I wish that you could see my home the way I see it. It’s easy, even for those who live here, to get fixated on our distance from city and cultural centres, the long, dark, cold winters, and the “rednecks” who live out here. And maybe it takes a special person to recognize and love the Peace River region for its beauty and abundance.
It’s a wild beauty. Untamed and rugged.
The people have to be too, but they are warm and down-to-earth.
Full of contrasts, as dramatic as the scars on an aspen’s trunk.
To enjoy it, you have to be willing to get a little dirty…
And maybe encounter a thorn or two…
But, oh, the wild roses scent the air in June!
Dress warmly. Sweaters at hand, even in July…
And keep your eyes open,
Because beauty is everywhere.
I hope you love your home as much as I love mine. Photos taken during our family camping trip this September Labour Day weekend.
Artists struggle with artist’s statements. How to express one’s art in words is kind of the opposite of what we do the rest of the time, and after all, if we could say it, we wouldn’t feel so driven to paint it. I decided several years ago not to wear myself out trying to find profound meaning in what I paint. I like to paint pretty, and that’s good enough for me.
Which is why I like the quote I used on the art photo above. I believe there is something simple and true about seeing beauty in every day. Days like yesterday, an ordinary whirl of laundry and doctor appointments and a head-to-head battle with a six-year-old set on self-destructing. Days like that need pretty, and I found it in the fresh breeze at the clothesline and the jewelled raspberries in the garden.
And my roses are still blooming. Love this single blossom, layered with Kim Klassen’s Revolution and Greydays texture to add a grainy grungy charm and my favourite font (Jenna Sue) for the quote. Linking up to Texture Tuesdays.
Tonight I’m teaching an advent calendar class for a little Christmas in July fun, and if I get lucky I’ll squeeze in fifteen minutes to work on a new berry painting. Cause I haven’t painted saskatoons yet this year. Unless you count the five stroke painting video demo from June…
I have a growing collection of reference photos that I use for watercolor painting inspiration. It is so much easier to manage reference photos now that everything is digital! I don’t even print my reference photos usually – just pull them up on my big computer monitor and I’m set to paint.
I love hydrangeas and wish we could grow them up north here. I do have a “hydrangea” planted beside my front porch, but it’s not the luscious blue orb type that I covet. One spring I bought a potted hydrangea to enjoy in the house, and took lots of photos. Hydrangeas are a watercolour artist’s dream because they hold such variety of colour in their blossoms.
I used two Kim Klassen texture overlays to create this art photo image; “Sunday” overlay at 39% and darken at 80%, and “Organic” color at 19%. Then I added a couple effects using RadLab; “Grainstorm” and “Old Glory.” I’m linking up to Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday.
You can check out my painting of this photo here - it’s just a fun sketchy portrait. And I’m crushing on the apple blossom painting that I finished last week which you can see here. I’m going to try out some new paint colours today and see where it takes me!
I got up early this morning to paint since I wanted to all day yesterday and didn’t get to it. It’s amazing how even a laid back family day can be so full; I’m learning I have to take my minutes and not wait for them to knock.
I discovered a few new photo editing tricks recently. Kim Klassen is a photographer who creates textures for photos. If you don’t know what that means, well, neither did I. She posts a little description with many of her photos on how she uses these texture files to add effects to her photos.
I started with this photo:
Then I downloaded Kim Klassen’s “confusion” texture and using my Layer Blending Options in Photoshop CS4, I tried a few different things. I think (I didn’t write it down), I used the Soft Light blending option, adjusting the transparency until I had a look I liked. Then I layered the confusion texture over that layer, blending with the Pin Light option. And then I used the trial version of RadLab (which I think I have to buy!) to add some lighting effects.
I always thought I needed to be a Photoshop guru to do cool stuff to my photos but suddenly I’m finding art in my photos and it’s really fun! Can’t wait to try more!