Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Have you ever been really hungry and not known where your next meal was coming from? I haven't either, but there are people who are hungry. You can help by blogging about poverty because it is blog action day 2008:poverty. And I believe that one person can make a difference. I am going to make a difference and take Debi's lead by donating to my local food bank the East Texas Food Bank . For $1 they can provide 8 meals. What a bargain! I'm writing my check now.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Win A Painting, Help Darfur!

Here is your chance to own one of Enzie Shahmiri's paintings and help a Darfur refugee at the same time. Put Oct. 8th on your calendar and bid to win.

"This painting is a concrete way to provide humanitarian relief to the hundreds of thousands of people--mainly women and children--who have been forced to flee the unspeakable violence in Darfur. The proceeds from the sale of this work on ebay will go directly to support the UN Refugee Agency's operations in Darfur, providing protection, shelter, water, medical care and education. Please support this work!

Caitlin Van Orden
The UN Refugee Agency"

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Secrets To Drawing Realistic Faces Chp 5-10

Finished! Hooray!

Source Picture


I enjoyed following along with "Secrets To Drawing Realistic Faces" by Carrie Stewart Parks.

Chapter 5 - Shade
Carrie teaches us to use values to shade our self-portraits which really gives dimension to our drawing.

Chapter 6 - Drawing Eyes
This chapter and the remaining chapters refine what we already know adding additional tips and measurements. This chapter gave my eyes life and you should be able to see the difference. I did.

Chapter 7 - Drawing Noses
Again, some refinements to my nose created a more realistic nose,,,pug that it is :)

Chapter 8 - Drawing Lips and Teeth
More expounding on lips and teeth to make a more realistic portrait.

Chapter 9 - Drawing The Head
Explains the difference between adult and child heads and between male and female heads. Much good info here.

Chapter 10 - Drawing Hair
Good chapter, discusses hair types, shades and highlights.

All in all this is the best book I have read on portraits. I learned a lot and I think the difference between my before picture and my after picture is astounding. I will be looking for more books by this author. Thank you Carrie!

My apologies to anyone who picked up my post with Babylon information embedded in the text. I think I inadvertently caused this and have since removed the offending code.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Secrets To Drawing Realistic Faces Chp. 4

Continuing with my self-portrait I've completed Chapter 4 in "Secrets To Drawing Realistic Faces" by Carrie Stewart Parks.

Chapter 4 - Shape
Carrie teaches us the elements of "Shape" by training our minds. There are quite a few very useful items in this chapter and here is where my drawing starting coming alive.

I apologize for not posting sooner but throughout this entire month my internet provider has been down more than it has been up as they have been replacing cable and repairing as they go.....

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Secrets To Drawing Realistic Faces Ch. 1-3

Here is my self-portrait line drawing after finishing chapters 1-3 in "Secrets To Drawing Realistic Faces" by Carrie Stewart Parks.

Chapter 1 - Materials and Supplies
Carrie discusses various materials and supplies, but basically all you really need is pencil, paper and a BIG eraser!

Chapter 2 - The Problem
This chapter is most interesting as the author discusses perceptions and memorized facial patterns. These memorized patterns get in the way of really seeing what you are drawing. Additionally there are before and after student portraits. One of the students is 7 years old and her work is amazing!

Chapter 3 - Site
Here we start getting into the meat of the book. Carrie shows us several methods to use to help get the right proportions. Very useful chapter.

I am enjoying this book and really believe that it will help me become a better artist.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Finally! It was a struggle but I have completed my "before" picture so I can follow along with the art lessons in the book "Secrets To Drawing Realistic Faces" . It was a struggle and doesn't even look like the photo, I guess I fudged a little and took some weight off. hehe. As you can see I need a LOT of help.

