Friday, April 30, 2010

Distraction through Abstraction 3 - Rachel

Today is bound to get away from me (it seems that it already has, actually, since the last place I should be is in front of the computer when I need to leave for work) so, in order to prevent another day without a post I'm posting a third oil and water abstract. I really enjoyed playing with those elements and am thinking that I will experiment with it further, soon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Other Worlds - Rachel

Another one of my experimental photos from yesterday's shoot. I really like this one, but it has to be seen large.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quicksilver Evening - Rachel

I'm feeling far more human today, so I spent some time experimenting. I'm not sure I've gotten what I wanted, but I've got a start.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Time project - Completed - Robin

I always laugh when my instructor says we should spend 8 hours a week on our homework projects. What is he kidding? I spend tons more time on mine. Maybe that's a bad thing....
I like this better hand colored. It doesn't have the poignancy of the original pen and ink concept but as it is a digital art and illustration class I had to expand on my vision. The good thing is that I don't cry every time I look at it like I did with my original simple sketches. :-)

Time away from time - Robin

I'm letting my hand colored Time project dry and so I decided to get some stuff ready to print for my little show/sale coming up. Here are a couple I really like with the watercolor filter. What do you think?

Now I'm going to try and get a decent scan of my 11x 17 Time project. Back later.

Distraction through Abstraction 2 - Rachel

I'm up too late and my head is splitting open from sinus pain and pressure. I had all the best intentions to create something new today (I'm still counting today as Monday since I've yet to go to bed), but since I wasn't physically up to the task I am posting another oil and water abstract that I took last week. And with this I am giving up on work for the night and going to bed in hopes that tomorrow's rains will wash away both the pollens and pressures which plague me today.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Underwater Paradise contd.

Here is my mermaid. She is as filled in as much as she is going to be. Now for the hard part. Hiding her and still leaving her to be seen at the same time

Time Project Part 2 - Robin

You never saw part one but this is part 2. The project is to show a progression through 12 small artworks. Mine is obviously done using photo collage.  My favorites are the 2nd, 4th, 9th and 11th. Tomorrow I am going to hand color a black and white version. I hope I like that better.
I think it will create some needed cohesiveness. I'll let you see how it goes.

Gardening for hours over the last few days. My back is loudly screaming, "You bitch! You BITCH!". Luckily it will rain tomorrow and wash away the nasty pollen and give my back a day off. G'night!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

In the Maw - Rachel

The Mantis

Since I have been so busy with too many other things and trying to get my painting done, I thought it would be a good idea if I posted some of my older work. This is a pic of a Preying Mantis. She was just hanging out on the flower bed and I took the pic and used the craqueleture on it in Photoshop. I like the way it came out so I saved it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cat's Game - Rachel

I'm feeling uninspired... I want to honor my committment to post but I haven't got even a bit of inspiration this evening so I'm posting just for the sake of posting. Good, bad, indifferent, admirable, I really can't even begin to say. I titled this "Cat's Game" initially because it is a cardboard scratching box for my cat, but as I sit with the title it seems to have more meaning since a "cat's game" in tic-tac-toe is a zero sum result with no winner. So in addition to being my cat's game, this game goes to the cat, at least for today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Underwater Garden - Rachel

Another attempt at creating something outside my ordinary. Using much the same technique as for yesterday's post I played with focusing differently and created a alternative feel. I'm reminded of some mystical underwater realm of coral gardens and undulating kelp, with deeper recesses just beyond sight. While I shot the image in the horizontal, it cried for a vertical display which, to me, reinforces the sense of floating and reaching for the surface above.

You can never have enough Peonies - Robin

In lieu of being able to go back to Filoli this week I am revisiting the photos I took last week.
I thought I'd share this one with you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Distraction through Abstraction - Rachel

I've started to feel a bit like I'm not pushing myself, I'm falling into a comfortable pattern of posts and I'm not looking beyond my own edges and trying something new. Tonight I decided to try something, ANYTHING different and here's the result. I like the colors, the orbs and the feel of this image. I tried a couple of different crops, but was most pleased by the image as a whole. Does it say something? I'm not sure of that, but it was a foray into something new, and I'll experiment again. Tonight I hand held my camera whilst my trusty assistant hand held the container of water and oil... perhaps something more stable next time to permit a more varied exploration of what's possible.

