Category Archives: Photo Artistry

My Corner at the Edge of the World…

…is the name of my new website.  Not only is it my online store where you can view all of my art, but it’s also my new blogging venue.  The blog will include tutorials, newsletters, and miscellany.  Here’s the link, and I hope I’ll see you all there.  Thanks so much for having followed me on WordPress, and have a fabulous weekend! 

My Corner at the Edge of the World

The Writing Room


Whither away so early, Little Red Riding Hood?

In my telling of Little Red Riding Hood, which I call The Red Cloak, the lass has a look in her eye that could be just as wily as that of the wolf though perhaps with a touch of sadness.

I began with a 16 x 16 inch blank layer and placed a woodland background on top, stretching it to fit.


I then layered the three major elements-the wolf, the girl, and the moon-on top of that.  The wolf was on an orange background, so I masked that out, kept the opacity to 100% and blended him in multiply mode.  Then I added a reddish outer glow. 



The image of the girl was overlaid with a watercolor filter before I placed her at 90% opacity and a normal blend in the lower right corner, and the moon was masked out from an image of various moon phases and was set to 90% opacity and a hard light blend. 



To finish the piece I used a paper that I have used before and that I love for its oil paint texture along with a pink textured paper paper.  The first was set to 85% opacity and multiply mode, and the second set at 100% opacity and soft light mode.


The finished piece:


Here is the PS panel that shows more detail.


And where might your grandmother live?

Happy trails.  Thanks for stopping by!



New Art Sites

Yet again it’s been a long time since my last post, and I can only hold up a dog boarding business, time creating new pieces and a class at Georgia Tech as my excuses.

A word or two about my art.  I’m no longer selling it on Etsy but am now overseeing a couple of new websites (another excuse!), and here they are:

Each image is part of a limited edition, is signed & numbered and includes a certificate of authenticity.  All images are printed with archival inks on premium fine art paper affixed to a rigid & durable backing.

I especially love working with bird and animal images and am particularly fascinated with the birdcage motif (I use it a lot!).  The tutorial today features an image that includes the birdcage and hawks and is called The Rescue.

Here is the image in its entirety.

This image began with a blank canvas of 14 x 11 inches to which I added one of my favorite art papers that I textured slightly with an oil paint filter.  I kept it at a a normal blend mode and 100% opacity.  On top of that I layered in a cityscape that I found on Creative Commons setting it to soft light at 55% opacity and overlapping it at the bottom edge of the canvas.


Next came a beautiful peach-colored cloud layer that I blended in multiply mode retaining 100% opacity.

This is how it looked at this stage.

For the next portion of this piece (which was very time-consuming and sometimes tedious, I must admit) I had to construct a cluster of the bird cage, the hawk inside the cage, the branch, and the small bird perched on the branch.  For this I opened a new 12 x 12 transparent document and added the cage first with the hawk on top.  After selecting all of the cage I painted out parts of the hawk so that he appeared to be inside of the cage.  I linked these two elements so that I could move them around as one piece.  Next came the branch on top of which I placed the small bird and linked these two elements.  I then placed the hawk & birdcage with the hook onto the branch and masked out part of the hook so that is looked to be hanging from the branch.  Finally I made a group of all of these elements and moved it to the main canvas.

After the addition of this cluster I added an osprey, a hawk, and an eagle-the osprey set to soft light at 100% opacity and the hawk and eagle set to normal and 100%.  Some flying birds dot the upper canvas set to darken mode (because they were on a white background) and 40% opacity.

At last we reach the end with the layering of a textured paper set to multiply at a 45% opacity.

I have so much fun!

Next time a re-reading of Little Red Riding Hood!  See you then.









The Rat Pack

I’ve been so busy with my dog boarding business and the holidays that it’s been hard to find time to post anything.  That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been working though because…

I had a surprise commission fall into my lap just before Christmas.  It didn’t actually fall;  more accurately I stalked it and reeled it in.  

One of my daughters works in an upscale restaurant in the Atlanta area, and the owner of that restaurant is opening an even more upscale place in February.  As a holiday gift for their employer all the workers wanted to purchase artwork that they could have matted and framed for him to hang in the new place.  

He is taken with The Rat Pack from the early 60’s, so they thought they should go with that idea.  For those of you too young to remember them they were a group of actors and musicians, most prominently Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.  They tended to be heavy drinkers, smokers and carousers who performed in Las Vegas and hence were dubbed ‘The Rat Pack’ by actress Lauren Bacall (wife of Humphrey Bogart).

