Sunday, November 22, 2015

App Stacking Edits: Waterlogue, Tangled FX, iColorama, Distressed FX

Fall grass in Florida

Morning fog in Florida

App stacking has become my only method of altering my photos - I'm actually starting to forget how to use Photoshop Elements. I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite recent edits.

For the first photo, I used Tangled FX initially, and then merged that photo with the original one in Superimpose to make the effect more subtle. I added the birds with Distressed FX. I also played with the image in iColorama using the "Raise" effect. I've discovered if you bring the opacity way down on the Raise effect, it sharpens the image in a very pleasing way. I believe I also added a paper texture in iColorama.

I was thrilled with how the second photo came out - I had forgotten about the Waterlogue app and hadn't used it in awhile. I love the wonderful watercolor look it gives. After altering my photo in Waterlogue, I merged it with the original image in Superimpose to achieve a happy medium between the two. I then used the iColorama "raise" effect to sharpen the image, and I love how defined it made the tree limbs.

Thank you for stopping by! I'm "sherribrannon" on Instagram.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Poetry and Procreate: Thinking

Memories

THINKING

My memories lie
Folded within me
In a perfect spiral
Each whorl a sheet
Of fragile thoughts
Delicate letters on
Onionskin paper
Tucked inside
Sheer envelopes

Some memories rest warm
Worn from a loving touch
While others lie cold
Keen along their folds
Glued tightly shut by
My dry tongue
Their sharp edges
Having left a
Bead of blood

Memory coils
In flawless symmetry
Unfolding their contents
Like a deck of cards
Dealing my soul a
Soothing sip of comfort
From a sun’s teacup
All sweetness and honey

Or, with an unlucky draw,
A swift unrolling of
Shadows across my heart
A callous tickle from
The oily wing of gloom
Its feathers fanned grandly
Across my spiraled
memories with aplomb.

© Sherri Brannon


I wrote this poem awhile back, but have never shared it on this blog...I have another poem in the works, but it's coming along slowly.

My girl is the result of more fun with Procreate and other apps - I drew her in Procreate and added one of my painted backgrounds. I then moved her into iColorama and used Distort and Effects to create the patterns and double exposure effect. I thought the pattern might give the effect of "whorls" and memories. That's the wonderful thing about apps - you can take a drawing that's not very good and make it look much more artistic!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Memory only slumbers—never dies. ~Thomas Paine

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Poetry and Procreate: White Flag

Procreate girl

WHITE FLAG

It's time, my child, we have lived as one
for far too long...they say nothing ever changes
unless there's some pain. There's a prayer in me I whisper
each day, hoping for a healing, that this fear we've shared,
its pale white jaws, will finally be silent,
become bone dry and burnt down to their sockets.

Safe travels, my child, as I watch the small moon loving you from afar
I'll be the keeper of your secrets, I'll beg the heavens to bear
your burdens as you falter. I'll pray your rib bones
curve with the river as you wander, and I hope you remember
each stone in that river fell from a star
and contains the vastness of God.

Hear this now, I've learned there's belief in things
you can't see, like faith, and angels, and serendipity,
and I've learned little girls should never step on battlefields
armed with only the innocence of a child. I'll be strong now for both of us,
I'll shake my soul till the glory falls out, I'll wave my holy white flag
and be soft inside, and stabilized.

©Sherri Brannon 2015

A loving send-off poem to that scared little child who still resides in me, even though I'm all grown up. I've written more than one poem about this...poetry always reveals my biggest struggles. The poems are coming SLOWLY these days...but at least they're still coming, even if I'm only writing one poem every month or two.

I'm taking an online class right now and trying to learn to draw and paint with Procreate on my iPad. It's fantastic! The name of the class is Paint & Pixels, in case any of you are interested. If you read this and would like to get on the waiting list for the class in the future, click HERE. It is taught by Ivy NewPort and Robin Laws, two wonderfully talented artists - I admire them so much and they are incredibly generous with their knowledge.

