From Photoshop

Max-the-Cat Feline Hypnotist Portrait

Feline Hypnotist

Max-the-Cat commissioned a new portrait to commemorate his most recent achievement. He is now a Brown Velvet Belt Feline Hypnotist Extraordinaire. His penetrating gaze creates an unbreakable bond between cat-and-human, cat-and-other-cat, cat-and-insect, and cat-and-vacuum cleaner. He bends everything to his will, which serves him in the Hierarchy of Interests: Food, Most Comfortable Seat, Food, and Silence.

Olympic-level concentration

Using Olympic-level concentration, Max’s training regime included hours of focused staring, with eyes fixed on a tiny speck of dust. He applied astonishing attention, gazing at individual leaves on a now-bare tree. Did his constant attention cause the leaves to fall? That’s someone’s dissertation.

Perfecting the Ritual of Insistence

He applied his vision, perfecting the “Ritual of Insistence,” in which a cat sits on a sleeping human’s stomach, with his or her head as close as possible to the human’s face. Deep gazing (and sometimes other activities) compel the human to get out of bed and feed the cat. Inexperienced cats use kneading, slapping, nose-nipping, and projectile vomiting to wake the human. The Brown Velvet Belt Feline Hypnotist Extraordinaire uses the power of the mind.

 

Max-the-Cat Feline Hypnotist Extraordinaire
Max-the-Cat Feline Hypnotist Extraordinaire

Brown Velvet Level

Among those who care about these things, there was some consternation about naming the top-level belted Feline Hypnotist “Brown” instead of “blue” for “Blue Ribbon” or “Black” for “Black Belt.” The truth is that the organizers and perpetuators of this competition also own a fabric store. Some years ago someone made an astonishingly large incorrect order of non-returnable brown velvet. They have donated yards of it to theater companies for velvet tree trunks, supported brown velvet bunny artists, and they continue to look for new uses for this beautiful fabric.

How the portrait was made

Max posed. Susan Gainen photographed with her IPhone and transferred the photo to her desktop and into Photoshop. With some adjustments, including cutting his image from the background and adding a sponge layer, Max emerged triumphant.

Brown Owls in the Owl Pages

Thanks to Rob Wishart, some of my owls are on The Owl Pages, a very cool site with loads of owl photos and everything you could ever want to know about these beautiful and smart birds. Two of my favorite brown owls on that site are below.

Brown Owl from The Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul

When I started painting owls I wasn’t confident about getting their faces right. This brown owl waited patiently on my easel for about half a year while I worked on dozens of small owl faces. I’m glad that I practiced.

This Brown Owl is from The Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul, which I imagine and excavate from the comfort of my rat-and-bat-free living room studio.The “cave wall” is white gesso that I tint with watercolor. Applying (slathering) the gesso with an offset spatula gives the painting its texture.

 

Brown Owl from the Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul
Brown Owl from the Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul (print matted to 11×14 at ETSY)

 

Wise Brown Owl

The original owl for this image is very small and very blue. I scanned the image into Photoshop, and used both Posterize and Invert to make this velvety brown owl.

Wise Brown Owl
Wise Brown Owl (print matted to 11×14 at etsy)

 

Explore More Owl Art

  1. On products at zazzle
  2. Any of these images on other products at zazzle, on cards or prints. Let’s talk: 651.917.0219

30-paintings-in-30-days: first 16

Leslie Saeta challenged artists around the world to join her in a 30-paintings-in-30-days challenge. I am always up for a challenge. But for a glitch in my access to this blog, I would have posted these images daily.  This is catchup.

Each image starts with a drawing and a watercolor painting. After that the images go in many directions including being (1) scanned into Photoshop and manipulated, or  (2) slathered with acrylic mediums, cut out, and placed on real or digital backgrounds.

Click on the image to see it larger-than-a-thumbnail. They are all in a 30-paintings-in-30-days gallery at the small friends website. Click on the tag line under each image to take you to the small friends page that tells the story of each image, and welcomes you to purchase (or not, as not all are for sale), or to find that some of the images are on cool products at my zazzle store.

Now, back to the painting table.

