Artist,Author,Educator

Laughter and Tears: Giving Thanks

October 13th, 2013

This has been on my mind for a while and I have been mulling it over and thinking of when and how to write this. Someone has passed that had a great influence on me and it made me sad that I had not followed up with her to tell her how much she meant to my professional life and sanity.

As I thought about the loss of Lizbeth Guerrina who was one of the most talented and graceful portrait photographers I ever met, it occurred to me that I never followed up with her about how she came to me at the right time with the right message. I don’t remember what year it was, but I was deep in my portrait business in Miami in my large 2600 sq. foot studio with employees and I should have been supremely happy. But I wasn’t. It was also ironic to me and shocking that we lost her to colon cancer. I fought and beat colon cancer in 2009 so it sort of took my breath away in one of those “there goes I” moments in life.

I was lost. In the pressures to keep things organized, be a single mother, pay the mortgage and the studio bills, I lost my balance. I lost my passion and my creativity. I sat and pondered this. After much soul searching and questions I asked myself, I decided to change my entire direction of my portraits and close the big studio. But, I wasn’t sure. I knew I wanted to pursue more creative venues and stretch my creative muscles by working solely on location. But, I wasn’t sure.

The photography industry had not yet changed as profoundly as it has now. It was still the private world of truly talented and professional photographers who sought strength as a family of creatives who always were looking to learn “more” or something new and to always be inspired. We knew our equipment and how bend our lights to what we needed, but for staying inspired we usually reached out to others in the industry.

Feeling lost, I went to the convention and the one speaker I wanted to see was Lizbeth. Good Choice Girlfriend! She inspired me and gave me confidence in my decisions and she gave me inspiration in her totally controlled yet beautiful portraits of my favorite subject: children and families. I was lit up from within. My mind was racing. I CAN do this!

The new perspective moved me forward in my work. I did speak to her after the program and being who I am (those that know me, know this is true) I could barely speak without tears and choking up. She looked at me in my teary speechless eyes and reached out and hugged me. She said “I know.” Two simple words that connected me to her.

So it got me thinking about so many people who have totally influenced my life and profession in so many ways. I want to share a few with you and I am sure I am leaving out so many who I will think of later and who are just as important.

(I’ve decided to use Facebook links to these people and groups unless there is something else to link to)

Florida Professional Photographers (FPP) Before there was Facebook you actually had to go out and meet people face to face and interact and get to know them. I am grateful for my entire career to Bobby Becker who had a studio in Dadeland in Miami. I took my first photography class with him. After the six week course he continued to mentor me and made me join the FPP and PPA. He made me join the Miami Professional Photographers Guild and triggered the full chain of events that started me down the road.

I am grateful to have met, laughed with, worked with and create with so many amazing people I met during that time. Bobby told me I had to get “involved” to get the most out of it. It was pretty scary going to conventions and meetings not knowing anyone but him. If he wasn’t there it was fantastic the way others stepped up to talk to the “new member”.

Thank you Luis Melendi for teaching me to Never Take a Vote Unless you Know the Outcome and never ask a question you don’t know the answer to. We had so much laughter and love between us those years. Later we had many tears together over the terrible loss of his daughter Shannon and from that I learned, Never Give Up even if It Hurts. Thank you Luis.

Ted and Theresa Saylor words cannot express my feelings for teaching me that it’s okay to speak out and Theresa for many things she took me aside to say to me that moved my world. She was someone I knew never judged and always supported. She also could make me laugh til I peed telling stories about when she and Ted met.

Bruce Evensen low talking, always teaching, always making me laugh with his stories (especially fishing stories) and making me a better person. If not for Bruce I would not be a Master Craftsman CPP photographer recognized by PPA. How did that happen you say? Well, I’m not much of a competitor. I did compete in PPA and Southeastern and FPP competition for years and then, I stopped. I just stopped. It was during that time that I needed inspiration. At the FPP convention Bruce asked me if I had entered. I said “No”. He asked me when I had competed last…”two years ago”. Then he said “How many merits do you need to get your degree?” (gulp) “Three”. He shook his head. “Marilyn, you are leaving this as unfinished business. You will always regret not finishing this. Do it.”. Thank you Bruce. Following year I got my three merits and degrees. It was after that I finished my Florida Degree of Photographic Excellence. No one was prouder of me than Bruce. I love you Man! Most in Florida know him as “Poppa Bruce” cause he brought up so many photographers. He taught me so many lessons starting with you never make a bourbon and coke with diet coke.

