Copyright: All artwork/content protected under ©2007-2011 Lynne Ciacco

All content herein copyright © Lynne Ciacco

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Bus Stops Here

The second major snowstorm this week gave me the perfect excuse to lose myself in making some digital art.  Trying out some new "brushes" I recently acquired I got the impulse to drop a couple of photos into the mix.  Several hours later (still in nightgown at 4:00 pm!) I emerged with a couple of pleasing results.

This is the full meal deal, with all the colours and textures. I used two photos taken from a bus window on different days, one of a yellow building and the other of a young woman checking her cell phone while waiting for a bus. The graffiti was photographed on the wall of a washroom stall at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design a few years ago.

This is a scaled back version of the same composition, giving a lighter, brighter feel to the scene.  Do you have a preference?  I spend a lot of time trying out different effects and it gets quite mind boggling to choose between them.

I read a quote today about digital art that resonated with me:

"While the computer has brought new possibilities and versatilities, fundamentally it is just another medium that the artist of the 21st Century can choose to use--among oils, watercolours, acrylics, the airbrush and so on.  The important part of the whole equation--the artist--remains unchanged by the choice of medium."
John Grant
Digital Art for the 21st Century

I find that terribly reassuring.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Gateway to Canada's oldest Chinatown, Victoria BC

I revelled in a most mild winter out in Vancouver these past four months.  Somehow, just enjoying the everyday simplicity of being with family and friends, getting groceries, making dinners, going for walks, visiting the library, knitting, watching a little television in the evening, and sometimes venturing out into the big city filled all my days and left me no time or space for sharing on my blogs. 

 Creatively, it's a fallow time for me.  This has happened to me before.  It used to worry me when it occurred ("Will I ever make art again? Am I done?") but I have come to recognize it as a natural part of my artistic process.  

Now that I'm back in my house on the east coast,
there are changes brewing in my life.
I'm not certain how often I will visit here in the next little while but I am not abandonning the blog or the dear friends who have come by to lend me encouragement and share their own creativity. 

"We are always in transition.
If you can just relax with that
you will have no problem.|"

-Trungpa Rinpoche 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Simple Shapes

Sometimes less is more...

This simple image resulted when I rediscovered a handy little tool in Photoshop called "Shapes."  All I had to do was select a few and layer them.  As I was just playing around, I didn't have any sort of plan or intention, otherwise I might have used some colour in the composition.  As it is, though, I think it's reminiscent of a woodblock print.

What do you think? Would you consider this as a card to send out for the holiday season?  Of course, one would have to be a cat lover to do so...but I think there are more than a few out there...

Friday, December 20, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

I haven't gone into hibernation but I have journeyed west to Vancouver to spend Christmas with family and friends, away from the snow (or so I thought).  Lotus Land got blanketed with the wet white stuff today.  But rather than chill me, it fueled my creative fire.

This Christmas card-like composition is what resulted from a few happy hours spent tinkering in Photoshop with a scene photographed from my mother's balcony this morning. The birds are actually "brushes" from Amanda Rockwell (I have signed up for her Designer's Brush Workshop). If I was sending cards this Christmas, I would likely print this on watercolour card paper, giving it a textured, hand-painted look.

This is a simpler version, showing how I had started to play with the colours.

This is the original photo.

I didn't really think I'd be inspired by images of snow
 when I came out west!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Experimenting, learning new tricks in Photoshop over the past couple of days...

The photo of the girl is taken from an online tutorial which was demonstrating how to extract a figure from a background.  The tut didn't work for me but I ad-libbed my way through and eventually produced this image, also learning how to make a halftone pattern, and discovering other interesting effects along the way just by trying things out to see how they look.  The circles and lines in the background are actually marks in cement that I photographed somewhere, some time ago.

variation on the theme

Another recent experiment had me riffing on a not-so-hot photo I'd made of a heron with its wings spread. I didn't know quite what effect I was after, but I knew it when I suddenly (after 3 hours or so of tinkering) hit on it.

This is it. Soft, impressionistic, slightly luminous.
At least, I hope that's how it appears.

online public domain
Here are the two source photos:

straight out of camera
Two very different experiments over the course of a couple of days.  One being more in the line of graphic design, the other more painterly.Both were very satisfying experiments for me and I hope at least one or the other appeals to you.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Lavender's Blue, Dilly Dilly

My grandmother used to sing me that song, "Lavender's Blue," and  I awoke with it in my head this morning. It might be because I spent so much time playing with this old photograph in Photoshop last night.

My neighbour was going to throw out a collection of old photos a couple of years ago and I seized the opportunity to grab them for my hoard.  Recently, she requested them back for a project of her own, which prompted me to actually do something with the pictures before relinquishing them.

Many hours of scanning later, this young pair sitting on the grass caught my attention.  
Are they brother and sister?  
Good friends? 
 Sweet hearts?  
The boy in particular looks so romantically, yet innocently, charming.

(Of course, we'll never know...but look how discreetly the girl's knees are tucked beneath the boy's bent legs...secretly touching.  For this reason, I'm including this picture in Bonnie's themed gallery this month, "Embrace" over at Pixel Dust Photo Art.)

 I zoomed in on them, scanned them and set to work in Photoshop, experimenting with tools I'd not tried before, such as the airbrush.  The result, I think, lends an impressionistic feeling to the picture: not quite photograph, far from painting...yet something in between.  

Here's the original photograph ( approx. 4 x 2 inches).
"Lavender's blue, dilly dilly,
Lavender's green.
If I were queen, dilly dilly,
you'd be my king"...
Meanwhile, it's back to bed for me--the scanning bed!