1960s Playlist

60s Playlist

I love music. I especially love the old songs. Even when I was a kid, I loved the old songs. I spent many afternoons sitting cross-legged on the floor, next to the portable phonograph with a stack of 45s. And I would play them one by one. The A side was the hit. Most people never heard the B side, but I always played it at least once, because if I like the A side, maybe I would like the B side, too. And because of that practice, I knew all the words to Elton John’s Skyline Pigeon before it was ever on the radio. Skyline Pigeon is the B side of Daniel, and I still have that 45.
When I suddenly remember a song I used to like, or can’t remember all the words, or who sang it, I turn to YouTube these days. More often than not, I can find the recording I’m thinking of, plus a few related ones that are fun to listen to and appreciate. Then one day I got nostalgic, and I put together this little tribute to those days gone by.
However you put together your playlist, just keep on singing.



Owl Trio
I ran across a lecture about how to choose colors for a design using the color wheel. It talked about monochromatic, triad, and tetrad. I had gone through all of this during my class, and it was fun to find this refresher. So I decided to do an exercise in color.
The center owl is simply an online coloring page. I used the Palleton Live Colorizer to create my palette. Then I used the web color numbers to find those colors in my Photoshop palette and painstakingly filled in my owl mandala.
This exercise helped me to understand why sometimes you look at something and say, “that’s nice,” then you look at something else and say, “wow.”
When I was done “coloring,” I couldn’t resist experimenting with a little texture and finally settled on a canvas background. After that, I used filters to see what else might happen. The two-tone owl on the left has a Notepaper filter applied to the center owl. The bright owl on the right has a Glowing Edges filter applied to the center owl. As sometimes happens when I’m designing, I decided I like all three. In the spirit of autumn, I present all three in one.
The link to the colorizer is below, if you would like to conduct your own experiments with color and the color wheel.


Letting go, or let it go

National Forest Red BalloonRed Balloon Yosemite
When Samuel Gompers was asked, “What does labor want?”
He responded, “It wants the earth and the fullness thereof.”
I was contemplating the phrase, let it go, versus, letting go recently, which somehow put the image of the red balloon floating away in my mind. Thus I was prompted to return once again to Photoshop to see what I could do with this idea. At first, I was drawn to the landscape on the bottom, which is of Yosemite National Park in California and appeared in my Facebook newsfeed. Then I remembered driving past another forested national park on a road trip, so I retrieved one of my photos and added some artistic effects to the landscape on the top. The balloon itself is my own creation that started as a simple shape and evolved into a shiny globe and trailing string. I think the one on the top is my favorite; however, since they share the same theme, I present these designs as a pair.
I wanted the balloon to represent the release of a worry, a care, something just plain unpleasant. Something that may be standing in the way of new opportunities. And the idea that whatever it is can simply drift away over the vastness of the landscape, of time, of space. It can remain a memory, good or bad, yet no longer be a hinderance.
Finally, I stumbled upon the opening quote. For want of the earth and the fullness thereof, may we cast our cares to the wind and may we embrace all that the Earth has to offer.

Remember who you are

Remember Who You Are
The Lion King movie talked about how the past kings, our ancestors, watch over those on Earth. This idea really appealed to me because of my love for the night sky, the moon, and the constellations. There was a scene where Simba was feeling very lonely, and his father appeared to him in the night sky, leaving him with the words, remember who you are. Those words were somehow very important to me. I remember Disney had a limited promotion featuring the graphic from that scene, and that quote. By the time I realized how much it meant to me, the promotion was over and the items were no longer available.
The scene and the quote have stayed with me, resurfacing from time to time. Here, I’ve borrowed the lion image from a friend. The constellation is an opensource graphic. The rest is me, compiling the images and the quote into what you see here.
When things seem to pile up and we become overwhelmed, it helps to remember what we treasure in life, people and values, and how it shapes who we are.
Remember who you are. Stand firm and tall. And keep moving forward.

Sunlight and Shadows

Shadows Mean the Sun
There was a slight chance of rain in the forecast amid the 100+ F days. I observed the clouds moving across the sky and across the mountains. Once I saw a lion with a big fluffy mane. Another time I saw a bunny. I also saw their shadows on the mountains, redefining the terrain.
Here I combined a photograph of Mount San Jacinto with other photographs of cloudy skies in the area to create the shadows of the clouds on top and on the side of the mountain.
And then I remembered, we need light to create the shadows. This sentiment seemed fitting in the midst of the recent storms. When the storms of life seem all too present, it sometimes helps to remember they will pass.
Wishing you love and light.

The Rose

The Stone Rose

My oldest daughter presented me with a stone rose upon returning from a trip to a Renaissance Faire in honor of my appreciation for roses.  I have worked with images of this rose in the past. This is by far my best effort to immortalize it using Photoshop. I used three layers and three different effects including texture.
The text is the last part of the song, The Rose, made famous by Bette Midler. I thought it was fitting, a message of hope, and a gentle reminder that sometimes, it takes time.

Angel and Light, and Butterflies

Butterflies Angel and Light
Many morning lately have been misty, cloudy, even foggy in the desert mountains of SoCal. I follow a US Forest Service webcam which I believe is meant to report air quality; however, it also affords a wonderful aerial view. As if I am on top of the mountain.
I was delighted by this bowl of clouds. I kept thinking it looked like one could walk on it, walk on water, as it were. In my mind, I pictured dancers, dancing on the clouds. Then I considered heavenly bodies and placed my angel in the center. I added a lighting effect, to simulate sunrise. Then the ring of butterflies to escort the angel on her way.
Perhaps this will remind you of someone who guides you along your way.
Just something bright and hopeful to consider.