Thursday, September 30, 2010

Crazy Amigos Challenge- Birdhouse/Birdcage

I've begun to look around for new (to me, anyway) Challenge sites to see if I can rekindle my creative spirit, which has been struggling of late. This morning I found the Crazy Amigos and thought I'd give their weekly challenge a whirl. The theme is Birdhouse/Birdcage. I immediately thought of "caged bird singing..." and went from there.
Background from textures by Witchy13 at Brusheezy, along with a music tag by Frannie60 that I use all the time, and a piece of penmanship--aptly titled The Power of Song--from Graphics Fairy. The bird is also from there. The cage is from Keron from a Yahoo group I belong to and the quote is by Harry Belafonte.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Three Muses Challenge- Victorian

For this challenge I went straight to the namesake of the era, the Queen herself. I used an etching taken from a portrait of Queen VIctoria painted early in her reign. I think she was 23 here. Amazing to think of someone so young ruling an empire!
Background is Victorian wallpaper from Songbird Avenue, enbellishments are from Scrapbook Flair and the stamps were Googled.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

SPA-Autumn Glory

The leaves are changing here at last. As the nights grow colder the autumn colors are just beginning to emerge. The next few weeks will be glorious as naure paints her annual masterpiece.

I took my inspiration from the humble bittersweet--around here at least it's considered an invasive weed, and is torn out without mercy. I wonder if that is the origin of the name.

The main image was found on Google images and was altered with Photoshop filters; the butterfly is from Dover. The background is a texture from ShironekoEuro at T4L, enhanced with PS text brushes and a music tag by Frannie60 at Totally Free Textures. The French text is from the Graphics Fairy. The large leaf is a brush I made from a botanical sketch I found at the London Museum of Natural History.

Friday, September 24, 2010

4 by 4 Friday--Witch

Witches are in the air these days--a popular theme as the days grow shorter and thoughts turn to spooky things.

My witch this time is a pretty young woman, not the usual old crone. She's out for a stroll under the full moon, perhaps hoping to find someone to bewitch. She has that look in her eye.

The image is from art-e-zine, and the background is made with textures from Shadowhouse (that awesone red) and from Eddi07 and Happysweetmama at Twxtures for Layers. Blending styles, filters and photoshop brushes added the finishing touches.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More from the Digital Montage Workshop

Here are a few more pieces using the techniques we're learning in the workshop. I the Virginia Woolf piect we experimented with using layer styles--drop shadows, bevels and special effects--on brush layers for dimension and depth.

The Paris piece is my example of a Magritte style piece using a brush I made and laying it out on a grid.

The dancer was created using a technique called "Thowing Paint." and Water Lilies was made using brushes as erasers on a screen layer .

Check out the Digital Montage Studio blog for information about the upcoming classes and also for information abour purchasing the files from the previous sessions when they become available.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Three Muses Challenge- Envelope Art

I went in a Steampunk sort of direction for this challenge. I find mail art very interesting. I wonder what they think of it at the Post Office...

Anyhow, I used a texture that I made a while ago for the background. It's available to download on my Flickr page and is free for your personal use. I used mostly brushes in this piece and some overlays to keep a monotone palette. The handy hand is from the Graphics Fairy. I even made the Steampunk stamp, also with brushes.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

SPA-50's Pin-ups

I spent some time this morning looking at pin-up photos and illustrations from the 1950's. My goodness, compared to the perfect and airbrushed nudity of today, they were so raw and in-your-face sexual. My art is really not ready for that.

So I turned to one of the pin-up icons of the day--the gorgeously sensual, one-of-a-kind screen goddess, Marilyn Monroe. I just love that she never seemed to lose her sense of wide-eyed innocence and amazement for the world.

I used a technique that I learned in the current Digital montage Studio class; how to turn a photo into a digital stamp. She came out pretty well, I think. I know I'll use her over and over again. The background was created using textures from mbgrigby at Textures for Layers, and a piece from Untamed Reflections, whose work I found on the Brusheezy site. Photoshop brushes from Obsidian Dawn and Seleneheart completed the piece.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Darkness Inspiration--Witch

Ah, Halloween, can't you feel it coming? There's a chill in the air (although the weather people tell us the 80's will return next week.) The quality of the daylight is changing. The light is more clear, the shadows more sharp and contrasty. The colors of Nature are beginning to shift to red and gold and rust and brown as the earth prepares to sleep.

And our thoughts turn to Halloween--to ghosts and witches and spooky stories, to vampires and werewolves and all manner of strangeness.

I love it!

I made this witch for the Darkness Inspiration Challenge. She's a witch in the old sense, acquainted with the powers of the earth and sky, and not afraid to use them for her purposes. She's as much about worship as she is about magic.

The image is from E-Vint free images. The background textures are from a great set by Witchy_13 that I found at The owl and moon is from Graphics Fairy, and the trees and arcane symbols are brushes.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Collage Obsession--Cowboys

Here's my entry for this week's challenge --Cowboys. You may have noticed that I have a fascination with the old West...if you look back through my blog or on my Flickr site you'll see both cowboys AND Indians, as well as pieces based on photos from a couple of trips to New Mexico. I just love it.

The photo of this handsome cowpoke was provided for the challenge, and I wanted to raise the level of atmosphere without altering it too much. I used some texture pieces I found as free downloads on the Brusheezy site--there's lots more than free brushes available here-- and a piece of old newsprint I got from Inka. The grungy frame is my own creation, and the rest was done with blending modes and layer styles.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three Muses Challenge-The Printed Word

Use the printed word somewhere in your piece. Sounds easy, no.
No, not so much this time; sometimes it's a struggle. I knew I wanted to use the Image Chef Word Mosiac tool in some way. I love that "word salad" effect, and when I found the photo in my collection it finally came together.
Thanks to Shadowhouse Creations and Cottage Arts for the background textures, Image Chef for the word mosiac generator tool and Smugmug, a site full of public domain photos for the photo of the children.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

From the Digital Montage Workshop--Digital Stamps

The third Digital Montage Studio workshop has begun. We are learning how to make digital stamps from photos. Here are my creations thus far.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Art on the Dark side--Haunted house

Well, it's really getting to be time to get our Halloween on! Dark and creepy challenges abound--not to mention Halloween all over the stores. Way too much chocolate on sale ...
So we are challenged to create a haunted house. I found this creepy old house on Google Images. I used a texture I made and a damaged film frame from Struckdumb at deviantart to really creepify it. I also made the skelton brush for the windows, and the eyes are-would you believe- a dingbat font called Eye Spy.

Happy Haunting!

Friday, September 3, 2010

ACF 85--Enchanted

As I played with the lovely image provided to us this week, she blended more and more into the background--as if she was fading away from this world. Not dying, but slipping into another dimension--enchanted! I wonder what awaits her there.
Background created with Textures from Encounter_Laura and Brenda Starr from T4L, and a beautiful paper frpm Cottage Arts. Butterfly brushes set to Scatter and filters and blending modes applied.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three Muses Challenge-Back to Nature

One of the places I would go to go "back to Nature" would be the redwood forests of California. This piece was created using a photo I took there several years ago. The leafy bits are actually a small tree and the tree trunk next to it is about 5 feet across. When I added the brilliant green texture layer and applied the multiply blend and poster edges filter (one of my very favorites) it put me in mind of the rain forest of the Pacific Northwest, where every surface is covered with mosses and tiny plants. The butterflies are a brush set from Sherre Hulbert, one of the instructors in the Digital Montage workshops I'm taking.
I hope it shows up for you as brightly as I see it on my monitor. It looks to me to be a glimpse into a place just glowing with life.