Art Challenges Links

I might possibly try some various Art Challenges eventually in the 1000 day challenge. I’m not sure about which ones, but I’m posting some challenges that I know about here for future reference. Even if I don’t take up the challenge, I feel these links might be helpful to any fellow artists reading this…

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=577284 – Weekend Drawing Events on WetCanvas Forums

http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=197 – Mini Challenges on CG Talk Forums

http://blenderartists.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?22-Speed-Modeling-Contests – Blender Speed Model Challenges

http://forums.newtek.com/group.php?groupid=7 Newtek Speed Model Challenges

http://shootandpaint.blogspot.com/ – Shoot and Paint Blog Challenge

http://www.3dm3.com/forum/f82/3dm3 Challenges

http://www.united3dartists.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=20United 3d Artists forum challenges

http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewforum.php?f=291 – Sketch U Cation Forum Challenge

I think Spindquad.com has challenges too, but won’t put up link now since google is telling me there is malware on that site at the moment…

http://www.good.is/post/the-good-30-day-challenge-art-every-day/ – interesting ideas how to add art to your daily life…

NanoWrimo – National Writing Month is in November. This challenge is to write an entire Novel in November of any given year.

http://www.julieduffy.com/creative-challenge/ – list of various art challenges online

Dictionary of Imaginary Places

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic
is one of the BEST books on fictional places. Lots of interesting maps and various descriptions. If you like fantasy, fiction, or role playing, this is a must have. I used this book a lot back in college when role playing and also for just plain entertaining reading. Love it.

Imaginitive Flight – on this Bright Night

Zodiac was on attack,
——
so Amma got on,
red gown flowing.
——
The horse was pale
white, and warm

on this cold
and listless night.
——-

——
In the spire
there was a squire
who spied his heart’s desire.
——
Hooves of thunder
took her asunder
——
His heart
was constantly bleeding…

Yearning and seeking,
Seeking, constantly seeking.
——
——
The land was plundered
as the hooves thundered
——
——

The Cheshire cat
laid on it’s back

micheviously smiling,
always smiling

——
——
The stars aligned.
The time was fine

when they finally met
in the heart of the city.
——
——

——
Gooving and grinding
musical binding
——
mystical hair
in the air

bodies swaying
ever so lightly
——
celestial choirs,
rythmic squires
——
throbbing & bobbing
orange and reds

currelean blue
strobes went dead

in the moon’s
bright light
——
——
The zodiac attacked the crazy cat.
but the Cheshire keeps smiling.
——
——

——
They did conspire
near the bonefire

twisting and turning
yearning and learning

the two became one
dawning rays of sun

Cheshire went away
——

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.

creative bug done bit.

================
===Caffiene=====
================
Caffiene kills.
Caffiene heals.

Opens the mind.
Shakes and Grind.

Sleepless night
filled with fright

You know your hooked.
Urine smells like coffee.
=========================

It’s a no-go without the logo

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

The Art bug done bit. That is it. Time to be creative.

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

Signs from Heaven or from Hell
Only time will tell.

=============================
I browse in my under-trousers

Blue underlines appear in my browser
leading who knows where

Clickity Click
What a virus? Oh Wowsers!
=============================

==============================
You are just being silly.
Am I?
Yes you are.
Now where’s the ham and jelly?
==============================

================================================
=========HOURGLASS==========
================================================
Hourglass, hourglass why are you here?
Duh, the network is down.

Why is it down?
I got no idear.

Hourglass, hourglass, go away please.
There ain’t no way.
You got a virus that won’t make you sneeze.

Hourglass, hourglass, 8 hours have passed.
Now I’m headed home.

I’ll hide in your email,
and give you a blast.

Hourglass, Hourglass, now why are you here?
You have passed me to your home network my dear.
================================================

Talking in circles, the man did find the lady to ask questions.
She thought he was very smart and inquisitive.

Then one day she discovered the answers were nothing more than puzzles.
She got mad, left so sad. Hearts both were broken.

Such is the story of couples who walk and talk but do not listen.
Learn to communicate. It’ll save you both.

