Archive for August, 2010

Greek spam

MMMM sounds yummy but I’m actually talking about the spam comments I keep getting on my blog, I trash them and mark as spam so you’d never see them but but they keep coming back….what is the point of sending out this message:

можно было бы и без мата..
очень интересно. СПАСИБО.
Это — позор!
Прикольные слова
Могу порекомендовать зайти на сайт, где есть много информации на интересующую Вас тему.

Who the hell can read that? Zorba? I can’t. Is this effective?  And for that matter, the people who think that hacking someones email account and using their address book to send out ads for VitaTrimspa3000 and Vyagra is not the smartest. Who would buy anything from someone they just got duped by? I have no idea what they teach the marketing people in Greece and China and Botswana but this kind of selling  just doesn’t work. It’d be like a guy dressed as a Mormon coming to my door (I like Mormons) and once I open it they start in with their overstocked gotta move em frozen steak pitch… Sorry, that’s a nogo por moi. Whatever happened to good old, straightforward lying in advertising? The Doctor who prefers PallMalls because they sooth the throat. There are about 4 lies right there. Why be sneaky when you can just lie…. I actually love contemporary advertising because the powers that be have realized the only way to get the peoples attention is to be funny and or provocative. Like the latest ad for Dish network or whatever, the Russsian guy with the pet miniature giraffe… Brilliant. And the most brilliant thing is the dogs playing poker in the background. You don’t see them at first but it makes you pay attention to the ad the second and third time around. Doesn’t make me want to get a Dish but I will at least watch the whole thing. My Dad and I used to watch football and when the commercials would come on he would either say “good ad” or “poor ad”. Probably why I got into advertising. Don’t know why I never liked football.


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why we paint what we paint

I was talking with fellow McRae art studio artist, Matthew Cornell about the nature of what we paint. We talked about why we make the choices we do. That’s nearly impossible to answer on behalf of other artists but I do have some theories. Art does one of several things; informs, documents, challenges or confronts, narrates and, finally, decorates. The latter is done really as a commercial enterprise so money would be the real motive. The art that challenges is generally considered unpopular to all but a handful of people because it goes against the norm. What we find challenging one year is not so the next. For example, the Impressionist movement was considered very controversial in it’s day, now Monet paintings hang in most halls and bathrooms around the country. The new controversial stuff is, well, controversial, and hard to like but maybe in 50 or 100 years it will be considered the norm and maybe people will have piles of salt with burned plastic babies in their bathrooms.

I’m more of a documentor, a landscape artist and painter of stuff; boats (above), interiors and the like. The still life might fall in the realm of the decorative, depending on how it’s done but there are a few artists whose work transcends that genre, Daniel Sprick is one. Winslow Homer, Sargent and Joaquin Sorolla fall into a more narrative/documentative category with work that tells a story or explains the everyday goings on at the time. The ideal is to create work that is both true to yourself and sellable but the two don’t always go together. The lesson usually is paint what you love unless of course you really need to make a buck.

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new adjustment layer

I’m not really a computer savvy guy but I learn a thing here and there, mostly stuff that is relevant to what I do and not much else. I’ve never played a video game but I have fiddled with photoshop a little. One little problem I’ve encountered is (and it doesn’t happen often) what do I do with a washed out image if I want to paint from it. In this case I have an old slide, ca. 1950’s, that’s a little washed out. Maybe many of you don’t have photoshop CS2 or whatever so this may not apply but I’ve figured out a little thingygizmo that really helps to enhance a weak image. Normally you would go to levels to boost the midtones or darks and that’s a good start but if you go to Layer>new adjustment layer> you have a choice of levels, color balance, curves, etc and click on one, you get a little box. At the bottom is a a button that says normal, click on that and choose multiply. What that does is transparently layer a copy of the image on itself. You can mess with the values or the color balance of each layer and really get a full and more inspiring image.

At left is the original image at the top, next is just adjusting the levels and that the bottom is the new adjustment thingy. It’s subtle but makes a big difference as far as getting information into the washed out areas. I thought it was kinda cool.

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I don’t know what got into me but I decided to manufacture a maritime painting, rather than do it the way I normally do, which is to go to a marina and paint them while they sleep. I guess I found this wave reference that had a nice diagonal and then found a shot of a boat under sail that I liked and decided to put them together. Now I’m not really a technical marine artist, I don’t know my aft from a hole in the ground… I just happen to like painting boats. For example this is a skipjack, it’s a bay boat used for fishing and gathering oysters. You probably wouldn’t find it out in deep water but who says there can’t be a sudden swell in the bay? I’ve been in our own Tampa Bay sailing with a sizable swell. Anyway, it just sort of developed into a painting, first the diagonal, then the boat and then the idea for the foreground to be in shadow and the light licking the top of the sails. I took it down to my fav boat gallery in Vero and she was unsure about it, she says her peeps like boats at rest, the more peaceful the better. I’ll hold on to it, maybe send it up north. 20″x24″

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This just in

I did a block in for this that I was going to post along with this image but damned if I can’t find it. Oh well. Here’s a very recent painting of boats in Italy. 30″x40″. I’m taking it down to my favorite boats gallery in Vero, Meghan Candler art gallery. Great lady, great gallery.

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one I forgot

Jini asked me to post this painting, at least I think this is the one she meant. I forgot to post it but it’s from the Easton event. It’s called The captains house because, apparently it was the captains house at one time. 12×16. Painted in the baking sun while standing in a parking lot.

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I posted a while back about a pricing conundrum for a public art job which I’ve resolved and have now completed. They wanted 2 large paintings, a 4’x7′ and a 70″x70″ quadtych (not sure if that’s a word) and a donation piece. They asked for loose, slightly abstracted cityscapes and I chose the theme of night and day and ordered 5 cradled wood art boxes rather than canvas. These will be hanging where there will be a lot of people and canvas is susceptible to sharp objects and these art boxes are pretty rigid structures. Plus our very own Cindy Anderson who has a frame shop at the studio makes them. First up is the study I did for their approval and then the final painting. They came by for review and loved it and said  just go for the next one don’t bother with a sketch. And no I didn’t paint these on site, I went downtown shot a bunch of pics and stitched them together in photoshop, adding to the fractured quality of these images.

Night. I was very happy with the way these turned out. They are big and the key to doing them was a lot of paint and a lot of medium and big brushes. I’m really hoping to do more like this just for me. Drawing them out rather than projecting them up allowed me to move things, push lines and refined the compositions.If you are ever in Orlando and you go to see a game at the new arena, that’s where you will find these.

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