Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tree in Snow Storm Posterized

Tree in Snow Storm   Posterized   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

Well, today is the last day of 2009, and here north of Boston, it has been snowing since 9 AM. But this image began with a photograph that I took during on December 19th during another recent storm. Today I opened the image in Painter and posterized it.  While I was working with the image, I noticed a few brown leaves clinging to the branches, and decided to use a little digital pastel to change them to pink. The change is hardly noticeable, but I think the small patches of pink warm up the image a bit and add a little New Year's Eve sparkle to the scene. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Four Birches and Icy Pond (Posterized Version)

Four Birches and Icy Pond (Posterized Version)   Originally uploaded by randubnick

This is a posterized version of the photo that I posted here last night, of four birch trees backed by the pond. I used Painter to posterize the image.  I wanted to soften the details in the background and add a little color to the ice.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Four Birches and Icy Pond

Four Birches and Icy Pond   Originally uploaded by randubnick

I took this photo today during a walk at the Cummings Center.  The pond had iced over during last week's snow and ice storms, but apparently some of the ice had melted with the recent warm spell.  (It was in the sixties yesterday, and in the mid-forties today.)   The warm weather won't last, but seeing a break in the ice is a reminder that spring will come eventually! I liked the view of the pond through these birch trees, so I took a picture.  Tonight I cropped the image to get this composition.  I also used Painter to create a posterized version, which I plan to post here tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lake Placid Necklace with Pink Beads

Lake Placid Necklace with Pink Beads   Originally uploaded by randubnick

This is a necklace that I made back in September during a trip to Lake Placid, New York. During a rainy afternoon, I spent some time in a bead store, where I created four necklaces, all with a similar design, made with wooden beads strung on leather cord.  Earlier this month, I posted the other three necklaces, and am finally getting around to posting this one.  

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Heart-Shaped Box as of December 27

Heart-Shaped Box as of December 27   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

I finally had a chance to return to the studio to work on this project.  This heart-shaped box once held a Mother's Day gift from my daughter, and now I am covering it with collage and decoupage patterns.  I am using printed metallic ribbons that a friend was giving away.  Today I concentrated on the outside of the box.  Finding the right place for each piece of ribbon is tedious, but it is also calming, almost like a meditation.  I am trying to put the pieces together with minimal overlap, to get as smooth a surface as possible.  I am also paying attention to color, pattern, and shape.  Each little decision seems very small, but in the aggregate, each little decision matters. It doesn't really help to hurry, and I have found that I can't force things. What works best is to relax enough to find the place where each little piece of ribbon seems to naturally fit.  If I can do that, then sometimes things just seem to fall into place.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Taking a Picture of My Daughter's Portrait

Taking a Picture of My Daughter's Portrait   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

Last night, I posted the pastel portrait of my daughter that I drew when she was a baby.  I photographed the portrait yesterday, while I was helping my daughter hang paintings in her new place.  While I was photographing, I was concentrating on avoiding reflected light in the glass.  I didn't notice that I was also photographing myself in the mirror next to the painting!  This photo was an unintentional self-portrait.  I liked the idea of this double image, and the way it plays with layers of time.  So I cropped it a bit to get the composition I wanted, and here it is.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pastel Portrait of My Daughter

Pastel Portrait of My Daughter   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

This is a pastel portrait of my daughter that I drew when she was a baby.  She was taking a nap in her stroller, and we were sitting on the front porch at her Grandma's (my mom) back home in Pueblo.  I was watching my daughter sleep, and she looked so beautiful! I decided to draw her while she slept.  I had to work quickly (she took short naps), but I was very happy with the result, and felt that I had captured a likeness.  I was in my twenties then. Time has passed, but I still feel the same way about the drawing (and about the subject of the drawing!). In fact, I would say that this is one of my better portraits.  Once my daughter was grown up, I gave this portrait to her.  Yesterday, I was at her new place, helping her hang art on the walls.  I realized that I didn't have a photograph of this piece, so I took a picture of it after we hung it up.  She said she wouldn't mind if I posted it, so here it is.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Alpine Village Fantasy

Alpine Village Fantasy   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

The idea for this drawing came to me late this afternoon, and so tonight I drew this snowy little mountain village, using Painter's digital pastel.  I worked from my imagination, going for bright colors and a light-hearted mood.  I had fun creating this happy little village, and I think I will send it along to friends, along with wishes for happy holidays.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rising Sun on Snow Posterized Version

Rising Sun on Snow (Posterized Version)  Originally uploaded by randubnick

This image began as another of the photos I took yesterday morning.  After three full days of snowstorm, it was great to see the morning sun!  I took this photograph through a window, which is often creates problems, as in this case when I photographed the window screen. But it wasn't a mistake; the light through the screen was making interesting effects.  And today, when I posterized the image in Painter, the window screen became an interesting texture. The image reflects what I really saw, and the way most of us often view such scenery, through a window.