=================================
Number has changed. I have not.
I’m still here. Nothing to fear.

Blah blah blah
bleh bleh bleh

Onwards we go.
No money to blow.

The timing just might be right.
=================================

====================
Spend your life
spinning your wheels
Everyone says chill.

but I cannot.
I WILL NOT!

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

===========================
Language is something.
Language is nothing.

Jibber and a Jabber
Collateral Tatter.

Creative clown
done left town

following after the clatter.

He done found
No one around

===
He and you alone
Alone in the dark
in a moonlit park

Smiling at
Cheshire Cat

It’s on attack
fighting the pack
of the Zodiac.


You know he’ll win
in the end.

Moon cycles turn
as they spurn.

The smiling clown
will wear the crown

staring from afar
as he sits upon his star

staring you down nightly
============================

Oh Lord!
What a Ward.

Used in vain.
It’s insane.

In the night,
In a fight,

even in Church on Sunday.

a few more…

————————————
===========CONFORM==================
————————————
Conform and get rid of your freedom.

Do things my way… the only way…
the way it’s always been done.
====================================

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
=======APPEAL===============
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
It can’t hurt to appeal.
Beg for more money.

You know you don’t deserve it,
nor does your boss!

but you do it anyways…
it can’t hurt to ask…
beg for more money…

Money they don’t deserve.

Money that they use
to make you serve…

Mammon is real and here now.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
+++++=========~~~~~
+++++dReAmS…~~~~~
+++++=========~~~~~
Living in the shadows
your dreams come out.

They are always beside you
but they don’t always shout.

They whisper silently
in your subconcious mind

Driving you ever closer
to the edge.

It is only when
someone you love
teases them gently

softly

that they begin to surface
driving you to become yourself
and start living your dreams.

one small sign of true love.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

=======================
Holy crap.
Screwed up so bad.
What are we going to do?

It’ll all work out.
It always does.

Maybe just not
the way you want it to.
========================

========================
come on now..
you can do it…

Just a few more steps…

OBLIVIOUS OBLIVION
========================

========================
come on now..
you can do it…

Just a few more steps…

Good Boy. Good Girl.
Good God.
========================

========================
come on now..
you can do it…

Just a few more steps…

Good Dog.
========================

========================
come on now..
you can do it…

Just a few more steps…

Good Job.
========================

========================
come on now..
you can do it…

Just a few more steps…

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

=================
=====Act III=====
=================
Dreams die.
So do we.

but…

Life is worth
living.

Don’t make
the biggest mistake

Sometimes we do cry.
It’s ok.

We will live.
Life carries on.

Let it.
Allow it.

Don’t let the 5 act play
end at act 2.

Drama makes life worth living,
even if there are a few sad parts.

Don’t make your life
come to a tragic end,

especially when it’s just beginning…

even if it’s not…
a new beginning
is born daily.

Life is worth living.
Don’t cut it short.
=================================

==================================
I don’t wanna do it mama.
Don’t let them take me away.

Surgeon masks surround the child
as he looks up at the bright light.

Surgery sucks, but it’s needed.
==================================

========================================
Dentist chair and buzzing drill.
Lolipops to cure their ill.

Mickey mouse stickers stop the wails
Ah, Silence at last…

but not for long…
Open up and saw Aw.

Fears and Tears
as pliers come out.

Don’t you shout.
It must come out!

It must come out.
It simply must come out.

the jaw cracks, the tounge is lashed…
blood is everywhere…

but never fear
Almost done my dear…

Just 24 more teeth to go.
=========================================

=====================
=======ZIPPER========
=====================
Zipper of death
Zipper of Life

Camera bag does open.

Lots of toys
Lots of Joys

Click and Shoot.

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

Money comes. Money goes. All it usually brings are woes.

a few poems… simple and complex.

=======================
===LUMPS IN THE DIRT===
=======================
———————–
new brick walls…
new lumps in dirt.

Quadrangles are now triangles.

CHANGES, CHANGES, CHANGES..

Rec center is now 4 times bigger.
Construction everywhere.

