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Wolf dreams of a meadow

Hi art friends.

I’m putting all the effort into photo manipulation because I am working on a project that merges my photography, mixed media art, and dolls to tell a cyberpunk illustrated story. Today’s post doesn’t have a direct connection to the story. It’s just a way to merge all my artwork into one image.  Also, I’ve been trying to find a use for the photo of the meadow at Lion Rock.  I’ve got at least 2 versions of this photo and haven’t been happy with the outcome until this image.

For “Wolf dreams of a meadow,” I used 2 mixed media paintings, the meadow photo, and the photo of Wolf.

It took a rather long time to edit the doll layer mask with to clear the background. I love the look of fur wigs, which Wolf is wearing, but it’s a pain to clean up with photos. I can see why SDink has a sprayer filled with water that she uses on her doll wigs before her photoshoots – the water tames the wigs and makes them easier to deal with, photographically.


I painted Wolf’s face; made his wig and sweater.

As for the story, it is mapped out. One set of costumes is designed and the fabric purchased. Wolf will be paired up with Lysander, my Soom Sabik, as one of the Voltaggio Brothers. Yeah, after the chefs. It’s sounds great and the story will have a lot of random references.

Happy arting!

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Gone to seed vers 3

Hi art friends,

Way back in March, I signed up for Sebastian Michael’s Photoshop Artistry Grunge class.  I’ve learned a ton of techniques, which you may have noticed in my weekly posts. I’ve had to translate his techniques from the Adobe products into Gimp and digiKam.  So far, I’ve been able to take nearly everything he’s taught and apply it in the programs I use.

By the time I got to this image, I’ve probably made 20 or so images.  This one is my favorite so far.  It includes photos of 3 of my mixed media paintings, my own handwriting, one of the images from the October 2016 road trip to Toppenish and Northeastern Oregon.  It incorporates just about every technique covered in the class so far: layer masks, layer options, painting out sections of the layer mask to reveal what’s underneath, and various photographic adjustments.


I like this image so much that I made it available in a variety of prints in my Society6 shop.

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Haystack at night

Hi art friends.

Four years ago, our friends Deborah and Brian invited to Deborah’s Cannon Beach family beach house for the weekend.  I love Cannon Beach and took a lot of photos. Ok, I always take a lot of photos.

This was the summer the starfish were dying of that terrible wasting disease.  The weather that weekend was gorgeous. The beach was pretty much barren of, well, pretty much everything.  No shells, no star fish, barely any seaweed. Very post-Apocalyptic.

Anywho, I forgot my tripod.  The night I took this, the sky was clear. As you can see from the photo, I did not get the shot. My hands shook during the very long exposure. I’ve been trying for years to get the adjustments on the photo just to see what I managed to capture. I have 2 photos and they both look black on screen. But I shoot raw and this is what I did.

Curves adjustment, white balance adjustment moonlight setting. The lights in the sky are stars.


I really wish I’d taken my tripod, a shuttle release cable and more skill with manual settings. This is a shot I’ll be trying to capture for the rest of my life. Yeah, it’s a terrible photo, but what’s there is so tantalizing to me. It is enough to trigger my memory of this beautiful night with good friends.


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Day for Night @ The Refuge

Hi ho, art friends.  Today is my last day of medial leave after my 2nd total knee replacement.  Twelve months of physical therapy and knowing more about the healing process means that I’m recovering much more quickly.  I’m using my cane less and less around the house, but I’m still moving quite slowly.  Let’s not even get started on dealing with walking amongst people who are glued to their cell phones and don’t watch where they’re going.

Anywho, as mentioned in previous posts, I’m working through Sebastian Michael’s Photoshop Artistry Grunge class.  About a month ago, he offered a deal to get the Awake class (the advanced version of PAG) in anticipation of a big price jump.

As you know, I’m an online art class junkie, so naturally, I signed up for it. I went through the Awake class intro. His recommendation was to get through Module 2 of PAG, which has 3 sections and a lot of videos. Module 2 is the meat of PAG and I’m learning a ton about photo manipulation and is the preparation for Awake.

I’m going to see how far I get today on Module 2. I’m hoping to get through it so I can dive into Awake.  I wanted to share a photo I’ve been working on.  It’s getting close to where I want it. Here is the original photo, taken at the Toppenish Wildlife Refuge.  It would have been a beautiful blue sky day but for the local brush fires. Shortly after this photo, mom and I went back to her place because one of the fires was near the Refuge.

The original photo. Not terribly interesting but I like the off-center perspective of the planks leading up to the gazebo.


Here is the first version, which I completed about halfway through Module 2 Section 2:


I used several textures provided with the class, various blend and opacity modes. I liked the dramatic “day for night” feel of it, but the foreground was too dark for my taste.