Monday, December 22, 2008

View of Sun on Snowy Branches

View of Sun on Snowy Branches   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

Here in Massachusetts, it has been snowing hard since Friday.  I like the snow, but when I woke up this morning, I found it hard to face the prospect of shoveling again!  But the snow was shining, for a change, and when I looked out the window, the morning light was beautiful on the snowy branches.  I took some pictures, and in the process, changed my attitude.  Tonight I cropped this image out of one of the best of the photos.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Little Menorah

Little Menorah   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

This little menorah is a digital mosaic that I made today with my Painter program.  This menorah is the kind that children use, and so are the multi-colored candles.  The candles look happy enough to dance, so I am going to use this image to say Happy Chanukah to family and friends.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Night Snow in Black and White

Night Snow in Black and White   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

The winter storm continues here north of Boston, so here is another version of the night snow scene that I posted yesterday.  I used iPhoto to transform the color version into black and white.   I think I still prefer the original color version.  But black and white is a good choice to emphasize texture.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Night Snow

Night Snow  (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

Well, the predicted snowstorm got a bit of a late start today, but by late afternoon, it was snowing to beat the band, and it is still snowing.  I took some pictures earlier today, when the storm was just getting started. But about half an hour ago (ten-thirty, PM), I looked outside and decided to take some more pictures.  I took this photo through a window.  I cropped it and edited it using my new iPhoto, which will also transform a color photo into black and white; I tried it on this one, but prefer the original version because I like the colors in night snow scenes.  In this case, the street lamps give a golden cast to the scene.  I did adjust the highlights and shadows on this version, trying to capture the way new-fallen snow looks at night.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ice on Blueberry Bush (Posterized)

Ice on Blueberry Bush (Posterized)   Originally uploaded by randubnick

I used Painter software to posterized the photo that I published here yesterday, a view of ice on the blueberry bushes.  The posterizing adds additional color and texture to the background, which is the safety cover of a swimming pool (which you may have already guessed).  Now a swimming pool cover isn't something I would normally go out of my way to photograph.  In fact, I would usually go out of my way to crop it out of the image.  But in this case, I liked the soft green and straight lines as contrasts with the colors and textures of the branches.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ice on Blueberry Bush

Ice on Blueberry Bush   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

When I got up this morning, there was snow on the ground, and it was raining ice.  I got dressed for shoveling, and by that time it was snowing again.  By the time I was drinking my first cup of coffee, it was raining but this time very gently.  It was hard to figure out whether to go out and shovel.  Was it slippery or slushy? Was it going to melt on its own?  I shovel for practical reasons but it is also a good workout, and sometimes there are great photo ops.  But today, I was really procrastinating. So I looked out the back and saw the ice on the blueberry bushes.  I wanted to take some pictures, so that got me motivated to get started.  I went outside and took a couple of pictures, and then spent an hour shoveling what turned out to be heavy slush.  Tonight I cropped the image, and then cropped twice more to get close enough to get this composition. What interested me (enough to make me get my boots outside!) were the red buds against the soft green, and the lines of the branches against the geometric lines in the background. (Can you tell what the background is?) I also used Painter to make a posterized version of this image, and I will post it tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Looking Up at December Berries

Looking Up at December Berries   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

This image began during a recent walk at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, Massachusetts.  Along the road up the hill to the garden, there are several kinds of trees that bloom in the spring and produce berries in the fall and winter.  I noticed this particular tree because the berries were such a deep, dark red that they reminded me of bing cherries.  I took several pictures of it, looking up at the sky through the branches.  Tonight I edited the best one.  I adjusted the contrast, cropped it to get this composition, and then posterized it in Painter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mid-December Bouquet