My daughter asked me to check out different sites to see what kind of artwork I could find, and when I saw nothing that impressed me much, I thought, ‘Hey I think I can do something more provocative and with an edge (which is always a good thing for me!).’  My Rat Pack then has three actual rats…hungry, thirsty and ferocious…running along the skyline of Las Vegas (maybe heading for that very dry martini!).

The team liked it and bought it, and now it’s out being framed.

Here it is (this frame is only a mock-up).  Now if he only hangs it up!


Next time another a tutorial.  Thanks for joining me!





Nature Listens

The pure magic that is winter is the theme today in a piece entitled Nature Listens, which will be available on Etsy in a day or two.  Beginning with the finished piece I’ll follow with its deconstruction.  At the end it will be my utmost pleasure to offer  2 more  holiday-themed files free as a way of thanking you all for following along.   

Comparatively few layers and elements make up this piece, and with the understanding that you have a basic understanding of Photoshop this tutorial will hopefully be easy to follow.  So let’s begin.


Here are the papers and textures.



white-circle-texture white-scroll-texture


The layers were set in the order shown; first the clouds, then the landscape of firs, and finally the falling snow.  It’s always best to play around with the order of layers, blend modes and opacities to get just the look you’re after. 

Here are the elements (and how I love these clusters!).   The bare trees are in the foreground,  and I chose to place the skater and the village off center.  I rotated the dove horizontally and placed her in the upper right corner. 




Added the text and signature, and it is now a fait accompli!

For those who would like to take a closer look here are the PS panels.  The first is the panel showing the layers that have been grouped.  The second and third are the original working panels. 



And here are the files as promised.  I see this as a photo mat for a holiday photo…


and this as a scrapbook page or for framing.


If you can’t retrieve these files directly from this post leave your email address in the comment section, and I’ll send them to you.  Enjoy!






Keeping up with 2017

We have two new 2017 wall calendars in our Etsy shop that I’m excited about and want to preview here as this might just be the perfect time to order one. 😉
Each calendar is large (14.25 x 11 inches) and printed on sturdy high-quality paper with vibrant full-color.

The first we call Ice and Fire, a nature photo calendar that includes stunning images from Iceland, the High Sierras and the Colorado Rockies.  These amazing photos were taken on trips that my sister and brother, Joni and Craig, made this summer, and I think you’ll find this calendar is a page turner.

Here’s what it looks like.

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Secrets & Dreams is an art calendar that showcases my art work, and here’s a peek at it.

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So here they are.  Take your pick!

Have a great weekend.



The Hour of Silence

‘Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.’

 Leonora Carrington, 1917-2011 
British artist, surrealist painter and novelist. carrington

Tip: Before I introduce a new piece today I want to say a word to photographers who are interested in taking their work into the realm of the photo artist; a place of creativity, individuality, and sometimes if we’re lucky, a little magic.

The very first order of business is to become a collector- of papers, textures, elements;  anything that might bring life to your piece.  I literally have hundreds of papers, textures and things as well as my photos.  Many textures & backgrounds can be gotten free by googling ‘free photo backgrounds.’  Free images can be found at   When I’m looking for something new I purchase papers & kits, and one of my favorite places is  You’ll find many sales and occasional free items, and this is a great site for scrapbookers.  

Once you’ve collected images and elements the next order of business is to organize them into folders.  I have folders for Papers & Textures, which I have sub-divided into categories of Colors, Edges-Frames-Overlays, Splotches, Scribbles, Scratched Surfaces, Brushes & Text, Clouds-Moon-Stars just to name a few as well as folders called Critters, Botanicals, Patterns-Graphics-Icons, and Victorian-Steampunk. 

‘The Sound of Silence’ is the title of the piece I’ll be working with today, and we’ll start with the finished image and work backward.



The image begins with a gray speckled paper, which I duplicated twice putting an impressionist painting filter on one layer and an ink-watercolor filter on the other.  Blend modes and opacities are shown on each.




Once the base layer is in place I add a very nice grungy gray/blue background and a sunspot.



A photo I  took on the Okefenokee swamp is cropped, reversed horizontally, duplicated, and blended in luminosity mode at a 50% opacity.  The duplicate is given a sketchy watercolor filter, blended in soft light mode with a 75% opacity.



Next come the flying geese and the text.


The text was blended in hard light mode at 40% opacity.


The final touches include the addition of a gorgeous blue/brown background and a starry background.


Finally the panel layer from Photoshop.  The layers were not originally placed as they are here, but this is the final stacking before the image is flattened.


Have a happy week.