Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Digital Art: Fun things you can do without lifting a pen/pencil/brush

All of these pictures are original art works, using photos I took myself (unless specified otherwise) and processed using Adobe® Photoshop® CS5, CS6 or CC.   They illustrate a variety of features of this versatile software.  It's easy to get beautiful effects with the Filters and Image Adjustments.  But there are many other diverse and powerful tools if you're aiming for originality.

"Political Discussion": a daring move at a time when there's an unwritten rule that women in art need to be either goddesses or pin-up models. These two are meant to be real women, subjects rather than objects, who actively participate in public life rather than being passive objects of male desire or of female fantasy.        


"Lost in Canyonland": there are some purple roads through an area with a canyon, but also some vegetation. A fancy sun is added.        


"Art and Nature"        


First draft of "Windsurfing Disaster" Second draft, vastly improved!      


A woman is forging on through dense vegetation and having a good time doing it. She belongs to a previous time when women didn't necessarily have standard outerwear for such exploration, but at least knew how to keep the mosquitoes at bay and how to protect themselves from the sun. Yes, her dress is perhaps getting muddy or torn, but that's another story!      


This is a much better use of these lily forms. Subsets of this image look nice and tropical.        


"Field of Lilies"        



Happy Holidays card      

"Storm Approaching"    


"Big Wave"        


An imaginary garden, with both natural and human-made things        


"To the Shore" -- first draft "To the Shore": final draft      


"Swimmer's View".  Oops, one fish has been beached!        


"Blossoming Out"        


"Sailboats on the Waves" - a first draft "Fun at Sea" - final draft!      


"Garden in the Wind" first draft      


New, improved, "Rough Sailing"      


"Apartment View" A view from one apartment to another building.  It's almost night, and lights brighten the other building.        




"View from a Window on a Foggy Day"        


Village in the Forest. Really the better version. Rainy Day in the Forest. Polished up, but less interesting.      


Second draft: brighter colors    




"View of a Room" The view of the living room is partially hidden by mobiles hanging from the ceiling, while an anteroom is seen directly below and the outdoors is seen through large windows on the carpeted second floor, from which everything is seen.  It should probably be widened.        




"The Horse Fairy"      


Rain-splashed view of a city from a hotel in the evening      


It's so rare to see a (romantic?) relationship of two unique, but imaginary, individuals portrayed in art, so I gave it a whirl.        


"New Wave"        


Firewheels, all of the same species (Gaillardia pulchella)        


"Incoming Wave" (on an imaginary beach)


A spectral being in the midst of an imaginary landscape, a dream image of sorts        


"House by a Stream"        


"Birds Meeting a Butterfly"  OK, not all of them are paying attention...        


"Floral Composition"        


"A Stream of Wings" is the working title.        




"Merry Christmas"        


"Season's Greetings" The obligatory non-religious Christmas season greeting card        


"Holiday Ornaments"  A holiday greeting will be added to a later version.        


"Front Porch at Sunrise" After hours of refinement; not sure it's any better.      




An imaginary character that came out of an exercise using grid manipulation.  I found her very likable!        


"Windsurfing" Rather rough around the edges, and needs saturation, which I always forget to do.        


"Ghost" A woman wearing a shawl looks out the window of her living room, as a distant memory comes to mind.        


"Dreaming of Flowers" An experiment in a decidedly uncool style, just for the fun of it!  Alas, we're living in puritannical, misogynistic times.        


"Ride after the Rain"        


"Street Corner" Still over-saturated, but I'm too tired to continue.  Spent half an hour toning down the green, to no avail.        


"Lost to Nature" An abandoned development is taken over by plants and animals alike. This is my experiment with a medium that mimicks wood engravings.        


"Taken by Storm" A promising draft, but too much of a mess. In retrospect, I should have put the window in the upper left-hand corner. I played Daphnis and Chloe for inspiration. "Rain Coming In" A tamer version, maybe more suitable for a greeting card. I played Gershwin overtures for three musicals as inspiration. I confess that, at least these days, I like Gershwin better. Anyway, I probably should add something to the wall on the left.      


The final product: "Dreaming about the Ocean"      


"After the Party" A view of a spacious kitchen, with shadows on the wall shown created by shadows from windows on the opposite wall. Striving for a psychedelic water-color style. Still need to work on the liquor bottle.        


"Storm of Memory"        


"Feminine Mad Tea Party"        


"Thoughts of Gifts" Really, just an experiment        


"Creation of the First Bird" Abstract, but it has a great story!        


"Edge of Town" A street goes by a complex and cheerful part of town. In the distance are the mountains, a colorful moon and three stars. Incense floats out of one doorway in a building.        


New "Wonders of the Sea"        


"Impressions/Memories of a Fair" The slide into the water stinks, but I'm OK with the rest of it.        


