Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pink Rosebud

Title: "Pink Rosebud"
Nikon D40 Micro Nikkor 105mm
digital photograph 8"x8"
© 2009 Christine Pierce

Our roses this year have been somewhat few and far between, but this pretty pink bud captured my attention this morning.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dandelion Puff

Dandelion Puff, v. 1

I took a close-up photograph of a dandelion puff to submit to an art competition featuring "weeds." The photo, above, received basic color correction. The next photo, below, was tweaked a little bit more in photoshop.

Dandelion Puff, v. 2

This final image, below, resulted when my son, T., suggested really cranking up the darks and lightening the lights:

Dandelion Puff, v. 3

© 2009. Christine Pierce. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Title: "Chloe"
digital painting/mixed media 8"x10"
(please click on image to enlarge)
© 2009 Christine Pierce

My sister and her partner have adopted a little black and white rescue dog with over-sized ears. Her name is Chloe and she is about 11 months old. I haven't met her yet, but from all accounts she is a very sweet little pup!

This painting is based on a fairly small photo of Choe. I digitally painted her likeness, printed on Hahnemühle fine art paper, and added watercolor embellishment and highlights.

I look forward to meeting Chloe soon!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Macro Sunflower

Title: Macro Sunflower
digital photograph, Nikon D40, AF-S Micro 105mm
(please click on image to enlarge)
© 2009 Christine Pierce

I realize it's cliche to take macro photos of sunflowers, but I wanted to try out a new lens and this flower was one of the first things my view-finder landed on... If you click on it, you may be surprised, as I was, by the clarity of detail.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


TGV Train Station, Avignon, France
Nikon D40
© 2009 Christine Pierce

One of the things I love most about France is that it is such a study of contrasts. In the photo, above, we see the ultra-modern TGV train station in Avignon, Provence.

Below is a picture I took a few days later, in Paris:

Palais Royal, Paris, France
Nikon D40
© 2009 Christine Pierce

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Darling Dogs of Paris

Dogs of Paris
Digital Photos, Nikon D40
(please click on images to enlarge)
© 2009 Christine Pierce

The dogs in Paris were as well-behaved and darling as ever. It seemed to me, however, that I saw fewer dogs than on previous trips to the city. Nonetheless, they were all clearly doted-upon by their owners and they were a delight to observe.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Snapdragons on the Champs-Elysées

Title: "Snapdragons on the Champs-Elysées"
digital art/mixed media 8"x8"
(please click on image to enlarge)
© 2009 Christine Pierce

I have been spending a lot of time these past couple of weeks trying to find a way to combine digital photography, digital art, and traditional painting. I enjoy the infinite possibilities of digital media, but there is something about actual paint pigment on actual watercolor paper that I simply love.

After much research and experimentation, I created the digital art/watercolor painting, above. Using a photograph I took while strolling down the Champs-Elysées last month (the snapdragons were spectacular! So tall!!!), I started by making a digital underpainting in Photoshop.

I printed the image on Hahnemühle Fine Art InkJet Paper (William Turner 310gsm) using my Epson R1900 inkjet printer. This particular printer uses UltraChrome Hi-Gloss 2 pigment ink, which happily proved to be very water-resistant.

After letting the print dry (less than 10 minutes), I got out my watercolors and began painting. I focused on highlights and shadows and tried to make the colors of the flowers really "pop."

I learned a lot in the process and was pleased enough with the results to frame the piece:

Title: "Snapdragons on the Champs-Elysées"
digital art/mixed media 16"x20", framed
(please click on image to enlarge)
© 2009 Christine Pierce

I welcome your comments on this process and would love to hear about other techniques of combining digital art and traditional media.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Paris Ferris Wheel

Title: "Paris Ferris Wheel (La Grande Roue)
at Night"
digital image
(please click on image to enlarge)
© 2009 Christine Pierce. All rights reserved.

Walking in Paris at night presents us with beautiful sights and sounds that might escape us during the daytime. The Paris Ferris Wheel at night is one such magical sight.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Pink bouganvilla and blue sky

Here are some photos from the morning we spent in St-Paul-de-Vence. This picturesque medieval town perched on the side of a hill is filled with steep, winding cobblestone lanes and darling boutiques and art galleries. The bright pink bouganvilla (above) looked lovely climbing up the ancient, sun-bleached stone walls.

Grapevine archway

Cobblestone steps and art galleries

View from the village

Blue shutters and bluer sky

More pink bouganvilla

© 2009 Christine Pierce. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lacy Ironwork of Eiffel Tower

Title: "Lacy Ironwork of Eiffel Tower"

The open-lattice wrought iron of the Eiffel tower looks surprisingly lacy and delicate when seen up-close. If you click on the image, above, you will see what I mean.

Title: "Avenue Gustave Eiffel"

Title: "Beneath the Eiffel Tower"

Unlike novelist Guy de Maupassant, I love the Eiffel Tower and have yet to grow tired of it. (Monsieur de Maupassant, who claimed to hate the Eiffel Tower, is said to have eaten lunch in the tower every day. When asked why, he replied that it was the one place in the city where he could not see the "horrid" structure. — via Wikipedia).

While I have not eaten lunch in the Eiffel Tower, I would be happy to do so. Not to avoid the tower, but to enjoy the fabulous view!

