Table from the BFA Exhibition

Table from the BFA Exhibition
Table from the BFA Exhibition © 1999 Jeff Thomann
Media: Oil Painting
This Work was one of several in a series I created for my BFA exhibition back in 1999. The BFA show was based on images from my dreams that I tried to remember via a dream journal/sketchbook. I’m not exactly sure what the symbol on the paper that the hands are holding means, but it was a part of the dream that I remember in detail, along with the composition of the painting including that window in the distance that sort of backlit the room, making it difficult to make out the details of the features on the individuals in the meeting room. The framing of the room is odd looking as the walls don’t seem to match up, but that too was a part of the dream.

In many of my dreams the architecture and location of images in a composition I see in detail seem to have some sort of deep and profound meaning to me. At the time that I created the BFA show I was studying Carl Jung’s theories on dream archetypes. I believe that both a location in a dream as well as the individuals can become archetypes. That is why we have dreams that are located in the same, or very similar settings multiple times throughout our lifetime.

I do not practice magic or the black arts (well at least not directly even though art creation itself is a bit of a magical act in some ways), but do sometimes read about these things as they interest me somewhat since they are sort of related to psychology and art history, both of which are topics I have a lot of interest in…

I think that new age ideas about astral kingdoms created via meditation practices are directly related to lucid dreaming techniques that we all experience at some point in our lives and that the architecture, objects, and figures (archetypes) we see and interact with in our dreams can play somewhat of a major role in the worldview and in that way can psychologically help us alter the world around us… but it’s not truly ‘magic’ – it’s psychological manipulation and self therapy techniques that can alter the way we think about the world as the objects, places, and things in our dreams are really our subconscious thought patterns communicating with our conscious brain, picking up patterns and connections that we may never have noticed before, allowing us to become aware of things in a new light that we have not seen them before consciously, etc. Dreams can and do play a role in our waking world realities every day whether we acknowledge it or not.

Good things happen to positive people and I am a positive person!

Today’s inspirational idea/theme/commitment:

Good things happen to positive people and I am a positive person!
Good things happen to positive people and I am a positive person!

Smile and tell yourself:
Good things happen to positive people and I am a positive person!
Good things happen to positive people and I am a positive person!

Say it twice.
Two lines are nice.

Be stable.
Be Firm.

(according to Pat Pattison, who teaches a massively online open course on song writing lines of equal length and number of lines that are even give a sentence or phrase stability, and he’s right… so if you have something really important to say to yourself or to others such as the above, say it twice for stability and firmness and boldness in your statement! — saying it odd number of times will add instability… go take his mooc if you want to learn more about it – it’s made me rethink a lot of things… )

#legacy

#legacy
If you don’t want stuff online – don’t put it online… If you enjoy life as a curmudgeon with no social interaction with anyone on the internet, stay offline. If you enjoy life, sharing, and friendship, go ahead and get online and share your life stories with everyone.

In other words, SOCIAL NETWORKS exist for BEING SOCIAL…

If you don’t like your pics shared on facebook, don’t put them on facebook and other websites, including but not limited to studio photos websites, youtube, photo sharing sites, etc.. If you want them shared, put them online. If you want to privately share them with one individual, email exists… Anything on facebook has a link to share next to it, even if your privacy setting is set to private – SO DON’T THINK SOME SILLY LITTLE PRIVACY SETTING WILL MAKE THINGS COMPLETELY PRIVATE AND NEVER PUBLIC – doing so you are fooling yourself — much like someone who wants to protect their money by putting it in a pillow case or something – that’s the first place people look… If you do put them on websites and want to limit who can see them, password protect them and only share the password with who you want to see them… however, after they lose the password, or you do, don’t expect to ever see them again since they are basically buried in an online dusty ol closet… from dust to dust… photos that are never seen are no good since art exists only when there is a viewer of what is created. Photos never seen are like phone calls that are made in to a cell phone that is turned off. Even passwords are not 100% effective in protecting things… ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET IS CONNECTED TO SOMETHING ELSE ON THE INTERNET… As long as there is anything online it can potentially be seen by someone someday. It may take a hacker a little while to get your password figured out, but someday, as long as the server exists and someone can try to get it they will get at it… for some breaking passwords is much like solving crossword puzzles… it’s a hobby. Your little password isn’t going to stop someone that really wants what your password is protecting, just like a glass window isn’t going to stop a burglar from breaking in even if it has a siren on it.

Matthew 5:15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. …. When lamps are put under beds or in dusty old closets they tend to burn blankets, clothes, etc. after a while. All photography is a form of capturing light… lights typically come from light sources such as lamps. This little light of mine – I’m gonna make it shine…

One reason that I like things to be public is because it’s kind of nice to know that someone someday may see that I existed here that may never have known of me before… a legacy is created… words of wisdom passed on to next generations. Images of our lives are made to have a meaning that is passed on down in our culture hundreds of years from now after the hard drive on whatever computer I’m using today is long dead and gone… but backups of photos and statements and ideas are all out there on multiple servers backed up for the many or even just one to eventually find.

If the afterlife does not exist (I think it might just exist personally, but sometimes I, like everyone else question it), all we have is this life. It’s a short, fragile thing… It’s definitely worth sharing with others, don’t you think? Have you started creating your legacy yet? Isn’t it time?

inspiration: theosophy

http://theosophy.org/

http://www.phx-ult-lodge.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosophy

http://www.katinkahesselink.net/his/theosophy-art.html

http://albertis-window.blogspot.com/2011/05/mondrians-evolution.html

http://www.schikelgruber.net/art/mondrian.html

http://www.radford.edu/rbarris/art428/MondriananddeStijl.html

Modrian's Evolution

http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sd/sd-hp.htm

Self Portrait with Cabin in Background

Photobucket
Self Portrait with Cabin in Background
Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel, and Charcoal on Cardboard
© 1999, Jeff Thomann

The strange philosophy of EA and AE.

I’m not really sure I even want to post this, but think it’s something worth posting, and thinking about… This post will be edited later and more will likely be added since there’s a lot to talk about here…

EA was the diety of water

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ea_(Babylonian_god)

AE is a breathy sound that is very similar to what seems to be the way Yahweh is pronounced.  Yahweh is the name of God in the Jewish and Christian Religions…  The ‘breathe of life’ has a lot to do with this idea too. 

Both EA AND AE are very similar to sounds that man makes when he is urinating or defecating… ???…  the sound of the A at the end seems like it may be closer to the sound that comes when someone is breathing out while urinating and the E at the end the sound that is closer to what someone is making when straining to make a bowel movement?…  interesting connection – eh?

In Buddhism and other Eastern religions the ideas of breathing has a lot to do with a lot of things, and the idea of chi has a lot to do with it too… the idea is that Chi is stored inside of an area near the stomache – coincidence?

Adam was the ‘universal man.’  Surely the universal man occassionally had some flatulance, especially if he was eating apples sometimes.

Some new age ideas evolve around the idea that the sound MI (you know the sound after Do Rand RE in the musical scale) has some religious/philosophical/healing powers.  This is a tone/pitch that could be related to both EA and AE in some cases..?

The hoax/rumor/myth of Jabulon that’s online is an story about how freemasons tried to connect JAH, BAAL, and ON, i.e. Jah as in Yahweh (Jewish God), Baal (Lord/Master the Phoenician/Cannanite God) , and Osiris (Egyptian God)… it’s mostly false according to online sources… but it’s just an interesting idea that could be applied here… maybe all religions all basically have the same beginnings?

As the pressure is released the feeling of relief that comes may be what the original originators of the religions were inspired by and amplified as their thoughts of gods?

Blashemy?  Maybe… interesting connection/coincidence – maybe?  Just something to think about…

God be with you.

Getting Organized, and Moving Foward…

Getting Organized, and Moving Foward…

Over the last few days, I’ve decided to start getting organized again and make more plans on how to get motivated and move forward in my life and in my art.

The cgtalk forum thread over at
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&s=f7856855978ca716d6c6734dd8c5ecb7&t=969336 got me thinking, and as I noted over there, I’m starting to work with a few notebooks and sketchooks now.

I started the Artists Way again, and am at least trying to do the Morning Pages again. I had given up on that a month or two back because my allergies were really hurting me a lot, so making the time to get up earlier in the morning then necessary to write down the 3 handwritten pages needed for that every day was too much.

We also were going through some personal crises type of things recently that was having big emotional impact on me… My mother-in-law passed away April 10th and her funeral was on the 14th. In the last couple of years my wife has lost her mom, dad, and last living grandparent as well as a six month second cousin who she never got a chance to meet that now rests in peace next to her mother and grandmother. All of these tragedies make me realize how fragile life is an how short it is, and how important it is that I start following the Artist’s Way more strictly since, as the book discusses, it really is ‘selfish’ to have talents and skills and not share them with the world or take the time to perfect those skills and talents as a gift to myself and those around me, even if it does cost a bit to do so in the form of art materials, etc.

I’ve started a notebook that is acting sort of like a diary and daily planner type of thing like the one described at http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&s=f7856855978ca716d6c6734dd8c5ecb7&t=969336 and http://studium.tobiasdeml.com/2011/04/02/making-your-life-more-efficient-than-ever-before-the-notebook-battleplan/
I’ve also started a second notebook that is a to do list similar to the one listed at http://www.erica.biz/2010/getting-things-done/.

As mentioned at http://advancedphotosolutions.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-you-need-grimoire.html we all need to do this sort of thing, especially if we focus on technical things like art, computer programming, game development, and hacking, all of which are sort of niche areas that I have some interest in on some levels.

The calander/diarly/battleplan book is sort of a daily summary thing so far, where I’m keeping small notes on mostly everything I’m doing that is of some importance in my life daily and out of the ordinary. This is sort of a reflection guide that tells me what I’ve done and when I’ve done it that will come in handy later since the calander part of it you do forwards to backwards and then back and forth… so each page has dates that are months apart so you can sort of mentally review what you did earlier that year or last year and keep your mind fresh and clear on where you’ve been so you know where you are going…

The Morning Pages notebook I’m doing is just a bunch of loose leaf papers in a 3 ring binder I keep on the coffee table and I enter 3 handwritten pages in the mornings. If I just ‘have’ to sleep in an hour I only do one half page or one page as time permits before work. I don’t try to sleep in much, but if I had too much caffiene the night before, or allergies are extra-ordinarily bad that caused me to loose sleep, or stomache is upset or loud neighbors disturbed rem time, I’m not oppossed to skipping the morning pages and just doing a shorter version since it’s all about getting healthy and wealthy on a lot of emotion and psychological levels, and you can’t be too healty or wealthy if you are lacking sleep…Eventually if that 3 ring binder is full, I might either bind the pages in some other way (likely using leather, yarn or something, or just buy another 3 ring binder… Plan on doing this the rest of my life essentially, so it’ll take up a lot of room over time I suspect.

The TO DO list is something new that I’ve not done before. I used to do to do lists in excel and notepad some for daily and weekly stuff, but never one that I wrote out by hand and updated every day. I’m finding that writing the stuff down and actually crossing it off as I do it gives a nice sense of accomplishment, and a motiviation to actually do what I put down there every day in the morning after I do the Morning pages… I want to get really detailed with this to do list and add all sorts of various technical things in it eventually every day. That way it’ll act sort of as a grimoire type of thing along with the daily calander/battleplan book.

