Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sunrises !

Last week, I spent a few days in Chicago visiting family and friends, and I missed the wonderful sunrises we have here in New Mexico.  Here are some sunrises that greeted me when I returned.....

On the 26th, the sunrise was very bright and sort of abstract.  I decided to focus in on just the sun's rays and clouds.  Love the golden color - it's more sunset like in its tone.

This image was taken the early morning of the 27th.  This really struck me as a very watercolor like.  I really love morning skies that look like this - the colors are just magical.

This image was taken this morning.  There was such a soft feel to this image, I really like it.  It's such a gentle morning.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chunky Book Pages - Mainly Red

The assignment for this chunky book swap was RED!  Thought I'd share some of the finished pieces ~

I actually made up 2 of these - one digital (above) except for the key I added, and the other (below) the traditional paper type collage.  The car (or what's left of it!) was one in a junk yard that we happened to be driving by last month.  Couldn't resist taking a photo of that!

The above piece is sort of an abstract on red with some touches of lighter colors.  The white flower was cut out from some really cool handmade paper scraps that I picked up at an artist shop in ABQ.  Love that red button!

The above image was a napkin glued to my background, which is why it has that sort of dreamy feel to it.  Anyone who knows me knows I couldn't possibly do a collage swap about red without some reference to red wine!  I added the bit of cork (from a bottle of red wine, no less!) and stitched around the edge of the piece.

And, finally, I had to do the traditional "red" topic of roses, using a vintage image of a red rose adding in hearts, including the one peeking out from behind the page!

Photo Assignment - Sunset Clouds

I gave myself an assignment last evening.  I parked my butt on one of the sitting rocks out by our fire pit off the back patio and decided to shoot the clouds and sunset from that one spot without moving.  This is a creativity exercise I learned in a photo seminar a few years back.  It really helps to get one's creative vision sharpened, as it forces you to really look, take in, and truly see what's around you.  The sunset wasn't one of our spectacular ones, but I did end up with some good images anyway!

I was very taken with the above cloud formation.  At times, I thought it looked kind of like the Starship Enterprise (and people thought clouds could only look like little animals!), but it just kept sort of evolving, and this was one of the better shots that I captured of it.  By the end of the evening, it had just sort of disintegrated into wisps, so I'm glad that I got this cool sort of contrasty view of it.

The timing was just perfect for this shot, in that I caught the rays of the sun just before it dipped below the horizon.  That sunburst in the corner really makes this shot.

And, finally, this last shot was captured after the sun dipped below the horizon, but while it was still lighting up the sky a bit.  Again, I was just taken by the contrast in the sky, and didn't even notice the contrail until I was processing this!  I thought it was an interesting element, because we think of airplane jets as fairly large, but you can see how truly small they are when compared to the sky in which they fly.  You may need to click on the image to enlarge it to see the contrail but it's in the upper left quadrant of the image. 
All this from my perch on the sitting rock!

Signs of Spring

Spring is finally arriving!  We've had a cooler sort of spring this year, with a late spring freeze knocking out the blooming of both our tree in the front courtyard and our lilacs (darn!), but I do believe it's finally decided to hang around.

Our banana yucca has decided to bloom this year.  I'm not an expert on banana yucca, but I think it only blooms every couple of years or so.  This is the second time it's bloomed in the time we've been here.

Ah, yes, I was supposed to plant my annuals today, but I got involved with visiting friends, ordering a new window treatment for a window, and playing in the studio.  But in the words of that famous philosopher, Scarlett O'Hara, "Tomorrow is another day!"

One of my favorite signs of spring is the return of our little hummers!  As we were sitting out on the back patio waiting for sunset, this little guy decided to visit for supper!

And, he's worth another photo because it's not often that hummers sit still long enough to actually capture a shot.  I guess he decided to enjoy the end of the day a bit, too!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Golden abstract sunrise

Had the most wonderful sunrise this morning.  After I did the typical full sky shot, I took some close ups of just the clouds around the sun, and this was the result. 
Have a look ~


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chunky Book Pages - Garden Life

I completed another chunky book page swap, this one with the theme of Garden Life.  Of course, I focused on flowers, and put a tag in each page with a quote about gardens or nature.  Below each of the pages is the quote on the tag -

The Amen! of Nature is always a flower.......Oliver Wendell Holmes

My garden is an honest place........Ralph Waldo Emerson

All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so.......
Joseph Joubert

Every flower is a soul blossoming in Nature.....Gerard de Nerval

Earth laughs in flowers.....Ralph Waldo Emerson

All gardening is landscape painting......Alexander Pope

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Playing with Digital Watercolor Painting

I've been playing with some new watercolor brushes in Photoshop Elements over the past couple of days & thought I'd share ~

This first image is just a background that I created using several different brushes.  I especially like the one that looks like paint that has started running down the paper.  I had the opacity set fairly low so the colors look very soft and almost translucent.

For the above image, I used one of my favorite vintage images.  Can you see the faint image of a vintage postcard in the upper right area of the piece?

For this last piece, I used layers quite a bit - a watercolor layer, grungy background paper & a music sheet.  I then started playing with the blending modes in Photoshop (something new for me) until I found something I liked!  I added a flower image from a botanical print and a quote I remember seeing a while ago.

Sunset !

What a great sunset we had today!  Take a look at these images ~

The above image is another of what I call abstract sky images.  I just love the way the clouds create a feeling of movement and fluidity....

I thought the clouds in the above image were really different, sort of wispy and puffy at the same time.  I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but the clouds sort of looked like they were rolling into themselves.

I can never resist a good shot that demonstrates the big sky we have here!