Category Archives: Android Apps

Just Because…Butterflies

Here are some images I created on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

No, seriously, these were done by me last year when I thought I would do a series of cards featuring butterflies. I was experimenting with masking, blending and layering techniques then, creating what I call “digital mixed media collages”.

Although I loved the results, other projects crept in and of course soon I was too distracted to finish this one properly. I might still do something with them, maybe do a deck of cards with sayings on their backs. Let me think about this.

Meanwhile, I hope you’ll enjoy these images. Please do not copy, paste, print or otherwise reproduce these in any way or manner, as all copyright remain with me. Yes, I know, I’m normally very generous and like giving away my art for free…but remember, good things come to those who



Wait.

Christmas is coming. Be patient!

Lol 😄.

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New Artwork – when needs must.

Now the weather is warming up rapidly in this part of the world, it’s getting too warm to wear my hoodie with the Dogs’ Refuge logo on it a.k.a my unofficial “uniform”. (Sorry, you poor folks up in the Northern Hemisphere who are entering your cold winter months).

I was looking for a t-shirt that said “Volunteer” at the back, but the Refuge’s shop had no stock. I then looked for a standard t-shirt with the Refuge logo on it, and in my size, but their stock was very low, and they said it could be months before new stock arrived. I really wanted to look the part, and have something to wear that said I belonged to the organisation. In the end, I bought the only thing they had available in a nice, roomy XL…only it was in a bright pink, not really my colour. SIGH. First World problems 😄.

So, what’s a girl to do, when faced with a fashion faux-pas situation like this?

Well, as a digital mobile photography artist, a girl doesn’t just make do. A girl makes. I decided to design my own t-shirts. The Kid and I are about the same size, so I’ve ordered the t-shirts in a unisex style, and in a 2XL, which, hopefully won’t be too large for me. We can share them as our Christmas presents.

Here’s what I came up with:

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I created this with the Dogs’ Refuge in mind. The clipart came from the App PicsArt.

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Here’s my very own pit bull, Shelagh, as the model for this design. Isn’t she just adore-a-bull? ❤❤❤

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Not to ourdone, I used my lotsabitsa Scruffy, as the model for this design. He’s hard to take photos of, as he moves about too quickly. But I managed to get this great shot of him.

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And lastly, this, because it’s rapidly becoming my motto these days. I wanted it to look bright and vibrant, yet messy and incomplete. Yeah, whatever. 😉

Freebie: Motivational Card. “Everything Big Starts Small”

Earlier this year, I started working on some images with motivational/inspirational sayings, that were to become a deck of cards. Each card would have a different front, and the backs would be a uniform background, with a different single motif and saying on it.

What with my creative juices going at a thousand miles an hour, I got caught up doing other things, and this series got sadly neglected.

So, instead, I’m giving those images as Freebies to my readers instead. Feel free to copy, paste or save the images you find under the heading “Freebie : Motivational Card”, which I’ll release every now and then.

Today’s card is “Everything big starts small”.
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Whatever you envision for yourself, no matter how farfetched or grandiose it may seem, if you’re serious about achieving it then you have to start somewhere. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, it just has to be a step in the right direction. Set your intention, then let your feet follow. But you have to start.

From humble acorns come mighty oaks.

New Artwork : Surreal Fantasy

I had a sudden surge of creativity last week, after stumbling upon some hitherto neglected filters and clipart in an App on my mobile phone. I got so inspired by the possibilities of combining several disparate elements together to create a new series of digital artwork with a Surreal Fantasy theme, that I stayed up late over several nights to finish them.

These have been submitted to my Licensing company for production, fingers crossed they pass the quality standards set by the company. Hopefully then they will be made available on various housewares, such as bedlinen, shower curtains, wall art, placemats etc.

Here are 5 examples, out of the 20 I created. I hope you like them!

image“A Sudden Grand Deluge”

image“Musical Tendrils”

image“Rain Deer”

image“Blue Ballet”

image“As Above, So Below”

These were a lot of fun to create. And I decided to give them all whimsical titles, to add to the surreal fantasy feel. Believe it or not, only 3 Apps were used to create these: PicsArt, Impressionist Fingerpaint and Photo Editor.