Thank you dear DebiCates for taking the photo of me :)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Secrets To Drawing Realistic Faces

OK, OK...I get the message. Here is my post finally :)

Right now I'm reading Secrets To Drawing Realistic Faces. I would recommend this book to anyone learning to draw. It is written by professional forensic artist Carrie Stuart Parks and so comes with a more technical approach to drawing. It is very easy to understand and I think I can actually do this. I will be drawing my "before" self portrait and posting it soon so you can help me compare the "before" and "after" pictures and see if her method has helped. Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Recycling is a worthy activity for young and old these days. But reusing is always the real challenge. I am on the lookout for new ideas for reusing old materials and when I found Jan Pinney's Art See Blog I just had to share. The clock is made from cardboard and the flowers from pop bottles. Be sure to check out January's archive where a mannequin leg is all decked out. Check it out.

P.S. Hello to all and I am back!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

In The Middle of Things

Here I am in the middle of things. Notice that the inset picture is of my "feather" duster, that may give you a hint of where I am. But the feather duster is only the tip of the iceberg, there is a lot of mop, broom, bucket, and plain old elbow grease below the water line. I am getting into the Zen of it now and actually enjoying it. I'll be working outside after this and so will probably have this hiatus from my blog for awhile. But don't give up on me, please, because I will continue commenting and occasionally posting. Be back soon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Book Meme Let's Play

Oh fun, it is called The Book Meme and it goes as follows:
Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!)
Find Page 123.
Find the first 5 sentences.
Post the next 3 sentences.
Tag 5 people.

The Mapmaker's Opera By Bea Gonzalez

'And because he is no good at small talk, has never bothered to learn the rules that govern high society, does not know how to engage this man on his own turf, Nelson jumps in now and begins to laud the area's birds - the motmots, the ibises, the hummingbirds, the owls and the terns. "So many precious birds," Nelson says. "Do your people know how truly lucky they are to live under this extraordinary piece of the sky?"
Don Victor nods in reply. Though he has only a passing interest in the area's birds himself, he is most pleased at a foreigner traveling from so far to admire the beauty of his region of the earth.'

I tag Debi Cates Photo A Day, Sue of Sacred Circle Mandalas, Barb of Life In The Sunshine, Enzie of World Market Portraits, and D.C. Confidential. Let's play!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sign / Post 2 Things Challenge

I pray that a SIGN will be sent from God for all people to see and that He will POST a message of peace on the heart of man. Just imagine no more war, no more terror, no more maiming, no more killing, no more torture. No more. Imagine.

This is my 2 things challenge entry for this week.

Software was Photoshop CS3. Images were purchased from ($4).

I used a quickmask and eraser on the background of the doves to isolate them, then pasted them into my work image and added the clouds layer. I added a layer mask [layer, add layer mask] and brought the doves forth from the previous layer. I used [image,apply image] to get the eye blended into the previous layers. I felt finished so I stopped here :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Name The Painting and Win a Prize

I've been following Enzie Shahmiri's blog for awhile now as she posts paintings by Orientalists and I like them. I've learned quite a lot from the daily posts and have enjoyed seeing the works by various artists of days gone by. She is an accomplished artist herself and has been working on a painting of the above photograph she staged and took of world renowned belly dancer, Tiffany Bisconer, and is looking for a name for it. All you have to do is name her painting and you will win. Here is what Enzie says:

This will be an interactive project and I will give a drawing of one of the objects in the painting to the person who can come up with a cool title for this painting. So as you visit and see the developments, start thinking of some titles. All you have to do is leave me a comment on any post that says "Tiffany". When the painting is completed the person whose name suggestion I will choose, will receive the drawing. If several people should suggest the same name, I will have my son draw a name and announce the winner. Good luck!

Come on friends, lets get this painting named!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Good Earth - Books II #1 or #2?

I've republished the old image and added a new image based on your expert advice. So now, I'm asking you, please, compare the two and tell me which you like best and why. Your feedback is so valuable to me and I appreciate every word.

