Category Archives: Photography

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.










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.




After a very long hiatus we are back with a new name, a new look, and new directions.  We hope this will be an exciting place for photographers, photo artists, and art lovers alike as we share our images and art pieces with tips, how-to’s, and works in progress.  We’ll also be happy to answer questions.

Starting off then with a new piece called ‘Scarecrow’ posted yesterday in our Etsy Shop and just in time for that most fun and spooky of occasions.


Work begins in Photoshop CC and assumes the readers basic working knowledge of the program.  Scarecrow itself began with the main background layer and some elements that I purchased as a kit.


Two more backgrounds and a cloud photo were added  for texture and color, blended in soft light for the first two and overlay for the clouds.   Opacities  were adjusted and portions of each layer masked out. untitled-1Next came the addition of various elements, first the train, the tree behind the train, the skeleton beside the train, the sign,  chair,  chest, candle, and all of the various darker crows.  Some leaves were scattered under the chest.



Finally we have the piéce de résistance, the king of the crows; the steam punk crow.  He is the product of playing around with several images to fit them into the look I was after.  I selected these layers and made a group, which allowed me to move them around as a unit once they were placed in the image.  Here’s what I used and how it turned out.


Here is the working panel from Photoshop:


Fun, right?

Tip:  When photographing jewelry for your shop or site keep the background as uncluttered as possible.  Don’t photograph jewelry on wood, rocks or shells as these backgrounds tend to obscure the piece.  Use neutral colors for the background, focus on the piece and get as sharp an image as possible.

Thanks for popping in!






Orly Art Exhibit Concludes

Reposted from TPI

My brother, Craig, and I reluctantly attended the Orly Art Exhibit Silent Auction and Cocktail Party at the Millennium Gate Museum Friday night as my Gardenia photo was one of the pieces up for auction.  I say ‘reluctantly’ because we each border on being pathologically shy, we’re generally not fond of ‘dressing up,’ and we knew essentially no one.  To our utter surprise and delight, however, we found ourselves having an awesome time right from the get go.

The museum is stunning…a nicely curated tribute primarily to the history and people of Georgia.  The Orly Auction & Cocktail Party were held under a large tent on the Oval Lawn in front of the Commons pond (I think those names are correct).  The weather was balmy, and the city lights shown brilliantly in the background.

Lovely centerpieced tables and art easels were stationed throughout the lawn displaying the various pieces of art being auctioned, while drinks & hors d’oeuvres flowed to our beck & call.

Here’s the information and photo of my piece.  It auctioned for less than I might have hoped but more than I had expected, so Craig and I were quite content.

We send our appreciation and congratulations to Katherine Bell McClure who presented this event in a chic and graceful manner.  Thanks for everything, Katherine…finding us on Etsy, inviting us to be a part of this exquisite event, picking up my photo at the library, and last but not least, putting those gardenias from your yard on our table.  Thank you also to Jane Kimbrell who hung in there and purchased our piece.  We so appreciate it.

Before we left Craig & I toured the museum and came upon a fabulous find…a circa 1930 Corona typewriter in the office of historical figure, Thomas K. Glenn.  I thought of Ernest Hemingway pecking away on his own Corona that traveled with him just about everywhere and wondered if his might not have been very similar to this.

Many thanks to Craig who is always there for me.  You were the perfect date.  I had such a great time, and I know you did too.  Such fun, let’s do it again sometime!

Boot Camp, Day 3, Graduation

Honorably discharged!

And what an adventure, Danny boy.  I’ll never be able to thank you enough.  It’s been an intensive tour of duty…an overload of information…and I’m exhausted (as were most of the other soldiers).  But I now know camera functions (A+ in depth of field relative to what I knew before), I can work my camera manually, and I’m adept with my new tripod.  I understand the elements of design and am familiar with post production software (NIK is what I’m now salivating for).  I’ve learned about local photographic societies from other attendees as well as many awesome photo websites from Sergeant Mike.

Mike, by the way, is a very competent instructor…self-taught, down to earth, and eager to help.  He’s a great guy, and I highly recommend his workshop to budding and intermediate macrophiles.  If you’re interested in this workshop and looking for others like it or if you’d like to view some of Mike’s work, please visit:

Here’s my graduation portfolio if you’d like to take a look.  Click on each image for an expanded view.

Have I told you lately how awesome you are, Danny?  Well…you are…AWESOME!


So when are we going back to the Smokies, Craig? Never, you say?

Reposted from TPI

We adore the Great Smokey Mountains National Park for its bounty of magical wonders, but three trips for me and four for Craig within a five-week period have been hectic to say the least.

[Trip #1]: In late March we went up to shoot photos for a contest sponsored by the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage (and thanks so much to all who voted in our poll). 

Once the photos were taken they had to go through post production in Photoshop, printing, mounting & matting, and finally required hand-delivery to the Pilgrimage officials by April 20th [Trip #2].

Just this past weekend (April 27th), after several days of judging last week, the photos had to be picked up.  So Craig & I journeyed up there again, this time with my grandson, Motley, to reclaim our photos and spend the weekend camping [Trip#3].  In between these trips Craig had made an independent trek to camp with his grandkids.  Whew, we were beginning to feel like the Elkmont Campground was our second home!

All this trekking around…back & forth to the Smokies, from my house to Craig’s lab, from Craig’s lab to my house, to the frame shop for mounting & matting…all of the overhead, all of the post production time & effort in Photoshop (rotating, cropping, color & contrast adjustments)…all of it…paid off for us, though, as we made our way into the exhibit area of the Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg and spied a blue ribbon for 1st place and a red ribbon for 2nd place in the flora category decorating two out of our four entries.  And oh, aren’t we just a little proud & excited and feeling entitled to just a few teeny weeny bragging rights.  But mostly we’re content & grateful, feeling the satisfaction of a good ‘day’s’ work.

Here are the winners.  Click on an image for a larger view.

Craig was far more refined than I at this little achievement (it must be a boy/girl thing), and perhaps it was my pride that brought on a terrible case of food poisoning our last night there that left me nearly comatose.  Craig had to keep Motley corralled, break camp, and pack everything up by himself…once again, as he so often does, rescuing me from myself! 

Before I’d gotten sick, though, I’d been having a blast with little Motley mío…searching for salamanders, throwing rocks in the rivers, lying down with him in the tent at night reading a good Mo Willems book, and waking up with him all to myself.

And we’d gotten to see more flowers, including pink lady slippers, wildflowers that have eluded me through many years of traveling & hiking, as well as critters like those pictured below.

Craig & I would like to thank the folks of the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage for their recognition and appreciation of our work and to let the promo people at GSNP know that they can plaster our photos all over their website and in as many brochures as they would like…anywhere, anytime!  What a super fine journey to one of the finest of our national parks.