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Another great thing about using the iPhone to make art – is that you can get by with images already in your camera roll.  You’d be surprised at what you can do with what you already have.  And its those images that you’d least expect, the ones out of focus, or those accidentally taken, that will surprise you the most.

Don’t think that because it turned out blurry, or if you didn’t get the composition just right that its worthless…more times than not those images will give you that unexpected, spontaneity that is difficult to re-create on purpose.

Very rarely do I discard an image.  NO matter what.  You just never know what you might need one day to do the trick.

And not only are you creating cool new pieces of art with each new creation, but you’re also giving yourself more images to create new work from. 

Its all about layering.  And sometimes, the more layers the better.

Say you’re using Blender (app) and you’ve combined two images together that you’re happy with.  Simply save that new image, and start a new ‘session’ using that newly created image as your new first layer and pick another image to blend it with.  And so on and so on. You can continue on in this way for as long as you like.

I call it layer stacking.

WARNING!  Its addictive!!!

The above image was one of those ‘not sure what it is but might want to keep it anyway’ images.  And this is what it looked like before.


See what I mean?

All Within Arms Reach


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I came across some really inspiring artwork on Pinterest the other day.  This is nothing at all new, but this particular time it got me to thinking.

One piece in particular, that caught my eye, was an acrylic painting; I loved the colors and the composition.  But I haven’t been doing much acrylics lately; in fact I just recently shelved all the acrylic paints and mediums to make room on my big work table for my most recent, latest newest obsession, working in a more organic way with pigment sticks and encaustics. I needed the space because I’m attempting this on a 36×36 inch panel.  Of course I haven’t actually started that project yet…but anywaythat particular process du jour was learned in a recent workshop I attended (you can see more about that in my post, ‘Lost…and Found’, if you’re interested).

But even being the hummingbird-type artist that I am, I’ve really kind of settled in on the process of manipulating images on my iPhone lately.  It’s just so easy and so accessible. When I don’t have the time to set up in the real studio, I can set up the iPhone studio – wherever I happen to be – because I can always find a minute or two, or three, (sometimes an hour or two, or three!) to play with images.  Everything is right there (literally) in the palm of my hand!

So, I got to thinking…why not try and replicate the acrylic painting process with the iPhone.  Instead of creating/using realistic images to build composites with – why not approach it from a more abstract perspective and see what I can come up with.

Sometimes I get so locked up in my box of square thinking, that I forget about all the other options and it takes seeing it elsewhere (Pinterest, in this instance) to make it ‘click’.

So…here’s an image.


I was playing with my iPad at lunch and decided to take a photo. I haven’t used it much for that (it’s still pretty new) but I could not figure out what was wrong with the camera.

Why was it so out of focus and why was it blue?!  And turquoise blue at that.

Hmmm…probably had something to do with the turquoise colored iPad cover I had on it!!

But instead of discarding the image, I decided to take it from there and build on it.   I decided to continue to focus on similar type subjects.  But since I was sitting in my car eating lunch, all I could come up with was an image of the console in my car – and I zoomed in to focus on the distorted reflection in it.

It didn’t look like much but after just a minute or two (literally) of combining it with another image in my camera roll, using ‘Blender’ app, I came up with this…


And I decided to see what else I could do by further enhancing it with the ‘edit’ feature in the camera’s settings.  It’s such a simple thing to do but can change things dramatically!  I actually stumbled on it by accident.

Here’s what I came up with…


Two totally different looks.  And nothing at all like the original console!

I’m hoping to continue experimenting with these ideas – and maybe I’ll actually get out of the car next time!

Lost in the Fog Tubes


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Having so much fun combining random images and merging with Blender…

Such a great way to get your fix when time is limited!

Improbably Delicious


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Oh the joy of creating with reckless abandon; without care or concern for the outcome.

And why, if I know this to be true, am I constantly surprised with the results each and every time??

Here, I have simply grabbed a couple of unlikely images (those without a drop of potential) – or so I thought – and carelessly merged them together with the iPhone app ‘Blender’.  I then tweaked the (pre-set) Blend Modes until I came up with these fun results!

You must try this at home!!

Lost…and Found


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As I’m sitting here typing this post I can smell these panels.

Encaustic is such an organic art form – in more ways than one.

First, there’s the beeswax – the very heart and soul of the process.  Wax in its solid form has a really nice fragrance, but you cannot imagine how wonderfully pleasing it smells in its liquid form.  And since the wax must remain liquid (and warm) in order to paint with it – you’re enveloped in this heady aroma during the entire painting process.

And it lingers even after that!

Not only is the medium itself organic but this weekend I took a class taught by Elizabeth Schowachert on a process she calls Organic Fusion.

And how appropriate …because it felt as though it was the culmination of several  recent artistic explorations fused together on to my panels.  It wasn’t just THIS newly learned technique but also bits and pieces of techniques and processes I’d been exploring for the last few months.  And not just with encaustics but with acrylics and with my digital composits as well.

And even though the class wasn’t as long as I would have liked, the new technique allowed me the freedom to lose myself in it and not focus so much on the process itself.

And I think that was the best part of all.



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Here’s another example of building on what you have…in this case, I snapped a photo of one of my dried paint palettes and layered a couple more images from my camera roll.

I’m really enjoying the freedom that limiting myself to the iPhone has given me.

Sometimes it’s the most unlikely pairings that end up with the most surprising outcomes!

Box of Blues


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boxed blue

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising and gave to it neither power nor time. – - Mary Oliver

Its time to follow your bliss.

If not now, when?

(iPhonography by me)

The mountains are calling


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and I must go.


Another iPhone (only) composite where I’ve combined two of my favorite things…winter landscape photography and bees!  (not necessarily in that order!)

And here is the original image of the honey extractor (from the beekeeping booth at our local Ag Expo this weekend) to give you an idea of how layering affected the outcome of the image.


Already Art: A New Project


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mixed media

I’ve written posts before about how much I enjoy photographing parts of my artwork…how extracting smaller juxtapositions can create completely different perspectives of a piece and turn it into something completely different.

Well, this weekend I stumbled upon yet another way to do just that.

But in this case I’m taking the smaller part and building on it.

I’ve started a new project – a new journey, if you will. A mixed media journey where I travel as lightly as possible.

No paint. No glue. No encaustic medium needed.  Its a journey you can embark on when you’ve got a few minutes (or a few hours) – depending on your addiction – and it is very addictive!

There’s something truly wonderful about traveling lightly and in this case having everything you need right in the palm of your hand – literally.

This new project is one where I will create art simply with my iPhone and the apps I have on it; compositing in its simplest form, without turning on the laptop; setting up the workspace, or importing into Photoshop.  Very low tech.  The point is to keep it very simple; to use what I already have on hand – to build on what I’ve already created: to breath new life into ‘already art’. I’ll be using the phone to take images and to make art from those images.

The above is one of my first attempts.

This is the result from wandering around the studio snapping photos of various artwork, dried paint palettes, found objects, etc.; manipulating the images (via apps) and then combining the parts or the whole into one image.

Does the scribbling look familiar?  That’s from the image in ‘What Are You Waiting For’ (my previous post). The polka dot sheet is a piece of tissue paper I had on hand that had been covered in encaustic medium.  All photographed by the iPhone and all manipulated/combined with iPhone apps.  


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