Thursday, January 31, 2013

Photo Art Friday, February 1st - 2nd

Hey there!  Welcome to this week's edition of Photo Art Friday - the virtual gallery where digital artists from around the world come to hang their creations.

Hang any piece of your photo art that pleases you OR hang a piece that follows this week's (Feb. 1st, 2nd) optional theme of:  MINIMALIST.

Here are my minimalist pieces:

For next week's February 8th, 9th PAF, I am putting out an optional challenge.  I wrote about it (with tips on how to proceed) in a previous post, here.  To repeat, the challenge is:

The challenge for February 8th, 9th is to create a composite (collaged) piece of ABSTRACT photo art from these obligatory components:

*  pdpa Dropped Petals texture/background + 

*  any other pdpa texture of your choice


*  1 or 2 other images (preferably your own, or from the web)

So to summarize, there will be 3 or 4 separate components in your final abstract composite submission for Feb. 8th, 9th.  

Of course, while you use these separate components, the idea is to blend them together seamlessly to produce a piece of digital abstract collage art.  Here is the required texture/background you must use for this challenge:

Of course, if you do not have the time or inclination to participate in the optional challenge, you can always link up any piece of photo art you would like to share in our virtual gallery. 

If you are a subscriber to Photo Art Resource Cache, new textures have been posted for you and another 4 texture set will go on the site on Sunday.  I know you're going to love them!

If you love textures like the ones I give out here at PDPA today is your last chance to subscribe for stacks of high quality textures at the low price of $25 for 3 months.  

February 1st the subscription fee goes up to $40 for 3 months.  You still have time to subscribe for $25!  Go here to learn more and to read what some current subscribers have to say about this fantastic site full of digital resources.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

abstract photo art challenge

A composition is an arrangement, built out of parts, that aims at seamlessness.     ~Eric Maisel

Hi there!  Hope you all are well and enjoying life in your little corner of the world.  

I'm popping in with a fabulous free texture/background for you and an advance head's up about the February 8th, 9th Photo Art challenge. Yes, a challenge!

Instead of an optional theme, we will have an optional challenge for the February 8th edition of PAF and I want to give you a couple of extra days to think about, experiment with, and produce this piece of photo art.

The challenge for February 8th, 9th will be to create a composite (collaged) piece of ABSTRACT photo art from the following obligatory components:

*  pdpa Dropped Petals texture/background + 

*  any other pdpa texture of your choice


*  1 or 2 other images (preferably your own, or from the web)

So there will be 3 or 4 separate components in your final submission for Feb. 8th, 9th.  Of course, while you use these separate components, the idea is to blend them together seamlessly to produce a piece of abstract art.  Here is the required texture/background for this challenge:

pdpa Dropped Petals texture - 300 dpi - download

A few ideas (in case you need them) of digital editing manipulations you can use while creating an abstract piece of photo art:

*  use absolutely any tools available in your editing program to create your digital abstract, but PLEASE do not try to incorporate all of these suggestions into your work.  I am listing these hoping you will find a new idea or two you might like to try.

*  select one texture to use as your canvas or background.  Then decide where you will place the other texture and image(s).  Play with your Move Tool to make the components different sizes.  Stretch one of the images and see what you get.  If you don't like it, "undo" and start again.

*  rotate the elements in the composition with your Move Tool, placing them at angles.  If you allow them to overlap you will probably create a whole new shape with the overlap.  

*  use one or more of the required elements more than once.  Please respect the requirement to use only pdpa textures for this creation.

*  change up the opacities of the different elements.  

*  experiment with different filters in your editing program and see if any of them produce results you like - such as 'Distort', 'Sketch', 'Stylize', etc.

*  add color to the entire canvas (Adjustment>Solid Color) and then decrease the opacity so that you can see the design underneath.  Once you see the design underneath, decide where you want to keep this new color and where you want to erase or mask it off of the design.  Mask/erase it off on certain areas and then re-adjust the opacity back up to the level you like.