Title: "The Eiffel Tower"

© 2009 Christine Pierce. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jardin du Luxembourg

One of my all-time favorite places to visit in Paris is the Jardin du Luxembourg. This gorgeous park is the perfect place to rest, enjoy a picnic, people-watch, and soak up the peaceful ambiance.

The flower-filled urns were spectacular this year — they were overflowing with bright pink geraniums just bursting with color!

© 2009 Christine Pierce. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Garden Roses in Metal Pail

Title: "Garden Roses in a Pail"
digital painting
© 2009 Christine Pierce
(please click on image to enlarge)

I love the way florists in Paris can just pop a handful of roses into a bucket and they end up looking fabulous. This digital painting is based on a photo I took at at flower shop near Place de la Madeleine on the Right Bank in Paris.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Eiffel Tower

Title: "The Eiffel Tower"
digital photograph
© 2009 Christine Pierce
(please click on image to enlarge)

I think the cloud formations gave the Eiffel Tower an interesting look the day I took this picture...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Doors of Provence

Title: Blue door with pink flowers
digital photograph
© 2009 Christine Pierce

The beautiful doors in Provence could be a study unto themselves!

I came upon this blue door (above) in the picturesque town of Lourmarin, one of the Luberon hill towns of Provence. (This is the charming town where Peter Mayle, author of A Year in Provence, lives).

This lovely green door is in Gordes, Provence:

Title: Green door of Gordes, Provence
digital photograph
© 2009 Christine Pierce

And here are two doors from the ochre-hued town of Roussillon:

Title: Roussillon Door, Provence
digital photograph
© 2009 Christine Pierce

Title: Another Roussillon Door, Provence
digital photograph
© 2009 Christine Pierce

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grapes on the Vine

These grapes were growing in an old vineyard above the castle ruins in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Provence.

Large round stones at the base of the vines absorb heat from the sun and help keep the roots warm at night, thereby ripening the grapes more quickly.

© 2009 Christine Pierce. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lavender, Sunflowers and a Poppy

My wish came true: the lavender was in full bloom during our trip! The fields looked like a rolling sea of purple buds and nearly took my breath away:

The butterflies were happy, too:

We were delighted to discover that the sunflowers near Roussillon were also in full bloom:

And my dream of seeing poppies, well, a poppy, blooming in southern France was also realized:

All in all, it was a spectacular day of blossoms and blooms!

© 2009 Christine Pierce. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

French Riviera Photographs

Title: View from hilltop in Nice, French Riviera
© 2009 Christine Pierce

Title: View of beach in front of the Promenade des Anglais
Nice, French Riviera
© 2009 Christine Pierce

I am home from my whirlwind trip to the French Riviera, Provence and Paris. We had a wonderful time driving around the countryside, eating delicious food and seeing gorgeous scenery along the way.

Above, and below, are a few pictures from Nice. The water was a spectacular aquamarine hue and the sky was deep azure.

Title: Sailboats in Mediterranean Sea
Nice, French Riviera
© 2009 Christine Pierce

This photograph of Old Nice shows the true, (un-retouched) color of the sky:

Title: Old Nice, French Riviera
© 2009 Christine Pierce
(please click on image to enlarge)

One night we went to a restaurant called "Le Château de la Chèvre d'Or" (The Golden Goat) in Eze.

Title: La Chèvre d'Or, French Riviera
© 2009 Christine Pierce

It was situated on the side of a cliff (corniche) and offered a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea and the French Riviera:

Title: View from Eze, French Riviera
© 2009 Christine Pierce

Title: View of Mediterranean Sea and Saint Jean-Cap Ferrat
from La Chevre d'Or

Eze, French Riviera
© 2009 Christine Pierce

Next: Lavender fields...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Au revoir!

Title: "Eiffel Tower"
12"x12" digital drawing
© 2009 Christine Pierce

It feels like I just unpacked my bags, and yet tomorrow I am leaving for another vacation. This time I'm going to the south of France and Paris for a dear friend's 50th birthday celebration. Here's hoping that the lavender will be in full bloom and the croissants will be as delectable as I remember!

I will be taking oodles of pictures and will have lots to share when I get back in mid-July. After that, I promise to settle down and get back into the art-making mode.

Until then, au revoir!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Art Awards

I was honored to be informed that my "Yaquina Lighthouse" painting was selected as a featured item at Digital Brushstrokes on

Meanwhile, super-talented artist and blogger Lydia Velarde was kind enough to give me the "Passion for Painting" award several weeks ago. I am only just now responding. Sorry for the delay, Lydia, and many thanks for thinking of me. I hope everyone will check out her charming and whimsical blog, Arty Velarde.

Since I've already "tagged 7 bloggers and listed 7 things I love," I will graciously accept this award with gratitude and get back to painting... Please consider yourself tagged if you are reading this, and, if you'd like to, post 7 artist bloggers and 7 things you love.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Purple Orchids

Title: "Purple Orchids"
12"x12" digital painting
© 2009 Christine Pierce

The Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Honolulu has an entire wall covered with live orchids. I have never seen so many beautiful orchids in one place. Here is a picture I took after we enjoyed lunch there recently. The wall is two stories tall (although for some reason this picture remains small when clicked on):

Title: "Wall of Orchids"
Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Hawaii
© 2009 Christine Pierce

But, lest I think I've seen a majority of orchid varieties at the orchid wall, here's a fun fact from Wikipedia: There are about four times as many orchid species in the world as there are mammal species. That's a lot of orchids!


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