The attached prints are of a cabin in the woods near North Bend, Washington. North Bend is nestled in a valley of the Cascade Mountain Range east of Seattle. I found this scene when I was hiking along the river that runs through the valley. I immediately saw it as a sepia print. I used a sepia tone finish on the photograph for that old rustic look. The sepia brown tones originated with film photography as part of the process to develop the prints in the 1800’s. Today, we can recreate that same vintage look digitally. And speaking of digitally, I added the red color on both prints to create an accent point in both pictures.
Thoughts? As I have said before, everyone reacts to visual art techniques and looks differently, so I am not in the least offended by opinions.
As a follow up to a post I did on January 4, 2015, I am celebrating my all time top selling print which is the Griffith Park Observatory with downtown Los Angeles in the background. On the original post, I was asking for input (Griffith Park Observatory in Black and White) on which prints were favored so I could narrow it down to a few to post in my art gallery. I featured six captures I had narrowed down from a series of them. The three captures I ended up posting in my gallery were #1, #4 & #6 now known as Griffith Observatory and Downtown Los Angeles, Open For The Telescope and Observatory In Art Deco. I thought it would be interesting to see what the vote was from the original post. Number 1 received the most votes with #4 coming in second. #6 didn’t receive votes, but it struck me as a nice compliment to the other two to finish out the series. All in all, all three of the ones I picked have done well, but #1 has blown the roof off.
This week I’m featuring four art prints of orchid blooms that I have created using totally different styles. I like each and everyone, but for entirely different reasons. I’m curious for feedback regarding your impressions.
The first one I created using a very shape defined approach as it relates to shape and outlines.
The second one I created using a sketching technique.
For the third one, I used a technique where the watercolor is brushed like puffy clouds and then the drawn blooms are used as an overlay.
The fourth and final one, I created using a pastel chalk technique.
I wanted to share five of the art prints I created from my tulip photoshoot in April. I used a soft watercolor technique on all five prints. I certainly had a number of shots to work with and I narrowed those down to ten. After working with all ten and satisfied with what I had created, I saved them and didn’t revisit them until the end of last week. I spend so much time with each print making numerous changes, etc until I feel like I have a completed piece of art. I found over the years that by “sitting” on them for a week or two, I can view them with a lot less bias and narrow that group down to what I like the most. I go through the narrowing process a few times until I don’t see the need anymore. Having said all that, following are the final five:
(on a personal note: our third grandchild entered the world this last week. He is our second grandson and arrived on the projected birth date….go figure. All are doing well!!)
I periodically go through my files of pictures I have taken over the years to surface anything I have missed or if something grabs my attention now that didn’t at the time I took it. In that process I re-discovered a number of captures from a trip to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon we took in 2020. The attached photos had been surfaced by me and I had started to crop the original shots, but didn’t finish the process. With all of the trips we have taken between Southern California and the Seattle area over the years, most were flights due to time constraints. Having said that we would do road trips periodically up and down the west coast to see new sites, etc. At that time we were not comfortable flying due to Covid and realized we hadn’t visited Crater Lake National Park, so made that a stop along with some other points in eastern Oregon. For overall information on this National Park click: here!
Crater Lake is a collapsed volcano that has filled with water. Known for its deep blue waters, it is the deepest lake in the United States and one of the top ten in depth across the world.
The first capture gives you a feel for the beauty of the lake with what is called Wizard Island in the background.
This next shot is from the other side of the lake from the first shot by Wizard Island. It gives you a closer look at the island and also shows you just how large the lake filled crater is.
The third and fourth captures depict a different structure in the lake called Phantom Ship due to the shape of the small island. I like both the horizontal shot and the vertical one…same subject just different framing.
In keeping with floral pictures like last week, I thought I would share a process I often go through to arrive at a print that I like and looks good. Sometimes the final product is the original capture and in cases like this post it’s the starting point to create something better. Having said that, the following pictures start with the original photographic capture and the resulting two art prints created from that.
