Friday, May 28, 2010

The Octopus and The Squid

Except for my original line drawings of Mr Octopus and Ms Squid...which I scanned and loaded into Photoshop Elements...the rest of this little under-sea frolic was made digitally on my computer. I'm beginning to collaborate with a machine!
I was introduced to computers rather late in life. Now, every time I sit down in front of my PC, I feel the magic. The computer opens a window to the world. I communicate, I learn, I dig for information, I send photos or even videos to one or a dozen people at the touch of a key. I share my art and thoughts with those who care to look at or read my blog. And now I use my computer as I would use a canvas and paint. I would sorely miss this wonderful tool if I couldn't have it. Oh, sure, I would still have real paint, real paper, pencils, inks, brushes, books, telephones, radios, TVs etc...but now that I've made friends with this new and ever more powerful tool (it boggles the mind when you realize just how quickly advances are being made) I wouldn't want to let go it go.

When I was a kid....Dick Tracy's wrist radio seemed like a fun idea but impossible. And going to the moon?......the stuff of science fiction. Well, the future got here at lightening speed, didn't it? I think that asking Scotty to "beam me up" will be something that I'll be able to do in my lifetime. Interesting to think about. It sure is!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dreaming of Venice

As usual....I'm taking several online the same time. I've already talked about Pam Carriker's year long "365 Journal" workshop. Now I've also signed up for two of Gail Schmidt's Digital Art classes. All of these are at Creative Workshops.

After struggling and failing to understand how one goes about merging wonderful images into a unified whole...a piece of art created digitally...I decided that taking a class was the only way for me to go. So go I did. The Dreaming of Venice piece is my first successful piece of digital art. I'm beginning to understand how to manipulate and layer images. I'm using Photoshop Elements 8 to create art! It's a very powerful program that is not only for touching up and cropping's also a tool for art making. I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of all that Elements can do. But I am going to learn. Not only because of the challenge of learning something new...but because it's a whole lot of fun. Art is Fun. Learning is Fun. Living is Fun....yes it is!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

30 Years Ago - May 18, 1980

It's not a great photo....but it sure brought back memories when I got it in an e-mail from my son, Chris this morning. The picture was taken from the deck of my home in Gresham, Oregon (south of the volcano)...probably at the time of a later eruption (there were several....and ongoing eruptions) of Mount St. Helens. I'm guessing that the ash plume in this picture is probably more steam than ash...because of its color. You can see what was left of the mountain (extreme left of the photo) looking more like a cloud caught on the distant hills, than a mountain.
I remember the day of the first, and most violent, eruption. The mountain had been threatening, with small plumes and puffs of steam and ash for weeks. There had been earthquakes on the mountain too...not big ones...but rumblings...occurring with greater and greater frequency in the weeks prior to the eruption. We were all aware that something big might happen. But no one, including geologists with the USGS, could predict with any certainty, what or when that something would occur.
I was standing at my kitchen window, looking out (I had the same view of the mountain from the window as from my deck where the photo was taken). I had my morning cup of coffee in my hand and I was talking to my Mom (in California) on the phone. I turned away from the window briefly, then turned toward it again. In the minute or two that my back was turned...the whole landscape had changed. All that I could say was "Oh my God!" Then I told my Mom what I was seeing. You've all seen photos and film footage of the eruption and its aftermath. Well...I saw it from my kitchen...and all I can tell you is that all the photos and film just don't compare to what it was to see the eruption in person. I can't even find words to describe what I saw and felt. It was everything at once.....Amazing. Unbelievable. Terrible. Fascinating. Even beautiful, in a strange way. I've never seen such force and power. Nature really put on a show...and I feel privileged to have been there to see it. And no...I never even thought of taking photos that morning or any other day during the mountain's most spectacular eruptions. I knew that there would be plenty of film used and shown...and I also knew that no picture that I could take would ever be as real to me as what I had actually seen.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Am Who.

I Am Who is the least on this journal page. The question : Who Am I ? Being Who is not at all strange. After all, Horton heard they exist. And there you are. I strayed from the one-color scheme. I didn't set out to break that rule (month 2 of 365 Journal workshop)...but as soon as I had sketched her, she demanded color. That happens to me a lot. I start out with something in mind...a plan...and wind up with something completely different. I drew an exaggerated figure on purpose....because that was where my head was today (on a flight of fancy)...but then the drawing decided that being monochromatic was not in her future. So I went with the new plan. I usually have no choice. Things just happen. That's the way it was today. So here she is, minimalist palette and all...asking, almost whispering, "Who Am I ?" ....and answering her own question with: "I Am Who." I'm not going to try to figure out what the heck that just is. Bye for now.

Monday, May 3, 2010

365 Journal Workshop

I've been so busy with on-line workshops...learning about and doing art...that I haven't made time to write anything in my blog. So here I am again. Hello.
Today's picture is something I did this afternoon for my 365 Journal workshop taught by Pam Carriker. This is actually a technique for month 2 of this workshop. I made a couple of 2-page journal spreads for the 1st month of this can see them on my Flickr site if you want.
The portrait class (Suzi Blu's) is coming along well. After I decided which of my drawings was going to be Elizabeth Tudor...I charged ahead to draw the young King Henry VIII. And before I could scan the drawing I attached him to my wood substrate and went to painting and collaging. Now that made him too big for my once I finish the piece I'll have to take a digital photo (I always forget how to use the I'll need a how-to-use-the-camera's a good thing that my husband is understanding and patient)....then I can download him (Henry) to the computer and display his royal highness in all his royal glory. There was a time...when still a young man...that Henry was really not bad looking. His fat and sloppy days came on later....after several marriages, lots of trouble with the church, a Pope, France, Spain, a revolt, a war, a plague, a jousting injury that wouldn't heal, and whatever else came down the pike to stress him out as King of England. I've been watching several seasons of the Tudor series that ran on Showtime. Interesting stuff....not unlike a soap opera in that there's plenty of intrigue, murder, adultery, heads rolling off the chopping block...but this soap opera will only last until after Henry has married and gotten rid of six wives and jumped into the sack (randy goat that he was) with more Ladies in Waiting than one can keep track of....yes, there are a lot of female breasts and male buttocks exposed in Showtime's version of The Tudors...but it's a cable channel (a pay cable channel at that) that's to be expected...I guess.
Anyway....I've finished watching season 3 and just have season 4 left. The costumes are beautiful. The characters are all gorgeous and have great teeth....and look like they actually bathed every day and didn't stink. The castles look quite if they had central heating and working ACs in Summer. Fleas and bad teeth weren't in the script.
So I've come to the end of this post...and all I have for show-and-tell is one journal page...and a paragraph or two about Tudor World. That's the way it is some days. Maybe I'll be more entertaining next time. And then maybe I won't.