Friday, April 30, 2010
This week at Art Creations Friday we were provided with a very interesting background to work with. I wasn't thrilled with the colors, so I converted it to black & white and overlaid a deep red texture, by SkeletalMess, over it. It still looked very visceral to me, so I decided it needed something DRAMATIC. I used a Photoshop brush from a set of tribal symbols/tattoos by Redlilith, and stamped it in white, yellow and orange. I applied the pin light blending style--this often gives unexpected and dramatic results-- and gave my firebird a beady black eye.
I'm really quite pleased with him. I often have the feeling that some pieces create themselves and I just push the buttons...but not this time-- I MADE Him--he didn't make himself.
Beltane has long been celebrated with feasts and rituals. The name means fire of Bel; Belinos being one name for the Sun God, whose coronation feast we celebrate. Beltaine begins at sundown on April 30-May Eve, and ends at sundown the next day-May Day. As summer begins, weather becomes warmer, and the plant world blossoms, an exuberant mood prevails. In old Celtic traditions it was a time of unabashed sexuality and promiscuity where marriages of a year and a day could be undertaken.Lighting fires was customary at Beltane, and traditionally a Beltane fire was composed of the nine sacred woods of the Celts. All hearth fires were extinguished on Beltane Eve and then kindled again from the sacred "need fires" lit on Beltane. People would leap through the smoke and flames of Beltane fires and cattle were driven through them for purification, fertility, prosperity and protection.
Many people would rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and branches to decorate their homes. Women traditionally would braid flowers into their hair. Men and women alike would decorate their bodies. Beltane marks the return of vitality, of passion.
(From Wikipedia, herbalmusings.com & Wicca.com)
Images are from Elizabeth Golden, Dover and Google
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
There is nothing more amazing to me than people who can make music--be it playing an instrument, singing or even clapping in rhythm. I am SO without musical talent. I especially love the way children make music--so joyous and exhilarating and LOUD! And the gift of witnessing a child with a real musical gift is quite miraculous.
The elements of this piece came from Magic Moonlight Studio, Graphics Fairy, Heidi at Shabby Chic, and Green Tea an Pareeerica at T4L. Some other texture-y bits were googled, along with lots of blending, filters and brushes.
Thanks for stopping by.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Don't get me wrong, I love flowers...they are not my favorite element to work with, though, so this was a real challenge for me. You may not believe it , but somewhere deep within the layers is (part of anyway)the original image we were given to work with with. And yes, that is Marie, or rather, her cousin, Flora, a somewhat shy relative who often chooses to hide in the garden.
Elements are from Graphics Fairy and Textures for Layers, lots of blending and overlay, and of course, Photoshop brushes.
Here is "Flora"
Monday, April 26, 2010
Here's my piece for this week's challenge at Sunday Postcard Art-Oriental. Everyone seems to have a fascination with things Asian--from the sublime teachings of the Buddha, Confucius and the Tao Te Ching to the also sublime and exotic beauty of the Geisha--from Asian food to feng shui--it interests us.
My piece combines two cultures, Japanese and Chinese; the geisha and the lotus are from Japan and the calligraphy is Chinese. The textures are freebies from a class I took and the rest is brushes and blending.
Thanks for visiting.
Friday, April 23, 2010
What an interesting challenge this is. I can't wait to see what everyone does with it. I worked with a photo I took in the neighborhood in Boston where I work, Cleveland Circle. It's home to many brick and brownstone apartment buildings. When I was little I always wondered what it would be like to live in such a place--I imagined round rooms with great high ceilings and filmy curtains fluttering in the open windows.
So here is my city mini-scape. The photo and one of the texture pieces are mine-you can see the originals on my FLickr page, there's a link on the sidebar, and the textures are free to download and use. Another texture piece is from Irene2005 at T4L. The other bits were googled, and altered with filters and PS brushes.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I don't even begin to know what to say about where this came from...It was one of those pieces that went its own way.
So, Bunnie and his little friend went to the beach. They found a big egg, but, alas, no sea shells. It rained a little and then there was a rainbow.
Just another day at the beach...
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
What a fun challenge this was, a chance to be whimsical--and to focus on the elements we all use every day as our add-ons and accessories. When I first began really looking at collage and altered and mixed media art, I thought "wings! Every one uses them, what's the big deal." As I began creating my own art, I came to realize just what a powerful symbol wings are--of freedom, the power of imagination, the ability to escape the everyday, the power of the mind itself.
The Crown is another powerful symbol--of confidence, belief in your own worth, a visible way to show that you ARE a person of importance. Hats, too invoke a sense of seriousness and purpose--even the most frivolous of hats indicates a person of bravery (think about some of those Enormous vintage hats--those women were BRAVE.)
So here is my bitty, baby fairy. ready to leave the nest, brave and bold in her tiny hat and delicate but strong wings.
I wish her a joyous flight!
Images used are from Vintage Moth, Graphics Fairy, Greentea at T4L and Annstanley59 at Absolutely Free Collage Sheets at Flickr.
