Tuesday, December 25, 2012


This is so special.....couldn't resist posting it.  Hope everyone had a most special holiday.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wading In

I'm toying with the idea of taking a photography class from Vivienne McMaster.  She was kind enough to send me 
her eBook called Wading In.  It's all about self-portraiture. I suppose it's also a form of self-examination. I panicked 
at the thought of publicly displaying images of myself.....on my blog even!  I have to admit this first photo 
was doctored a bit with a texture.  Okay..... I'll get more daring as time goes on, right?  First, I need to get 
the hang of 
taking photos with my iPhone.  This was bright light 
mid-day, so shadows and glare are prominent.  I was hoping they would hide some of the wrinkles, but they 
actually just magnify them.
I've said this before but, for the life of me, I cannot understand why there are so many more nooks and crannies 
in my face and neck in a photograph that 
do not show up in the mirror.  I look in the mirror everyday very closely when applying make-up.  It never looks like this!
The next photo I took when I went out 
to my driveway to capture an image of the stains the Liquidambar leaves make after a rain.  I love the pattern.  In the process I captured a self-portrait of my shadow.  I rather like it, and notice..... there are no wrinkles showing!

The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.
unknown ~

Happy two days before Christmas, everyone.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Art District - Santa Ana

My good friend Jacki and I decided to do a photo walk in the art district of Santa Ana.

We started with lunch for her birthday.  We ate at the funky Gypsy Den.
  The inside is early grungy garage style.

Jacki had a grilled cheese with avocado

and I had a salad/soup combo.
And..... the dessert was....drum roll, please.....
creme brûlée.  Okay, we split it!!
The food is terrific -- mostly vegetarian but also some healthy chicken/tuna.
Our darling waitress Emily.  
There are some beautiful old buildings in the art district.  The architecture is straight out of the early 1900's -- maybe even older.
 The entrance to the Santora Building below 
 a Corinthian column which is part of one of the buildings
 Even a gargoyle on a magnificent old building
 And the clock tower

Since downtown Santa Ana is heavily Hispanic, there
were windows of Quinceanero dresses for sale.

  For those of you who are not familiar with the term, Quinceanero is a celebration for a 
girl's 15th birthday, sort of a Spanish Bat Mitzvah or coming of age party.  I like the way 
the image shows the dress and a wonderful reflection.
Since it is the art district, I tried to capture some of the 
local color.
Does this mean my hair cut would be permanent?
A cool sign with Marilyn Monroe for a tatoo store.
 I like the happenings for this restaurant right on the window. I   also like the reflection of the staircase in this image.
And heavens, we must remember to take care of the bartender!!
The sign on the entrance to the Santora Building
My friend Lissa started a linky party called Walk and Click Wednesdays.  I think I'll submit this for the coming week.
See you soon.  
Live with all you've got!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hiding Muse

I've heard about missing muses many  times and felt fortunate not to have had it happen to me.......
until now (maybe there was one other time).  
But here I am floating somewhere in the ether without 
my muse.  It's an odd feeling.  
Maybe I just OD'd on my eClasses.  My paintings are unfinished, and there is not a texture out there 
right now that gets me excited enough to want to create a masterpiece in Photoshop!
I even cheated and purchased my Christmas cards this year.  For the past 17 years I have created my own cards. Pretty depressing.....
I finished my Lightroom class, and I feel like I don't know anymore than when I started.  
Okay enough of this!

I saw this quote in my "Whole Living" magazine.  So I found 
an image I've posted previously and changed the 
text.  It resonates with me.
I have to go look for my muse right now.......

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Photo Art Friday Nov. 30

This is our last Photo Art Friday until the new year.  Bonnie has asked us to select our favorite image to share.  I went back through my archives and looked at so many pieces.  The decision was just too much, so I'm sharing two.  For the first image
I used a stock photo of a mannequin from Morguefile and blended her in with one of my paintings.  I don't know that she is my best work but she is certainly one of my faves.
This next image is one of the first edits I did when I started working in Photoshop.  It reminds me of the puzzle images we saw as children that asked something like how many different (fill in the blank) can you find hidden.  I have my granddaughter's feet, an image of tree roots, an image of a poinsettia, a couple of the Morguefile's mannequins and a sheet of paper from a legal pad.  Again these are blended with one of my paintings.  I call this one "Tree of Life".
Be sure to visit Bonnie's website to see the other entries.  Remember this is the last one until the new year, so get your fix now.

