Creativity 2 I was playing around today with a photo of painted rocks taken by Tammy Vitale in the US, then added an eagle flying. I decided to all it “Creativity” to reflect the joy  we feel when creativity carries us along on the great winds of inspiration.

Then I started playing with overlays in piZap, liked all the images and, since the theme was “Creativity”, decided to include them all to have fun and show how images an easily be changed in digital art software.

I was thinking about creativity because I saw an article by someone bemoaning the use of Photoshop and other digital editing suites in downgrading “real” art. I did used to think that, if you didn’t sweat over a canvas, you weren’t creating real art, but now I’ve discovered the joys of digital art, I have – of course – changed my mind.

For myself, digital art and the array of programmes now available – like Pixlr, PicMonkey, BeFunky, Fotor and piZap – allow me to get the images in my head out into concrete form in a way I’m not able to do on canvas. I can’t sit at a canvas for a long time, due to physical challenges and, being on a basic age pension, I can’t afford the materials needed for artwork. Also there are only very basic art supplies available in North Cyprus, I often drool over the materials I see so easily available in the US, Australia and the UK.

I also think there’s a bit of snobbery in the belief that the only good art is one created on canvas with years of training and the sweat of your brow. And if the ordinary folk like it and popularise it, then it can’t be good art. Oh, bollocks to that!

Don’t get me wrong – I think training is good if that’s your fancy, but so often I see work by self-taught artists which is absolutely brilliant and didn’t emerge from art degrees and art colleges and leave you bowed down with debt.

So I am now happy to puddle along with creating images from nature and the world of the fae with the digital art programmes I’ve found on the internet. I seldom use Photoshop or Corel, because I find the swag of modern digital art programmes now available much easier to use and far more flexible.  Horses for courses – whatever you feel comfortable with, but I am so over the art snobbery which permeates some of the upper echelons of the art world.

Whatever floats your boat – enjoy!


Creativity 11 Creativity 10 Creativity 9 Creativity 8 Creativity 7 Creativity 6 Creativity 5 Creativity 4 Creativity 3 Flight of Power


Wishing You Sunshine

Gazania Sunshine

I worked on a photo I took recently of the first gazania out in flower this spring (and just for your info BeFunky have upgraded their gizmos and there are heaps of gorgeous new goodies to play around with).

So – wishing you sunshine and enjoyment of the Kinks’ recording of “Sunny Afternoon”!

Donegal Dreaming

Donegal Dreaming

I created this piece of digital art from a photo of the sea in Donegal which I saved a while back. I have no idea who the original photographer is so can’t give credit, although the final image is so different from the original photograph, I don’t think it’s infringing copyright!

Earth Mama (AEDMN30)

Earth Mama

Well, I have made it through the Earth Every Day in November challenge and managed to post every day which I’m very pleased about so I’m patting myself on the back!

I wanted to wind up on something positive, given the state of affairs in the world today, so here is Earth Mama:  I took a photo of a statue I have of an earth-goddess type configuration, tizzied it up in BeFunky, then superimposed it over a photo I took this evening of the sun shining on clouds over the Turkish coastline.

It offers the hope of sun, light and courage to stay positive, embrace optimism and know that there are so many good people in the world who far outweigh the negative lightweights.

We, the purveyors of happiness, goodness and love, will prevail!


Nature’s Harvest (AEDMN#18)


Today’s post is of a small glass jar I have on my desk with dried grasses which I collected here in North Cyprus. Around the jar is a small chain with pearls which I had left over from jewellery making, and hanging from that chain are two spider pendants representing Spider, my totem.

When I download photos, I always work first to sharpen and adjust the image with PicMonkey. Additionally, today I worked with BeFunky which has recently upgraded its offerings to get the colour around the jar and grasses, and the frame around the whole image. Then I corrected some background marks with the “heal” function in Pixlr.

I think this poem suits my little collection of grasses.

