Saturday, October 30, 2010

soartful challenge and SPA-Day of the Dead

Such a lovely, albeit macabre image this week, I just had to play. She seemed like a woman in love to me, so I gave her a suitor. It's nice to think of love as eternal, isn't it.

This piece does double duty, as Sunday Postcard Art has the same theme this week. I happened to make it postcard size, because I was thinking of printing and sending it next week. Ah, serendipity...

Thanks to Rubyblossom and Digitalyardsale for the background textures; and to Cynthia Powell's blog, which has been offering Halloween-y images all month, for the Skelly.

Collage (Digital) --Time

The 4x4 Friday challenge this week is Collage. I chose one of my favorite themes--Time.
It started with a layer of digitally torn text pieces, dictionary and ledger pages, a train timetable, an old tax stamp from French cigarettes. I overlaid a layer of "gesso" using some photoshop watercolor stroke brushes.
The clocks came next. I love the image I found of a clock face without hands--it appears in a lot of my work; to me it conjures the feelings of timelessness and being beyond time. After that came the doorway- it is bit obscured, but important, as the theme of the piece changed to include memory and the future--both aspects of Time.
The labyrinth and the spiral are the paths that we travel back and forth in time; the key and lock are what is hidden and unknown.
The dragonflies, to me, symbolize the way we all travel in time--touching down briefly and flitting forward and back.

At least that's what I thought when I looked at the finished piece, and traced back the steps to it's completion. DEEP THOUGHTS for a Saturday morning, huh!

Thanks to Dover, the Graphics Fairy, and the artists at Textures for Layers Flickr Group who most kindly offer their wonderful work for our use.

Friday, October 29, 2010


This week's challenge image is to make something with a lovely piece by Alphonse Mucha. Mucha always makes me think of Paris and Art Nouveau, so I set the lady amidst some delicate French ephemera amd a floral art frame from the Victorian era. She looks happy there.

Elements are from the Graphics Fairy and Temari09 at Frames for use Flickr Group

Saturday, October 23, 2010

4 by 4 Friday--Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.

The celebration occurs on November 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Due to occurring shortly after Halloween, the Day of the Dead is sometimes thought to be a similar holiday, although the two actually have little in common. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration, where partying and eating is common.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl.

Also known as "the flower with 400 lives," marigolds were thought by the Aztec Indíans to symbolize death. It is believed that the scent of the petals forms a welcome path for the spirits to return to their altar or grave. (from Wikipedia)

My piece used an overlay of marigolds, one of my favorite flowers, and a paper from Songbird Avenue's Light the Night collection. The black skelly is from Dover, and the red skull is a brush. The green bits are also from a brush set, and filters and layer styles were liberally applied...okay, okay, I got a little carried away, but it is a joyful, colorful holiday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Three Muses Challenge-Things with Wings

I do find that I enjoy putting wings on people...I don't really see the point of flying cows, or flying toasters...but wings are so--freeing! Wings allow you to go where you otherwise wouldn't-or couldn't. Wings give you breathing room, and a chance to explore.

And, if you don't like where you can just fly away!

Background texture from Rubyblossom, and an overlay I made in a Digital Montage workshop; text from Graphics Fairy--isn't the penmanship beautiful!. The wing is a piece of a challenge element from DIgital Whisper and the lovely child is a Currier ane Ives illustration from a freebie from Elizabeth Golden at the Last Door Down the Hall. Bugs and random flourishes are brushes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

SPA-Dark Fairie

My dark fairie is a little medieval..the illustraton by Arthur Rackham is from a version of the Mort d'Arthur, the tale of Camelot, Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot and the rest.

Background made with textures from JoesSistah and Termin8tor at T4L, and the text is a brush from a set called Alchemy by JS_Scully. The stamp is my own creation.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

4 by 4 Friday--Skully

Here's my piece for 4x4 Friday, where the theme is skulls. Another serendipidous piece, I started with the skull, from Google Images, and went from there. texture pieces from Pareeerica, Rubyblossom and Boccacino at T4L, some bits from Dover and a lot of playing with the blending modes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

ACF 91--The Water Bringer

This is one of those pieces that grew organically. I had no idea what to do with this lovely idea at all. I started randomly applying background layers to see if anything spoke to me. The doorway seemed to work, so
I moved on to textures. I used the beauty overlay fron the Port Au Prince collection from Songbird Avenue and a texture piece by Pareeerica.

You can't imagine all the bits and embellishments I subjected this very patient lady to...

The wings are a freebie from somewhere, painted and texturized, and more texture was added with brushes. The water fountain was a really lucky find from Google Images, and really completed the piece.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Three Muses Challenge- Vintage

Here's my piece for this week's challenge--Vintage. It's based on the art of Jessie Wilcox Smith, an American illustrator fron the early 20th Century.She wasfamous for her work in magazines such as Ladies Home Journal and for her illustrations for children's books.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1884 Smith attended the School of Design for Women (which is now Moore College of Art & Design) and later studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins, graduating in 1888. A year later, she started working in the production department of the Ladies' Home Journal, for five years.