Thanks for visiting.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
A lovely image was provided this week to illustrate "Shy Beauty" It didn't speak to me though, so I went in search of another. when I thought about the theme, I was drawn to the idea of people who are not yet aware of their beauty--who are still growing into it. I found this old photo of a girl on the brink of womanhood on Suzee Que's Flickr group, and I thought she was perfect.
Other images are from Graphics Fairy, Dover and Rubyblossom at T4L. Photoshop brushes and layer styles were used as well as playing with opacity in the layers.
I love Photoshop.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Every time, yes, every time I hear the word "Springtime" I am immediately reminded of an episode of the very old Tv show, starring Andy Griffith and Don Knotts (dating myself, I know..see previous post) about the town choir rehesarsing for their spring concert--and all I can hear is that REALLY awful flat note! It always makes me smile.
Any way, I just love the wonderful yellows and greens of early spring, and have attempted to capture them using a Photoshop watercolors brush set from The Shoreways, and layers from Temari09 at T4L and Heidi from Shabby Chic. Other images are from the Graphics Fairy.
Welcome Sweet Spring-time
We greet thee with Soonngg...
Yesterday it was my birthday
I hung one more year on the line
I should be depressed
My life's a mess (SO NOT TRUE!!!)
But i'm having a good time
Oo, i've been loving and loving and loving
I'm exhausted from loving so well
I should go to bed
But a voice in my head
Says "ah, what the hell"
Have a good time
Have a good time
Have a good time, Baby
Having a good time
(with apologies to Paul Simon)
Yesterday was my 59th birthday. Yes, 59
I was having a difficult time dealing with being on the cusp of "OLD", and apparently it showed all over me last week. I was sad; I was a little depressed; I was...I don'e even know what.
But, my wonderful, amazing husband reminded me that only 6 years ago, when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and rushed into surgery, we were hoping that I would even HAVE another birthday.
What a "smack upside the head" that was and on Friday morning I had a much better outlook, and now am ready to shoot for one hundred and ten!
The lovely, sweet women I work with brought me beautiful cupcakes and sang for me; my dear man booked us 2 nights in a hotel with a Jacuzzi (!!!; we dined at our old favorite restaurant with our daughter and son-in-law (who, only days before, had completed his Masters degeee; we saw Johnny Depp in 3D in Alice in Wonderland.
All in all, I'm "having a good time..."
Friday, April 16, 2010
I don't know what to call this piece...I've beem wracking my brain for the word or words that will put a name to the expression on this lovely face. I can't quite find it.
Components used here include pieces from the Graphics Fairy and Textures for Layers Flickr Group; the beautiful image from Elizabeth, photoshop brushes and a butterfly from the Collage Images for use Flickr Group
Spring is here--green everywhere; flowers blooming; insects buzzing around; birds singing.
This piece was made with gradients, a texture piece from T4L and one of my own textures, a page from an old entomology text and Photoshop brushes and blending styles. Simple and clean like the warm spring air. (never mind that it's 40' and pouring rain this morning...)
Thanks for visiting.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
This week's challenge at Soartful was to use the elegant embossed background provided. It seemed to beg for Asian embellishment, so who am I to argue. I've been wanting to use this lovely geisha for a long time, and this was a perfect opportunity. I altered the background with some layers and textures from Temari09 at T4L and Kimi, who was in a class I took and offered some of her textures to us. I also applied some Photoshop brushes and layer styles.
The character in the upper left corner is Beauty.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Here is my creation for this week's Three Muses challenge--to use a map somewhere in the piece. My map is from a Photoshop brush set from webtreatsetc. The background was creates with some pieces from T4l nad some other brushes. I don't know where I got the image of the man, it's a copy of a very old silver plate print.
I call this piece "Master of All He Surveyed"
Monday, April 12, 2010
I guess the long kept secret to how Marie grew those magnificent roses is finally out. It should have been OBVIOUS to everyone--Unicorn poop in the compost!
This is my first time working with Marie; please forgive me for being a bit irreverent.
Made with background pieces from T4L and the Feathered Nest; elements from songbird Avenue and Google images; and Photoshop brushes.
Thanks for visiting
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I just love cemetery angels, the older and more weathered the better. I love to think of them sorrowing over the departed far into eternity...so much love and sadness.
This piece was created using angels from Hope Jones, from one of the Yahoo groups I belong to, and Gaby Braun. Other gravestones are also from Hope Jones; other elements from Collage Images and Graphics Fairy, a free to use FLickr group and the eerie green background from Irene 2005 and Rubyblossom at T4L.
Thanks for visiting.
This week's theme is Paris--very popular. I just don't get it, Paris doesn't interest me very much; I have no real desire to go there; I'm NOT really a romantic...
Anyway, I did make a postcard to share, using an image from an old Harpers Bazaar, a digital stamp of the tower and some textures -from Rubyblossom, Tanya and norma Frances, all at T4L. Also some photoshop brushes of old postcards, postage and text.
I think I've managed to capture a bit of Paris.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Here is my entry for ACF this week. We were given the image of a little girl to use. She had such an expression of expectation...of yearning...to me. So this is what I made-- a portrait of a young girl on the brink of the next part of her life.
