Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas from Me to You

I found a great website a while back that lets you add all sorts of animations to your pictures and save them as animated gifs.  The site is LunaPic.com.  The site does not limit you to animated effects.  It actually offers a full range of effects that you might find in Photoshop, as well as a whole lot more. 

But it was the snowfall effect that caught my eye, so what better to do at this time of year than to add some snowflake frames and snowfall to some of my artwork?

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So take a break from the Christmas rush, pour yourself a mug of hot cocoa and enjoy these animations I created featuring the Christmas and winter-themed digital artwork I have made into greeting cards in years past, as well as some seasonal quotations. 

Each of the images I have shown here are available as Christmas cards on my artist website at JayneWilsonArt.com (without the animations, of course!)  I've put the direct links under each picture so you can stock up early for next year!

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“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened.”  
Rachel Cohn - Dash & Lily's Book of Dares.

"Children Playing in the Snow" is available
as a greeting card at JayneWilsonArt.com

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Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells. Jingle all the way.
Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way.
Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one horse open sleigh.
James L. Pierpoint

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"Winter Sleigh Ride" is available as fine art prints and greeting cards

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"Snowmen fall from Heaven, 
One snowflake at a time"

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"Winter Cottage and Snowman" is available as a greeting card 

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"I love the excitement, the childlike spirit of innocence
and just about everything that goes along with Christmas." -- Hillary Scott

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"Watching for Santa" is available as a greeting card 

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"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.
To cherish peace and goodwill, the plenteous in mercy
is to have the real spirit of Christmas" -- Calvin Coolidge

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"The Snowman and the Curious Foal" is available as a greeting card 

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"Christmas isn't a season, it's a feeling" -- Edna Ferber

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"Bridge Over a Winter Stream" is available as a greeting card 

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"Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night 
will always fill my heart with sweet clarity" -- Novala Takemoto, Missin' (Novel)

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"Snowman in the Moonlight" is available as a greeting card 

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I hope you enjoyed the wintery scenes and quotations.  Now, if you have a little time and want to amuse yourself for a while, head over to Lunapic.com, upload a photo of your own and spend a little while playing around with various effects and animations.  Or, if you're caught up in the holiday rush, just bookmark the site to go back to later, when you have some time.

This will be my last post before Christmas, so I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year, and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Connecting with Local Artists

A few weeks ago I saw a notice in our local paper about a local art group, the Tomball Art League.

I was interested in learning about them because I was looking for a group close to home.  Houston is such a sprawled out city that any art event I would go to in Houston usually involved an hour or more drive time, one way.

I was a member of Spectra Artists in Houston for a while, but never went to any of the meetings as they were far away, and by the time I got home from work (often a two hour trek), there was no way I could get to them before they were over.

I didn't re-up my membership with Spectra Artists for 2016 since I wasn't working full time.

So I'm really excited to have joined up with Tomball Art League (TAL) and went to my first meeting today.

Since it's December, it took the form of a holiday painting party and gift exchange, plus everyone bought some snacks, so there was a wonderful spread of food.  

It was very enjoyable meeting local artists and after the business meeting, we were each given a 10 x 8 canvas, brushes, paints and a reference picture to copy.  And while we were painting, we also got on with the gift exchange and the white elephant exchange, which were great fun.

I got some lovely Christmas ornaments hand-made by one of the members, and my white elephant gift was some Tom Jones paintbrushes.

Here's my effort, the first acrylic painting I have done in over 30 years, lol.  

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently got my pastels out of mothballs and have been playing with them a little.  So the idea came to me to use the same reference picture we had used at the painting party, but this time see if I could produce a pastel version of it.

Here it is in progress, with the reference photo picture above it.

Here's it is, more or less finished.

It was just a quick, happy piece.  It was fun to do - I need to do more little studies like this.  I should remember to focus on what I see versus what I put on paper.  I noticed that my squiggle across the middle of the ornament is too squiggly compared wit the reference pic, lol. 

Here's a closer look at it. (As with the other pictures, you can click on it to see a larger version)

It's not great, but the more I practice, the more my observation will improve.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

First of all I have to apologize for the huge gap in my blogging this year.

If you know me personally on Facebook or elsewhere, you probably know that a near-fainting spell in May prompted me to go in to the ER and have some tests, just to make sure nothing serious was wrong.

I was shocked when the doctor told me that the CAT scan of my brain had indicated that I had multiple aneurysms as well as a tumor on my pituitary gland!

So this summer I have had two major surgeries, as well as extended periods of recuperation.

Art, and blogging about art, got put on the back burner while I concentrated all my energies on healing.

I'm happy to say that everything went well and I am fully recovered from my surgeries.

I do have one more procedure to go, which will take place in early December.  But luckily it's a minor procedure and the down-time should be minimal.

What better time than Thanksgiving for me to give thanks to the team of doctors at Baylor College of Medicine and St. Luke's Hospital in the Houston Medical Center for taking such great care of me and getting me through this?

I would also like to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with family, friends, and the things that make you happy.

My "Autumn Farm Scene" is available as fine art prints and greeting cards on my artist website, JayneWilsonArt.com

I'm getting back in the art groove again, and I've even got my pastels out of mothballs, so I will be sharing some artwork with you soon.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Award Winners!