Looking up~

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.
Edgar Degas

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Peony and Bee - Rachel

Spring has sprung and the gardens are abuzz with bees collecting pollen and ensuring the next generation of flowers and fruits. While my children often squeal in terror and dash away at the first hint of a striped abdomen I'm drawn in by their gentle buzzing, delicate translucent wings, brash color and swift, efficient attention to the duty at hand. Bees, awash in yellow treasure visiting each flower, gathering all they can before returning to the hive. At once a symbol of both individual and society, the bee amasses its treasure for the sake of its hive, but in doing so gives to all of us.


Earth laughs in flowers. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Hamatreya"

A bit o' camelia - Robin

I like the way this looks like the fold of fabric.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sunset Silhouette - Rachel

Another drive-by contribution. This serves as a reminder that when you are busy racing from one place to another sometimes you need slow down and turn your head or you might miss something worth seeing.

Gateway View to your soul...step inside, your soul awaits...

Inside each one of us is a beautiful flower garden.
This is the garden of the soul. With each lesson
we learn, the garden grows. As we learn together,
our individual gardens form a tranquil paradise.
- SC Step inside, your soul awaits...

Fioli Gardens have many magical carefully planned views leading to the next garden area.
Fioli is an example of a formal garden which we don't see often. It is a neat and ordered garden laid out in carefully planned geometric and symmetric lines with beautifully planned every blooming beds behind perfectly manicured shrubs and hedges. It's a real treat to peek into the next area to see what is coming into view next.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Forget-Me-Not ~ Rachel

Forget-me-nots hold a tender place in my heart. Small and delicate but plentiful in their abundance, they can light up a field or planting bed, filling it in and making it whole. Likewise, memories fill the holes in my heart, the spaces left by those who are gone and will never be again but who always live brightly in my heart.

Importance of Window Cleaning~

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in. (Alan Alda)

The importance of window cleaning is often overlooked. It's good practice to clean your windows and scrub your ideas so that fresh light can shine on you and help you grow. It's time for me to do some window cleaning again. I love when windows are clean and the fresh light shines in, as a matter of fact I love to clean all my reflective surfaces often and I instantly can feel the lightness it brings and fresh energy.

The vision of this photo was through Robins great eye! Thanks Robin

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Another Anther - Rachel

OK, I'll play... here's my version of that same amazing poppy. Just a bit closer in.

Another Wacky GIANT Poppy - Robin

Lori is right about the poppies we saw at Filoli yesterday. They were gigantic and gorgeous. It's always fun to discover something new that you've never seen before in nature. I wish I had my macro lens and my tripod. I want to go back next week. Anyone want to come with?

Giant Red Poppies

Ok, these Poppies were amazing! Giant balls of crape paper like ruffled chiffon magic unfurling in the golden sunlight, to expose midnight black cross centers and thousands of blueish black anthers. Like many things in nature very difficult to capture its true essence and beauty. I believe these are same type of oriental poppies that Georgia O'Keeffe captured so eloquently.

I'm hoping Rachel was able to capture the color more precisely. The color is far more vibrant and rich. Just a sign of my inexperience in photography. So much to learn...

We saw so many beautiful things in the gardens yesterday. Robin and I had a conversation about how some things must be viewed by the eyes and not the camera lens and how that makes the world magic. We gazed up at vinatage oak like trees that had been crafted and grafted for generations and stood in awe in their beauty, but I would not dare to even attempt to capture it's beauty. It"s really cool because it shows how a photo is just a photo and it is never reality. The photo is often just the shell and cannot attempt to capture the true essense of an object. Perhaps a photo is just a kernal of some of the essential parts of an object or being. The most essential most vital part of something can never be captured in a photo.

Enjoy these large orange red cups of pure beauty. If you love gardens you should really visit Fioli if you haven't already.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oh my darling, Clematis - Rachel

What a stunning day at Filoli ( for those of our followers who might be unfamiliar)! Anticipate flowers for the next couple days... out of 1186 photos taken, I'm sure I'll have at least one or two to share. Great day for flowers and friends! Thanks!

The Peonies! The Peonies! The Peonies! (Robin)

What a magical day for us and the the peonies at Filoli!

