Sunday, 23 September 2012

Day 39 A Week of Inspired Quotes

Inspiration word: Focus

I used Kim's texture 'Crackerjack' to illustrate my quote below:


Inspiration word: Intentions

I used Kim's texture "Graduation Day'

Inspiration word: Change

I used Kim's texture 'Cinnamon' and added a frame.

Inspiration word: Peace

I used Kim's textures "Pumpkin Grunge' and  'Confidence' and a mask from Jerry Jones.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Day 45 Challenge

This week Kim has challenged us to process her sample image and play. I used Kim's textures 'partings' and 'peony', and a mask from Jerry Jones. I cropped the image, too.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Day 43 Book Spine Poems

This week in Kim Klassen's course we were set the task of creating poems using book spines. Here are my two:

In this one I used Kim's textures February Magic and Graduation Day, plus some butterfly brushes by presity 9.

The second one has a texture from Kim called 'artjoytexture'.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Day 42 Adding a quote

My favourite David Austen rose still bloomed in my garden in Winter! It's in a beautiful vase that had a broken handle so now it has a bow to hide the handle. I used Kim Klassen's 'kimklassenlove' texture and a free brush from You can't really see the gradient added to the text area because of the texture, but I liked the effect.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Day 39 Life Quote


I am wishing I could catch up on Kim's great course. I have done some work, but not had time to post. So I will endeavour to at least post some images I've completed, even if late.

We must work to make our wishes come true, for there is no fairy godmother to wave her magic wand....
I used Kim's artjoytexture.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Day 4 A single word focus

Day 4 Beyond Layers Task: Think of one single word, mood or thought...... and then set out to create a photo around your theme.

Work Always - Day 21

A work of art is a world in itself,
reflecting senses and emotions of the artist’s world.
Hans Hofmann

Art is a spiritual path for some, a way to reflect on what is within us, and on what is important in our lives, a way to grow. We need to commune, to communicate with others. Speaking words calls for a listener, just as an author longs to be read, and just as making art calls for a viewer. We can be own listener or our own viewer (as in a diary) and this can be all the purpose of our art. But when someone else shares this communication with us we feel “listened to”. One comment is enough for me to feel that someone has listened, and the satisfaction of seeing my blog grow with an archive of my own work helps too.

If we have the opportunity to have many comments or be featured somewhere (like a gallery exhibition) we feel affirmed, that we have said through our art something timeless and beautiful, or relevant to others. I'd be proud of that, but it's the process of becoming myself that's most important, and seeing how my work is changing and growing with me as I learn more techniques and sensibilities.

The artists I choose to be my guides or inspiration (like you, Kim!) help us begin the process, but it's those who take it further to produce something uniquely their own who are truly artists. I feel that I'm in the 'copying the master' stage, but the skills I am learning excite me and give wings to my own ideas.

Kim's excerpt from Julia Cameron's Artist Way is a relief:

'As artists we wish we could always work well, but we must settle for always. The 'always' we can control. The 'well' we cannot control. For this reason, we do well simply to serve, to focus more on the process of doing our work than on the 'product' of work produced.'

So here is a treasure of my heart... 
child girl fairy

A Week of Colour

story board collage
Day 19 of kim Klassen's Beyond Layers course set the challenge of a colour a day for a week. Since I'm so behind, I did a storyboard of my colours, using pics I've taken in the past year.

Day 18 Black and White tips

Well, after experimenting by changing to monochrome setting on my camera, I hear from Kim's next lesson in Beyond Layers that I shouldn't limit my picture by committing to black and white. Kim gives so much information and so many ideas that I am blown away by the possibilities. I've chosen to do only a few of the ideas as my picture felt finished.

Here I took a colour portrait that I've always liked and converted it to black and white in Photoshop Elements 9. I played with Camera Raw, healed a few spots that had scanned on, and added a texture - Kim's Graduation Day in Multiply mode at about 50 % opacity.

moustache tie

Next I took a black and white photo I had taken in an old Australian country cemetery and experimented in Camera Raw. I added Kim's Aurora texture in Soft Light mode at about 20%.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Working in Black and White

Day 17 of Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers Course

This week Kim focussed on fears that block action in our lives. A great book I read on this years ago has a wonderful title - 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway' by Susan Jeffers. There's something about the exhileration of pushing through and doing something in a state of fear that makes coming through the other side so worthwhile.

