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Vernonia Lake is full of light and beauty. An Oregon rain splashes down–dancing on lily pads, yellow lily flowers and blue lake water in a synergy of energy, tranquility, and reflection.
Lily Pads In The Rain At Vernonia Lake at Fineartamerica
Last spring my son and I made a short stop at Vernonia lake. I had just gotten a zoom lens extender from my father-in-law, so while my son fished I tried it out on a great blue heron that was way out in the middle of the lake. It was a little tricky though since the extender does not have an auto focus or stabilizer and I did not have a tripod at that point–so the majority of the photos did not turn out well. One of the photos from that day that did turn out is the photo, taken without the extender, that I used in “Lily Pads In The Rain At Vernonia Lake” which was taken after it started to rain just before we left. I made it into a digital work of art by making the colors more vibrant, adding blue to the water and a textured layer of larger than life water splashes in the background. n addition, there is another layer of texture to add the effect of more rain droplets on the water and a neon layer to heighten the effect of water on the edges of the lily pads and the flowers.
Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
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since I got an email today from somebody on fineartamerica asking how I make my own textures, I thought maybe somebody else might be interested. Here is what I said back to them:

Thanks for you interest! I do not have a how to do textures tutorial, but I have several blog posts about images that have been made with my own textures. It is super easy and so fun. Anybody who has a macro lens and keeps their eyes open for interesting textures on things can do it. A tripod is helpful sometimes as well.

https://dlmtleart.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/snowflakes-and-a-bit-about-textures/


https://dlmtleart.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/garden-of-the-hesperides-digital-art/


https://dlmtleart.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/old-fashioned-roses-trojan-pond/


https://dlmtleart.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/red-lilies-hares-foot-trefoil-with-red-leaves/


https://dlmtleart.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/marriage-of-titania-salmon-berry-floral-duet/

There is also a tutorial on redbubble I found very helpful in getting started with doing your own textures:
http://blog.redbubble.com/2013/02/how-to-photograph-your-own-textures/

 –although unlike what they recommend I do NOT prefer things with an even or uniform texture. I like finding interesting abstract shapes that inspire my imagination much like Leonardo Davinci taught his students to do by looking for stains on the walls etc and then using those to spark creative and imaginative drawings.

Sometimes after I take the initial texture shots I meld several of them together using layers to get what I am after and edit the color and lighting. These make great backgrounds for stationery also.
This is one I did using the crackled and glittery surface of my bathroom sink after I accidentally spilled gentian violet ALL OVER THE PLACE and then tried to clean it up. This incorporates overlaying several layers of sink texture plus edits to the lighting http://www.redbubble.com/people/dlmtleart/works/11574196-crackle-and-sparkle


…and here it is in a photo manipulation http://fineartamerica.com/featured/dragonfly-leap-of-faith-dawna-morton.html

here is another one where I used a texture from the bottom of my flaking Teflon wok. I use that wok texture a lot because it adds a splash of energy and motion. http://www.redbubble.com/people/dlmtleart/works/10469714-homework-rebellion-girl-reading-horse

Here is one where I used a close up of a bread pan somebody left outside in the bbq all winter. It was gross, but cleaned up and tinted blue etc it is lovely http://www.zazzle.com/cloudy_blue_sky_star_haiku_oval_print-228789702444197489?rf=238567130389714466


This one has as one of many layers an edited version of the infamous gentian violet spill aftermath. When I rinsed out the rags and set them on the edge of the bathtub and squeezed them out we had purple drops, drips, and splashes all over the place. It did eventually come off after a month or so and after using bleach. lol 😉  http://fineartamerica.com/featured/lily-pads-in-the-rain-at-vernonia-lake-dawna-morton.html

This should give you some ideas of the types of things you can keep an eye out for at your home and around town.

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not COPY, but do feel free to hit the share button 😉

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Last spring I got some “snow in summer” flowers for free on clearance at Greg’s Garden’s over in Longview, and promptly took some close up shots with my new-to-me macro lens through my front window screen because the light on them was so lovely. I had read (on the canon website I think) that there is a way to take photos through obstacles like that and have the camera focus them out, So I was experimenting with trying it out.  It’s a bit tricky to do and I don’t think I quite have the knack down,  but it sure would be convenient to not have to take out the screen every time I want to snap a shot of a beautiful sunrise or sunset through the window.