I’ve also got a couple of voice recorders. I bought them several years back to record sounds when I was getting in to 3d animation a little in 2005 or so, but never did much with them. Now I pack them with the ‘manbag’ type of laptop case I carry with me everywhere to record notes to myself on the way to or from work and also to just do various sounds. Sound driver on computer is glitchy though, so can’t always listen to what I record there… Need to fix that eventually but not sure how. I DO NOT CARRY A LAPTOP with me ever, so don’t even think about trying to steal it from me if you see the laptop bag. All that I carry with me is a paper notebook, a cheapo mp3 player and a cheapo voice recorder in there, and somedays a cheapo digital camera somedays, lol.

Over time I might scan these various notebooks and put them online somewhere at least as backup… Also might buy myself some more external hard drives (only got one small one right now) to save backups to and actually keep one at my parents house that I’ll do backups to on a monthly basis or something going fowards.

All this writing and organization is helping me think clearer and be organized. The morning pages sort of ‘clear my mind’ in the morning. The other two notebooks help me ‘clearly define my daily goals’ and keep track of what goals I’m getting done and not getting done daily so I can become more productive as an artist and guide myself towards where I want to and need to be.

If I’m not doing all this, which is the way I used to be, my mind becomes unclear on what I need to do and when I need to do it, so I would find myself watching forums and emails or youtube and movie channels for hours without being productive. I’m probably one of the few people that call myself a painter but have not painted or sketched a lot in years… Hopeing to change that… Hoping to do small skill challenges and things to increase my skills in drawing and painting to where they were back in college, if not go beyond that level, far beyond it… to the professional level I want to be at, and that I know I can be at with a little practice… daily practices… practices that will be in that to do list that I will actually do and cross off as I do them! 🙂

I do plan to buy acid free sketchbooks too, but that, along with other art expenses will be something I’ll tackle one thing at a time… Art materials don’t have to be super expensive, and to do lists and stuff like this don’t need to be on acid free paper since scanners exist. The old me would have just not suited for anything but acid free sketchbook paper, but that’s silly and way too darn expensive just for writing stuff like the morning pages and to do lists…

a dream…

I think this is the first time I’ve ever used this blog to record a dream. I used to keep dream journals way back in college, but didn’t keep them much after college for some reason. Anyways – the dream I had, which is why I’m now up — Tekla and I were in a small dorm room type of apartment. There was some rustling out in the hallway. Peeking out the door, which was not locked, I saw several people that lived in the apartments down the hall and across from us there in the hallway… looking down… near the bottom of the doorway, just outside of the door, there was a couple of the younger people in the group of about 8 or so handling a number of squiggling worms. I felt highly offended because it seemed as though they were trying to put the worms under the door to let them in to our room/apartment. There was some sort of fear about squishing the worms since some were black and some were nromal pinkish colored earthworms. … so they might be poisonous on some level?

The reason I awoke – after we thought we’d killed them all, and the college aged kids out in the hall had left, and we had gone back to bed, one of the half dead ones that had been flung on the floor inside of the apartment in the scuffle was still moving, and a blackish furry one that looked like a catepiller sort of had crawled on my back, near my shoulder blades… this was reality kicking in with dreams because when I awoke, laying on my side, I was having problems breathing, and could feel tingling sensations in my upper back, neck and shoulder blade areas. The place with the most tingling was where that darn worm was crawling in the dream.

I usually cannot remember dreams, but when I awake from dreams due to physical reasons like this, I do sometimes remember them. In college in order to facilitate remembering dreams more often then I normally could do, I would sleep with the lights on, and cover my eyes, or block the light from them with little blanket mountains near my head. The instant transformation from dark to light would caused shock of awakening the concious mind enough that it was able to capture the main elements of the subconsious dream, but I had to write darn fast to make the real elements of the dreams appear on the dream journal — waiting seconds too long would allow the now highly active conscious mind to make up details of the dream that were not really in the dream, but are logical enough they could have plausibly been in there… a half a minute or so is all this would take to happen before the “new brain” would cover the details the “old brain” made in the dream so to speak. … keeping dream journals as I did in college helped me to realize that dreams are really the subconscious mind playing around with elements of reality, whether it is various images and scenes actually seen, or the physical reality of pain in slumber — an emergency 911 type of call to the self from the unconscious mind for self protection to keep the self from going in to cardiac arrest, etc.

…………
Today (actually yesterday now that it’s after 1 am) I was reading about Jung and Freud a bit. Jung’s idea(s) about individualism are similar to the idea of the Holy Guardian Angel/seeking the true self in various religions/and Imago idea in Harville Hendrix’s books that I mentioned in this blog before somewhat.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/1452091/CARL-JUNG

Jung’s idea about the psychic unconscious and the future, etc. is something I remember having a bit of a keen interest in when I took psychology class in college. It’s that weird element of religion, mythology, psychology, art, alchemy, and other things that is somewhat similar to a lot of ideas/themes, etc. that roll around in my head sometimes that draws me towards sort of identifying with him on a lot of different levels.

Some of the links I have on facebook posted tonight and links in delicious from the last few days are about art therapy, psychology, and a really interesting Nam June Paik reading in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art book that I like to read a lot now and then to get in to the mindset behind what a lot of various artists have done/where thinking about at various times when they created art. The Art and Satellite (1984) reading is the one I’m talking about. Lots of interesting things in there…

at one point it says, “There is no rewind button on the betamax of life. An important event takes place only once. The free deaths (of Socrates, Christ, Bo Yi and Shu Qu) that became the foundations for the morality of three civilizations occurred only once.”

Then it goes on to talk about how art in the future will need to integrate various parts of the world like satellites do sort of… electronic signals bouncing around connecting different parts of the world, in the same way that electric signals in neurons bouncing around in our brains and bodies make us work… a hodge podge of pieces working together in cohesivly.

That’s a pretty deep sort of thing to think about… sort of reminds me of the weird idea of the thetan alien germs bouncing around in what I read about scientology and posted about here before on some level.

The truth is I think we all are somewhat connected… with ourselves in the conscious/unconscious way and with others on some levels, which might be psychic on some levels.

I remember reading something in some literature class once about how the indians see the same stories played over and over throughout time… same story a different take on it with different characters all doing the same thing – that’s the sort of stuff I think Jung was talking/thinking about… it’s something we can all relate to as a sort of unconscious collective. It’s something that makes the blogsphere go round… It’s something that keeps news channels full of stories 24/7. It’s something that makes us all relate to one another empathically. It’s something that keeps religions going.

We all want to feel the connections and connectivity between ourselves, our world, and our conscious and unconscious minds. We are not single beings, but multiple parts working together as a single being, so who is to say God isn’t somewhat similar — or maybe God’s dreaming state is like that… which is our entire universe/multiverse/megaverse… maybe Buddhist/Zen has it right and reality is just a dream. I think there is a bit more to it then that, but that line of thought is somewhat similar to what I think Jung was grasping at… and it is somewhat similar to what Nam June Paik was getting at too…

we all are interrellated and see the diamond that is the world from different angles. War does not have to happen any more then people have to hit themselves in self-mutilation when they are thinking thoughts that betray their religion, etc.

The harmony and peace of coexistence is something we should strive for within ourselves and our worldwide society. Constant bickering and disagreement are ok… it’s ok to agree to disagree. What is not ok is when you try to force your ideas on others. You cannot control the other, nor should you. Even those imprisoned have their own brians, own thoughts, own reality that is different then the reality the prison guard is trying to enforce upon them. If we would all start thinking about this sort of stuff more, maybe the amount of wars in the world would decrease. Maybe the violence and idiocy would lower…

Maybe there could be real world peace like Jesus was striving for, like Socrates hinted at, etc. Maybe we can stop the hatred, violence, and people trying to find themselves but doing so in silly ways by trying to push their ideas on others and come to a real harmonious concensus…

I know, I know… lots of typos here… keep in mind is’t 1:30 now and I’m tired and trying to think all of this through, lol. I might put some of my old dream journaling on this blog someday, but am not sure if I will or not. Anyways, I guess I’ll try to go to bed now. Lots of interesting stressful things coming up later today/this morning at work… stuff I need a little more rem time to get between now and then in order to be able to deal with it in a logical manner..

Good night/morning. Have a great day. Stop trying to push your thoughts on to others. Part of the focus of art is to leave things open to interpretation on some level. Just because you see things your way does not mean your mind about it won’t be changed a bit later on, or that you have the whole picture.. so stop trying to push your interpretation of things off on others as the only true and right way to see it.

Imago/HGA/Thetans

Over in my delicious links blog at http://mastermesh.wordpress.com I’ve recently posted quite a few links related to Mormonism, the occult, and a few other things that are related…

In thinking about all of that, I think there’s a lot of similarities…

In psychology, one area of relationship therapy studies the idea of the “Imago” is the subconcious ultimate love in your life, which was created through various psychic wounds you received over your youth which actually causes you to seek out a lover that has certain traits similar to those that wounded you the most in the past, mostly when you were a child, but also at any time in your life, which usually is why people seek out lovers with similar traits to their parents – who is the most caring relationship they’ve had, but also the most damaging on some levels.

I propose that the Imago and the Holy Guardian Angel idea in magic are really sort of one in the same. This also has to do with self esteem on some levels. Some claim the HGA is seperate from the self – which is just like the Imago, and that connecting with the HGA one gains control over the self – which is just like the HGA and Imago idea. Some also claim that there is a “higher self” in magic involved which is similar to HGA but seperate and more based on the magician changing themselves rather then talking to the HGA. That has to do, I think, with the ego and self-esteem in psychology. Magic isn’t really all that magical. Scientology’s cleansing thetans in order to gain control of one’s life and moving to a higher level is not much different of an idea then cleansing the mind’s of past psychological wounds – gaining control of the self, or any other religion’s various similar topics.

Scientology claims to hate psychology, but ultimately, they seem to have the same exact goal – cleansing the mind to gain control of the self. Magic and really just about every other religion on the face of the earth seems to have the same sort of goal – gaining control of the self to get in to contact with the higher self, which should be the real self. It’s the same whether it’s following the commandments Moses obtained, following Islamic law, cleansing the Thetan aliens from the self (which are really sort of like alien “sin” germs), seeking enlightenment through the Lightbringer in Freemasonry, wrapping yourself up as a mummy to live forever in your own temple as the ancient Egyptians did, seeking cleansing through confession as Catholics do, seeking others on the internet who share your ideas as the Brights and freethinkers do, seeking ways to get to Kolob’s holy light as Mormons do, or seeking to overcome real or imagined demons in order to talk to the Holy Guardian Angel so that you can gain control over the self and seeking your true self…

Various Times that I can remember being told to stop taking photographs, or stop doing something else artistic…

Various Times that I can remember being told to stop taking photographs, or stop doing something else artistic…

– New York City on Spring Break back in college. I was trying to photograph something in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was told to not flash the camera. Apparently, there, you are allowed to take photos, just not with the flash on.

– Turbosquid. I had a photo of building on there. It had a car somewhere in the photo, taking up a very small portion of the picture plane. Ford sent Turbosquid a Cease and Desist Letter asking that it be taken down, and so they took it down and emailed me notifying me that that was done and why. Nowadays, I try to avoid anything with logos or trademarks on it if possible, or if I shoot them, I purposefully try to just hone in on some image that is not clearly apparent what the picture is of… for instance I might zoom in on spokes of the wheel hub but avoid taking a photo of the entire hub that shows the name of the company, or I might take photos of brick textures and avoid the name of the brick manufacturer, or just go for something natural that no one has the right to – like tree bark, cement, asphalt, grass, clouds, or similar textural type of things.