"View of the Garden" A woman views her sunlit garden from her balcony, in turn secretly viewed through a curtain. Less subtly, it could be titled "Obsession." An improved version: the curtain covers everything, so it doesn't look like a mistake. Also, the brown on the right is replaced with green. The woman also doesn't have that white ring around her eye. On the other hand, the yellow lantern was damaged. A last version, with various glitches removed    


"Waterfront Building"        


"In Hiding"        


"Navigation" An impressionistic piece representing a sailing ship and navigation        


"Opulent Modern Living Room" A slight break from modernism.        


Another window abstract.        




"Rainy Day Window View" Not quite finished: unevenly saturated, looking too gloomy.        


"At the Concert Hall" Here is a special mostly glass raised platform in a large performing arts center for small group meetings.        


"Elfin Aspiring to Be Human" An expressionistic piece, inspired by some identity issues I've seen online, experienced by sensitive souls. The elfin is applying lipstick before a mirror under a light.        


"Imaginary Landscape" It turned out looking like an aerial view of a city on a waterfront.        


"Vacation Memories"        


"Spring Comes to the City" Too late, I realized the building on the far left doesn't fit in; it needs to be tilted inward.        


"Storeroom of Broken Dreams"        





"Afternoon in the Sun"        


"The Look of Christmas Season"  

"Angel Arriving" A healing angel assesses the problems with a messed-up but beautiful planet.        

"Sailor's Delight" Sailboats come into town at sunset.  

"Store Window Surprise" The firebird took off, but left a feather behind.        

"Wildflowers in a Fog" This is based on a hazy childhood memory of flowers seen on a beach one foggy morning in Florida.        

"Entrance to the Fair"        

"What Was He Thinking?" A study in identity issues.      

"Celebration at the Waterfront"  

"Rocky Landscape"  

As yet untitled: a house in the growing city  

"Attitude" Not every picture has to be subtle and pensive.  

"Reflected Sunrise"

"Main Street" crummy first draft Improved second draft

"Calaf and Turandot" My first attempt at expressionism

"Hall of Mirrors"        

"For You" - a wrapped bouquet of wildflowers, lying on its side.  I set out to produce something featuring flowers, but the real innovation is the the wrapping.  

"The Train"  

"Woman Bearing Gifts"  

"Lost" This got a resounding thumbs-down from FAA...      

"House of Dreams" There's a lot going on in that building, much of it obscured.        

"A Garden on a Hill" An improved version

"Imaginary Performing Arts Center at Night"  

"City Park in Spring! Lots of waterways and bridges -- and flowers, with skyscrapers in the distance  

"The Fun We Had"  

"Big City at Night" It has a sculpture in the foreground.  

"Not your typical village street" The black-and-white version



"Vitamin C Overload" Also an expression of my thirst for warmer climes.  

"People Who Live in Glass Houses..." The colors are kind of subdued in order to create a dreamy effect.  

"Night in the City" "Modern Art Museum at Night" An improvement, thanks in part to the wonderful "Box Blur" feature

A semi-abstract, maybe a disorganized store full of fancy stuff (but nicer). This is a reduced-size version.  

"Coloring a City"  

"Standalone Solarium" Imagine a house-shaped solarium with many sizes of flowering plants, some huge, with blinds on top, a little balcony, and stairs leading up at a gentle slope.  

"Nighttime Walk through the Swamp"  

"Building of Joy" I will get a better title later!  The thumbnail is blurrier and less colorful than the big picture.  

"Where Do You Go at the End of the Day?" Suggestions of a gaudy sunset, but what next?  

"Moonlit street"  

A poster for the Mardi Gras (never mind which one!)  

"Downtown Fantasy"  

"Storefront under maintenance"  



"Meadow Phenomenon"  

"Window of Opportunity" Is it a stained glass window illuminating a natural world? Or a broken window among cobwebs?  I think it strikes the right balance.

Christmas 2014 card: basic version With Christmas greeting added      

For those nearing the winter solstice: the lengthening of the days is something to celebrate.        

A Dream Remembered        

"Summer Nights" or "Come Get Lost with Me!"  I really dislike this picture, but I put out a link to it on Facebook (bad judgment!)  I'll eventually remove it from this page when it's buried under a bunch of later FB posts.        

"Holiday Season"

"Ceres in mourning," starting with a much less pretty selfie.        

Another sort of abstract. A better version      

"The Spiders I've Loved" A 25-spider composite drawn from past photos, most of which I've already posted, to ever-decreasing acclaim, on various social media.  My way of saying, "Spiders to you!"        

"Interior Decorating Disaster" Listening to a Radiohead album helped, and also inspired the wire sculpture portrayed in the top left-hand corner.        


