Posts Tagged ‘Botanical Gardens’

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

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It’s been nearly a year since blogging, business, and all things related to blogging suddenly lost their interest. Not really quite sure why, but I know I did miss the blogging. I guess it’s just one of those “life got in the way” kind of situations. But I have been doing things.

Recently I’ve been a math consultant, and I have learned a great deal. One, I’m not 50 anymore, and this back to part-time – although full-time days – has really taken its toll physically and mentally. Once again there was no time for any serious art. Even the commission I had been working on took a back seat, and I expect to get back to that in the next few days. In no way would I want to be a math teacher these days, regardless of the level. The amount of stress on teachers has grown to absurd proportions, what with mandatory state tests…and now field testing new tests – and of course spending an obscene amount of money in the process, because heaven forbid we should believe the teachers when they tell us how well students are doing. (Insert deep breath to end rant….) The major test/book publisher/supposed guru of all things education is really evil incarnate. Yes, Pearson, I’m talking about you. These guys have so much control over textbooks, types of testing for teachers, student testing, access to materials that it is ridiculous.

So, about my commission. Thread work on the seven chakras for my yoga instructor. I have three done, and they will become patterns. The ones I am doing are all 24 x 24 inches, and they will surround the walls of her yoga studio. Here’s a peek:

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First Chakra

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Second Chakra

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Third Chakra

Managed our first trip to the Botanical Gardens this year, and I focused in on texture. Then I used this great app for the iPad called Photogrid, and I made a few collages. Love the app!

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More coming as I get back in the swing of life!

Spring in the Desert

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Spring has finally come to the desert. It was a very brown winter season, but I certainly know how fortunate we have been, compared to the rest of the country! Here are some pics from our latest trip to the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Color galore!

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Photoshop Friday – continued

I seem to be on a role with Photoshop and some of the ideas I want to try. Been playing around today with some more ideas, and I added a quote to the leaf. The original was taken at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix – it’s an amazingly HUGE leaf, with white veins and crinkly edges – really gorgeous to see. I hvae been taken with it, and after the success with yesterday’s, I decided to try “cutting” sections of the leaf and putting them on their own layers, then playing around with the layers. I am quite taken with the finished product.

A thistle leaf

When we were in Sedona over spring break, we took a Pink Jeep tour through the backcountry red rocks. We forded a stream, and stopped in the middle to take pictures of what the homestead probably looked like fifty years ago. I absolutely love the photos from the trip. Here’s the original, with a slight light correction for the tree trunks on the right.

This next is with a Smart Blur filter that lends a bit of water color to the picture.

Smart Blur filter

This last is with about five different adjustments, one on top of the other. I ended up cropping to just the right side of the photo because I fell in love with what was happening with the trees and the bank. I could definitely play around more with this image.

Brightness, curves, hue, and a few others

I’ve commented before as I have been learning Photoshop that one of the things I really enjoy is the ability to just “turn off” layers with what you thinnk are mistakes. To me it really frees up the creativity. But then every now and again you combine a coupe of layers and end up with something totally unexpected. An absolutely amazing program…

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