– behind Columbiana Apartments. I used to live at Columbiana Apartments in Columbia, Missouri, several years ago. It’s near Stephens’s Stables on Old 63, right next door to the BXR Radio Station. I took photos of some clouds out there sometimes, especially when crazy Spring weather came around. I was shooting some upside down tornado-like clouds one day (looked like twisters, but they were funnelling upwards instead of down towards the ground) and got told to stop shooting back there by a lady next door because she thought I was aiming the camera too close to the place back there, which was violating privacy. Apparently, there’s a homeless shelter back there. I didn’t know prior to that incident that that is what was housed in that building…

– Columbia Mall. I was taking some pictures of clouds. I love taking pictures there or in similar places, like overpasses, where there’s no trees in the immediate vicinity blocking the view to the sky. Some guy thought I was taking a photo of him and yelled at me as he drove by. I simply told him that it’s a digital camera and that I hit delete… He gave me the bird and yelled some obscenity before driving off. Kind of funny that someone would do that when the mall itself is constantly taking security pics of everything in the place. If I ever do get someone in a photo, I try to not put that online, or if I do, edit that person out unless I have permission because I don’t want to get hit with privacy lawsuits later.

– A few times people have seen me drawing in crowded locations, and came up asking me about it. Usually, when I used to draw people, such as in the mallsmall sketchbooks – mainly drawn on breaks in cafeterias, at the mall cafe court, or similar public locations, I did quick sketches so it was hard to tell who I was drawing and/or there was so few details, and I could quickly close the book. Usually, most people are actually happy to figure out I’m drawing them if they do put 2 and 2 together… admiration type of thing. I’ve never had someone tell me to directly to stop this sort of activity. However, it is a little embarassing if you do get caught red handed doing that sort of thing. I have not done this type of thing for several years now, but might get back in to it someday since my drawing skills have gone downhill lately due to lack of practice.

– Once back in college, I did a quick little “show” that was not publicly announced or advertised. I simply asked the Art Department for permission to put up an exhibit in one of the halls where there was room for that sort of stuff. When I put it up some people looked at me weirdly and talked about it at a distance as if I could not hear them. No one actually said don’t do that though.

It was very interesting seeing how people going between classes reacted. I didn’t put up a nameplate or anything explaining who did the work or the title. I just walked the halls on various occassions when it was up to see reactions.

It was a small series that I called “Work In Progress”, or WIP – it was a series of parts of a canvas stretcher. The first part was one board, the next part, two boards forming an L shape, the next side, 3 boards, and the last part 4 boards. It was colored with acrylic paint that I airbrushed on there. No actual canvas was on the stretchers. It was just the idea of putting together the stretcher, and the work involved in that that was the focus/theme of the work. I painted the first part a light blue, next part blue on first part of the L and faded in to red on the second part of the L with a nice transition… Third part that had 3 sides showing more of the fade, and start of orange, and 4th part showing full color spectrum with primary colors faded from one in to the other… the idea was sort of that the creating of a canvas is in and of itself a work of art. Some parts of that still exist. Other parts have been torn apart since I kept it at my parents house for storage, and dad found another use for some of the 2x4s in it without asking me if he could tear it apart first… 😦

Someday, I would not mind doing another progressive piece like that again.

Luckily, I didn’t offend anyone directly with WIP. About 2 weeks after I took that down, another art student put a painting up in the same location, and it irritated the someone enough that the painting got taken off of the wall and thrown in to a trash bin below the balacony walkway between the building that this hallway that was on the second floor of Baldwin hall, and the next building over. If I remember correctly, that was Kjell Hahn’s painting of a nun in a slightly erotic pose or something similar to that. It was rumored at the time that the janitor did it, but no one had any proof… (edit 6/25/2014 – edited the link to Kjell’s site above to an internet archive version. Kjell is on facebook if you need to contact him.).

The janitor of Baldwin hall made himself appear to be a bit grumpy at times, but I think honestly, he was just a quite guy… and he actually had a bit of an interest in the arts or else he would not have kept that job, being seen listening to some of the music from the music students and looking at some of the art from the art students.

Back then in the 1990s (things have changed now) Baldwin Hall was the main art building at Truman State University… The top floor was the art student’s realm. The second floor was the music student’s realm, and the first floor and basement were the theater department’s realm. Across the quad, Ophelia Parish is where the art gallery was, but most of OP was just a big storehouse that was never done. Since then, they’ve converted OP in to the main art building… Not sure if sculpture classes are there though. Sculpture used to be in a building all the way on the other side of the campus, across the street – probably a half mile walk or so down the road. It used to be a pain to carry portolios and art toolboxes from Baldwin to the other building and back, so I put a bookbag strap on my portolio, and another on my toolbox that carried my art supplies and walked all over the place with that… One of the biggest gripes I had about Truman when I left was that the art students didn’t have descent sized lockers anywhere, and could not really store art supplies in dorm rooms – at least not legally if they went 100% by the contract with the housing people… major pain for those of us that liked to make big works of art. Most of my painting back then were around 2-3 feet wide, One was actually 6′ x 6′, and some of my sculptures were similar lengths in size…
The last two years I was up there at Kirksville, I actually had to rent a storage shed out on the edge of town to store my stuff.

I highly doubt that storage problem has gotten any better since then, but for the amount of money that college kids give the school to live there, they should fix it someday… if nothing else, the school should get in to some sort of discount deal with the storage places in the area to get college kids a discount.

fantasy stuff… role playing… virtual reality… art – back to the basics

I’ve been kicked out of Entropia Universe a few days now since Vista went kaput on my computer and I don’t have a restore cd that works. I hate HP for not putting the restore cd in the box when they ship it out and rely on a hard drive restore that may or may not work when you need it… and then they want you to pay them lots of cash to buy a restore cd that may or may not work since their blasted hardware is junk that relies on partitions on a hard drive that might get corrupted someday (which happened to me I think)…

I am trying to figure out a way to make Entropia Universe work under Linux, but it’s not promising. I got the installer to work fine under Wine, but now need to install Direct X on wine and a few other things, and even then, it still might not work.

In the mean time I’ve been reading some of my old art books, studying some old drawing books more, and also reading a lot of old role playing books and things. Future posts will probably have more scans of my drawings and paintings, but might also have some other more philisophical thoughts, thoughts on role playing, stage lighting, animation, and a number of other things. Being offline in the virtual reality I spend so much time in has started to get me ‘back to the basics’ on a variety of trains of thoughts that I had several years ago and wanted to follow through back then but didn’t because I got too distracted with this other “virtual world”… I enjoy fictional worlds as a means of escaping reality sometimes – but it’s very easy to take it overboard with a super hyper imagination and make that false reality in to your over-arching real reality sometimes… Its something we all do on some level – people think about their soap operas while they work… or maybe their comic books… maybe something else. We all have hobbies, and most of us don’t have the ultimate job that keeps our attention that we love so much that we never think of anything else — anyways, I’m getting back to the basics mentally and physically on a lot of various levels at the moment…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escapism

German social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfillment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere “daydreaming” or “escapism” from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, it can be seen as an “immature, but honest substitute for revolution”.

you know you are right – and wrong too.

shit nitty pops
sheenennenneybops
shin -n-nine eh pops?

This right here is why
lyrics cannot be done
without some notation…

notation that’s in rotation…

That’s right.

Yeah, yeah.

Sin -n- Nine
eh bops?

Sign and wine
eh pops?

Shit and Knit A Pop.
——————————–
Poems are visual.
Sounds are Lyrical.

Both can be hysterical.

Both can be read wrong
Both can have more than one meaning.

Welcome to the world of the artsy fartsy.

Here we shit and knit a pop
as we bebop
and
Shine and wine

We dine and wine and whine and shine
Studying Sine and why it’s different
then a nine.

Cheshire cat
must still be on attack
this Cinco de Mayo
=============================
Fives and Fives are not nines…
But they might just be a part of sine

Spelled S-I-N.

Is the sin a winning?

Maybe it’s whining…

or it’s wining and a dining?

Tomorrow there’s half a moon
no crescent any more… at least a night…

Maybe Cheshire is whining while logic is dining
and it’s a dying, at least for a night, odd delight…?
==================

It’s no wonder rock stars repeat, and repeat, and rinse and repeat again.
Logic is low jack and there’s no mo jack. Brain’s a burning and a spurning.

=====================

fighting with yourself is hard to do.
You know you are right…
and wrong too…

=====================
Brain fire
It’s a fire in the spire
the wheels are a turning

Bright Light
Flash of brilliance.gone in a minute.

Forgotten and long lost.
That’s why you got to WRITE IT DOWN!

Do it now… you crazy clown.
———————
A bunch of junk that you do thunk
but most gets tossed aside

that is art. Welcome to the far side.
It’s a bit bumpy and a bit lumpy…

It’s that leftover goo
flowing from you that most would like to see.

interesting gel, colorful hell,
maybe a joyous yell.

Creativ-aty
=====================
Dammo in the Jammo
Jibber and a Jabber
What’s going on?

Jinx and the Jonx
conspired a song

a bit of a sock hop
if you will in the
crazy beautiful hills.

Jamma approved
through and through

Rock did roll on-and-on
all through the night
and in to the day.

Mysterio walked
as he talked

on and on – and onandon.

Bab-y-lon did Jah-ba-on.
Jabber on and on –
and on and on

Crazy Arma did get it on.
gooving and a tubin.

They jabbered on and on
and on and on…

but not really…
not uni-verse-sally…

(Sally from the valley)

just locally…

and the groove went on
and on. Near the Warm bonfire
they did chatter and a clatter.

Stay tuned for more
after this commercial break.
======================
bzzz bzzzz bzzzz

nERVEs!

nEurons in ACTION!

eLeCtRoTHeRApY!
IT’S ELECTRIC!

bzzzzzz…

———————

Happy Cinco de Mayo.

new goals and organized life…

I’m going to try to get organized in my life again. I’ve created a daily spreadsheet that I will try to write too and check off as I go along that lists all the stuff I should be doing daily. Included in the list are
– walking the dog in the morning
– walking on morning break
– inhaling lunch and doing something creative during the last part of lunch breaks
– walking on afternoon breaks
– walking the dog in the afternoon after work – maybe ride a bike with the dog if I don’t walk him… possibly working up to 5 miles on the MKT trail someday?…
– working out for at least half an hour nightly either at the YMCA, with a workout video, on the wii, riding a bike, on a jump rope, or doing some other form of excercise for at least half an hour
– working on updating online places – this blog, turbosquid, entropia universe stuff, entropiaforum stuff, and whatever else needs to be updated…
– doing at least one chore a night (one chore is something like a load of laundry, mowing, working on organizing the basement, working on organizing the attic, dusting, cleaning one room of the house, working on a 3d project, working on a 2d project)

I like doing little organized excel or google document spreadsheets like this to keep myself organized. I used to do this sort of thing for 24 hour schedule back in college and a couple of years after that, when I was still in shape, healthy, and had a lot of ambitions… Well, it’s time to get my ambitions and goals set again, and not just continue to let myself be an out-of-shape old man… Time to be young, healthy, wealthy, and wise again…

Time to actually stop being a lazy bum with no direction in my life. The time has come, today is the first day in the rest of my life… an organized, orderly, and fulfilling life. A life full of vigor and life. A life worth living to the fullest!

Happy Wednesday.

