Photo Art : Altered Imagery Workshop

Learn a wide variety of techniques and programs to transform your photographs into unique art that you’re proud of, that you can print and frame — for yourself, for gifts, or to sell.

Blue girl rose kaleidescope

Blue girl rose kaleidoscope

If you’re ready to take the next steps with your photos, to stretch your creativity and artistic imagination, I’ve got just the workshop for you. We’ll explore how to enhance your original photos to achieve unique and artistic effects using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Elements is a very powerful, but affordable, image processing program.  The techniques that I teach can also be accomplished with other programs, and we’ll discuss them as well, including GIMP, a free image processing program.

Blending modes

Blending modes

Space is limited, and we’ll work on your images at the workshop, so pre-registration is required. For more information or to pre-register, email me at heidirand@gmail.com. If you can’t make the workshop, email me for other options, including private classes, books, and ebooks.  And here’s a list of my other art and craft workshops.

Sunday May 26th from noon to 3:30 pm at The Village Shops and Galleries, 10330 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito (between Eureka and Stockton, free on-street parking). The cost is $50.

Barn owl pocket watch collage

Barn owl pocket watch collage

 

Photo Art : Altered Imagery Workshop

Do you have folders-full of photos stashed on your computer that are okay, but that you dream of transforming into unique art that you’re proud of, that you can print and frame — for yourself, for gifts, or to sell?

Odontoglossum orchid

Odontoglossum orchid

Ready to take the next steps with your photos, to stretch your creativity and artistic imagination?  I’ve got just the workshop for you! On Saturday July 14th from 11 am to 2:30 pm at Joan Landis’s Pinole Art Studio I will teach you how to transform your photos into works of art with image processing software and techniques.

Digital collage, Monarch and Woods

Digital collage, Monarch and Woods

We’ll explore how to enhance your original photos to achieve unique and artistic effects using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Elements is a very powerful, but affordable, image processing program.  The techniques that I teach can also be accomplished with other programs, and we’ll discuss them as well, including GIMP, a free image processing program.

Kaleidoscope creation

Kaleidoscope creation

Space is limited, and we’ll work on your images at the workshop, so pre-registration is required.  For more information, or to pre-register, email me at heidirand@gmail.com.  The cost is $50. If you can’t make the workshop, email me for other options, including private classes, books, and ebooks.  And here’s a list of my other art and craft workshops.

Peacock feather kaleidoscope

Peacock feather kaleidoscope

First Annual Pinole Artisan Plein Air Paint Out

It was a wonderful day to paint outside. A bit hot, but the well-prepared plein-airian has an umbrella or paints in the shade. We met at the Pinole Art Center at 10 and dispersed to various scenic spots around Pinole to paint (or do other media) for 3 hours.

Pinole Artisans Plein Air Paint Out

I was the only non-painter. I brought my camera to shoot outside, and then scooted back to the Art Center to upload the photos and work on a blended collage in Photoshop. I was ecstatic to get a photograph of an amazing blue dragonfly. George found it in our dragonfly guide book – it’s a Blue-eyed Darner (Aeshna multicolor).

Dragonfly

I ended up using one of the dragonfly photos as the main focus of my collage (I’ll show you that later). At 1 p.m. we met back up at Peet’s for a gentle critique session and peer awards. All of the art was wonderful. First prize went to Semion Mirkin. Semion has an incredible view from the windows of his home, so he drove back there and painted inside to escape the heat. Semion amazed us all by doing 2 paintings. This was the first prize winner:

Second prize went to Frances (Penny) Bledsoe, for her wonderful painting of some daisies.

Georgette captured the third place ribbon for her watercolor, which – amazingly -is the first watercolor she has ever done!

Carolyn Hess organized the Paint Out. She’s a devoted plein air painter, who faithfully goes out with other members of the Pinole Artisans to do plein air painting every Tuesday. This is her watercolor of a tree near Fernandez Park.

This was the blended collage I made, using a photograph of the dragonfly and elements of two photos I took of ducks flying over the creek.

Dragonfly collage

You can see the rest of the wonderful paintings at this link on my Facebook page.

