Sunday, January 26, 2014

2BD33 An Earthy Still x2

I'm slowly getting back into the habit of doing the Beyond Beyond Lessons every week (now that I'm 10 weeks behind again).    This week, she shared the wonderful work of Anatoly Che.  
This lesson is informed and inspired by his work.

 Here's the original image that I started with.  An old book, a blossom from the Korean spice bush last spring, sitting on the old treadle sewing machine.  Lot's of rich texture and saturated colors. 

So the first thing we did was de-saturate with Kim's new Dark Day Preset.
I would love to show you this step, but I'm still so bad with LightRoom 5 that I tend to lose the snapshots. Gone. History tab is empty. All I have is the final finished pic.

Oh wait--I can start over with the original and apply the preset, and export.
This looks pretty good right here.
I did try to recreate this effect in PSE with Kim's directions, but it just didn't come out as nice and light, so I went back to the LightRoom Preset version.  

The Recipe (simplified from Kim's version):
In LightRoom 5 : Background image with Kim Klassen's Dark Day Preset applied
In PhotoShop Elements :
     Background Image
     Copy Background Image - Screen Blend Mode at 21% opacity (This was easier for me to do than Kim's spotlight effect.)
     Color Fill Frame (black from image) - Multiply at 74%
     Kim Klassen's Waterfront 21 Texture - Multiply 80% - masked over flowers and girl

I did play with other textures wanting to bring back some pink to the girl's face and the flowers, but that always brought back green to the book, which I wanted to downplay.  I also played with hue sat settings, but eventually abandoned all that, and just went back to the simple settings you see above.  If anyone can tell me a good way to bring back some pink, I might try it again ...  There must be something with the color target tool, or something ...

Later edit : Here it is : This one is a little pinker.  Kim says her presets are designed for photos shot in RAW, that they may be a bit much on jpgs.  So for this one, I upped the saturation a bit to bring back just a touch of the pink.  It's a little warmer that the other versions above. 

Here's the first one I did with a still life from our last trip to France.
Saucisson in the mountains.

 Here's the original.

The Recipe (A departure from what Kim showed us): 
In LightRoom5 : 
     Auto-toned.  [This actually worked this time. Usually LR5 overdoes it.]
     Kim Klassen's Dark Day Preset to desaturate.
In PhotoShop Elements:
     Background image with LR% edits
     Kim Klassen's Waterfront 2 Texture - Multiply Blend Mode at 16% opacity
     Kim Klassen's Pumpkin Grunge - Soft Light at 87% opacity
     Color Fill Layer Frame

I added the pumpkin grunge because this image needed some color returned.  The Saucisson just did not look appetizing in gray/yellow.  This made it more of a sepia tone.  

Beyond Layers

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Color & Texture Spree : New Yarns for the Stash

Part of the Winter Yarn Spree.   Isn't this gorgeous yarn?  
I love the color changes and the bit of sparkle.  
I'm thinking it will make a nice triangle shawl, and/or a cowell. 

This time of year, I usually have some extra money from Christmas and gift certificates, etc.  If I have extra money, I usually spend it on art supplies. [Go figure ...]   This year is no exception.   I thought about trying to dye up my own version of this Midnight Brocade yarn, then I thought--that's crazy!  It's readily available.  Just buy it.  Save the one-of-a-kind home dying for things I can't otherwise purchase (and there are some of those, too.) 

About $5 / ball at Knitting Warehouse
The fiber content is acrylic with some wool and a little sparkle.
Yummy Colors!
I'm interested to see how this yarn does on the Triangle Loom.  I'm hoping for a sunset pattern [Scroll down to the June Franklin section], but I may have to dye that myself according to the specifics of my loom.  I have the means and the know-how. ;-)  If the color spacing doesn't work for the Tri-Loom, I can always make another crocheted cowell : portable handwork.

Where do you like to buy yarn?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sneak Peak at a New Project

Here's a sneak peak of what I've been working on the last 2 weekends.
Did the cutting out and fusing last weekend.  Applique and quilting this weekend.  Been so long, I almost forgot how to set up my machine for free-motion stitching.  With a practice piece to warm up, it all came back.  Kinda like riding a bike--thankfully!

One more Sunday and it should be finished.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Possibilities : Liberate Your Art Postcard Exchange 2014

I was looking through my digital photographs from 2013.  My task was to choose a set that I can print for the Annual Liberate Your Art Postcard Exchange 2014.

These are some of the possibilities.  I still have to work up some proofs and decide what I'll actually have printed.  Basically, I have to see what works in the 4x6 inch postcard-size format.
If you want to see what makes the cut, you'll just have to wait until March. ;-)

It was a wonderful experience. I so enjoyed getting artsy postcards from all over the world, that I even made contact with a few more artists to exchange above and beyond than the original 5.  
I remember it was such a big deal to bother to PRINT any of my digital photos last year.
  Were they good enough?  Was it worth the investment?  Well--YES!  Some of them are!  I'm so glad I did it.  It's a big step as an artist to  have your work professionally printed.  
Another big step to Share it!

Please do consider joining us. ;-)
Thanks to Kat Sloma at Kat Eye Studio for facilitating the swap.
Details below. You can also see slideshows of postcards from years past.


2BD32 Autumn Copper Revisited in a Spider's Web

 Exported from Picassa.  It's a little lighter than the LightRoom version below.

Exported from LightRoom with deeper contrasts.

I wasn't quite happy with the barn pictures yesterday.  They seemed kind of flat, lacking an inner glow that many other of my classmates achieved with Kim's autumn copper presets, so I gave it another go thinking I needed a more appropriate base picture.  This spiderweb was it!

The Original Photo in my front yard. 
This spider web was underneath our mailbox.  

