Tuesday, August 14, 2007


sheer summer joySheer Summer Joy - (Summer series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2007

Learning new software skills often brings up a multitude of feelings for me. Sometimes, when I look at Photoshop tutorials, I think they are either too involved or not applicable to the work I do or am interested in. Often though, I think it is my own insecurity about my skills and ability to see the subtleties being taught that stops me from pursuing lessons being shown.

I took two semesters in Photoshop at the local community college, and there were a couple of concepts that took me the longest time to comprehend. Others I learned because I had to, but mostly with my eyes closed. My brain told me it was just toooo hard. I have no idea how many hours I have logged in practicing on a daily basis over the past two years. When I meet with my local photoshop users group and they talk about techniques they use, my eyes often glaze over. I approach my work from a different perspective. Sometimes I wonder if we are even using the same program. Photoshop offers so many possibilities that no one will ever learn it all. If I can be proficient in just a few areas, I will be happy.

All of this is to say, for anyone out there just beginning to play with this fascinating, frustrating and often addictive software is -- be brave and have fun! It is all about the process and the journey, and not about the final destination. Learn a little bit more than you knew last week. Try new stuff. Show off. Be proud.

This mandala was created from a photograph of alstroemeria growing in my landlady's garden. I used a new blur filter I found in CS3 . Called a surface blur, I like the soft watercolory effect it produced when blended with the paint daubs filter.

My mandala prints are $20 plus shipping/handling/tax. If you are interested in purchasing my art, please contact me at the email address linked above.


Rima said...

Beautifully said and written! Nothing more to add, except, again, gorgeous, inspirational, exquisite artwork. Also beautiful, masterful, refreshing.

lebanesa said...

That is so beautiful - You are kind to encourage us and right that too much information can sometimes make us all switch off, the difficulty is the balance between the information we need and what we feel we can process and use at one time. I do find reading a lot of instructions on-screen is hard. I don't seem to absorb them as quickly as hard-copy. Maybe printing up will be the way to go for me.

dianeclancy said...

I think this is gorgeous! Again, good enough to eat - maybe a luscious new fruit that fessts the eyes first ... interesting filter ...

~ Diane Clancy

Irene said...

That's very beautiful and I sympathize completely about the eyes glazing over when confronted with difficult instructions. I am a beginner and I find myself glazed over quite a bit.

Deb Kirkeeide said...

Sue, I meant to comment on this before. This is so lovely and my first reaction was that it reminded me of one of the quilts my Grandmother had made. She hand stitched her quilts well into her seventies and was always trying new patterns and designs. This was a nice reminder of her.
Of course you know I share your pain and sometimes intimidation of all these software applications. But you do a wonderful job in applying it to your purpose. And you're right no one person is going to use all and know PS's many many applications - well, okay, I do know a few that can glance over a technical manual and seem to know it overnight. I'm always in awe.
With eyes glazed over and brain nearing overload....Deb

Artists With Artitude said...

I learn so much from you, Sue. I am still terrified of learning new technologies but at the same time, I yearn for a new direction. Thank you for being honest with us. I think though that no matter what you do (Photoshop or otherwise), it is your basic talent and inner eye that directs your work...Will you hold my hand if I sign up for a Photoshop class? Teehee! I am so glad I am back home and able to enjoy your work and musings without ant distraction. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

Rima said...

Hope everything's going your way these days :-)