Monday, April 12, 2010

not so great

Ok here is a better picture of what I am working on. As I have filled in the background, I keep turning the canvas and stepping back to see where my colors are going. It is just about done in this step

Through the Prism - Rachel

Creative lens work using a child's "fly eye" prism and my point and shoot. It was a lot of fun to experiment with different angles, focal lengths and settings.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wood - Rachel

The Background

Okay, here is the background on the latest and biggest painting I have ever done, 36x48. I am scared to death of screwing this one up since this (I hope) will be the piece I enter in the fair. This is not the entire canvas, just about 2/3's of it. I just wanted to get it up here so you can see where I usually begin when I do a free form piece.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pelargonium (not Pansy)- Rachel

Ms. Lori, our horicultural go-to-girl has let me know that this is not a pansy but rather a pelargonium... it's a pretty flower even if I'll never remember its name.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Camelia of the Day - Rachel

I'm still figuring out what I'm going to do with this dead bush, but I can't bear to part with it until I investigate its photographic modeling talents. Here I've got it posing with a camelia. The image reminded me just a bit of the images of the Sacred Heart.

Gerbera Daisy - Robin

I shot about a million frames last night and although there are a few that I like, I'm not in love with any.
Here's my favorite of the Gerbera shots. I love Gerberas.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Normally I free form everything. With this I just used a bunch of half circles in one area and sort of went outwards from there. As you can see it is, like everything else, in progress =)

The Blue Jay of Happiness - Rachel

My Marian has very strong, and very negative, opinions on the existance of scrub bluejays like this one. She dislikes their territorial and agressive nature, pushing other "more desirable" Stellar Jays out of her yard. Jays are certainly vocal and they demand what they want, but they make me happy with their vibrant blue feathers. I don't think that we have the proverbial bluebird of happiness here in California, so here's my version.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Apple Blossom - Rachel

Just a quick backyard picture of my apple tree's promise of fruits to come.

the progress so far

So I am not great with portraiture, but this actually pretty fun. I (to coin a word from Miss Lori) am "wonky", but I kinda like it. Let me know what you think

Monday, April 5, 2010

Losing my Marbles - Rachel

This evening I have found myself hurriedly attempting to take a blog-worthy photo and get it posted. I missed yesterday's posting and have been feeling anxious about it all day; yet I haven't had the gift of time. I find myself busy with family and work obligations (don't we all?) and while I could clearly hear my camera calling me I found myself unable to answer its pleas for attention. I drove past some amazing vistas: Just washed views of Mt. Diablo crowned in cirrus clouds and golden light, wildflowers of the field waving and beckoning, a city in silhouette backlit by a glorious sunset, and yet I drove on knowing that the task at hand was calling and I could ill afford the momentary stop which would turn into twenty minutes, forty minutes, an hour.
As I sat at my computer "building" the online portion of the class I begin teaching tomorrow I could feel the clock speeding along, the hands chanting to me "another day without a post".
I ask myself will this be like the time I missed my time at the gym once, then for a week and now for months? Sure I dabble now and then, turning on an exercise video and going through the motions, but I'm not dedicating myself to the task and my continued absence making it still easier not to go than to face my regression.
In the spirit of honoring my committment to myself I have forced myself to take a moment, seek out a subject at home which could be lit and photographed and give myself over to the creation of a posting. I may be losing my marbles, but at least you'll know where to spot them!

Fast Charcoal sketch~

Mission Carmel

Five minute charcoal sketch inspired by a magazine my brother in law brought me this weekend, thanks Marko for getting me past my block and out of my head.

I just have to remember that it's about the work. Work and the rest will come. The working is the most important part.
Just show up and do it and soon the block will be gone or gap closed or closer to your expectations of self and work.

Thanks Mark & D

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Playing with Photoshop. I used a gaussian blur and cutout to see what kind of effect I could get.

Pop Art Self Portrait - Amy

Oil Paint on Canvas. I took a self portrait image with my Mac set on the "pop art" effects and then set out to do a painting using only the 3 colors. Overall, I am happy with the results. I wanted to take a stab  at the oil paints again. Working on a larger surface helps! They are still messy. Got a nice splotch of yellow on my jeans. Why didn't I wear my apron? I'll hold back on my critique - other then to say "Measure three times, cut once." That's all I will say.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Parking Lot Blooms - Rachel

At risk of posting too many flowers, here's a bloom I found in my local parking lot. I had several trees to choose from but liked this bloom because of the funky yellow truck serving as background. If I'd had a ladder I SO would have climbed up and gotten a full yellow background!

Asparagus - Amy

Pencil, ink pen and watercolor pencil done on the wrong paper for water.