The Recipe
Background image of spiderweb.
In LightRoom5 : Kim Klassen's Barely Color Preset (to de-saturate)
                            Kim Klassen's Autumn Copper Preset
                            Crop Image
In PhotoShop Elements 10 : Add Text : Abbyline Font with Orange Glass and Regal Gold Layer Styles applied at 74% opacity.

Notes : Yes, I'd say this was a much better choice for Kim's Autumn Copper preset.
Also a good idea to use the Barely Color preset first, which made a clean slate for the colors of the copper preset to work.  That might have been a good idea for the barn pics yesterday to tone down the reds and greens. 

Ever since I took this picture (Yes, spiderwebs are on my list of images to capture whenever I see them), I've been looking for the perfect quote to go along with it.  I have a few that I've been saving up, but they just didn't feel right with this image.    Back when I was in Library School many years ago, I remember someone came to give a talk on spiders and weaving and how that tied in with all the myths and stories about spiders.  It was a fascinating hour of mind-mapping and brainstorming.  I wish I had taken notes that day--or if I had, I have long since misplaced them.  Everything from Arachne and weaving fate, destiny and spinning silk/gold to black widow spiders and Anansi and Inktomi and the world wide web.    So many meanings ...  Spider webs and the web of life ...     After a Google search for spiderweb quotes, I wasn't finding anything that captured what I was looking for.  So today I sat down and did a mind-map to try to recapture some of those ideas from that old lecture :

Then I took a nap and came up with "Dream Weaver."  My One-Word for 2014 is Dream (Need I say more?)

There are some decent websites out there that log the symbolism of spiders and spider webs, too :
Wikipedia's   Cultural Depictions of Spiders
A Seeker's Thoughts on Interconnectedness 

The part that really has me fascinated from the Wikipedia article is the bit about Indra's net ...
I'm pretty sure I'll be doing something with this image in future ...  I love finding inspiration in unlikely places!
Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection
of all the other dew drops.
Alan Watts , Following The Middle Way[36]
In the Vedic philosophy of India, the spider is depicted as hiding the ultimate reality with the veils of illusion.[37] The Vedic god Indra is referred to as Śakra in Buddhism, or with the title Devānām Indra. Indra's net is used as a metaphor for the Buddhist concept of interpenetration, which holds that all phenomena are intimately connected. Indra's net has a multifaceted jewel at each vertex, and each jewel is reflected in all of the other jewels.[38]
As related in the book, Vermeer's Hat by historian Timothy Brook:
When Indra fashioned the world, he made it as a web, and at every knot in the web is tied a pearl. Everything that exists, or has ever existed, every idea that can be thought about, every datum that is true—every dharma, in the language of Indian philosophy—is a pearl in Indra's net. Not only is every pearl tied to every other pearl by virtue of the web on which they hang, but on the surface of every pearl is reflected every other jewel on the net. Everything that exists in Indra's web implies all else that exists.[39]

Beyond Layers

Friday, January 17, 2014

Beyond Beyond Day 32 : Autumn Processing


I'm a few months late with this.  Kim took a break from posting lessons due to some serious family health issues, and I got out of the habit of working on the lessons every week.  Time to get back into it ...

For this lesson, Kim provided 2 Autumn Copper LightRoom presets that would turn a summer original into a coppery autumn scene.  Here's my shot at it :

Kim designed the presets for RAW photos, not jpgs.  So she advised we may need to back off some of the settings for jpgs--which I did in the basic panel.

I'm still really struggling with LightRoom.   Even after Kim's Round Trip Class.  I make the adjustments, and then export it, but I still have a hard time finding the images I just worked on.  It's really frustrating.  Enough to make me go back to Picassa for normal editing.  Except the LightRoom presets don't work in Picassa.

 Here's the original from my Barns of Wisconsin series one summer.

Beyond Layers

Monday, January 06, 2014

Cello by the Lake (Variations)

Cello by the Lake  (Version 5)
In a previous version, you couldn't really tell that it was next to a Lake because on that overcast morning, the sky melded with the water on the horizon.  In this version, I tried to make that division a little more explicit.

Here's the recipe :
Layer 1 : Background Image
Layer 2 : RadLab - Troy, Fuzzy Navel, Meadowlark
Layer 3 : Texture Kim Klassen Cool Grunge - Soft Light 100%
Layer 4 : Texture 2 Little Owls Fairy Tales 12 - Multiply 74%
Layer 5 : Texture 2 Little Owls Artisan 3(5) (on lake only) - Soft Light 63%
Layer 6 : Texture 2 Little Owls Artisan 2(5) - Soft Light 100%
Layer 7 :  Texture Kim Klassen Paper Stained Music - Soft Light 69%
Layer 8 :  Texture Sheet Music Notes - Soft Light 54% (with selective masking on and around the cello)
Layer 9 : Text - Jellyka Le Grande Saut

 Cello by the Lake (Version 3)
Here's the Recipe :
Layer 1 : Background Image
Layer 2 : RadLab to make black and white / desaturate
Layer 3 : Texture 2LO Fairy Tales 12 - Multiply 66%
Layer 4 : Texture 2LO Artisan 2(5) - Soft Light 38%
Layer 5 : Texture Coffee Shop Blog Decadence - Darken 53%
Layer 6 : Text - Jellyka Le Grand Saut Font

Final Treatment was I'm feeling lucky in Picassa before exporting it.  This brightened up the center area nicely.

In this one, I chose NOT to straighten the horizon (actually I tried, but my computer was not letting my save basic changes at this point, so I went with the flow ...).  I actually like this better is it gives the idea that the earth is round, that there's a curve to the horizon.  This way, the horizon line echoes the shoreline a little better, too.