Archive for the ‘Tucson Botanical Gardens’ Category

More Playing Around with Focal Point

Agaves, aloes, bromiliads – there are so many wonderful plants at the Botanical Gardens. My favorite is the Cape Aloe, but I haven’t worked on those pictures yet. This bromiliad is in the rainforest area that hosts the Butterfly Magic each year. I didn’t make many changes to the composition of the plant, as I like how it spirals in to the center of the plant. What I did do was crop the right a bit, to put the center of the plant just a little off-center itself.What I did do was play with a couple of filters and enhance the texture of the leaves.

This is the mosaic filter, and I like the roughness it adds to the plant. I still want to play around with this, but I think I’m on to something. I’m intrigued with the little pink blossom just laying on that one leaf.

I love irises. I would have a whole garden if I could. At our house on Nastar, we had “desert irises,” which were small delicate blossoms. I love all the colors! The Gardens have a nice area kept by the Tucson Iris Society, and I thought, given the number of plants, that there would be loads of flowers. Evidently most of the plants are new and not ready to bloom. But there was one cluster with HUGE blooms. This is the original.

I did quite a bit of cropping, and I think it worked. The new pic really shows the size of the flower, as well as the incredible purples. I had some fun with the filters, as I think it increased the magic of the flower by roughing the texture a little more. Overall I am pleased with the effort with these two.

What’s New – Again….

I started playing with the image again. It feels good to be back working with Photoshop and staying at a task until I am satisfied with it. Here’s the original again:

There are 2 revisions – can’t decide which I like better – and of course, have to take into consideration the way the monitor shows colors….

I am partial to this second one. The contrasts seem stronger, whereas in the first one, too much seems to blend to one color of gray. I don’t know that I’m willing to leave it alone, but for now I am pleased with what I’ve learned.

And since Photoshop has such cool effects, here’s one more, using the fresco filter. I love the effect of the “water colors” – certainly in the “fantasy” mode that I am working toward!

What’s New….

So after a rather long hiatus of moving (the 7th time in nearly 15 years), studying (actually teaching myself calculus) in order to pass the secondary school math test, and trying to stay healthy, I am back to hopefully thinking more about art. In November Jane Dunnewold started a blog called Daily Visuals. She committed to taking daily pictures for inspiration, as well as teaching, and I have learned quite a bit.

I have always had a problem with focal points in my quilting. I have been so linear and always tried to work for symmetry (almost to a fault), that it has been very difficult to consciously work at creating a focal point. A few nights ago I was looking through my iPhoto gallery at some of the pics for the Tucson Botanical Gardens, a new favorite haunt. I started with some pics to see what I could do. I think they are good pictures to begin with, but I am looking to develop a great series called Garden Fantasy to offer to the Gardens for a show. Herewith my attempts….

In one of the smaller gardens, there is this wonderful bench. I’m fascinated with the wood grain, as well as the color. Dean tries to frame the pictures as I tell him (suggest, actually), but there wasn’t anything to really grab you in this photo. So I tried cropping to change the basic elements. Here’s the resulting image:

One end of the bench is spotlighted, with the wonderful curved arm. You can make out the red pomegrantes (sp?) in the upper right, and the eye tends to creep there and then come back to the center colors. The bench is more prominent this way, even though you don’t see the whole thing. I tried enhancing the greens of the leaves as well as the rusty-brown of the pots. Now that I can look at them together, while I am pleased with the overall composition, I think I lightened things too much. I like the darkness of the greens and browns in the first image, so I think I have more laying around to do.

Lots to learn….comments welcome!

Butterfly Magic

Artists’ Date

Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way suggests taking a day each week to just enjoy art. Well, hubby and I did that today, as the weather will be mid-seventies. We went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens to see the butterflies.

We brought along the camera to get shots of plants, flowers, and of course the butterflies. We need to add to the shape library (and if I get good shots, I think I can turn them into shapes), as well as our own stock images to use with the digital marbling. We rambled through all the different gardens, marveling once again at how many different cactus there are – still amazing! Some of the wild flowers were spectacular, but nothing quite caught our breath like the butterflies!

Every now and then nature pulls one on you and you end up crying at the beauty. That’s was this was like. You walk into an enclosed rain forest-type environment and you are surrounded by butterflies all over the place – landing on you, in people’s hair, hiding in plants – absolutely beautiful.

So in honor of a gorgeous day, I am going to spend time on these pictures instead of doing lesson plans (that’s a whole ‘nother story….).

ass="level-0" value="113">Tim Gunn
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