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Artist Profiles

aA Creative Team Member Barbara Houston

By Thursday, February 23, 2017 (MDT) 12 Comments
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Today we are getting to know Creative Team Member Barbara Houston.

aA Creative Team Member Barbara Houston

Art has always been a solace in my life, I couldn’t exist without it. As Mark Twain said, “The most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Creating is my ‘why’ in life. I unintentionally turned my back on art for a time and found myself becoming frustrated with life in general. An artist friend of mine told me that not to do art wasn’t good for me and I should turn to it once again. She was right.

aA Creative Team Member Barbara Houston

aA Creative Team Member Barbara Houston

Sometimes a layout is inspired by a memory. This wheat dish is the only one left of my Mother’s Duz laundry detergent collection. I use it all the time, mostly not thinking where it came from or who had owned it, until one day it hit me and I felt the need to commemorate it.  I extracted the plate from a photo I took of it and to show the story, I found the other two photos on the internet. 

aA Creative Team Member Barbara Houston

Television shows can inspire a layout. Downtown Abbey is one of my all time favorite series and I hated when it ended last year. There are so many memorable lines in the episodes that are worth writing down and this was one Mary said that really struck me. Using one of my favorite kits, ArtPlay Palette Family, I dabbled with filters on the photo of Mary.

aA Creative Team Member Barbara Houston

I wasn’t intending to do a layout, just play. I had downloaded this photo from MorgueFile really not knowing what I was going to do with it. I just knew I loved that old man standing in front of the tavern obviously in a mood. Opening it in Photoshop one afternoon, I decided to find out how the FotoGlows would work with the lights in the photo. Using Blending Modes, this is how it came out and I was happy with that.

aA Creative Team Member Barbara Houston

This is one of my favorite pages. Using a photo of my Granddaughter Autumn, I followed this wonderful tutorial by Fiona Applechick. With this layout I loosened up a bit with the photo. It sometimes bothers me that I allow the photo to rule and not the idea behind the layout. By that I mean, should I be able to be creative with the photo if it would make a better page? I duplicated the photo a couple of more times and blended it with transfers, giving a more artsy look to the photo and it was freeing.

aA Creative Team Member Barbara Houston

I love the autumn colors and this particular tree in town. I used Photoshop filters and because its a full page photo layout I didn’t want to put the title in the sky because it represented the white space to me. My solution was to hide the title within the ‘busy-ness’ of the photo itself clipping transfers to the font I used. 

aA Creative Team Member Barbara Houston

The idea behind this layout was the lamenting of the seemingly quick passage of time, especially when it comes to my Granddaughters. The focal photo is very poor quality, but it doesn’t bother me, because it’s the idea, sentiment, that is the most important to me. Life isn’t perfect and neither are photos and sometimes you have to use what you got.

It’s all about the love of the process for me, to watch the thing grow and reveal itself as I move something here or there, play with Blending Modes, or put an element in to try out. There’s nothing like the surprise and excitement of seeing an experiment work out better than expected, and the learning from failures. It’s best for me to walk away from the finished layout for a day to return to it with fresh eyes when I see things I missed before that I might want to correct, or just say it’s truly done.   

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Anna Aspnes

Author Anna Aspnes

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