Hello, my precious blog readers & viewers! I know I have been away for quite some time, but I had gotten caught up with things important and non-important. This fairly quick post updates on what I have been up to, lately.
This is the version of the HP Pavilion dv4 laptop that I have. A very trusty laptop to put up with me & endure me! It has enabled me to get many things done & so it is a blessing to have!
First, my laptop (which is super important since I use it to type my posts, load & edit my images and to create graphic art) had to go back into the repair shop. My busted screen was replaced & I enjoyed having my laptop back for a good little while, then one day my screen would not display anything. The laptop turned on, but no display. Turns out it was my motherboard. It over-heated. Even with a cooling pad. But I had been using some program that took a lot of power to run, so I think that is what did it in. To this day I despise myself for not being more mindful. Had to get a new motherboard. NOT CHEAP, but cheaper than most. Got my laptop back & then few days later I was playing a video on it (I think it was a vid on “Funny or Die” site). My screen started pixelating & turning all these weird, melt-y colors. I have never done drugs & I did not grow up in the 60s, but my screen looked like I’d done both. I silently panicked & then shut my laptop down with the power button (not good to do that, but the screen was frozen, so I could not do so the usual way with the Start menu button on screen), started it back up, still a mess, shut it down, started it back up in Safe Mode, was normal, turned it off properly from the Start menu, turned it back on & it was fine, again. Turns out my laptop, despite the new motherboard, is still dealing with affects of what happened. So I can play certain games, watch videos on certain sites (even movies still, thankfully) without it over-heating. I can watch Hulu & YouTube for example with NO over-heating. I can edit my images & watch my homemade vids. I have not tested to see, yet, if I can operate Adobe CS without a problem. Kinda scared to try because I KNOW fooling with graphic editing software pulls a TON of energy. It’s like the bowels of the sun are inside my laptop when I am using Adobe. Since that post-new motherboard over-heating incident, my !, A, Z, tab, caps lock keys on left side do not work (that is the side that gets the hottest in my laptop). I even carefully pulled those keys off to clean under them, hoping for a minor fix. NOPE. So now I am using my on-screen digital keyboard for those keys. Better than nothing, thank God. Otherwise I would not be able to type anything without spending MORE cash for a new keyboard. Can do that later & also save toward a new laptop. With all I put it through, I thank God my laptop STILL works! Miracle! This one is still an AWESOME laptop (HP’s are one of the best names out there & my next one will be an HP). I just did some dumb things to mess some things up.
The other thing I have been up to is that I was working on a logo for a patron who has purchased art from me before. She purchased a reproduction of this (I will do a write-up on this one day; it is one of my most popular pieces):
The patron is writing a book of poetry & needed a logo that illustrates the 23rd Psalm:
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,**
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
** Psalm 23:4 Or the valley of the shadow of death
She wanted a tree by a river with fruit within the leaves & clouds. She wanted three samples, so I created three samples in an abstract and simplified style. Each one illustrating the psalm quite directly & each one varying in approach. The patron liked the first one, but she wanted more leaves & more roots, so I altered the first one to allow for that. Well, she said she wanted a more realistic look (basically realism or naturalism). I did not know that this is what she wanted until later, but I did not mind her telling me because you want to satisfy the customer. So, I started on it, but I ended up getting caught up with other things day by day, so she decided to go another route by taking photos of trees & using a photo. So, as an artist, sometimes projects do not pan out.
The first tree that I rendered. This is the one the client liked. It is simplified (not very detailed) in style and has a few abstract elements as well.
This is the first drawing after I altered it to the client’s specifications.
These are the other two ideas I created. Both are also rendered in a simplified and abstract manner. The one at left utilizes hashing and cross-hashing line technique. For the one at right, I was inspired by Asian art in adding curls to the cloud and tree details.
