Tuesday, January 31, 2012

go and be a blessing

my studio feels like it is bursting at the seams.  there's that one painting i'm still wrestling with and another i'm trying to finish for a fundraising auction at my son's school.  there are clay scultptures waiting to be fired, stacks of plates waiting to be painted, and piles of art student work in progress.  and there are 2 portraits that need to get going.  i am busy.  sometimes i am stressed.  but, more importantly, i am grateful!

usually tuesdays are my studio work day, and i start with my blog post for the week.  today was different for me though, because i spent the day helping my friend who is pregnant do some painting in the nursery.   and because the past week or so has been even more busy and crazier than usual, i have nothing ready.  instead of skipping though,  i thought this would be a good time to share this with you.  i first saw it posted a few days ago by kelly rae roberts on facebook , but it is originally from the inspiring blog brave girls club.  isn't it funny how such a small thing as a picture of a sign can inspire you?  i love, love, love!

may you inspire and be inspired. 
may you be blessed, and
may you be a blessing!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

i heart photo apps

so last week i showed you a couple pics i created with apps on my iphone for an online collaborative project.  you can see my post here and the project here.  this week i wanted to share my list of my 5 favorite, must-have apps.

#1- instagram     so easy and fun to use...you can easily flip through the different filters until you find the one you like.  you can easily post to your social networks if you want to, and it's even its own social network if you choose to use it that way!  let me emphasize that you do not have to use it socially.  you can absolutely use it and keep your own roll of photos private!

#2- camera +    it took me a little while to learn this one, but now i actually use this one as my main camera most of the time.  it has a lot of filters and special effect choices, and i find the crop tool on this one to be the easiest to use. 

#3- snapseed    i'm still actually learning all the ends and outs of this one, but so far i really feel the filters on this one are of exceptional quality.

#4- scratchcam    this one is really cool.  you can create vintage and grungy photos so easily.  you can control the filters to customize as you choose, but most of the time i like to just push the "random" button over and over until i see one i like!

#5- grungetastic    i don't use this one as much as scratchcam, but it's still cool.  it also allows you to choose whether you want create custom effects, or just hit the "dice" button and let it choose random filters for you.

so there you have it... certainly not my entire library of apps, but definitely my favs.  and let me share a couple more of my iphoto creations with you.  this one i created for my brother-in-law who recently ran (and finished!!!) the ironman marathon.  i did half the work in photo apps and half in photoshop on my computer.  i printed it large and framed it for him for christmas.

for this next one, i used color effects pro, which allows you to recolor photos to your choosing.  this is my 4 year old who loves to dress up as superheros!

and this one was taken by that same 4 year old when we were at a football game.  zachary is an avid iphonographer (you can see this post here to read more about his passion.)  his latest obsession is the app called camera art fx, which allows him to take photos that look like drawings or paintings!

photo by zachary           age 4

speaking of my 4 year old, i have a new preschool art class that just started!   it will be every other monday from 10-11.  the next time we will meet will be monday, february 6th.  there are 3 spots left in the class, so let me know if you are interested.  here is what they painted this past monday.  doesn't this painting just warm your heart?!

here's to branching out to new things!

- julia

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


so one of my new obsessions for a while has been with all the photography and art apps that are available now.  i've never been interested in doing photography myself, especially back when you had to wind film and develop it.  or carry a lot of large, heavy cameras and equipment around.  but since getting my iphone, and now my beloved ipad, i've been exposed to a world of instant photography that i just can't resist. 

my friend, dave, from the photography blog clearer reflections, is hosting a project this week called "dave's app recipe book."  the challenge is to create at least one picture using apps in either your phone or ipad, and then post it with the exact "recipe" that you used to create it.  now that last part is where i usually run into trouble.  i'm good at experimenting...taking pictures in and out of apps using different filters, but remembering what i used in the end???  not so good.  but since this project called for that, i made sure to keep notes on what i was doing.

the first one is a self portrait.  i am a figurative artist, and one thing i have always done a lot of are self portraits.  this one came about because , for one, i can not just sit and do nothing, and two, now i can not resist experimenting with different apps.  my husband was driving, so i took a picture of myself in the rearview mirror above my seat.  the title is "rearview."

so the recipe?  i took the picture in camera+ , used the filter under the scenes called "portrait,"  and then saved it.  then i opened it in  snapseed and applied the filter called "vintage."  at that point i wanted to crop it in some more, so i saved it again and took it back into camera+ and cropped it down using the "freeform" one.  then i took it back into snapseed and applied the "drama" filter.  last, i took it into scratchcam and used the "random" button until i found one that i liked. *you can take pictures in and out of as many different apps as you like, just make sure you save the file in between apps!

for this next one, i used a painting i had done a few years ago.  I do not have this painting anymore as it is in someone else's collection now, so i had to use my digital picture of the painting.  here's the original painting.  the title is "king" and it is acrylic on 12 x 24 inch canvas.

and here's the manipulated image.

i pulled the picture up in photoshop and then took a picture of it in camera+.  then i used the filter under scenes called "auto."  then using "freeform" again i cropped out all the excess background and computer monitor.  then i saved the file.  next i opened it in wordfoto.  i tried out the different preset styles, and finally settled on "classic gray."  then i went into "words" and chose "add new word set."  i put in the words, " savior, redeemer, messiah, lord, jesus."  and wordfoto did the rest.  so easy!

i don't want this post to get too long, so i'll continue next week with part 2.  i'll tell you my top 5 or so must have apps, and show you some more pics i've created. 

remember my word for 2012?  inspired.  i'm inspired by what i've learned from clearer reflections, and i hope you'll be inspired to try it too!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012


to be inspired requires seeing.
to inspire requires doing.

so those are my goals for 2012. 

and my own art has got to start here.  i have a painting that has been in process for way too long.  since summer, in fact.

i got an idea to try to mix my figurative work with my mixed media.  i started with a large sketch and some tar gel.

detail of flowers with tar gel and acrylic

then i added some paper collage and some paint.

and then some more paint.

and this is where the story ends.  not sure what to do next.

so back to "inspire."  i need to see.  i need to do.

i need to finish and move on.

here's my next canvas waiting for me.  already a completely opposite color palette.  now that's what i'm talking about!

so here's to 2012...may we all inspire and be inspired!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

new years crash

so my new year has started, not with a bang, but with a crash.  as in my computer has crashed.  until it is fixed or replaced, my access to photoshop and a desktop will limited as i have to share with my art professor husband.  luckily, for this week, i had some pictures ready to go.

years ago when i was teaching public school, i made a trade with another teacher who was a great quilter.  i did a couple portraits, and in return, she took my husband's prized tshirt collection from his youth and turned them into this fabulous quilt.  this is, hands down, the most treasured and functional blanket in our house.

fast forward to the present.  this is my newest scarf, a gift handmade by my friend, robin, of bailey bear & co.  she made it from recycled tshirts, using a purple color palette to go along with my love of tcu.  how fantastic is this?  i love, love, love!  my mind is already churning on different ones i can have her make for me.  wouldn't this be another great way to show case tshirts you have but can't or don't wear any more?  yeah, i think so too! 


i also took these pictures of my boys with their sparklers on new years eve.  i have some really cool photo apps on my iphone and ipad that i'm loving.  i'll have to do a post about my favorite ones later, but if you are really interested now, you should check out this blog here.  dave will show you lots of cool pictures and artworks and tell you the apps and filters he used.  i've found several of my new favorites from him!

happy 2012!


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