CHANGES, CHANGES, CHANGES…

The new garage is really huge.
The new facades are really fake.

CHANGES CHANGES CHANGES…
ALWAYS CHANGING.

but,
The art hall remains the same…
always dirty, always grimy, always in need of repair.

MU’s wasted money…

Says the Millionare
as he passes through the
doors that bear his name.

———————-
Creativity stifled.
Funds are now dried up.
changes everywhere.
———————-

==========================
===REMEMBERING LONG AGO===
==========================
Gone are the days of wandering
around the Ville at night
Gone are the days of wandering
a camera without a light
gone are the days of wandering
paintbrush in my hand
gone are the days of wandering
throughout all of the land

running barefoot in the groves
through the pavement
on the concrete and the stone

10 years and more have passed
time pushes on…

History and Present Clash.

Time to begin the new song.

Time to follow the new path.

singing in the rain
watching the clouds again.

prisms of light and dark.
The greys, greens, blues, violets,

and of course the reds, purples, and
hazy darkness behind the trees so
brilliant red

Don’t forget the Oranges too.
—————————–

=========================
==DISTANCE IN THE DARK===
=========================
In to the night
we shall traverse

far
and
close

only

a
flicker
of
light
between

a small dim yellow flick
or maybe a currelean dab

as the night screen closes in
with ultramarine and precious
prussian blues.

—————————–

==============================
===LITTLE WHITE BUNNY TALES===
==============================
Where the fuck did that go?
Never God Damned Mind.

The cursing times…

Hide the tounge
The kids are near.

Hide the truth
Bring out the Lies

It’s Santa’s time.

Tooth faires sprinkling
different colored glitter
all around…

Why’s the colors different mom?

H377 if I know… Oh no…

I mean… darling dear,
oh me, oh my.

Let me tell you some more lies.
==========================

======================
=======GAPS===========
======================
Gaps between the poems
make you stop and think

times to reflect
times to remember
times to pause

and think.
======================

======================
=====SLOW DEATH=======
=======================
you are alive and well
you are sick and ill

the coughs of sick old
middle aged people
coming from their kids

all life is a poem…
REFRAIN is not far away

sound of the
busy bees working away
in their prison cells

those little things called
cubicles…
=======================

==========================
=====Cube cell hell=======
======ever binding========
======ever grinding=======

10 punch numbers worn off

keyboards dusty for years.

Counting down the days
til the weekends is here.

and freedom from these 4 walls
is clear… at least a while.
============================

http://www.zazzle.com/jeffthomann

I’m going to start using Zazzle more. It’s similar to Cafepress, but also different. I will likely go back to each of my artfolio images and re-upload them to Zazzle eventually, putting a new link to my zazzle account in each of the posts that I’ve already created on Cafepress. That way my products are in both Cafepress and Zazzle. I am also probably going to do likewise for Createspace, and Lulu. Additionally, I’ll likely move some of my images that are on Turbosquid over to Zazzle and Cafepress so that the good photos are on all the markets out there. I’m also investigating a few places that let artists sell their real world artwork directly and not electronically. I might use one of those places to sell originals of some things eventually.

My Zazzle shop is located at http://www.zazzle.com/jeffthomann

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! πŸ™‚

Interesting Reading…

I’m constantly reading various books, blogs, websites, reviewing new material, reviewing old material, and rethinking about some of the content in those books, blogs, websites, etc.

Moving forward, I’m going to reserve the “Interesting Reading” tag and category in this blog for interesting reading articles, website links, links to books that I’ve come across, new thoughts I’ve got on old material, etc. This is not necessarily for “book reviews” so much as to toss an interesting piece of information that I’ve come across at you to think about a little – a pebble of thought, in to this wide Ocean that is the Blogosphere.

