Monday, April 22, 2013

Free Texture For You!

Throw a pebble into a pond and watch 
the perfect circles 
form and spread effortlessly. 
Think of your art as that circle – 
a circle of creative energy spiraling out, 
taking in new influences, 
reaching out for new experiences – 
but always coming back to center – 
to you.

~Virginia Cobb

Hi there - it's been a while since I've posted here.  Hope all is well in your little corner of the world.  In my little corner, I've been spending time in my studio painting.  I have completed 3 pieces of art and have two other works in progress.  It feels so good! 

It's great to have the tactile experience of tangible art-making tools, the canvas, the acrylic mediums and paints, as opposed to the virtual elements used for creating digital art.  Though I have to admit I really miss having an 'Undo' button while painting!  With digital art it is so easy to undo, or save one version of an art piece and then proceed immediately on the next.  Not so with acrylics on canvas.  Clean-up takes a little longer too!  :)

Anyway ... I just had this overwhelming need to get away from the computer and to get back into the studio ... so that's where I've been.

I want to thank you for your kind, understanding comments when I announced that Photo Art Friday would be taking a two month hiatus.  I was really touched by your empathy and encouragement.  It made taking the break a much less 'guilt-inducing' choice.    :)

Here's a sweet, little texture for you:

Download your high res copy of pdpa Spring Light texture here.

pdpa Spring Light texture was applied to this image and blended in Hard Light - opacity left at 100%.  Poster Edges Filter creates the little black lines in the canvas-like texture and gives the image a bit more of a painterly feel.

P.A.R.C. Subscribers:  New textures are waiting for you on the Photo Art Resource Cache.  You have until May 15th to download all the textures that have accumulated on the site.  So if you have not grabbed them all yet ... you have about 3 weeks left to do so!

Did you know that you can now download a free Beta version of the new Lightroom 5?  Adobe releases a Beta (test) version that allows customers to try it out for free.  Adobe hopes that those who try it will give them feedback about the new version - you are not obliged to give feedback however.  Just download it and try it out.  It is probably configured to expire once they release Lightroom 5 for sale - but in the meantime you can experience and enjoy this fantastic organizing and editing program.  Lightroom is really not an expensive product.  I have Lightroom 4 and find it to be amazing value for the money.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Photo Art Friday, April 12th - 13th

Hey there all you lovely photo artists!  Hope all is well in your corner of the world. Did you pick up the free texture released in my last post? It's a beauty, so if you don't have it yet, you can get it here.

It's Thursday, so time for all you early-birds to link up your photo art submissions for this week's edition of Photo Art Friday.

Any digital ART image created with your photographs is welcome in this virtual showcase. If you wish, you can share images featuring shadows and/or light, which is the optional challenge this week.

Here are my submissions for the week:

Yellow roses given to me by my DH for Valentine's Day.  Love the light shining through some of the petals. The light makes the yellow petals look white. (Click on any image for a larger view.)

I applied the green texture in the upper right corner of this pdpa Cachet Classique Texture Set to the rose image above.

You can acquire this great set and more from my Mini-Sets Texture Shoppe. There are four textures in every set and each set is only $5 USD.  Do check it out! Some really superior textures are waiting for you there.

A photograph of an enclosed pedestrian walkway over railway tracks.  Loved the simple graphic elements in the design of this corridor, and the light and shadow on the floor.  One of my textures creates the design on the walls and wood supports.

On the right side of this screen shot, in the layers panel, you can see the photograph, the texture applied and the adjustments made. The texture was blended in Difference mode with the opacity adjusted to 85%.

A photograph taken by a friend several years ago.  With adjustments in Photoshop I added light and then applied one of my bokeh textures. This vivacious, dynamic, life-loving little soul is seldom captured in such a quiet, reflective pose!

I have decided to put Photo Art Friday on hiatus for 2 months. I will still be making posts and sharing the occasional free texture here on the blog and will keep you updated as to when exactly PAF will start up again.  

Right now the plan is for Photo Art Friday to return on June 14th - 15th.

I apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment the hiatus causes.  In the meantime, I hope you will continue to create your great photo-art and save some of it for future PAF submissions. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Oh My ...

Oh my ... you guys totally rock!  What a fabulous collage edition of Photo Art Friday!!!  I'm really running out of superlatives to describe what I see in our virtual showcase each week.   Guess the best way to describe how I feel is "totally inspired"!  

Several of you who had never tried your hand at digital art collage took up the challenge and produced some wicked work!  Thank you so much to everyone who participated.

I think it's time for a free texture.  Here's a special one for you.  Enjoy!  (You may have noticed that I've changed the way I operate here with regard to free textures.  From now on you will only have a couple of weeks to download them.  I will then remove the link, so grab them when they go up for they will no longer be available indefinitely!)

The time allotted to download this texture has expired.