Mid-December Bouquet   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

It is mid-December, but we had spring-like weather today (around sixty degrees!)  The weather seemed to add to my celebratory mood as I headed to the grocery store this morning.  At the entrance to the supermarket, I noticed a beautiful display of bouquets, some wrapped in red cellophane.  The colors were so beautiful that I had to stop and take a couple of quick pictures (while trying not to get in the way of my fellow shoppers).  Tonight I cropped the image in iPhoto to get this composition.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Landscape with Four Shapes

Landscape with Four Shapes (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

It is actually two o'clock in the morning on the 15th, but I just finished working on a big project due tomorrow morning, so I am up. This is my first chance to make art today, so I did a quick sketch just now on my laptop Paint program. I created four shapes, then used the "paint bucket" tool to create four colors in a hurry. I did a little work with the digital brush to refine the shapes, and then cropped the image in Microsoft's photo editor to get this composition. I am glad I stayed up for five more minutes to do this! I am using this site's "time-travel feature" to post this on the 14th of December. I like the little digital image, but more important is the fact that I somehow found a little time to make art "today," even if today was officially over two hours ago!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lake Placid Necklace with Brown and Green Wooden Beads

Lake Placid Necklace with Brown and Green Wooden Beads   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

Here is the third of four necklaces that I made during my weekend trip to Lake Placid back in September.  There was a bead shop that I could see from the hotel, and I spent a few hours there one rainy afternoon.  I made four necklaces, all using wooden beads.  Last week, I finally photographed the necklaces because I wanted to show them at Open Studios.

Friday, December 12, 2008

December Sky at Dane Street Beach

December Sky at Dane Street Beach (Digitally Edited)   Originally uploaded by randubnick

It was cold today, but not too cold for a short walk with the dog at Dane Street Beach.  There were interesting shapes in the overcast December sky.  I took two quick pictures of the beach, and this is the better of the two.  Tonight I used iPhoto to straighten and crop the image, but then opened it in Painter to clean up some litter on the beach.  Then I posterized the foreground.  I like the way the lines and color of the park bench work with the rest of the image, so I left it in.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lake Placid Necklace with Black and Purple Wooden Beads

Lake Placid Necklace with Black and Purple Wooden Beads   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

This is another one of the necklaces I made during a September trip to Lake Placid.  There was a great bead store downtown, right across from the hotel.  I made four necklaces one rainy afternoon, all of them using wooden beads.  I think I was inspired by all the Adirondack crafts in the area.  Last weekend I took the necklaces to show at Open Studios, and I photographed them before the event opened.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Heart-Shaped Box as of December 10

Heart-Shaped Box as of December 10   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

I went to the studio this morning to work on this collage and decoupage project.  (I am using bits of printed metallic ribbon to cover this heart-shaped box which once contained a Mother's Day gift from my daughter.)  During Open Studios last weekend, I couldn't really work on this project, glue and all, but whenever I had a quiet moment, I worked on cutting pieces of ribbon that I wanted to use, and put them in the box.  So this morning, I had a head start.  All I had to do was glue.  It is nice to see that I am getting closer to the top edge.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Winter Window (Posterized Photo)

Winter Window (Posterized Photo)   Originally uploaded by randubnick

This is one more image that began two nights ago, when I was taking photos of the snow just as it was getting dark.  I took the picture through the window, and an interior light caused some glare and reflections.  It was also slightly out of focus, and off-center, besides.  But sometimes these mistakes are intriguing and can make for interesting results.  I used iPhoto editing tools to straighten and crop the image, and used Painter to sharpen the focus just a bit, and then posterize it.  In art (and in life), it helps sometimes to be able to see beyond the label of "mistakes" to see the potential for a good outcome.  In this case, what I hoped might turn out to be interesting was the sense of seeing a snowstorm from inside a house, looking out.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Snowy Evening Scene (Posterized Photo)

Snowy Evening Scene (Posterized Photo)   Originally uploaded by randubnick

This is another of the photographs that I took last night as it was getting dark.  I liked the look of the street lights behind the snow.  I thought that this photo might look nice posterized, so tonight I opened the image in Painter IX, did a little cut and paste, and cropped it.  I also posterized the image, and was happy with the result, so here it is. 