Post-New Years Reflections

Over the years I have come to enjoy the fact that that I graduated from college 5 years after I graduated from high school because that means that each of my 5 year and 10 year class reunions for both college and high school all fall on the same years. That makes scheduling things a little easier. It’s also interesting that those years end in 4s and 9s, which means that they are always one year before the 5s and 10s that are my wedding anniversary 5 and 10 year increments. It also means that the times when we add a new digit to the tens part of the calander happens between the time that I have class reunions and the time that my wife and I celbrate our anniversary. All of that combines to make that extended period of several months every few years a neat time to reflect on the past, think about the present, and make plans for the future.

Part of this personal time of reflection this time round is actually what’s driven me to start this blog. It’s been a little over 10 years since I graduated from college, and a little over 15 years since I graduated from high school, and will soon be 5 years that I’ve been married to the most amazing woman in this or any other universe…

Therefore, it’s time to start doing more art related stuff before those turn in to 30 years, 60 years, etc., and I will be looking back in time thinking “what if…”

If you have a deep desire to do something creative, daring, or completely out of the ordinary compared to your average everday life, but have not done it yet, maybe you should challenge yourself to try to take the bull by the horns and try to do whatever you have been dreaming of doing before your next high school reunion….

or actually in a shorter time span… You made your new years resolution, now stick to it no matter the cost. You’ll be proud of yourself as you accomplish things that you actually want to do instead of continuing to just do what others are telling you to do in the mundane chores of your everyday living.

Exhibits Tag and Category

The Exhibits Tag and Category of this blog is reserved for artwork that I have enterered in to various exhibits. I will try to mention in each individual posting, or in the first comment of each posting which exhibits each item was in. I will also try to create a tag, and possibly as category for each individual exhibit. However, the main exhibits tag and category will be applied to all works that were in any exhibit.

Similarly, I’ll try to tag each item with a tag denoting the original year that the item was created. By default I’m tagging all artwork that I know that I created in College with the college and 1999 tags since I graduated in December, 1999, and I might not be able to pinpoint the exact year between 1994-1999 that the college artwork was created. (Yes, it took me 5 and years to graduate from college, but that’s mainly because I took a few extra classes in order to get a theater minor).

Artwork created in Highschool will be tagged with the tags 1994 and highschool because I graduated from highschool in 1994.

Ode to Daily Painful Pleasure…

ring ring… Ring – rwring.. wring… WRING.. RING WRING. RING RING… THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!

The pulsating sensations get loudear and louder. My temples are on fire. The sounds around me begin to echo… I begin to hear more things.. begin to see more things… “What was that?” I ask loudly to no one. I know I saw a dark patch of movement out of the corner of my eye. There it goes again, but this time it’s on the other side. I turn my head quickly to see the dark image haunting me. My neck is now hurting from the whiplash.

THUMP THUMP… RING RING!!!! RING GRING! THUMP THUD! gRIN GRING!!!

Heart is racing wildly! Head is now pounding harder. I feel tingly and yawn. The top of my forehead feels like it got run over by a Mack Truck.

I’m starting to get itchy now..

Scratch Scratch… can’t get rid of that itch… It’s moving from my forearm to the back of my neck… Now my ears are ringing even louder! Back is twitching with the painful throbbing. Knuckles are pounding more and more with every key hit… pulsations of pain and pleasure.

Stomach is gurgling more and more… Feels like very hollow inside…

Gurgle… gurgle… twurl…

RING-RING… THUD THUD! THUMP THUMP! gRING gRING! BA-BUMP! BUMP BUMP!

GAAA! CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Where the heck is that bandanna… got to get it on my forehead to stop the PAIN!

…—000—000—…—
Don’t drink coffee in the afternoon! Don’t drink it in the morning either!

CAFFIENE KILLS! It never heals.

Artfolio vs Portfolio

I plan to tag and categorize all future posts that I consider a part of my true art portfolio as “Portfolio” at some point in the future. This is different than the posts tagged or categorized as artfolio. Artfolio is reserved for all of my artworks posted in this blog, both unfinished and finished as well as works in progress, quick preliminary sketches, ideas, notes on technique, diary type art-related postings, etc. Portfolio tagged items are a subset of Artfolio tagged items which are more finished, and worthy of viewing. A lot of artists don’t like to show the unrefined, unfinished works to the public for a variety of reasons. I like doing this so that it’s easier to see techniques being used, discuss various methods of doing things, discuss the historical rationale behind symbols and patterns being utilized, etc. That’s why I created the artfolio tag and category. The portfolio tag and category is reserved for things that I would, and may actually put in my real world art portfolio. The Artfolio stuff is more of a hodge podge mix of everything I do that’s art related.

