29 February 2008
27 February 2008
26 February 2008
25 February 2008
After my last plea for a free, but good, art program, I was directed in the way of this site. Whether you have a mac or pc, if you want the capabilities of Photoshop without the high-falootin' price tag, check out Gimp. Not to be confused with its, uh, differently-abled namesake, this program can do anything! One of the features that I personally find the most helpful for artists, aside from general photo manipulation, is the ability to correct lens tilt. In other words, when you take a picture of your painting and it looks crooked, and you were sure you took it straight on, well, this nifty program can fix that without cropping out half your picture. Any artist who has tried to photgraph their own art can tell you how irritating it is to try to photograph a perfectly straight square shape.
22 February 2008
21 February 2008
I think now I must have a different MS Paint than that dude, because mine doesn't do anything. Except irritate me. So what do you think, better, worse, or just different than the banner on the top of this blog?
Now, back to the problem at hand: free stuff that does what I want. I refuse to pay hundreds of dollars for Photoshop, even though I LOVE it, and know how to use it, I have a kid to feed, for cryin' out loud. Does anyone know of a decent free (or inexpensive) substitute? I did the best I could with mine, and it is ok...but soooo time consuming. I made new logos and or buttons for the links on my page with it. Maybe you are there now. Go see.
I also searched and searched for decent clip art on the web. I caution anyone brave enough to take on this project not to google free clipart and expect results. All those sites are really unhelpful, and freakishly linked to one another. Finally I found this place. Awesome.
So if you can help me, you rock. If you are in the same boat, good luck. Until later...
20 February 2008
1. GET SOMETHING MEANINGFUL TO YOU. Who cares what other people think? It soundds obvious, but you are the one living with it, forever. Get something that means something. Even if you have to explain it to everyone who asks, which can be fun, if it stands for something or sometime in your life, it will never get old.
2. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Don't bargain shop or cheap out when it comes to gettting ink. The reason places vary so much in price is that the artists who are good and in demand will charge more for their time-AS THEY SHOULD! They are worth it, and when you find a shop you love, keep going back. I, personally, trust Jade Dragon in Chicago, and have gotten 3 of my 5 tattoos from them (all 3 are better than the 2 I didn't get there).
Ok, ok, I will step off my soapboax now and get back on topic... being an artist, I have friends ask me fairly often to draw them tattoos. I rarely actually draw tattoos for my friends because they don't come to me with anything specific. Unless you call "draw me something cool," an idea. No pressure. I can't possibly know what would be meaningful to you, not now, and surely not forever. I can draw anything you ask me for, but, please, give your artist friends an idea of what you want!! Noone wants to be blamed 10 years from now when you decide the 8 balls, skulls, roses, or koi fish just aren't "you" anymore, especially if they weren't your idea in the first place!
My friend Zak has been bugging me for years to draw him a tattoo. I have never done it because of everything I have just said. Sitting on the couch Monday night, though, I was thinking of him, and started to doodle. He has been having a hard time lately, and is at that point in his life when you wake up and want to grow and change. I love him dearly, and have spent several nights in the past few months having heart to hearts with this guy that others just brush off. He lets so few in, but I think he let me in enough for me to draw him this:
So, Zak, there you go, I drew you one. If you don't want to get it, that's cool. But now you can't say I didn't draw you one!! So it is out of my hands. It is full of symbolism that I makes me think of you, and so, to me, it is meaningful. A compass because you always seem so lost, and I want you to find your way. A forest through the trees so you can see what you need to. A single lily, well, you know why. Cobwebs to the south because the past is just that, the past. A part of you that will never go away, but it makes you who you are, so don't ever forget it. The filigree, well, that's all me. I put my own style in there.
19 February 2008
Sometimes I get requests or commissions to do portraits of people's kids for them. I will be the first to admit, even though I did make side money doing other people's self portraits in high school art class, portraits are really not my thing. I have no good reason, other than maybe a lack of patience. Nonetheless, out of some sort of masochism, I still agree to do them now and again. However, kids are notoriously fidgety and restless, and getting them to sit for a session is a joke. Not to mention really unnecessary (unless you feel like sitting on them while you draw, which even parents with a good sense of humor tend to frown on), when you can take a picture. So never fear, portrait wanter! Even you (yes, you) can do this!
I know, I know. You can't draw a stick figure. Yeah, yeah, I've heard it before. I'm not talking about drawing a portrait. Just like Law and Order made the average joe a lawyer, and ER made everyone doctors, digital cameras can magically change you into a photographer. Why? Because you can take a million pictures, delete the crappy ones, and keep the gem. Even pros take a roll of film expecting one good picture. So don't get discouraged.
So here are simple rules (yes, there are always more and better ways) for taking a decent picture of your kids. Follow these if you want someone (maybe me) to do a portrait drawing from a picture, or if you just want a decent picture. Forget Sears-those high school kids follow a formula. Years from now, you want a more candid shot that shows their personality, trust me.
- Set the kid(s) up close together in front of a wall or nice background (not a window)
- Let them be themselves-laughing pictures, even fighting pictures, are always better than posed ones, trust me!
