From Painting to Book Cover & Design.

A while ago I created the painting “Night Owl,” and then
it flew off!

“Night Owl” 24″ x 36″

Night Owl became licensed to Candace Lienhart and Kahuna Kindergarden, to be used as the cover art for her book SoThere Excerpts & Quotes.
While the painting was horizontal, the cover art needed to be in a vertical format.

Painting, Book Cover and Design

Continuing the painting into a vertical format was quite a challenge, and I enjoyed this project very much. Once the cover was completed within the book specifications, I also created the full book design, layout and graphics.

Back Book Cover and Inner Pages

I loved working with the information of this book. It’s wonderful, and I was able to read it page by page. The text was delivered to me in an editable word document by two people who had been collecting and compiling the information.

I used Adobe InDesign to create the book formatting and file. Originally InDesign was used for magazine and book layouts allowing continuity, and creativity with image placement and wrapping text for many, many pages. This book had 147. Now InDesign is used for many things, brochures, banners, eblasts to name a few.

Adobe Photoshop is the go-to for all image work. Images need to be formatted for clarity and size. Since the book was to be reproduced and bound by a professional printer, the images also needed to be formatted in CMYK for the colour process used by printers.

Adobe Pro DC is used for many steps of the process. From InDesign I can create a pdf file, edit, and rearrange pages. This file can be emailed to the client for proofing and review. It is also the program that the final “production ready” book file is created in for the printer. The whole book production process can take place in three different cities, without leaving home! But I like to meet my printer, they are an encyclopedia of “how to’s” and best cover and text paper choices. I like to make sure it feels good in my hands.

All three of these programs require some training by experimenting or online courses. YouTube is my main go-to, there are some creative problem solving geniuses out there, and I am grateful to them all! I have been using these programs since their infancy, I changed their diapers so to speak, and they just keep evolving and becoming more amazing.

That is the story of the painting becoming a book cover.

Are you designing a book or calendar? Questions are welcomed! If you ever find yourself needing digital assistance, an image formatted for web or print, or anything requiring text or design, email me at Liza@northlizalane.com, or go to my services page. Some tasks require as little as 15 minutes!

Thank you

Painting – Time Out

Joy in Time Out.  36″x36″.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
– Pablo Picasso

Along the path of creative discovery in art and in life, I have been very busy…and, I have not added to my portfolio recently. I am currently working three paintings at the same time, experimenting. It’s a new way of working and feels balanced, so I am pursuing it.

Today, as I prepared this painting (created some time ago), to be printed on a large canvas,
I thought of the experience that inspired it.

I am fortunate that I live close enough to my day-job, that I can walk or ride my bike to work. One warm evening as I walked home contemplating a challenging situation, I chose to give myself a “Time Out.” I chose to stop thinking and simply focus on the walk. Quieting the mind and emotions requires me to let go. I know the challenge will still be there when I am ready, unfortunately. I began to focus on the comfortable weather, the trees, my groovy bento box I carry, my home, my sons, and the list began to grow, including all of the beauty around me. I immediately felt gratitude. Joy began to match my gratitude with each step I walked, and with my growing list. There is a lightness of being within joy and gratitude, my sense of humor returned, and I felt the renewed energy of being twelve years old, on a beautiful day. I felt like skipping (but I didn’t, sorta). No sudden good news, no surprising change from the outside. But a change from within, changed everything. Later, and not so surprising, along with my gratitude, an inspired solution to my challenge arrived as well.

That was the inspiration for this painting; the energy and inspired solutions that arrive with having a little “Time Out” for gratitude and joy. A daily walking meditation, all day, every day, even if I am just vacuuming. I try not to ever forget this valuable lesson, although sometimes I do. I will order a print for myself, and place it so I can see it each morning, and remember to begin each day with gratitude.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Magical Realism – Painting Retrograde

Every Storm has a Key to Wisdom

Retrograde Detail, holding steady.

I painted, and then repainted this piece six times, and then I quit counting. I would give it up and then come back to it many times. The little bird with its fine feathers lifted by the winds of the storm is the only part that remains intact from the original. This is how the piece finally received its name; Retrograde.

A great deal of information about mercury in retrograde can be found on several sites. During a retrograde I try to find the customized clues within the storm of confusion. If the universe is putting in a great deal of effort, then shouldn’t I as well? Just short of dressing up and with the best of intentions I approach retrograde as a grand yet uncomfortable opportunity. I vow that my sense of humor will be my perch. I try to remain steady (and laugh), knowing the clues will arrive like random puzzle pieces smacking me in the forehead. After a lot of bruising the pieces will begin to assemble themselves, just about the time I find my perch being torn from its roots and I am not laughing anymore. Note; trying to force or reshape the puzzle pieces to fit together and into an insight is not recommended; I have tried. And then…it happens, the pieces become a key to a valuable revelation about life and I didn’t die! Yea Mercury in Retrograde.