Find the Owl 2015-16
Find the Owl 2015-16
Undercover Rooster 2015-15
Undercover Rooster 2015-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Boy Winston 2015-13
Golden Boy Winston 2015-13

French Steer Larry 2015-14

French Steer Larry 2015-14

Two Colorful Cats 2015-12
Two Colorful Cats 2015-12
Tin Roof Maroon Rooster 2015-11
Tin Roof Marsala Rooster 2015-11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stained Glass Rooster 2015-9
Green and Blue Stained Glass Rooster 2015-9
Night Rooster 2015-10
Night Rooster 2015-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rooster by Committee 2015-8
Rooster by Committee 2015-8

 

 

 

Glowing Rooster 2015-6
Glowing Rooster 2015-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard Rooster Nine 2015-5
Backyard Rooster Nine 2015-5

 

No 2 stars are alike 2015-3
No 2 snowflakes are alike 2015-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 2 stars are alike 2015-4
No 2 snowflakes are alike 2015-4

 

 

30-paintings-in-30-days January 2015
Friendship 2015-1

 

 

 

 

 

Quiltish Windows 2015-2
Four  Windows 2015-2
Curious Rooster 2015-7
Curious Rooster 2015-7

Menorahs and Trees

Hanukah? Chanukkah? a card available at zazzle.com.

 I cannot resist working at the intersection of tiny paintings and Photoshop. Each tiny painting gives me the chance to explore new patterns and techniques or to revisit old favorites.  Painted stained glass Menorahs and Trees are just one of these intersections of technique and technology.

Floating Blue Holiday Tree
Floating Blue Holiday Tree card at zazzle.com
Hanukah? Chanukkah? a card available at zazzle.com.
Hanukah? Chanukkah? a card available at zazzle.com. There is a poster at zazzle, too!
Holly Tree
Holly Tree Holiday card at zazzle.com
Purple Holly
Purple Holly Tree on a card at zazzle
Celebrate the Past Menorah
Hanukah Memories Menorah card at zazzle.com
Snow Tree
Snow Tree at the Art Shoppe At Midtown Global Market
Menorah 4 Work-in-progress
Menorah 4 Work-in-progress

Image-a-day: another way to keep learning

16 Butterflies
16 Butterflies: The First Image-a-day (16 days) for 2012. For sale at ETSY.

PAINT EVERY DAY.  I paint everyday, but I don’t finish a painting every day. I am still able to post an image-a-day because I am learning new ways for my paintings to frolic in Photoshop.

The first 2012 images were from “16 butterflies,”7 Hippos Marching,” and “3 Fish,” with each image carved out of the whole. “Beginning and End” is a tiny painting that will become a larger, gridded work, and “Blue Crystals” is a single post card manipulated (flip horizontal, flip vertical, etc.). Next up are eight iterations of “Infinity,” and a new “Rolling Rings 1,” whose perspective I changed radically.

Butterfly 9 from 16 Butterflies
Yellow Hippo from 7 Hippos
Green Feather Fish
Infinity 8
Blue Crystals
Rolling Rings 1

Image-a-day other visions: geometric digital challenges

Creating a digital image-a-day is a wonderful discipline that combines an original watercolor painting and Photoshop, one of my favorite tools.  Although I do this everyday, taking a tiny watercolor painting and creating digital magic continues to astound me.

Puzzle Pieces in Progress
Puzzle Pieces in Progress
Using Photoshop, I scanned in Puzzle Pieces #1. After posterizing it, I created #2 and #3 by copying and flipping the image horizontally and vertically. I take great care to line up the flipped images each time because each new image builds on the previous one. Once the lines are off, I have to start all over again.
Then, the fun begins. Once a pattern is set, then I get to use Photoshop’s magical tools.
Red Puzzle Pieces
Red Puzzle Pieces.
Green Puzzle Pieces
Green Puzzle Pieces
Blue Puzzle Pieces
Blue Puzzle Pieces
Puzzle Pieces Invert Two
Puzzle Pieces Invert Two
Puzzle Pieces Invert One
Puzzle Pieces Invert One
Puzzle Pieces One
Puzzle Pieces One

Herringbone Geology Digital Art

Original Herringbone Watercolor

Herringbone Geology Digital Art could only have been created with Photoshop®, the new power tool in my lifelong learning toolbox.

Until a few months ago, I had  been using Photoshop® to document and upload art to the nanoscapes and small friends websites, and for entries for exhibitions and contests. I wish I could remember why I decided to fool around with images, but I can’t, and I will celebrate the happy accident forever.

