Happy Holidays, Amy Melious and Cookie Sheets!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Candy Cane
8″x 10″
oil on gessoboard
$195
Click here to purchase
I had my very talented cousin, Amy Melious, over for a visit. She is a photographic artist. (and very pretty!)
We were cooking and baking and I was trying to hide these ugly cookie sheets when she said not to hide them, got out her camera and took photos of them! 
She takes pictures of the textures to use in her photography. I really don’t understand what she does, so here is her explanation:
“Annie, the first very (fabulously) rustic cookie pan is yours, followed by the two long landscape images I tested it on.”
 The original….
…one with texture.
Isn’t it great that we can make art and cookies from the very same pans? It’s one instance when we get to have our cake and eat it too!
My love of photographing textures started more than a decade ago as I was ending a ten year love affair with the Polaroid transfer process in favor of expanding my horizons into digital techniques.
I was interested in the new capabilities that digital world offered, but wasn’t ready to give up the very nostalgic, personal, and imperfect qualities of the Polaroid transfer look. 
So, I tried to figure out how to apply that “look”in Photoshop, almost like you would antique a piece of furniture.  I started going around looking for textures in my immediate environment, experimenting with each of them composited over my photographs. My skills at the time were limited, but it didn’t take long to find out what worked best, and it was so much fun!

Now, I have a huge collection of textures from all over the world – among them a few faves that I use often.

I know that in recent years, several companies have appeared that sell textures. They’re also built into some apps  and are sold as plug-ins for image editing software. They can be quick and fun and so have a place for sure. However, I always encourage people to photograph their own  as well in order to give their pictures more personal meaning and uniqueness.
Texture layers is easy to use if you have basic knowledge of Photoshop. You simply open the image and the texture, then drag the texture onto the image and drop. Photoshop will automatically put the texture in it’s own new layer. Then, the really fun part is to scroll through the blend modes in the layers palette until you see a version you like. Remember that you can reduce the opacity of the layer to minimize it’s effect to any degree you want. Also, you can mask the layer and hide the effect from any area of the image (using the paintbrush tool).

And to go along with the cookie sheets, here’s my family’s very favorite holiday cookie recipe:

Molasses Spice Cookies: From “The Best Recipe” book by Cooks Illustrated.

 2 1/4 c flour
2 teasp baking soda

1/2 teasp salt

1 1/2 teasp cinnamon

1 teasp ground ginger

3/4 teasp ground cloves

1/4 teasp ground allspice

12 Tb unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened.

1/2 c dark brown sugar

1/2  white sugar, plus 1/2 cup aside for rolling balls before baking

1 large egg

1 teasp vanilla

1/3 c unsulphured molasses

 Heat oven to 375
 Mix flour, b. soda, salt and spices together.
In a separate bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, white sugar- mix until fluffy, then add egg, vanilla and molasses, mix just until blended.

Add the dry ingredients, mix just until combined.

 Make 2 Tb dough at a time into 1 3/4 inch balls. Roll the balls in white sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
 Bake 11-13 minutes. They should crack on top.  Cool on racks.

Best wishes to you and your readers for a happy season!
xo
Amy “

I now look for textures in everything!


She was recently published in Somerset Digital Studio, and plan ahead and take her workshop in Spain:

” One day at a time, tucked away among olive groves, far
from all distraction, Gail Short and Amy Melious will
unfold the wonderful world of creative process.” Read more…  Flavor of Spain

Thank you Amy!

Listening to while I paint:
Audio Books:
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, narrated by Jim Dale.

Podcasts:
Food is the New Rock, hosted by Zach Brooks
The Lede, hosted by Jerod Morris
Artists Helping Artists, hosted by Leslie Saeta
Social Media Examiner, hosted by Michael Stelzner
“Wait, Wait…. Don’t Tell Me!”, hosted by Peter Sagal
Splendid Table, hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
American’s Test Kitchen, hosted by Christopher Kimball

Music:
My iPod: Christmas music!

Really helpful!:
I am continually checking a dictionary, thesaurus, spell check, but one thing that has been particularly helpful is the grammar check. Please excuse any errors that I make and tell me! 🙂

Continue reading Happy Holidays, Amy Melious and Cookie Sheets!

Happy Thanksgiving! and Scott Conary’s Studio

Pumpkin8″x 8″oil on gessoboardClick here to purchaseMy husband and I went to the Sitka Art Invitational, and I was stuck by Scott Conary’s work, especially by his painting, “Robert’s Door”.The use of color and the paint application was stunning!&n…

Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving! and Scott Conary’s Studio

Portland State Farmers Market

Farmers Market6″x 6″ oil on gessoboardMy sister-in-law and I went to the Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University. the first part of October.This is the Simon Benson House , home of the Portland State Alumni Associa…

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"Golden Tulips" and Jo Reimer’s Studio

“Golden Tulips”12″x 16″oil on canvas, 1″ profile $425Click here to purchaseJo Reimer’s StudioI had the pleasure of visiting my friend, Jo Reimer’s house and studio, and enjoying coffee in her beautiful back yard.”Mattie’s Garden” quilt&n…

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"Peach, Pink Rose", Carol Marine, and Alyson B. Stanfield

 Peach Pink Rose
8″x 8″
oil on gessoboard
$175
Click here to purchase

I have decided to try oil painting ever since my workshop with Carol Marine and actually, like it! 
Carol’s method is to paint “alla prima” or “wet onto wet”; the painting is completed while the paint is still wet. This requires you to work fast! Carol says it allows you to blend from your “islands” (main subject) into your “oceans” (background). And, when things don’t work out as planned (which almost NEVER happens! 😉 ), you can wipe it away! 
Carol’s new book, Daily Painting, which I’m sure will be full of all of her tips and tricks, comes out November 4, 2014.
I ordered one!