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Snowy Evening

Snowy Evening (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

This morning, there was just a tiny bit of snow on the ground.  It wasn't sticking to the walk, but just in case, I got the shovels out of the garage.  There wasn't even enough snow to justify a photograph, but I thought I would take pictures later, if it continued to snow.  (Snow is almost always a major inconvenience, but it is also almost always amazingly beautiful.) Well, since this morning I have been working at my desk all day, pretty much non-stop. Meanwhile, it continued to snow while I was working away. It was starting to get dark when I remembered that I had wanted to get some photos.  So I grabbed the camera and took some pictures through the window.  This is the best of the bunch, cropped to get this composition.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Lake Placid Necklace with Brown Wooden Beads

Lake Placid Necklace with Brown Wooden Beads   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

I made this necklace back in September, during a weekend trip to Lake Placid.  (There was a conference in Lake Placid, and I tagged along for the ride.) For most of the trip, the weather was great, but one afternoon, it poured, so I spent some time in the local bead store.  Inspired by the Adirondack crafts all around me, I picked out some interesting wooden beads, and made four necklaces.  This morning, I remembered to take the Lake Placid necklaces along to show at Open Studios at Red Brick.  At the studio, I decided to photograph all four necklaces before I added them to my jewelry display.  I am glad I decided to do that, because this one sold this afternoon. 

Friday, December 05, 2008

High Tide Seen from Lynch Park

High Tide Seen from Lynch Park   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

This is another picture that I took this week during a walk on a very warm day in early December.  I took this photo at Lynch Park here in Beverly. It is a typical "city park", except that it is surrounded by water on three sides!  This is a view of the ocean, looking down from the park.  The warm weather was certainly not typical for early December, and neither was the ocean. The waves were coming right up to the sea wall, covering the sand, and crashing against the rocks.  I took some pictures, and tonight I edited this one using the photo program in my new Mac. (I am trying to get the hang of it.) I cropped the image to get this composition, emphasizing areas defined by the different patterns in the water.  

Thursday, December 04, 2008

View of Beverly from Lynch Park

View of Beverly from Lynch Park   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

This is another photo from a recent excursion to Lynch Park, in a residential area of Beverly.  This unusual little park is surrounded by water on three sides.  I took this photo of the view looking west, towards Beverly.  In the distance, you can see some of Dane Street Beach and Independence Park.  I was trying to emphasize the symmetry of the trees and the line of park benches.  Well, this is a nice souvenir of a warm day in early December.  Tonight the cold weather is due to return. 

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Pathway to the Beach at High Tide

Pathway to the Beach at High Tide  (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

It was very warm yesterday, so it looked like a great day to take a walk on the beach at Lynch Park.  But a glance toward the beach from the path was enough to see that a walk on the beach wouldn't be possible!  Beach? What beach? It was high tide, and the ocean was covering the sand all the way up to the seawall.  Each time a wave rolled in, the water came right on up to the sidewalk.  I took this photo just as a wave was coming in. Tonight I used iPhoto to crop the image.  I wanted to emphasize the geometry of the sidewalk and walls, framing the view of the ocean waves.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Heart Shaped Box as of December 2

Heart Shaped Box as of December 2   (Originally uploaded by randubnick)

Well, it has been quite hectic lately: computer stress and time crunch, with a major Thanksgiving cooking marathon thrown in! This morning I caught myself thinking that I didn't have time to go to the studio. Wrong answer!  If I spend just an hour making art, I am happier for the rest of the day.  So early this morning I headed out to the studio, and spent some time working on this project.  I am covering this heart-shaped box with collage (and some decoupage), created from printed metallic ribbons.  Today I continued to work on the outside of the box (gold area).  It is fun to see the ribbons climb up the sides.  As I concentrated on pasting bits of ribbon,  I began to feel more peaceful.  Working on this project reminds me that small decisions matter, and goals are often accomplished in small steps.  That helps me in life, as well as in art.

Monday, December 01, 2008

November Light on the Pond (Posterized Photo)

November Light on the Pond (Posterized Photo)   Originally uploaded by randubnick

This is a posterized version of the photo I posted yesterday, a view of the November light on the Cummings Center Pond here in Beverly, MA.  This is a simple image, but the process was anything but simple because this is the first time that I used Painter on a Mac.  It is also the first time that I am uploading images from a Mac.  So nothing was simple.  It took me much longer to figure out to save a file, find a file, and do the uploading than it took to create the image (even if you count the time spent walking at the pond).  So far, the biggest difference I notice between the PC and the Mac is the way files are organized.  This is just the first time, and I am sure it will get easier.  Meanwhile, I am happy to be reunited with my Painter program, and happy to have my new computer.