• If it’s in a photograph, is it really there?

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    Red Tree in Central Park

    Red Tree super-imposed over the Central Park West cityscape

    Did you ever wish you could make up your own landscape? Painters do it all the time. They might take some mountains from one place and a lake from somewhere else and paint them together to create their own Shangri-La. I used to paint — back when computers were practically non-existent and I was a budding artist at the High School of Music & Art in NYC in the early 70’s.  I painted landscapes in oil on canvas. I was ok, but not destined for greatness as a fine artist so I traded in my paint brushes for a career in graphic design. It’s a way to earn a living, while still being creative, but sometimes I still get the itch to create just for myself.

    Now with a digital camera and Adobe PhotoShop CS4, I can once again use my imagination to create new landscapes (and seascapes for that matter) right on my computer. I can add my own touch to nature!

    How do I do this? I use the layers palette  in PhotoShop CS4 to combine the two photographs that were used to make up the finished image above. Each photo gets its own layer. The photo with the red tree is on the base layer and the buildings on Central Park West are on a layer above. I then add a layer mask to “reveal all” to the buildings layer. Now, making sure that I have the layer mask selected on the layers palette, I use the paintbrush to brush away the parts of the buildings photo that I don’t want. I adjust the opacity of that layer to give the photo a more distant look and making the red tree layer pop more. By using layer masks instead of the eraser tool to get rid of unwanted parts of an image,  my original images are untouched so that if I need to go back and add parts back in I can. When I get the composition the way I want it, and after I have saved the PSD file, I then flatten the final image and save as a tiff, a png or jpg file and I am done.

    The above image is available for purchase at my Dive Art & More gallery

    Below are the two original images that I used:

    Red Tree in Central Park- original photograph

    Photograph of a red-leafed tree in autumn

    Buildings along Central Park West

    Central Park West with the Central Park Lake in the foreground

  • Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend!

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    Last weekend I hit the slopes for the first time since last season. My friends and I went on our annual ski clinic weekend with Maximum Ski Tours to Gore Mountain in the Adirondak Mountains of upstate New York. It felt great to put on my skis and point them down the hill once again. The clinic, which divided skiers by ability, focused on completing round, carving turns and was a great way to jump start summer legs back into ski legs. While NYC and points south received lots of fresh snow, we alas received zilch! Nadda! Nuttin! However, the snowmaking provided by Gore did make for surprisingly good conditions despite the fact that mother nature dissed us in the mountains.

    It’s always great getting back on the slopes but I can’t say that the experience was pain-free. As soon as I struggled into my “custom-fit” boots I knew something was wrong. They were so tight I could barely feel my feet (and not in a good way!). I managed to ski all weekend despite the severe pain of my boots pressing on a nerve below my ankle. When I got home I proceeded to mark my feet with a marker showing exactly where my boots hurt and then went straight to Surefoot where I had purchased them. Surefoot makes custom boots with liners molded to your foot and they guarantee the fit as long as you have the boots. Adrian, the boot technician that worked with me was terrific. He looked at my marked up foot and saw where the problem was immediately. Not exactly sure how to fix the problem, and rather than submit me to trial and error (and possibly more pain), he made me new custom liners right then and there! I have no doubt that my next venture onto the snow will be virtually pain-free! Thank you Surefoot for superb customer service!

    Now I can’t wait to get back out on the slopes and hit those diamonds! Maybe I’ll wear one of these shirts, because when the shoe  (or boot) fits, diamonds ARE a girl’s best friend!

    Diamond are a girl's best friend t-shirt

    "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" T-shirt design available at WearMySkiArt.com

    And, now that my ski boots won’t be hurting any more, I will definitely not be “whining” on the slopes!

    No Whining T-Shirt

    No Whining. If you ski double diamonds you can't whine about it!

  • Graphic Design

    Posted on November 2nd, 2009

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    Design for Obama

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    "Design For Obama Posters for Change. A Grassroots Anthology.

    "Design For Obama Posters for Change. A Grassroots Anthology.

    My "Vote for the Polar Bears" Poster design shown on the left page of the Design for Obama book.

    My "Vote for the Polar Bears" Poster design shown on the left page of the Design for Obama book.

    Vote For The Polar Bears Poster design featured in Design for Obama book.

    Vote For The Polar Bears Poster design featured in Design for Obama book.

    I am honored to have one of my designs selected by Spike Lee and Aaron Perry-Zucker for their new book, “Design for Obama,” published by the design and architectural book publisher, Taschen. This book is a compilation of some of the best designs submitted to designforobama.org during the campaign and is being released this week to commemorate the one year anniversary of the presidency.

    Contextual essays written by Spike Lee, Aaron Perry-Zucker and Steven Heller create a compelling documentation of this historic campaign. They will be signing copies of their book on Wednesday, November 4 at Taschen’s New York store, at 107 Greene Street in New York City.

    This design is available on t-shirts and other gift items at WearMyArtTees.com

    This design is available on t-shirts and other gift items at WearMyArtTees.com

  • Older Posts Yeah! There are more posts, check them out.

    Newer Posts Yeah! There are more posts, check them out.