*  use brushes, patterns, or shapes from your cookie cutter tool to embellish your design

*  use text in wild and different ways to create designs you like.

*  try out the "smudge" tool or the "burn" tool to create a vignette

*  draw lines, outlines or shapes using the brush tool on your design.  You don't need a Wacom tablet to do this.  Just adjust your brush size and try drawing free form using your mouse.  If you are like me you will have to "undo" and try again to get it right.  If, it never looks right, undo it and forget about it!  :)

*  rotate your final design to see if another point of view reveals a perspective you prefer.

*  remember less is always more - very few composite pieces, if any, would ever look good using all the above suggestions!!!  If your piece begins to look busy, cluttered, dark or muddy it is a sign you need to eliminate some of your manipulations.

*  save frequently as you create.  You may like what you have produced, but have the inclination to try a couple more things.  So save your work as it is now, as a PSD, and then continue your edits.  Then you can easily come back to it if need be.  Once you decide on the final version, you can delete all the previously saved versions.

You have 9 days before you have to link up this abstract photo art collage to Photo Art Friday.  That should allow you plenty of time to think, experiment and end up with a piece of abstract art you would be proud to hang on your wall and in our virtual gallery.  Composed or collages digital art may be new to you, but take it as a great opportunity to learn, experiment with new tools, new techniques and with your composition skills.

Please keep in mind that this is NOT a competition, NOT a test.  We each have the experience we have and must start there.  There are always others with more experience.  They too, however, started out at some point unsure of how to proceed.  We can only acquire experience by diving in and giving new things a try.

It is an inspiration to those with more experience to see the beautiful efforts of those just beginning.  My hope is you will never feel embarrassed to share your beginning steps here at PAF.  After a while, you are not just starting out, YOU become one of the ones with experience under your belt.  But that only happens if you are willing to begin ... willing to be a beginner ... willing to share your steps as a beginner ... and willing to be proud of the courage it takes to begin!

Have fun!!!

Photo Art Resource Cache Subscribers!   New textures have gone up today behind the Bonus Tabs, so check the site to grab them.

If you have been thinking about subscribing to the Photo Art Resource Cache for stacks of fabulous textures now is the time.  This Friday, February 1st the cost of a subscription will increase from $25 to $40.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Photo Art Friday, January 25th - 26th

Welcome, dear digital artists,
 to Photo Art Friday!

Are you ready for this week's photo art exhibition?  

Well, just link-up any piece of your own photo art creations or one using the optional theme for this week of "hardware".  Hardware comes in many forms beyond the first things that come to mind, and please feel free to interpret this and any theme here with your own unique spin.

Here's what I am contributing to our art exhibition this week:

This image comes from an up-close photo of new, shiny playground equipment.  Sunlight is reflecting through a grated platform, and the pieces of equipment are held together by big, shiny bolts.

A group of bicycles belonging to shoppers at a mid-city farmer's market.  Biking to buy your locally grown food supplies is certainly a healthy and green way to live!  (Figured it takes quite a bit of 'hardware' to make a bike.)

Next week's Photo Art Friday, (Feb. 1st-2nd) optional theme is to create a piece of photo art that is:



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music,
where the work is set out to expose the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, 
features or concepts. 
Minimalism is any design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Don't Hesitate!

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well in your little corner of the world.  It's really cold up here in the north east - and in my little corner many are being 'felled' by the flu.  Just read that this year's flu shot only offers about 45% insurance against catching it ... hmmm ... not sure I like those odds.  Hopefully if one does get the flu after having had the shot, it will be less severe and of a shorter duration.

Here's an image of moi that I adjusted in PSE with Threshold..., applied the free texture Virtually Vintage to it, and then placed the edited image on the Virtually Vintage texture, adding a Drop Shadow to the image.

I hesitated to share this image - but now that I have - I'm hoping you find it a little less scary than my last post that was filled with rather creepy digitally-edited faces!

I've been experimenting with using several textures with one photo element to make pieces of abstract art - will share some with you soon.  Oh ... be warned ... I'm considering making that an optional challenge for an upcoming Photo Art Friday ... would you be up for it?

