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.

I’ve Got a Song

I've Got a Song
Inspired by one of my all-time favorite songs by Jim Croce.
I went to a lot of trouble to layer the birds together here. Then I was simply going to post the lyrics with the design. When I looked up the lyrics, it seems that what I’ve heard all these years as phoebe was in fact baby. Baby’s cry. Funny thing is, I think I’ve learned that before and have stubbornly continued to sing it as phoebe’s cry, in my mind.
I decided to call it paraphrasing, and give Mr. Croce the credit for the idea.
If you’d like to see the lyrics in full, you can find them here:
You can also google the song on YouTube, which is what I did. It’s always worth another listen, in my book.
Please enjoy 🙂

Magical Moonlight

Moonlight is Magic

I stepped outside one evening to find the moon playing hide and seek among the clouds. Its glow lit up the edges of the gaps and cast multi-colored lights in a halo. I gazed long enough, I hoped, to implant that image in my brain to recall at later moments.
Back at my Photoshop, I retrieved an image of the full moon and a cloudy sky, hoping to marry them into some semblance of my memory. I was using a Distort filter to make the gap in the clouds more natural when I was called away from my work. Upon my return, I was surprised to see the profile that was now present in my design. I turned the different layers off and on, seeking the source of the profile. Finally I realized it was no one layer that bore the profile, but the combination that created it. By now, the original purpose of creating this design had given way to the enchanting notion of this mystical creature with the golden crown dancing among the clouds in the moonlight. At that moment, the only thing left to do was to cast a rainbow upon it, amidst the starlight that now resembled falling snow.
Please share with me the magic that is moonlight.

Song Sung Blue

Song Sung Blue

Two things are going on in my mind here.
First is the background. It’s a variation of a photograph of a small garden at the side of my house. When the sunlight hits it just right, the pinks and the greens just glow. I made a different design featuring fairies. After that, I kept coming back to that photograph, trying this effect and that effect, and really liked when this one turned blue. There’s a space there, just right of center, where I feel like I could get lost in this blue garden as if it would take me to a new dimension.
Second is the text. I was finishing junior high school in May of 1972, when Song Sung Blue was released. I thought it was the first I’d ever heard of Neil Diamond. All I really knew was that to me it was a happy little tune that I enjoyed so much, I went out and bought the 45-rpm. In fact, I still have it.
So I think it was a matter of time before the blue garden and the song title and lyrics came together, here. My tribute, I suppose, to my first favorite song by my favorite singer.
“Before you know it, start to feeling good. You simply got no choice.” – Neil Diamond

Rainy Day Songs

Rainy Day Songs

I decided to review my design textbook and randomly chose the chapter on values. There are exercises at the end of the chapters, so I chose one about depicting a mood using values. I was experimenting with the umbrella shape recently, so it was natural to continue with that idea. This was done with a series of layers, and artistic, color, and lighting effects. The text is from a tune by Neil Diamond, aptly titled Rainy Day Songs.
The West coast is in the midst of a heat wave. Perhaps this will help us to think cooler thoughts, especially those of us in the desert mountains.

“And I keep hearing rainy day songs
Tapping on my window sill
Some that soon won’t be forgotten
Some that probably never will
Say, I know you never did believe in rainbows
But hey, you know the sun is somehow gonna shine
And babe, we only have to look and we can find it
If we want to, if we need to…”
– Rainy Day Songs, Neil Diamond.

Star Mandala

Star Mandala
I was watching a video about the healing powers of art and music. Specifically, that art and music are indeed therapeutic for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. I am a firm believer in the healing powers of music, and I agree that the music must first mean something to the person in order for the therapy to be beneficial. If it is music you enjoy, then it can trigger happy memories, and perhaps open conversation. Sometimes the topic takes me back to a time when lyrics such as, “I believe in music, I believe in love” were very popular.
During the art therapy discussion, they described how patients are encouraged to express themselves using paint and paper. They spoke of making a group project out of creating a mandala.
This idea intrigued me. I’ve had a photograph that I’ve been working with for a few days, of artwork by my five-year-old granddaughter. I wasn’t really getting very far with it until I started thinking about creating a mandala.
The center portion of the design is my granddaughter’s original artwork. I used the cookie cutter tool to create the stars from the same colors as the original. Then I used the ellipse tool to make circles and found a close match for the magenta from the color swatch for their fill. After that, I chose a gradient and texture for the background, and framed it with the magenta and a bevel effect.
All in all, I must agree. This has been very therapeutic. And I am happy to have preserved another piece of artwork from the next generation.