Levitt in Color, New at MoMA

There are no installation views of the Projects exhibition in which Helen Levitt first presented her color photographs to MoMA’s public, for one simple reason: all forty pictures were projected onto the wall, fading as quickly as they appeared. The year was 1974, and Levitt was in the midst of a creative outburst—unusual not only because […] http://bit.ly/aWjbvq

——————
Books by or about Helen Levitt

This weekend…

This weekend, if I find some time, I’m going to work on scanning more drawings from the ol’ sketchbooks and posting them in to the Artfolio Category here in the blog. There’s still lots of art that I don’t have online yet, lol! 🙂 😉

Eventually, if I get everything online, I’ll just keep making more and always scanning it in on the weekends or whatever free time I can find.

If nothing else, this at least helps get my name out there, and helps you folks see some stuff I’ve done in the past. All artwork any artists creates has something from his or her past involved in it in some way… It’s important to know where we’ve been so we know where we are, and where we are heading.

Hopefully this blog is helping you, as well as myself, discover, or rediscover where I’ve been… then you and I can put the pieces together to see where I stand now… and I can ultimately arrive at some really interesting and difficult questions about where I’m heading.

Converting stuff from one pen and paper rpg game system to another – World of Darkness and Palladium Books

Converting Characters, Powers, etc. from one gaming fantasy world in to another is not usually too difficult because most stats in most games are fairly similar on some level. Usually there is a roll done to check if some action is successful or not. If it is successful, there sometimes is another roll to determine what actually happens, or how successful the success was. The different gaming systems have different ways of doing that – some use D20s, some use D10s, some use D6s, and some actions, especially those that are skill based instead of against a particular player character or non-player character, are based on on a percentage, usually determined by two D10s are rolled, and one counts as the 10s part of the % and the other counts as the ones part of the %. A roll of 9 and 9 would be 99%. A roll of 0 and one would be 1% unless the one was in the tens slot, in which case it would be a 10%. On skill checks like that, the Game Master, or some pre-planned skill check base is used to determine if the roll is over the amount needed to successfully do whatever it is that the character is trying to do.

Since everything in all gaming systems is based on a check for success of failure, it’s usually just a matter of comparing the two systems you are trying to convert to or from against one another to see in what way you can play with the numbers to get to the average and go from there in all conversions.

For instance, World of Darkness games are usually based on dots that make up attributes or skills. 5 dots is usually considered about the highest humanly possible attribute. 10 dots is considered about as powerful as god in whatever skill that it is that those points are in. In that system, each dot represents a 10 sided dice that is rolled to check against some number, usually determined by the books or the game master – oops, I mean “story teller.”

In other books like Palladiumbooks Rifts, Hereoes Unlimited, etc. Most non-combat actions are based on skill checks that are % based, and most combat actions are based on the roll of a D20 to determine if a hit, punch, or power that is used successfully hits. That is sometimes contested by another characters roll of a D20 for defensive actions such as parrying, dodging, etc. If no defensive moves are used, the attackers D20 roll is usually contested against the other character’s armor, which has an armor rating… Rolls above the armor’s rating does damage to the character inside of the armor. Rolls below that do damage to the armor itself, unless the armor is a special armor such as a mutant’s metal power that gives them a high armor rating, in which case a roll below the armor rating usually does no damage. A roll of a “natural 20” or 90% or more is typically a super success, usually doing twice as much damage, or making the successful check against a skill super successful. For instance, you checked against your lockpick skill to open a bank vault – a roll of 95% when you just needed a 70% might mean you got in, no alarms went off, and there is actually the keys to a lamberghini parked outside that has no alarm system sitting on the floor of the vault. A roll of 1 or 2% is usually a miserable failure – so in the same situation, that would result in a full swat team showing up, the alarm going off, and you broke your lockpick and got your fingerprints all over the place.

I have played both of those game systems and loved them and successfully integrated them by simply thinking about how the dot system works vs the % system and the D20 system. Different people doing different conversions might come up with other conversions, but what I typically came up with was that 5 dots = 99% or so, so each dot = about 20% for skill checks… and on average, one dot = +3 in d20 rolls, giving 5 dots +15 advantage on all d20 rolls, which is really just about the best most powers and things can give you in the Palliadium world.

Now go put all those vampires, werewolves, mummies, wraiths, and things in to your Rifts or Heroes Unlimited Campaign to add a whole bunch of new layers of complexity to the world… or go the other way and put some of those nearly unkillable vampires from Heroes Unlimited up against the Camarilla of Chicago or the Sabbat of New York City, etc. Perhaps a new vampire hunter is an invulnerable mutant with supersonic speed. Maybe a demigod from Rifts World Books have found a rift in to the World of Darkness and have decided to take on the eternal mummies or maybe even Caine and Lilith one on one. There’s literally unlimited potential to bring your heroes unlimited opportunities for role playing.

In a future post I might put in some rules about converting to and from other game systems.

Turbo Tapping – Stress Relief – Acupunture without needles…

8/17/2012 update… link below doesn’t work any more… Try this instead:
http://www.garythink.com/eft/eft-tutorial.html=========

Turbo Tapping is an interesting form of stress relief/self hypnosis that I find useful on occassion. It seems sort of silly, but it really does work. I mainly use it to relieve pain in my fingers and hands after typing all week long at work. I do a lot of database stuff at work, so my hands are find on Monday, but by Thursday or Friday, it feels like my fingers are nothing but stubs of pain that are there to do nothing but drive me crazy. It’s pretty sad really, especially since the painful fingers make me not want to do a lot of artwork since drawing, computer animation, painting, and especially sculpture usually requires a lot of work with the hands.

You can read about Turbo Tapping over at http://www.emofree.com/articles/turbo-tapping.htm That article talks about how to overcome addiction with Turbo Tapping. I’ve tried that before, but have found it not to be too effective in that area of my own life, but maybe it’ll work for you. However, I do find that it is a bit of a stress relief and pain relief.

If you choose not to get the free manual over there, like I did about a year or two ago when I first started this stuff, the process is not too hard… it involves tapping at an area on your or another person’s body very lightly and repeatedly, sort of to get an effect like accupuncture, but without the needles… the primary areas, if I remember correctly, listed in the manual are the on the eyebrow – near where it connects to the nose, on the eybrow, near the other end of the eye, just under the eye, just under the nose, just under the lips on the chin, in the middle of the breast plate area, right under the armpit at the edge where it connects to the chest, thumb in the area between the knuckle and the rest of the hand on the side furthest from the other fingers, on the index finger in the same location – just below the knucle and on the side closest to the thumb, middle finger in the same place, then skip the last two fingers and go to the flabby part of the hand on the side where the pinky finger is that’s located half way between the pinky and the wrist on the side opposite from the thumb… and finally don’t tap, but gently rub the area on the top of the hand between the index finger and the ring finger up and down from almost back to the wrist, up to in between those two fingers… reading the manual can get you more info on how to do it all, but that’s the basics of it, or at least the main areas I focus on.

The manual also says that you only need to do one side instead of both since the chi flows even on both sides of the body or something, but I find that after doing the rubbing on the top of the hands, it’s sort of nice to start the whole process over, and this time do the oppossite side – focusing on the eyebrows and hand that you didn’t do the first time, etc.

Also, before you start, if I remember correctly, the manual talked about a “sore spot” that is a tender area on the breast, just about an inch or so above the nipple that you can rub back and forth to get this all started. That and the area on the hand in between ring finger and middle finger are sort of similar locations that you can rub both before and after doing a session to sort of get the blood flowing, or the chi running or whatever the heck you want to call it. Just be careful to avoid weird looks by doing this in private instead of out in the public, lol.

Studio Tip – Get Rechargable Batteries – And use them!… Also get organized…

If you have a digital camera, mp3 player, voice recorder, or even a cell phone, you probably already realize how important it is to have batteries that work on hand at all times. If you ever get in to creating stock photos or just using a digital camera or video recorder to give you source material to work with in whatever form of art you work with, this becomes even more important.

I can’t tell you how many times when shooting digital stock photos that I was out clicking away with a camera in a park or downtown somewhere and the camera I had on hand quit working because I ran out of battery power. That is a huge annoyance, especially if you like shooting clouds like I do, and you are in a time when the sun is either rising or setting, so each second lost that you did not get a shot of is gone forever because the clouds shift on you constantly and/or the “magic hour” changes dramatically as your big lightsource, the sun, is moving quickly under or over the horizon. “Magic Hour” really is not an hour. Twilight hours of sunset can cause dramatic changes in the light and way that things look on the horizon, and everywhere else outside in literal minutes or seconds.

My advice is that you have a lot of rechargeable batteries on hand and a couple of rechargers for them, and use the rechargers often. Some people say that rechargeable batteries have some sort of memory thing in them and remember how long each recharge took, so it’s bad to put the batteries in to the recharger before the battery is completely worn down. For some batteries, that may be true, but for most regular AA and AAA rechargable batteries, I don’t think that’s really quite the truth. I typically recharge my batteries when the camera shows that they are about down to one quarter power and have never really had a lot of problems. Of course, I am constantly recharging some batteries, so it’s hard for me to tell if that is an issue…

I have two rechargers. One of them holds a lot of batteries and I keep it at home, the other only holds four batteries, but it has a plug in that folds down. I keep that one in my camera bag, and carry it with my camera so that I can plug in at any time, anywhere. The bigger recharger is too large to do that with. However, I keep the bigger recharger full a lot of times and rotate out batteries from there often. I basically try to keep a handful of batteries charged at all times. If some of the the batteries sit unused for a few weeks, I go ahead and recharge the pile anyways so that they are ready when I need them.

Storing a bunch of batteries in a camera bag is a major pain, especially since most of the time, when you buy batteries they come in boxes that are meant to be thrown away after being open. For storage at home, I keep the clear plastic part of the boxes that the batteries came in, and might cut that down to size, and fit it inside of a Altoids box. Those little metal boxes that Altoids come in make fine battery holders since they are just big enough to hold a few AA or AAA batteries and still allow the lid to close. You would think the metal boxes would shock me since I’m putting batteries in them, but so far, I’ve never had any shocks or anything, so I guess the paint or ink they use on the box must not conduct electricity. Even if it does, I’m putting plastic liners from the boxes the batteries came in between the actual battery itself and the metal of the box, so that makes it all work well. To keep the Altoid boxes closed, I simply rubber band them shut.

I used to keep at least one of those Altoid boxes in my camera bag, but lately, I’ve gone to not keeping those in the camera bag since they are a bit of a hassle to mess with out in the field, especially as the rubber bands age, get weaker, and break, leaving the batteries to roam free in the camera bag, where all sorts of potential problems could happen if the acid ever did leak…

Now, in the camera bag, I keep the two batteries in the camera that the camera requires, and keep two batteries in each of the two voice recorders I carry in the bag, for a total of four spare batteries, or two battery swaps between the voice recorders and the camera in case the camera battery charge runs down. I find this ideal since the batteries are stored nicely away in the recorders, and if I do feel the need to use the recorder to record my own voice for notes or just feel like recording something out and about, like a bird chirping, a motorcycle whizzing by me, or whatever, I can just pop out the recorder and it’s ready to go. The reason I have two recorders is that I bought one, thought I lost it, bought a second one, and then a few months later, discovered where I had put the first one… It’s funny how that happens sometimes with little gizmos and gadgets.