In the meantime, just want to remind you that if you have been considering subscribing to the private treasure trove of digital goodies known as Photo Art Resource Cache, you have only 10 days left to benefit from the low price of $25 for a 3 month subscription.

As of February 1st, the 3 month subscription to P.A.R.C. will cost $40 - which is actually still a great price for all the resources you will access.  But why hesitate to take advantage of the introductory price of $25 while you can?

Here's what one new subscriber wrote after hesitating at first about subscribing:

"Bonnie - I can't believe that I hesitated for a single second when you opened up this texture resource. I feel like a kid in a candy store! Thank you!"

Photo Art Friday will be here before we know it.  Have you considered preparing something using the optional theme of 'Hardware'?  I just know there will be some inspiring submissions!  Please join us. See you then!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

... a little thank you gift ...

Hi my Lovelies!  Just dropping in with a big THANK YOU to those of you who shared your artwork with Photo Art Friday last week.  It's so encouraging to know we are not alone in developing our digital art-making skills.  It's always exciting to see the variety of ways our creativity can be expressed digitally.

If you've been considering joining in on the fun at Photo Art Friday ... well, what are you waiting for?  We're a welcoming group and there is no sense of competition in the sharing we do.  Just read the guidelines here, and join in!

I know I have recently given you a texture very similar to this one  - but here is another version of it.  It has different text, a different hue, and a smidgen of an edge burn to make your image pop.  Enjoy!  But don't sign off just yet, I have some links for you below.

Photo Art Resource Cache Subscribers: ... new textures have been posted on the site and are waiting for you to download them!

To download your high res copy of pdpa Beauty Is ... texture, simply click HERE.

We know that if someone really wants to pinch our photo art, and they have the skills, they can.  I had concrete proof of that recently when I was searching Google images for public domain images that I could incorporate in some of my digital collage work.

As I scrolled through the images in the category I had selected, much to my surprise, I saw a couple of my own images that I had never released into the public domain - but I had published them on my blog.  My signature was on the image ... but that was clearly not enough.  Something that covers a central part of the image is required as a real deterrent.

You may have noticed that I have been placing watermark banners across my digital art much more consistently of late - and I encourage you to do so too.  If you missed my post last year with links on how to make your own copyright or signature banner, here are a couple of them - and a couple of new ones for you:

Once you have made your own copyright watermark, keep it in your archives and simply open and apply it to any of the artwork you post on the web.  You can adjust the opacity of it after you apply it to your art so that it does not dominate, yet still acts as a deterrent for anyone who might be inclined to take your work and represent it as their own.

Thank you to the above web sites for their great tutorials.  Each of them offer great resources for digital artists, so do check out all they have to offer while you're there.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Photo Art Friday, January 18th - 19th

Welcome to Photo Art Friday!

If you are new here and need some guidelines for participation just click on the PAF tab under the header.

This week (January 18th - 19th) any piece of photo art is welcome, as is any piece that adheres to the optional theme of "entrances" and/or "exits".  Don't forget, our doors open earlier than before.  Now on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. EST.

I have been distorting playing with  (smile) faces in Photoshop this week - digitally combining faces that I photographed and faces I painted.  They have been layered on top of each other, textured, flipped horizontally, etc. etc.  As well, I have drawn on parts of the digital images using my Wacom Bamboo Pad and stylus.  Many parts of the images have been smudged, erased and blurred.  You will see different examples of my new Canvas Magic textures applied to them, as well.  Some of the images have had the addition of Poster Edges and one had a RadLab treatment.

How does this relate to the theme of entrances and exits, you might ask?  Well, there are several entrance and exit points in every face.  In these face images a good portion of the work centered around the mouth which is an entrance for food and air, and an exit for sounds and language.  A stretch?  Maybe ... but it works for me.  :)

Speaking of exits and entrances, couldn't resist including this digitally edited image of an 'exit and entrance cemetery', or ... maybe it's a 'secret exit from hell' ... just push on the door and step out!   :)

Next week (January 25th, 26th) as always you may post any piece of photo-ART you wish.  Please note the accent on ART - digital art using your photographs.  