I'm just a beginner, so my girl is amateurish...this is my first figure attempt. Is it possible to feel embarrassed and giddy at the same time?? Because that's how this image makes me feel...I'm cringing at the glaring flaws, while I grin from ear to ear about the new possibilities this process brings me! The thought of creating images to go along with my poems makes me really happy. I can't wait to practice and evolve.

On a side note, I want to be sure and mention that for the beautiful woods background above, I used an image from Unsplash. I LOVE their "free to use for anything" photos. (I put the image into Glaze to make it a bit more painterly).

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself. ~Samuel Butler

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Poets United: My Blog of the Week Interview

word soaked petal

I am honored to be the "Blog of the Week" over at Poets United. I was able to answer some questions about my poetry and also share a few of my poems there. My interview can be seen HERE. Thank you, Poets United!

Poetry is one of the biggest joys of my life, and I'm so glad it found me in 2006.

I added some of my own poetry to my iPhone photo above - these flowers are in my front yard. They're so pretty, a gorgeous periwinkle color.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Air Up There

sun star

SWAY

I flee to a field of poppies
knee deep in ruby stalks, and
the breeze swirls their songs
through the soul of me.
Soft, murmuring melodies
float through me to the sky
into breadths of blue and
puffs of billowy clouds.
I want to hide here
forever, I whisper, and
I sway with the rhythm
of the stems, while the bees
suckle harmonies
from rouge petal cups
and velvety stamens.

© Sherri Brannon


Ah, the beauty of nature and the elements. Noticing them in the quiet is as soothing as music. Flowers, wind, sky...and to look at those skies, to really let them soak in, is so peaceful. My lungs open up and my sense of awe kicks in like magic...there's a momentary escape. Soft, murmuring melodies float through me to the sky, into breadths of blue and puffs of billowy clouds.

Yesterday I was standing in my back yard and happened to look up. This was the view that greeted me, and I ran for my camera. There were also tons of starlings swooping all around, and some enormous dragonflies buzzing through and hovering. I tried to capture them with my camera but they were too fast. That's OK - this photo I got showed how amazing the view was.

I wrote this poem several years back - I was revisiting some of my old poetry yesterday and came upon it. I had forgotten all about it - it's a nice feeling to stumble upon an older poem and still feel pretty happy about how it turned out. That isn't always the case. I thought I'd share it today because it goes well with my sky photo (and my current poem is still under construction).

Thanks so much for stopping by. I will be linking this blog post up with Poets United, a wonderful place to visit for some poetry. Please have a look HERE. I'm also honored to have some of my photography featured there this morning!

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? — it is the same the angels breathe. ~Mark Twain

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Morning Has Broken

morning has broken

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world


I was happy to see Kathy's Song-ography prompt back this week - I was out for my morning walk recently and captured this beautiful flower all aglow from the sunrise. This is why I love having my iPhone with me at all times! When I looked at the photo, Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken" song immediately popped into my mind...and I've been humming it ever since.

Thank you for stopping by!



Sunday, August 2, 2015

Poets United: The Lonely Hours

girl in woods


THE LONELY HOURS

We have purged wonder, sitting alone with the silent furniture
in our dressing gowns
with our firewalls and collecting of Friends
like gold medallions
crafting big words in a Godless code, but saying nothing
spilling our souls from virtual thrones, but no one's listening

There's a loneliness that beats like a second heart
wireless illusions leave us uninspired, so very tired
at the break of dawn, sleeping with the TV on
playing pretend with our stories
exporting our seeming, deleting our being,
queuing up our sticks and stones to throw

The doves with tender eyes have gone blind, and
we don't seem to mind
communion with the stars has gone, and we with
our cyber wiles, our encrypted smiles and faux glories
reveling in this hum on the earth, this
"you show me your ego and I'll trump yours with mine"

The trees still know everything, outside our curtained windows
offering up their holy treasures to ears gone deaf
to their lessons...and their hearts must break, as they wait
in every wood, lonely for us listening souls
with our closed off minds, our tightly closed blinds,
our numbing escape from the sacred flow.