Praise Song
Praise the light of late November,
the thin sunlight that goes deep in the bones.
Praise the crows chattering in the oak trees;
though they are clothed in night, they do not
despair. Praise what little there’s left:
the small boats of milkweed pods, husks, hulls,
shells, the architecture of trees. Praise the meadow
of dried weeds: yarrow, goldenrod, chicory,
the remains of summer. Praise the blue sky
that hasn’t cracked yet. Praise the sun slipping down
behind the beechnuts, praise the quilt of leaves
that covers the grass: Scarlet Oak, Sweet Gum,
Sugar Maple. Though darkness gathers, praise our crazy
fallen world; it’s all we have, and it’s never enough.
~ Barbara Crooker ~
(Abalone Moon, Summer 2004)


Grace of Ages


I created this image from a photo I took of St Evlalios Church, a deserted church on the site of Lambousa, an ancient port on the north coast of North Cyprus. It’s about 5 minutes up the coast from where we live in Alsancak, close to the historic port of Kyrenia. The photo is superimposed over morning clouds on the coast of Turkey, with gizmos from PicMonkey and BeFunky adding light to recall times when the church was full of the energies of those at prayer inside the building.

The church foundations originate in the 2nd-9th centuries with the final version being built in the 16th century.  Close to this church stand Akhiropiitos Monastery, built originally on an early Christian basilica of the 6th century and re-built several times; as well as the rock chapel of St Evlambios which is carved from a single block of limestone.

I’m not a religous person in the least – for me the spiritual is personal and an expression of my heart for which my soul and spirit is responsible. It doesn’t, however, stop me visiting churches and cathedrals and enjoying the feeling the power of so many people over decades and, perhaps, centuries pouring devotional energies into the sacred spaces.

I also admire the grace of the many mosques here in North Cyprus.  I love the azan, or call to prayer – sometimes, if I’m awake around 5.15 I hear the hoca (pro. hodja) with his call to prayer and it feels full of divinity in the quiet of the morning.



Mystic Mo

Mystic Mo

I haven’t mentioned it on here but we are going to be on the move again some time in the future. I absolutely love living here in North Cyprus, but the intense heat of this summer really knocked me for six and the older I get the less able I am to tolerate not just high temperatures but also the very high humidity of this summer. With climate change, temperatures certainly aren’t going to drop.

We are going to head for Eire. And why Eire, you ask?

Well, it’s courtesy of the spirit voice which has popped up on three occasions – this being the third – and it’s always had something important to tell me.

The first time I head the voice was in 1993, the night after my dog, Chloe, got run over and killed by a bus.  I was deep in grief, in my dream I saw her walking away from me in a golden light. I heard a voice say: “She came to teach you unconditional love, she’s done her job and now it’s time for her to move on.”  The voice was quite right – when I met my husband, Bryan, he cracked the glass walls around me that I’d built up to survive bullying by my fahter, but the love I felt for Chloe melted those walls completely.

In the UK in 2004, I woke up one night and the voice said: “You will cut off from your father on 23rd July”.  I puzzled over this when I woke up – did it mean my father, deep in the throes of chaotic alcoholism, would die? But then I realised it could well mean the date of our wedding (took us 27 years to get around to getting hitched!), and when I looked it up it was a Friday, perfect for all our relatives and friends. As it happened, it turned out to be the best day of the year, a nice bonus.

So these past few weeks, given that I’ve been pretty ill in the heatwave, we’ve been considering where to move to as we have limited means. Once again I woke up in the night and the voice boomed: “Ireland”.  Ireland had never crossed our minds but when I mentioned it to my husband the next morning, he was quite agreeable. I checked out property in Ireland and affordable housing (most likely we’ll have to do renovations but we have made improvements to all the houses we’ve lived in) and it’s not too far to transport our menagerie.  So in a couple of weeks our apartment will be on the market and, whenever it does sell, we will be heading off to Ireland, most likely Eire rather than the North where the housing is more expensive.

The above image, by the way, was created from a close-up of a Desert Rose rock formation, coloured to purple, then overlaid with a photo of the decoration on our wedding cake which was created by our granddaughters.