- Put the light (without a lamp shade if possible) to the side of them, slightly higher than their head if you can
- If possible, have someone help you by holding a white posterboard on the opposite side of their face from the light. You will see this bounce some light back into the shadows.
- Turn on all the other lights around, open all the blinds, etc.
- TURN OFF YOUR FLASH! It is not your friend.
- Put the camera on a tripod (or a table if you dont have one-but hold tight onto the camera then)
- Get as close to them as you can (try to fill the frame with them from shoulders up)
- Take a deep breath, hold it, and press down on the button to take the pic
- Follow all of the above.
- Make sure your back is to the sun without blinding the kids. Squinting pics are bad.
- Overcast days (kinda cloudy) make the best pictures. Just because you think it is a beautiful day doesn't mean the camera does.
While my examples above aren't perfect, (ex. those dumb stripes on my wall), hey, I did it in 5 minutes. The one on the left is without a flash, and the one on the right is with it. See what a difference the lighting makes?Good luck!
18 February 2008
When I was a little girl, I was very much a "grandpa's girl." I went everywhere I could with him, did what he told me, walked next to him to "hold him up," and held his hand everywhere. He owned a tool and die shop, and even though that meant hard work, he always kept one hand soft just for me. My grandpa lived in Florida, and LOVED ocean fishing. Often, he would catch little seahorses in his line, and he always saved them for me. As a child, I had several little dry seahorses I adored.
When he died after a long bout with Alzheimer's, I found one of these seahorses in storage and all those wonderful memories come flooding back. To this day, I don't see one without thinking of him.
Oddly enough, I had a close friend die too young and too suddenly in a car accident a few years later. She was also an artist, and a beautiful person inside and out to everyone she knew. One of our common loves was seahorses, although at the time few knew it. After she passed, everyone learned of her love and then connected the image with her. When I painted this, it was the week she died, in memory. I will never forget you, Dre.
17 February 2008
So here are the fruits of Sierra's labors...a diorama (remember making those?! They are still fun!) of a desert. Her unit in science and geography kinda fused into one project, and after alot of research on the wonderful library on my lap that is the internet, we both learned alot. So, this is not just ANY desert. Oh, no. Meerkats only live in the Kalahari desert in Africa, and Sierra HAD to include their cuteness in here. There are two pictures because I got this little light out of a quarter machine for her at Gino's East in Chicago (which is a great place to go if you like to draw on stuff!). She really IS my daughter- she had to add a sweet light feature to make it the moon!
I'm a proud momma.
15 February 2008
STEALIE embossed w/ border
STEALIE w/ deadhead hippie border
TROPIC BUBBLES w/ mod circle border
14 February 2008
SPECIAL!! If you buy ANYTHING from this collection, I will bling it out for free!!
I now own a much coveted bedazzler that I got from my mom, the craft supply collector extraordinare. I will use this wonderful invention to bling out anything you get, and if you ask REAL nice ;) I will even bling other stuff you own too! Why, you ask? Just call it a love of everything glittery!!
As a side note, I priced everything lower, pretty much as low as I possibly could. I just want to get my designs out there! Please help me make this worthwhile by sending this page to anyone you think might be at all interested.
It is probably too late for Valentine's Day gifts, unless you procrastinate as bad as I do. But don't you think you deserve a cute little somethin'-somethin'? I think so! Who doesn't want to see a little kitty thong on their girlfriend?!
As always, let me know what you think! Click on the title above to go straight to the store, and remember~
"Any piece of clothing can be sexy with a quietly passionate woman inside it." ~anonymous
ALSO, I painted this for a Christmas party art exchange I had to miss, and now it is sitting in my studio, wrapped and ready to go...does anyone want it? I call it Twisted Christmas, 16x20, acrylic on canvas, 2007. The first person to reply (and pay the postage~since I am a starving artist, after all) takes it! So be the 1st to comment. I know it isn't "in season", but like old ladies at Target, sometimes you gotta make a mad dash after Christmas to get the best deals.
"My paintings are daydreams. When I get ready to paint, I just close my eyes and imagine a scene." -Grandma Moses
13 February 2008
My website is at the mercy of the technophile gods at Microsoft right now, so I can't edit it! Tragedy for a compulsive updater like myself! (Never fear though, you can still look at it!)
So alas, welcome to my blog...
I appreciate all the constructive criticism and feedback I can get, and use it to learn and improve. Please, join, comment often and let me know what you think. Friends who do this often will be rewarded~you may already know how I love to make stuff and give it away.
But I am trying to make a living toom so pass the word on! I will post pictures of my work here as soon as I make it. Check often!!
Look at the links below for other sites with my work~if you already have, look again! I may have added stuff since last time! I do that!
I am also always looking for ideas on what to paint, and all sorts of inspiration. Feel free to throw 'em out there! You never know what you might get for it! I always do practice sketches and drawings before a painting, and sometimes if I am REALLY unsure how I want to approach an idea in my head, I will do a whole practice painting. If you give me an idea I LOVE, my practice work is ALL YOURS totally free~and if you love the finished product, you will have first dibs and the "friend price".