Two women that totally changed my professional life and gave it meaning are Seraphina Landgrebe and Joyce Wilson. Each of these women at different times gave convention programs that had me nodding my head “yes” the entire three hours and tears of joy that I was once again inspired that I was on the right track. They both came to me at times I truly needed to be lifted up and see that a sister had gone before me to do and it was okay.

Skip Cohen Starting with AOL in the Kodak chat room I made a friend for life that also saved my professional life when I needed it. I’m not sure he even knows he did this. From calling me “Sparkle” in front of a packed room in Fort Lauderdale at a Hasselblad sponsored event to literally sitting on the floor with me years later at WPPI and asking me to give a platform program the following year to the Rangefinder article that came from that and the cover of the magazine and this all led to the launch of my new artistic life.

There are so many more people who have helped me down the road….Tim Kelly who I could never beat in FPP competition. I always took 2nd or 3rd to his first place (well deserved). So one year I kidded him and said “How much would it take to get you to not compete in Childrens category next year?”.  His answer was memorable and brilliant, “Not that much Marilyn. But, would you really felt you won if I wasn’t competing?”. DUH! Brilliance from a true photographic artist.

Chuck Neubauer 18 years of twice a year meetings with love and laughter and serious business. I would never have survived without our Electrolux club. Terry Harris, Bruce Evenson and Skip Weigel plus others that came to meetings. I could never do it without you. During my times of divorce, being a single mom, owning a business trying to build it, you guys were my rocks I knew I could count on to get me through it all.

Paula Herman I forgive you now for cleaning my desk into boxes every time I left town on business. I wish you were here now to do it. 14 years of working together like sisters and bringing our kids up. Remember the time we closed for Chicken Pox? OMG…did we laugh so much it hurt or what? And you are the queen of swaffeling a corned beef sandwich from Corkys! (our own vocabulary).

I just wanted to remember and thank people that helped me through life. But as I read this I realize that all my success as a photographer and artist has always been on a track of personal relationships and education in the industry. I hope that I did something good for others when I have spoken at their events. It’s all good. It’s all “pass it on”.

Forgive me for those I have not mentioned (Like Maria Claridge and Tanya Cunningham and Robyn Tauber and Paul Slutsky you know our connection is forever). More recently Paul Wingler for warmly bringing me into the PPNC family and more. I could keep writing forever but this post has end in a perfect way: In Laughter and Tears

Two Women in Venice

July 3rd, 2013

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This was a fun painting to work on. It was totally painted in Corel Painter and then I used a texture from Melissa Gallo over it and added a mask to take away the texture where I did not want it on the women. I have been working on people painting that give the illusion of their faces but have no details to the faces. Only a hint of the womens glasses and their noses and jawlines create the illusion that your mind finishes. The reference photo was taken in Venice Italy where the people watching is beyond my greatest wishes. We will be enjoying that next May 2014 when we take an exclusive group tour to Venice for a week. Part of this was also painted with some of my FREE Cloner brushes you can download at the Digital Paint Shop. Don’t forget to also download the instructions for loading Corel Painter brushes for free. While you are at the Digital Paint Shop check out the huge SALE on the Simple and Complete Tutorials for Painter 11 at the cheapest price ever! All delivered as downloads.

Corel Painter 12 Tutorials Complete on SALE!

June 19th, 2013

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Save yourself some time, money and trouble and grab this “DEAL” while it’s available for a LIMITED TIME! All THREE of my tutorials for Painter 12 come to $223 at regular price…but for only $69 you can grab them now. There are three with hours of videos on these also.

Two of them are instant downloads and the third will come from YOUSENDIT.COM because it’s almost a GIG of information!

