Tag Archives: Creativity

Lillian: Portrait Experiment in Digital Oils

Lillian by Karen Gadient, 2014

Another attempt at loose portraiture. Still not allowing myself to get truly sloppy with the brush, but I like how this one came out. Lillian is a character in a story idea I had that never got written. Maybe someday. Well, at least if characters don’t get words on a page, they can still have color on a canvas.

What is either a picture or a novel that is not character? — Henry James

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Imagination, Painting, Portrait, Quotes, Writing

Fractal Mind

Fractal Mind by Karen Gadient, 2014

Another one of those pieces I got lost in while creating. I’ve been getting more and more like Sherlock in his “mind palace”.

Of course, I think that’s a good thing.

There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. — Herman Melville

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Imagination, Quotes, The Unknown

Macrocosm and Microcosm

Macrocosm and Microcosm by Karen Gadient, 2014

This was one of the most enjoyable pieces of art I’ve worked on in quite a while. Like a few of my other mirrored designs, it began out as one section, then was duplicated and turned. However, this time, I spent many hours painting after that, adding more lines and highlights, layering colors—

I got lost in it for a while.

It’s kind of a world in itself now, with a bunch of stories and little creatures hidden inside. Which is really what artists and writers and other creatives do: discover and map worlds. Nice to be back in that zone again.

If you’d like to see the detail, click though the image for the larger version.

In looking out upon the world, we forget that the world is looking at itself.
— Alan Watts

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Imagination, Painting, Quotes, The Unknown

Daily Prompt: Mantric Mirror

Mantric Mirror by Karen Gadient, 2014

I’ve never done a prompt before, but since I’m crazy for psychedelic art and have been experimenting with digital watercolor, this prompt really appealed to me. Thanks to Jackie at Lostinthot for leading me to the prompts blog.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us MIRRORED.

Created with Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop. I did this one for fun and not for sale, but please click through the image to see my other artwork. Thanks!

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Imagination, Inspiration, Prompts

New Year, New Purpose

Coral by Karen Gadient, 2013

Coral – Digital watercolor of vibrant ocean coral. Created with Corel Painter.
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. – Aristotle

I’m now offering some of my artwork as prints (canvas, acrylic, metal, and paper). This one was the most recent addition, but you’ll find many from my November marathon there. As I blog throughout the year, I’ll mention which pieces were also added to the gallery. I’ll keep a link on the portfolio tab of my blog.

So, I’m busy painting. Which is making me happy.

I hope you’re all having a happy start to 2014 too. :)

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Color, Creativity, Decisions, Digital Artwork, Ideas, KarPaiTwenMo, Life, Nature, Ocean, Painting, Printing, Quotes, Sea, Seascape

KarPaiTwenMo: Omega

KarPaiTwenMo: Omega -- Artwork by Karen Gadient

I’ve pulled together twenty pieces of art in a month. If this were NaNoWriMo and I’d written 50,000 words, I could call myself a winner. *toots horn*

Much like my NaNoWriMo novels—I’m not entirely thrilled with the quality, even if the ideas work. I only like half of the artwork I made; the other half is draft zero and would be cut in editing. Art and writing have a lot in common.

Still: I’d do it again. I’d do NaNoWriMo again too.

Because—thing is—these marathon events remind you of what you can do with your time when you set your mind to it. And you get a deadline, which is key. Plus, telling others that you’re doing something drives you to complete the task.

All good stuff.

I’ll share the artwork (minus the ones I’ve already posted) in a the next bunch of blog posts instead of all at once—because, hey—having content ready will help me stay sane in December. ;) All of the pieces are pretty large, but until I decide on a company for printing, they’ll remain blog-width here.

Whether you wrote or painted, made music, danced, cooked, crafted, or built robots (totally awesome) or whatever hobby you enjoy—I hope you had a great November and know this: I consider you ALL winners. Cheers!

Added note: I’m happy with what I created this month, but some of it needs more work to be what I envisioned. No different than early drafts of a novel—no different than NaNoWriMo. And, so: that’s why I don’t like all of my paintings this month—yet. With editing, I’ll love them.

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, KarPaiTwenMo, NaNoWriMo, Painting

KarPaiTwenMo: Week Four

KarPaiTwenMo: Week Three: Atmosphere by Karen Gadient

Color is the fruit of life. — Guillaume Apollinaire

Between my computer having problems and my own creative indecisiveness, artwork in the final stretch of November has been a slow process. I paint one thing, hate it, paint another, like it that day, hate it the next, and try again.

With NaNoWriMo, no one has to read your novel at the end of the month. With this painting thing, I’m all too aware I’ll be sharing. I promised I would. So—I overthink and sigh and meh. Now that time is running out, I’m starting to accept that some things might have to be ‘good enough’ and that’s okay.