The Pinole Artisans meet on the first Friday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Pinole United Methodist Church, 2000 San Pablo Ave. All are welcome. The Pinole Art Center is at 2221 Pear Street. Our shows rotate about every two months and we have a wide range of local artists’ work, including fine art, photograph, jewelry, textile and fiber art, sculpture, soap and candles, and much more! We’re open from 11 to 4, Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, see the Pinole Artisan website.

Wisteria hysteria

How many times in this blog have I told you that x, y, or z is my favorite flower or plant? Well, right now – my very favorite flower in the world is wisteria (that’s the ‘w’). And in our little town, the wisteria is bloomin’!

Wisteria

George and I drive around the city, imperiling ourselves and others when we see a dramatic wisteria vine cascading over a fence or adorning a front wall – we point and shout:”Wisteria! Over there!!” The south end of town must get more sunlight, because theirs are going great guns. The one over our front door isn’t blooming at all yet, but the picture above is of the one in our back garden. I took that photo last Monday. Here’s what it looked like on Friday:

Wisteria

This is a close-up of a few of the buds:

Wisteria

I made a blended collage using the image above, duplicated and altered digitally:

Wisteria blendAre you a wisteria hysteric, like me? Any blooming in your neck of the woods yet?

Digital collage on art board

How were the holidays for you? I had two 4-day weekends, bliss!  Between the nature walks that my husband and I took, a couple of holiday parties, and a lot of cleaning-up of my workspace, I only managed to get a bit of artwork done. While organizing my towering piles of craft books I unearthed an 8×10″ gessoed wooden art board and decided to transfer one of my digital collages onto it.

I had designed the collage a few weeks ago.  I started with a photo of a fallen tree with insect trails etched into it. I took the photograph on Albany Hill, a small local hill where monarch butterflies overwinter.  We went in November to see whether any monarchs were there. We only saw a few, sadly — we had seen many more there in previous years.

This is the photograph of the tree:

Fallen log

Fallen log

I blended the photo of the tree with a photograph of a fern that I took during a walk we took in Muir Woods.

Fern

Fern

In blending the photographs, I worked to make the colors vivid, and kept the fern image subtle so you only see a tracing of it.

Fallen tree fern collage

Fallen tree fern collage

I liked the collage, but put it aside and hadn’t decided what to do with it. When I pulled out the art board, I thought it might work well.  Before printing it though, I had an idea. There are a number of designs I have produced from elements of my photographs with a great kaleidoscoping program called Kaleider. I mostly use them for my Garden Design Fabrics that I sew into fabric vases, purses, light switch plates, etc.  I generally don’t use them in my mixed media artwork or digital collages, but I wanted to see if blending one of them with this collage might work.  I found one of the designs that had strong simple lines. Coincidentally, the one I chose to try first was a design that I made from a photograph I took on the same walk we took on Albany Hill, of another fallen log.

This is the kaleidoscoped version of elements of that photograph:

Log albany hill kaleidoscope

Log Albany Hill kaleidoscope

I very much liked the effect when I blended them!

Fallen tree fern collage with Albany Hill log

Fallen tree fern collage with Albany Hill log

Okay, enough explanation about how the blended collage came into being (people often ask me how I make my designs and it’s hard to explain without showing the originals, so I wanted to go into some detail here where I could show them).  On to my process for the transfer to the board. I’ve written much about using transfer artist paper (TAP), a polymer paper that I’ve had very good results with transferring onto several different surfaces.  This would be the first time I’ve tried to transfer onto a gessoed wood board. I printed the collage onto the TAP using the recommended settings: plain paper and medium quality. I printed it on the Epson Workforce 500, which I use for the workshops I teach. The durabrite ultra inks are pigment and have worked well with the TAP.  I forgot the first lesson of printing a transfer: REVERSE the image. Oops, but the collage is abstract so it didn’t really matter.  I placed the TAP on the wood board and began to iron it, using the iron’s highest setting. I could hear the transfer hissing a little, which I’ve come to learn means that it’s working. I peeled up a bit of the TAP and checked, and was delighted to see that the transfer was indeed transferring.  After a few more passes of the iron, the entire transfer had completed.  As with my other TAP pieces, there’s a very pleasing texture caused by the polymer.  To protect the print, I applied two layers of varnish and then went searching for a frame.  I unearthed an old wooden frame of exactly the right size that I had found at an estate sale. I think it complemented the collaged board beautifully! Here it is, see what you think:

Albany Hill digital collage

Albany Hill digital collage