Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to all!

May your year
 Hold sweet fragrance and sunny warmth of the heart that delights all you come in contact with.
Happy New Year, Hugs to all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2nd version photoshop

"Glory of Love" digital manipulation of my own photos.
I felt the need to learn a few more techniques this morning such as adding text, filters, and cleaning up the one bolt that had been covered with an image layer. I feel this version is more complete than last nights.

I have an upcoming show in May and along with my bird paintings I want to have some multi-media pieces that incorporate my photography of Miriam images and angels, hence the learning photoshop.

May your day be blessed with The Glory of Love. Hugs to all.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

more photoshop play

This is a digital collage I completed tonight using 3 of my photos and manipulated them; its like using scissors and glue without the mess.
I'm starting to grasp a few techniques with photoshop. Still nowhere near where I need to be to accomplish my artistic goals, though each days play inches me a little further along. I picked up a brand spanking new book from the library that has guided exercises for photoshop elements 6 but I'm thinking that these projects were designed on a PC as I get through portions of the exercises and then get stuck. Not being able to complete the required task the way its set out in the book as steps seem to be missing I persevere and find a simpler or alternative way to complete the task. In all fairness the author does set a disclaimer at the start that one should know some photoshop basics, and, well I am learning the basics as I go.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

Last night was enchanted; strange and wonderful all at the same time.

Last night as Gerald was heading off to work he sweetly came in to mention the moon was straight up and looked pretty. I had no intention of freezing my toes off but I figured I should go take a peek before snuggling the blankets about my head for the night, and, well, it was pretty. So back in I go to retrieve camera and a charged up battery, put on mitts, toque a warm coat and boots. As Gerald drove off I was tackling an old tripod, which is way to light to hold my camera steady with a 300m lens mounted, but as the camera was pointing straight up, it worked, sort of. There was a bit of breeze to contend with making the cold down right chilly but these first shots were worth it. To view larger please click on image.

Taken at about 11:57 pm with wide angle lens.

 Taken at midnight. You can see there is a lot of gauze layering the atmosphere. It is now officially winter solstice, the shortest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.
 Happy Winter Solstice Everyone.

I had no idea what settings were needed and being dark and not wanting glasses on to freeze to my face, I winged it and played with settings never quite knowing what I was on. Pretty much all my shots with the telephoto lens are way washed out as in the following image; but the enjoyment of watching the eclipse is memorable.
The moon with a chuck chomped out. I had to use auto focus rather than manual, which may along with the thick atmosphere have contributed to the blown out light of the moon. With the camera pointing straight up I could not get into the position needed to be under the camera to focus in.  I do feel good about the the fact I even attempted this feat in sub zero.

 1:20 am

 At 1:32 am the shadow is long and starting to glow reddish.

1:43 am and this was my last shot that depleted the battery. I find it amazing at how much moon movement is captured in a few seconds. 
I  know that in freezing cold of minus 20 that the camera does very well, me not so much. I came in and kept my mitts on, wrapped my feet in blankets and rubbed them warm for about 20 minutes.
It would have been nice to capture the full eclipse but did not relish getting cold again. 
have a wonderful Day
Hugs and Joy
Share Love and Kindness

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I found I was spending way too much time doing way too little attempting to learn photoshop elements. So this week I bought myself a photoshop book and am now happily learning to play and paint with pixels.  I took a photo of my grandson that his mom sent me, added fish characters around him and printed it out and framed it for them. I am so happy I got to see my little sweetheart today as they were in the city.

Tonight I painted an angel with pixels.
The angel looks a little pouty, it must be reflecting me as I am missing my grandson already.
Big hugs to all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I love books

 We stopped by the thrift store yesterday where I was tickled to find a few books in excellent condition; in fact Nightmares in the Sky has never been read by the look of it. The Photographic Encyclopedia of Birds is my first book about world-wide bird species so I shall be able to read up on birds from across the globe as well it gives expanded detail about species common to my area of Alberta, more-so than my bird identity books reveal. Its exciting to gain this valuable resource for my ever growing library.
 Birds of Canada is full of drawings by Robert Morton and paintings by Maurice Pledger and Trevor Boyer such as the two following images. I shall really enjoy reading these as much as studying of the art work.

The paintings are sumptuous.
Well I am off to peruse.
May your heart and words be light as a feather.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A copy of a copy with a few changes along the way.

Virgin with Child, called Kykkotissa, this is my copy of an icon detail by a Venetian painter working at Sinai during the Crusade era.
Painted with acrylic on coarse canvas with machine sewn cloth frame, fringe and brass bells.
Image copy 9 x 6 inches
Size from dowel to bottom of fringe is 22 inches by 10.5 wide.

I just completed this piece for a group project in which we were to copy a Nativity from a past master. Though not a Nativity, it is a beautiful rendering of Christ-child and Virgin Mary. The original icon is much larger at 50.6x 39.7 cm, roughly 20 x 16 inches and painted with tempera on wood. The Sinai icon apparently has Saints depicted around the outer edge of the icon; though when I painted this I didn't know how the completed icon looks as the book presents only the detail image. I spent all day yesterday trying to find extra information on-line regarding this icon but came up short. THE ICON, the book I copied the image from states that this is a rendition of "Virgin with Child that copies the famous St Luke Virgin, known as the Kykkotissa, of the Monastery of Kykko on Cyprus"(p205)

I find this Icon appealing as the Virgin Mary holds baby Jesus in her right arm and cradles his right foot gently in her left hand, its a tender portrait of a Mother and Son. Unlike other icons theres no mudras pertaining to blessings or hints to the future path of Jesus that I know of. In the book it states "the western copyist omits the dogmatically significant motif of Christ receiving the scroll, the logos, out of the Virgins hand"(p205), this makes me wonder if the artist was aiming for a more realistic and sensitive humanizing rendition of The Christ as a baby.

I note that icons called Kykkotissa are of a tender depiction with baby relaxed in mothers arms and many show the baby with bare legs. One site I found states that in Greek, Kykkotissa means "compassion", another site states it is derived from the golden cyprus oak on mountain Kukkos and means the "Virgin of the Oak Apple", either way its a loving tender moment that reaches through generations.

My copy being acrylic on coarse canvas was a challenge to begin with due the roughness of weave so it was surprising how well the image came together after the initial paint layer was laid. I put on varied relaxing music from around the world and even listened, really listened to Lenard Cohen songs while painting. Then at night, awaking between sleeping I found myself thinking about the image and how beautiful I found it to be, and also how it was to be finished off. The perfect red shiny cloth was found in my fabric bins, and also the same color of ribbon, amazing. I thought I had a small brass angel pin to put above the image but I cannot find one so bells were attached to the ribbons instead.

Though this piece was not painted following iconographers style and though it is not an exact copy, it was painted lovingly with heart and respect.