Sunday, July 31, 2011

Go Fish


"Go Fish"
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits - Thanks to Tumble Fish Studio NEW kit - Cartes de Jeu, Holliewood Studios,  (at and Free People

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In the mail....

From Marion's ANNUAL ATC Exchange - I received this funky, whimsical and colorful assortment of ATC cards!   Thank you again Marion! AND thanks to to Sabine, Astrid and Barb!   Count me in for next year!

And from Angela Kennedy, a beautiful butterfly for the Butterfly Effect with tender words from Anne Frank's Diary - (click on photos to view LARGE)
Thanks so much Angela!

Angela Kennedy

And while we are on the subject.....Just a reminder  - there is plenty of time left to contribute to The Butterfly Effect.  I will be sending them off to The Holocaust Museum Houston in January 2012.  So - if you find yourself with a spare hour or two sometime during the next five months... . click on the butterfly on the right sidebar.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Composition Study

I have been spending a bit of time each morning over the past few weeks  reviewing some of my course notes from a course I took at Emily Carr University in Vancouver.  This composition below is a result of me tinkering with form, shape, repeating elements, neg/pos space, contrast value and color.  Just in case you were wondering what the ? this was all you know!

The Egg Cup - digital collage 8 x 10 inches
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved

Image Credits - primarily public domain images, retuned,  plus parts of background from Finecrafted Designs (and the edge of a sofa) and Holliewood Studios

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 25, 2011

It was a hot hot day in July....

yesterday, and I decided to spend some time learning more about my DSLR camera, a Nikon D90,  which was a Christmas present from my better half (thanks again R!)

Although I did take it with me during our winter vacation this year, I hadn't thought far ahead and didn't have a proper case for it to take it with me during my daily walks.  Getting used to carrying a  larger camera again takes some planning, especially when wanting to have a tripod and an extra lens handy.   But more than that, I needed to get to know its many features and settings. 

But 'we'  (the camera and me) are really still strangers, even after spending an afternoon together. One thing I love to do is macro shots.  My little point and shot does this easily.  Not so with the SLR.  I ended up attaching my zoom lens and manually focusing looking through the viewfinder as opposed to the larger digital screen.  And even still, it was a guessing game.  The flash would pop up at times, sometimes the camera would autofocus, other times not.  I am still essentially LOST and while I am not guessing 100% of the time, any photo that ends up focused and crisp is more attributable to the camera having to 'take over' and think for me!
 Heirloom Knee High Sweet Pea

Blue Wishbone Flower

The First Raspberry

 Rusty Tussock Moth Larvae

Varigated Petunia

 More Heirloom Knee High Sweet Peas

 Best Friend - Mini

 "Hens and Chicks" Flowering

Saturday, July 23, 2011

SERENDIPITY: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also : an instance of this

Thanks to everyone who read my blog posts and commented about the photos and commentary about the little caterpillar in my kitchen, her pupa and subsequent birth. 

Once in a while, life gives us these unexpected gifts, the arrival of a hummingbird at a new feeder, newborn fawns in the backyard, a waft of sweet pea fragrance floating with the breeze in through an open window.

My stepdaughter, who has spent the last year living in a remote island off the coast of British Columbia conveyed a story to me recently about a conversation she had with a long time resident on this island. They were out in a boat when they spotted a bald eagle "up close and personal." Both silenced by its beauty they stopped to observe. The long time resident, after this lengthy pause, looked at the bird, then to her and said "It Never Gets Old." 

I felt blessed to have the privelege of getting to observe and photograph the metamorphosis of the little Cabbage Butterfly.  And yes, I'd have to agree one could say it was serendipitous given my involvement with The Butterfly Project.  But, what I thought was even more worthy of being labeled Serendipitous was the arrival of the group of butterflies below during the same time the butterfly emerged from her cocoon.

It had been weeks since any new butterflies have arrived at my doorstep.  Unlike the first months of the project where butterflies arrived pretty much on a daily basis.  And so when Christine Cuthbert's envelope arrived, my mind travelled back into those bittersweet feelings of  gratitude and wonder combined with the sadness again for the memory of the Holocaust children.  But, what I wasn't at all prepared for was her motivation for creating these butterflies.  Christine enclosed a beautiful card of hollyhocks and forget-me-nots with butterflies floating above.  And inside the card read in part:
"...I spent my childhood studying the Holocaust.  I saw everything and read everything I could including the stories of the children in the Warsaw Ghetto and Anne Frank.  
I believe in some way they helped me to survive a horrific childhood  
All the children lost through war, poverty, violence and atrocity hold a special place in my heart...."