If you don’t have a vocie recorder, but have some other tiny gadget that uses the same sort of battery as your camera, you might look in to getting something like that to hold your batteries so that you don’t risk having the batteries just jubmled in the camera bag or case, ready to give some nice acid burns to your camera or whatever else is in there. I’ve only seen a battery leave an acid burn on something one time – it was an old plastic mug that I used to store non-rechargeable batteries in many years ago before I started using rechargeable batteries. The marks it left as the acid dug in to the plastic of the cup were horrible looking. It’d really suck to see something like that happen to a digital camera.

Other things I keep in the camera bag other than the camera, the voice recorders, and the little battery recharger are the top part of a big tripod that actually attaches to the bottom of the camera, and a mini-tripod. I also keep a couple of thumb drives and spare digital camera chips in there to make it easy to store things. The thumb drives are attached via a little stretcy cord that the casino gives out with it’s cards for people to use to remember to not leave their casino cards in the slot machines. I like that because it keeps me from loosing the thumb drives as they are attached to the camera case.

I actually have 3 camera cases. The first one is a little one that holds my little bitty camera itself and came with the camera. It’s very flimsy, but I keep it on there to cover the lens. I put the camera and that little case in to the second case, which is a big bigger and is what I mainly use to carry the camera around my neck when out and about. The third is a Polaroid camera case that I keep the other case in. I use it because it’s big enough to hold the littler case and a few other odds and ends – the tripod top and voice recorders, mentioned above.

I have an entirely seperate bag that I use to keep color pencils and sketch books in the car. At one point in time, I tried to avoid using the Polaroid case, and just put the little camera case in that bag, but that got to be too much of a hassle. Now I just leave the color pencil and sketchbook bag in the back seat of the car, and take the Camera in and out of the car, and with me wherever I go so that it’s handy, and does not get left in the car during hot/cold temperatures that could damage the electronic equipment inside.

At home I have a few toolboxes that I use to keep other things around the house/studio organized. I love the big tool boxes with different slots in them – nice way to organize pastels, pencils, ink pens, etc.

When I was in college, I used to haul a lot of big sketch pads, drawings, and some paintings in a plastic portfolio that I carried around campus to class. That was a major hassle since the classes were in various buildings scattered around campus and my apartment was several blocks away. Carrying big portolios is a tough enough job by itself since they are big and bulky… That only gets worse as you get more and more things in there to carry. You would think paper, being as thin as it is would not be heavy in big bulks, but you would be wrong… especially on humid days when the paper absorbs a lot of moisture just to make itself heavier for you. To make that walking around campus more handy, I ended up taking a duffel bag strap and attaching it to the portfolio handles. That made it much easier to handle the bag and still carry other things like books that I needed to take to class. I have NO idea why porfolio making companies have not made it an industry standard to put shoulder straps on portfolios yet. It’s something that really is needed to help make it easier for all those art students and aspiring artists everywhere be able to carry their stuff. Some Art Directors might like the neat little polished look of the little bitty handles on portolios, but I suspect that they would like the portfolios a lot more if the artists were more comfortable actually walking around with the portfolios so that they could bring them in more often, and have a descent amount of work in the portfolio to show off. I know a lot of artists aching backs and shoulders would be thankful if big art portfolio started getting made with shoulder straps.

Getting organized, and able to transport your art making supplies, is one key to creating great art. A tool such as a camera, voice recorder, pastel, conte crayon, paintbrush, or color pencil is not very useable if it’s buried in the back of a closet in a box underneath of a lot of other things. Each individual artist has to come up with their own organizational strategy that fits their own personalities and needs. If you are not organized yet, you might look at ways that you can start getting that way in the near future. It really can help you be creative when you have tools that are handy that you can grab any time and just start using. Digging around for stuff is a major hassle.

Studio Tip – Keeping pencil shavings, and other things…

I love keeping the shavings off pencils as I sharpen them. Sometimes there is just enough color or graphite left to allow for one or two more uses of the leftovers on there that might come in handy someday. Additionally, the shavings are handy for doing interesting things such as creating brush strokes with paint that would be impossible to create with normal brushes, blending color on paintings or drawings by using the shavings as blending stumps, or they can be useful to just have around, sitting in a plastic bottle or jar to look at for inspiration since they various colors and shapes can sometimes give me compositional ideas.

Similarly, I love keeping paint covered palletes and clothing that I’ve used over the years. The splatters on the clothing of various material, whether it’s plaster, paint, tar, or something else mix to create interesting forms and shapes. I think Jim Dine used to keep his studio clothing as seperate pieces of artwork in and of themselves. This is a very good idea. The various materials I see on the various pieces of clothing that I’ve coated with artistic make me think about what was done to create each splatter, and shape, and form. Lately, for palletes, I use paper or stryofoam plates since my latest easel is made to hold those – that makes it a lot easier to keep the pallettes after the painting is done than it used to be when the palletes were expensive items that I typically ended up damaging as I tried to clean them off. It’s a memory jarring thing for us artists. My wife just calls me a pack rat, lol. I might take some digital photos or scans of some pallets and painted clothing sometimes, and create digital works from that. That’s what’s very nice about art – you can recycle ideas, shapes and forms, or elements of various artwork over and over… Infinite possibilities…

I also like keeping old paint brushes. The shapes they can create are likely unique. The same applies to any art instrument or some non-art instruments that can be converted in to art instruments. I love using various items as paint brushes sometimes… Some of the various items I’ve used in the past as a paint brush or brush to apply ink to paper or canvas are tooth picks, old tooth brushes (only use my own for that though so I don’t get a lot of other folks germs, lol), pieces of fabric, sculpey, thumbtacks, branches off of pine trees, pine cones, feathers, blades of grass, nails, screws, and broken light bulbs just to name a few.

I also like to keep a few oddball items around just to play with or to get ideas from… I don’t smoke, but keep a ciggarette lighter in my drawing toolbox sometimes – burnt edges on paper can look neat. I also keep a small handheld mirror or two as well as a full length mirror in the studio to play around with. Knives can be useful for digging layers off of paintings too… or just be neat to look at and draw…

I have one really wicked looking hunting knife in my drawing box that I used to keep in there for protection purposes, not that I ever had to use it. You never know who might come up to you and start bothering you if you are an artist out in the wilderness somewhere at a park or something and are trying to do a pein air painting… I don’t condone violence, but I hear about rapes, murders, and theft in the news way to often to just be out there in the woods by myself on the side of a hiking trail to not have some sort of protection nearby, even if it is just an old cell phone that can be used to call 911.

They say that any cell phone has to legally be allowed to call 911 regardless of whether you still have service on it or not – might not hurt to keep one in your drawing toolbox, basket, book bag, or whatever you use carry around with you to hold your brushes, pencils, or sketchbooks, especially if you are female. In the worst case scenario it could save your life. In the best case scenario it can be useful to call your spouse or significant other to come and pick you up, or to call for a pizza delivery or something. Most cell phones these days have cameras on them – so that is a useful art tool in and of itself, and makes carrying one around with you at all times something you should really think about doing if you are not already.

Color Pallette… Color Blindness… When is a something done?

I have mentioned color pallette in a few postings already, but don’t think I’ve gone in to a lot of detail about my personal preferences in my own color uses, why I have those preferences, etc. so I figured it might be time to post a little bit about that here, even though most of the stuff that I’m uploading to the artfolio is not color yet – It’s mainly black and white or blue and white sketchbook scans for now, but I’ll get around to uploading the color works later, and at that time, it’ll be good to know a little about my use of color.

For those of you that don’t know this yet, I am partially color blind. Greens and Reds that are medium toned or darker tend to look alike to me, which appears to be the same color as a grey color (just black and white) tone of the same value. Luckily, I’m not fully color blind, or else this little issue would have a much more major impact on my artwork than it does now. Bright reds, and greens are very visible to me. It’s only the darker tones that are usually seen in shadows that make things a bit difficult for me.

Because of this, I have a tendency to drive myself towards pointillism type of styles, or similar types of styles that use visual color mixing instead of real color mixing, at least in this part of the color spectrum. That way, I can move in very close to the canvas, and look at what is going on with the color blobs up close and personal to try to resolve issues and create a plan of attack to figure out what move to make next in this chess game of creating art.

Eye strain headaches does come to me after a while of doing this sort of stuff, especially since I’m near sighted… because I’m constantly looking at different areas of the painting, or color drawings at a distance, and then up close, and then at a distance, and maybe upside down to check composition, etc. I did not even realize I needed glasses for my near-sightedness until after I graduated from college, but I really should have probably gotten glasses a very long time before that. My dad loves transitions lenses and got me hooked on using them since they keep me from having to constantly buy sunglasses only to lose them. However, the transition lenses do cause me problems when making art and viewing art sometimes since they put a dark tone on everything I see through them. Because of that, I have to take off my glasses to view things in museums, galleries, or as I paint sometimes so that I’m not making major color/tonal mistakes. That causes even more eye strain on occassion. I do like the transition lenses since my eyes are pretty sensitive to light, and they make staring at a computer all day at my 40 hour a week job more tolerable. However, I hate that they cause me to not be able to see a lot of true colors at a distance… All through school, I remember squinting a lot in painting classes and drawing classes. I just assumed that this was normal at the time since I had never thought to check with a vision specialist. I knew that I was color blind, and just sort of assumed that the squinting and headaches were a normal part of the process of creating art. I sometimes wonder how things would have been different if I had glasses way back in elementatry school….
Strangely, all of this does not have a huge impact on viewers of my work because a lot of artists use green to muddy down red and vice versa to get shadow colors and tones as they are on opposite ends of the color spectrum.

My favorite colors are somewhat bright and intense. As mentioned in another post, I love the color pallette that folks like Remington use, where there’s lots of vividness to the work and it sort of brings a positive cheery mood in to play.

I like mixing colors on the canvas itself visually more than a lot of other painters do. I do mix colors when I can but like using paint staight out of the bottle when possible so that it’s easier to come back to an area and re-work it or balance it out with similar colors on opposite ends of the canvas if I need to… Stuff that comes out of a bottle is usually mixed fairly closely to other stuff that comes out of a bottle that has the same label and is made by the same company. That makes it easier to not have a lot of worries about painting an area and then needing more of that same paint mix later, but not being able to find it because you cannot figure out the exact proportions of which paint you mixed to arrive at that color, especially when, like me, you are color blind so physicially mixing the paint is a very difficult chore. That label on the bottles of paint helps ease my mind in making decisions since I know that the green in that bottle is the same green that I got out of that bottle an hour ago. Pointillism type effects can be used to help mix and match just about any color that exists, at least at a certain distance.

My favorite oil paint colors are usually Cadmium Red (for bright bold red intensity), Crimson Red (for darker red tones and colors), Currealean Blue (for highlights that are in blue – lots of artists are afraid to use blue in highlights, which is a huge loss to their works), Cobalt Blue (for mid-intensity blues), Prussian Blue (for really deep dark blues), and occassionally a very bright yellow, and maybe something strange like violet, which can be very bright and noticible if applied thickly or almost unnoticible if applied thinly with the rest of the colors mentioned above, either scumbled on or put in to small dabs in small pointillism type fields of color on the canvas. I also use just about any other color out there that I can on occassion in small bits, but the colors listed above are the main ones that I usually end up utilizing the most. Most of my works usually end up heading toward red/blue side of the color spectrum because of that. There’s just something about Purple/Violet combinations or near-purple violet that is reached by visual color mixing that I really love – it’s a deep passionate, and dramatic color scheme.

