Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.

The above quote is attributed to Margaret Atwood, a Canadian poet and novelist.  I love the quote. I'm ready for Spring and digging in the dirt. So enough of winter!  After reading my friend Kriti's latest blog about color, I decided to share some color of my own and cheer myself up. I hope it cheers you up too.  There's a link at the bottom of my post to her blog.  Be sure and read it.


We are in our grey, rainy season with periodic bouts of snow.  I'm dreaming of my garden and the brightly colored flowers that grow during Spring and Summer.  Since we moved into our home we've put 5 years of labor into our yard and what was sand, bare soil and weeds have become lush gardens with lots of perennials and native plants. Our hard work has paid off! 

Peony - "A Hint of Pink" digital art
Digital art done with Photo Shop Elements and Topaz Labs Filters


Peonies are my favorite flower. They were my Mom's favorite so I'm guessing that has a lot to do with my love of them. She had a wonderful green thumb and her peonies were magnificent!  I have 8 peony bushes in shades of pale pink to deep rose planted in what I call my "peony garden".  The colors are delicate to bright and vibrant. They start blooming in May and last until mid to late September. Nice! Future blogs will get into some of the specifics of digital art so stay tuned.



Rose of Sharon after the rain
This is a "straight out of the camera shot" (SOOC) 


I love the colors on my Rose of Sharon bush. The white petals are a pure, very bright white, and the center is a deep crimson red.  The crimson red really "pops" against the white petals.  Green and red are complimentary colors so the leaves also set off the red center of the flowers.  When I'm on a photo shoot I look for complimentary colors in the scene and include such elements in my photos.  The play of colors off each other can turn a snap shot into a stunning photo. Straight out of the Camera, SOOC, means the photo has not been edited in any way.  



Gerber Daisy digital art using pencil sketch and filters
Digital art done with Photo Shop Elements and Topaz Labs Filters

I have super size container gardens on my decks.  I fill them with Gerber Daisies and other annual flowers.  Gerber Daisies come in amazing colors like shocking pink, bright orange, goldenrod yellow and pale cream.  I like to plant bright pink and orange together for the shock value of the colors playing off each other.  The above photo manipulation was fun to create.  I took a photo of a pink Gerber Daisy covered with rain drops and manipulated it into a pencil sketch. After playing with the color and adding a slight cream glow to the bottom half of the flower I was satisfied with my creation.  

Photo manipulation is great fun, the problem is knowing when to stop tweaking but that comes with trial and error.  I save my work as I go, bring up a saved copy, tweak some more, save again.  I can always go back to either the original photo or any one of my saved edits in case I'm not happy with a particular version of the photo.  




This little guy is a Willow Goldfinch
Another "straight out of the camera" (SOOC) photo
The Willow Goldfinch is the Washington State Bird. Their golden colors are beautiful. They are abundant all year but especially in the Spring and Summer.  We love sitting on our deck watching them.  We attract them by putting suet and seeds in our bird feeders and keeping the birdbaths filled with clean water.  They're curious, friendly and love to pose.  


The sun was out today so there's hope that Spring is coming soon.  Here in the rainy Pacific Northwest we take all the sunny days we can get.  


My inspiration for this post came from my friend Kriti's blog about "colors that I am made of".   


Please leave your comments below, then take a look at Kriti's blog.  I know you'll be inspired too.

35 comments:

Kriti said...

Mari you amaze me to no end - what a beautiful post and the pictures speak volumes... Thank you so much for this! You are beyond words... re-tweeting this now...

JIM said...

I really love the Rose and the bird Really well done. The Rose of Sharon is so beautiful did you even sharpen it?? I am really impressed by that image.


Jim
http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/03/trip-to-lion-country-safari.html

Mari S. Wilbur said...

Kriti- thank you. Your compliment means so much to me given your beautiful writing style. Thank you for the re-tweet.

Mari S. Wilbur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mari S. Wilbur said...

Jim - The Rose of Sharon photo was taken in 2007 with my Olympus SP510 Ultra Zoom, f/2.8 (1/60), set to macro. No sharpening. It's a nice little camera in certain situations. Since getting my Nikon I use the Olympus mainly for trail riding. I'd hate to have my horse step on my Nikon!

