Archives for the month of: February, 2015


One of my favorite hobbies is doing watercolor collages. They are really pretty simple. The one above was done a couple months ago. I painted four separate sheets of watercolor paper with various colors in a sweeping motion. I outlined a few tree trunks in pencil on a large piece of watercolor paper and brushed lightly back and forth across them. After everything dried, I glued the four background sheets to a piece of craft paper, then I cut out the tree trunks and positioned them on the background sheets. Voila! That was all. In a frame behind glass, they look just 3D enough to be interesting. One of my favorite things about this method of art is that I can play around with background and foreground images without commitment. I don’t glue anything down until I am happy with the way it looks.


This watercolor presented a problem. I did this as part of a workshop to practice painting spheres and giving them directional highlights. However, I didn’t like the way the finished product looked. So. . . I cut out some of the spheres and painted a new background for them.


Better, huh?


I did this project to enter in an exhibit in Lexington. The theme of the exhibit is visual music. I painted all the elements of the piece separately. For the trees, I Mod Podged pages from an old hymnal onto watercolor paper and them painted over the music. See detail below:



For the one above, I outlined tree trunks again and painted them, then cut them out. I painted some scrap pieces of watercolor paper with different colors and cut them out as well. Then they had to be glued onto the pre-painted background. Simple, right?

Give it a try. You can do it 🙂


You know how you see things and think, I could have thought of that. . . but I didn’t. . . someone else did and now they are making a bunch of money.

Those objects, that look like letters that are used to spell people’s names are one of those things. I’ve actually even done that, except I did it only for my preschool students to use when I was teaching. It never occurred to me that people might actually pay money for small photos of things that looked like letters and use several of them to spell names.


Well, I decided to make some of these little babies myself. I am going to make mine more simple and therefore more doable for myself and everyone else who wants to do them too. I decided to use photos of actual letters from one of my favorite photo locales. . .the cemetery.

Here’s what I came up with.


I simply took pictures of letters from five different markers that spell my last name. Example:

2015-02-02 08.37       IMG_20150202_083704_200

Then I dumped them on the computer and cropped them in Photoshop. I printed them out four inches wide, cut them out the same length,  mounted them on black card stock and framed them.


If you want to see instructions to make the wreath in the photos, check out my gardening and craft blog. Here’s a link 🙂

What better time to do some high dynamic range photography than after a snow storm. Snow can be pretty boring. If you add some wonderful depth to the photo, it can give the scene a dreamy feel. Check it out.




These two were processed to be black and white.



These almost make me like winter. Have fun 🙂


A friend of mine recently endowed me with three cameras she no longer wanted, including this wonderful old Canon AE1 pre-digital, pre-auto, pre-self wind manual film camera. Only a week before, I  found a roll of 800 speed film in a cabinet at my house. I have decided to use these recent  discoveries to hone my photography skills.

In case my readers don’t know, I am, shall we say, not young. I started out my career as a newspaper photographer in the early 1990s, using a manual camera and film. I developed the film in a darkroom and printed out pictures that were then pasted on the pages of the newspaper by hand. I know how to take a series of pictures without being able to see the finished product of each shot immediately. . . or at least I used to.

That’s where this exercise comes in. I plan to take the AE1, which has to be held together with a rubber band, with me along side my digital and take a few carefully-selected shots. I also plan to document the settings of each shot in my trusty photo journal, so I can compare them when they are developed. Hopefully, this will help me think about my photography a little more carefully in the future, even when I go back to shooting strictly digital.

Watch for the results in future posts.

Does anyone even develop film anymore. . . maybe I should check into that.

As promised, I have been playing with some of my smartphone and Ipad apps to create wall art. For this post, I started with this photo:

I had this saved on my smartphone from back in the fall. I simply opened it in my Kaleidoscope app (free from Google Play) and shot several different angles after turning my phone in different directions. I ended up with these four pictures:




I then sent these four pictures to my Ipad and performed some rotating, cropping and sharpening to each one in Photoshop Express (free in the App Store). I applied a different special effect to each one of them to make them look different. Here are the results of that series of manipulations:





Each of these would be excellent wall art if not printed out too large. They are the products of smartphone photography and quality begins to suffer if blown up too large. They should work nicely if printed under 5″x5″.
I decided to do one last series of manipulations to these in another IPad app called A Beautiful Mess ($1.99 in the App Store). This app allows you to make collages, diptychs and triptychs from photos you have in your camera roll or take new ones. I made a simple collage from all four:


And a triptych from three:


All of these apps are fun to play with and that is what I really want when I look at wall art- a reminder of past fun 🙂


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