Back up 10 years ago right after I had upgraded my 35mm camera. I was getting use to all the options it offered and made a number of experimentation shots I usually don’t share. This is one of them. I was working on the macro focus, lighting, exposure and as always framing the subject. I took a series of shots of an orchid plant we had on our patio. This was just a few in a series of shots I did that day and didn’t really have a chance to look at all of them until later. Of all the shots of the blooms from this plant, attached was one that I liked only because of the framing of the macro shot. My next step was to take the file into my digital art programs and start working on changing the look of the capture into something I liked.
I worked through the various options I had to create a change in the appearance. I kept with the actual framing of the original, but started working on the lighting and coloring to create a more interesting art print. I softened it with just a slight touch of a watercolor presentation.
I then decided to create more of a soft watercolor look and that is the next one.
I liked them for different reasons and decided to keep both in my gallery. As a side note it was six shots of that particular plant that day that led to one capture I wanted to work with.
I hope everyone has had a warm and loving holiday season. I hope the year past was full of love from friends and family. I take this time of year to reflect on the past and to look forward with the new year upon us. I reflect on those moments that inspired my heart and yes those moments that caused pain. What can I learn from that pain and how to turn it into one of those inspiring moments. To celebrate the beginning of 2022, I have attached three art prints of flowers with a verse that says so much to me.
This week I am sharing a series of new prints I created of butterflies. The process for these prints started a couple of weeks ago when out of the blue I remembered a couple of photos I took of butterflies over a year ago. Not sure where that came from, but I dug out the photos. They really weren’t much to work with as I only took them to remind me to pursue butterflies as a possible subject. It only took that long for that particular process to work for me…duh!! Anyway, I took the subject matter and started drawing butterflies. Still not sure what I was going to do, I kept after the drawings and finally was able to complete a look I liked. To pop the color, I used a photoshop technique to make the butterflies colors take on a texture. After trying to recreate more butterflies, I simply copied the one drawing I liked the best…resized it as needed and pivoted them in different directions. I then started playing with colors as I wasn’t sure what the final color was going to be. This led to more experimentation and various colors. To finish the look I was after, I chose a soft background in similar shades to the butterflies. In Photoshop one of the brushes paints in leaf shapes, so I used that in the various colors and sizes. I then lowered the opacity to soften it as a back drop. The final result was five different colored butterflies on five different prints and then one print combining all five.
Using an abstract watercolor I created of a saguaro cactus in the Arizona Desert as a background, I felt like this motivational thought was the perfect fit. I believe He has chosen a path for each of us to walk. Often times in life, we find ourselves off that path and somewhat lost in where to go or what direction to take. Our guide is always there just waiting for us to take His hand and He will guide us not only back to the path, but keep us on the path.
I usually think of a forest path to best typify this thought process, but living a few years in the desert and being a fan of hiking….just as true there as anywhere else…it’s important to stay on the path….snakes, scorpions, etc.
Love conquers all is a saying I am guilty of using quite a bit. It says so much and has come out of my mouth in many tough interpersonal situations. If you would ask my girls what is Dad infamous for always saying, they would come back with “Take the high road…..love conquers all.” I firmly believe if you have love at the core of what you are doing or saying, it does ultimately conquer all obstacles. It came full circle to me with one of my daughters recently when we were having a discussion about a situation I was dealing with and out of her mouth came: “Take the high road, love conquers all! You used that expression over and over again with us girls in these types of situations and that would be my recommendation to you in this case”.
I took her advice in that particular situation and it got me to thinking about creating some art prints capturing the essence of that expression. I ended up using three of my art prints with that saying as an overlay.
The first one is a color photograph of a peaceful and serene pond in Butchart Gardens located just outside of Victoria, British Columbia.
In the second one I used a soft watercolor of Hidden Lake located just outside of Whistler, British Columbia, again going for the peaceful and serene look.
With the third one I wanted to use something that included people, especially multiple people or a crowd of people. Keeping with a “soft look”, I chose a watercolor I created of a crowd of people inspired by a scene I saw in Seattle, Washington ahead of a major sports event.