I have a bad tendency to sometimes fall in to the elementary color trap that many artists fall in to on occasions, thinking of blue as dark/cool, red as bright/midrange, and orange for brighter areas than that, and yellows for highlights, instead of really looking at the way things are in reality and trying to match it as closely as possible – where all areas of the color spectrum exist in both bright and dark areas. I do try to balance out that fallacy, which is not always a true representation of reality when I can, but it’s usually a lengthy process since I try to put more and more color range in to both shadows and highlights as I proceed throughout a color pencil drawing or painting — many times I fail horribly and overwork the artwork. It’s hard to know when a work of art is “done.” There are defintitely “levels of doneness” as I like to think of them to any work of art…

Simple abstract forms with simple lines is the first level. The second level takes that and adds more tones or patterned areas to break up the light and dark more. The third level balances things out more and more, making the really complex patterns more worked out with brush stroke placement becoming one of the most important aspects of the work – a small line that’s the wrong color in the wrong place can unbalance everything and cause compositional balance to completely dissappear. Then, on the next level, things really start getting complex… as Professor Bohac used to say, that’s when it’s time for an artist to “fight their way out of a paper bag…” because a simple little thing that’s as wide as a centimeter or smaller can unbalance the entire work…. and as paintings start coming to a level of “reality” that is almost near photo-quality things get even more complex, and the “living elements” of the work start dissappearing more and more… The more realistic a painting gets to be, in terms of photo-realism, the less gestural qualities the work has… Artists, especially those that work with narrative, portrait, or landscape subjects can find themselves in hard to get out of places with their works as they get in to internal conflict about “how realistic” to make the work… since each level of realism requires more work on the entire canvas…

A simple line drawing done in 30 seconds or less can be thought of as a final work of beautiful art just as a photo-realistic painting that took thousands of hours to create can… Any and Everything in between these two extremes is where most artist live. It’s a very dangerous rocky terrain with a lot of smooth valleys full of beautiful smelling flowers. It takes a true artist to know how to balance it all out and make sure that the level of realism is right for the work in question, and each individual area of each work’s composition in question. There’s a different answer for each artists and each individual work.

As I post more artworks in to this blog, I’ll try to explain my own individual tendencies, techniques, and ways of doing things to get my works to where I want them. It is often said that an artist is his/her own most critical judge. I agree with that somewhat. However, that judgement is what makes us who we are, and makes us strive to do better in the future, or to strive to make horrible and hideously disgusting works that cause fear in the hearts of mankind…. It’s all about figuring things out and making them work… knowing the messages you are trying to communicate and trying to find ways to make those messages clear. For me compositional balance is a very important thing. For others, maybe not so much. I’ll try to post more artwork here in the blog later this week.

Inspirations – Jimmy Kuehnle

I looked up Jimmy the other day on facebook after looking through a list of artists that I went to school with at Truman State U.

http://assessment.truman.edu/components/5year/Art2004.pdf is the list of artist I found. That list is far from a comprehensive list as it only names a few names, and it actually has a lot of false or half truth info. I don’t work nor ever have worked for Boone Hospital. I do work in a University Hospital in the same town though.

I remember Jimmy from back there in college as being an interesting individual, just as I was. However, he was a lot more outgoing than I was.

It looks like that has not changed much, and has actually become the focus of his work to some degree. Drawing attention to ones self is something artists must do on some level since it’s all about bringing the fragile inner psyche out for examination by the artist and those around him or her that become viewers…

Here’s an interesting article on him that is linked to from his facebook account:
Don’t be alarmed: The walking balloon is artist Jimmy Kuehnle.

Using baloons to create gigantic mobile sculptures is a very cool idea. We all expect to see this sort of stuff going down a huge parade or something, but not just out in the everyday. It is neat to see that Jimmy’s becoming the pied piper so to speak.

I guess this sort of thing might make him seem silly to those that don’t know him, but that’s actually a good thing since it opens the general public’s eyes up – makes them become aware of their environment, surroundings, and gives them the privilege to meet someone that is a great artist! 🙂 😉

Inspirations – http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/

Clarissa left me a little comment over at https://jeffthomann.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/mall-small-19-drawing/ talking about her friend’s website at http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/ so I figured I’d visit and do this Inspirations posting about it. I have not really done many (read any, lol) inspirations postings up til now that have to do with anyone’s art that I did not know about before now. Time to change that, and start exploring the art world in these here intra-web tubes.

As indicated at http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/page8.php wordsaroundtown.com is owned by Kevin McCartney Studios.

Kevin appears to be a very good photographer.

The words around town site seems to be made of various pictures that Kevin has taken and converted in to fonts to spell out words.
He’s using the forms he finds in his compositions as letters.

As stated in the site, Kevin has a real enthusiasm about this obscure typographical artform…

The challenge of finding objects around us that we normally pass by everyday without a second glance which look like letters has been exciting and fun!

Finding the hidden beauty in everyday things that we often pass by without a second glance IS, in my opinion one of the great things that exploring art does for people that get in to art.

Finding the invisible forms as Kevin is doing and making it visible is sort of a theme that has run through art for many years. It is an obscure idea that can be traced back to the Surrealist movement, especially in Salvador Dalí’s paintings… but the idea actually goes back a lot further than that.

Trompe-l’œil means “fool the eye” and that phrase is what is best used to describe or categorize this form of art. Actually, almost every form of 2-dimensional work that goes back to the earliest known cave arts is somewhat in this to some degree – since after all making a window out of something that is not a window as paintings do is fooling the eye so to speak.

It’s all about hidden messages or meanings, and really being a keen observer of the world in order to see the form and the way that simple basic design principles can allow multiple things to happen in the same plane.

The idea of bringing the reality of the 2-dimensional canvas of a painting or photograph in to the viewers plain sight so that it’s simple beauty can be observed in and of itself outside of all other rules and principles of creating illusion is a very modern idea that is seen over and over and over again in 20th centrury art. That’s why I say that genres like Cubism, Op-Art, and a lot of other genres that focus on the 2-dimensional existence of the plane in an artwork are MORE REALISTIC than simple little paintings that pretend to be windows showing pretty landscapes or cityscapes that most other people classify as Realistic…

Is it realistic to pretend that the 2 dimensional surface on a wall is something other than a surface on a wall? Sure there can be little pictures in there, just like there is on that flat plane you are looking in to to see these words, or that you will view tonight as you watch Prime Time TV… but isn’t it more realistic to acknowledge that what you are looking at is really a 2 dimensional flat surface?… as Kevin has done by seeing the letters in his photographs?

Some folks even take this sort of idea in photography to a whole different level in the form of Photomosaics… After all, if a photograph is really just a bunch of dots made up of 4 colors, CYMK (Cyan Yellow, Magenta, and blacK), it makes sense that each photo is balanced more towards one of those 4, so it makes sense to use an entire photo as one small element in a larger picture… Actually, given enough time and photos, photomosaic technology could go to a whole new level and allow an infinite amount of images to exist hidden inside of a set of photos… the first level would look like something from space, then as you approach it to the airplane level it would phase and each level as you get closer and closer could phase in to a new image, hidden… only to dissolve as new ones come in to play. The hidden typography that Kevin is searching for is a little different than Photomosaics, but not completely. There is a lot of similarities there – searching for what is hidden in plain view.

It’s strange but all language and all these ideas that get thrown at us daily in these little windows that are not windows are something that connects us all as a society. People from 200 years ago would think we are crazy staring at computers and tvs and spending as much time as we do daily on these devices that are really 2 dimensional boxes producing light. Works like this make people think. They can become kitsch or cliche sometimes if overdone, but they do start to open the mind, and let people begin to question reality itself on some level, which, in my opinion is what all great art should do.

Keep looking for the hidden meanings Kevin. Your typographic photos are amazing. Keep spreading the Love.

A few thoughts about illustration… copyright, trademarks, why “Work-for-hire” is EVIL… and Zombies, or actually Golems Really due exist!

While I say I love illustration, and want to get in to the illustration field, I think it only fair to give you a little bit of background about me, and some of my own personal biases and things about illustration… In the wide world of illustration, usually the client always comes first. The artist does work for the client. The artist creates things, but seeks approval from the client at each step of the process. The preliminary concept art is just thought of as something to hand to the client to seek approval. The client and artist then have a disucssion and talk about things, and go to the next step… and the artist continually changes the idea to be in agreement with what the client is wanting since the client has the ultimate say as the artist is seeking payment for the work from the client.

A little bit of a philisophical problem that I have with that sort of thing, at least in my own works, is that I consider each work of art that is created in every stage of creation as a seperate and unique art form… something that is not just a preliminary work for something later, to be discarded like pretty wrapping paper that is torn apart as a Christmas present is opened. The process of creation has multiple stages. Quick little doodles done in a sketchbook are just as valid as a final work of art as something that’s been re-worked three hundred times by an illustrator or designer that is seeking permission from his or her client.

Another huge issue in all of that is the “work-for-hire” issue. Many clients want illustrators and designers that work for them to consider their work as “work-for-hire.” According to the way contract law works, art that is created as “work-for-hire” is artwork that the client will own the copyright to. In other words, if an artist creates work-for-hire artwork, the artist will have to seek permission from the copyright owner to republish the work that he or she created, and the same thing applies to and “derivitive” work… that is work that is dervived from the original… That puts artists that work in “work-for-hire” contracts in a really sticky situation since they can never use the work for hire stuff unless they get permission again, which might actually end up costing them money, etc. The derivitive issue makes the bad situation even worse because most artist tend to build a sort of visual library in their subconscious that forces works they create later in life to resemble works they created earlier… which is something they could possibly get sued for if the earlier work was a work-for-hire form of art.

For this reason, I’m not sure if I could ever “really” be a full time illustrator. However, I do like the idea of illustrating things, and creating narrative structures, so it’s possible that I might be able to get in to this field sort of. One reason I really am attracted to using Public Domain stuff as the basis of illustration is that the original copyright owner no longer has copyright over that stuff, nor does anyone else… so it’s free game for anyone… However, writers that no longer have copyrights on their books are probably long gone, and so other people probably have created derivitive works of those books and artforms over and over throughout the years, so it leaves the ancient stuff as content that will be difficult to gain any economic profits off of in a direct manner… since dead writers won’t pay anything usually… That’s why I got interested in Cafe Press, Lulu.com and other similar types of places in my exploration of all of this stuff. The internet has created a lot of new little niche areas for many of us to investigate if we want to take the time to get in to it. There’s a lot to explore and play around with in the huge playground of tweaking public domain concepts, ideas, and works, and redistrubting them with our own little additions, changes, etc.

Eventually, if I do get in to making book covers and interior illustrations for Public domain books I will build up a lot of variety and introduce new fresh ideas, in hopes that maybe someday a real writer that is alive today might ask me to do some works for their books, magazine articles, blogs, etc. If that does happen, this whole work-for-hire issue will likely come up down the road. I guess I’ll cross those bridges if/when I get to that point. Regardless, if you create artwork, this IS something you should be thinking about somewhat. There’s a lot to copyright and trademark laws. I don’t claim to be a lawyer, but do know that this sort of stuff can be a major hassle if you don’t think about it before you dive in to a contract or situation similar to a contract that is all done with verbal agreements, etc.

Do you really want to give away your right to be creative?!?… Just something to think about.