Fellow Artists

Items tagged with the tag Fellow Artists are going to be dedicated to some of my fellow artist friends and their websites. Here, I plan to link to websites, blogs, and other interesting online projects that some of my fellow art friends have created, run, or maintain. I’ll try to keep the list narrowed down to artists that I personally know, or have some affiliation with. A copy of these postings will also be added to the Fellow Artists Page in my blog.

Growing up… .stream of conciousness… fleeting thoughts…

growing up … train-of-consciousness running me down!..stream of conciousness… fleeting thoughts, racing through my mind.. dream like visions… life is flashing before my eyes as various realities that I have known come colliding together in kaleidoscope forms making a rainbow prism for myself to see… myself… who I am…

Watching sunsets on Aunt Jo Ann’s porch (the brilliance blinding and beutiful), ruts in dirt roads. Covered bridge. Cows crossing the stream..
lincoln logs,
He man, Spider man, GI Joe and Fonzy
etc.

Fond memories of my dad’s flannel jackets, my great granma’s bonnet, clubhouse/treehouse… space cadets, imagination running wild. I feel like I’m awakening from a dream as I type this and begin letting my brain reconnect with some old memories… neurons are all a chattering away … excitement like a Child awaitng opening presents on Christmas morning… Christmas, Ceder Tree, tinsels, icicles… taking the icicle from the coyote’s cave near grandpa’s farm…

mind is racing as I conciously do what I need to do, at work, and elsewhere… however, I am no automaton. My subconcious races thinking about many thing… both wonderous and mundane. Creativity is flowing through every neuron in my body as I feel a tingle. I know that I am alive. It is good to feel this level of happy exhileration again… to be in touch with who that I am…. knowing that I am… being who I am… I am.

I am reminded of an old meditation that several nun’s and other Catholic mentors that I have related to at various retreats throughout my life have taught me…
Be Still and Know that I am God… Be still and Know. Be still… Be…

zest for life after mourning… inspirations of Jon – He is alive and is proud to be alive… spirit quests… change is good although we don’t like it when and fight it tooth and nail… understanding… wisdom…

It is good to be alive.

====

I am…
I am that.

ALIVE AND WELL here. How are you today?

Jeff’s Art Folio

People say that it’s not good to show “everything” in your online art creation portfolio or “artfolio”. I’m of a different opinion. Although it is important to show things in a pleasing manner, taking display and presentation issues greatly in to consideration, etc., especially in a resume/full portfolio presentation website that is being used to try to get a job, find new clients, etc., it is also fun to show off every darn thing you can… let the viewer see your mindscape in it’s totality. Where have you been, where are you going… what does a work-in-progress look like. What techniques were used to get from point A to point B to point C to a finished work. Process and technique are sometimes just as important, if not more important than the actual finished work of fine art. Sometimes, especially with artwork that uses the dimension of time and space, temporal attributes of the work are part of the main essence of the piece. For that reason, among very many other reasons, I likely will upload some of my older works here someday soon, assuming I can get halfway descent scans or photos of the works.