© Sherri Brannon 2015


The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention. ~Kevin Kelly

I've been wanting to write a poem about social media and technology for a long time...let me first say that I love my iPad and iPhone for all the wonderful things it allows me to do. I love the interaction with fellow photographers and poets in the online world. My iPad and iPhone have become the prime source of all my creativity...amazing! That's the positive side of technology, and I'm extremely grateful for it.

This poem is more about the addictive, toxic side of the worldwide web...it's a fine line that's very easy to cross. It's the side that makes us feel rushed and unable to listen or take notice of life beyond the screen. Too much technology can make us feel disconnected. Too much social media interaction can deplete us with its "my life is perfect" presence. It can also be a vast playground for bullies and cruelty. It can be a bit soulless, and big with ego.

For the photo above, I used an Unsplash photo and edited it with apps on my iPad. I used Brushstroke to make it more painterly, DistressedFX to add the birds, and Repix to add the stars. Stackables helped me make it more moody. Even though it was a completely separate project, I was pleasantly surprised to realize it tied in really well with the fourth stanza of my poem. Unsplash.com releases photos each month that are public domain and can be freely used however you'd like - check it out, it's a great site.

Thanks so much for stopping by - this is the first poem I've written since last November. I was sad about it, but several weeks ago I just started writing and it all flooded back...the poems never go away, they just patiently wait for the writer. It feels good to be writing again!

I'm linking up today with Poets United. Click HERE to visit and see some wonderful poetry.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Painterly Hibiscus

painterly-hibiscus

Out of gardens grow fleeting flowers but lasting friendships. ~Beverly Rose Hopper

We have the most wonderful neighbors here in our new Florida home...we live in a community of villas, and that can mean close quarters. But, we won the lottery when it comes to the lovely people who surround us. Their kindness and camaraderie reminds me very much of my experiences as an army brat growing up on military bases. The whole neighborhood knew each other, took time to say hello and chat, and looked out for one another. There is the same caring energy here and that makes me very happy.

As an example, one of my neighbors brings me blooms from her hibiscus trees every week...the blooms only last for one day, so she wants to share the beauty. It's a small thing, but it's the everyday kind gestures that stick with us, don't you think? Seeing these gorgeous flowers in my home on a regular basis is a constant reminder of how lucky I am to live here.

I took this photo with my iPhone and edited it with camera apps (on my iPad). The apps I used were TangledFX, Stackables, and Superimpose. I love how TangledFX brings out the details of flowers - it's always so striking! I'm linking up today with Nature Footstep's digital art meme.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Wildflower

showering sapphire

And everything I know just fades away
And when a wildflower grows it picks its space
And that's the way it is when nature plays its lovely hand
We'll understand everything.


~Sheryl Crow, "Wildflower"

Today I'm joining in with Kathy's Song-ography...my blog has been sadly neglected, and her fun weekly prompt was the perfect chance for me to jump back in. Thank you, Kathy!

I have always loved this song by Sheryl Crow. The lyrics touch me deeply. She sings it with such heart and feeling...it gets me every time.

I took this photo with my iPhone, which is my prime source of photography now. It's where I feel the most comfortable and I've decided to stick with it. I attempted to take a manual photography course recently, and it confirmed what I already suspected: it's not where my passion is. For me, it's all about the post-photo process. The joy is in the editing and altering of the photo afterwards, not in the purity of an original capture. Isn't it funny how each person finds satisfaction with different aspects of photography? I love that about creative expression.

Thank you for stopping by.









Wednesday, May 20, 2015

iPhoneography: Clever Painter App

Magnolia

Magnolia blooms are everywhere down here in Florida at the moment...they're so beautiful. I edited this iPhone photo using the Clever Painter app. It's a great little app and I need to remember to use it more often when I want a painterly look. I also used the Charcoal feature in Repix to further "smudge" the petal edges. I loved the results.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Landscape

Marsh pines

It is only a little planet, but how beautiful it is. ~Robinson Jeffers

Hmmm, Wordless Wednesday...it's hard not to say any words? And I can't not include a quote with my photo - it's impossible.