A similar thing to think about – be sure that you are honoring the Copyrights and Trademarks of other… If you want to create a work of art depicting a soda can or car, are you aware that you could be sued by Ford or Coke, or any other company if the work looks too much like theirs? This is especially true of photographs. Speaking as someone that has had some photos removed from Turbosquid a few years ago because Turbosquid received a Cease and Desist Letter from Ford due to the fact that there was a Ford car somewhere in the forground of a picture I shot once, even though it was not the main focus of the composition, I can say this stuff is a reality you SHOULD think about before and while you are making your artworks. The possibility of having to go to court and pay high lawyer fees and court fees just because you clicked your camera in the wrong place is not a fun situation to be in! Ford is probably one of the biggest companies that chases people down for this sort of thing, but any copyright or trademark owner can do similar at any time because copyright and trademark law DOES apply to “derivitive works.”

For yourself, this can be a good thing, as you could possibly sue others if they create artworks that are in your style or just look too much like your work for your liking… However, what comes around goes around, and the you can find yourself on the receiving end of the same issue if you create works that are too much like other folk’s stuff too… which is something we all need to think about a LOT as everywhere you turn today there’s some namebrand, logo, or copyrighted thing in your face 24/7.

Your computer has a logo on it… oops better not photograph or draw it. You want to take a photo of a street – oops there’s a car on it that was created by an automobile company that has a trademark on that design. You shoot a photo of a gargoyle on a building – oops there’s an architect or sculptor somewhere that owns the copyright to that design. You shoot a picture of the sunset – oops there’s an airplane flying low there that was designed by a company with a trademark on that shape. You take a picture of a wall in your house – oops someone has a tradmark, and probably a copyright on the design of that wallpaper… Where is nature? That is one of the few things people can’t copyright… Nope?!?… someone has done a picture of a deer posing in that posture before! YIKES!

If you take a photo of someone, or create any form of artwork depicting anyone – you have even more issues to deal with since there are privacy laws. That’s why you always see notices in various films, literary works, etc. say any resmblence to real people in the characters depicted is coincidental, etc. It’s also why photographers need to get the permission of anyone they photograph, usually in a written form so that they can prove that the permission was obtained. The little photo of Barrack Obama standing next to the China Wall that was put in Times Square by the coat company is just one of the newest little examples of where these sort of issues can come up and cause major problems for all parties involved…

All of these little issues are amplified by the fact that Zombies, or at least Golems really do exist! As mentioned in How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday, corporations and money are both lifeless beings that we give life to… things that are really dead that we give power to.

(*Perhaps the Golem are the invisible corporations and the Zombies are the employees that become “dead” 40 hours a week to serve the golem?*)

Sometimes, actually far more times than we probably want to acknowledge, we actually give our entire lives to these souless, lifeless beings! Corporations are our society’s gods from the ancient world. They don’t really exist but everyone knows that they are there. Everyone talks about them… shares stories about them… We even give them Social Security Numbers and call those Tax Identification Numbers… We give them life through our <a href="Memes“>about them.

Logos and employees are just one sign of their existence, as are all the contracts created in their names… Curators of Universities, CEOs, Company Presidents and others in power in the coporate world, just to name a few, are the priests of this religion that we don’t call a religion, but they are NOT the corporation itself, even if they think they are. They are hired and fired by the invisible zombies or golems that we breathe life into, just like everyone else. The piece of paper that creates a corporation is NOT the corporation itself. The corporations don’t really exist in our world, but we all pretend that they do and continue to bring life to them in our belief in them… continue to pay homage to them every time we think about that brand name we want to pay for, etc…. They are the true gollems that all of us helped bring in to power to submit our entire beings too in some way, shape, or form.

Advertising, and all of the little illustrations that come from it is just one of the many little offerings that are given to these souless, lifeless zombies to help them exist. You can call me a crazy lunatic if you want, but when you really dig deep and think about it, you have got to know that it’s true!

Does this mean I don’t want to be an illustrator. Of course not. I love to illustrate things, tell stories, bring life to the lifeless objects around me.

In a strange way, all people that create art, or anything really – letters that you made when you hit the keyboard on your computer (you do know that each letter and phrase is different from place to place in the world which is why there’s different languages that exist – we all breathe life in to our own perception of reality that the elders in our tribe have taught us IS reality and so we make it become OUR reality too), recipies you put together to eat, All Things that we do really… sort of do the same thing, whether it’s for a corporation or their own needs and wants to create. Art itself is something we breathe life in to, and it sort of takes on a life of it’s own in that process. Maybe all of this is something Jesus was talking about when he said you cannot serve God and Mammon?… but in reality, that’s not really possible is it, at least not if we want to live in this world and exist – Give to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser…

Anyways, I am a living being, just as you are, and as The Universe’s Creator is. The act of creating things is in some ways the real and ultimate goal and meaning of the universe?… or is it? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, be sure to make your works your own, and unique enough that you don’t get sued for copyright infringment by other humans or the golems that exist in our society.

Just something to think about…

Gameplan…

I know that I probably seem like an unorganized slob sometimes since my thoughts seem so scattered sometimes, and I post about such a wide variety of things… but all the pieces of the master plan will come together over time… Here’s the gameplan for this blog, as it stands now. Remember, game plans are just that – plans, and they can and do change over time, so some or all of the goals listed below can go up or down in priority over time, or change completely as new goals come along…

Current Primary goals for this blog:
– Get as many of my sketchbook drawings scanned and uploaded to Cafepress and linked to from here as I possibly can. Please bear with me… I know that some of this old stuff is rough looking, maybe even what some might classify as “ugly” and amateurish. That’s ok. The newer, fresher, better stuff will get uploaded eventually. I am uploading everything that I can so that I will see it online here in the blog and it’ll act as an incentive to do better work in the future. The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is very true in many ways. I believe that each image I’ve ever made in my entire life sort of has something to say about me, my technique, and my way of doing things… some of which the casual observer can see… some of which only I can know since I was there when the artwork was created, and know what was going on in my head at the time… what logic flow there is, why certain elements are as they are, etc. The same is true of photographs, and any artwork really. A picture is actually worth many, many, many more than a thousand words.

– Get as many of my paintings, and other artworks photographed and uploaded somewhere and linked to from this blog. Most of the stuff will probably go on Cafepress. Some of it might go elsewhere. For stuff that I really don’t ever want deleted in the coming decades, I might even upload some of it to the Internet Archives since I believe that place will probably be around a lot longer than most other places, including both wordpress and cafepress. It’s just a major hassle to get stuff in to there since the interface is slightly clunky and slow, etc.

Although distributing my work in this way is not the best or neatest way of doing things since Cafepress is sort of kitschy, some of this really old stuff is not all that great of a artistic quality, etc., it does get the stuff out here where people can and will look at it. That’s a very powerful motivator for me because it gets people actually seeing some stuff I’ve done, which is a LOT more than the stuff is doing sitting in the basement collecting dust in a sketchbook, deteriorating slowly year after year. Yesterday I was watching the news and there was a story on about this whole mess Google has gotten itself in by copying entire books before getting permission from each author of the books so that they could put it online. Google’s primary argument is that that makes the stuff accessible to the masses when otherwise it would just sit in the libraries untouched as it has for years, sometimes decades or centuries. That’s sort of the same sort of idea that I have going on with all of this. My artwork is a living, breathing thing, and I’m still a living artist, at least for the moment… so why not try to get as many people seeing my stuff as I can. There’s a whole huge world out here, full of many interesting people. Is artwork really artwork if it doesn’t have a viewer? My opinion is that it is, but it’s not nearly as good as artwork that gets viewed.

– Start creating new artwork in the future and continue to upload it on to the internet and link to it here. This part of the plan may take a little while since I still have the backlog of all the stuff I want to scan or shoot photos of to upload. Ultimately the goal is to make more new stuff the primary content on here… and still have the older stuff available here to view for historical purposes, etc. What form my new works will come in is largely undecided and will likely be a lot of various forms. One of many ideas that has been bouncing around in the back of my brain the last couple of years (and actually is part of the reason I started messing around with Cafe Press in the first place) is to start doing illustrations for the books on Project Gutenburg and re-publish the books in Cafepress along with new books that I create myself, etc. A sort of similar vein of though is to create 3d animated movies that use Public Domain or Open Source projects as the basis for where to start. Some folks in the Blender community have created entire full length movies with Blender that is all open source now. At least one guy that I know of has tried to do similar on his own with Lightwave a couple of years ago. This sort of stuff could never have been a one man show just a handful of years ago, but now things have progessed to a point where that is not really the case as much… More people can do more with fewer man hours than used to be possible, and things keep improving to make it easier with every new version of every piece of creative software that comes out…

I enjoy creating a wide variety of different types of art. I would not mind breaking in to Illustration industry, animation industry, or stock photograpy industry a little more than I have, or maybe even becoming a full time art critic, game designer, movie director, or something else creative somewhere down the road. I have a lot of hobbies and ideas. This blog is a bit of a soul searching thing as well as many other things. Some day I still might write a novel for Nanowrimo or some other sort of book.

Main Secondary Goals with this blog:
– Maybe do a post here and there about each of the various subjects that I find interesting and used to have blogs on… hobbies such as Entropia Universe, Role Playing, FTA Satellite, etc. With Entropia Universe, I was in email contact with some of the folks in FPC, and there was some discussion about having me create a World Book for them. HOwever, that idea is sort of nixed at the moment and has been replaced by my Entropia posts to this blog. I still may do something like that eventually, using some of the posts in here to help me along that path. However, there’s just too much work for one person to tackle with a project that huge, especially since it’d be a never ending battle as a lot of things change in Calypso and all of the Entropia Universe with every Version Update (VU).. so anything that got written would have to constantly be re-written as the rules of the universe and everything about it would be, is, and will be in constant flux… That’s just nature of the “Dynamic” system that is Entropia Universe is…

I still find it hard to believe that not too long ago I thought blogs were just for people who are mostly self absorbed (*Hopefully you don’t think that about me, lol), that I thought that facebook was just for teeny-bobbers, and that I thought that that I’d never get around to finally getting my artwork online after having so many false starts over the years (My first “website” was something I was starting my sophmore year in college but that was WAY back when the world was still on Windows 95 because 98 did not happen yet, and 100 mb was considered a lot of space, lol….

Interesting Reading – A few Technical “Bibles”

I just wanted to throw these out here because they are amazing books that I use a lot and recommend a lot of other people to use too!

The Photoshop Bibleis THE book that you will want to get if you want to learn how to use Photoshop. I am sad to say that I’m still running Photoshop 5 LE, so I have not picked up a newer version Photoshop Bible that is for newer versions of Photoshop myself, but have read a few pages out of the newer versions in a bookstore now and then. It still appears to be the best source to go to for all things Photoshop. It covers just about every main function in the application and gives you a simple plain English explanation of why everything is there and what you should be using each function for and which Icons you should push on or quick keys to hit to get what you are trying to accomplish done quickly and competently.

The JavaScript Bible is THE book to have on Javascript. You CAN learn some of the basics from visiting websites such as Web Monkey, but when you really want to start digging deeper and understanding how to do things on a more complex level, this is the to go to book that you will be wanting to get. Just about every aspect of Javascript is covered and there’s coding example after coding example that will get you up and running quickly and give you a working understanding of how all the spokes in the wheel run together to get your website advanced to a new level of interactivity.

Beginning Game Programming with Flash is another great book to have for web design. Surely you have played a few flash games on occassion. They are all over the internet. This book teaches you from the ground up how to start building those sorts of games yourself. If you thought Javascript was fun, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The graphics and programming power behind Flash can let you create just about any sort of game that you want online if you have enough time to program and test your stuff out. There are definite limitations to what Flash can do, but many of those limits dissappear with every new version of flash that comes out, especially as more and more people are getting off of dialup and heading to dsl or other high speed internet carriers.

