Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I know. I have strayed far afield from photography…haven't taken a shot in quite a while. Yet I'm feeling myself being pulled back. Not sure how yet, but something's coming. 

In the meantime, my latest obsession, white ink on black background…really love the imperfect hand drawn quality. FYI, I learned this technique from Lindsey at my other latest obsession, The Postman's Knock. Her blog is filled with wonderful DIY tutorials and helpful hints... mostly about calligraphy but lots of other neat stuff, too. Check it out! www.thepostmansknock.com.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


In case you've been wondering where I've been, over the past year I've been hosting live workshops in L.A. at Make Art in L.A. 

It's all very exciting and growing day by day!

Please sign up for our newsletter and "like" our Facebook page to get the latest updates.

Check it out, spread the word, and join us!

I should also mention that I got married and my name is now Barbara Buckles...but most people out here in the blogosphere know me from B Smith Photography so I don't want to change that name. It's confusing, but I honestly don't know what to do about it.

Okay. Click here now: Make Art in L.A.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I can't remember when I first discovered Seth Apter online but once I did, a big part of my creative life changed. Not only did I order, use, and love his great how-to videos, through his blog I "met" a roster of amazing mixed media artists that continue to rock my world.

If you, like me, walk into an art supply store and feel like a kid in a candy store, you should check out his blog, The Altered Page, for non-stop inspiration. You may never look back.

Yesterday I received my copy of Seth's latest book, "The Mixed Media Artist: Art Tips, Tricks, Secrets and Dreams from Over 40 Amazing Artists." Oh-em-gee.

Get it!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Never mind the spelling, darling...I'm getting ready for "Nights of Soul" at the Sherry Theater in North Hollywood's NoHo Arts District where I'll have a selection of my photo art on display. I chose six images from my "Flight" series...I think the sense of theatricality suits the occasion to a T.

The tiny and intimate Sherry Theater is home to a creative community that houses not only plays but film festivals and, thanks to producer Ciera Parrack, ongoing variety nights featuring talented singers, musicians, dancers, poets, and visual artists.

For my part, I printed two 12" x 18" prints which I matted and framed, and also created four 5" x 7" photo encaustic pieces. Even though I originally made these images almost five years ago, I never felt I gave them their proper due in terms of exposure so it will be interesting to see how they're received.

My granddaughters, Leila and Hana, were my models for the image shown above...they were cute little girls then and are beautiful young ladies now...and they'll be performing a duet at the early (7 p.m.) shows! It promises to be a wonderful event...please join us and be entertained and inspired!

Here's a link to learn more and to buy tickets:

TWO NIGHTS: October 17 and October 24
FOUR SHOWS: 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I love Love LOVE taking a straightforward photograph and then having my way with it! Garth and I went to Balboa Park in San Diego this weekend and happened upon a bonsai tree exhibit. Have been obsessively transforming drab backgrounds into painterly landscapes more suitable for these amazing works of art. This beauty is less than two feet tall!

Here's the before:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Whoo-hoo...Seth Apter, my very favorite mixed media artist instructor, is coming to town, and I think there may still be a couple seats available in his "Background Check" workshop hosted by Gilding the Lily here in Fullerton.

Here's a link for all the details:

And here's a sample of something I did with one of my photos using techniques I learned from Seth. If you have ever wanted to play with acrylic paints but weren't sure where to start, this is the place! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


A good trip can trip yield at least a year's worth of art projects...photo albums, scrapbooks, journals, wall art, handmade gifts, calendars, notecards and so on. Having just returned from my first trip to London, I'm just getting starting.

First I chose 100 (or so) of my favorite photos culled from the 1,200 (or so) I shot and made a little slide show for my friends and family before the novelty of the trip wore off and they lost interest. I kept thinking of one agonizing slide show my aunt and uncle forced on us after their trip to the southwest back in the early 50s and tried my best to choose photos that were beautiful or interesting in themselves, not just "and then we went to..." Feel free to check it out: Across the Pond

Today, my jet lag subsiding somewhat, I finally unpacked and found all the ephemera I had collected and tucked away...ticket stubs, brochures, maps, receipts, menus, found objects, lists, etc. I don't have the inclination to make scrapbooks per se at this point in my life, but I did want to save this stuff in a creative sort of way. I love making books, so I decided to make an accordion book, or concertina, out of one of the London street maps and turned it into a repository. It took less than an hour to make and  couldn't have been easier. I'll display it on a shelf for a while, then wrap a ribbon around it and pop it into a drawer to be rediscovered and perused from time to time.

1. Open the map fully and smooth it out on a clean tabletop.

2. Turn up 1/2" or so along the bottom edge and crease firmly. You may glue this down if you wish.

3. Turn up this bottom edge again, this time about 2", with the previously turned-up edge on the inside.  Don't glue this time.

4. Rotate the map so that the top edge becomes the bottom edge and repeat steps 2 and 3.

5. Fold the map in half lengthwise so there are now "pockets" along the outside front and back lower edges.

6. Apply a little tape or glue to all four outer edges just from the top of the pocket down to the fore edge to close the pockets.

7. Fold the assembly in half and accordion fold into equal segments. If you want more (smaller) segments, you may have to refold turning a "valley" fold into a "mountain" fold to get the proper accordion effect.

Now just slip ephemera into the pockets. You might want to add a date to the front of the pocket or a  decoration of some sort. Display open on a table top, or wrap with ribbon.