Sunday, January 1, 2017

Heron sketch

Hello, January 1.
I'm going to see if I can jump back into being more creative. We'll see how it goes. The above is at least a start.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Learning Techniques I Should Already Know

So, lately, I've been listening to some fantastic podcasts about Photoshop and Illustrator and all manner of designing with the Adobe products. The things I shoulda but didn'ta know could fill a house--they've filled several, several, several hours of my daily commute and I haven't even listened to half of their casts yet. (The podcasts are Adobe Creative Suite Podcast with Terry White, Photoshop Quicktips, Photoshop Killer Tips, and Photoshop User TV.)
I've been trying some of the techniques I've learned and I wanted to share some of the results:

Before Editing: Blooms, April 2011

After Editing: Blooms, April 2011

Here is one more:

Before: Heron in Profile

After: Heron in Profile
Geez. Not perfect, but goodness I'm enjoying playing around. I'll post more pictures as I learn new techniques and practice.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Great Blue Heron

After the botanical garden and it's outdoor gardens, I decide to walk down to the Smithsonian. As I'm leaving the National Garden, a Great Blue Heron swoops overhead then lands on the roof of the National Museum of the American Indian.
National Museum of the American Indian 

Museum plus heron.

I took the above picture from across the street. I was hoping to get closer before the heron flew away. Alas, I didn't make it before the heron took off... but he didn't go far. In fact, he flew down into a pond in front of the building. I spent a good half hour watching the heron stalk and eat some fish. Needless to say, I didn't get down to the Smithsonian, but this was so much better.

One of my favorite pics from the trip.

Washington, DC trip

Last weekend Jane and I took a trip to DC. She went to a conference which left me to walk my knees off in the city... which I proceeded to do. Being the true dork I am, I spent a little more than two hours at the US Botanic Garden. Currently running is their Orchid Mystique exhibit. Here are some of the pictures of the orchids I took. I only regret I didn't keep records of the names of these orchids.

This one's not so much about the flowers as the water droplets.

If you haven't been to the botanical garden, you should definitely go. 
Baby Pineapple

Cacao Pod. 

More bananas.

Don't forget to look up!

I'll post more pictures as I go through them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

So, a crazy thing happened the other day... I finished Jane's book cover. Wooooooowooo! But, of course, I can't show you. You're just going to have to take my word for it. I will give you a teeny, tiny little glimpse of a small part of it.
Jane seems to like it. That's a relief. And, I just sent the publisher, Bryan at Sibling Rivalry Press, the file. He seems to like it, too. Two for two, unless you also count me. Then, it's three for three. I think this is a triumph.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Car Smashed

So, sometime after Jane and I returned home Sunday night (around 10:30 pm) after seeing Portlandia onstage at the Trocodero and before I left for work Monday morning (around 6:45 am), some citizens of the world decided that our car (named Easter Egg) housed something they just couldn't live without. I actually don't know if it was one person or dozen; I just know they broke out the passenger window and left the car an absolute mess.
Here's basically what I found:

In the top left of the photo, I wrote the the following:

Things they took:
1. Altoids tin with backup headphones in it
2. Bluetooth headset
3. USB car adapter
4. Small bottle of lotion
5. Probably some change (less than a dollar)

Things they didn't take:
1. Water bottle (Christmas present)
2. My turtle talisman that sits on the dash
3. My heart and paper crane amulets that
    hang from the rearview mirror
2. Coffee mug
3. Garden/Knife tool
4. Two blankets
5. Umbrella
6. Spare computer mouse
7. Two pairs of gloves
8. Audio cable for plugging in mp3 player
9. A bunch of CDs (they missed the third
    glove compartment)

Things they left behind:
1. The rock they used to break the window.
    (I still have the rock. I don’t know why.)
2. Broken glass everywhere. They broke the
    passenger window, but I found glass in
    driver’s side cupholder where the water
    bottle had been left the night before..
3. An absolute mess of google maps, insurance
    cards, registration information, various car
    manuals and maintenance receipts.
    (Who knew a couple of glove compartments
    held so much.)

I still have the rock. Like I said, I don't know why. I certainly didn't want to toss it back into the park, probably from whence it came (just so it could be used again to bash something). I also couldn't bring myself to throw it in the garbage can when I was at the car wash vacuuming out all the glass. I feel a weird urge to reclaim the rock. From or for what, I don't know. I think I'll put it in our garden this summer.

The Rock

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Year. More Photos.

I'm currently working on a book cover design for Jane Cassady. Her book, For the Comfort of Automated Phrases, is being published by Sibling Rivalry Press later this year. To help with that project, I've been collecting images, taking photos, looking at color palettes, for inspiration. Jane found this clock at the Philadelphia AIDS Thrift Shop. It's genius, though it doesn't work.

Inside the little area to the left of the clock face is a scene with two birds in front of some foliage.

No, this is not supposed to be a snow scene. That's years of accumulated dust! Both disgusting and oddly compelling. Anyway, I've taken about a hundred pictures of this clock trying to get a good picture of the clock face (reflective bubble glass/plastic=grrrr) and the clock as a whole itself. Here's a few of them.

Yes, I even put the clock in our tub to take some pictures. I'm not sure why, though I do love the weirdness of the photos. Anyway, the clock is the primary object I'm obsessing over right now as I try to put together this cover. But, it's not the only image/aesthetic cue. Here are a few others, some offered by Jane and others happened upon by myself.

The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths by Bruce Nauman

Close-up of part of the book cover for The Night Circus

Legend to Marcel Duchamp's The Large Glass

Umbrella cover from a Marimekko umbrella.

Still from opening sequence of The United States of Tara.
That's about it, for now. As I put together images and color schemes, I'll post some of the results--the good, the bad and the ugly.
Wish me luck.