Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A little foray into the unknown.

One of my favorite quotes (which is on my email signature, in fact) is from Pablo Picasso - “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”  I take those words to heart!  I’ve tried a lot of different art forms over the years: mosaic, painting, fiber art, music, garden design, you name it I’ve probably dabbled in it.  But one thing I have never really tried is digital art.
Part of the reason is the premise (probably unfair, I know) that it requires scads of expensive software and hardware to do it properly.  Or at least to do it without frustrating the crap out of yourself.  And I do try to avoid frustrating myself unnecessarily. 
But I really want the end product here (isn’t that always how it starts?) so I’m in for a penny, in for a pound.
Now let me first tell you that I don’t own Photoshop.  Or any other photo editing software you’ve ever heard of.  I bought no name desktop publishing software that came with a photo editing program at Best Buy or Staples or some other big box atrocity many years ago.  So that considered, I’m pretty pleased with the results.  I have taken two photos, combined them, edited out a thing or two, messed with opacity and blur effects, and came up with the cover art for promotion of the Secret Palace Secret Garden project.
I started with a photo of Castle Menzies, which by the way, is my ancestral family home.  (Don’t get excited – I’m descended from the penniless youngest brother from way back when).
Menzies castle
And then I inserted part of that into a photo of sunlight streaming through the forest
And here’s my cover art:
secret palace 2
Not a bad first attempt, eh?


  1. Wow. That's quite impressive! Looking great!

  2. Yes. Looks awesome.

    I'd love to figure out how to do this too...mainly so I can remove certain elements from photos of my artwork - the background etc.

    You must tell of the Castle Menzies scenario!

  3. Well, I'm afraid the Castle Menzies scenario is not half as interesting as you've imagined it might be! Some time around the turn of the 19th century, the youngest son of the family (who wouldn't, of course, inherit anything) was faced with the choice of entering the clergy or carving out a life for himself in the wilderness of the New World. He chose the New World. (See Grandma? My religious rebellion is not my fault!) The more interesting story, I think, is the evolution of the name. It is not pronounced as you might expect - rather as 'Ming-iss. Which explains how the spelling evolved into Minnis, my mother's maiden name. There is an article that explains it here if you're interested -



Blog Widget by LinkWithin