The Artist’s Handbook, or The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques: Fifth Edition, Revised and Updated (Reference)
is just about one of the best “Bibles” on traditional art methods.

Both of the books cover many of the same topics. Mayer’s is considered a little “better” by some since I think it is actually the older of the two.

They cover just about every technique that there is in the traditional arts, and gives some really neat in-depth information that you just won’t find many other places, especially in a single book. It’s actually pretty hard to believe how much information there is packed in this book…It tells you some of the little known facts about how to make pigments, what formulas to use to make your own gesso, explains in-depth information about various surfaces and how you should treat them and more importantly, why. It just has a lot of little key bits of information that are invaluable to anyone that really wants to create artwork.

Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (California Studies in the History of Art) is another great art related book. While this book is not really a Technical Bible per se, it is a bit like the more traditional Bible in that it goes directly to the source to get first hand accounts of what is going on in the minds of various artist in the contemporary art world. The book is filled with tons of interviews done with artists, diary entries created by artist, and a variety of publications created by artists and those that have an in depth understanding of artists. It gets to the heart of why contemporary art really exists, and has more in-depth, behind the information than you are likely to find ANYWHERE else all in one place.

Interesting Reading – Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Historical Look at the Old and New Testament

You folks reading this might think I’m nuts doing this many Interesting Reading posts in this short of a timespan, but there’s a lot of various books that I’ve read and/or am in the middle of reading that have a lot of relevance to this blog and life in general really, and are just great books that I think everyone should at least take a glance at some point in time… I’ll probably add more interesting reading posts in the not-too-distant future…

Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Historical Look at the Old and New Testaments is a very interesting book. Asimov, possibly one the greatest science fiction writers of all time, explores the bible from a scientific and historical perspective in this book. He’s an athiest, (and a former Jew I think) but that does not matter. He covers a lot of the historical aspects of each chapter of the Bible in this book from a scientific perspective. There’s not a lot of mushy love and miracle belief talk in the book like you see in a lot of the bible study books that are written by Christians. Also there’s a lot of discussion about geography and history of the locations in the bible, and how each of the main characters in the bible is thought of from a historian’s perspective and how they sort of fit in to the Social Studies and History books. That is something you don’t typically get a lot of with a lot of other books about the Bible. I don’t know that I agree with him on everything (since he is an atheist after all), but I do think he presents a lot of ideas that anyone interested in Religion, History, or Geography, regardless of whether they are Christian or not a Christian might find interesting.

His explanations that seem to explain away miracles or give them a new twist by allowing you to think about them in a different way than the way you might have been taught in Bible School by adding a bit of science is somewhat refreshing, and for the most part does not make the Bible any less relevant or True.

Remember, there are multiple perspectives to our reality… What everyone that witnesses anything experiences is likely slightly different than others that witnessed the same darn thing. It is good to sometimes think about things from a different angle. There might be a slight challenge to your faith in some of the info in this book, but that actually might be a catalyst that will help you gain a stronger faith by reading the book. There is a lot of historical and geographic info in here that you probably won’t come across many other places unless you are theologian and have read a LOT of ancient texts and have a masters degree in religion. It’s good to learn a few new things. and think about things in a different way on occassion! 🙂

Interesting Reading – When I say no, I feel guilty

Manuel J. Smith’s book, When I Say No, I Feel Guilty is a very good book about being assertive. If you have been unassertive in the past for whatever reason, as I have been sometimes, it can help you get past that, and start placing value on your own opinion and rights so that people are not always walking all over your every day.

The book introduces something called the Assertive Bill Of Rights that should be thought of as rules that you can and should apply to your everyday thoughts, and way of living, but probably have not always done in the past.

The Assertive Bill of rights are:
I have the right to be the ultimate judge of my own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon myself.

Yes, you are the judge of your own reality ultimately. The Church, your parents, your boss, your coworkers, even the bobble heads on the News Channels and everyone else in the world is not the ultimate judge of your own thoughts, and emotions. You are a real person, just like everyone else. Underneath the surface there’s no difference between you and the President, any kings you read about in history, any slaves you read about or have seen yourself at your place of employment. Since you are responsible for yourself, you have the right to be assertive in this crazy world and not let everyone else tell you what to think, do, and be.

I have the right to offer no reasons or excuses to justify my behavior.
Just because someone asks you to logically explain any action you take does not mean that you have to give them a logical reason. Logic is really just a way for people to try to manipulate them in to doing what they want sometimes… That’s why statistics lie a lot – change the population of any stat, and the odds are likely that the result of that statistic will change as well. The world is malleable, and not all black and white. People change their thoughts and actions daily. You have the right to not have to justify yourself to anyone other than yourself, and even then sometimes you don’t even need to do that because your subconscious mind knows what the right thing to do is even if your conscious mind does not…


I have the right to judge whether I am responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.

You don’t have the entire world on your shoulders unless you choose to put it there… Take care of yourself BEFORE you take care of others and you might find that you do a better job taking care of both!


I have the right to change my mind.

In other words, your ideas about the way the world is should not be thought of as the only way at any given point in time. You have the right to change what you think about anything at any given point in time, just like anyone else.


I have the right to make mistakes – and to be responsible for them.

No one is perfect. Own your mistakes, but don’t let guilt about them ruin your life.


I have the right to say, “I don’t know.”

That’s right. You can say, “I don’t know” no matter how many people say that you can’t do that. However, don’t take this to the extreme and use “I don’t know” as an excuse for laziness as some people do when asked anything. You have a brain, use it. However, just because you have a brain does not mean that your ideas about the right course of actions to take at any point in time is always 100% yes or no, or whatever. Sometimes you just have to say, “I don’t know” when someone asks you something and expects a yes or no out of you immediately. Take your time and think things over. Don’t let the people around you in your life ruin your life by forcing you to commit to things immediately all the time.

I have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.
Some people many not think so, but you do have the ultimate right to take care of yourself before you take care of others. Who cares what the ladies at church think, or the guys that want you to come out to the bars to drink until you are smashed on a work night. Forget what frat guys using peer pressure are trying to get you to do… Of course your boss wants you to work overtime every day and every weekend. You are the ultimate ruler of yourself and your behaviors. Be responsible and good to yourself! Stand up for your rights!


I have the right to make decisions without using logic.

As mentioned above, logic is really just a way for people to manipulate one another in to thinking the thought patterns that the logic giver is giving. Throwing logic out the door can sometimes get you what you want. That manager at the grocery store won’t come to talk to you – maybe you should stand in line at the check out counter and refuse to move until he changes his mind. If that doesn’t work, maybe you should take your shirt off (if you are a guy – no need to break the law ladies)… and then yell a bit louder… pound your fists on that darn table and raise a ruckus. Who cares if logic tells you that you are embarressing yourself and will get no response. Taboos are a part of the logic that is deeply embedded in our society and sometimes they exist for stupid reasons that really are not all that logical at the core…

I have the right to say, “I don’t understand.”
The only dumb question is one that’s never asked.

I have the right to say, “I don’t care.”
That’s right. Who gives a hoot is sometimes the best answer! Who cares if your sister is mad at you for not coming to her Christmas party when you really want to go to your in-laws that is at the same time instead. She’ll get over it. Who cares what the ladies at Church think. They are not your God.

The assertive bill of rights is to mainly be reserved for use when you are dealing with people that are manipulating you because you don’t want to make yourself out to be a real pushy jerk… but for folks that are not too assertive naturally, sometimes, that may not be such a bad idea… perhaps they will think twice before they try to stress you out by getting you to do something they want you to do when you really should be doing something else, or just don’t want to do what they want you to do… YOU ARE ALIVE! YOU ARE HUMAN! YOU HAVE RIGHTS TOO!

Interesting Reading – The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Miguel Ruiz is an interesting book. It talks about a lot of things, but mainly how to handle your internal train of thoughts to become more at peace with the world around you.

The 4 Agreements are
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
4. Always Do Your Best.

One of the many themes in the book is that Original Sin does not really exist since the Fall of Man is just a story in our head… but it is much more than that too…

because our conscious minds that are always trying to make up stories about the world around us to help us understand and cope with the world around us based on our own unique psychological pasts, IS that the true Serpent in the Adam and Eve story… not really a serpent so much as a story teller – something that is constantly feeding us lies about the world that we can choose to believe or not to believe.

In many ways what the book is getting in to is a very DEEP and profound understanding about the world, and how to look at the world. I don’t know if I agree with everything that the book’s author believes, but I do believe that a lot of his ideas presented in the book are applicable to all of us in our every day lives.

Sometimes if we take the time to just shut up that little voice in our head that is telling us the way that things are, based on our own perceptions and mis-conceptions that we believe are Truths about reality we can come to realize that there is a lot more to the world around us than our own little single solitary point of view and can start to see the other sides of the multi-faceted jewel of reality that is hidden in the the story of each individual in the world around us… and can go 3 or 4 steps beyond that and start to come to realize that Reality itself is not really necessarily all that we have been taught, but is something much more than that…

and can come to realize that maybe, just maybe, we really were made in the image of God, like the Story of the Fall of Man tells us that we were, and that there really can be heaven on earth and peace everywhere, at least inside of us, if we just change the way we think about things a little sometimes and stop trying to continue to use our past biases and little lies that we have told ourselves in the past that made our reality a little more black and white than it should have really been.

Many years ago I remember that I had an in depth discussion with a Catholic Priest and he told me that the true Fall of Man is that we forgot that we were made in God’s image… Sex was not the problem… it was that Adam and Eve discovered that they could be their own mini versions of God to themselves, and saw things in their own ways, and started trying to make logic out of things, and taking actions to mold the world around them to suit their own needs instead of molding themselves to the world to be at peace with the world. It’s something to think about… It is a very interesting book. It really gets in to some deep psychology that is very simple on the surface, but has deep implications and can help you see the world around you in a new light.

Don’t continue to listen to that biased voice in your head all of the time assuming that it’s always right and has the true Truth about all of the world around you. Sometimes that voice can be wrong. Sometimes it can have a lot of little biases too it that have come in to creation based on some things that have hurt you in your past that you might not even be aware of today. Sometimes it is good to look at that multi-faceted jewel of reality from a different perspective.

Perhaps if more people started looking at things from more than one perspective, and started to really get in to thinking about the world around them instead of rushing around doing things based on assumptions, lies that they’ve been told or told themselves, taking everything personally and seeking revenge because of that, and being overall morally lazy by not doing their very best in all that they do, the world could become a better place, and we might not have as many conflicts about silly things… maybe there would not be as many battles in governement. Maybe there would not be as many wars. Perhaps we could start to bring peace to the entire world around us, both socially, ecologically, and environmentally.

Perhaps we could get back to the true Reality that we were born to embrace – a Heaven on Earth. That reality does exist today. It’s just a matter of changing your attitude and way of thinking about things to make it more of a reality for yourself. Negativity is all around us. It’s blasted at us in the newsrooms. It’s shouted out in all the advertisments everywhere – “You are not good enough to be happy today – Buy a Coke and put it in the coaster in your Ford Truck today so that you can have a supermodel sit next to you as you get a happy life. It’ll just cost you several thousand dollars… ” Stop listening to the lies. Start trying to find the true Reality. It does exist, and is in your grasp, and this book might just help you find it a little easier.