Thursday, May 31, 2012

Violas at Green Meadow Farm

Yesterday, on the way home from the vet, we stopped at Green Meadow Farm. There are lots of things to see. I liked these viola flowers, growing in a window box, so I took a picture. I thought they looked good again the gray background. Tonight I did some basic editing in iPhoto, cropping the original photo to get this composition.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beverly from Lynch Park (Digital Sketch)

Tonight I decided to sit down at the computer and do a fifteen minute drawing even though (especially because) I have been very busy lately, with more work on the way. Art every day is the motto here, and that helps to make it a priority and keeps my life in balance. So I opened a new file in Painter 12 and started drawing a scene from memory. This is a view of Beverly, MA, from the little cove in Lynch Park. I see this view often, and although no doubt many of the details are wrong, this is the view of the curving beach, rocks, and trees in the foreground, and the shoreline of Beverly's Dane Street Beach in the background. Well, I sketch for half and hour, rather than just fifteen minutes. Then I posterized the image, and here it is. Good practice, lots of fun, and a very short vacation at the beach.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Amazing Peonies at Long Hill

Yesterday I saw these amazing peonies in bloom at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, MA. They must be five or six inches across! And I loved the deep, rich color. I took a couple of photographs, and when I got home, I cropped the original to get this composition.

Monday, May 28, 2012

View from Essex Window (Posterized Photo)

After lunch at Woodman's in Essex, MA, with visiting friends, we looked at some of the antique shops down the street, something I have always wanted to do. There were many beautiful things to see, but the most beautiful was the view of the Essex salt marshes through the back window of one of the stores. So I took a couple of pictures. Tonight I used Painter to obscure a distracting tree branch with cut-and-paste and a little digital pastel. Then I posterized the image, and put a little color overlay on the sky. Then I used iPhoto to adjust the color a bit and crop the image.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pink Rhododendrons Through the Window (Posterized Photo)

Today I noticed some pink rhododendrons through a window. I liked the way the late afternoon sunlight played on the flowers and on the window screen, so I stopped what I was working on and took some pictures. Tonight I chose the best photo and then used iPhoto to straighten and crop. After that, I used Painter to posterize it. Then I did one more crop, and this is the result.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Colorado Colors

Colorado Colors by randubnick
Colorado Colors, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
Here's a little digital daydream of my home state of Colorado, inspired by a visit from a friend, staying over here in Beverly, MA, before catching a flight in Boston, to head back to Colorado Springs. I used Painter 12 to make this digital image of the Colorado front range. The colors are inspired by the Colorado landscape, and the style is a digital approximation of the flat color field paintings that I used to do when I was a student in college, back in my home state.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mist in the Distance (Modified and Posterized Photo)

Late yesterday afternoon, we went to Obear Park to walk the dog. It was sunny in Beverly, but as we arrived at the park, we could see fog or mist across the water, in Salem -- even though it was full sun on the Beverly side! I love the way fog looks, so I tried to take some pictures. I tried to zoom in to capture the effects of the fog. The original version of this photo was one of the best at getting a view of the mist in the distance. But unfortunately, I also captured a big sign in the foreground. So tonight, I opened the photo in Painter 12 and used some cut-and-paste as well as digital pastel to obscure the sign. Then I applied a light posterizing effect, but used selection tools to avoid applying the effect to the sky.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Porto seen from Boat Ride (Posterized)

This image started with a photo that I took during my visit to Portugal last May. I have been thinking about Portugal today, and tonight decided to look through my photos.  Even though my visit to Portugal was far too short, I took a lot of pictures. We managed to fit in an amazing boat ride on the Douro River. It was so relaxing to be on the river and the scenes of the city were very beautiful. Tonight I used Painter 12 to create this posterized version of the original photo, and cropped it in iPhoto to get this composition. It's a nice souvenir of a very happy day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rhododendrons in Bloom (Posterized)

Tonight I used Painter 12 to create this posterized version of the photograph I posted here yesterday, the pink rhododendrons that are in bloom all over town. It looks like quite a celebration!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rhododendrons in Bloom

Rhododendrons in Bloom by randubnick
Rhododendrons in Bloom, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.