I’ve tried to do this sort of thing before, many years ago, but never succeeded for a number of reasons – it was simply too time consuming, my digital camera at that time just did not have enough pixel depth to capture things, or my real 35 mm camera cost me too much to have tons of pictures developed that didn’t come out very well since lighting was poor. My hard drive kept crashing due to the unstable Operating System known as Window 98, or Window XP… CDs of my work got scratched due to improper handling as I moved from apartment to apartment on an almost biannual basis, etc… my never-ending quest for a cheap or free webhost provider always ended unsuccessfully – If I am going to do something like this I want it to be around for a while and not disappear the first time that someone forgets to pay an Internet Hosting bill or the first time that a free website provider goes under, as many of them have done in the past. Before blogs became popular, I was going to do this by creating my own website(s), hand coding things, etc. I studied Flash. I studied Javascript. I studied ASP. I studied PHP. I studied Dynamic HTML. I even studied ways to hand code VRML. I studied all that I could about web programming… I studied Photoshop… I studied Illustrator… I studied Quark… I tried to learn as much as I possibly could about doing websites so that I could create the greatest website ever known to exist on the face of the earth…That was an epic failure because of my lack of time and ability to cohesively get everything together, and/or find a webspace provider that offered enough free web space to consume all the stuff I wanted to put online… Nowadays, with this blog, which I hope to maintain for as long as I possibly can, and various free image hosts, I think it’s time to make this never-ending quest for Jeff’s online artfolio to come to a real conclusion right here and now!

Going foward in time from now, postings tagged as artfolio, painting, drawing, pastel, digital painting, oil, acrylic, color pencil, etc., will be postings of my artwork, and each will probably a little description or at least title for each work. All works considered to be a part of the artfolio will be tagged and categorized as artfolio so that you can get to them easily without reading a lot of other postings about other things that I post about.

I plan to upload a lot of art, and create more to upload in the future…. I’m also going to try to put most of it on cafepress products and link to them from the artfolio, just in case you see something you like and might want to buy on mug, poster, greeting card, or something else. I know that most of it will never get a sale that way, but you never know. I would have never thought that people would buy some of the photos that they have purchased over the years on turbosquid…

I also might try selling some of the original artwork at some point in time when the time is right… and there comes to be a need to sell some of the stuff. In today’s digital world, what exactly is an original work of art anyways?!?… there’s a philisophical question for ya.

Some of ther artfolio work is on ok quality of work. Some of it is near perfection. Some of it severely sucks as artwork, but might have some other interesting quality that makes it worth taking a look at by more people than are looking at it right now, at is sits in a closet or sketchbook somewhere collecting dust… There are some interesting transitions in my style over time, interesting themes I like to revisit over time, etc. This is all stuff that art historians typically study once an artist is dead… Why let them make guesses after I’m dead since I’m alive right here and now?!?… I’ve never understood why artists don’t try to show their ALL to the public. Reveal the inner workings of their minds. We, as creative people, have a lot to offer to the world. Without further ado, welcome to “Jeff’s online Artfolio!”

Feel free to comment on various postings. I love feedback, both positive and negative (although in most real world art classrooms, it’s typically peferred that if you have something negative to say that you offset it with something positive to say – Constructive Criticism is what I’m really looking for…). In the future I may create “Jeff’s online Portfolio” which will be a subset of the Artfolio that focuses only on the best works in a more “traditional” portfolio website type of format. Until then, enjoy the upcoming visual feast.

Fantasy Lands…

Wikipedia is bad for studying fantasy game worlds in mmorpgs since they have rules that keep that sort of thing from staying in posts there…. can’t verify blah, blah, blah… which is weird since they have entire sections on fantasy places in literature

like Oz…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Oz

Land of Oz

Mavel Universe,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_universe

and even Heroes…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroes_(TV_series)

etc.

I guess for now, folks in Entropia will just have to continue to use places like http://www.entropedia.info/ because the place that should describe all of these sorts of things in detail, wikipedia, refuses to do so. Gigantic bias against virtual game worlds there on wikipedia in my opinion, which is really too bad… How are places that real people visit with their avatar every day less real and needing to be in there than silly make believe places like the land of Oz?, especially since places in Entropia Universe are paid for with real world money?

Something that really frustrates me about all of this is that they apparently have different rules for different virtual worlds… since they apparently don’t mind listing locations inside of the virtual universe of Warcraft… even though it’s an MMROPG and is “less real” than Entropia since it’s based entirely on a virtual gold system instead of a PED system that has a real world monetary system as the PED is tied to the dollar in a 1:10 ratio.