I’ve discovered a bit about what I like to paint and how much I love vibrant color. Too much, probably. But hey—color makes me happy. More in a few days!

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, KarPaiTwenMo, NaNoWriMo, Painting, Quotes

KarPaiTwenMo: Week Three

KarPaiTwenMo: Week Two: Ice Floral – Digital Artwork by Karen Gadient

Wow. Is it the third week already? Yep.

I did a lot of artwork this week and knew I needed to post something, but I wasn’t sure what. Then, Suzy mentioned seeing flowers in the last painting I shared. Which was cool, since I love flowers.

There are a lot of florals in the stuff I did this month, but they’re not exactly still life. Some of them are a bit of a mess, since I’ve experimenting with fractal-ish things and symmetry, yet quite a few of them are floral.

So… although I was going to share a painting, I’m instead sharing a digital artwork that started out meant to be ice crystals and morphed into a strange floral design. Creatively (ha ha, right), I’m calling it Ice Floral (for now).

Yeah. I need another cup of coffee. Or tea. Mm, tea.

Hope you’re all having a lovely and productive November!

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, KarPaiTwenMo, NaNoWriMo, Nature, Painting

KarPaiTwenMo: Week Two, Part Two

KarPaiTwenMo: Week Two: Green Fish, Yellow – Digital Artwork by Karen Gadient

Green Fish, Yellow – Completely different style of painting, but one I really like and want to share. Created with swift brush strokes in Corel Painter, I meant it to be the movement of fish so fast that you don’t catch their eyes. Abstracts can be different things to the viewer than they are to the artist. What do you see?

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, KarPaiTwenMo, NaNoWriMo, Nature, Painting, Sea

KarPaiTwenMo: Week Two

KarPaiTwenMo: Week Two: Sanctum - Digital Artwork by Karen Gadient

I didn’t realize how I’d feel once the holiday season started creeping in. The mall is already playing Christmas music and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. It’s actually bad enough it’s Thanksgiving when you’ve lost someone close to you.

Anyway, I’m not making more posts about how sad I am. I’m sad. No surprise. Grief sucks. Also no surprise. I’m not fishing for sympathy comments.

However, if you want to comment a funny joke, I’m all ears. Sillier the better!

Speaking of jokes… let me share one straight from my dentist’s office—my dentist, by the way, is amazing and will cure your fear of dentistry if you have any—so if you’re the Phoenix area, check them out—they may also have kittens. Yes, kittens. Well, cats. Our two little kitty boys were fostered by my dentist, no joke. She still has their momma. My dentist is awesome.

Wait. The joke!

A mushroom walks into a bar.
Bartender: We don’t serve your kind here.
Mushroom: Why not? I’m a FUN-GUY.

You may have groaned, but I’ll bet you’ll pass that one along. ;)

Oh, artwork. Yeah, it’s been like pulling teeth (OMG ANOTHER DENTIST REFERENCE) but I made five more pieces of art. Once again, I hate three of them. I’m glad I have more time to pull together a show of twenty.

However, I did love two of them. This time, so that you can actually see the detail, I’m sharing just one of them. I’ll probably post another soon. This is my second favorite (hey, gotta save something to show you later) and created entirely in Adobe Photoshop, which isn’t common for me, but go figure.

I call it ‘Sanctum‘. It’s an alien gateway/throne/dunno. I created it for a wonderful friend of mine (who has no blog to link to) who adores all things alien. Someday, the mothership may return for us. I hope they bring cookies.

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Filed under Arizona, Art, Blogging, Cats, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Holiday, Inspiration, KarPaiTwenMo, Life, NaNoWriMo, Painting, Pets

KarPaiTwenMo: Week One

KarPaiTwenMo: Week One

While everyone else has been writing like mad, I’ve been muttering at the canvas. Much like during NaNoWriMo, I’ve found myself making a mess. Chaos is fine for NaNoWriMo, at least for me—since no one ever sees that draft. As my dear friends will tell you, I’m pretty stuffy about sharing Draft Zero of anything. I prefer to stew and edit for a few years.

This artwork thing, though—I went public with this crazy idea and now I have to share a piece or two every week. In fact, the goal at the end of November is to share all twenty and even stick them up for sale.

Therefore, I’ve been finding it hard to like anything I make. I start over and make another one, then growl at that and so on. And so on. So, here I am at the end of the first week and I have five pieces. Only I’m not thrilled with three of them.

So I’ll share two. Maybe next week, I’ll share more than two. And larger, although the originals are all 11 x 14 inches. Oh, but you’ll see them all by the end of the marathon. Pinky swear.

Hope all of you doing any kind of writing/painting/editing/running marathon this month are having lots of success—or at least a bit of fun. Go, go, go!

