Category Archives: Art Prints

Official First Day of Fall

Fall has always been my favorite season and with today marking the official first day, I thought I would honor it with a very “Fall” picture.

I took this shot a few years ago in Issaquah, Washington. I was doing a photoshoot of the fall colors as the trees were at their peak in and around this area. The fall foliage irony here is that the foothills and mountains in this area are covered in evergreen trees, so they are very green all year regardless of the season. The only fall colors are all of the deciduous trees that have been planted throughout the years in the towns and cities. That’s not to say that there isn’t spectacular fall foliage, it’s just not in the surrounding mountains, only in the established cities. Be that as it may, the amount of trees turning vidid yellows and red are everywhere throughout the metropolitan area of Seattle.

I was done with my photoshoot, when I drove by this scene. Believe it or not, this wasn’t in a large park or along a hiking trail. This setting was literally along a major boulevard in Issaquah that had a nice pedestrian walkway winding along the boulevard with trees, grass and occasional areas to sit.  I caught it out of the corner of my eye and thought about it as I continued to drive on down the road. A little voice had me turn around, find parking at a nearby shopping center and walk back to this bench to capture this shot.

Thoughts?

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More Hot Air Balloons in an Abstract Watercolor Look

I have featured hot air balloons from my gallery here a number of times using actual photography and various digital painting styles. Today I wanted to feature three I created using a soft abstract watercolor technique and then going back in and drawing lines to create the shapes of the balloons.

Not shy with color, I love the end result! Thoughts?

Side Notes:

  1. Those of you that follow my blog, I had mentioned that I would be off all of August after having total knee replacement surgery August 8th. Recovery and Physical Therapy has been going well. It’s a long and steady process over a number of months, but I am up and around…walking without assistance (no walker or cane). End of last week I was cleared to start driving (bummer…I was liking being chauffeured around by my wife). So, bottom line getting back in the swing of things!!

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Colorado High Country – Just West of The Continental Divide by Lake Dillon

Last week my wife and I were in Colorado. I thought that over the next few weeks I would share some of the captures I acquired while we were there. This week I wanted to share pictures in the Lake Dillon area (officially called Dillon Reservoir, but I have always referred to it as Lake Dillon).

We were actually there to support our daughter by taking care of our granddaughter during the day for mom. Our daughter is in charge of shooting a pilot show with her filming crew for their production company. Most of the filming was in and around an old historic mining town and it entailed long days for them. She and her husband had just gotten back from Europe and didn’t want another week of missing her daughter. We gladly said we’d be more than happy to help out and it gave us the opportunity to show our granddaughter our old stomping grounds. We moved from the Denver area 30 years ago this fall to San Diego, so we welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in an area we love.

I’m going to share captures in the order of our trip with this being the first area followed by a group of captures from the top of Loveland Pass ending with downtown Denver.

Denver sits on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains with the city spreading north and south along the front range. Interstate 70 runs through the city coming from the east (Kansas and beyond). Taking it west, you immediately start climbing in altitude as you enter the extreme western suburbs. In the front range just west of Denver are a series of 14,000 ft peaks running north and south….this range is part of the continental divide for North America. As Interstate 70 winds its way through the foothills, it approaches the continental divide. Just under the continental divide is the Eisenhower Tunnel (approximately 1.5 miles/3km in length), bringing you out to a stunning valley on the western side where Lake Dillon is located. The area near Lake Dillon is also home to two major ski destinations…Keystone and the town of Breckinridge. So without further ado, I share 8 captures from this beautiful valley in the Colorado high country.

The place we stayed is up on a bluff with a spectacular view across the valley near the towns of Silverthorne and Dillon.

Lake Dillon Area 1

Lake Dillon Area 2

Lake Dillon Area 3

Interstate 70 is the line at the bottom of the cut in the rock heading west after leveling out in the valley coming down from the tunnel.

Lake Dillon Area 4

Lake Dillon Area 5

All of these shots were taken from the hotel property where we were staying. We really had a great panoramic view of the valley and all of the surrounding mountain ranges (a true 360 of mountains).