This image was initially taken with my iPhone and processed with apps. But I moved it into PSE this morning and edited it further, cropping it, putting it in Radlab, sharpening the pines, blurring the sky a bit...it was good to practice my very rusty Photoshop Elements skills. It's been awhile!

Thank you for stopping by - Happy Hump Day to you.

Monday, April 6, 2015

iPhoneography: Stacking Makes me Appy

Dinner is served.

I'm happy to hear about another digital art prompt on Saturday of each week - thank you, Claudia, for telling me about it. I'm happy to participate!

I'm sharing an iPhoto I took at a wonderful restaurant recently. They had the most delicious southern cooking, with lace tablecloths and napkins...and real china on each table. It was mismatched, and eclectic, and simply lovely. I won't even think about the fat content of the Salted Caramel Chocolate cake we shared for dessert - all four layers of it. Sometimes you just have to splurge, right? It was our wedding anniversary so I think that cancels out the calories.

I did a lot of app stacking with this image - I put the original photo into iColorama and used Edges to create a "lines-only" image, which I saved into my camera roll. I also put the original image into Glaze and chose a painterly option I liked. I merged those two together in Superimpose - the lines from my iColorama image gave a little more detail to the painterly one. The background was a little busy for me, so I used the Charcoal option in Repix to smudge the background a little and make it less distracting. And my final step was to move it into Stackables, which is always my favorite app for adding more grunge and texture.

If you'd like to participate in this prompt, or just see some beautiful images, click below to visit Claudia's blog.

ImagesByCW Photography

Friday, April 3, 2015

Do the Heart Work

iPhone landscapes

iPhone landscapes

iPhone landscapes

The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

On this Friday, I find myself in flux...there's a transition taking place and my creative self feels a bit lost, a bit as if the rug has been thrown out from under me. I haven't just physically moved to a new state...I'm finding that my old creative habits have moved, too. It's as if those old habits are stored in boxes somewhere from our move, and I'm trying to decide if I should even unpack them...or maybe I should put them straight up into the attic? And maybe I should go out and redecorate my heart with new habits that speak to me.

This is my state of mind these days, and my head is filled with all sorts of new ideas about which direction I should go in. My "big camera" is gathering dust and I haven't used it in months. My iPhone continues to be my biggest source of inspiration. More and more, I'm drawn to abstracts and how I can create them with my apps and iPad (see my last post HERE). I want to paint, I want to play with watercolors, pen and ink, pencil portraits, shrink plastic...I'm excited about what may be coming. But I also feel a bit off center. My poetic muse is completely gone for now, and that makes me a bit sad...I hope she returns soon because writing poetry is one of my biggest joys.

In the meantime, I'm happy to participate in Friday Finds over at Kim Klassen's blog - and I'm sharing some of my recent iPhone photos that I've edited with apps. I continue to be amazed at what's possible with apps. It's such an exciting way to be creative.

Thank you for stopping by - have a great weekend.

Kim Klassen dot com

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

From iPhone Photo to Abstract: iColorama, Glaze, Stackables and Artrage

In every landscape should reside jewels of abstract art waiting to be discovered. ~Melissa Brown

I have been fascinated with the idea of using my apps and an iPhone photo to create painterly looking abstracts. I really know nothing about abstract art...I just know that I find it very appealing to look at. I like the feeling I have while attempting to create something abstract. It comes from the gut - it's all about balance and symmetry to my own inner eye. I like that it's purely subjective - what I find to be balanced may look completely unbalanced to someone else. But, I guess that describes all art, doesn't it?

Last week I played around with a beautiful sunset photo I recently took near my house. I was very excited at the abstract results I was able to get! The photo was taken with my iPhone, but all of my editing was done on the iPad. Here is the original photo:
App Abstract

I first put the photo into iColorama and used the Triangle feature under Style. It, obviously, turns your photo into a bunch of triangular shapes:
App Abstract

Next, I moved it into Glaze and chose a painterly effect that I liked:
App Abstract

Then I moved it into Stackables because at this point I wanted a little more texture and grunge. I added various filters till I was happy:
App Abstract

And last came my favorite part - I moved it into Artrage where I used various pencils (and colors) to randomly add the circles and triangles. Artrage is an incredible app and I won't even try to explain how it works because it does so many things. If you Google "Artrage" there are tutorials everywhere that teach the basics. I've only begun to scratch the surface of what it's capable of:
App Abstract

If you want to attempt an abstract without all the paints and mess, go choose one of your phone images and give it a try with your camera apps! Who knows what jewels you'll discover?

