Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Cards

Every year I try to do something creative for my Christmas greeting. The past few years I have created a video, posted it on YouTube then emailed the link to friends and family. This year I did not feel up to the challenge and decided to return to the traditional way of sending cards.The image above is not my card. It's a copy of a Dover stain glass coloring book image. In the middle of creating my own cards, I switched gears as usual, and came up with an idea of making some Christmas ornaments using some old shrink plastic from my John Campbell Folk School workshop days. What a challenge that became! I guess the stuff is meant for small charms and jewelry because large pieces warp and fold on themselves when shrinking. Fun, but frustrating to watch my hard work shrink into odd balls of plastic. Then I tried Fimo polymer clay. I do not know why, but I have never been able to get that stuff to a pliable consistency and I have a pasta machine that I purchased solely for that purpose. I bought some soft Fimo and that was difficult to knead also. As a last resort, I am using air-dry clay. It is not waterproof and a bit fragile, but I tell myself that hand painted glass decorations are fragile too. I am still not sure they will fly, as I have not finished them. I am still in the experimenting stage. I may get this done by Christmas! Along with more Christmas shopping, house to clean and decorate, this is a busy, busy time so I may not be blogging for a while. Happy holidays everyone!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Autumn Walk With Me


The last days few days of autumn in Atlanta have been beautiful. I decided to take my camera along  on my walk to record the leaves before they returned to the soil. The video is a little bouncy, but I did not have a rolling movie cart to make the trip a smooth one. Our little neighborhood park is one of the joys of this the area. I told my son to spread my ashes here because it is where I have always found peace. Unfortunately, we live near the county airport and the planes seem to get louder every year. Along with the nearby traffic, peace is becoming harder to find.

The image at the end of the video is another Photoshop CS5 creation. When I am not out walking, I am deep into a stack of books by my recliner and working on the computer. I will be back in my studio next week to create some Christmas cards and gifts. In the meantime, I am wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reality or Illusion

Sudoku is not my excuse this time for my absence. I have been reading and studying spirituality and quantum physics. I still do not understand much of what I am reading, but I am definitely fascinated. I am not going to defend or try to start a religious discussion, as I think everyone is entitled to believe as they chose, including myself. However, it brought up in my mind the illusion of art. I do not remember which artist, maybe Picasso, when a critic said his portrait did not look anything like a woman, replied, “That is because it is not a woman, it is a painting.” Even if the artist painted a photorealist image of a woman or took a photo of her, it is all an illusion.

Since one of my computers is next to my recliner, I took a break from reading to refocus my mind and for some reason I found myself creating a Photoshop image that was a first for me. I opened a file of a Yupo painting I did earlier in the year to see if it needed any further editing. I will post it in another post. After I played with it awhile, for some reason I added a new layer, filled it with white and began to erase areas with different brushes, some of which I created. Intrigued, I started cloning and painting new shapes. I am excited about the possibilities this opened up. My mind then associated all of this to what I have been reading, reality vs illusion. What I did was manipulate pixels, not paint, which are a tiny dots of light that are the basic unit from which images appear on the computer. For more information click HERE All of which, to my limited knowledge, consist of a binary code made up of 0’s and 1’s. I know someone reading this will say I don’t know what I’m talking about and they would be right. However, this much I do know; it is not acrylic or watercolor paint. Other artists, like Vik Muniz, who is using things like sugar and chocolate syrup to create images, and mosaic artist Ken Knowlton , who create portraits form various materials based on the pixels he generates in his computer, are masters of this art of illusion. A great book, which features these and other great artist, is Masters of Deception: Escher, Dali & the Artists of Optical Illusion.

Back to my books and disappearing into the world of words.

Monday, November 01, 2010


I have noticed as I age that my memory is slipping. Every time I hear or read about something recommended for memory loss I check it out. In one of the Real Age newsletters that I receive, the game of Sudoku was their latest recommendation. I went to their online game site and let me tell you I was shocked at how something that appears to be so simple was such a brain drain! It is like a Rubik’s cube with numbers! Not to be defeated I have spent days trying to master this thing. I finally was able to beat the beginner’s level and I stopped, since everything has been on hold since I started. I have not picked up a brush, or pasted a piece of paper. I decided to do a digital collage of the game to justify all the left-brain stuff that has held me hostage. If you are interested in escaping for a few hours, or like me, days, you can find the game here. Enjoy!

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