You must be using Corel Painter 12.2 (12 with the updates) to take full advantage of the lessons.

GET THE LESSONS NOW and FULL DETAILS!

More Digital Painting Meets Acrylic Painting

June 12th, 2013

Side Tracked
Life gets busy and being a creative person makes it even busier. I don’t go to work 9 to 5 and then get to come home and play. I work all the time but for me it’s also play. So I started down some new roads and they got me side tracked but now I’m back with some new ideas and info.

I have many digital files of my paintings that have just been sitting dormant. To be clear, many of these are living, breathing three dimensional on canvas paintings. First I digitally paint them using numerous effects like Topaz, Alienskin Filters, and Nik Filters and Postworkshop 3 plus Corel Painter 12 and Photoshop. Then I have them printed on canvas. Next step is to paint on the canvas with wet paints to enhance and bring out the features of the digital file and then to get a high resolution file made of the original painting so I can reproduce the original many times over in other means such as gift items or matted prints.

So there is always just ONE original the way I have been working. Everything else is a copy of it. I wanted to be able to create some smaller originals but using the SAME digital files of the originals. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? How can I do that? Took me a while to figure it out also, but I did!

 

Here is the digital file of a real acrylic painting I have done. It’s called Sunset Terrace and the reference capture was taken at the Grove Park Inn Sunset Terrace restaurant here in Asheville, NC.

Sunset Terrace

I decided I wanted to make 5x5x2 Gallery Wrapped canvas boxes for future live and in person sales. So I learned the technique of making acrylic digital skins that can be printed on. Any color paint can be used to create these skins and it can be mixed, thinned or swirled. Using Golden Digital Grounds I can make the skin printable to go through a printer.

Skin Printer

Here you can see another one of my paintings coming out of the printer. After it has been sealed and dried I can use it to make my boxes and then paint with more paint on the boxes and seal them to prepare for sale.

Painting Together

Notice that the yellow painting is not the same on the box. Like I said, you can use anything and the one on the box was printed on more bronze paint. Below is the finished box with the bronze painting on it.

Finished Box

These techniques are incredibly fun to work with and there are so many substrates that we can use to put them on. I am playing with many materials now seeing what I like best.

If all of this sounds difficult, it isn’t. It’s just a matter of learning the materials and then you can do this with any of your photographs also. Think beautiful landscapes that are printed and then mounted to canvas or masonite and glazed over. More originals!

Look for my new Golden Acrylic Painting Workshop Schedule coming soon! I will have short workshops in my Asheville studio plus longer ones so you can stay and enjoy the mountains!

This is one of my PIXIQ posts reproduced here and also was blogged on the Corel Blog. I am slowly moving my PIXIQ posts over to here and this will be my primary blog again.

Venice Italy May 2014 Join Us

June 10th, 2013

We have put together a wonderful trip to Venice Italy for May 2014. If you went on my last tour with Theresa Airey you know how much fun we have with attention to every student and detail.

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Just a little TASTE of Venice…more to come!

For Details on the Venice, Italy trip with two world class instructors go HERE

You do NOT need to be a professional photographer or even have fancy equipment, just a passion for seeing things in a different light and open to learning new lighting and working with some models also in the beautiful Venice light. More details will be posted here soon but we are only taking TEN and its half booked already!

Passion to learn new artistic photo manipulations also!

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ART OF DIGITAL PAINTING COLLAGE IN COREL PAINTER 12 & PHOTOSHOP

September 7th, 2012

Hello World! I’m BACK! Yes, it’s been a while but I have been really busy working on all kinds of new exciting methods and programs. My NEW Live and in Person WORKSHOP in Asheville North Carolina is coming up soon! REGISTER now for this fabulous workshop and then you can even add on a WET PAINT DAY to learn how to seal your prints and add acrylic gel and paints to your canvas!

Very excited to be offering this workshop. For full details on the workshop to to More Details Art of Digital Painting Collage LINK

 

 

 

Many Paintings and Styles All done with Xycod Postworkshop Pro Edition

February 16th, 2012

FREE STYLES for Postworkshop Pro Edition and Upcoming NEWS!

