Painterly Art Using Photoshop Elements

March 18th, 2015

I’ve taken a few favorite photos over the years of flowers and nature and I wanted to display them around the house. I love the look of painterly prints so instead of just framing an enlarged version of the photograph, I experimented in Photoshop Elements, creating watercolor art with one of the tools… wait for it… the Watercolor Filter!

I took this photo of the beach in Bodega near our home on a favorite outing a few years ago, I always loved the light, the detail, the color, the memory! But I wanted to give it a more painterly quality before framing it.

surf

 

I first tried the Waterlogue app, it created a decent image but I wanted more control of the detail.

waterlogue surf

So I tried out the Watercolor Filter in Photoshop Elements and I liked that effect a little better. It produced a richer color and more detail I was looking for. If you’re a Photoshop wiz then you know this is a cool tool, if you’ve never played around in Photoshop before this is another fun way to give your photographs that watercolor effect and it’s very simple, use the dropdown Filter application and choose Artistic –> Watercolor.

watercolor filter

You’ll get a pop up window which allows you to alter the texture, shadow intensity, and brush detail, and it gave me this. I love it!

surf watercolor 1

 

I added a favorite Isak Dinesen quote, “The cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears, or the sea.”

beach watercolor print

 

Read the rest of this entry »

The Orchid Pot + Spring Refresh

March 16th, 2015

We spent the weekend spring cleaning the house and garage, everything indoors was dusty and cluttered and the garage was the definition of a disaster. Last year, we’d brought home from Matt’s grandmother’s estate furniture and boxes of belongings and we’ve been housing it in our garage, slowly distributing the possessions to relatives.

I try not to be too sentimental about my own material things since they can get lost or destroyed, and when I die someday I’m not taking them with me. But some of my things possess meaning because they were a gift, are attached to a special memory, or belonged to someone I love.

As I was sorting through the last two boxes of her things, I came across a charming little pot. What was so interesting about this particular pot was that I had been casually looking around for a chinoiserie ceramic version for an orchid, nothing cheap looking, one with intricate detail and personality, and there to my surprise in that last box of possessions sat the prettiest little pot there ever was with no indication as to whom it should go to. At that moment, it was if it winked at me.

 

chinoiserie pot with orchid

Grandma Verna labeled all of her things the last few years of her life, jotting down the origination since she had kept only the special treasures from her travels. Most everything had a note about the source and who she wanted to have it. She and her husband had traveled all over the world, Europe, Africa, India, etc. and she kept journals of her travels, ones we brought out from time to time to read to her but not that it was necessary, her mind was as sharp at 103 as it was at 53 and she could recall every detail she had written down in those journals from fifty years before.

The pot had no note attached to it so I decided to adopt it and make it part of the collection of things she had already intended find their way into our living room. Grandpa’s piano. Artwork from their 1978 trip to India. Their Swiss gold LeCoultre Atmos clock from the 1960s. 

potted plant vignette

The find inspired a spring refresh in the living room, it’s the first room you come into when you enter our home so I like it to be bright and welcoming, elegant yet casual. I swapped a few things around from shopping my house, like the wing back chair that sat upstairs.

I brought in some of my old favorites, the white sculpted urn, the fretwork canister. I also added a few new things, the chain link mirror I ordered from Lamps Plus and a few accessories found at HomeGoods such as the navy geometric pillows and the orchid pot on the mantel.

navy white mantel centsational girl

 

Read the rest of this entry »