Volcano

“Volcano” Acrylic painting ©️Robin King – Available on the full range of Redbubble products, including prints.  (click image)

Volcanos: often fatal, frequently destructive, usually unpredictable, and, as far as I’m concerned, terrifying. There’s been an uptick in significant volcanic activity lately so I “painted out” some of my fears. 

Current activity: https://volcano.si.edu/gvp_currenteruptions.cfm

Masks

 

©️Robin King
Self-Portrait, 2014 – my old avatar (©️Robin King)

We’ve always worn masks. That’s what we do. Some are truly reflective of our emotions and our identities. Some aren’t. 

One reason I make faces is because of those masks. When we roam through our worlds we rarely see our own masks – we’re too busy trying to understand the ones other humans wear. 

My particular pleasure comes from creating and cataloging the masks I see. Sometimes, when I’m lucky, I recognize the ones I’ve worn. 

No Body Here

The Model is created!

Ten years ago I decided it was time to practice drawing “the human form.” I already had one of those wooden models with articulated joints, and a bendable wire one, too. I bought several books and got to work. The basics went well.

But everyone told me that to truly be an artist I absolutely HAD TO practice life drawing. The reasoning behind that made some sense to me even though I wasn’t entirely convinced. One problem got in my way:  I rarely see people. That’s by choice and it’s non-negotiable. So I tried drawing figures I saw on television. That didn’t go well, mainly because they’re two-dimensional. I might as well just draw pictures of people from pictures of people.

One day, when I was packing up some old clothes to donate, I decided to delay their journey. I stuffed a top and ancient sweatpants with the rest of the old clothes and found a plastic mask and wig, and made a body. Then I posed it, added a plastic hand and sunglasses, and the “person” in the photo above appeared. 

I dressed and decorated it several ways and posed it on chairs, etc. It routinely scared the cats. Weeks later, when I realized that the legs needed “bones” to look right I assembled a skeleton out of old paper towel rolls. But I never re-made the model.

Why?

Because I had so much fun fussing with it, making it look increasingly realistic, taking silly photos of it, that I drew it only once. Its original purpose was to help me teach myself how to draw a person. But I didn’t want to. 

I took it all apart, put away the hand, the mask, the hats, and the hairpieces. The old clothes went on to living people who needed them more than I needed to learn how to draw people.

I draw faces.

If I had a thousand years of life ahead of me I’d never tire of exploring faces.

No bodies needed. 

……..

One of these days I’ll track down the other photos and that drawing, and share them. And, yes, I know that the hand is on the wrong side. 🙃

It Took Me Three Hours to Eat a Small Banana

For those who may have noticed: I’ve been absent from by blog for several days. Monday I became ill – nothing serious, all better now. But for the time it lasted I was a mess. How much of a mess? It took me three hours to eat a small banana. And even then I wished I hadn’t.

Fortunately, that’s over. ::whew::

But I created no art, visited no websites, did nothing useful except sleep. I’m waaaaaay behind everywhere and will catch up in the next couple of days as my strength returns. 

See you soon!

……

The image above is a tiny portion of an acrylic/painting cut paper piece I did several years ago. 

Should Robins Tweet?

©️Robin King

When Twitter first began, it was a quirky little mystery, a frenzied flapping of wings and cheery chirps from around the world. I joined early (late 2006?). Somewhere in a file I have my “welcome” email from Biz Stone. There was a public feed (see link to 2006, below). Users were encouraged to share their status updates. I’d been asked to join by a friend from a blogging site called “Vox” (not today’s “Vox” but the original one owned by SixApart). So, I joined Twitter and jumped into the stream of people who were telling the world what they were doing and, sometimes, where. 

It was pure excitement! No links – no ads – no images – no gifs – no memes – no polls – no blocked users – no bots – no follows – no promoted tweets! It was, simply and beautifully, people saying a little about themselves to strangers.

But the one big public feed morphed into other things and the rationale behind Twitter changed. EVERYTHING about it changed. I miss the giddiness of old Twitter but today’s version is useful.

I’ve had many accounts there in the intervening years, all for different reasons. 

For people who want to sell their work, Twitter can be a handy tool. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to use it without spending all of my time there. 

In the next couple of weeks I’m going to start using my Twitter account (username: robinkingfaces) again.

Why? Because Robins should tweet.

…..

Link: So funny! A page of “public timeline” tweets from 2006 – courtesy of the Wayback Machine:

http://web.archive.org/web/20061109101219/http://twitter.com/public_timeline

 

Back to Photography, Happy Again

Years and years ago I had a job as the Easter Bunny’s Helper in a big department store (remember those?). I was the person who wrangled the kids and took the pictures. The camera was a massive box and had to be put inside a dense cloth bag so that I could take the film out to send it away for processing. The bag had zippers and arm sleeves, all designed to keep the light out. The job – aside from the occasional screaming kid – was fascinating! A few years later I had a job that suddenly included writing on-the-job training scripts for employees at our pharmaceutical manufacturing company AND taking pictures that demonstrated the activities. I needed to learn how to use an SLR  fast. The camera was an ancient Pentax that used film (this was pre-digital photography) and had no automatic settings. I took lessons from a local photographer and read as many books on photography as I could find. I loved taking pictures and never stopped after that. 

But paint and paper and clay turned out to be interesting, too. Over time I took fewer pictures. Cameras changed. I changed – LOL. Even though I still “capture” things it’s been a while since I filled a camera card. But I still have lots of photos I can offer the world. Today I took some time to upload the 5 photos above to my “ART BY ROBIN KING” Redbubble site to join the others are already there in my Photography Collection. They’re now available on various Redbubble products (journals, clothing, magnets, stickers, masks, prints, stationery, etc.).

In the weeks to come I’ll add more photography, work that hasn’t been seen yet.

And, as soon as I can sort out a camera that functions well enough I’m going to start shooting pix again. What fun!

Good news! Affinity Photo likes me!! ::happydance::

Just a test (nothing special, but good enough for the purpose: it worked!!) 🤗    (©️Robin King)

Yes! See that image above? Affinity Photo let me create it. It’s a multi-layered piece made up of two photos, one scan, and digital painting/editing. Here are the photos and scan: 

Scan of an acrylic mess I made several years ago. (©️Robin King)
Photo of an industrial trash bin (©️Robin King)
Photo of my eyes, from before the dawn of selfies.   (©️Robin King)

I was able to easily turn the component images into layers – then blend, edit, and paint them. Combining the layers to export wasn’t intuitively obvious so I did it wrong a couple of times but finally figured it out. Unfortunately, when I attempted to create a smaller web-friendly image to post here, I accidentally clicked wrong and destroyed the large original. I should’ve made a duplicate first but didn’t. It’s OK: entirely my error, not Affinity Photo’s. And not a big loss. 

So there it is: I can use Affinity Photo the way I need to. YAY!!! As soon as I check a few more things I’ll pay the $24.99 to buy it. Pixelmator Pro was terrific but it costs more and money rules sometimes.