Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Orange you glad THAT's over!

I am beginning to have a suspicion that August has it out for me.  Last year at this time, as we were getting ready to take my older daughter off to college, I was stopped in my tracks with a ruptured appendix.  This year, we had a close run-in with Hurricane Irene.  Whether or not my daughter made it back to school became a race between a complicated balance of factors:  the time the school allowed students to check in, how long it would take us to drive there and back, and when the storm was scheduled to hit Connecticut...

She made it back just fine, and we all came through without major damage, thank God!  We did lose power, though, and then our backup generator failed.  The repairman actually made matters worse by frying some major electrical circuits -- but all that pales in comparison to what happened to so many others.  My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost so much in this storm!

My internet returned today, so I have to celebrate by joining in the fun over at Kim Klassen's cafe!  Click here to see some seriously gorgeous images.... The theme today is the color orange!  The color is certainly perfect for this season, although there are no leaves even remotely that color around here yet.  It's also one of my favorite colors:  I love to use it with hot pink and purple.... but more on that another day!  

These are raw fibers, no textures added....
I've been working with silks and wools lately -- can't wait to finish my project so I can show you!
OK, here are my "official" oranges:
I used Kim's "Chamomile" (overlay @ 100%), "Drop Cloth" (soft light @ 34%), and "Canvas Back Magic" (difference @ 100%) 
"Silence" (overlay @38%) and "Canvas Back Magic" (soft light @30%)
I couldn't resist adding this fly -- I didn't texturize him, though.
Speaking of critters, I found a lot of them recently.  They aren't orange, but they are fun to look at!
"Canvas Back Magic" (soft light @25%), "Canvas Back" (overlay @49%)

"Silence" (overlay @100%), "Canvas Back Magic" (overlay @38%), "Canvas Back" (overlay @55%)

"Silence" (overlay @78%) and "Mayzee" (overlay @42%)
Well, maybe the bee counts as "orange".....

I'll sign off with one more image.  This is my youngest daughter, Sam, who just painted a portrait of her grandfather.  She is an amazing artist, and wants nothing more than to be finished with high school and happily established in art school, where she can paint all day and all night.  (Patience, grasshopper.)
In the meantime, she has decided that she will set up shop as a freelance portrait painter here in our town....
I bet she will have a waiting list very soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Sigh.  My dynamic composition class with Jane Davies is now over.  It has been such a wonderful way to spend the summer!  One thing I've learned from this class is that the process itself is an important ingredient in the outcome.  I used to wonder why I had trouble composing interesting collages, and I think a large part of the answer is that I never took the time to let them evolve.  This class has been very helpful in getting me to understand how to work in layers, over time. (I've got lots of ideas for interpreting this in cloth, too, so stay tuned.)

Here is an example.  The "before" images were my assignment for week #5, on creating depth.  I spent most of a week just getting to that point, but Jane suggested I try to take it even further.  The "after" pics give you a sense of how much things can continue to change if you confront new visual information over time instead of just trying to "get it done." 

"before and after" storyboards by Rita at Coffee Shop Photography
 Here is my final collage for this class.  It is really two collages that I designed separately, but were on adjacent pages in my journal.  I sort of like them together, but I'm not 100% sure.  I guess this is where I practice what I've learned.  I'll let them sit for awhile and percolate.

I'll be taking a short time away from the blogs.  My youngest daughter will be a senior in high school this year, and hopes to pursue an art degree in college -- we are heading out of town for a week to visit schools and take in some art museums along the way.  See you when we get back!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Little things

I didn't think I would post this week -- we went up to Providence to pick up our youngest from her dream summer at art school.  Add in some house guests and a college visit, and there has been no time to play with my camera or art supplies.  But then I took a few minutes to start browsing all those gorgeous images over at Kim Klassen's cafe, and decided I had to join in the fun.

The theme this week is "the little things."  I've been struck lately about how quickly time flies.  It was just yesterday, I'm sure, that my little girl was trying hard to open this gate:
Processed with Kim Klassen's "luminous" in overlay mode at 100% (texture brushed off face)
Now, she's in college.  She's been working with a local theatre company this summer -- working harder and with more intensity than I've ever seen, trying to open new vistas for herself.

Suddenly I see that the little things are really great big huge.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mind Trip

I've been inspired by some luscious travel photography I've seen lately on the blogs.  Inspired, but a bit jealous!  For me, this summer has been spent at home .... no trips other than to visit colleges here and there with my youngest, who will be starting the application process this fall.

So, for my contribution to this week's Texture Tuesday over at Kim Klassen's cafe, I decided to take an imaginary trip with some images from my past.  Then, of course, I re-read her challenge and she said to use her textures on a recent photo.... oh, well.  Please make sure to visit Kim's website to see all the amazing images that are submitted by artists (who, unlike me, follow the rules).

England's Lake District 2010
Kim's "warm grunge" in overlay @70%, "warm sun" in soft light @ 29%, plus a blue filter by Jerry Jones of Shadow House Creations
Macchu Picchu 2008
Kim's "love in layers" in overlay @100%, plus a texture I made from the back of a cookie sheet
Salzburg, 2001
No textures, just one layer each of a transparent yellow and red mask from Shadow House Creations

Bologna, Italy 2008
This was one of the first times I added a texture to a photo, and I didn't record which one I used.
This was Sturbridge, Massachusetts in 1833**
Kim's "canvas back magic," overlay @32%; "luminous," overlay @50%; "chamomile," soft light @100%

**well, ok, it was about 8 years ago or so.... Sturbridge Village had a special day when they provided costumes for the kids, so my three had a grand time back in 1833, gathering wood, feeding the chickens,  and helping in the kitchens.  You know, all the things kids never want to do for real!

One more thing -- I suspect that art and photography blogs want to keep politics and religion out of the conversation, and for the most part I agree.  But I just couldn't keep quiet.  Not after the Congressional debt crisis debacle we all witnessed this last week.

On second thought, I won't say a word:

angry birds 20110801