Union Square Online said...

Your images are truly striking and a wonderful inspiration for the season. They make me smile. Nice job!

cooking-varieties said...

hi mari..gee i got goose pimples when i saw your awesome photos- awesome indeed! the rose of sharon is stunningly beautiful- SOOC? fantastic. may i suggest u post about 2 pics at a time.. therefore 4 pics means 2 posts-will then give u 2 comments :)
post twice a week or every 4 days.... the bird's feathers so detailed..

FreeBloggerBackgrounds said...

I love the picture of the bird. The colors are vivid, and the bird looks so cute!! Wonderful closeup picture.

Sailor said...

Wow! Beautiful Pictures.

Debra said...

Amazing site, beautiful photography, and lovely writing!
I discovered your talents through Kriti's blog.

Sarù @ Dolci Creativi said...

You have talent to sell both with pictures than with words!!! ;*
Lovely bird.

Mari S. Wilbur said...

Thank you Saru. I adore your blog, your recipes and your photos. It's a real compliment to have you comment on my blog!.

Mitzi said...

What lovely photos indeed! I love the Rose. A beautiful piece of digital art! The bird is so pretty as well! Thank you for visiting my blog earlier and thank you for following. I look forward to connecting with your more as well and am following both here and on NB. ;-) congrats to you as well....well deserved indeed!

sulekkha said...

Lovely post and pictures, Mari.The images are so beautiful, thanks for sharing.

Mari S. Wilbur said...

sulekkha - thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I love your blog.

Simona said...

i would like to make photos as you do..really beautiful and well done ..simmy

Kara said...

The peony photo is absolutely gorgeous! I'm curious - how do you get yours to bloom until September? Here (Ontario Canada) they die back as soon as the summer heat hits them.

rimly said...

Mari your photography is amazing! I was mesmerized by the peony. I am following you now. Thank you so much for informing me about the award. Congratulation to you too.

Mari S. Wilbur said...

Thank you rimly - I'll follow you also - it's nice to spread the love!

FherYmas said...

Hi madam, Once again we had this blog link for ArtLover members to enjoy...
http://artloverconnect.weebly.com/4/post/2011/03/in-the-spring-at-the-end-of-the-day-you-should-smell-like-dirt.html

whatstruckme said...

Amazing photographs, Mari.I especially loved the digital art works you have created. It's a pleasure knowing you. And as i mentioned elsewhere - i can learn a lot from you. Keep Clicking!!!

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

FherYamas you honor me! Thank you so much for your support!

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

whatstuckme - I love digital art. It is so much fun to create. I studied art and photography both so I feel like I am combining the best of both.

FherYmas said...

Your gift madam needs to be shared...Tagged ArtLover group will be around to support your endeavor.

Anonymous said...

mari , your pictures are breathtakingly beautiful , esp the bird and the rose ...

Alfandi said...

really love the bird..beautiful..

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Thank you Alfandi.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Thank you Alfandi.

Simona said...

i would like to make photos as you do..really beautiful and well done ..simmy

Mitzi said...

What lovely photos indeed! I love the Rose. A beautiful piece of digital art! The bird is so pretty as well! Thank you for visiting my blog earlier and thank you for following. I look forward to connecting with your more as well and am following both here and on NB. ;-) congrats to you as well....well deserved indeed!

Sarù @ Dolci Creativi said...

You have talent to sell both with pictures than with words!!! ;*
Lovely bird.

FreeBloggerBackgrounds said...

I love the picture of the bird. The colors are vivid, and the bird looks so cute!! Wonderful closeup picture.

Union Square Online said...

Your images are truly striking and a wonderful inspiration for the season. They make me smile. Nice job!

Mari S. Wilbur said...

Kriti- thank you. Your compliment means so much to me given your beautiful writing style. Thank you for the re-tweet.

Kriti said...

Mari you amaze me to no end - what a beautiful post and the pictures speak volumes... Thank you so much for this! You are beyond words... re-tweeting this now...