Tuesday, February 28, 2012

En route . . .

We are currently in Willits, returning from California via the coast route due to very heavy snow over Siskiyou Summit, Ashland, and points north along I-5. Internet access has been spotty and energy at the moment is low, but am planning on getting back in stride after we get home. If you're wondering why I've not responded to various e-mails, traveling has gotten in the way, albeit briefly.

Carol "to bed, perchance to dream" Leigh

Friday, February 24, 2012

Three oldies from Tucson

As I'm weeding through photos, I'm finding images I'd forgotten I'd taken. As Stephan D. commented in yesterday's post, they're like little gifts popping up. I'd completely forgotten the "angel at the door" hanging  from the lock. I definitely had NOT forgotten the yellow hand mailbox on the blue door, however, an old friend now given a slightly different post-processing treatment. And then there's the Buddha statue, that I could, with new skills and a new eye, make look even richer, more burnished, and more quietly dramatic.

Looking at older images makes me want to go back to those same locations, give them another go. Kind of like life. With new skills, new eyes, don't we sometimes wish we could go back, knowing what we know now?

©Carol Leigh, looking for the CTL-Z, CTL-ALT-Z on a daily basis

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A few from San Diego

The Drobo is here; the four drives for it arrive today. Things are going to be crazy before they get better. In the midst of the craziness, however, I came across photos I took in December in San Diego. These are from the Hillcrest area, a superb spot for color, repeating patterns, and abstract images.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Most recently created notebooks

I continue to make these small notebook/journals. I made these this week and they're in my online store at http://shop.carolleigh.net. They're one of a kind, so when they're gone, they're gone. ©Carol Leigh, who is enjoying seeing her photomontages appear in a different incarnation

Monday, February 20, 2012

Positive signs

I picked these three photos because, well, their combination just made me feel good. The first, the greeting, I photographed on the side of a little tractor. And then the "enter" sign, in the shape of the state of Oregon, was all that was left of a big antique barn. And the "please return" sign I found on a door at an architectural salvage place in Aurora, Oregon.

Three friendly little elements to begin the week. No rants, no woes, no crankiness. Just three positive signs of good things to come...

©Carol Leigh, who, speaking of good things, has a Mini Macro online class beginning March 1. Four lessons, 6 weeks, $85. You in?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Flotsam on a sea of photos (major rant)

I just now posted this to my alumni group, but also figured I'd post it here, to the world at large, because I think it will generate some comments, some interest, and maybe some of you can relate.

I'm not looking necessarily for suggestions. I just need a place where I can grouse, gripe, and gritch to people who completely understand where I'm coming from.

I am awash in photos and have officially lost control.

I use photos for teaching purposes, gallery purposes, stock photo purposes, for a new "mystery project" I'm working on, for collage work, for photomontage work, and more.

I have photos that are framed and prepped for the web. Photos prepped for Alamy. Photos prepped for Fine Art America. Photos prepped for PDF lessons. And more.

I have texture backgrounds that I use in my photomontages. I have all sorts of weird bits and bob that I'm using for a "mystery project." I have photos that I take of parts of my physical collages that I would like to use in my photomontages. Photos of handwriting, of pages from Japanese books, old ads, of my own paint blops, scratched metal, rust, and more.

And then there are all my photomontages, files that are huge because of all the layers involved.

In addition, I've got photos that I shoot on a daily basis, photos that I back up onto DVDs, put into envelopes, put into large rubber tubs and store in the garage. Once backed up, those photos are then distributed to various directories on various drives -- photos of numbers, letters, drive-bys, SanDiego/Downtown, SanDiego/Little Italy, buoys, crabpots, fishing nets, etc.

Because of various drive failures, filled-up drives, backups made of backups, my files have become scattered, over-duplicated, and cumbersome. I've been gradually moving things over to a 2TB external drive, then hooked up another 2TB drive, but just got a warning from an HP diagnostic hardware scan that there's something WRONG with that latest 2TB drive, so I'm removing the files from it in preparation for doing some diagnostic stuff to it. The drive works, but HP says DANGER DANGER.

I've got 10 external drives right now, each one bigger than the next as I've purchased them over the years. I can plug in maybe five or so at one time. The others are sitting around my office, plugged into nothing because I'm now out of electrical outlets and USB ports.

