Saturday, July 11, 2009
OK, I have said it before...I love to take classes! I love to learn new things. In today's world of computer technology - learning new things is easier than ever! I found a really neat site, via a friend's (Judith) blog where you can get some online classes. It is Creative Workshops at Shabby Cottage Studio. At least they are in my genre! I signed up for my first digital collage class using Photoshop 7. I have tried to use Photoshop on my own, but it is not the most intuitive software. I have a VERY early version (like 1) of Adobe Photoshop and can use that quite well, but boy has it evolved! Well, I am so pleased with this online class. The teacher, Gail Schmidt, does a great job explaining and taking you through each step. And, she is readily available to answer questions by email. Let me share some of my digi-collages with you.... this is my very first digital collage. It has only three layers; fairly simple, but we learned some nifty techniques right off the bat....like how to create the little stars in an overlay and how to apply different effects to each layer. This is supposed to look a little ghostly.
Here is a practice collage I did using the same techniques I learned from lesson one. It still has only three elements or layers; sheet music, a lady and a rose.
Here is lesson two. We added more elements and more techniques. This one has at least six elements or layers including the text; a book cover about Venice, sheet music, a rose, a lady, and the grand canal. We learned how to soften edges and even make a background of an image transparent or "cut it out" to use in our collage and again change colors and effects, rotate the images, and more. This is the third lesson in the beginning series. Boy, it was a doosy, but my favorite to do. It has so many elements and techniques, I can't even count them. We learned how to change colors in different ways, how to add shadow effects, play with opacity, how to add color to the overall image with layers, brushes, and other adjustment tools such as hue, saturation and brightness. In the class this lesson used a picture of a french lady, but I removed her and added a sepia picture I had of my grandmother, Margarite.
The only draw back I can see at all this is that, like most other artistic endeavors, takes time and practice. But I have really enjoyed it and plan to continue to "play". Perhaps a logo, perhaps a new blog banner?
Oh, I mentioned in my last blog that I had also signed up for online video classes from KC Willis. Those were fun too! I am still pulling together my supplies, such a ticking fabric I found on ebay, and I have coffee stained everything I can get my hands on (including my hands).
I should be starting a fabric collage soon using KC's techniques (have to get my house and my studio straightened up first!)
I even signed up for a two-day retreat with KC in Colorado in October. You can check our her Collage Camp and her retreats here. Her location in Colorado is outstanding - we are planning to make a little family vacation out of it.
I also changed my mind about the Breast Cancer block I had pronounced finished. Decided I didn't care much for some of the elements in it so I have taken some of them out and am working on it again until I get to a happy place with it. I will post it when I am finished so you can see if you think I did the right thing :-)
Can God use You? You know, lots of times when I stop to have a conversation with God, I think...boy, I am not really doing much in the way of helping you Lord. But, being the gracious Lord that He is, He assures me that He is using me all the time, in ways I don't even consciously know about - that makes me feel so much better. There are big ways He may choose to call on people (like missionary work, or teaching sunday school) and smaller, everyday ways He may call upon His people. Have you ever gotten the urge to contact someone out of the blue - that little voice coaxing you to call or write them note.....that is God using you. The person you call or write really needed that contact at that very moment for some reason or another. Let's not take for granted all the little things every day that can touch someone in the name of God :-)
Have a blessed and creative day! Til next time - Jules