Our assignment was to work with black and white. I found how to switch my camera to view in b&w and used 'liveview' on my Nikon D90, which helped me to see how it would look, rather than just converting a coloured image later to b&w.

Here are some treasures from the sea...

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

10 Truths About Me

This week in Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers course, we are asked for 10 truths about ourselves and a picture to match.

1. My home is a sea-change. We're surrounded by forest and beautiful beaches and I don't get out in it enough! My nest is too cosy!

2. My 'Sewing' room has become a dedicated creative space for so many activities and I wish I had more time to do stuff in it!

3. Two nicknames my partner calls me are 'Clutterbunny' and 'Queen of Clutter'. And it's true! I collect interesting and beautiful things.

4. I get excited about so many things to do in life – and take on too much. I don't feel I achieve depth in many of my efforts because I try to do too much at once.

5. I always wanted children from when I was a teenager and would dream that I found an abandoned baby in a basket on our doorstep, and it fell to me to love it.

6. I had to wait many years before finding the right partner and starting to have my babies at 38. Now I have three beautiful children of my own who teach me about myself push me to grow in more ways than I'd expected.

7. Creating and re-creating is my meditation, my 'living in the present moment' time to reflect on my life and be alone in the midst of the busy family life. I've always carved out a niche of time to do this – quilting, card-making, doing up old furniture, photography, writing... even if the housework suffers.

8. I want to leave something of myself in this world that makes it a better place. I volunteer some of my talents to help my community, while trying to balance the stress of fitting it all in and keeping time for my family, too.

9. I yearn for close friends to talk with about life, the Universe and learning to grow, and I love a good honest chat over a cuppa. The wonderful women in my book group are a balm for my soul. The Internet is opening up possibilities for sharing and connecting deeply to others, too. I have one dear close friend who knows me and accepts me for who I am. She's a treasure! We just pick up from where we left, even years later.

10. Books are my friends too, along with the Internet, and I love to learn and reflect. Taking action is my biggest challenge, but I try to change things within my power – growing in patience, understanding, ways of speaking, being positive, noticing what my family needs, my attitudes and way of being in the world....and I always write too much!

The textures used on the photos were Kim's KK Musiclovin and the lower one from Jerry Jones (

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Day 10 A painterly Effect

This week in Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers lesson I've been experimenting. I started off with this photo I took last year of an old wagon. We don't get snow here on the Australian South Coats, so it's hard to get white backgrounds. I found it challenging to play around with this image to see what adding textures and changing hue/saturation does to its feel.


I turned off the last hue/saturation adjustment layer as it seemed warmer without it. I also added a background layer to lighten the outside edges more. The textures didn't show up much so I increased the opacity. I used the paintbrush to remove some texture as it seemed dull:

Not happy, I turned off the Sienna texture layer. The colours look too bright, I think:

So next I desaturated further, and added a darker texture (Kim's Branded') at 24%:

Next I increased the 'Branded' texture to 71% to try to homogenise the background.

I'm not really sure any of these worked - I like the third one the most. I'd love to know what others would do with this!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Day 6 - A Storyboard for a day

I enjoyed taking shots of the things I appreciate in my day - it wasn't a normal busy day. A walk in my garden, identifying a couple of birds' nests found by a neighbour for my daughter, and trying out window light for shots of a birdcage I decorated.

Creative Play

Here are two of the photos I worked on for the Photostory exercise in Kim's class. I think they were too detailed to see properly in small format. This is a birdcage I decorated with a nest I found. The textures added are Kim's 

bird nest cage

bird nest cage

This is my friend on her wedding day. I took this years ago, and still love it. I took away most of the colour to make it softer.


 I used Kim's Aurora texture in this one and combined two photos. I had a play with some grungy edges too, as the burn edge was too grey.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Day 4 Vision and Blur - Treading lightly

I love it when the moment is captured so I can remember it for the rest of my life - a life-defining moment of deepest love. I first worked on this picture in Kim's Art of Texture course but never showed it.

I thought I would try again, with the aim of simplicity in mind. I tried to use the textures to create the negative space in the composition by fading out the background. I used Kim's textures Charmed, Plastersquare and Crackerjack. It seemed I needed to use more textures to get the 'less' I was aiming for.

