It seems like the first of the year is always the time to think about goals, make a plan for the year and start fresh. (As evidenced by the times I’ve written blog posts in January only to fizzle out a few months later!) I ran across this quote yesterday and it am hoping it will help keep me on track – I think most artists are easily distracted and I am no different. I decided I would make a screen saver out of it so I’d see it daily! I created the digital background image last week as I was goofing around in Photoshop – I’d not done any digital art for well over a year so it was fun to create something new and then within a few days realize it had a purpose to team up with the quote. I’ve made it a large file with the idea that anyone that needs it is welcome to download it and use it, so feel free if it speaks to you too!
Just for fun I thought I’d show you some images of a digital art piece I recently created. I think it’s fun to see the different stages from beginning to end! This was another small piece I made on my smart phone, I keep flipping back & forth between calling them kaleidoscopes and mandalas, I guess they could be either. Or both! Here is the beginning of the process:
I decided I wasn’t fond of it with a black background so I changed that to white and kept going, adding a thick layer of black design on the top:
It continued along with these steps:
I let the program choose some of the colors (although I could delete any I didn’t care for) until the end, when I decided which ones to use. Once I was done with it in the phone I sent it to Photoshop where I continued to play:
Sometimes I question if I’ve done too much, I rather like it back at image #3! A few final tweeks and this is where I stopped:
Which reminds me of these quotes:
A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places. (Paul Gardner)
Art is never finished, only abandoned. (Leonardo da Vinci)
Another text/word/quote based piece – this one even includes actual metal typesetting pieces in the composition! Beginning with a large piece of paper that I had painted, stamped letters and patterns onto I proceeded to add more paper and designs on top of it to create the background.
While that was drying I began working with the typesetting pieces, selecting small letters & symbols that would fit within the square pieces they would be held together in, eventually making three groups that would be added to the piece next. I also stamped some copper designs across the surface.
To finish off the piece I did some shading with pencil, added written text over the surface with a fine line marker and also outlined some of the text on the surface to emphasize certain words & phrases.
It seems that a lot of my time & energy lately has been focused on children & babies so I suppose it is natural that my recent art focus has been on that subject as well. Above is an image I am planning on entering in an upcoming competition. Although I am finished editing the photo part of the image I want to add a quote about childhood to composition for some added emphasis. After doing some searching these are the quotes that I am drawn to:
“Only those who look with the eyes of children can lose themselves in the object of their wonder” Arnold
“We find a delight in the beauty and happiness of children, that makes the heart too big for the body” Emerson
“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.” Stoppard
“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” Lawrence
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons. ~Author Unknown
“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement.” Carson
“Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present.” Bruyere
“It’s a happy talent to know how to play.” Emerson
“Never be afraid to have too much fun”
“The delight of a child is contagious.”
“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” Pavese
I thought I would post these here and get some feedback for a couple of days to help me decide which one fits best with the image. Surely that will work better than the “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” method!
“A pessimist only sees the dark side of the clouds, and mopes;
a philosopher sees both sides and shrugs;
an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all–
he’s walking on them.” ~ Levinson
Last weekend I was able to get outside and enjoy some beautiful spring weather as we worked on a home-improvement project. I couldn’t help but snap a few photos of the lovely blue skies and white, puffy clouds that graced the sky that morning. (Yes, I had my small camera in my pocket…I told you I was a photo freak!) As I was scrolling through and editing my photos from the weekend it dawned on me how many times I had taken photos of the clouds in the sky. The more dramatic skies appealed to my shutter-bug nature, of course, but even the clear blue spring day pictured above was enough to pause me in my tracks. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with you today…along with a few quotes about clouds as well.
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ~ Tagore
“Revelations are found in clouds” ~ King
“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.” ~ Chesterton
“You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds.” ~ Thoreau
I know they say “keep your chin up” but be sure to keep your eyes up too, you never know what you just might see.
I’ve enjoyed having a reason to get creative with some photos during the last week! These images are two possibilities I have presented to a client who commissioned me to create a piece of art commemorating his retirement. We met at the end of January at the Sugar Creek Art Center to discuss what it was he had in mind for this project. The most important thing was the inclusion of the quote “The Best Part of Life is When Your Family Becomes Your Friends and Your Friends Become Your Family”. Beyond that requirement we brainstormed a bit as we walked around the center looking at colors, styles and subject matter of different art pieces that were on display. I came away with a list of several things that were important symbols and memories from his life. Although I knew I couldn’t include all of them on a single piece of art it gave me ideas to work with as I began creating. I gathered up around 20 different images related to what we had discussed and put them in a folder to draw from when I began combining images. The first image ended up very muted and calm. I added a layer from a printmaking project to give it some extra texture and interest. Although one of his requests was for a stand of trees to be included I still feel like the emphasis of this piece is water…both flowing & still.
I like the way the waterfall flows into the image!
The second piece is a bit bolder and has a definite “ocean” feel to it. The ocean & sea oats were other items mentioned in our talk but I wanted to make sure to include trees and rocks too, as he mentioned those several times. The colors were actually brighter than this to begin with and had lots of bright pinks and peach colors which I toned down or changed before finalizing the piece. Bright pastel colors weren’t in our discussion!
I really like the silhouette of the tree(s) in this image!
I’ve e-mailed copies of each of these images to my client and will wait to see what the feedback is. Which one he likes, if he wants any changes to the image, if neither suit him and I start from scratch…all those thoughts whirl through my head. Which would you choose?
The last set of images I pulled out of the “vault” were from a series I did over five years ago. These digital art images were created in Photoshop, all of them based on (and including) words from certain quotes in them. Some of the words are very evident and, in other images, even I can’t recognize where they are. But I know that they are hidden within the image somewhere! The basic lines are all from the marks made to write the quotes but as I wrote I also turned the tablet from side to side and even upside down, writing over previous marks so much of it is disguised. Once again I am including the actual quote below the image. See if you can find any of the hidden letters or words!
“You can’t recycle wasted time” (Anon)
“All life is an experiment” (Emerson)
“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination” (Anon)
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells” (Dr. Suess)
The beauty of language is art in itself and adding words within my art, to me, gives the images more interest and emphasis just by its presence. If you visit my website and look around the art portfolios I know you will find other examples of how I use words and text within my art!