I've been inspired by Carlyn Beccia's new book to pick up my digital paintbrushes again. I have been playing in Painter - trying to learn - and remember (!) how the various styles of brushes behave - and even making a few brushes of my own.
Here's a new art doll I created from bits and pieces crafted together in Photoshop and then painted with cloner brushes using Painter. I call her Bridget. I have always secretly wanted to have red hair :-)
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
~ W B Yeats
Another in the series A Year on Blackberry Mountain.
When I was growing up in northern Minnesota I spent every spare moment exploring the woods and fields around my home. There was always something new to discover - the first of the spring flowers, wild strawberries - tiny but so sweet, the song of the redwing blackbird in the marsh. Though I did not realize it at the time, nature has been my most important teacher and the lessons I have learned there have remained with me all my life.
A Year on Blackberry Mountain is a new series of images that seeks to recapture that feeling I had growing up in nature - that sense of wonder and discovery of the natural world. The characters are some of my favorite vintage photos collected from here and there and the settings are places I have visited in my ramblings with my camera or around the internet.
This piece is called More Than Words Can Tell. It is inspired by a line from Walt Whitman - "I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell". The two girls - the Brough sisters - are from the George Edward Anderson Collection at BYU - an old image that I have restored and colorized. The background is a photo I took on a walk near the Padilla Bay Interpretive Center, which was once the Breazeale family farm and orchard. I've processed the photo with Topaz Restyle and the Oil Paint Filter in Photoshop.
I am participating in the Craft Attitude Open Studio this month. I decided to create an art journal/planner to keep track of ongoing projects in a more organized fashion than little slips of paper scattered all over my studio :-) I wanted to try incorporating some of my digital artwork in a Smash Book to create this journal, but I hated the thought of covering up all the pretty vintage paper pages. Craft Attitude to the rescue!
Since Craft Attitude it transparent it allows the pretty papers to show through and enhance my images. And with the small in-between spaces on the Craft Attitude sheet I could even make my own washi tape.
I am loving this new art journal/planner and best of all I am actually USING it. I like seeing my images as I turn through pages. Craft Attitude film is so easy to use it was hard to know when to stop playing with pictures and save some empty space for writing too.
I am heading home today after attending a fantastic workshop with Karen Burns all about painting with Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop. Karen creates such stunning work with her digital paintbrushes. In this workshop she generously shared her methods, tips and techniques and resources for creating beautiful paintings. While I know a bit about Photoshop, Corel Painter is a huge and powerful piece of software and learning the program can be a bit daunting for someone who just want to sit down and paint. Karen gave us a roadmap to get started painting quickly and we all loved the results we were able to acheive in just one weekend.
Besides demonstrating her painting techniques and sharing her secrets :-) Karen spent one-on-one time with each of us. She suggested brushes we might use to achieve the results we were looking for or techniques we might consider to impove the compostion of our paintings. At the end of the weekend we each went home with at least one finished painting - printed on fine art paper or canvas - that we can frame and hang on our wall at home.
I created FOUR paintings that I am thrilled with! I have never before attended a workshop where I have been this productive and so well pleased with my work. Kudos to Karen for being an outstanding teacher who conveys the knowledge of what she does so well and who inspires us to create paintings of our own. Thank you, Karen for a truly awesome weekend!
Where I live in Seattle we don't get much real winter weather. But I have been watching the snow and blustery weather going on in the rest of the country and remembering the winters I used to know growing up in northern Minnesota. And even though it was frequently cold and snowy, we practically lived outside in the winter. There was just so much to do and see.
I have been remembering days spent skating on the rink the firemen created every winter by flooding the parking lot by the town hall. This was where the boys learned to play hockey and the girls practiced their fancy spins and twirls. My favorite thing was to just skate round and round and enjoy the feeling of flying over the ice. Purely magic.
I love this time of the year. A whole new year stretches out before us with all kinds of possibilities.
Today I've been doing some digital art journaling. The Art Journal Caravan is getting ready to embark on it's final journey - kind of bittersweet. I know Tangie will have all kinds of creative ideas for our journals in the weeks to come. First up is picking a word that I want to focus on for the coming year. It is amazing how a single word can be a catalyst for motivating you toward the direction you want your life to take. The word I have chosen this year is bloom. To bloom ... to grow and flourish ... to thrive.