Can ANYone relate to this? Please tell me I'm not alone in my total frustration, if not despair.

I am thinking of purchasing three 3TB drives to add to the two 2TB drives I've already got. That way I can keep all five hooked up and running, where the files I need are immediately accessible and I know which files are where. No need to move furniture, crawl around on the floor, get out the vacuum because dust bunnies have morphed into dust elephants, and then put things back, INCLUDING the various panels of plywood necessary to keep the freakin' CAT from mucking about among the cords and cables.

So there you have it. A glimpse into my little world of insanity. Can you relate? Do you think my solution is feasible?

Carol "re-thinking her career choice" Leigh, who now thinks she needs a bigger monitor . . .


It's fun to create these things, but (for me) it's always more interesting to see the original image as well. Orbs are cool, but sometimes they're even cooler when we know what they're made of. So here's a photo of an orb and then the photo it was made from, a flag on the side of a train engine.

©Carol Leigh

Friday, February 17, 2012

Three Faces

This is something rather different for me, and I'm not sure I like it, although I do find myself drawn into it. It consists of a hand-painted paper, some ink blobs, scratched bits, and a photo of a woman on a wall in Little Italy, San Diego. Dunno... The colors are kind of neat.

©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Torn Papers on Wall

This piece began with a photo of a wall in New Mexico. I added some photos of torn matchbox labels, Japanese calligraphy, and a photo of a little collage I'd made containing more torn papers and a postage stamp. I like the overall warmth and grungy feel, especially the touch of golden brown that came from a Chinese matchbox label.

I just uploaded this one to my art gallery, where it's available as a print, card, gallery wrap, etc. ©Carol Leigh, who is (finally) working hard to get her work seen on many levels.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today's the day! Tell someone you love them. Do something from the heart.

This is a heart and a hand given to me by Judy T. many years ago. A kind and thoughtful gift from a kind and thoughtful person. XOXO ©Carol Leigh

Monday, February 13, 2012

Journal du Jour

Just because I can . . . I've begun making small journals that feature one of my photos, collages, or photomontages on the cover. Each one's different, one of a kind, unique, dated and signed by me. They're soft and flexible, perfect for slipping into a pocket, your camera bag, a purse, etc.

Each journal is 5.5" high, 3.5" wide, has 64 pages (the last 16 of which are perforated and detachable). There's even a pocket in the back. (And no, the pen is not included!)

$9 plus $2 shipping = $11 total.
Online store to order: http://shop.carolleigh.net

As I make them I'll announce each one here. Gotta say, they look and feel pretty cool. Would love to put one in the mail to you today. This first one features a collage I made and posted a couple of weeks ago, called "Learning." http://carolleigh.blogspot.com/2012/02/learning.html

©Carol Leigh, who is loving putting these little things together

Valentine's Day Countdown: 2 Days

A heart from a little collage I made. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day Countdown: 3 Days

Stars and hearts forever. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gotta love those Cananadians . . .

While wandering around the crabpot staging area today, I spotted this stack of pallets, one of which wasn't made in the U.S. (nor, surprisingly, in China). Nope, it was made in "Cananada," which I'm thinking is pronounced ca-NAN-a-duh ...

Someone in the pallet-marking division obviously has Canadian as a second language ...

Carol Leigh, from Oreoregon . . .

Valentine's Day Countdown: 4 Days

A little swatch of shiny heart fabric is a good backdrop for this crystal glass heart. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day Countdown: 5 Days

This is part of a little collage I made. ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine's Day Countdown: 6 Days

My neighbor, Anna, had this little box sitting outside her front door. It was made by her husband, Frank. Just in case you ever wanted to leave them a note. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine's Day Countdown: 7 Days

Two paper hearts on a plain white background. I like the way they seem to be leaning toward one another. Special shout-out to Bugsy this morning! ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Raven Paints Light

I made this photomontage using photos I'd taken of architecture in Santa Fe. A raven, some splatters, and it's finished. Available as a print, gallery wrap, or notecards here in the "Miscellaneous" gallery.