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Friendship, Graphic Design, KarPaiTwenMo, Life, NaNoWriMo, Painting, Writing

KarPaiTwenMo: My Painting Marathon

KarPaiTwenMo: Karen Paints Twenty in a Month

After much pondering and meditation on my emotional state and current drive: I’ve decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Yeah, I know I’d shouted about how I would. But, like I said in my last post… writing isn’t where my heart is right now. Grief will bring unexpected things; for me, my outlet has been painting. After all, it’s what my mother spent her time doing.

Don’t get me wrong. I love NaNoWriMo and I love the community there. I encourage any of you inclined to write to give it a try at least once. Seriously, it’s awesome fun. But this year, I’m doing something else.

Oh yeah, I’m not slacking out here. I’ve decided to do a PAINTING MARATHON.

Goal: completing 20 paintings (5 per week) in the month of November.
Rules: all must be at least 11 x 14 inches or larger. Also: colorful. Idea is that at the end of November, I should have a nice collection of colorful artwork that I can put up as my new portfolio, all large enough to be printed and framed.

Trick is: half of what you’ve seen here isn’t nearly as big (outside of commissioned artwork, which can be very large, even if the final product is only printed book-sized) and designed solely for the blog or only for online viewing. Larger paintings take longer—I’ll be clocking a lot of hours to pull this off.

So… this idea is crazy. And yet perfect for an art version of NaNoWriMo.

Karen Paints Twenty in a Month: KarPaiTwenMo!

Yeah, that works.

The first paintings will be shown once the first week of November ends. Same goes each week. Show-as-I-go for each painting would make-me-crazy. Even NaNoWriMo participants aren’t required to do anything along the way except update word count. I’ll write a few updates on the painting process as I go.

Hope those of you who expected me to write aren’t too disappointed, but I’ll strive to bring you some bright and interesting visuals. Cheers!

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Color, Creativity, Decisions, Journal, KarPaiTwenMo, NaNoWriMo, Painting, Writing

Jump In: NaNoWriMo and Imagination

Zuzamele in Blossoms by Karen Gadient

Artwork: “Zuzamele in Blossoms” | Zuzamele, the first daughter of the Exalted Sovereign of Mahanizeh, disappears after leaving her eighth groom alive on the first year of their joining—an anniversary that traditionally allows royal grooms to relinquish their lives gratefully in the Rite of Delivery. Mahanizeh officials quickly announce her capture and imprisonment in Avizhdolin, but rumors flourish of her escape to Ruhizeya aboard a celestial freighter.

Oh hey—did you know NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is coming? Yep, less than a month. As I have in previous years, I’ll be participating. Are you?

Zuzamele may not be the story I’ll be writing in November, but it could be. You see, that’s the awesome thing about NaNoWriMo: you can use anything your mind thinks up and run from a single paragraph (I wrote the above details on a whim after I created the artwork) well into an epic tale.

Jump in. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun and make a mess. Scatter ink everywhere and watch the magic trip into life. I make new friends every year during NaNoWriMo (my user name is Keyrover). Hope to see you there.

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Friendship, Imagination, NaNoWriMo, Portrait, Science Fiction, Sketchbook, Writing

Slithery Harvest

Slithery Harvest by Karen Gadient

I suspect there’s no blog post out there with a title like that. Unless it’s about the birth of snakes or something. But I created a strange artwork while playing around in Photoshop. I do these things where I meditate over color and see what happens. Well, this is what happened! Quite a trip. It’s happy (the objects represented are actually fruit) and creepy all at the same time.

Hope you’re all having a good week.

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Imagination, Journal, Nature

Chromatic Sea

Colorful and paint-splattered digital artwork I made today to settle my mind. Created with Corel Painter, with the encouragement of much Irish Breakfast tea.

Chromatic Sea by Karen Gadient

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Graphic Design, Imagination, Journal, Sea

Photoshop Tennis: Pop Culture Version

Photoshop Tennis - Pop Culture Version

Okay, since I’ve had a few people—including my husband David—suggest I share another Photoshop Tennis result, I’m sharing the silliest one. Can’t remember how many players we had for this game, but we ended up with an image ripe with meme-stuff and pop culture references. So. Silly.

I was wary of sharing, due to some copyright-y things in there, but since the online world is FULL of these images (I mean, one look at Tumblr, people) I figure sharing a small-sized version is fairly harmless. Top image is “before” and bottom is (obviously) “after”. This is hardly art but we had a blast with it.

