an exact duplicate of Foster's work, it is a pretty close replica (in terms of content, not quality).  Now that left me with a dilemma.  Can I sell a work that is based on an instructional video?  Hmmmmm ...

 "View From The Other Side"    24" x 36" x 1.5"
To make this painting more my own, I added a big tree.  Hope Carole Foster approves!

This is another version of Carole Foster's tutorial painting in different colours.  Again, felt I needed to change it up a bit:

Here trees were added all across the painting - to make it more 'mine'.

I'll be back now and then with updates and the occasional free texture for you.  If you are in the market for backgrounds for your photo art, you can find some great ones here.  

Be well dear friends!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Few Goodies For You!

Hi my dear photo art friends!  Hope this post finds you well.  Just checking in with some great links for freebies and a course you should know about.

Are you subscribed to the Pretty Presets Blog?  This blog is a great resource for photographers and frequently shares many free resources. Just the other day I found Pretty Presets' "40+ freebies for photographers".  You can access this page here.  I'm sure you will find some helpful resources among the 40+ offered.

Are you taking more and more of your photographs with your mobile devices (e.g. iPhone, iPad)?  If so you will want to know about Bob Weil's online instruction in how to make photo art using your mobile device, apps and textures to make fabulous photo art.  The course is called iPhoneography and Weil is offering it right now for half-price ($84 until August 31st).  Click on the image to view all the details.  Sign up for the course and you will find several of my textures (among textures from many other texture designers!) as a bonus built into the course.

I've designed even more new sets of textures that can also be used for making photo art with your iPhone and photo art app. You can view these new textures in my Background Textures Shop.

I also have a nice new texture that I want to share with you!

To download your free copy of pdpa Soft Damask texture, just smile and click here. :)

Take care and do leave a little comment to let me know you dropped by and picked up your free texture!

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!