A new direction....

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Happy Monday! Those of you who follow my facebook page probably had their newsfeed bombarded over the weekend by all of the pictures I've been posting (my bad!) But I can't help it--- I just started taking a new online class that seems to have unlocked a door in my universe. I am bursting at the seams with crazy energy and excitement about the new techniques I've learned and can't wait to share a sliver of what I've learned with you.

Out of respect for the teachers of this class and the hard work they put into putting it together, I will not be divulging too much 'technique-wise.' However, I will provide you with a gentle push in the general direction. If you like what you see, perhaps you can sign up yourself!

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The class is called CoLab Artistry and is instructed by photographer Susan Tuttle and artist Alena Hennessy. (I've been a big fan of Alena's for a little over a year now and am also enrolled in another one of her E-Courses, 30 Days of Grace.) CoLab Artistry combines intuitive painting with photography and photo-editing. It is a class about LAYERS and DIMENSION, which is one of my favorite things about creating. You don't need to be a painter or photographer to take this class- it is broken up into step-by-step tutorials and anyone can do it.

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Up until last week, I had never really altered my art using digital applications. This opportunity to combine, create, and recreate old artwork wasn't even in my realm of awareness. And I'm no photographer...I truly just point and shoot. So Susan Tuttle's "iphoneography" tutorials throughout this course have been the videos I've paused, restarted, taken notes on, and watched over and over. If you are new to painting, Alena's video tutorials show you great methods to just dive in to painting background washes and adding little details.

The thing that really blew my mind was that there are apps out there that allow you to merge images. I've played around with little stuff, sure, but the techology that is out there (and that I was unaware of) is MIND BLOWING. If you have a tablet or smartphone (doesn't have to be iPhone! I'm a Droid-girl, myself) search : "Image blender" or "photo blender." See what pops up.

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Above all, I encourage you to PLAY AROUND. Merge your photos that already exist in your library. Pretend you are a Master Chef...combining ingredients and formulate your own recipes. You probably already have a whole cupboard of ingredients already, just waiting to be transformed! It took me a few hours to actually get started on the class projects after I downloaded my list of required apps because I was just amazed.

Some of you are familiar with this painting I created, "Guardian Angel," that is inspired by a series of Dessa Kirk statues in Chicago.

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Through some techniques I learned in my class, I was able to further my study on "Daphne" by creating a digital mini-series.

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I am even learning a bit about typography and layering words over images. Possible greeting card series for my Etsy Shop?

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Last night, I was going through pictures I'd taken on my phone and stumbled across some images of student artwork from last spring. 4th grade students were using india ink to create their own versions of Monet landscapes. On a whim, I combined one of their images with my patterns.

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Isn't that wild? So then I followed some more of Alena and Susan's secret techniques and added more ingredients to my photography recipe, including my personal artwork and photo overlays. I ended up creating 4 different mini-landscapes. These are my favorite so far, I think.

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As a friend of mine pointed out, my path crosses with the paths of young, sweet souls on a daily basis. A merge in our creations just feels so natural and right. Perhaps child-art was my missing ingredient to my favorite recipe!

The reason why I'm so excited about this course is because it truly proves that opportunities are endless. A work of art does not always have to be finished, nor does a book or a story have to end. A photograh can live on under layers of digitally applied paint. Old paintings and doodles can tell new stories. And new chapters can emerge in new, added on layers. Forgotten photos and half-finished artwork now has a chance to rise up and become part of something bigger. Everything can be twisted and rearranged in a new light. New life can be breathed into everything and there are endless viewpoints.

We are truly the authors of our own life and the creators of our own stories. It's never too late to go back and turn something around.

Peace and Love :)


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