"Modest Dreams"        

Flowers, warped        

"Sea Monster"  

"Explaining the flowers" A brighter, less subtle version      

"The Office Building with Everything"        

"Nature Tamed"        

"Butterfly Fantasia"        

"What My Day Was Like"  Never a dull moment, full of multi-tasking.  Well, maybe not that exciting, but definitely nerve-wracking!  

Inspired by Scriabin's Poem of Fire.        

"New Wave Woman." Her arms laden with presents, which mingle indistinguishably with her clothes, she heads for home. This image was inspired by a light-hearted song.        

This man convinced me that I should be a writer during his brief passage through my life        

"The Mystic." I was inspired to choose this theme by the expression on this face, showing intense, trancelike concentration on something invisible to the rest of us.  In real life, the man who generously (and on conditions of anonymity) provided me with the photo used here (with some modifications) prefers to remain a mystery to me and nearly everyone else in most significant ways. If Jung was right, this may represent a projection of my animus on this individual.      

"Mystery Woman" A portrait of someone with an elusive identity and personality, loved by many, understood by few. She is just beginning to realize that she was beautiful. But it's not an iconic picture of a stereotype: you can see a smirk and look of puzzled hurt as well as that determination to hold it all in. She knows she has unusual power over others' feelings, but much less over her destiny. I tried to put all that complexity into this image.        

"A Garden Remembered"        

"Storage Space:" There are shelves and space to hang long, floppy objects from, even a chair and desk of sorts. And of course, paintings right on the wall! My attempt to create a watercolor-like effect.        

Reflections of Nature        

Nightmare landscape, definitely more Hieronymus Bosch than Salvador Dali. Done during a dark time in my life, when friends disappeared and the public began to disdain my work in general. It reflects a suitable lack of inspiration.  

"Looking for the Sun."  

If a hummingbird beat a bee to a flower at night...  

"Flowery Exercise," experimenting with many Photoshop tools, including different filters        

A moonlit garden, seen through various windows.  

"Desire," a simple portrayal of a mysteriously seductive person. A somewhat different version is shown on the Deviant Art website: http://dorothypugh.deviantart.com/art/Desire-442372114.

"Designing a City"  

Some of these images are for sale at http://dorothypugh.deviantart.com/.

"Sunstorm," a semi-abstract expression of my current mood. A collage with ill-advised blurring.        

Please contact me, Dorothy E. Pugh, for the rights to use these photos. All are copyrighted (2012-2014) except where noted.

The wonder of photography. I'd remove this except that I have a link to it in a post. Bad idea, to post something that's not finished. Wonder of photography, with nature objects added. This is a classic example of empty virtuosity, so I have mixed feelings about it.      

"Pretty Little World," in which eight moons can be viewed in the sky and strange plants and animals are found on bodies of water. Inspired in part by the song "Pretty World," performed by Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66.        

Vision of a city.        

I'm a small-town person, so cities of all types, virtual and otherwise are scary to me, but also fascinating. This is how I feel sometimes about them.        

Colors added to black and white version of this landscape      

"City at Sunrise," based on a downtown Raleigh, NC scene, showing the Progress Energy Performing Arts Center        

I was thinking of the song "Who Knows Where the Time Goes," sung by Sandy Denny, while doing this picture.        

The Ultimate Hair Dye Job: my first foray into pop art. A collage using an unusual spider web, super-saturating it and applying the Distort/Zigzag filter.        

The sunhat  

Happy Holidays card for my friends and family  

What a difference a single drop makes!  

Baby dragon. Alas, this dragon looks bored; that's what's wrong with this picture. It's a massive collage using, among others, a network structure from a spider web.  

Floral explosion Floral Explosion #2 (an inferior version, but a later one)

The Creation of the Birds (but the Peacock Tail Was Most Difficult)  

My Halloween profile picture Modified with the addition of a newly photographed copperhead snake and signature.

Festival in Hades. Collage, warping, color changes.   

Basically an experiment in textures, but, well, I was feeling just like this at the time.        

St. John's Wort and grass: two-layer collage, with St. John's wort flowers on the bottom layer and tall grass extracted with the Magic Wand tool on the top one.  

Wonders of the Sea. A complex collage, with much warping, smudging and use of the Elliptical Marquee Tool.

Hummingbird Jazz (or Where is the Hummingbird?) Collage, Warp Tool, Magic Wand Tool, partial opacity, and hue manipulation  

My flapper profile avatar for Google Plus.  Alas, it makes a terrible thumbnail.  Collage using 20 px feather for some objects.   

A straightforward transformation of a an Arabesque Orb Weaver spider in its web using the Oil Painting filter.  I chose this filter because of the swirling motion I saw naturally occurring in the subject.  