I want to thank Sue of Sacred Circle Mandalas for giving the "you make my day" award to me. She makes my day too, every time I see one of her beautiful mandalas. Plus, she is just a very kind and giving person who is fun to know and is the best teacher via her photoshop tutorials. The latest is about patterns in CS3 so check it out here. I'll be passing this award on soon.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Good Earth - Books II

The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck is one of my favorite books and I hope part of a new "series" of collages about books. I read this book when my granddaughter, Antigone sent it to me in the mail a couple of years ago. My mother had a copy of this book on her bookshelf, but I did not read it back then. So it was nice circle completed when Antigone sent it to me. Since I love this book so much it is strange to me that I struggled so much representing it. I've had it in my folder for quite awhile debating whether to publish or not. Please leave your comments and critiques especially because I really want you to let me have it. lol!

Wang Lung decides to marry and although poor he is able to buy a good wife, O-Lan. He is a hard working farmer who spends his days in the field with O-Lan by his side. Together they work the land and bring forth three children. Wang Lung is eventually able to rent some land from a rich landowner and improve his condition. Dought occurs and he looses all he has gained. With his family starving he sells all that he owns except the land and flees to the south where he finds work pulling a rickshaw but it does not provide enough for them to live so the children must be put to begging.

It is a very strained and turbulent political time in the city and Wang is afraid he will be conscripted into the Army. He works only at night to avoid induction. A riot occurs and the peasants break into a wealthy family's palace. Wang Lung is drawn into the crush and finds himself face to face with the rich man who unable to flee and is begging for his life. He offers gold in lieu of his life. Wang Lung uses this gold to return his family back north to the land.

Wang Lung is able to improve his farm, build a new home and live comfortably. His wealth is now tied to the harvests from the good earth. He becomes respected and prosperous and decides to purchase the house of Hwang where the wealthy owners have succumbed to vice and addiction. He takes from O-Lan the jewels she looted from the palace in the south and with them he purchases the house of Hwang and all their lands.

If you want to know more you will just have to read this wonderful classic by Pearl S. Buck. he he

Deconstruction: All using Adobe Photoshop
Photo, letter, man plowing and bookcover were all vintage. Desk, typewriter, landscape from ($4). There were many layers, but it finished out with 12. I think I used every feature I know on Adobe Photoshop to attain this result!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Flying Over The Great Wall of China Dream

When I fell asleep a couple of weeks ago I wished I would dream of visiting the Great Wall of China. And I did! I dreamed of walking along the great wall and becoming very weary. As I looked over the landscape I saw that the wall was changing into a painting. Suddenly it occurred to me to lift my heels and fly. As I flew up there were billows of silks, all colors and all patterns, almost like clouds themselves. I could look down and see the Great Wall and view it as a landscape painting. As I flew along I could feel the silk brushing my skin and I could hear it flapping against the wind. It was a wonderful dream and the best part was that my deliberate attempts to lucid dream worked, and wow how it worked! I have never dreamed of flying in my life and now I can't wait to fly again. Now, I'll be really, really interested to hear what you make of my dream.

While I am posting I want to share a blog I recently discovered that I absolutely love: The Orientalist Gallery where Enzie Shamiri features an Oriental painting every day. She is an accomplished artist and Orientalist herself, so be sure to check out her paintings too.

All using Adobe Photoshop. The woman, the "silk" all came from ($2), the Great Wall of China came from via mayflower search. There were 3 layers counting the background and a layer mask between the great wall image and the silk image. I used [filter,artistic,dry brush] on all layers. I also tuned the color via [image,adjust,curves] thank you Diane and Sue!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Mambo Kings Play Songs Of Love - Books I