Today I'm linking up with the digital art meme over at the Nature Footstep blog. Click HERE to visit.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Brilliance of Clouds

cloud-collage

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. ~Rabindranath Tagore

Oh, the clouds. Here in Florida, I gasp every day when I look up at the sky. Never have I seen such a variety of clouds and sunsets...the colors and light are brilliant. In Virginia, my view was always blocked by the massive trees that were everywhere in our community. I do miss those trees, but man-oh-man, how I love this new, wide open view. I feel like I can breath...my lungs open up as I just stand there and stare.

I'm sharing my photo today over at the Nature Footstep blog - please click HERE to visit and add your "catching light" photo to the prompt. I took all of these cloud photos with my iPhone. My poor Lumix has been sadly neglected these past few months.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

When in Doubt, Just Jump Back In

Florida sunset

The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go. ~Elizabeth Gilbert

Hello, Blog World...it's been months since I've posted. I guess the only solution is to just jump right back in.

Living in Florida is fantastic. The weather is truly amazing. We left a gray winter landscape in Virginia, and exchanged them for vast blue skies and vibrant flowers everywhere. It's still surreal for me. Now I just need to get my creative groove back. Life has been so busy with the move since last October. I feel like this is an opportunity for me to begin anew with all things creative. I don't quite know yet which direction I'll go in, but I will let go and enjoy the process.

For now, I'm sharing a photo I took of a sunset last week. The sunsets here are as varied as the trees were in Virginia...every night there's a new surprise in the sky to awe me. The colors and clouds are magnificent. For this image, I used Kim's "Cora" texture at Multiply/25%. I also put the photo into Radlab to tweak it. I was very rusty with my Photoshop skills - it's been months since I've edited photos on my big computer. It felt good!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope to get back on track with my blog. Happy Tuesday to you!

Kim Klassen dot com

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

App Happy Wednesday: Fog Serenade

Fog serenade

Life is still super hectic - our moving truck comes in four days. But this morning I was sitting with my coffee and saw Barb's blog post for App Happy Wednesday. I couldn't resist! Editing my iPhone photos has been the one creative thing I've still tried to do through the craziness of this move.

Here is a photo I took recently when we made a quick trip to Florida. I absolutely love how I captured the sweet little bird perched at the top of the tree. It was purely a coincidence - we were driving down the highway and I took this through the passenger window. I used my new, favorite app to edit this photo: Stackables. It has the most amazing textures that add such beauty to an otherwise plain photo.

See you soon, blog world - I can't wait to be back on a more normal basis. Until then, have a wonderful day, OK?

Keeping With The Times

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Big Changes in 2015

Torn. Apps used: Modern Grunge, DistressedFX.

A lone tree in December.

Hello, Everyone - it's been awhile. The good news is that our house here in Virginia sold in one week. We are shocked and suddenly scrambling to get moved in less than a month. I can't believe I'll be in Florida permanently in such a short time. I'm feeling every emotion possible right now as I get ready to say goodbye to this beautiful home I've lived in for almost 20 years. There are so many memories here...it'll be very sad to walk away, but I'm also happy for the new adventures and memories awaiting me down south.

Thank goodness for my iPhone and camera apps - my creative time has come to a dead halt these last weeks. But I do try to play with an iPhone photo each night while I sit and watch a little TV. Here are two photos I edited, featuring a great new app I've discovered: Modern Grunge (or Grunge HD). I just love it.

This will be my last post until I'm down in Florida and settled - it could be six weeks or so. It'll be strange to have all my 'Virginia woods and country roads' photos replaced with Florida palm trees and open skies. Until then - Happy New Year and I hope to be back soon!