If you would like to be prompted by a specific theme ... how about the word:  hardware.  

The word "hardware" is used to describe many different types of objects, so it might be worth looking it up in a dictionnary to see all the possibilities and interpretations open to you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

... a couple of reminders ...

Just popping in with a reminder that the doors of our virtual photo-art gallery (aka Photo Art Friday) open tomorrow (Thursday) at 4:00 p.m. EST.  

You can post any piece of photo art that you want to share with us, or you can post one using the optional theme of "exits" and/or "entrances".  

Can't wait to see your interpretations of this theme!

This huge poinsettia sits on a table in my kitchen.  I'm glad, now that the Christmas season is over, that we chose one with yellow and orange leaves instead of the traditional red.  It seems to like its spot in the kitchen and will probably be with us for quite a while!  I edited this photo with application of two different canvas-like textures.

This buddha sits on a side table in our dining room - projecting a constant reminder of peace and mindfulness into the space.  Treated this photograph with canvas-like textures too.

I so appreciated the enthusiasm with which you received and used the free texture, pdpa Brown Rice Paper texture.  Loved the many ways you found to apply it to and enhance your photographs in last week's Photo Art Friday.

A couple of you asked if I had more canvas-like textures on the way.  Well ... of course!!!  In fact I've put together a new set of twelve of these canvas(y) textures and used some of them to produce the pieces you see above.

Each of the textures in this new set gives a real canvas feel to your photograph or photo art.  It's just me, but I think they are exceptional and a must for your texture library.  You can find them here.

Subscribers to Photo Art Resource Cache will find a new texture behind Textures 2 tab and an example recipe of how you can use a texture to make art with text, posted today.  A new texture set was posted for you on the 13th and will be uploading another new set on Sunday.  Keep checking in at the site - new resources are posted for you frequently!

Have a great Wednesday everyone, and I look forward to commiserating with you over the next three days at PAF!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Don't Miss Out!

First, let me thank all of the participants in Photo Art Friday this week. I am truly running out of superlatives to describe your submissions.  So just let me yell across the miles:

Have you read my announcements about how you can  now subscribe to download 100+ high resolution, fine art textures over a period of three months?  It's such a fab way to expand your digital editing options with diverse, high res textures from the new site - Photo Art Resource Cache!

Here's what some subscribers to the Photo Art Resource Cache are saying about it:

*    "I absolutely LOVE your textures. Use them almost exclusively for most of my work. Really makes my day you've opened up this site for membership. I know I will be a member for a long time. Thx."

*    "Simply THANK YOU for all of your work, effort and generosity in making PARC work. I will renew my interest in textures seeing all of your beautiful renderings. I realize this has taken a great deal of time, thought and effort....thank you so much." 

*    "I love all the textures and I am thrilled to have access to them so I can create. I am a beginner but I really enjoy transforming images with texture." 

*    "Hi Bonnie, I am so excited to have access to your wonderful textures, it is going to be fun." 

*    "Green is my favorite color and these are beautiful...Thanks, Bonnie ... I am going to love this!" 

The collage below shows just some of the custom-designed textures currently up for download at the  Photo Art Resource Cache:  

(click on the collage for a larger view)

All of these textures, and more, can be yours immediately when you subscribe for 3 months access to the site for the current price of $25.  

$25 is actually a ridiculously low price for what you get at the P.A.R.C.  That low price will only be in effect however, until January 31st, 2013. 

As of February 1st, 2013 a 3-month subscription for new subscribers will be $40.

The really good news is that anyone who has subscribed in January, 2013 will maintain the $25 fee for future, consecutive 3 month subscriptions. So don't delay. Subscribe now.

If you like the free textures you download here at PDPA (such as last week's Brown Rice Paper texture), you will be in digital resource heaven once you subscribe to Photo Art Resource Cache!   

