Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lots of things (new structure)

Good day again, blogger world! :)

What's new
I've decided to divide up my subjects so that it's easier to get to everything I want to talk about. My last post was pretty much entirely a news post - but it was big news, as least for me ^_^. In other news, I'm going through a bunch of my old paintings, mostly from 2007, from Advanced Painting, Intro Figure Painting, Largescale painting and Intermediate Painting. Some of them still look pretty good. I've let some auctions go by already, which is a shame, but hopefully something will come up where I can donate a piece or too. I'm having to move them out, you see. This is hopefully just a precursor to moving myself out, but that's a whole other story. I'm not sure all of these are exactly auction or art store material. Some are more fleamarket grade, now that I look at them again. It's sometimes hard to know what to do with the nudes. The ones that don't show faces can be sold (though you have to be careful what you post online), but the ones that do require a little more though. Some of these are just so big I don't know how I'll get them from point A to point B. Hopefully I can get someone else's help with that, if need be. Right now I'm getting them cleaned up (painting the edges and whatever else needs doing). Hopefully I'll be able to sell at least a few, and find good homes for all of them, (or at least a fitting end, in one or two cases).

Shown first here is "Baby Puppet". Possibly the best of the bunch. Always hard to part with those ones, but that's what makes them good enough to sell. It's 4X4', which might make it a little bit harder to find a home for, but we'll see. Below is a study I was doing for a larger work. Unfinished, not really a sale item (though I am noticing it looks alright in this post). I may simply get rid of the canvas and keep the stretcher - always a little bit painful, but sometimes that's what has to happen.

Latest work
Still working on the silk painting. I'm feeling good about how recent experiments have worked out, particularly this sample.

I continue to do housekeeping in my Cafepress. Going back through the sections of my shop, I can see how my process has become more streamlined. I've learned a few things about what works and what doesn't.

-Wide boarders work well. Having a lot of room between the edge of an image and the subject of an image makes things a lot easier in terms of having room for "bleed" (the sides of the image overtaking the sides of the printable area. Also...
-Images without backgrounds work well too. You can't do this with a jpeg, but you are allowed to upload photoshop files to Cafepress, and that means you can have the edge of the subject be the edge of the image, making the surface of the product itself the background.
-Certain shapes (particularly circular and square designs) work well for printing on multiple items. Particularly because a lot of items have print areas that are specifically circular or square (patches on shirts, for example). Sometimes a square image can be used on circular print areas as well, as long as it has enough of a bleed edge.

One thing I haven't done yet is work with the templates for each product. That will add a whole new dimension to the work, I'm sure.

Before I move on, here is a recent addition to my shop, just posted today:

IB Wine Glass Jewelry Case Inkblot Wine Glass Inkyboots Designs (by Robyn MacKinnon)

The design isn't new, but it's one of my more popular ones. The jewellery case is one of the newer products on Cafepress. A nice little thing. Lends itself to a lot of designs.

Book review

Still getting through "Generation T". My disintegrating pink nightgown is now a pile of pink yarn, which I've decided I will turn into a sachel, with the pocket sewn on the side. Or maybe on the inside, where it won't get ripped as easily. This might be the most versatile idea from this book (T-shirt yarn). One things they should have mentioned, though, is how to pull the individual pieces of yarn so they curl in on themselves, making more convincing yarn. I actually learned this from a youtube video (0:39). It's a little thing, but it makes all the difference.

Haven't tried this particular craft yet, but it looks like fun. The web is such a great resource these days, for everything, but definitely for arts and crafts.

Alright, I'm going to wrap this up here. Gotta love a good long blog post (as long as it has plenty of visuals ^_^). Later blogger world!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tumbling thoughts, and the highlight of my year :).

Good day again, Blogger world!

I have so many things bouncing around in my head right now. Ideas, things to do, things I need to do.....That I needed to update my blog was one of them, so I will start with this.

This week was good. Really good, starting on Thursday, when one of my peeps on the Evan Lysacek fan forum brought this to my attention:

Evan Lysacek on WhoSay


We had all sent birthday greetings to him. I did up a home made card with one of my drawings printed on it - one I really liked, and I hoped he would like too. Seriously, what a cool guy! I felt like it was MY birthday all over again. Total high for the rest of the day! ^_^

BTW, here is a clearer picture of the drawing, uploaded to my deviantart:

Roxanne 2 by ~Eseopia on deviantART

This really is encouraging. To get appreciation like that - it's special. It comes very timely. I've been trying to breathe life into my art career, especially now that shifts are hard to come by. Sometimes it feels like I'm in the perfect position to head on my ideal life's path - but without much tangible payoff as yet, it's easy to feel the pressure. I'll just have to keep doing working and making art, try to make at least quasi-sensible choices, and keep a good outlook. At least that last part just got a little easier :).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day by Day.....