 

For a while now I have been using Postworkshop Pro Edition from Xycod for changing my photographs into works of art. Most of the time I use it combined with other plugins or software or even as a layer with a Corel Painter 12.1 painting. It adds so much depth and texture with it’s many brushes and options. This is not “corrective” software but “transformation” software and being that it does a fantastic job. There are many lessons with videos I have posted on PIXIQ. Since they are getting ready to launch their exciting version THREE I wanted to share here on my own blog STYLES I have designed for the software and how to install them and also other art I have done with it.

These STYLES I designed are all FREE and you can get them by registering at my DIGITAL PAINT SHOP You will find more information there about them and more FREEBIES like BRUSHES for Corel Painter and FREE TEXTURES plus much more.

TheFREE Postworkshop STYLES are a lot of fun to create and work with. Some are very expandable and can be changed a lot and others are more limited.

Here is the IMPORTANT NEWS!

If you purchase Postworkshop PRO EDITION now it is $99.00  When you check out use my Coupon Code to save on that: xyco-u8s3

Later when Postworkshop Pro Edition THREE launches it’s going to be a retail price of (MORE!) $120.00!! So you want to BUY it now and get the FREE UPGRADE when it launches!

More lessons,styles and tutorials coming on this amazing software. Have fun with it and enjoy!!

 

 

10 Digital Painting Programs

January 12th, 2012

Ten Exciting Digital Painting programs or plugins. See how we are using them!


Check out the details here: http://www.pixiq.com/article/ten-digital-painting

12 FREE Styles for Postworkshop PRO Edition

December 18th, 2011

Art from Photographs with Postworkshop Pro Edition

Check our my new blog post on PIXIQ FREE styles and instructions on how to use them.  POSTWORKSHOP PRO EDITION Get a discount with Code: xyco-u8s3

Free Webinar Tonite! Discount Codes and Links

November 30th, 2011

Tonight I am doing a FREE (yes, really!) webinar at the Photography Schoolhouse. You can register for FREE! You may be wondering where I have been, well between Facebook and my blogging at Pixiq it’s been a wild ride keeping me away from my own blog. But it’s time to get back to connecting with my own blog.  Tonight’s webinar is about easy art for Portraits!

Marilyn Sholin’s  SECRET WEAPON:
Portrait Art on Steroids

Wednesday Nov. 30, 2011 at 6:00PM Pacific Time – Price = FREE

 

Give your clients art choices for their portraits that only take a few clicks and no painting experience necessary. We are talking about innovation and formulas I’ll give you that only require a few steps and from there you can experiment and create your own. This only takes a few minutes. We will be using basic Photoshop skills (even beginners can do this) and a few new filters like Nik Efex 4. You will be amazed at how fast you can do this and how these new techniques will sell. Be innovative and do something new and different from all the other photographers.

I will be showing you some simple changes with Postworkshop, Topaz Filters, Alienskin SnapArt 3, Nik Filters EFEX 4. Here are a few examples.

 

True to my word here are the DISCOUNT CODES and all the links I mention in the webinar….PLUS a few others just for good measure.

New Links and Discount Codes

Nik Software

http://bit.ly/ms_nikfilters   Discount Code: msholin

Topaz Filters

http://bit.ly/ms_topazfilters  Discount Code:  msholin

Postworkshop

http://bit.ly/ms_postworkshop  Discount Code:     xyco-u8s3

 

Alienskin Snapart3 and All Alienskin Software

http://www.alienskin.com/snapart/index.aspx

Discount Code: MSH0901

 

Lucis Art Pro 6 and Lucis Art 3 ED and Lucis Art 3 SE

http://www.lucisart.com/

Discount Code: : HIDDENIMAGE

 

Dynamic Auto Painter

http://www.mediachance.com/dap/index.html

Sorry, no discounts available

 

Think Tank Photo Equipment and Accessories

http://bit.ly/ms_thinktank

Free Gift Code: WS-513

Be sure to go to Pixiq to see more FREE LESSONS and videos!