If you want to learn more about all the resources you will access on this site, before you subscribe, you can do so by clicking here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Photo Art Friday, January 11th - 12th

Calling all photo-art aficionados!  

Please accept a standing ovation for last week's PAF.
So many inspiring words showcased on so many amazing photo-art treatments!
Applause.  Applause ...... Encore!

Here's something a little more 'concrete' to thank you for your efforts and your generous sharing of your work here  -  a sweet new texture called "Perfect!".  Perfect, because it's just the kind of texture that one needs to add a little 'je ne sais quoi' to a photograph.  Enjoy!

To download your free, high res copy of pdpa Perfect! texture, just click HERE.

For those of you who are now subscribers to Photo Art Resource Cache there are six new textures that have been uploaded to the site this week.  

Have you found them? They look like these:  

If you want to learn how to receive oodles of great textures from my texture library, click here.

This week for our virtual gallery showcase of photo art, you can link any piece of photo art that pleases you.  Or, you can link up a piece of photo art using last week's free texture, "pdpa Brown Rice Paper texture".  If you did not yet get your copy of it you can do so here.

I love Brown Rice Paper texture and have used it in a variety of ways on many photographs.  Here are a few:

I've kept the application of Brown Rice Paper somewhat subtle here.  I think it gives a slight vintage flair to a French cafe scene.

It's so rare to come across a public phone or phone booth anymore that I had to take a photo and edit it into a little piece of soon-to-be vintage photo art.

Above are four different edits of a Spanish courtyard scene (click image to enlarge):

1.  Done a couple of years ago using one of my earliest textures and the editing skills I had at the time.

2.  A recent tweaking of the edited version #1 in Rad Lab, but did not like the drab beige sky.

3.  Painted in a blue sky on the #2 edit.

4.  Added Brown Rice Paper texture to edit #3 and now it has a bit of old world and vintage charm.

 Edit #4 from above collage with the Brown Rice Paper texture.  Click on image to enlarge.

As with the images above, of the about-to-be antiquated public telephone and of the Spanish Courtyard, this church photo edited with Poster Edges was applied on top of the texture.  I used Hard Light blend mode at 100% opacity.  (When you apply the photo on top you have to think twice about reducing opacity as you will lose details of the photograph, which usually you don't want.)  I pulled the photo in a bit from the border on the texture and added a drop shadow.

For next week's (Jan. 18th) PAF showcase,  

link up any piece of your digitally edited photo art, 


a piece of photo art featuring entrances and/or exits,
(with whatever interpretation or spin on those words you choose!)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Access A Treasure Trove of Textures!

As mentioned in a previous post and in a recent email some of you have received, I have custom-designed textures coming out my ears.  It's a shame for these 2000+ textures and backgrounds to sit languishing in my archives, so I have devised a way to make them available to you.

If you would like to access an exclusive site already laden with custom-designed textures - and with posts every week containing even more high quality photo art resources for download - you can now subscribe to the new Photo-Art Resource Cache.

A 3 month subscription to the Photo-Art Resource Cache is yours for only $25.00.

Types of resources subscribers will access on Photo-Art Resource Cache:

*  At least four (4) high resolution textures and backgrounds, such as the ones in these texture collages (and such as the ones you find at pdpa), will be released each week during your 3 month subscription period.

* Fabulous ideas for photo-art projects (that you can totally personalize), complete with custom templates, optional images for the projects, and detailed instructions.

*  Recipes, recommendations, links, inspiration and encouragement will also appear in the posts with your custom textures.

Since each week a minimum of 4 new textures will be released on the site, you will acquire at least 48 diverse textures for the duration of your subscription!

And as a bonus gift, literally dozens of textures and other resources will be ready for download when you first arrive at the subscription site!  This means that by subscribing you will add over 100 high resolution textures and backgrounds to your texture library.  

Some of the digital goodies that await you behind Bonus Tabs:

Bonus subscription gifts await you behind the tabs under the header at Photo Art Resource Cache. You can immediately download them and then download the new textures arriving in posts to the site.