Fish!

I was sorting through my thousands of photos in my mobile phone’s camera roll the other day, and came across some poor abandoned, orphaned half-processed images of my Japanese Koi fish. I remembered that at the time of editing those photos, I’d been playing with an App called Trimaginator. And then some other project of mine superceded it, and it got buried under an avalanche of new photos.

My favourite App for blending images on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is “Photo Blender“. It offers more blend modes than you can think of, and is super-easy to use.

Another favourite App of mine for creating colourfield backgrounds is “Impressionist Fingerpaint“. I have a folder in my phone that is just for backgrounds I’ve created using that App.

I decided to have a play with my Fish images, Photo Blender and Impressionist Fingerpaint. The only other App used here is Photo Editor, for tweaking various parameters of the resulting blended images.

Such fun! And I really like the results too. Here are some of them. Please refrain from copying these images, full copyright remains with me, although I have submitted them to my Licensor for licensing on homewares.

These images hold bittersweet memories for me, personally. The fish you see are my own Koi, and since the photos were taken, the number has fallen from 12 down to 4. I’m not very good at keeping fish, and I’m determined to NOT replenish stocks anymore. When the last 4 go, that’s it.

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Swinger

Don’t let the title fool you. This post isn’t about what you think it is. I’m just teasing you 😄.

Swinger is just the name of a fairground ride I saw in Baldivis last month. It’s one of those aerial merry-go-round swing things that fly around using centrifugal forces, jolly good old-fashioned fun, if you ask me. I used to love going on those rides, I think the last time I was on one was in Disneyland Paris, back in 2008.

I was only able to take a few photos of the Swinger, but I now present to you 2 sides of carnival life: the Light, and the Dark.

Apps used: Pic Blender, Photo Editor, Snapseed. Snapseed updated its App recently, but I’ve been away from photo editing for a good while, and so I have had to learn how to navigate its new user interface. It’s a great improvement on the old model, I must say. Bravo, Nik Software/Google! A great thumbs up from me.

For the Light: think happy circus and carnival colours – bright, vivid, cheerful.

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Now, for the Dark: think American Horror Story “Freak Show” (currently my favourite AMS series, after the previous one, “Coven”. If you like your stories morbid, twisted, cynical and ironic, I recommend American Horror Story, where a stable of well-known actors star in each story, playing different characters each time). Now, the skies are stormy and roiling with thunder and lightning, and the faces of the people on the ride are frozen in a rictus of fear, not joy. Mouths open to scream with terror, not exhilaration. Even the colours have been bleached out, the textures grunged up. Sinister dexterity was needed here, to capture the terror of flying through space out of control.

Excuse my morbid sense of humour. Snapseed’s Textures always bring that out in me…the last time I devoted my time on a project featuring graveyard angel statues, I found myself skulking around Fremantle’s cemetery in the pouring rain. And enjoying every minute of it.

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Some more Mashups

Just some digital mash-ups of my Gelli plate monoprints, that I created using just 3 Apps, namely Photo Blender, PicsArt and Photo Editor. I love the riot of bright colours.

I might put these up on Kess InHouse Design’s website. I’ve been rather neglectful about updating my artist portal on Kess InHouse Designs. It’s high time I posted up more designs to be licensed, and why not these? I think they would translate very well to duvet covers, cushions, wall art, rugs etc.

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Why “One More Line” is like Real Life

The Kid and I came across the computer game “One More Line” at Comic Con in Perth last month. It was rigged up like an arcade game, with just a simple monitor and a rotating ball button control. The premise is deceptively simple: get the highest score you can. You pilot a half-circle object which trails 3 coloured lines, up, around and past coloured obstacles of different sizes. Each obstacle is a similar, circular shape, and they all spin around with varying speeds, the bigger ones tend to spin more sluggishly than the little ones, and the closer you swing to them, the faster. There is only one control function – tap and hold to grab and spin around an obstacle i.e grapple, or let go to move on with a straight trajectory. Two lines, on on either side of your “runway” serve as barriers or walls – if you’re grappling an obstacle i.e holding on and swinging around it, your Pilot may pass through the walls safely. But if you’re in freefall mode i.e not tapping and holding the screen, you will crash and smash into smithereens if you hit the wall on either side, or if you crash into one of the obstacles.