This week's subject for the 2 things challenge was foot/loose and I chose to represent "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" as my entry since there are plenty of loose foots in it. When I was a girl my sister and I learned the tango, samba, and mambo from friends of my mothers. We danced and danced around our living room and really put out hearts into learning it. I can never hear Latin music without thinking of these times. I enjoyed this book a few years ago and thought that it captured the essence of early '50s love of Cuban music. Here's the lyrics to a song that I liked.
Papa Loves Mambo
Papa loves mambo!
Mamma loves mambo!
Look at ‘em sway with it,
Gettin’ so gay with it,
Shoutin’ Olé with it, Wow!
Papa loves mambo! ( Papa loves mambo! )
Mamma loves mambo! ( Mamma loves mambo! )
Papa does great with it,
Swings like a gate with it,
He loses weight with it, Now!
He goes to, she goes fro,
He goes fast, she goes slow,
He goes left, an’ she goes right!
Papa’s lookin’ for Mamma,
But Mamma is nowhere in sight!
Papa loves mambo!
Mamma loves mambo!
Havin’ their fling again,
Younger than spring again,
Feelin’ that zing again, Wow!
Papa loves mambo! ( Papa loves mambo! )
Mamma loves mambo! ( Mamma loves mambo! )
Don’t play the rumba an’ don’t play the samba,
‘Cause Papa loves mambo, tonight!
Papa loves mambo!
Mamma loves mambo!
Papa loves mambo!
Mamma loves mambo!
He goes to, she goes fro',
He goes fast, she goes slow,
He goes left, an’ she goes right!
Papa’s lookin’ for Mamma,
But Mamma is nowhere in sight!
Papa loves mambo! ( Papa loves mambo! )
Mamma loves mambo! ( Mamma loves mambo! )
Havin’ their fling again,
Younger than spring again,
Feelin’ that zing again, Wow!
( Papa loves mambo! ) Mambo Papa!
( Mamma loves mambo! ) Mambo Mamma!
Don’t play the rumba an’ don’t play the samba,
‘Cause Papa! Papa mambo, tonight!

Dancers and footprints (from Seattle Broadway street photo) from using mayflower search
Used [image,apply image] to merge the dancers and footprints together, then pasted the book image into a layer. I liked what I saw and so I stopped.

Do you think more layers would make a better result?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Love Tokens

We think of these peanuts as plain, while Scarlet Macaws think of them as love tokens. This is my entry for the 2 things challenge this week and I had great fun doing it since I love animals and who wouldn't love these gorgeous birds?

Photo of Macaws and peanut from Three layers only this time, counting the background layer. I used [filter, artistic, watercolor] on the birds, then [filter,texture,load texture] for the peanut image in the background of the birds and [filter,render,lighting effects] to give the texture some dimension. Lastly I used [filer,texture,stained glass] to create the netting design on the border so it was all photoshop magic this time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fragmented Apple

Here is my entry for the photoshop challenge that Rima at Marazine blog devised. It was a fun and absorbing time. Her sister Neda at Papiers Collés set the standard with her "Paris Crunch/Merci Mr. Gruau" and so I was really challenged.

I cut the apple in half, then pasted 3 copies which I rotated randomly. I used [filter,stylize,emboss] to create the blocks, then used [image,apply image] to the new image and applied the same image to itself. I felt the slices needed something to define them and so after a few experiments I used [filter,distort,pinch] and got some dimension at last. I fiddled with the [image,adust,brightness/contrast] trying to get a satisfactory (to me) contrast between the layers. It still looked a little bland so I used the paint bucket tool to fill in the background with black, then used equalize on the fragmented slices.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Home and Health

When I saw the latest 2 things challenge I knew I had to participate because above all I love my humble home. It is the place where my spirit is renewed and the place where I can be me and even jump for joy whenever I see a butterfly.

I'd love to hear your comments and critiques, so please take the time to write as it will be so appreciated.

Deconstruction: The house is one of my photos, as are a couple of the butterflies. The woman and the peacock came from ($2). The remaining butterflies came from Wikimedia Commons using mayflower search. There are were an incredible number of layers (29); most for butterflies but some to correct some distracting areas. It finished out at 18 layers. One filter, dry brush, was used on the house layer to soften it. Lighting effects were used on most of the objects to brighten them.