Saturday, June 15, 2013

Here Lies the Magic

Here is brief pictorial of how I put together images to create a piece of work. Sometimes I start with a vision of where I want to take a piece, sometimes the piece takes me.

First I start with a photograph that I've taken. This photograph focuses on a single rose in a bunch of white roses I bought at the local Trader Joe's - I loved their creamy color with just a touch of green.

The original photograph, a watermark is added.

I took the photograph and loaded it onto my computer the same day - I began to work on it, but then because I was not sure of the direction I wanted to take it I closed the file and "slept" on it.

I think the rose is strong enough to stand on it's own, and I may revisit it another time. But for now the vision I had in mind including incorporating another photograph I'd taken of a statue. I liked her expression and I thought she would work well in combination with the roses.

The statue, watermark added.

The next morning I re-opened the file and began to add processing, textures, and the statue photograph. The piece was evolving.

I have added a screen shot of all the steps I took in Photoshop CS6 to create the final piece. As you will see I used two texture layers, Color Effects Pro by FX, the statue photograph, and some duplication of the rose photograph.

This is a "short" version of what I did - the actual doing of it involved quite a few steps and a couple of hours (which included some trial & error). You will also see that I label my layers (or steps) so I can keep track of what I've done, this also comes in handy if I want to repeat some part of the process on another photographic art piece.

Screen shot with all the layers showing the steps.   
And finally, the finished piece.

Here Lies the Magic

And that is the process, shortened and brief. Now you have some idea of the work that goes into creating a piece of photographic art.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

What If ?

"When My Ship Come In," original photograph by Terry Rowe,

I'm part of a pool of friends who buy PowerBall tickets - with the intention of sharing the spoils if one of our numbers wins.

It is a fun dream to plot what I would do with the money if we won - always, of course, assuming that it would be a really big win. Dream big, right?

The typical paying off the mortgage and early retirement are the first kind of no-brainer things to do. Probably right after I retain a lawyer and talk to my financial adviser. Oh, and a really really big party.

Then what?

Donations to my favorite charities / causes. Gifts to the "kids," nieces & nephews. Other ideas include buying a vintage trailer and tooling around the US. Taking every photography class I've ever wanted to take. Trips to other countries - the list is long. I keep thinking about a "Starving Artist" art gallery - exhibitions for artists and sales at a 20% commission instead of the usual 50% - 60%.

Does money buy happiness - not necessarily. I keep thinking it would provide freedom and remove worries - but I suspect being "rich" comes with its own set of restrictions and different worries. I'm willing to give it a shot.

What would you do with a large windfall?

Sunday, June 2, 2013


I believe in signs, signals that I'm going in the right direction or that I need to change direction. Road signs from the universe, or from God.

I have been struggling with planning a trip to New Mexico this year - I have no specific goal or plan - other than I want to go. New Mexico has embedded itself in my heart, I feel like I can really breathe there, and I must return. So with only a vague idea of an itinerary, and a tentative class scheduled, I booked a plane ticket this past Friday. I'll be on the ground in New Mexico for ten days - which seems such a short time.

And the signs? Saturday I made an unplanned visit to a local antique consignment store with my husband, he was looking for replacement hinges for an antique box and I was along for the ride. While he was digging through bins of hinges and clasps, I started leafing through a basket of old postcards. All of the postcards were from northern New Mexico - mostly 1970s vintage, a few from the 1940s. All of the locations were places I have visited, Acoma, Chimayo, Rio Grande, Taos, Santa Fe, Angel Fire, others. Given that I live in Virginia, finding such a large collection of New Mexico postcards I took as a sign. Driving home we passed a car with New Mexico plates, highly unusual on this coast, another sign. We went out to dinner at our favorite taqueria and one of our fellow diners was wearing a New Mexico t-shirt, another sign.

So signs - or just coincidence because new Mexico is on my mind - I'm going. And I can't wait.

New Mexico, near Abiquqiu