Around the same time I learned about  and started experimenting with using my macro lens to take texture shots for use in my photo editing process. This really yields some dramatically beautiful results. While I was in the process of applying layers of my texture photos to my snow in summer close up shots I came across a video on twitter about artist James C. Christensen. I wish I could find it now to include here because it was really good and influenced the development of this piece.

One of the things that got me thinking during the video is when he talks about how he had all these sketches he “did for fun,” but never thought of selling, of these comical figures and one day a fellow professor said to him why don’t you paint those and sell them? He replied, they’d never sell, there’s no market for it, nobody else is doing anything like them . ..and then it hit him  like an epiphany that THAT was his niche. Once he started painting those subjects in that style that were unique to him, that’s when his art sales really started taking off.

So I got to thinking about “what is it that makes my work unique? what is my niche?” In doing several of my digital works of art/photo-manipulations I have had a lot of fun putting in and discovering “faces” that are kind of semi there with forest lore/fairy/nymph/ mythology symbolism and I thought “maybe that could be my niche?” So I went through my texture photographs and tried out several different ones with faces in them and started over several times because it just didn’t have the right feel.

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If you want to see some other works like his I have other blog posts about them here:
marriage of Titania; Salmon berry floral duet   Aeriel’s Gift
snowflakes and a bit about textures  Midsummer Daydream, water soluble oil painting

Once  it got to the point where one of the flowers resembled a blue star or nebula it called to mind something I had read recently about a group of stars anciently that were named after the Hyades who wept when their brother died. However, somehow I got it mixed up in my mind with the story of Hercules and the Garden of the Hesperides with the apples that were supposed to give eternal life, but which were guarded by a dragon (which is interestingly enough “serpent” in Greek.) I also liked the name Hesperia and found fascinating how similar the thematic and symbolic elements in the story are to those in the Garden of Eden. Even though I was a bit mixed up at first, the star bit still fits in since the father of the Hesperides is supposed to be the god of the evening star in some stories, and even without that there were stars named after them.

Honestly I’m still not sure  if this is my niche or not. For one thing, I got tired of working on this one several times and set it aside for months and months at a time –although that might have more to do with my frustration with the tedious process of blending the edges of the dragon on the computer (yeah I know I should really get one of those Correl paint tablet things for my computer), and for another thing I only put these transparent layers,  with “faces” created out of abstract textures and shapes, into my digital art rather than any of my more traditional artwork. Perhaps it is just too early in my artistic career to tell what is going to be the best niche for me. For now I am going to keep experimenting, learning, and having fun along the way.

What do you think?

garden of the Hesperides by Dawna Morton
garden of the Hesperides by Dawna Morton
~see it framed

In this work of digital art, a semitransparent dragon –like a fiery furnace of hot molten glass–curls around fiercely, menacing and breathing fire, and poised to strike the warrior Hercules who dares to approach Hesperia’s garden in search of the precious apples there. Multiple layers of abstract semi-transparent, translucent shapes and textures overlaid on a floral photograph create an ethereal milky-way like scene in which  a starlit night merges with a garden where a larger than life profile of Hesperia’s face is overlaid on the apple tree in such a way that she appears to weep.  Beyond her, one of her sisters gazes in wonder at a blue flower, nebula-like in the glorious process of creation.

Although vastly different in scope and meaning, similar symbols, elements, and themes in the story from Greek mythology echo those of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. This calls to mind the idea that history tends to repeat itself,  and much like our predecessors we have our own ‘dragons’ to vanquish, sorrows to overcome, and quests to undertake, and victory to be won all while finding moments to create or discover “joy in the journey.”

Archival inks and papers, canvas prints,custom framing available on imagekind Fine Art Prints from $10.44 and up. Prices subject to change.
garden of the Hesperides on RedBubble cards starting at US $2.40, photographic prints US$6.60+, matted, mounted, canvas, framed, posters, shirts, stickers, iPhone & iPod cases prices subject to change.
garden of the Hesperides on zazzle.com western Posters and art starting at $9.95, prices subject to change

*NEW* now on fineartamerica.com

Any other artists out there have anything you can share about what you have done to develop your style, discover your niche, and make an income from your art business?

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

You can also find Dawna on flickr

 

One day when I was baking some bread I got distracted and did not hear the timer while the dough was rising. The dough ended up over rising and glopped all over the floor of the oven. As I was surveying the mess, thinking it really needed a good scrub down anyway, I noticed the interesting patterns and textures on the oven door window. I had just started learning about adding textures to photos and was keen to make some of my own, so before I whipped out the baking soda and scrub brush (a great non-toxic eco-friendly non smelly way to clean the oven btw)  I got out my camera and took lots of pictures of various sections of the window. The back-light shining through the transparent surface created some interesting effects, and I thought the drips and splashes would make a great rainy/rainforest type background texture.