Dramatic-refuge-gazebo-PWL-v2_5541 I created a new version of the file, made a few tweaks to the existing layers and added 2 of what Sebastian calls “paint with light” layers: a 50% grey overlay layer and a paint with color layer, this one a yellow that I “painted around the greenery and windows of the gazebo.

It’s pretty close, but I have 3 videos remaining in Mod 2 Section 2.  I can’t wait to see the next version of this image.

What are you working on? Leave a comment and a link. I’d like to check out your latest project.

Happy creating!


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My latest obsession: junk journals

Hi ho art friends.

Almost 2 years ago, I took a class from Tangie Baxter called “As If By Magic” a short 4 lesson self-study class on making junk journals. I put the journal together from my stash of half-finished art works on water color paper and scrapbook paper.

For some reason, the class just didn’t grab me.  Tangie is a fine teacher but it just wasn’t time for me. So I set the journal aside and went to work on other projects.

About a month before my knee surgery, I got this hankering for junk journaling.  So I re-watched the class video and found the journal.  And it sat again…

Until I was recovering from knee surgery.  That’s when I found the new world of junk journaling: lots of shabby chic, vintage journals using digital printables. I watched lots of youtube videos but my favorite folks are Artymaze, Yvonne Preston and Patricia Viramontes.

Although it would take me 3 weeks post surgery to get to my studio, I enlisted the help of my better half to bring the basics of junk journal supplies down to the dining room table, where I set about to make, well, a bunch of junk journals.

To date, I have finished 4 journals and recorded flip throughs.  Here they are:

Junk Journal #1 Vintage style. Soft cover, 1 signature:

Junk Journal #2 My own style. Soft cover, 1 signature:

Junk Journal #3 Pseudo vintage style, using Artymaze kit (main & add-on) Back to Nature:

Junk Journal #4 My personal planner for the remainder of 2018:

Journals #1 and 4 are my personal journals for planning and general notes/goal setting.

Journals 2 and 3 were gifted to my mom. When I told her about my junk journal adventures, she said she had some stuff for me. She brought me all manner of fabrics, laces, yarns, and photo paper.

You can expect to see more junk journals in the future. It’s great to use up the materials in my stash!

Happy crafting!

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Foggy parking lot

Hi art friends.

Digging into the photo archives once again to continue my digiKam experiments. This is a photo from about 8 years ago. It was a cold, foggy night in our local Costco parking lot.

I made a curves adjustment, did a touch of blurring and added the X process filter, dialed down about halfway. The blurring from the light poles is untouched – that’s the effect of the fog on the light, which is what caught my eye and take the photo with my cell phone.

2013-12-17 00.03.53_v1

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Overlooking Union Gap

Hi art friends.

In August 2016, I made a road trip to Toppenish to visit mom. We made two road trips that weekend: to the Toppenish Wildlife Refuge and took an unmarked Yakama Nation dirt road from Toppenish to Union Gap.

That was a summer of several wild fires in the area: there was one at the Firing Center and another just outside of Toppenish.

This photo is one taken on the dirt road. The buildings in the distance are Union Gap.

Using digiKam, I made the following edits: curves adjustment, white balance/sun, instant filter and moss overlay.  I really like the moss overlay. It’s quite subtle.

The initial curves adjustment was made right after the Haystack Rock at night photo and it turned this daytime shot into a trippy nighttime shot, which I want to remember for the future.


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Hi art friends.

I’m digging into the archives for a photo of my Dollshe Husky, Lancaster. I painted Lanc’s face and made the vest.  The tee shirt, eye patch and wig were picked up at one of the local bjd conventions. The background is a ukiyo-E scarf I bought quite a long time ago. The size of the scarf made it a great backdrop for doll photos.

The digiKam photo experiments continue. This image had curves and color adjustments with a blue jean overlay.

2002-12-08 12.00.00-12_v1

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Still life with flowers

Hi art friends.

I have been scheduling my posts several weeks out as part of my on-going plan to make regular posts. I’m actually writing this post in late March when I’m in my full digital photo experimentation mode.

The reason I’m posting so far in advance is that May is going to be busy with SIFF and in June, I have my other knee replacement. It’s a bit of a mad dash to get the posts scheduled through the first month post surgery.  I’ll be on painkillers and won’t be online until I’m weaned off the drugs.

i’m digging into old photos and various artworks and re-imagining them with Gimp and digiKam.

Today’s image is a photo from several years ago. A dear friend was selling her condo/office that was decorated in a very cool 30s decor.

This vase of flowers was on the kitchen counter. I adjusted the curves, bumped the colors into the yellow range, used the X Process filter and an unsharpen mask. I love the mysterious reflections in the vase.