The best way for me to describe the impact Christine's note and butterflies had on me is to share with you part of an email I wrote to her in response....

"...The hours of love you’ve poured into these pieces or art – I can’t fully imagine how many thousands of thoughts and memories and feelings of your past, present and dreams of the future they contain.  It baffles me.  I don’t want to be overly presumptuous.    But, my sense is that you’ve  channelled your deepest scars into each of these butterflies with  so much color and texture and shape, form, line – Beauty.  The result is a pure uncensored expression of Beauty.
To then package them up and send them away to serve as Tributes to the Children of the Holocaust?   Well, the only word that I know to describe your act of Pure Unselfishness is Grace...."

And this is also why,  I named our little Cabbage Butterfly Christine Grace...
Christine Cuthbert shares her artistic musings and loving thoughts on  her blog Paisley and Peacock Emporium. 

And thank you Christine for your amazing contributions to The Butterfly Effect -

all of the above butterflies created by 
Christine Cuthbert
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Illustrations of the "Male Persuasion"

You guessed it - a new selection of funky images from Tumble Fish Studio! I emailed Marsha shortly after she announced this new kit saying I wasn't sure if I'd be able to come up with anything for them....I was feeling very flat creatively. But, I er um recovered. So, if you're looking for some Ying for your Yang, here goes...

Annual Meeting of the American Society of Magician/Exquisite Corpses
digital illustration

And as soon as  I saw the exzpression on this fellow's face below - I was compelled to compile these images together....

Like a Deer in Headlights

This one is for my dear friend Abby, who is recovering after surgery in Syracuse, NY  today.  She introduced me to Flat Stanley in a blog post recently.  You can wish her a speedy recovery AND read about her Flat Stanley's here

Flat Stanley Fashions
Digital Illustration

And finally, this last illustration came about as I was grasping to bring a visual 'voice' to  a much more sobering topic, considering the state of our world's oceans.  Did you know that More than 54 percent of the decrease in large predator fish has taken place over the past 40 years?  

As unpopular as he is, Paul Watson, Canadian environmental interventionist  (an ex co-founder of Green Peacce)  is the 'star' of a new film by Trish Dohlman   "Eco Pirate" .  While certainly not  getting any stars for sex appeal (think  Johnny Depp,)  I plan to watch this documentary if only to find more ideas of what I can personally do reduce my 'global footprint'.

The Tail End of the Tuna Eclipse Digital Illustration

Image Credits:  1) Tumble Fish Studio and Holliewood Studios for the trunk
2)  Car - Clementine Designs, Tumble Fish Studio - that guy, background and deer - Holliewood Studios
3)  Macey's and Tumble Fish Studio
4)  Tumble Fish Studio and Holliewood Studios (for trees)

Thanks for visiting!

"A-Pearantly" digital illustration, my Chartreuse fetish and Christine Grace returned!

I've really become enamoured with Chartreuse this year after reading an article about how this color when added as foliage to a home actually increases the marketability of the home. I've wondered how this could possibly ever be measured so took the claim 'lightly' but then began to notice Chartreuse more and more often. While shopping for annual flowers to fill my containers this spring, I decided to purchase a few 'chartreusey' colored vines and even found a two-toned hot pink and chartreuse petunia. I think the brightness and vibrancy of this yellow green or green yellow color is reminiscent of spring, of renewal and freshness and although I have never committed to ever having one favorite color, chartreuse has certainly begged for my attention. 

  Here are a smattering of  photos and recently completed artwork featuring Chartreuse !

"A-Pearantly" digital illustration 8 x 10 inches
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits:  The Graphics Fairy (figure) Lorie Davison, Holliewood Studios,
Tumble Fish Studio

A very rainy day and yet the bright foliage makes it look less dreary - don't ya think? (This isn't my home)

Ground Cover - woops - please touch your right ear to your shoulder to view this!

"Those" Petunias

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Catching Up on Creative Team Work

Blogger seemed to be experiencing a severe case of the hiccups as I was creating this post, so my apologies for the wacky layout....

 "Z"- and this was a fantasy having had difficulty sleeping the night I created this!

  Images thanks to Tumble Fish Studio and Holliewood Studios


Lots of activity happening over at Deviant Scrap lately.  I've been out of breath trying to keep up with the new images and brilliant and endless creativity coming from Marsha at Tumble Fish Studio and Hollie at Holliewood Studios.    Also, in trying to keep with my commitment to  challenge myself to begin to think more about defining my own style, I am beginning to blend more of my own backgrounds into the illustrations as this next illustration reflects.