Magical realism is a natural and favorite way for me to create. I have always wanted to see beyond what we perceive with our eyes, and paint what is occurring behind the scenes. My definition of magical realism is painting life through a mysterious lens, revealing an “interior” mystery using magical elements to make a point about reality. This is my painting illustrating mercury in retrograde. It will end on August 2nd. The next retrograde is October 31st through November 20th. Oh goody, we do get to dress up!

Thank you.

Painting – Harmony Within Chaos

This painting is about choosing to ask Chaos to have a seat & allow me to ask it questions about its job.

In every life chaos will arrive many times, the uninvited and somewhat dreaded guest.

Like the quote; “Guests are like fish, after three days they begin to smell,” chaos is a challenge, unless…we can find the blessings of change within the chaos, and the gifts within the opportunity. Chaos comes bearing gifts beyond our imagination if we are willing to receive them. Chaos is not for the faint of heart.

Chaos is not an easy adventure, and attempting to shove it out the door does not work either.

Hello Chaos, have a seat. If we make the choice to have a trusting spirit, an adventurous soul, and the courage it takes to find a peaceful place within ourselves to become still and listen, chaos will tell us what it is up to. Chaos will arrive to challenge our fears and control issues. It will ask us if our faith and trust are genuine, or just a platitude we comfort friends with, as we privately plot how the world should really be running along.

Chaos is a teacher.

If we choose the stillness within and listen with gratitude, it will direct us to a place of observation within the chaos, like a perch and a shelter. From this place it will begin to teach us about the creative force that arrives to upturn the stagnant blocks, uncover the lies, and offer the truth. Chaos can be an answer to a prayer of change. The truth will set us free unless we choose to react, run in circles with our arms in the air and join the conversations of fear, and judgement, and miss the opportunity know, to be the insider, and to watch it unfold.

Chaos holds the key to learning harmony.

Harmony is the shelter. It does not include resistance. It is a position of neutral. It asks us not to define it, or find a sense of safety in our immediate and ignorant definitions. It does not argue nor defend, it is the space that is a melody of listening and alert attention. It trusts that if action is needed, it we will will be specific, peaceful and in harmony with the moment. Knowingness and wisdom is the lesson of harmony. To know how to serve and when, and how to ask. Harmony is in the center of chaos, and chaos can usher in the light of creation and change for the greater good. Be the greater you by surrendering the smallness of you, (may include arguments). Find your perch, pay attention, ask for the wisdom and truth that chaos has to teach, and then you will fly.

This is my experience with chaos. Chaos is the greater good asking for change, and harmony is “E” ticket of the peaceful and effective path. — Thank You.

My Cover Girl – Celebrating Spring & Easter.

I giggled the entire time I created this, in celebration of spring and Easter.

Looking at her face, I just can’t help it. Spring is joyful, fresh, new, loving and hopeful.  It is an opportunity to witness the transformation in nature, and within ourselves. A time to celebrate surviving and thriving through the challenges of the past year.

I had so much fun with this that I have decided to make this my new “Play Project” in between paintings. Creating magazine covers using my own artwork with articles I would love to read. Then I will print and frame each cover, and line my home hallway with them. I will call it my Happy Hall

I think I’ll create a Rolling Stones cover next…..

Happy Spring, and Happy Easter to All.

– thank you.

Painting – “Fowl Play.”

I found myself feeling uninspired, and in a bit of a foul mood while trying to enjoy my painting time after a challenging week. What to do? I looked out of the window and observed Betty White and Pearl Bailey busy gossiping around the base of a palm tree.

Betty and Pearl are chickens living in the heart of a large city at a complex that feels as if it is not in the city at all. Betty arrived one day last year as a mystery, was quickly adopted, and Pearl was brought in to be her comrade in hyjinx. They are incredible at herding cats. These two chickens living in the heart of the financial district are quite popular, and even have their own website. It’s all quite comical, watching them at play and how they react to life around them.

“When work becomes play, and play becomes your work, your life unfolds.” — Robert Frost

Taking a my cue from Betty and Pearl I chose to play. I moved into the inspired moment, capturing the energy like a snapshot of spontaneity. Using quick loose strokes, splatters, and random colours, I worked rapidly and with limited thoughts. Then I added a little detail for the head. Later, I chose to add a background of gritty texture, replicating the dirt Betty and Pearl love to dig in for appetizers. My observation of play became the energy of how I painted, and the true essence of the image. I smiled as I worked, and my work became play. Another valuable lesson in truly living life. — Thank you.

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