PARC subscribers:  New textures await you!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Photo Art Friday, April 5th - 6th


It's time for the first edition of PAF for April, 2013.  Guidelines for participation are here.

Any pieces of photo-ART are welcome.  Although, each week we have an optional theme or challenge which you are invited to try.  This week the theme is:


Here are my submissions:

The base for this piece of photo-art is one of my photographs of pink daisies.  A beautiful public domain image of a woman was added (you can see that image below in a screen shot).  Then one of my recent textures was applied to produce the version you see above.  (Don't forget to click on all images for a larger and more detailed view!)

This screen shot was taken before the texture was applied.  You can see the base photo of pink daisies and then the web image in the layers panel.  The image of the woman was applied and blended in Overlay at 100%. A layer mask was used to mask off parts of the image around the woman and to allow more of the photograph beneath to be visible.

I am still using PSE 8 which has a Bin (row at bottom of screenshot) where files I have opened in PSE are visible to me.  I usually load up the bin with images I think might make a good collage and then make my selections from there.  I rarely, if ever, use all the images I open - just like to have a selection of images and textures visible from which I can choose while making a collage.

This piece began with one of the new textures you can find in the new Mini-Sets Texture Shoppe, used as the background.  The other three images are from the web: the hands, the moon, the woman.

If you look at the layers panel on the right side of this screen shot, you can see each element as it was applied to create the collage.  Again, in the work bin you can see the variety of images loaded from which selections were made.

This is a collage of variations of an older composite (collage).  The base is one of my backgrounds (textures) and if you look closely you will find: numbers, a black arrow from one of my paintings, two faces of women from the web, my grandaughter's face appearing here and there, a row of bells, a music sheet, etc.  Everything random - or seemingly so.  My subconscious might tell you different! :)

Another example (a similar version of this was published here in the past) using photographs of a stone stairway on our land, my DH and his shadow, a fence with an iron bar, text, and a ballerina from the web poised on the bar. One of my textures produced the yellow and rust design at the bottom of the image.

So there you have a variety of digital collages or composites, as I prefer to call them.  My suggestion is to do as I did and just start pulling things together without over-thinking the process.  Don't get too caught up in a lot of precise planning.  Try to allow an art piece to emerge as you experiment with all the different elements.

The thing I love about making collage is how things evolve when you give up trying to make a particular image that makes sense to the left brain and just start placing things willy-nilly - with only a vague plan in mind.  Almost invariably you will find that what you have designed is not all that 'willy-nilly' or random.

If your creative subconscious has been given the helm, it can guide your choices, placements, and PS edits.  If you work from the left-brain perspective of planning, calculating, evaluating, over-thinking, etc., you are really working more from an ego perspective that has rather limited vision, is careful, measured, interested in protecting or boosting its self-image, and is even anxious.  This is not the optimal place from which to create art.

The best way to move out of your left-brain ego is to not think (or agonize!) too much (left brain); but rather to approach your art-making from a playful, relaxed (right-brain) state.  Try to quiet the mind and enter the zone.

Creative expression coming from ego (left brain) is quite limited by its own constraints. Whereas the playful, unbridled, non-judgmental dynamic of the subconscious (right brain) bypasses egoic limitations and gives free rein to expression often suppressed by the ego. You tap into a fabulous, huge resource that has recorded every sight, sound, taste, experience of your life and then ... you bring it to your art.  It's all there ... quietly and patiently waiting for you.  Now that's exciting!   :)

Next week, April 12th, 13th the optional theme is:

Shadows and/or Light

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thank You!

Well - you continue to surpass yourselves in the photo-art department!  What a wonderful showcase of graffiti art last week!  Have to admit I was rather surprised and really heartened by the great response to the challenge.

The optional challenge for the first Photo Art Friday in April is COLLAGE.  If you are like me, you will produce a few rejects before you produce the keeper, so time to get working on your digital photo-art collage!  When you still have time to work on others, it isn't as frustrating when your first creation isn't what you hoped it would be ... says she who speaks from experience!  :)

As well as working on collages for PAF, I have been working on a couple of new texture sets that you can find in the Mini-Sets Texture Shoppe.  These are really fantastic textures ... really ... so I hope you will check them out here.

This photo is embellished with the bottom-right texture in the pdpa Cachet Classique Texture Set.  (Click on any and all of the images for a larger and better view!)

This photograph is embellished with the top-left texture in the pdpa Notes de Provence Texture Set.

(I want to apologize for not commenting on each and every submission to PAF last week.  I've been battling either bronchitis or a walking pneumonia for the last two months and am exhausted from the coughing and interrupted sleep.  Seems I come down with this each winter for the last few years.  Ugh ...

Anyway, I want you to know I viewed all your submissions, appreciated each and every one, and am grateful to you for sharing with PAF and participating in the challenges.)