Valentine's Day Countdown: 8 Days

Some people wear their hearts on their sleeve, others wear them on their, well, other parts of their anatomy. Photographed using a Lensbaby. ©Carol Leigh

Monday, February 6, 2012

Prints, gallery wraps, notecards for sale . . .

I'm offering prints, gallery wraps, and notecards for sale at a new venue (for me). Here's the link: http://carol-leigh.artistwebsites.com/?tab=artworkgalleries
Once there, you can click on the various galleries, the various pictures, to see what they would look like as notecards, gallery wraps, framed prints, etc. All the pricing is there, too.

I created this over the weekend and much more will follow, but wanted to announce it now. Please feel free to pass my gallery link on to anyone you think might be interested. Thanks!

©Carol Leigh, dipping her toe tentatively into doing some actual (gasp!) marketing . . .

Valentine's Day Countdown: 9 Days

A purple heart from my art journal. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine's Day Countdown: 10 Days

A colorful salt shaker purchased in Tubac, Arizona provides me with the heart of the day photo. Taken with a Lensbaby. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Artspeak . . . a rant-let

I visit a lot of artist blogs. I read a lot of artist statements. I fail to understand most of them. And is that their purpose? To befuddle the world into thinking that they and only they have a handle on true meaning?  That only they can artistically express these things, things that we mere mortals cannot begin to understand?

Here's what I read this morning, written by an artist whose work I often find delightful:

"My Urban Totems series has been inspired by two ends of the apex, Celtic myths and urbexing. The rise and fall of civilizations have always intrigued me, along with the myths and legends of the culture. Urbex is continuum of allegory within today’s world; the exploration of urban decay communicates the beauty of the abandoned ruins. Together, they reverberate of modern canon of urban myth mixed with conceptual archetypes."

And then I read that a general died of natural causes in Afghanistan. He headed up the "Thirteenth Expeditionary Sustainment Command."

Are our military folks secretly artists?

Valentine's Day Countdown: 11 Days

A spun-glass Christmas ornament hangs from a gold cord. I used a bright red silk scarf for the background. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, February 3, 2012

Family "jewels"

My mom and I both had charm bracelets that we began when we were living in Hawaii and then Japan. Her charms were pretty cool — all sterling silver — and so were mine, but some were made of silver, some were enamel, etc. Here you see one of my mom's charms hanging from her bracelet.

My grandmother Carol Leigh had this big silver cuff bracelet that she got maybe in the 1930s, 1940s. It's from Taxco, Mexico and now sits in my jewelry box. I buffed up a section of it and photographed it a couple of weeks ago.

Both these pieces — and now these photos — remind me of two strong (often annoyingly strong) women in my life.

And now I'm going to be strongly annoying and remind you that I have an online macro class coming up that begins March 1. It's a shortened version, with just four lessons/assignments in six weeks. And it's designed for those of you who have close-up equipment and who wish to work on a series of simple yet challenging projects. The first lesson will be, obviously, JEWELRY.

Six weeks, four lessons/assignments, begins March 1, registration fee is $85. For more information and a link to my store to register: http://www.carolleigh.net/classes.htm

©Carol Leigh, insufferably annoying from time to time!

Valentine's Day Countdown: 12 Days

A purse made from a pair of jeans has a belt with a silver heart on it. It was in a store window in Astoria, Oregon and, of course, I had to shoot it. ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Valentine's Day Countdown: 13 Days

This was an easy one to set up. I have a pink heart-shaped rock and set it on top of some soft white paper which in turn sits on pale pink paper. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Various papers, stamps, markings, etc. come together in this photomontage. Vintage inked and weathered papers arrived as a gift in the mail and I photographed parts of them to specifically use in montages such as this. I also photographed a red Japanese stamp/circular stamp that was on one of the first pages of a very old Japanese book I purchased. A bit of torn red paper, and an illustration from an old aeronautics textbook appear here and there.

Have I mentioned how much I love creating these photomontages? No? Well, I LOVE creating these!

©Carol Leigh, who is beginning to repeat herself repeat herself . . .

Valentine's Day Countdown: 14 Days

Valentine's Day is just two weeks away. Every day between now and February 14th I'll be posting a different "heart" photo. Here a silver charm hangs from a thin red ribbon and sits on a bit of lace. Photographed using a Lensbaby for very shallow depth of field. ©Carol Leigh