Monday, August 26, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #16 - Vision Box by Catherine Anderson

Camera case collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper,
Our own Catherine Anderson has a great prompt for us which she calls a Vision Box which will contain answers to questions that your Soul wants you to think about.  She starts with an old leather box, like an old binocular box or old camera box, and decorates it with photo transfers and letter stickers.  (Mine is an old camera case that I altered in a Michael DeMeng class.)
Then she takes her camera, her Vision Box and these questions out for a field trip or two:
Who am I?
Where am I happiest
What does my greatest joy look like?
What makes me smile?
What nurtures me?
What does my secret dream look like?
What does my soul look like?
Catherine says "The Soul speaks in images, and sometimes we have to make time to let our Soul show us what we need in our lives."
For best results answer the question with photographs, letting your Soul find its subjects. 
Have fun and as always feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool
download the PDF

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #15 - Teesha Moore's Art Journaling Style (adapted)

"Once Upon A Time" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper,
These loosely adapted Art Journaling "instructions" come from Teesha Moore's zines, workshops and website (what a fabulous inspiration!).  Your challenge today will be to use what you find here to create your next art piece.   It's all about layers.

Layer 1. Color.  Create a canvas of color; acrylic, water color, pastels...  Just get the color down.
Layer 2.  Collage.  Find elements that can be your focal points, boarders, surprises.  Try arranging to suite the inner artist.
Layer 3. More Color.  Teesha uses bright colorful crayons at this point, accentuating certain elements, highlighting others.  Blending, shading, adding depth.  Let it be fun.
Layer 4. More highlights, now with gel-pens.  For examples try a google image search of "Teesha Moore Art" !  Whew!
Layer 5. Here's where Teesha does her actual journaling, filling the empty spaces with words, but she tends to do this like doodling, sort of free association, but also with some effort to create something visually FUN!  She also likes to incorporate quotes at this point.

Have fun and as always feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool

For extra fun, try using elements from Kolaj Magazine's contest.  They have a pdf for you to download and all you have to do is use their elements and scan and return to the magazine.  So easy.  Here's my entree.  The contest deadline is 25 September 2013.
"Treasure seeker" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper,

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #14 - Appreciate your art even before you get started...

Collage by Lani and textures from FlyPaper
This  one comes from the Inner Canvas again. (Got to love that blog!)  Lisa says, "In art making, appreciating your art in advance can have powerful implications. Rather than setting yourself up for disappointment or unwarranted judgment in response to the end product, if you actively appreciate what you make in advance, you are absolutely committing to a creative act."

Lisa also feels that if you treat your work as an art form, the possibilities of appreciating in advance can expand the way you approach every project (in a very positive way)! She suggests trying appreciating the participants of a workshop or group before they arrive, and watch your relationship with each participant shift.

So here's the challenge: before sitting down to your next art journal page, or your next painting or piece of pottery, try appreciating the experience you are about to have.  And if you like that experience, try it before you meet your next group or client.  It may change your life!

As always feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #13 - The Open Ticket

"Renew Inspiration" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper,
OK, I love Gretchen Miller's 365 days of revo'lution making project, and the one that got me playing today, the one that renewed a feeling of inspiration and excitement for me, was the "open ticket" of day 213.  Imagine if you had an open ticket to a destination of your choice...  How exciting that would be.  You could come and go as often as you liked.  But isn't that what we have with our ability to play with art materials?

So here's today's challenge, create an open ticket for yourself.  Where would it take you?  What are you longing to explore?  As always feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Wee Mandala Tutorial from susanna suchak

Posted on under Just wondering

How I Create a mandala from a photograph with Photoshop Elements 11

This is a simple 4 quarters mandala; I call it Feather Mandala.
We will be working in Photoshop Elements 11. To begin pull in images that are potentials for a mandala.
Make copies of each photo so that you don’t accidentally change your original image permanently. Just a reminder, please check what kind of file you are saving. PSE wants to save anything as PSD which is their own proprietary format. However, we need to save all files as j_pegs; so please note that and choose jpg format each time you save, resave, or save as. And all will be well.
Work only with these copies, not your original photos. In fact, once you’ve saved copies, just close your originals.
Step 1: Find an image that you captured with your camera, iPhone, cellphone, iPad or tablet. It must be your own photograph or it will not have the same kind of meaning for you when you meditate on it. This picture is a pair of owl feathers that I keep in a little rock with a hole in it.
Step 2: Really see (not just look at) this image. The best mandalas are composed of radiating lines. These lines will draw your eye inward and back outward. There should be a centre point also called a bindu (Sanskrit for “the point where creation begins”); it is very subtle in this particular mandala, but there is a sense of concentric circles and if you enlarge this you can see a small circle right in the centre.

Step 3: Usually you will want to crop your photo to limit distractions to your mandala. In this crop I’ve used the spine of the dotted feather to pull in the eye to the centre point. This will become the top left side of the mandala. Save as a new image file. Close your original cropped image in case you change your mind or want to begin again. Close the new cropped image. When PSE asks if you want to change say no. You will still have your changes because you already saved once.
Step 5: Pull the cropped image into Photoshop Elements 11 (you “saved as” once you cropped right?)
Step 6: At the top of your screen you will have 3 options: “Quick” “Guided” and “Expert”. For this next step you must choose “Guided”.


Once you have chosen guided, you will have a new menu bar on the right of your screen.
Touchups (click on the arrow to close this one)
Photo Effects (click on the arrow to close this one)
In Photo Play you will have a few choices.
 Choose Reflection by clicking on the word. Now you have new choices.
Click 1. Add Reflection. Pause, it takes a second or two.
You will see a faint image below your original image in reverse! Ta Da!
You want it to be as close to your original though, so now you choose 2. Eyedropper tool and choose one of the darkest areas of your image. Click!
Now choose 3. Fill background. And watch the magic. Click Done.
Step 7. “Save as” a new file for this image. I usually name it left_side.jpg It won’t stay the left side but it’s helpful for visual thinkers because that’s what it looks like now.

Step 8. Close this file, using “save as” and choosing a new name e.g. “left_side.jpg”. But don’t save the old one with a different name.
Step 9. Now open the “left_side.jpg” file.
Step 10. Rotate it to the left or right depending on where your focal point is. I like to play and try it both ways, just always remember if you do to choose save as so your original file will remain intact.
Step 11. Make a reflection of your “left_side.jpg” file. “Save as” a new file with mandalabase as part of the name. This one would be feather_mandala_base.jpg for instance.


Step 12. Pull the mandala base file into PSE11. Switch back to Expert mode. Using your Eliptical Marque Tool scribe a circle like so…


It might take some practice, but you can always “undo” these circles until you get it the right size. Also you can move the circle once you’ve scribed it, even if it goes off the picture…
Step 13. Use the “Cut” option to cut the circle out of this image.


Step 14. Open a new blank document.


Step 15. Choose “transparent” for the Background Contents (bottom choice box).


Step 16. “Ctrl V” to paste your cut circle into the new document.


Step 17. Save as your final name. e.g. “Feather_Mandala_Final.jpg”
Step 18. Print on high quality paper and frame! Meditate on this image frequently and bask in the glow of accomplishment.
Tomorrow I’ll share how to achieve a similar effect using only Picasa and Word. You can download Picasa (free!) from Google … here:

(Feel free to share your results on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.)