Another project I am working on is a series of outdoor signs for a facility. I began the month of October. I am supposed to be painting (using stencils & aerosol paint) outdoor signs for four glass windows & one large sign over the doorway. I started on three of the signs, but two things are irking me: 1) the patron, since he worked in painting signs & construction before, insisted on helping me (although he actually was very good help, he finally let me handle it & said to me, “I should let you do this. What am I doing? You’re the artist; so I was glad) and 2) when I try to get in touch with him, getting in touch with him is difficult (see, the supplies are in the building & unless he unlocks the building for me, I can’t work). So I have kinda given up on that project as we keep missing each other. I should also add that a person I met at this facility came to visit one day & she ended up volunteering to help clean a good bit of the aerosol residue from around the lettering, as did the patron who commissioned the signs. I do not have the best stencils to work with, too. They are paper stencils that one has to manually tape to a surface, so the stencils are not flush against the glass. When I spray through the stencils, the spray also goes past the boundaries of the stencils & behind it, leaving bleeding edges that I have to clean off with a damp cloth before it dries, which causes me to leave messy edges. The supplies you have to work with affect the art & affect your mood, so I have not been very enthusiastic. I did see some MUCH better stencils in Staples one day & was hoping to meet with him on that, but we have not been able to get together. I was looking very forward to using those stencils! Oh, well. I may still try to complete the project, but only if I can get to the supplies. People say the signs look good, but as an artist, I can be honest with myself & see that the lettering is not up to par. The edges are rough & not clean. NO artist ALWAYS does impeccable art. Being honest with yourself about your work helps one to improve. If you are an artist who thinks you always do great art & you never criticize your work, you have a LOT more growing to do than you think, my friend……
These are the stencils surrounded by paper to prevent the aerosol from getting all over the glass.
And this is only one lines on one of the three glass windows. I still have to include a few more lines on all three glass windows, one line on a fourth window & a much larger sign with the facility’s name on it in purple.
I sprayed the open areas of the stencils.
This is the result. But I have to clean the residue that edges the letters.
This is the result after cleaning the residue from around the letters. Looks pretty good, but could be better because the cleaning caused the edges to be rough instead of clean.
I also did some face painting at a church that I visit. Last night was Halloween, but since this is church & not some pagan fiesta, they did not do a Halloween-centered get-together, it was just a fellowshipping get-together with snacks, games & face painting. I hadn’t done face painting in a long time! It turned out to be fun & nice experience for the kids & myself. Some of the kids came back & wanted even MORE stuff painted on their faces. Ha! A young girl, about 13 years old, nicely volunteered to help me, as well, & she did a good job. I did pretty good, although creating art on paper & canvas is more my speed than creating on faces. A couple of the girls decided to paint on my face as well. Aaaaaaahhhh! Just kidding, It was sweet of them to do that………& kind of scary, too.
Little darling here was my first customer! She wanted a purple and orange butterfly! Awwww….
This smiling young lady wanted a butterfly, too, so I painted a big one smack on her cheek. Photobomber alert!
The nice young lady who volunteered to help me paint painted this happy girl’s face. She wanted a heart.
The volunteer painted this little lady’s face next. A pretty flower!
The same little lady who later came back and wanted me to paint a pink flower on the other side of her face.
I also painted two hearts over her eyes. She was going face-paint crazy! Lol! BUt she was a real sweetheart! She is doing her Peace sign thing with another child throwing their Peace sign up.
The volunteer painted a flower for this darling. I added a heart above it.
And she wanted me to paint a heart on her face. I painted one around her eye & she was nervous I would get paint in her eye, but she was brave!
Here is the mischievous photobomber from the second photo above! She wanted me to paint a blue rose on one side of her face and…
...a heart on the other side. I did one color inside of two other colors.
The volunteer also painted this rainbow for this enthusiastic young lady. She was trying to figure out what colors come next, theoretically. The kids said it didn’t matter. I, being an ever alert artist, wanted to say the colors in order, but didn’t because I didn’t want to be so analytical & spoil the freedom of fun.
This is the gracious young lady who decided to volunteer. She later messed around, during a break we had, and painted a black oval on her nose.
This little man was a trooper because he was REALLY patient, though he was getting antsy, because I was taking so long to paint this lion. I draw & paint a LOT of things, but am not much on creating animals in art. Some kids could tell it was a lion without being told so. A couple kids thought it looked like a werewolf! I just noticed I forgot the whiskers, too…
He kept asking me, “Are you DONE, yet??” And Little Miss Photobomber is at it, again!
Little Miss Photobomber painted a yellow-edged heart on my face. Was not expecting that, but neat!
Last part of this update is that I am still working on finishing the manga girl I am drawing. You can read about my first post on this drawing HERE. Below, you can see that I have added color & that I have begun the Japanese characters for “happy” (kofuku 幸福). The character to the left is 幸. I still have to draw the second character (福) for “happy” on the right. I am allowing the characters to work through her form. I have an awesome idea for the background, too. Very bold Asian look…stay tuned!
“mangahappy” (pending title).
Graphite and colored pencil on paper, 2013.
Well, that is my update for now. When I get the time I have a lot more overdue posts to publish, but my next post will be about the photography I have been increasingly into. Til next time!