She was a prolific contributor to books and magazines during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, illustrating stories and articles for clients such as Century, Collier's Weekly, Leslie's Weekly, Harper's, McClure's, Scribners, and the Ladies' Home Journal.

Smith may be most well known for her covers on Good Housekeeping, which she painted from December 1917 through March 1933. She also painted posters and portraits. Her twelve illustrations for Charles Kingsley's The Water-Babies (1916) are also well known.(Wikipedia)

The frame is from Frannie60 at Frames for Use Flickr group, and the text is courtesy of the Graphics Fairy.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Must be all those mummies in the Halloween aisles, but Egypt has been popping up in my creative musings of late. A few weeks ago I made a digital stamp of Amenhotep, a technique from the most recent Digital Montage workshop; then I made a brush from the Eye of Horus, another technique touched on in that class. I've been looking for other Egyptian images to make brushes from--soon I'll have a whole set!

THEN, I found this gorgeous texture layer at T4L, by Pareeerica. I am SO pleased with this piece!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

SPA-Scary Clowns

I will admit, I got a little carried away here. I don't like clowns much, they are all a little bit creepy, what with the white face and huge red smile--not to mention those GIANT feet! So even the most benevelolent of clowns scares me a little.

I decided to use a clown doll for my subject--how creepy could a child's toy be? HA!!

I found a few using Google images. The orange one is a tiny vintage cloth doll with a plastic face, no more than 10 inches high--someone in my childhood, a cousin, maybe, had one of these and carried it everywhere--and CHEWED on its pointy head! How's that for creepy! The second you may recognize as Bozo, who hosted a kid's TV show in Boston for many years. I will confess, I watched it. It had great cartoons! The third is a piece I did last Febuary for another Scary Clowns challenge. It's image is a Victorian iron bank--put a coin in the clown's hand, pull the lever, and he EATS it!

Some textures from Witchy 13 and Joessistah were used in the backgrounds; the altering was mostly done with the Distort filter and blending modes; details were added with PS brushes.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ACF # 90--Travelling Man

A very textured background in cool blues, greens and purples was provided for this challenge--you can see it on the Art Creations Friday website, there's a link in my blog list. I decided to let the colors be the stars here and dove into my file of black & white images. I think the masculine theme and the stark blacks worked out very well. This is a man with places to go and people to see!

Thanks to Cynthia Powell for the car, and Dover for the gentleman, from a vintage raincoat ad. The TTV frame is a freebie from a class I took over at Jessica Sprague's website--she has lots of free tutorials for Photoshop nad some interesting classes. The clock was googled and the bird is a brush from a set by Emma Alvarez.

Friday, October 8, 2010

4 x 4 Friday--Poe--The Telltale Heart

Ah, just wouldn't be Halloween without a few words from the grand master of the horror tale. I just love Poe's stories; so full of histrionics, death, guilt, retribution and vengeance. Who could ask for more on a dark and stormy night.

The Telltale Heart is one of my favorites. You can almost hear the heart beating louder and louder as the tale progresses. And do you remember Bill Cosby's bit about the Chicken Heart...

Thanks to Landofnod Studio for the background texture, to which I added a red and black gradient layer. The images I found on the Edgar Allen Poe Museum website, and the hearts are PS brushes.

da-dum...da DUM...DA DUM!!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Three Muses Challenge- say it with music

I have a long standing love for jazzy blues--there is something about the sound of a jazz sax and the voice of a great singer playing with down and out blues that touches the deep places of the heart and mind. One of my most favorite pieces begins..."my momma done told me..." and ends with "...the blues in the night". It has been sung by such immortals as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.

With thanks to Textures for Layers and Shabby Chic for the background textures. The main image I found on Google, and embellished with filters, blending modes and PS brushes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

SPA-Dark Marie

Marie is going to a Halloween party! Can you guess what her costume is?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Asian Postcard & Scary Spider

Just noodling around today. I was in a Haloween-y mood so put together this spider's web piece from textures from Untamed Reflections and Witchy-13, some photoshop brushes and a photo of a brown bat. Don't you wonder who will win this battle!?!

I seem to be in love with ORANGE!!! Who knew?

The other piece is a postcard for one of my Yahoo groups that has a weekly digital challenge. This week it's a postcard, and we may print and swap them if we'd like. It was really hard not to change the posted background to ORANGE adn make a Halloween postcard. The images here are all from Dover, and the calligraphy and bamboo are brushes.

Friday, October 1, 2010


It's October! Here in the Northeast today we are dealing with strong winds and the promise of heavy rain as a tropical storm moves through. It feels like the winds of the changing season are here and the promise of cool, bright days is just ahead. It's a favorite time of mine--the changing of the seasons. You can actually taste the difference in the air.

Here is another tribute to October, for both the 4 x 4 Friday and Art Creations Challenges this week. The Mucha illustration was provided from ACF; the background began with a texture piece from Untamed Reflections, embellished with brushes. Moths from the Graphics Fairy for the wings , and also in the background; the pumpkin and crow are also from GF.