It's May and the rhododendrons are blooming all over town. These were at the Cummings Center Pond, and I took some pictures the other day. Tonight I cropped one of the photos in iPhoto to get this composition.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pansies at Green Meadow (Posterized Photo)

Tonight I used Painter 12 to create a posterized version of the photo I published here yesterday, pansies at Green Meadow Farm in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Sometimes adding a posterizing effect is easy, but more often, it gets complicated. In this case, I knew I would need to lighten the shadows because the posterizing effect makes them darker. Then I experimented with the levels of posterizing. When I had the level that I liked, I could see that the lightest colors were completely washed down to white. So then I used the selection tool to add a pale yellow color overlay. Then I did some more selective posterizing to get a mix of bright white and pale yellow in those areas. I like this image, and hope to do something with it, maybe a Zazzle project.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pansies at Green Meadows Farm

Here is another photo that I took last week when we stopped at Green Meadows Farm (in South Hamilton, Massachusetts). I noticed these pansies on display outside the store, and I got up close and took this picture. Tonight I did a bit of retouching and cropping in iPhoto.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Closeup of Definitely Pink, Possibly Honeysuckle (Posterized)

Yesterday's post was a photo of some flowers that I saw at Green Meadows Farm in South Hamilton, MA. I am not sure if they are honeysuckle, but they have a similar shape. Well, I liked the image that I posted yesterday, but realized that the focus was uneven. (One advantage of posting my images here is that I sometimes see them differently once I have posted them. That might sound like a disadvantage -- and sometimes it feels like a disadvantage-- but if you pay attention and use the new insight to make improvements, it is decidedly an advantage.) So tonight I used iPhoto to create a closer crop of the same photo. Then I used Painter to create this posterized version of it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Definitely Pink, Possibly Honeysuckle

On Tuesday, on the way home from the vet, we stopped at Green Meadows Farm, in South Hamilton, MA, which is where I saw a bush filled with these delicate pink and white flowers, so I took a picture. I think these might be honeysuckle, but I am not sure. Anyway, apart from a tiny bit of cropping, this is the image just as it came out of my iPhone camera.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Budding Tree (Digital Sketch)

Today I had some time on my hands, so I decided to sketch with the Brushes app on my iPhone. I kept it simple, just a branch of a flowering tree. I worked from my imagination, and had fun playing with the different textures provided by the brushes. (Brushes on the iPad also captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw, but not so on the iPhone, so there is no animation for this one.) I used iPhoto to crop this just a bit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Little Flowers (Track Pad Exercise)

I got a track pad for my Mac a few days ago and have been trying to get used to it. Once I was able to do the basics (open and close files, scroll down, right click, etc.), and had even used it in Painter to do basic operations. But I hadn't tried drawing with the track pad, so I decided to give it a try. I opened a file and started a little sketch, just to see if I could make curves and straight lines. I kept it simple, but I was starting to have fun, so I kept going. Here is the result, with just a bit of post-production editing in iPhoto.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chimneys in England (Digital Woodcut)

Yesterday's post was a posterized photo of these buildings, taken in England last year at the beginning of our trip. This was on a drive from Manchester to Sheffield, as a rainstorm was clearing. I also used Painter to create this digital woodcut of the same scene.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chimneys in England (Posterized Photo)

This image began as one of the first photos I took after landing in England, just about this time last year. We arrived at Manchester airport, on a rainy morning, picked up a rental car and drove toward Sheffield and then Hull. I was in the passenger's seat and started taking pictures. One look at the houses and you know you are in Britain. I love those chimneys! Tonight I edited the original photo in Painter. I adjusted the brightness, and then used color overlays and selective posterizing to get this image. I cropped the image once in Painter, and then cropped it again in iPhoto. I also created a digital woodcut from the same image, and I plan to post it here tomorrow.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mom with My Daughter (Posterized Polaroid)