Hello again blogger world!

I've been able to get a lot of artmaking done lately. It feels really good, and I'm so grateful to be able to do that. I feel like I'm making it work, little bit by little bit. Sometimes it takes a while to get started, but hopefully in the not-to-distant future, I'll have something that looks like a career I can stand on.

The silk painting is going well. Freestyling with it is really fun, but I'm also getting used to the effects I can create and use. Having worked in ink helps a lot. I even tried using brush pen the sketch on the silk/cotton. I think it gave the wash some coppery tinges, though it could be that there was extra paint in the brush. The tinges remind me of the colours you might get from letting a drop of water fall on a black ink mark. More interesting things to explore.

I'm trying an actual silk painting at this point, or at least a first draft of a silk painting I'd like to execute on a larger scale. I feel good about it so far - again, it's acting something like brush and ink, which I've enoyed working with before.

As for the "Generation T" experience, that is inching along too. I've tried the corsette back idea already (the best part of a not exactly successful project...), and I've done a couple of ruching experiments. One of these resulted in an accidental bikini top :P. Not realistically wearable for me, but probably for somebody (my duct tape body double from college wears it pretty well, at least).

At the bottom of this page is another of my favorite T-shirts. Though it is technically a nighty, it's the same kind of fabric, and roughly the same shape, as a T. I wore this until it started fraying off it's seams. Now it's time to move on.

That's probably enough for tonight. It's late - I'm up late watching a Discovery channel program called "Alien Encounters". A hypothetical first contact scenerio. Gets me thinking. What would I do if aliens were coming? It's hard not to think of it as a potential armageddon scenerio. That's a good question to ask one's self too. There are definitely things I want to do that have little or nothing to do with my career. Moving long distances would be necessary, fair amounts of money would likely be necessary, and a considerable time investment too. As with anything worth doing.

I've got 3 big wishes. One is independance. Nothing unusual. Hopefully I'm heading for it. Maybe not on the fastest course, but heading for it. I suppose one of my requirements must be an independant life as an artist - otherwise I'd be on my own by now. The second is....to meet Evan Lysacek. Yes it is. I won't go on about it, I'll just say it would make me very happy. Doesn't sound that hard when I write it out. And hey, at the rate he travels the world, maybe my chances aren't that bad. OK, number 3. To be on So You Think You Can Dance. That used to be "Be on So You think You Can Dance Canada", but evidently I took too long preparing >_<. That CTV chose to axe my favorite show (and, well, my dream) burns me up just a little. Reason? Low ratings on the season 4 finale, if I remember correctly. The finale that coincided with the 10th anniversary of 9-11 (people might have been watching other things that day - and yes, I still caught the finale). Maybe I've prepared too half-hartedly. It isn't too late yet, technically. At least I have a deadline. 30 years old, then time's up. On to the next thing. Where was I going with this? What would I do if the world were about to change forever? I guess I know one reason why it's a good idea to ask that question - because even those plans take time, and we never know what kind of time frame we're really working with.

*Whew* It is defintely time to pack it in! Whoops - almost forgot tags! OK, that's it. 'Till next time Blogger world! -_-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, June 9, 2012

On to the next thing....

Good day, Blogger world!

As I type, I'm watching Mythbusters, with a laptop resting on 3 boxes full of fabric strips. These will appear in this blog again at some future time, if all goes according to plan. The silk veil from post 2, and its subsequent twin, worked out well, though they also yielded some lessons and things to try next time. Next time I need to paint two of anything, I'll have to see if I can't do it by letting the paint saturate through both layers (suggested by a friend). Silk saturates pretty fast, so I anticipate interesting and unexpected effects.

On to the next thing. I have this book. Actually, I have lots of books. Craft books. I can't get enough of them! They're like catalogues full of customizable goodies! Also tricks, secrets, and ideas to try in my own experiments. This particular book is big on those last three, though it's got some good full-length projects too. This is something I'd love to start doing on this blog: Craft book reviews. Not just reading them and writing about them, but making the projects and writing about my experiences :). I've already started the review for this one:

The book is "Generation T: 108 ways to transform a T-shrit" by Megan Nicolay. Like most people, I've always had T-shirts. I have a couple of old T-shirts that I’ll wear right out before I even think about cutting into them. My beloved “Summer Rock Camp ‘95” T shirt, which I’m wearing right now, is one of them. It’s comfortable, loose, and comes with good memories of the Rock and Roll music camps I went to as a kid.

