If you view my website, you will notice a distinct division. Part of my web pages are related to my surrealism landscape art. The other part is related to worship and faith. I decided to combine my art and ministry using one web site. Why? To be honest, I had never set up or managed a website, and it was overwhelming. I was a nurse before and knew nothing about business, marketing, or website management. I am in Matt Tommey’s mentoring group for artists, called Created to Thrive and I am learning this new world. However, I still do not want to manage two websites!
To organize my pages, I have decided to move all my devotional resources to one page. This includes the Download Gallery where I offer prophetic words and Scripture themed digital college/composite art for you to download after purchase. The rest of the page is for The Next Step, where I post prophetic words and art for you to read and I usually offer a free download. I try to post new material there every 7 to 10 days, so remember to check back. I hope this new layout is helpful. If you would like to share something or have a question, just click on "Comments."
There are as many ways to come up with a subject for an art composition as there are artists. What inspires one artist leaves another artist totally uninspired. So, if you have looked at my art, you will notice I do not do typical landscapes. My landscapes are truly an altered reality. Am I copying another artist or using AI to create art. No and No.
I use photos of landscapes-sea, mountains, waterfalls, city streets, meadows, (and the list goes on) for my digital composite/collage art. I never know what will grab my interest and that is what is so wonderful about art. Never try to box yourself in and create something because another artist does or follow popular trends. Pick something that speaks to your heart, then go from there.
In my latest series, Wolf Moon, I knew I wanted to use a moon, a wolf, roses, and a beach. What could I use to tie all these separate items together and what story would they tell? For Wolf Moon Wolf, this was the photo that tied every element in that composition together. A woman in a long white dress walking down the beach. Add a few other images and layers to bring inspiration to life. Simple? No really. I had to look at many photos and images to find what spoke to my heart as an artist. Multiple hours and layers later, everything came together for Wolf Moon Wolf. If you check my Facebook or Instagram pages, you will see not one, but two versions. Why two versions? That’s another post.
My medium is digital, which means I use software to create my art. I also do mixed media on canvas when I need to take a break from my computer. I confess that I also paint, but just for fun. One of the skills I never mastered in acrylic or watercolor was mixing colors. I had no problems mixing my paint to get the exact color I wanted. My problem came when I underestimated the amount of paint I would need and have to mx more. Except that never worked. It was obvious where I ran out of paint and had to mix more.
That is one of the reasons I love using the color picker tool in my graphic software programs. I can take a photo that inspires me and sample the color I want. The color picker gives me the numerical value of the color. I can record those numbers to get the exact same color every time. I have even made color samples from photos and turned them into swatches, which are groups of color samples that can be used over and over again. I have even taken samples from my own art to make color swatches that I can use on new compositions! Color mixing digitally is fun!
I took one of my favorite digital composites and did a color sampling. I created a swatch group called End of Time. Now I can use these exact colors over and over again without going back to resample my art.
Does an artist every run out of inspiration? If they do, how can they find new inspiration? Well, I cannot answer for other artists, but I know that there have been times when I do not have a clue what to create next and nothing appeals to me. So, how do I rekindle my inspiration muse?
Since I use photos for my digital collage/composite art, I go on a photo hunt. I try to use my own photos, but that is not always possible, so I search public domain sites for what I need or for inspiration. This time, no luck. Nothing I looked at inspired me, even after looking at multiple sites and photos. My other source of inspiration is my own art. I go back and look at some of the art I made when I was first learning how to use software in a creative way. I have art going back to 2015, although I am trying to clean out some of those old files, but that is a different story.
This time, I found an older digital collage I called Evening Sail. A vintage sailing ship, a lake photo, and a different moon combined. I liked the idea of putting that ship in a setting where you would never see a sailing ship plus I like to use vintage images. So, now I have my inspiration. What are some of the ways you find inspiration?
Below is my original Evening Sail and what I am creating now. My new composite is name Morning Sail. I am not finished with it yet, but I will post it on Facebook and Instagram when I have completed this new digital composite.
I love flowers, but I do not use many in my art. I do more with landscapes and space. However, I always enjoy visiting spring gardens or flower festivals. I live close enough to a tulip farm to drive over in the Spring when they have their tulip festival. I went on my first photo shoot in 2007. The last time I went was in 2021, so I was planning on going and taking a few dozen photos. I am not a photographer and I do not use many tulip photos in my art, but I cannot resist grabbing my camera and clicking away. Even if I have to delete a few (well, if I am being honest, it is at least a third to begin with.) I dislike deleting my pretty tulip photos, but really, why keep the blurred shots, the oops I cut off the tulips and shot weeds/dirt/my shoes, or. This year I will probably not make the festival. Not because I am too busy, because I could squeeze out a few hours to indulge in tulip love. No, it is because of the weather. It has been a very wet and cold Spring here. I love seeing all the vibrant colors and shapes and recording what I like with my camera, but not when it is pouring down rain! So, I guess I will just have to enjoy my tulip photo collection (I added up all my folders-425 total) from the past and try again next year. Here a few photos I took from 2007 to 2021,
I’ve been working on a composition I call Morning Ride on and off for about 2 years. It is one of three in my Ride series, showing a fantasy garden in the morning, the evening and at night. I was almost finished with Morning when I decided I needed to change the file size. That meant I had to go back and deconstruct every layer. If the original image I used did not have enough pixels to enlarge, I would have to find something else. I put a few hours into my digital composite, getting everything exactly right. I decided I should check with my other completed Ride-Night Ride. I didn’t want the garden to be an exact copy, but I wanted the same number of flowers. As soon as I saw Night Ride, I knew I was in trouble. I had made the “flowers” out of sunflower stems and vintage watches. What was the problem? In Morning, I made the flowers from keys. Big mistake. Wasted hours. Did I give up? Nope. I was determined to finish and finish I did. So, if something in your life does not turn out the way you expected, do not give up. Keep on trying until you achieve your goal.
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