My mother hated having her picture taken, so I have very few pictures of her taken with me as a child. If there were pictures to be taken, she was more likely to be holding the camera! But today I found some snapshots of my mother with my daughter, taken in Pueblo, Colorado. I had moved back home with my baby girl while my husband was in South Carolina for basic training for the National Guard (having won the draft lottery). It was hard to see the up-side of this at the time, but now I know it was an opportunity for me to spend time with my mom and the rest of my family in Pueblo. And it was a chance for her to enjoy her first grandchild. It dawned on me today that she seemed more than willing to have her picture taken holding her grandchild; maybe time had taught her the value of photographs! When this adventure was over and we were leaving Pueblo again, my mom cried and said she had forgotten how easy it is to fall in love with a baby. So the photo I found today was is a Polaroid (one of many), and it is streaked, scratched, and fading! I decided to rescue it, and then transform it. I scanned it into the computer, and then used iPhoto to get rid of the worst of the scratches and marks on both faces. (I left the rest of the marks alone, thinking they might make the posterizing effect more interesting.) Then I opened the image in Painter. I used digital pastel and some cut-and-paste to cover up some cars visible through the window. Then I used selective posterizing and color overlays, using the streaks of the fading Polaroid to suggest the composition. So here's to my mom, on Mother's Day. If your mom is still with you, I hope you take a picture. And if you are a mom yourself, I hope that if someone wants to take your picture, you will smile and say yes. You are making memories for your kids.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Early Bouquet (Posterized)

Early Bouquet (Posterized) by randubnick
Early Bouquet (Posterized), a photo by randubnick on Flickr.

Tonight I used Painter to create a posterized version of the yesterday's photo, my early-bird Mother's Day bouquet. To make this image work, I also had to adjust the brightness and use some selective color overlays to compensate for color washed out to white when I posterized. Well, I hope you aren't tired of looking at these flowers. I'm not, and I certainly don't mind an extended Mother's Day celebration.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Early Bouquet

Early Bouquet by randubnick
Early Bouquet, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
This is the bouquet that was delivered yesterday, an early Mother's Day gift. Love the color of these roses! I used my iPhone camera to take this closeup view. This is how the image looked right out of the camera. (I uploaded this to Flickr last night, but before I could finish posting, we lost internet connection, so I am going to adjust the date.)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Roadside Lilacs (Posterized)

This image began with a photo that I took of the lilac bushes at the side of the road at Long Hill Garden. I love closeups of lilacs, but seeing them from a distance is nice, too. I liked the shapes of the bushes next to the curve of the road. But the image needed a little work. I used Painter to clean up the background, digitally trimming some high branches of a tree in the background so that the shape of the lilac bushes would show up better. Then I did some road repair with digital pastel. Then I posterized the image, using the selection tool to apply more of the effect to the road. I also used iPhoto to lighten the shadows and do one more crop to get this composition.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

White Lilacs at Long Hill Gardens

Here are more lilacs from our recent trip to Long Hill Gardens to see the lilacs. I liked the way these white lilacs looked with the barn in the background, so I took a picture. Tonight I edited it to get this slightly quirky composition. When people think of lilacs, they usually do not think of white ones, so they are often overlooked. (Is this even a lilac? Lilacs are supposed to be purple.) But there are all kinds of lilacs, and these are are equally beautiful, in their own way. Sometimes we just need to get past our traditional ideas of what lilacs are supposed to be in order to see the beauty that is right in front of us and accept it on its own terms.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

More Lilacs at Long Hill

More Lilacs at Long Hill by randubnick
More Lilacs at Long Hill, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.

Here's another photo that I took on April 30th when we went to Long Hill Gardens to look at the lilacs. This image is just as it came out of my iPhone camera, although I did lighten the shadows a bit in iPhoto.

Monday, May 07, 2012

River and Trees in Spring

River and Trees in Spring by randubnick
River and Trees in Spring, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.