 A texture set you will receive upon arrival at the Photo Art Resource Cache.

 Backgrounds like these, for your collage projects, await you behind the Bonus Tabs.

Here you have a glimpse of one of the photo art projects you will receive at the site upon subscribing. (The  templates for download and the accompanying instructions are not visible in this image.)

 Another photo-art project with all the components you need waiting for you on site.

A peek at the instructions provided for creating a digital collage project that you will access on site.  

A subscription entitles you to private access to all these digital art resources for a 3 month period.  The materials and resources released by the Photo-Art Resource Cache will not be released anywhere else.  They will be available exclusively to subscribers of the Photo Art Resource Cache.  None of the above-mentioned resources will ever incur a fee beyond what you have already paid for the subscription.

Again, the cost of a 3 month subscription to the Cache is only $25.00.  That comes to 28 cents a day for instant access to stacks of superior materials for your digital endeavors.

Note:  Subscriptions are automatically renewed for subsequent three month periods.  You always have the option to unsubscribe.   Due to the nature of digital products, refunds are not an option.

If you have any questions about the Photo Art Resource Cache, please ask them here in the comment section.  I will answer them there so that everyone can benefit from the additional information.  :)

Note:  When you subscribe, please make sure I have your first name and e-mail address so that I can add them to the membership of the site.  Since I cannot be at the computer 24/7, it may take a few hours before I am able to add your name to the membership list, and therefore, for you to gain access.  So hang on ... it will be so worth it when you get there!  :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Photo Art Friday, Jan. 4th, 5th, 2013

Hurrah ... Photo Art Friday is back!  Welcome All.

Let each of us dream of a community of artists and work to make that dream a reality.
~Eric Maisel  

Our community of photo artists created some amazing images in 2012.  I can't wait to see what you bring to our virtual gallery this year!

If you are new to Photo Art Friday - welcome to our virtual art gallery community!  You can read the guidelines for participation here.

As always, you are welcome to post any piece of photo art that pleases you. However, each week we have an optional challenge or theme.  This week you have the option of showcasing a piece of photo art that features a word you have chosen to guide or inspire you for the year 2013.

In the four years that I have been blogging, I've never chosen a word for the year.  However, since the selection of a word would mesh nicely with creating a piece of photo art, I decided to choose one for this year ... and ask you to join me in showcasing yours here.

This year I want to really solidify and integrate my intention to be present - to live in the now - to surrender to what is in every moment.  It confounds me how often I find myself lost in thought, lost in planning, lost in formulating and, therefore, not as present to the here and now as I want to be.  So my chosen word is "presence".  I will use the word as a touchstone to pull myself back into present moment awareness.

I created several pieces of photo art using both my photographs and my textures that feature this touchstone word, 'presence'.  Here are four of them gathered into a collage:

It's hard to select just one, but in this moment I am drawn most to the two images with trees:

I may use one of these 'presence' images in my sidebar.  Which one do you like best?  Are you going to feature your word anywhere on your blog?

Wednesday evening I played a bit in Photoshop with textures, fonts and a photograph of the goddess of compassion Kwan Yin and came up with this image.  Still can't seem to choose just one.  Then again, where did I get the idea I have to?  :)

Next week's optional theme for PAF is:   A piece of photo art using the gift texture (pdpa Brown Rice Paper) from this post. 

Well, we can't begin the new year (or work on next week's theme!) without a gift texture. I absolutely adore the unique effects this texture gives a piece of photo art!  Can't wait to see the variety of ways you all choose to use it next week.

For your high resolution version of pdpa Brown Rice Paper texture, simply click HERE.

This weekend, I will be launching a fabulous, new way to release many (most!) of the 2000+ textures in my archives for your use.  The texture above is just a small sample of what is in store for you.  Can't wait to share the details of this new idea with you ... so stay tuned . . .

Now, dear photo-artists, it is your turn.  Do us the honor of sharing your word for 2013 that you have included in a piece of photo art.