“One More Line” is by the developers SMG and is available on both iOS and Android. They also have other games available, so if you like “One More Line”, you might like the others just as much.

Watch this video on how to play “One More Line”. It will give you a good idea just how addictive this game is. Oh, and if you don’t want a musical earwig (where you can’t sleep because the theme tune from some movie or App is playing on a loop through your brain), I’d play this game with the volume off.

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Sounds easy peasy, right? Wrong. The more I play “One More Line”, the more I’m thinking that it has a lot of similarities to Real Life. Here’s why:

1. In Life, the path is never straightforward, but goes round and about and is often full of obstacles.

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2. Some obstacles are tiny, others are huge. The Path you take and the decisions you make determine whether you come across the big ones or the little ones.

3. Some obstacles may be circumvented or bypassed by making clever or wise decisions. Others are too big to slide past or ignore, and must be tackled head on. Be careful that your decisions don’t lead you straight into another obstacle. Or worse, into a brick wall.

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4. You mustn’t get too cocky with your success, because pride always goes before a fall. The higher up you go, the more humble you must become. Control those impulses too! Don’t get too carried away because accidents happen when you’re taking too many risks.

5. You only have 1 Life. Crash, and it’s over. So, be careful with your actions and decisions, and always look where you’re heading. Be prepared to take last minute evasive action or change your direction. Sometimes, even an about turn may be called for.

6. If you tried and failed, try again. Try harder, fail better, and then succeed. Learn from your mistakes, and try not to repeat them.

7. In Life, we are all monkeys swinging from one branch to another. So keep practising those monkey swings, and let’s see how far you can go!

Digital + Mixed Media Mashups

I’m really enjoying myself playing with my Gelli plates, both the rectangular one that’s intact and the other which I dissected into 3 round plates of different diameters, 2 small rectangular ones, and a few small triangular and square ones.

My main medium however, is digital photography. What makes me a happy bunny these days is being able to marry the two successfully. Digital + Mixed Media.

I love the possibilities this opens up. Lately I’ve been tearing up my Gelli plate monoprints (yes, really) and turning them into little handmade Art Journals. I wrote about that earlier here (insert link).

Having accumulated quite a lot of Gelli plate prints now, I decided to take photos of them and blend them with other photos on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I use mainly just 2 Apps – Photo Blender and Photo Editor. I love those 2 Apps.

Anyway, here are some of my latest Digital + Mixed Media Mashups, as I call them. Hope you like them!

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DISCOVER (4 templates, 12 ways)

I’ve been spending much of my time lately experimenting with Gelli Plate monoprinting. It’s a lot of fun, and some techniques I’ve tried have come out with pretty amazing results. Others, not so. Some I really love and could keep doing again and again, others I am not so enamoured with and won’t try again. As with all Art, you just have to keep experimenting until you hit on something that appeals to you.

One monoprinting technique I learnt and liked on YouTube is this one, by Clarity Stamp.

I made 4 prints using this technique and some stamps. I really liked the torn paper effect and how it reminded me of ancient, crumbly walls newly discovered by some archaeologists.

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I could’ve just gone on and printed more examples using this torn paper technique. But the mobile digital artist in me piped up and said, “Why don’t you try blending photos of those with other photos from your Samsung Galaxy Note 4? You can use the 4 monoprints as templates and generate an entire series of different artworks, with a common theme”.

This was in keeping with one of my main reasons for venturing down the path of real (vs virtual/digital) mixed media – the idea that I could then accumulate enough source material to use as backgrounds for my digital artwork.

And so, using just 2 Apps – Photo Blender and Photo Editor Editor, I followed the suggestion of my inner voice and created these 12 new images, using just the 4 prints that I’d done.

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