Digital Stamps and CQ

Pat Winter 2005

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What is a Digital Stamp? Well, I have found it to be my new addiction. It is used by many collage Artist, but why not take it to another level? Crazy Quilting? If you have Adobe Photoshop or Paint shop Pro you have all you need to create endless "stamps" to transfer to fabric and use in your crazy quilting projects. A "brush" is an image taken as a whole or part of a photograph, drawing, etc. A "Stamp" is the result of these "brushes" combined. It is like taking several rubber stamps and creating a collage.

Gillian Allen of "Art-e-zine" has opened my eyes to this new world of Digital Art. Not being the most computer savvy individual, I requested help from my son who happened to be home for Christmas break. After he installed several "brushes" from the suggested sites Gillian offered, and gave me a few tips, he left me wide eyed in my studio, in absolute amazement. My creative world expanded at that moment. I don't believe I stopped to cook that day, or even to notice the sun going down.

I started with a blank box and chose a background color for my image. I then experimented with several of the "brushes" to include in my stamp. There were verses, music ,faces, insects, foliage, angels, etc, to choose from. Then I found I could choose the opacity, size, text,, and so many other options to alter my creation. A dozen stamps, and several hours later my eyes and mind needed a rest, so off to sleep I went dreaming of what I could make the next day. Did I mention there are lace brushes available?

Beginning with an angel picture from Dover in example #1. I cropped it and started adding brushes to alter it's appearance to suit me in example# 2. Example #3 shows the completed stamp which I then transferred to fabric in example #4.

For one stamp I used an image of a gypsy which belonged to a friend.(#5). Her father had painted it years ago. I added the words "Dance to the light of the moon", a bright moon, a red rose in her mouth, swirls of light around her, and moon kissed foliage at her heels. It was fun knowing I could alter a photo and not damage the real copy. Imagine applying this method to a memory quilt.

Maybe because I can't draw a stick figure to save my life, I am thrilled to be able to create Art. It is so generous of the "brush" creators to allow us to use their Art to make our own. Please remember to credit them if you use their work. Also, let them know that you are enjoying their generosity and talent by dropping them a note. Some of my favorite brushes are from vbrush, Truly-Sarah, The 5th muse, Exotica, and Elizabeth the painter.

During my son's next visit, he will teach me how to load and create my own brushes from my personal photos and his drawings. I have some wonderful fret work elements my father made for my house that I would love to incorporate into my work.

You may want to browse art-e-zine to learn how to create your own digital stamps and brushes. There are several tutorials for Adobe Photoshop to guide you. Have fun and don't forget to share your results.


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