Today's adventure was a walk by the Bass River, just behind a local Starbucks. I could see the soft golden-green of trees leafing out on the river bank, so I took some pictures. Tonight I used iPhoto to do some basic editing. Whenever I see trees leafing out, a line from Robert Frost always pops into my head: "Nature's first green is gold" (from "Nothing Gold Can Stay"). If you know this poem, then you know that it is not an optimistic poem -- except in the sense that all poetry is optimistic by virtue of its very existence. But Robert Frost is right: first leaves are golden, "but only so an hour", so we had better pay attention! *If you don't know this poem, follow this link:

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Close-up of Lilacs

Close-up of Lilacs by randubnick
Close-up of Lilacs, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.

This is a photo that I took last week, during a quick trip to Long Hill Gardens to see the lilacs in bloom, in a group of lilac bushes by the side of the main road. We parked nearby and took lots of pictures. I like to get right up close to catch their wonderful perfume. Tonight I used iPhoto to crop the original to get this close-in composition.

Necklace with Wooden Beads on Red Suede Cord

I had some waiting around to do today, so I decided to use the time to make a necklace. It really did make the time pass more quickly, and I was happy with the result.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Paper Flowers (Collage) Posterized

Back in September of 2006, I was working on a collage, a floral bouquet made of pasted paper. Today I thought of the image to use on, to make cards and gifts using the image. But because I thought I might use the image to make repeated patterns, I didn't want to use the finished version because it includes a vase. But I posted the way the project looked each day, so I decided to use "day 3". The next step was to duplicate the image and open it in Painter. I enlarged the image and then posterized it, trying different levels of posterizing until the colors and textures looked right. Then I uploaded this version into Zazzle and had lots of fun, making everything from aprons to gift boxes to iPad covers. (If you want to see what I made, go to )

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Colorado Drawings Aspen

Colorado Drawings Aspen by randubnick
Colorado Drawings Aspen, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
Today I created this drawing, part of a series of drawings based on a small (5"x 8") sketchbook that I took with me on a trip home to Colorado during the 1980s. I was drawing from the passenger seat of a moving car, just trying to capture the lines of the mountains, and sometimes I wrote down the location, as in this one. For this series, I am scanning the sketches into my computer and printing out copies which I then use to trace into a new sketchbook. (I put the print-out copy over graphite paper and trace over the lines.) The original sketch is posted here on April 25th. This trip took place during the summer, but the color scheme for this drawing is inspired by the accidental inspiration of a printer malfunction when I printed out the copy for tracing. The printer heads weren't working and instead of black and white, I got turquoise and white, with faint red lines. (See post for April 27th.) I liked the look of the blue and white mountain, and tried to maintain some of that, which gives this the look of a winter scene, even though the original sketch was created during the summer. I also used the turquoise background and pink stripes from the printing mishap. (After I printed out a duplicate version of my accidental inspiration, I spent some time cleaning the nozzle heads on my printer today!) If you want to see other drawings in this series, search my posts for "Colorado Drawings" and "Colorado Sketchbook".

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Chicken Collage Day 22 (As of May 2, 2012)

This morning I spent some time in the studio working on this project, a collage of a chicken. This project was inspired by some real live chickens that I saw at Long Hill Gardens last year. I was admiring the beautiful patterns in their feathers, and an image came in to my head of a chicken made up of geometric patterns. (Some people wait all their lives for a stroke of inspiration; wouldn't you know that when it finally happened to me, it would be a chicken!) Today I added some pieces of black and white polka dot pattern, working on the long and tedious task of filling in gaps in the wing and tail. I also added another row of white triangles on the chicken's body.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

"Landscape in Four Colors" at Porter Mill's Transformation Show

Tonight I went to Porter Mill Studios to attend the opening of an art show with the theme of transformation. It was very interesting to see all the different interpretations of the theme. This event was also co-sponsored by Art Throb, a local art magazine and there were a lot of people in the gallery, but I took advantage of a quiet moment and used my iPhone to take a quick photo of my painting, "Landscape in Four Colors".