Alyson B. Stanfield

Several weeks ago I met with local artist friends Brenda Boylan, Jo Reimer, and Celeste Bergin.  Joining us from Colorado, was dear friend, Art Biz Coach, Alyson B. Stanfield, for a wonderful breakfast at The Benson Hotel.
       ” Alyson B. Stanfield is an art business consultant and author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. She helps artists gain more recognition, organize their businesses, and sell more art at ArtBizCoach.com.”
I have been following her since 2008, taken her online classes, I keep reading her book (over and over), and gain insight and understanding from her weekly blog posts. I highly recommend that you check out Art Biz Coach!

Listening to while I paint:
Audiobooks:

“The Hundred-Foot Journey”, by Richard C. Morais, narrated by Neil Shah

Podcasts: 
The Lede, hosted by Jerod Morris
Artists Helping Artists, hosted by Leslie Saeta
Social Media Examiner, hosted by Michael Stelzner
Splendid Table, hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Music: 

My iPod

Really helpful!: 
I am continually checking a dictionary, thesaurus, spell check, but one thing that has been particularly helpful is the grammar check! Please excuse any errors that I make and tell me! 🙂


Continue reading "Peach, Pink Rose", Carol Marine, and Alyson B. Stanfield

Eric Jacobsen’s Workshop

I went to Eric Jacobsen’s workshop at the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island,What a beautiful place to paint!He gave a demonstration….in which he emphasized that his directional “lines” in the painting would lead you to the …

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Always Together

“Always Together”
12″x 12″
acrylic on canvas
SOLD

I did this commission for a very dear friend who’s children were 8, 5 and 1 years old, and are now 36, 33, 29.
Growing up, we were neighbors and I was best friends with her little sister. I hadn’t seen them in over 20 years, and then they paid me a surprise visit at the hospital right after my stroke. It meant so much to me! I was thrilled to do this commission for Colleen and her husband, Jim, knowing that every time she looks at it she is going to remember that time in her life 

and think of me.


             “We had just moved to Honolulu and were staying in the Hale Koa, right next to the Hilton, which is the military hotel where we stayed until housing was available. I would take the kids to the beach in the morning, then nap time and when Jim came back from work we would go back down on the beach. It was not posed-they just ended up sitting like that and Jim just happened to have his camera with him. I think he just always loved the innocence and sweetness of it. We are so fortunate that they have grown up to be close as adults and it would not be a surprise to see them sitting together on the beach today. I should have added that the specialness of the picture is the reminiscing of a magical 3 years – the beauty and wonders of living on the island, the magic of kids growing up on the beach, and the memories of the making of lifetime friends! And all created by a very special lifetime friend of whom Jim and I have very dear memories!!”

Listening to while I paint:

Audiobooks:
The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum, narrated by Scott Brick
Podcasts: 
The Alton Browncast, hosted by Alton Brown
The Lede, hosted by Jerod Morris
Artists Helping Artists, hosted by Leslie Saeta
Social Media Examiner, hosted by Michael Stelzner

Music: 
my iPod

I am having a Pet Sale! From now until the end of August 2014,  I will do any pet painting for 15% off the regular price. Just send me your photo of your pet and then we can decide on the size! I will take requests and photos all month long….To see more pets click here!

Really helpful: 
I am continually checking a dictionary, thesaurus, spell check, but one thing that has been particularly helpful is the grammar check! Please excuse any errors that I make and tell me! 🙂

Continue reading Always Together

Pet Sale!

This is a picture of me and my dog Amy. I had her from the day I was born until age 16! I remember her sleeping in the sun; scared of cats; always greeted me with her loving warmth, enthusiasm, and joy!So, I am having a Pet Sale! From now unt…

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Modjeska Canyon

Ralph’s Truck8″x 8″oil on gessoboard$175Click here to purchaseThis is from a photo my son, daughter, and I took on our walk while visiting family down in Modjeska Canyon, CA.Here they are: my son, Thomas and my oldest daughter, Katherine. They are…

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Carol Marine’s Workshop – Stroke Update

Click here to purchaseHere are some of the paintings I did at Carol Marine’s workshop in Springfield, OR. (about 1 1/2 hours south of Portland) It was WONDERFUL!!!! We studied items in white, glass, reflections, flowers and metal. C…

Continue reading Carol Marine’s Workshop – Stroke Update