The other is one my Mom found at a flea market. Splashy red to purple dye job with black outlined stars and moon, plus a large red comet-blob above text pronouncing a fiery end to the cow that jumped over the moon. The back simply says 1988 Jason J. Brown (upside-down, as I just noticed :P).

These are my sleeping shirts, and I am so very proud of them ^_^. I had (and still have) a large number of T-shirts I was sentimentally attached too, but didn’t wear nearly as often as I do my sleep shirts. Many of them went into the first project I completed out of this book (yes, I’ve already gotten some use out of it) - the Quilt that now covers my bed (must remember to get a snapshot next time I make my bed).

On to the book! Right off the bat, I am assured that I’ll find something to inspire me in “Generation T”. This has already proven true. I am also told that I won’t have to learn a new skill (many of these projects don’t even require sewing) and I won’t have to shop for materials at “specialty stores”. Rare is the craft book that can promise that (we’ll see if it holds true). With any luck, the farthest I’ll have to go is Value Village (what would really impress me is if I managed to explore this book in full without making one shopping trip). I may have already defeated that hope by picking up those Neon Ts from Michaels a while back, but if I don’t have to go shopping during the course of this exploration/book review, I’ll still consider it a success.

(Note to self - plug my Cafepress T-shirts at every opportunity! @_@)

It isn’t often that I read the preamble at the beginning of a craft book (even if it’s for my own good :P). It’s all I can do not to plunge ahead with this one too (I suppose I have already, having already done the quilt). It occurs to me that they aren’t including a sewing machine in the list of tools I’ll need. I may end up going to the machine anyway, though I’ll be relieved not to be restricted to the sewing room. The explanations of different tools are detailed, even going so far as to explain what things like needles and straight pins are. At least it's comprehensive.

(Note to self - I can design pins - as in buttons - in my Cafepress to…O_o).

I'm now writing this entry a few days later than I started it (in fact the review itself is something I started writing a while ago). So I'll wrap this up here, with a little more self-promotion for good measure ^_^. As I mentioned before, I have a Cafepress shop featuring products with my designs on them. And yes, many of those products are T-shirts. I promised myself I would avoid making new purchases during the course of reviewing this book, but really, it's all I can do not to think of the possibilities where DIY meets customization :D.

Cafepress has a widget generator, but I seem only to be able to get a few products on it, all with the same design. No sense is being made by this, but at least I can (hopefully) show you this adorable pet T-shirt with my Inkblot Dragon design on it :).

Make Custom Gifts at CafePress

It turned out to be a button instead. Fine, Cafepress, fine >_<. I hope you like my self-designed dragon button :P! I also hope that it actually turns out to be linking to something, because otherwise it isn't all that useful. More mysteries to be solved....

On that note, before I do injury to this innocent computer monitor, later Blogger world!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Purple fingers (fun with dye and silk paint)

Good day, blogger world!

I'm currently blogging at the kitchen table, while my newly dyed spainish skirt hangs on the line outside. It's a perfect medium royal purple (except for one spot of fushia that I've noticed so far :/). I pretty much spent yesterday doing dye work of one sort or another. If all of this works out, I'll have a nice new skirt and 2 more or less similarly coloured silk veils :P.

I’ve been experimenting with silk painting for a little while now. I love the possibilities of it, especially since I studied both painting and textiles in college. A little on the unpredictable side, but the unexpected is often beautiful. It acts almost like tie-dye, especially if you add some water. I’m looking forward to understanding the different ways of applying silk paint as I go. I’ve read you can use salt to create interesting effects (haven't tried that yet), and there’s Gutta for resist painting (have tried a little, but not on this project). Here are some pics of what I've been doing so far:

There've been a few setbacks, like discovering just how delicate silk is.

This happened because the braces I was using (this particular frame was meant for quilting) poked into the silk too hard. May have to figure out a different stretcher for this, although there are ways to avoid damage if I'm carefull. On the plus side, my darning skills are getting better :P.

That's where I am right now. Glad to have gotten this second post up, hoping it'll get better as I go. Later blog world!