I'm thrilled to announce that I have received an Award of Excellence and three Special Recognition Awards in the "18th Annual Collage, Digital & Mixed Media Juried Online International Art Exhibition.hosted by Upstream People Gallery of Omaha, Nebraska.

The winning entries were selected by the juror Laurence Bradshaw, Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, U. S. A.

Here is what Professor Bradshaw had to say about my work: "'JAYNE WILSON of Tomball, Texas is a star digital artist as seen in all her works. These were all created using digital models, textures and lighting in the digital program DAZ 3D.

The piece "Vintage Photo Studio" shows a very handsome woman sitting comfortably on a period chaise lounge sofa. The overall warmth and tone of the picture adds to the vintage character.

Her "The Indian Pony", another digital rendering on canvas, is very handsome. The brown horse's head with the spotted body of the horse is something that rendering helps to create and here it works quite well.

"A Night on the Town" captures a handsome rendering of a woman and man dressed to impress. The background really sparks the awesomeness of the two together.

Also, "White Horse in the Forest" shows her talent with the beautiful horse center stage with the scraggling tree limbs which is a nice contrast to the smooth body of the horse. And the little gentle birds add a lightness to the mood."'

I would like to thank Professor Bradshaw for this recognition and for his kind words about my work.

The exhibition will be featured online during May, 2016 at www.upstreampeoplegallery.com and continue indefinitely in the archives section of the website.

Additional information may be downloaded from the virus-free links below:

The Indian Pony - Award of Excellence - http://bit.ly/21I06Lg

Vintage Photo Studio - Special Recognition - http://bit.ly/1WgCCgU

A Night on the Town - Special Recognition - http://bit.ly/24AYuIi

White Horse in the Forest - Special Recognition - http://bit.ly/24DyXej

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Easter Bunny Song

Oh, the Easter Bunny’s coming, she’s the one I long to see.
She’s got eggs in her basket, she’s bringing them to me.
I’m looking out the window and I hope she gets here quick,
I need marshmallow bunnies and a little chocolate chick.

Oh, I love Easter Sunday and it comes round every year
Right now I’m so excited cause the Easter Bunny’s here!
The Easter eggs are lovely, with swirls on them because,
The Easter Bunny paints them with her little furry paws.

We’ll take the eggs and hide them, all up and down the hill,
And I’ll go back to find them with my little brother, Bill.
We will pile up all the goodies and I’ll eat all I can take,
And then end Easter Sunday with a big old belly ache.

Oh, the Easter Bunny’s coming, she’s the one I long to see.
She’s got eggs in her basket, she’s bringing them to me.
I’m looking out the window and I hope she gets here quick,
I need marshmallow bunnies and a little chocolate chick.
I need marshmallow bunnies and a little chocolate chick.
I need marshmallow bunnies and a little chocolate chick.

Easter Bunny Song courtesy of Nana's Corner

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My little Easter Bunny design shown above was created in Vue and is available on greeting cards, postage stamps, stickers and more in my Zazzle store.

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I'm very fond of vintage graphics and one of my favorite websites these days is the Graphics Fairy - a resource for DIYers and crafters and features over 5,000 free vintage images. I highly recommend the site if you like hand making cards and other printables.

Here are some vintage Easter images shared from The Graphics Fairy.  I hope you enjoy them.

"Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life." ~~Janine di Giovanni

"What is the real purpose behind the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus?
They seem like greater steps toward faith and imagination, each with a payoff.
Like cognitive training exercises." ~~ Chuck Palahniuk

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gentle Giant - Horse at Work in the Forest

On October 15, 1987, England was hit by what became known as the "Great Storm". There hadn't been a storm like it in 300 years. Sadly 18 people lost their lives and there were massive amounts of damage to property and millions of trees were uprooted, many in urban gardens and parklands.

The reason I mention it is because the following year, on a trip visiting my family back in England, we came across this scene in the New Forest in Hampshire. Horse power, in it's original form, was being used to help clear fallen trees and brush.

As you can see from the image below, the trees are closely packed in this particular area, and it would have been difficult, not to mention dirty, noisy and messy, trying to clear the fallen timber with tractors.

My dad, who was driving, had caught sight of the horses and pulled off to park so we could watch them at work.  Two draft horses waited patiently while their handlers hooked up fallen tree trunks and then they would haul them a few hundred yards to where a truck and trailer were being loaded with logs for removal.

It was fascinating watching man and beast work together.  A very tranquil rural scene.  I snapped several photos, but I liked this one best.

I was recently going through old photo albums - those ones with the "magnetic" plastic pages that somehow never seemed to stick quite right and the pictures always fell out.  I had been removing the photos and dumping the albums.  Photos are either being scanned or stored in boxes.

When I found this photo again, I was so taken with the scene that I wanted to make a digital painting of it.  Working in Topaz Impression, was able to create an image that looks like it is straight off the easel.  I'm very happy with the way it came out.  If you click on the image above, you can see a larger version of it, and see more of the detail.

"Gentle Giant", as I called my digital painting, is available on canvas, prints and greeting cards at JayneWilsonArt.com

I'm also making it available on other products such as mouse pads, a jigsaw puzzle and this iPad sleeve, in my online store, 3D Designs by Jayne on Zazzle.

For more information about the Great Storm, visit the Daily Telegraph website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/3344946/The-Great-Storm-of-1987-remembered.html