Friday, October 29, 2010

Art Retreat

This morning I am off to a 3 day art retreat, where I plan to work with mixed media texture and stitching. The setting is several acres along the East Nishnabotna River in Iowa, so I am taking my hiking boots and camera as well. I cherish these few days of uninterrupted time to create, far away from the distractions of every day life.

The little fellow in the photo above visits this suet feeder several times a day, but this is the first time that I've been able to capture him with my camera. He doesn't stay for long, so by the time I go in and get my camera, he is gone. This time I happened to have my camera with me as I heard his call, so I patiently waited for him to get to the suet, then snapped several photographs of him.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Guy at Our House

This is TJ, a 4 month old westie/chihuahua puppy that we are fostering now. He weighs about 6 pounds and is a real sweetheart! We just got him yesterday afternoon, and he has settled in quite well with Zeke and Mya. All 3 of them were playing fetch in the backyard last night. AND bless his heart, he slept through the night last night!

TJ is available for adoption through Wag N Train Terrier Rescue.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Photoshop Again

Same process as yesterday --- these trees are my Background Layer.

This photo of an angel is Layer 1.

This time I changed the Blend Mode to Overlay, AND slid the Opacity slider to 50%. This step makes the angel even less prominent.

Then go to File, New, and change the Background Contents to Transparent. In this new file, choose the Text tool, change your Font and Pt. Size to something you like, and type some text to go with your merged photos. Then use the Move tool to move this text over to your overlaid photos and position it wherever you like it best.

For a collage artist and photographer, this process has unlimited potential!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Photoshop Tutorial #1

A couple of days ago, I started researching how to combine images in Photoshop, in a way that the images are overlaid, and each image shows in the finished image. Here is what I figured out.

The first step is to select two photos to use, and make sure that both photos are the same size and resolution. Open both photos in Photoshop and decide which image is most important --- the one that you want to feature most prominently in the finished image. I know this sounds backwards, but that image is the one that needs to be the Background Layer in Photoshop. In my example, the dried flowers are my Background Layer.

Click on the other image, and using the Move tool, move the second image on top of the first image. At this point, the second image will totally obscure your original image, and the second image will be Layer 1. In my example, the photo of the trail marker is Layer 1.

Now, in the Layers panel, double click on the image for Layer 1, and a pop-up box will open. In this pop-up box, there is a field named Blend Mode. It defaults to Normal. Change it to Overlay. Click OK, and the magic happens!

Tomorrow I'll post an example in color, and I'll add some text to it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Green Tomato Relish

We have started the process of cleaning out the vegetable gardens for the winter. We've only had one slight frost so far, but the tomato plants have quit producing tomatoes, and the green tomatoes weren't ripening anymore. So we picked the green tomatoes and pulled out the plants. The only plants left in the gardens now are the green peppers and the cherry tomatoes.

Yesterday I ground up the green tomatoes with some green peppers, carrots, and zucchini and made 4+ quarts of relish. It has a sweet and sour taste to it, and we all love it!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Afternoon at the Lake

Yesterday I took my camera and headed to the lake to check out the leaf colors. So far this year the colors have been fairly disappointing. We had plenty of moisture, but the leaves seem to be dropping before they turn the magnificent colors that I have been envisioning. Here's a shot of the bank of the lake, so you can see what I mean. I am an optimist though, so I'll keep hoping that there's still time for some great color.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Perspectives #1

I've started working on a new series of collages that is really exciting to me! They are inspired by the walks I took with Dad along the shore, and the colors are reminiscent of sea glass. My dad and I spent many hours walking together, picking up shells and stones, and talking about every topic imaginable. He was a very intelligent and logical thinker, and his thoughts gave me perspective as I was growing up.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Magenta Skies

Magenta Skies #1

I recently finished a new series of 10 mixed media collages titled "Magenta Skies". These pieces were inspired by a sunrise walk I took last Autumn. The sky was a gorgeous magenta color, and the trail was overgrown with Osage Orange trees. I loved the contrast of the warmth of the sky against the cold thorny branches of the trees. Click here to see the entire series.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Change of Scenery

I have been in Lawrence, KS for the last few days --- attending an opening reception and a workshop. Both events were fun, but the highlight of my trip happened far earlier in the day. Each morning I went to Clinton Lake before sunrise and watched the sun rise over the lake. Some mornings were foggy; some mornings were filled with sea gulls and herons; some mornings were quiet and serene. I took over 300 photographs and came home filled with inspiration!