"Faery" - digital illustration
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Figure with Wings - Tumble Fish Studio, Writing and Flower - Holliewood Studios
Background - mine

Fortune Cookie ATC Digital Illustration
  "You May Be Inclined to Use Fish In Your Art More"
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Boat - Holliewood Studios, Tickets and Background Images - Tumble Fish Studio,
Figures - mine 

Another ATC - I must have done this one after I finally had a good night's rest as my sense of humor emerged...

"Sniffn'Go" Digital Illustration
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits -  thanks to Tumble Fish Studio

Or maybe I was just really 'punchy' and still sleep deprived...that seems to be the flavor of this one!

"Odd" - digital illustration
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits thanks to Tumble Fish Studio, Holliewood Studios, Finecrafted Designs and Art by January

Out of Africa - digital illustration
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits - Tumble Fish Studio, Holliewood Studios and background - mine

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's a Girl !


It's a Girl!
 Given Name:  Christine Grace
Binomial Name:  Pierus rapae (Linnaeus 1758)
July 11th, 2011
HT - 3 cm  WT - less than an ounce
Kingdom:  Animalia
Phylum:  Arthropoda
Class:  Insecta
Order:  Lepidoptera
Family:  Pieridae
Genus:  Pieris
Species: P. rapae

The First Photos - Post Metamorphosis 
 Click on any photo above to see a larger version

Yes she's here!  I overestimated her due date and yesterday afternoon was overwhelmed to witness her emerge from her cocoon.   The above photographs are in sequence of the moments that followed.  Within about 10 minutes, she discharged an orange-red fluid that I soon learned was the excess dye from her metamorphosis.  If you look closely, this happened between photos 4 and 5.  You can also see her antennae begin to rise  between photos 5 and 6.  

She began to flutter  and fly about 5 hours after she emerged and we opened the windows in the kitchen for her to leave.  But she decided to stay one extra night and the first photos above were taken this morning at about 8 am, shortly before she flew outside.   

I eventually named her LuLu the PuPa, but when I discovered she was a female, plus received a special package in the mail that I'll blog about later this week, decided she would have a new name as a butterfly - Christine Grace.

Gender of this species is determined by the spots on their wings and although they aren't both visible in the photographs above, she had two  spots on the middle of their forewings and males only have one. 
For those of you reading this post without her history - it's  here   

 Above - it seemed like only yesterday :0) - They grow up so fast!

PS - Thanks to everyone for their input on names, thoughts on the 'creepy factor' and RSVP's for dinner - my home is your home!  You're welcome anytime!

Monday, July 11, 2011

This may not be your idea of a welcomed house guest...

But what can I say? I am enjoying having this little jewel of nature perform his magic metamorphosis right in front of my eyes. I only regret not having taken photographs earlier, when he was just a little larva about an inch long.  He  managed to sneak into our kitchen on some broccoli I had plucked out of the garden.   Truth is, for a few days, I wasn't certain he was still alive! But today, I had proof.   Not only can I see his wings beginning to form  but, if you look closely at the photos clockwise, you'll see he wagged his tail at me and you!    Part of my confusion was the lack of a real visible chrysalis that would resemble my 'internal image' of a cocoon.  After researching, I've learned this species only has a very thin, barely visible  light green chrysalis.  If my sources are accurate, in about 4-7 days he should be near completion of this miraculous phenomenum of nature.

So, please be honest,  would you let a caterpillar live on your kitchen wall?  And if so, would you give him a name?  If you answer No, then would you give my Pupa a name?  And do you think he should have more than one name? One for each of his stages?   And, now knowing what I've disclosed, would you accept an invitation to have dinner at our home?  :0)


Life Stages 
Imported Cabbage Butterfly - Pupa  Day 10
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

On the cover of the Rolling Stones.....NOT!

But, my art is on the  July 2011 cover of The Deviant Muse, a free e-zine from the folks at Deviant Scrap.  So, I'll still be able to repeat to myself (ten times) I am an Art Hero!  Click on the image below or  on the right sidebar and go directly to the link to download your free copy!

And a very big thank you to the folks at Deviant Scrap for this privilege. 

 "Alter Me" - digital collage  8 x 8 inches
Copyright 2011 Two Dresses Studio
All Rights Reserved

And part of the collage you see above contains this collage

 "The Reincarnate" - digital collage 8 x 8 inches
Copyright 2011 Two Dresses Studio
All Rights Reserved

 and a final third collage to complete the series

 "Wishbone" digital collage 8x8 inches
Copyright 2011 Two Dresses Studio
All Rights Reserved

 "Alter Me"  Series - digital collages

Image Credits - Tumble Fish Studio Finecrafted Designs, Holliewood Studios, Clementine Designs, Art by Januuary