Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates.  I hope you are having a wonderful day filled with family, friends, good food and good company.

I love these vintage Thanksgiving greeting cards, don't you?  As always, you can click on them to see a larger version.

"We can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning." ~ Albert Barnes

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"The things that we most of the time take for granted are always those that deserve our gratitude. Be thankful to that thing or person today and make every day of the year a personal Thanksgiving one." ~Kurt Avish

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude." ~E.P. Powell

"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." ~Henry Van Dyke

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Picture Postcard Cottages

Back in February, I blogged about an art program I had recently purchased, called Topaz Impression.  You can see that post here.

Since then I have spent many happy hours working in Impression to create original artworks from my photographs, as well as using it to enhance some of my digital artwork created in Vue or DAZ.

In my blog post today, I am going to share my latest series of digital paintings, called "Picture Postcard Cottages."

I'm originally from England and whenever I go back home to visit family, my dad always enjoys taking us out for a ride in the car to visit some picturesque village he has discovered.  

One day, he took us out into Hampshire, to the village of Micheldever located between Basingstoke and Winchester.

It's the most picture perfect collection of thatched cottages and I took literally hundreds of photos!

To create this series, first I took my photographs into Topaz Impression and processed them with a variety of painting and drawing effects, saving each version as it's own jpeg file.  I primarily used the presets that come with Topaz, with the idea of blending and changing opacity and depth later in the process.

Each of the final images consists of at least two, sometimes three layers, blended to allow the layer underneath to show through and with strategic masking to get the effects where I wanted them.

I really like the vintage postcard appeal of this series.

The first of the series is Heather Cottage, and according to the Micheldever Village website it was built around 1600. 

 Heather Cottage
Available on prints and cards

Excerpted from Micheldever Village website:
The original property was probably just 2 rooms, one up and one down. The bedroom still has a wattle and daub wall made of dung and straw, and there is a doorway which is only 150cm high (less than 5 feet). 

It would appear to have been extended during the 17th century, hence the irregular front timbers. There is a small window looking down church Street and it is rumoured that it was used as a look-out to warn visitors if there was a press-gang coming up from the river. The well is still inside the property and was still in use in 1964.

 Old Cottage, built in 1580.
Available on prints and cards

Excerpted from Micheldever Village Website:
The Old Cottage was built in 1580. The central part of the cottage was a smoke bay into which the chimney stack was later inserted.

The left hand half was extended in two stages in the 17th century, and the wing to the rear was added about 1850.

Thatched Cottage in Micheldever
Available on prints and cards

I'm not sure what the name of this cottage is, but it appears to have been built around the same time as the others. It's timbered, as are many other buildings in the village, and thatched, although an outbuilding on the left has since been roofed with tile.

I hope you've enjoyed this "virtual visit" to a lovely village, and that you like what I did with my photos.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Quotes About Autumn and Art

I love to be out in nature, going for walks, photographing the natural world around us. The problem is, let's face it, the heat and humidity of a Texas summer is not exactly conducive to such activities. Of course, that gives me the perfect excuse to spend time indoors working on art, or editing photographs -- but I do miss being outside like I would be if I still lived in England.

But now autumn is here, my favorite time of year, and I can actually spend some time outdoors.

For my blog post this week, I thought I would share a sprinkling of inspirational quotes for artists, as well as some quotes about fall and autumn. I hope you enjoy them.

Fall Color at Ratcliff Lake by Jayne Wilson - Animated gif created at LunaPic

"Winter is an etching, spring a water color, summer and oil painting, and autumn, a mosaic of them all. " ~ Stanley Horowitz.

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Cézanne.

"Nature always wears the color of the spirit." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Animated gif courtesy of

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

"For man, autumn is a time of harvest,of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad." ~ Edwin Way Tea.

"For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life.. the air and the light which vary continually. For me, it is only the, surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value." Claude Monet.

Autumn Companions by Jayne Wilson.

"Everyone should take the time to sit and watch the leaves turn." - Elizabeth Lawrence.

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way — things I had no words for." ~Georgia O'Keeffe.

"As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life." ~ John Lubbock.

"Art is Man's nature. Nature is god's art." ~ James Bailey.

Country Lane in Fall by Jayne Wilson

That's it from me this week. I know my blogging is horribly erratic, but I'm making plans to be more consistent with it, so hopefully things will improve.

See you next time!