Lake Dillon Area 6

This is the boat dock area on the lake. On a side note the week we were in Colorado (early July) was a week of the infamous afternoon thunderstorms that are normal in the mountains and along the front range in Denver. You can see some of them building in the prior two captures and in the next one.

Lake Dillon Area 7

Lake Dillon Area 8

The lake captures were taken on our way back towards Denver taking the highway up to Loveland Pass over the continental divide instead of taking the tunnel back under it. I’m sharing a shoot I did on top of the pass next week.

I have to say our granddaughter was in awe with all of the snow capped mountains.

Thoughts?

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Simple Abstract Shapes with Bold Colors

Anyone following my blog, knows that I like abstract art and bold colors. Today I wanted to share three prints using simple shapes with bright bold colors. I think they speak for themselves…..

“Red Flame”

“Red Mountain”

“Blue Circle”

Thoughts?

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Heceda Head Lighthouse Sketched

One of my favorite lighthouses along the Oregon Coastline is the Heceda Head Lighthouse. From this perspective, you see the lighthouse out on the edge of a bluff and the caretakers house snuggled above a small beach. The caretakers house is closer to the Pacific Coast Highway, which follows this rugged coastline and presents this perfect view of the complex as you approach from the south.

In creating this print, I used a sketching technique with soft watercolors to present this as a casual look across a small harbor towards the complex.

Heceda Head Lighthouse Complex

This second print focuses on the lighthouse itself. Again, I used the same sketching technique creating this casual look.

Heceda Head Lighthouse Sketched

Thoughts?

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Welcome Summer

With the official start of summer today, what would be more appropriate than flowers from a summer garden? The two attached shots are from a beautiful flower garden located on the grounds of the Sharlot Hall Museum located in Prescott, Arizona. Welcome Summer!!!

Thoughts?

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Full Moon Rising – Behind The Scenes Layer by Layer

I have been working on a series of art prints creating abstract sunsets, sunrises and the one I’m featuring today is a full moon rising. The series is a simplistic abstract approach to these subjects.

One of the features in Photoshop I use with creating these prints is layering. I create just portions of the entire subject on each layer and then “lay” them on top of each other for the final look. Todays blog takes you through each step as I layer what totals out to be 8 layers to create “Full Moon Rising”. Full Moon Rising shows the rising moon coming up over a mountain range and is reflected in a mountain lake.

The base layer is called the background layer and is totally white. So starting with the “1st” layer on top of the base, I am creating the sky using a blue tone that I created by drawing a large rectangle filling the top half of the print and filling it with blue. I then used a gradient tool that filters the blue going light to dark (or visa versa) from the horizon line to the top of the page.

Layer 1 Blue with gradient tool

Layer 2 is adding the same rectangle and reversing the gradient tool filling the bottom half of the piece.

Layer 2 reversing the top layer for the bottom half.

Layer 3 is the addition of white stars on the bottom half. The stars are drawn on a “blank” layer and by adding it next over the the previous layer all that shows are the stars.

Layer 3 adding stars to the bottom half

Layer 4 is the addition of the rising moon as a full circle of color. Again, the layer is “blank’ with the exception of the round moon, so when it is layered on top of all the other layers…all that shows is the addition of the yellow circle.

Layer 4 adds the rising moon as a full circle of yellow.

Layer 5 adds an identical circle below the first one to prepare for the reflection in the mountain lake.

Layer 5 adds another yellow circle below the first one.

Layer 6 adds the mountain range as a black silhouette across the top starting with the horizon line. The mountain range was inspired by the view we had from our house in Arizona of the Estrella Mountains using the same cragginess and various peaks of that range.

Layer 6 adds the mountain range

Layer 7 duplicates the mountain range upside down to continue the look of a reflection in a mountain lake.

Layer 7 adds an upside down mountain range.

Layer 8 completes the print with the addition of stars into the nighttime sky.

Layer 8 adding nighttime stars into the sky to complete the print.

End result – Full Moon Rising – a simplistic abstract look!

Thoughts?

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