Photo Art Friday

Bloom True Update - End of Class

So my wonderful painting class is over, but I'm not over!/?
I haven't finished my two canvases.  I got stuck and stayed stuck for a few weeks.  I'm now starting to get unstuck!  Is that a word???
I'm still unfinished but getting closer.  I eliminated some things that I felt were just too much clutter.  Here's the latest look on Canvas 1.  I haven't touched Canvas 2 since the last update.  I'll get to that one when I finish this one.  
After I decide what to do with the lower left corner (below), I'll put on the "icing" as Flora calls it.
It truly was a fun class.  I've never painted quite this way, and it is very freeing.  It's unusual not to have any idea what I'm going to paint when I start  --  just to go with the flow, so to speak.  It's a bit scary as well, because I had no plan -- I just waited for something to unfold.......just appear from the marks and images.  Then I had too much and needed to whittle it down.  That means, whittle the color palette and images if need be.  For a long time I didn't like the painting and thought maybe I never would finish, but I think I like it now.  We've moved through the awkward teen-ager stage.
Stay tuned.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Forgotten Buddha

I forgot to post this image for PAF....and it's absolutely my favorite of the edits.  I used the "stylize" filter and then "extrude".  I played with that filter to get different angles of the extrusion but this is the one I really liked.  I think it shows off the gold beautifully.  I also like the way the real and reflected Buddha merge.
I think I may have used vivid light blend before I applied the filter.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Photo Art Friday Nov. 23

I'm reposting an image from two posts ago because the texture is one we were asked to use for this week's Photo Art Friday.  I duplicated the background image and blended with "overlay" and then added the texture blended in "difference".  Gives it a rather surreal look.
If you wish to see what else I did with this Buddha image you go here  to that post where I used some of Bonnie's ideas.

Photo Art Friday

Secret Garden

My previous post was about relaxation.  So while I'm in that mode I'm posting another image that gives me that same peaceful feeling.  I took this picture while visiting my friend in Phoenix.  It's a portion of her back yard.
I really like the wind chimes in the foreground and the water feature to the lower right.  It's one of those spots where you can sit and just live in the moment with your Self.  I processed this first in LR and then added a couple filters in PSE.

Monday, November 19, 2012


That's what I'm doing today......taking a break from Lightroom class.  Do you ever go to bed frustrated wondering why something in some application/program just isn't working?  
That's what happened to me yesterday.  
Today I've decided to relax.  For this week's 
Texture Tuesday we are using Kim's new texture "Kristin".  
Here's my original (which gives me a peaceful, "relaxed" feeling).
I added Kim's "Kristen" texture and played with several filters.  I cropped the image and played a bit more.

Bonnie had some great tips on her website. I got this look below using her "signed and sealed" texture. You can download it free from her site.  

Have a glorious art-filled week!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I have really been enjoying Kim Klassen's "Round Trip" Lightroom class.  

I feel like I did when I first started Photoshop Elements  -- lost!!  I  try to keep reminding myself

how far I've come in PSE as a guideline. 

Today's theme for Texture Tuesday is "Dream".

Though I did not use any photo textures here, I kept thinking about this mixed media 

piece I did several years ago and decided to play with it in Lightroom so I could

apply some of what I've learned in that class.

Isn't is amazing how I gravitate to my favorite color palette -- purple and green or some

variation thereof?  

See you all next week when I come up for air from the Lightroom class!


Monday, November 05, 2012

Back for Texture Tuesday

I've been crazy busy with painting and I'm kinda stuck there.....can't decide which direction to go.

  Meanwhile, I started Kim Klassen's Roundtrip Lightroom class.  I've just started and don't have a

clue even how to navigate in the program.  You can see I'm going to be really busy.

This week's Texture Tuesday is open

for any image we want to post.  I blended three images together...

for this result.....

 and  then converted it to

 black and white. 

Then I added a metal gradient and this is the result.  I added a little frame from


I'm such a color hound, I think I still like the combined images in color.  

Click on the button below to go to Kim's linky party and see some really creative photography!