This is a tongue-in-cheek depiction of, oh, maybe, decadence: a spider woman at home, sitting in her web, showing her patio and the outdoors beyond with a smirk on her face that seems to say, "Well, this didn't quite turn out the way I'd hoped, either."  The woman's body is based on a pattern on the abdomen of a Basilica Spider and her head on that of an Orchard Spider.   Collage, partial black and white (Threshold Adjustment Layer), partial opacity, and generous use of the Warp Tool.  Sources of inspiration: The Fly (especially Jeff Goldblum) and The Witches of Eastwick (especially Jack Nicholson).

Imaginary landscape.  Magic Wand Tool, desaturation, collage, partial opacity.  I took a risk here: I've learned that the art most people like best is simple and has deeply saturated colors.  But I haven't finished experimenting with this image.  

On opening the blinds: multiple layers, partial opacities, filters

A Seat in the Garden: A collage with many color changes, warping, partial opacity

Dream House, after a little rain.  Sometimes our memories of a place consist of a cluster of perceptions of its different aspects. "Find Edges" filter was applied to a photo; other layers consisted of warped nature photos.

A semi-abstract representation of an imaginary tropical setting, with a waterfall and lake.  Collage, with much warping, with much merging of unrelated parts.  

A Leafy Experiment, celebrating spring and new optimism.  

Sometimes I feel like I'm looking for jewels in the desert when all I want is rain: collages, warping, high feather on the cloud.  

Moonlit scene: collage, warping  

Spring Spirit: collage, warping and introduction of a human-like figure  

Based on a photo of and by someone who prefers his identity not to be revealed. In fact, it makes him look much older than he really is. I tried to play down the crisp detail of the original in favor of the subject's mood and personality by using particular filters; however it does not reflect his normally playful and extraverted personality, either!

One problem remains, however: it loses something when viewed at a distance because of the nature of the lighting contrasts. It needs to be viewed full size, up close.

Trying for a dreamy effect with a collage and partial opacity  

A collage  

"Activities in a Worried Brain."  Just a giant collage, with lots of color changes and some warping.  

The Irreversible Mistake:  It is a collage making liberal use of the Warp function of the Move Tool.  

A collage, selected mainly using the Magic Wand Tool.  I realized afterward that this looks as though there's a cross in the background; this was completely unintentional and I will probably crop it further in the future.  

This depiction of flowers by a stream was constructed using multiple separate parts of several photos, selected with the Magic Wand Tool with a tolerance of 40.  It involved 30 layers.  

Friar Laurence in his herb garden. The face was provided by another photographer who prefers to remain anonymous.  

This imaginary flower was constructed from several bunches of spicebush flowers, rotated at different angles in separate layers and colored differently.  This involved separating the flowers from their background via the Magic Wand Tool.  

This started out as a photo of a Gulf Fritillary butterfly.  


Transformation of a photo presented to the Hack This Photo theme on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/events/c1bansc7r9r683mcj41gonq95h4


Golden Evening Blazing Noon


An imaginary coastal area.  Could be farms near an ocean or (more logically) a waterfowl impoundment near a river. This image started out as a photo of the reflections of windows on water, and involved the use of the Magic Wand Tool with the Hue/Saturation/Lightness Image Adjustment function, as well as the Smudge Tool.  


Slouching toward creativity.. This, believe it or not, originated in a photo of a stack of tomato plant stands!

Cattails in my local marsh.  Filters and adjustments of hue, saturation and color balance were used.  

A field at Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC.  I used the Plastic Wrap filter and touched it up with typical image enhancement.  

The inside of the Mellow Mushroom restaurant, downtown Winston-Salem, NC.  After basic image enhancement, I applied an Angled Edges filter.


The Birding Cat: This image was assembled from "cut-outs" using the Magnetic Lasso Tool from many bird photos and a cartoon of a cat holding a camera, also drawn using basic geometric shapes and the Move Tool, using the Warp function.   It used 80+ Layers.

The Process of Photography: A composite of "cut-outs" of many photos and a cartoon face.  This used dozens of Layers, each of which required the Magnetic Lasso Tool, the Move Tool (involving generous use of the Warp function), and occasional use of the Eraser Tool.

Imaginary swamp:  Lots of "cut-outs" of animals applied to a swamp photo.  Note the alligator in the distance.

Flowers, flower flies and bee flies:  I had fun with Layer re-ordering to make the flowers seem to lie in a pile.

Karl with a bluebird on his shoulder:  This is a "drawing" I did of my husband, Karl Gottschalk, for his Facebook profile photo.  He requested the bluebird addition.  Much of the work was done with different brush settings.  However, his shirt and eyebrows were produced using the Move Tool (with the Warp function) to reshape an ellipse.

Goth Face: This picture used a photo of a window reflection as a starting point and used the Healing Brush Tool almost entirely.  However, the Move Tool, the Smudge Tool and the Eraser Tool played minor roles.  

Copyright © 2012-2019 Dorothy E. Pugh. All rights reserved.