This was made with background pieces from Songbird Avenue and Temari09 at T4L. The eggs and butterfly are from Graphics Fairy and the hummingbirf from Scrapbook Flair.
The rest is blending and brushes.
Ornate-elaborately or sumptuously adorned... seems like a really easy concept to translate into art, doesn't it? But, this was a difficult one for me, and after several false starts involving chinese peacocks, gothic arches, cemetery angels and victorian wallpaper. I settled on this medieval looking woman with her ornate hair. I love this face --so serene. I set her into a mystical background created from a text piece by Eddi07 at T4L, and several photoshop brushes.
I am a big fan of the Avalon series of books by Marion Zimmer Bradley, ans I saw that I had created a sort of Priestess, moving toward her destiny with serenity, love and duty.
At least, that's what I see...
The lady is from a collage sheet by Elizabeth at Last Door Down the Hall, the moth from the Graphics Fairy and the brushes are from Obsidian Dawn and Cottage Arts.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I made this piece after I did a little research on Ravens for another challenge. I found there is more to the raven than just perching over Poe's door.
Raven, the trickster, is a native American totem spirit. Native Americans of the Northwest considered Raven a mythic champion who stole the sun from a box where it had been concealed. Having done this he released it into the sky for the benefit of mankind. Other stories make the raven responsible for releasing the stars and the moon from bags and/or boxes where they had been kept hidden. Peter Goodchild, in Raven Tales (1991) has collected stories from the Pacific Northwest that celebrate the raven’s use of trickery and intelligence to transform the environment into something man can use. It is Raven who is responsible for releasing the sun, establishing a rhythm to the seasons and providing shamans with their visionary and healing powers.
Raven-Bringer of Light
Was created using Photoshop brush sets: Crow brushes by Emma Alvarex, Tribal set 1 by Stephanie at Obsidian Dawn, Easy Elements Swirls for the cut-outs on the ravens wings,Halloween vectors (the moon), and Sun brush pack (the sun).
Background textures from Shadowlands, Tanya at T4L and Jessica Sprague; map from Vintage Moth and other images from Google.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Here is my vision of Home for this week's Collage Obsession challenge I began with the little mushroom house and thought about who might want to live there. I thought about all the usual supects, fairies, mice, bunnies and other small woodland and fairy tale creatures. Which led me to Hansel and Gretel, lost in the woods. This magical little house would be perfect for them--snug and cozy and safe from wicked witches and evil stepmothers.
The house and background papers are freebies from Scrapbook Flair. The childern came from Suzee Que--who is a very good stepmother to these wonderful old photos--and the wisteria vine is from Dover
Sunday, April 4, 2010
I occasionally play in a challenge group at Digital Whisper. This week's challenge is the theme, Peace. We were also provided with a beautiful skyscape to use. Well, I found this quote, and it's Easter, and...
Sometimes it happens all by itself...I just push the buttons.
The angel is from one of my photos, the background is made from layers from joesSistah at T4L and papers from Songbird Avenue, and the photoshop brush sets Botched Ornaments and 8 2nds of Light.
This was a very difficuly challenge for me--I know!! The rabbit heads just wouldn't fit on the bodies, no matter how I tried. [sigh]
Then Bunnie,who LOVES dress-up offered to help, and off we went! Bunnie was feeling very macho and bad-boy this Easter morning so we went Western. Can't resist a handsome cowboy!
The cowboy is from Art-e-zine, the background is blended from a grungy frame by Pareeerica at T4L and papers fron Songbird Avenue. Photoshop brushes from Obsidian Dawn and Krakograff. Hat and stamp were googled.
Happy Easter, Everyone!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
It's been a while since I have visited the seven gifts that come from working from your inner world. Here is my interpretation of gift # 5: respect for the power of your imagination.
Imagination is such a Pandora's box--we don't always know what's in there, or in what form it will be as it emerges. I think we humans often loose touch with our imagination as we become adults and take our places in the world. The freedom to imagine "anything and everything" that we have as children is often set aside as the responsibility and "mishegas" (a Yiddish word that neans craziness) of day to day life take over.
Each one of us needs to respect our imagination and make time in our busy, busy lives to open that box every once in a while and see what comes out--pick up a camera, or a paintbrush--even if you just paint your front door or your toenails red, or purple--sit under a tree and listen to the world and let thoughts wander. It doesn't matter HOW you open the box.
Background papers are from Songbird Avenue's kit, Light the Night, the face--I love this face-- is by Pink Sherbert Photography and is from a Creative Commons Flickr group. The box was Googled, the bird is from the Feathered Nest and the butterfly from Digital Whisper, The rest is blending and Photoshop brushes
Friday, April 2, 2010
A little busy this week, so I decided to combine the Art Creations Friday and the 4x4 Friday challenges into one piece; Special Delivery.
Backgrounds and textures are from Songbird Avenue, Scrapbook Flair and Media Militia. Mail art pieces, stamps, etc are from Google, Graphics Fairy and Boccacino at T4L. The butterfly was the image provided for ACF