Silence at last… will be missed… at work…

Silence at last… will be missed… at work… It’s been nice working half an hour after everyone else leaves, and their perpetual blah, blah, blah has left the room – there’s peace, silence, and beauty that can finally let me concentrate a little… but that might be changing soon since our schedules are probably changing early next year. Oh well, the tradeoff will be nice since it’ll be neat to get out of work earlier.

I-70

Every day that we go to work (Tekla and I carpool) we get the pleasure of down I-70, crossing the Missouri River Bridge near Roacheport, Missouri. When we started doing this a long time ago, I didn’t like it much since I-70 can be pretty dangerous sometimes. Vehicles moving that close together at 70 miles an hour is a little wiked at time, especially if there’s ever a wreck and you have to slam on your breaks very quickly before you smash in to something or someone in front of you… However, over time, I’ve grown to not mind it, and actually enjoy it.

It’s a beautiful drive even if the sun is right in our faces going to and from work some times of the year since it’s right on the horizon almost directly in front of us. I really like watching the clouds and landscape as we drive in this beautiful area. There’s a lot of little things we see daily on these trips – you know, little landmarks and things along the way, that sort of act like a sort of metaphysical reassurances that we are on the right path home, etc.

There’s a big hill you go down right before and after you get to the river… really it’s all a large valley that used to actually be under water many, many, many years ago before people started using dams and things. There’s always more weather in this hidden little gem of a valley that has lots of rich colors, and soil. Fog comes here many times when it’s no where else along the road because of the river. Lightning and rain storms come here more often than other areas along the road between our home and Columbia. It is a very natural location. There are many trees and signs of life here in bushes, wild flowers, and occassionally animals we see along the way… There is also a rail road that is just before the bluffs that travels under the highway. Going away from Rocheport on the other side of the river, up that hill near the train tracks seems a bit steeper than going the other direction. Semis have trouble with that hill sometimes – if you want to pass them, on that climb up to the corner is the best place since they will slow down as they go up the hill… but do it quickly – they will gain speed again once they come around the bend. The hill in this location seems a lot more spooky and a lot longer distance at night than it is in the day time. In the day time is is a neat place since you are staring in to the horizon’s beauty. At night, it’s dark and there’s sillohettes all over the place so it’s a little freaky somedays, especially on snowy days when speeds on the highway are low for everyone. Snowy days in the daytime are a little bad too since that heavy blanket of clouds hangs over this location near the river heavily with a dull, middle grey tone to all the colors that are normally brilliant in the shining sun here…

I love taking photos of clouds in this area since the sky is so wide and open so you can see many colors and shapes in the clouds that you will not see in the city because of power lines and building structures everywhere. However, pictures never do the place justice since they are only two dimensional renderings using cymk instead of real life 3d rgb backlighting on the biggest stage in the world – the great outdoors. Similarly, there’s another area without a lot of overhanging trees and things near the first exit of Boonville and near Midway, both of which are about equidistance from this River spot on I-70. Since it’s almost impossible to slow down and stop in the middle of the river, even though it is possible to stop in Rocheport – the view from there is not that great until you get to the bluffs themselves… by where the Winery is… which is a hassle to get to… I use the places near Midway and Boonville to pull over and take sky shots on occassion because there’s such huge expanses of uninturrupted sky there. It is nice to pull over in places like that and take a few snapshops of God’s great huge abstract paintings in the sky! πŸ™‚

Textures in cloud formations are always rich and ever changing. Many colors of the rainbow lives in these areas. Sometimes even rainbows themselves live here since the river creates neat misty clouds that are low to the ground occassionally.