I tried to take a photo with the task of simplicity in mind, and chose my red roses. I learned from my mistakes here! The background was fussy and dark - I was trying to catch up on a few lessons and this was a shot from the photostory of my day.

This was a challenge as the lighter textures didn't seem to work, so I used Kim's textures Earthenwareframed and Burntpumpkin. I do love the textures I have purchased from you, Kim, as well as the freebies you so generously share with us. I love to have so much wonderful potential to choose from!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

6 Word Story - Day 3

The challenge is to present my life story in 6 words. It's a summary of a facet of life in one moment of time, glancing back and scanning forward to the present, and looking to the future with hope.

We are all on a journey - the discovery of our selves and what matters in ourselves and in our lives. All of us carry scars of the past that affect the way we act now, some from traumatic events, others from the 'death of a thousand cuts'.

Only I can heal myself, by delving into the depths and letting go of the pain, not holding it to me like a woman holding a beloved baby. Art is another way of expressing and letting go, moving into freedom.

Just Enough - Day 2

Kim's textures are so delicious it's hard to go lightly - the textures add so much depth and 'arty-ness' to the photos. This picture of an antique pair of baby shoes (I bought for my daughter) represent for me those years of bonding, closeness, hormones filling me with well-being and connection, when my babies were babies, and mothering was deep, fulfilling and my skin felt translucent. Emotions and senses were heightened and I felt a greater closeness to the rest of the world. My skin felt 'thin', as if there was less of a barrier between me and my emotions, and other people's presence.

I have used Kim's texture 'KK Charmed' at 46%.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Welcome Fellow Travellers on the Creative Journey

This blog started as a diary of my artistic journey for the year-long course (Beyond Layers) with Kim Klassen.

Two online courses I did previously with Kim (Skinny Mini and Art of Texture) have given me some tools to play with and I've been using what I've learned to embellish some of my images. I loved Kim's kind and inspiring attitude to life and learning so here I am back for more depth and to push my boundaries, hoping to get over that block that makes me apologise for my art: 'I'm artistic, but not an artist.'

I've dabbled in all sorts of creative activities over the years - photography, singing folk songs, quilting, nesting (home making), teddy bear making and card making to name just some. I've spent time and energy on creating babies, too! My life is busy with 3 children, and I work together with my partner Terry making Irish flutes in our home workshop, as well as volunteering in our local Rural Fire Brigade, and in a year-long project writing weekly educational articles for my children's primary school newsletter which is available online here: 

The weekly educational articles are a joint venture on the part of Broulee Public School and a few volunteers to help us all realise the intense educational value and critical importance of the first three years of a child's life for setting them on the best path for learning and becoming all they can be. Our aim is to help parents think about and improve the educational experiences and life outcomes for their children. I contribute a reflective and practical segment on each topic, along with thoughtful images. 

I'm pulled in so many creative directions and I don't have enough time to do everything in the depth I'd like, and so often the urge to do something perfectly gets in the way of brave action. I have always known that my spiritual renewal was tied to my creativity, and made it a priority to give myself some time to lose myself in something artistic, trying to touch the inner core of myself in timelessness, in producing an expression of beauty, a reminder to my heart to feel gratitude for life and the moments of beauty that come my way.

Life happens so fast sometimes that I worry about missing the deepest connections with my children, my partner and the rest of this grand universe and I want to communicate and record some of my feelings and observations on my story.

Art enables us to find ourselves
and lose ourselves at the same time.

Thomas Merton

 My goals for this year of artistic exploration are:
  • to learn more about my camera, to have it with me more;
  • to see with new eyes, from new angles and vantage points; 
  • to improve my use of Photoshop Elements 9;
  • to be inspired by other people's creative endeavours and see that my own artistic expression is just as valid;
  • to learn about blogging, linking, and presentation of my thoughts and artworks on line and join in the discussions and sharing;
  • to value art as a personal expression of attitude and thought;
  • to dream more, and make some of my dreams real;
  • to enter deeper into the emotions behind art.

So now, onwards - to being caught up more in the 'present moment' of beauty captured by photography, and enhancing my pictures with Photoshop Elements...