Thursday, May 31, 2012

Going for a Ride

My husband and I went for a long ride the other day to check out some areas of North Texas. Of course I took my camera with me!  We went up North of Lake Ray Roberts, twisting and turning and kicking up dust through the long winding, dry dry dry dirt roads.

It was a beautiful blue sky day and if I had a wide angle lens instead of my point and shoot Sony, I may have been able to make it look like Wyoming. Not that Wyoming is any better than Texas...

We were actually surprised at how some of the landscape had many trees and there were actually hills! Texas hills, but little hills and valleys none the less.

There were plenty of cows to photograph. And Texas Longhorns of course. Some of them even posed for me while lazing in a field of burnt out wild flowers.

It was hard not to imagine living on a ranch out in the middle of this true "Texas Country" and think about what one might raise goats!

Milk, Cheese, Goat Meat? Actually it was quite an eye opener. I don't know if I would like being so solitary. Maybe I could try it out for a little bit and see how I could do without a Michael's or JoAnn's Fabric store or a Hobby Lobby close by...

Just as the sun was setting and we were just about home  I manage to snap some "Wyoming" big sky shots of Texas landscapes and turn them into some masterpieces with a little texturing magic. (I use an old version of PaintShop Pro for my photo finishing. )

I started with this shot of cows grazing in a field and I cropped off most of the field to the horizon was not cutting the photo in half. Newbie mistake! Also a mistake easy to make while snapping photos from a moving car...

I then decided that I wanted to use this photo as a large poster size piece so I  s-t-r-e-a-c-h-e-d it.

But then my cows stretched so I had to copy them back in from the original with a stamp tool and get rid of the stretched cows. Not to worry, it didn't hurt the cows at all. They couldn't feel it.

I used the above texture from my favorite free texture guy at and pulled the opacity down to about 65% from what I remember. This time I used the eraser and stamped some of the texture out. I did it this way because I wanted to keep that fantastic old tin type frame around the edges. In this photo below you can see where I am just starting to erase out the texture layer from over the sky area to let the "big sky" show through.

This is a look at the final piece. It has a wonderful rustic old time Texas feel to it. It will be available as a 12 x 36 poster size.

These are two other shots from the same drive. I put the same textured finishes to them.

And here is one of the prints on acid free watercolor paper signed and framed. It looks like an old artist color print! I mean an old color print from an artist!

These will be available in my online store:  Please stop by and have a look at my other creations as well.

And until the cows come home and we have the next great adventure.... here is  the sun finally setting on the day...

See what I mean about "Big Sky"? ~ Michele

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Winter is OVER

It is getting hot here in Texas. Almost to the point where we have to keep the AC on day and night. I like to open the windows at night so it has to be under 75 degrees. Some nights, especially in the summer, it doesn't even drop below 80. Good grief! And with this heat our winter flowers are burning out. Especially the winter flowers, petunias and pansies. I have already dug mine up and replaced them with something more heat tolerant.

This is a pic of one of the purple pansies I dug up from out front. I grabbed a shot of it after I dug it out of the trash bin heading for compost.

This is not the exact shot. But I merged the pansy shot with a pretty Bokeh texture from that I have been waiting to use and this was the perfect opportunity.

This is the texture I used:

I dropped the opacity to 50% or so and the two together looked like this:

I gently erased the texture on the flower and the greenery a bit to end up with this:

One final crop to a square and it was off to my ETSY shop

So no more pansies until next winter unless I get some cropping up in my compost heap! I called this "Winter Fades" Until the next adventure ~ Michele