A little closer to Columbia, there is a smaller river, more of a creek – actually it is a creek, that has a golf course next to it. The golf course floods out a lot, and it’s interesting to see the water formations on the little manmade hills out there on the green when that happens. There’s also a massive amount of power lines just across the highway from there that create a gentle, curvey black line that moves from pole to pole with nothing else around it… that shines in splendor on occassion as sunlight on the Western Horizon bounces off of it … creating an amazing Chiarascuro effect that I’ve tried to photograph before but have never captured. I have wanted to do a painting of it for a long while but have not got around to it yet…

Just a little closer to Columbia from there, just outside of the city limits really, there’s a side road that runs from Stadium Blvd to Dawn, where my Aunt and Uncle live. Going from Columbia heading West, there’s a very unique and interesting visually harmonous formation that I love that is created by this little hilly side road sitting next to the straight and wide black expanse of highway that is I-70. The overpass right there probably helps that effect become a little more apparent, as does the fact that the sun is usually on the horizon when we typically drive past there. That’s something else I’ve been contemplating about doing a painting of. I think part of it is just a love of that area itself – when I was a lot younger my cousin and I used to jog in that area, over the overpass, and swing back out past the junk yard hidden by the great wall that you can still see the beauty of the uglieness of the junkyard through, on around a vast expanse of trees, and over to the mall where you connect back to the other side of the road on the overpass at Stadium…. There is a lot of beauty everywhere if you open your eyes to it. That’s what I love about art. It helps me open my spiritual eyes to the beauty around me. My camera is my “light” version of a sketchbook – used to capture many textures, colors, and other things. Even the most mundane place can be brilliant if you look close enough! πŸ™‚

I might post some pictures of all of this stuff here in the blog sometime. I have taken multiple photos of various aspects of it all before, but never really put it all together in one piece and wrote about it like I am here. Maybe I’ll change that in the near future! πŸ˜‰

I’m glad that I’ve taken up blogging again, and am doing it in this weird way of putting all my thoughts on a lot of stuff in here… it’s sort of like keeping a diary or sketchbook back in the days when I did sketchbooks daily. There’s a lot of creativity I can feel brewing under the surface of my daily life. Maybe this blog can help me punch a hole in the bubble of cancerous negative false skin that’s keeping that radiance inside of me from shining to the world… πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰ No, I’m not on crack. I’m just glad to be alive and am glad that I’m able to percieve the world in a positive manner. Doom and Gloom hit me too hard sometimes. It’s good to get over that negative stuff that’s pulling me down and move on.

This little light of mine… I’m gonna let it shine… let it shine… let it shine… let it shine…

truth be told…

we hold these truths to be self evident – there is no one version of the truth. The truth is a multi-faceted jewel. In our limited perceptions of space and time, biased by our own unique psychological histories, we can only see one small bit of truth that we claim as our own. The problem is that when we see that, our truth, which is one small part of the gigantic diamond that is reality, we sometimes try to get others to see what we are seeing as the truth of reality, but in the mean time they cannot see that because they are having the same problem – you see they are standing in a different place than we are… seeing another part of the spectrum that makes up the many colors of the prism that is radiating from the crystal of the real truth. We need to be careful when we do this… argueing gets us no where… all it does is lead to war and strife. It is hard to remember this sometimes… but knowledge and wisdom is the path we should follow to live in this world in true peace and harmony like the peace the many religions of this world teach us but that few of those that put themselves under the banners of those religions actually try to embrace fully since they are still hiding behind the blinders that makes them only see one small sliver of the real truth that is reality, pretending thatit’s the only truth when in fact it is only one of many truths if they would just be truthful with themselves and open to honestly embrace the true world peace they claim to want. Be very careful to percieve your world, but also to open your eyes to the true reality that may be bigger than you thought it was in the past. People say that the origin of the phrase scapegoat comes from an old farmers ways of doing things in the olden days where he’d let a goat lead the lambs to the slaughter house… Be careful not to be led directly to your own distruction by old goats. Some teachers of the truth have a lot to offer, but just remember, sometimes, their truths may not be the entire truth, and sometimes you should open your eyes a bit so that you are not blinded completely when one small ray of sunshine is in your eyes, making you wake up from a dream, but it really is not a ray of sunshine – just an artificial 100 watt bulb that someone switched on. There’s a lot more to reality than we can know in totality in human lives. Don’t go to war to protect your truth when your truth may only be part of the truth… Do uphold your truth, but remember to always think about why you believe your truth is THE Truth. I am probably truly confusing myself now and you too with all this rambling… so I’ll quit now while I’m at least partly ahead.