Herringbone Geology began as the tiny 5×7-inch original watercolor above. I experimented and created many different colored images, and tried,unsuccessfully to work out patchwork designs that I liked.

Light Purple
Very Red
Patchwork: eh?
Green
Yellow-ish
Herringbone Geology

BREAKTHROUGH.  I took a single deep purple block, duplicated it, horizontally and vertically flipped it, and created a new single block. Using the language of quilters, I “pieced” some blocks together to create Herringbone Geology.

An 18x 24 inch Herringbone Geology print on fine art paper made with archival ink is available at zazzle.com.

Herringbone Geology – a digital nanoscape

Original Herringbone Geology
Original Herringbone Watercolor

Herringbone Geology could only have been created with Photoshop®, the new power tool in my lifelong learning toolbox.

Until a few months ago, I had  been using Photoshop® to document and upload art to the nanoscapes and small friends websites, and for entries for exhibitions and contests. I wish I could remember why I decided to fool around with images, but I can’t, and I will celebrate the happy accident forever.

Herringbone Geology began as the tiny 5×7-inch original watercolor above. I experimented and created many different colored images, and tried,unsuccessfully to work out patchwork designs that I liked.

Light Purple
Very Red
Patchwork: eh?
Green
Yellow-ish
Herringbone Geology

BREAKTHROUGH.  I took a single deep purple block, duplicated it, horizontally and vertically flipped it, and created a new single block. Using the language of quilters, I “pieced” some blocks together to create Herringbone Geology.

Find cool products with Purple Herringbone Geology at zazzle.com.

 

Ohio-Tennessee Glaze: new nano & new tool

Tiny Tines Work in Progress
Trilobite: Four by FiveCool products at zazzle.

In the spirit of cooks and their knives, carpenters their hammers, and gardeners and their tools, I find that Photoshop is my new favorite creative tool.

Roller Coaster Work in Progress 1
Roller Coaster Work in Progress 2

During the past few weeks I have begun to explore Photoshop C-4, taking a single image and playing with colors and spaces, making small friend Theresa Trilobite into  Trilobite: Four by Five. I spent time in Photoshop yesterday with Roller Coaster, an unfinished watercolor that creates beautiful patterns, and with Tiny Tines, a work in progress based on part of a large salad fork.

O-T Glaze #1
O-T Glaze #2 (flipped)
O-T Glaze #3 (rotation 1)

I face a dilemma now.

Ohio-Tennessee Glaze, the new nanoscape which I began on a Pass the Baton trip to University of Akron and Vanderbilt law schools, is finished in its life as a watercolor. It now presents a delicious Photoshop challenge: which way does it look best? Let me know what you think.

O-T Glaze #4 (rotation 2)

Admittedly, this is not a bad problem to have.

But between you and me and the mouse, O-T Glaze has not yet really begun its Photoshop journey. In these four images I simply (I can say that now) flipped and rotated the original without changing any of the colors. Options: color, no color, textures, posterizing, and much, much more…Can’t wait.

Commerce:  Find cool Trilobite products at zazzle.com.

 

Balloon Sampler 2011: miracles of Photoshop

Balloon Sampler 2011
Balloon Sampler 2011 print is available for $30 at ETSY. It is also on a T-Shirt at zazzle.
Balloon Doodle
Balloon Doodle – Original 5×7″ painting available on a postcard from zazzle.com

I have been using Photoshop primarily for storage and organization for my watercolors for the past few years, but this afternoon, I stumbled into the 21st century and began to explore its astonishing capabilities.

As someone who spent half a lifetime looking at samplers in which quilters and needleworkers practiced stitches and alphabets, and created ever-more complex quilt patterns, I felt a kinship with their energy and gratitude for this amazing tool.

Scan to begin

Beginning with a 300 dpi scan of a 5×7″ watercolor on 140# paper, I copied the image over and over again, experimenting with posterizing, gradients, channels, filters, curves and more.

I created a 22×22 blank square and then dropped in each of the copies, re-arranging, adding, and deleting. When I ended up with a 3×4 row image, I deleted the excess blank canvas, added a signature, and I was finished.

Making a quilt or a piece of needlepoint can take weeks or months. Beginning with a finished painting, which, admittedly took about six hours to paint, the Photoshop exercise took about an hour. Making this Balloon Sampler was way too much fun, and I look forward to learning a lot more about Photoshop, and multiplying and manipulating the color and energy inherent in original nanoscapes.