I was so excited about how they turned out that I started tinkering, after I was supposed to be in bed, adding them to some salmon berry flower photos I’d taken earlier that week. Before I knew it I looked up at the clock and it was three hours later. I won’t show the close up shots of my oven here, but layers of various shapes in the texture created a lovely background. As I started moving things around I started developing a concept of this being about a marriage relationship. Then, after I found and strategically placed an abstract face, things started taking a more Shakespearean turn…

Each time I look at this I find something new. It is a bit like a game of hidden pictures, or looking up at the clouds and trying to find different things in the shapes 🙂

marriage of Titania; Salmon berry floral duet by Dawna Morton
marriage of Titania; Salmon berry floral duet by Dawna Morton ~see it framed

At first glance, this is just a nice picture of some flowers with an interesting textured background, framed with a bit of modern art flair; however, there is more to it than meets the eye when examined in more depth…
Half hidden behind the five petaled purple Pacific Northwest salmon berry blossom, the face of Titania  as a bride glows with love as she gazes adoringly up at the visage of Oberon. The overlapping purple, green, and golden toned rectangles symbolize both unity and discord in the couple’s future as the begin with varying success to mesh and meld their lives and hearts together from separate planes of existence, as well as symbolizing the various interlinked plots within Shakespeare’s play, “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” abstract shapes and textures in the brushed gold tones of the background further call to mind characters and whet the imagination with scenes  and ideas from the play, foreshadowing the events f their future life.
Nick Bottom appears to sing or bray like a donkey below one petal, while the faint shapes of a donkey of horse head are formed in the upper right. On the left Helena, in a floral hat, wakes the sleeping Lysander. Another figure along the top appears to write in a book, representing the playwright at work while other shadowy figures emerge among the golden raindrops which splash a sense of magic and wonder across the dreamy scene. As the drops of water land on the blossoms  the stretch forth their petals towards each other with love and yearning, reminding us of the flowers used to make the love potion which caused  so much turmoil in the lives of the characters, even though they found happiness in the end.

Archival inks and papers, canvas prints, custom framing at imagekind:
Fine Art Prints from $10.44 and up. Prices subject to change.
marriage of Titania; Salmon berry floral dueton RedBubble: cards starting at US $1.92,
matted canvas prints prices subject to change.
marriage of Titania; Salmon berry floral duet on zazzle.com Shakespearean Posters starting at $9.95, prices subject to change.
now also on fineartamerica
Some people I have shown this to, have seen the images in the background right away, while others just don’t get it, so I thought I’d include this little slide show with a general outline of the shapes I see. This is not an exact outline, since the images are supposed to be abstract, ethereal–half there, half imagined. Hopefully you will enjoy finding these (and maybe even more) as much I do…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

You can also follow Dawna on flickr

 

Today I used my digital composition, Aeriel’s Gift, to create some stationery, photo cards, and invitations.


In the twilight of Aeriel’s Gift, abstracted silhouettes of trees shapes, back-lit with pink and lavender fog, create images of tree nymphs. A dryad sits atop the tree canopy holding a fairy in her hand. The wood nymphs and the sky spirit look on as she opens her heart and offers her love as a gift to her creator. Glowing with light, her love ascends, circling up through the misty clouds and beyond the moon like smoke of incense from an altar.

Aerial's Gift stationery
This is a moody, yet tranquil image, suitable for bearing whatever is in the inmost reaches of your soul.
Aeriel's Gift photocard
With its aura of romance and mystery this image is perfect for showing off  photos of prom, engagements, or other formal occasions
Aeriel's Gift invitation
Custom invitation or announcement for that romantic evening…
Aeriel's Gift stationery
Aeriel’s Gift by dlmtleArt
Design personal stationery online with zazzle
Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

You can also find Dawna on flickr

 

 

 

Digital composition by Dawna Morton, 2009. All Rights Reserved.

In the twilight, abstracted silhouettes of trees shapes, back lit with pink and lavender fog, create images of tree nymphs. A dryad sits atop the tree canopy holding a fairy in her hand. The wood nymphs and the sky spirit look on as she opens hear heart and offers her love as a gift to her creator. Glowing with light, her love ascends, circling up through the misty clouds and beyond the moon like smoke of incense from an alter.

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

You can also find Dawna on flickr

 

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