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Filed under Creativity, Digital Artwork, Friendship, Games, Graphic Design, Imagination

Photoshop Tennis: Before and After

Photoshop Tennis - Before and After

Speaking of image editing, there was a game my friends and I used to play involving image manipulation. We called it Photoshop Tennis but the graphics program used didn’t matter—Photoshop, Gimp, Painter, Paintshop Pro, whatever. It also didn’t matter if the players had great design skills; the point of the game was to have fun! The game went like this:

Three to six people would take turns adding and changing a base stock photo. The original image was pretty plain and we voted on it from a selection of five images before the game began. Depending on our schedules, a game could take weeks. The final image was always amusing.

The image with this post was a game played in 2010. The top was the base photo we started with and the bottom was the finished result. Good times!

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Entertainment, Friendship, Games, Graphic Design, Imagination

Fun with Stock Images | Tea Dragon

Tea Dragon

A few weeks ago, I made a post that mentioned stock image sites. I’ve been asked how to make stock images into blog-worthy artwork. Well, that’s a Photoshop or Painter class, but I have some suggestions, so here goes:

The first thing you can do is crop an image. Even better, rotate the image and then crop it. Right there, you have a different angle. Next thing: color. Change the colors. Make a copy of the image layer and play with the opacity and blending.

It doesn’t always matter if you know what you’re doing—experiment! Honestly, experimenting with graphics software is a fantastic way to learn to use it.

Speaking of experimenting: this is your brain on art.

As for serious learning… if you have some funds, I heartily recommend Safari Books Online and Lynda.com.

Most stock images can be altered once you purchase them. Read the license agreements. At the head of this blog post is an image I created last night as a bit of art therapy. I used this stock illustration and this stock photo. Main changes were angle, color and texture (okay, lots of layers of that).

Sure, it could use some shading and more editing, but I only gave myself an hour and it’s still pretty cute. Had a lot of fun playing with the colors. It’s like my coloring book days, only with digital crayons. Periwinkle, yo.

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Graphic Design, Imagination, Photography

Copyright and Using the Work of Others

Ask First for Image Use Permission

Cloud Lounge wrote a great post yesterday about copyright and fair use.

Interesting timing, since my photographer husband and I had discussed copyright that morning. We see so many bloggers using images that aren’t their own and not giving credit. It’s clearly not the artwork of the person who wrote the blog post, yet there’s nothing to say who did create the image.

Not only is it stealing, but it’s rude.

I mean, imagine if it was your hard work and no one gave you credit?

Ask first. Don’t be a jerk.

If that’s not a good enough reason, consider this:

It’s not just personal. Some projects that artists (and photographers) are commissioned for pass the rights to another person or company. And that person or company might have eager lawyers. Think twice.

Also worth resharing: Roni Loren’s ‘Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog — My Story’.

You might not be out of luck if you really want to use a certain image. If it’s not commissioned work, many artists and photographers will allow noncommercial use (with limitations) of their work with permission. Ask first before you use someone else’s image. If you can’t locate the creator of something you want to use, go find another image to use where you can email the creator.

Or search Creative Commons, try Morgue File or Kozzi, or consider a subscription to Crestock, Fotolia, or Depositphotos.

We all want success, popularity, and/or maybe even fame. That’s why we put ourselves (and our creativity) online and blog. We need to help promote each other instead of just promoting ourselves. Asking permission can make new friends who will promote you in their own networks. It’s a good idea all around.

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Copyright, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Freelance, Graphic Design, Inspiration, Journal, Photography, Publishing, Technology, Writing

Surrounded by Ideas

Great Space of Creative Ideas. Digital artwork by Karen Gadient, 2013.

I had a dream last night where I saw the embodiment of ideas. My ideas, your ideas, or maybe all the ideas of Earth or the universe. Not really sure. But I got the vibe that ALL THE IDEAS was what I was looking at. And so, here goes:

It started out like a spirit guide, only a spark that I followed in darkness. It didn’t speak to me. Instead, it circled like a firefly—tiny and glowing. It had no true form and was made up of the elements. Fire, water, air, and even scattering bits of earth. It soon grew so that I could see its details better. Like a tiny galaxy, floating around the blackness where I stood.

Quickly—BAM—it expanded and surrounded me. Then it took me inside it and enveloped me so that I became part of it. I couldn’t see my hands or be sure that I still had a body. All I had was an intense warmth and the sensation of water washing over me, air I knew I was consciously breathing, and the view of what looked like a million little worlds before me.

Very super cool. I mean, I was a speck among specks, but it was awesome.

Now that I’m awake and back to reality, I’m left with a sense that we’re all so small and yet so powerful. Dreams like that drive me to not waste a moment of life.

Although I did take some time to create what I saw so that you could see it too.

Do you ever have dreams that stay with you and inspire you?

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Filed under Beliefs, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Dream Stories, Graphic Design, Ideas, Imagination, Inspiration, Journal, The Unknown