Three days ago I downloaded a 15-day free trial of Pixelmator Pro. Because of a leg injury I can’t sit at a computer for more than a few minutes at a time, so I’ve been trying to explore (and learn how to use) Pixelmator Pro fast.
My first quickety-split discovery was how to resize an image for web use. Excellent!
The second thing I found – and figured out how to use – was a set of editing tools that included the usual curves and slides. What surprised me was the fascinating array of presets that can also be adjusted. It’s this set of tools that enabled me to make the first photo, above, from the second. Quick clicks, easy slides: big changes.
Even though Pixelmator Pro isn’t Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (which I’ve used for years) I’m loving it so far. But I need it to work well when I create digital mixed media multi-layered images, so tomorrow I’ll try to make and edit layers.
Where are you, sunshine? Where’s your twinkly kiss? I dream of you in the morning. I need your light. You can vanish in the afternoon; I don’t care. But don’t be shy in the morning. Dazzle me! Sparkle me! Give me hope for the day.
Some people are night creatures, others are at their best mid-day. I’m a very early morning person. My day is front-loaded. Everything useful I’ll do, I’ll do before noon. But I need sunshine! Unfortunately, our recent weather has been murky glop. Humid, warm, dark.
This morning is sunny but I have to do things other than art. More murk is headed our way and will move in for nearly a week. What to do?
I’ll have to make my own sunshine.
That’s where those Brusho crystals come in. I bought them in the depth of winter, haven’t had the courage to open the package because even though it was a small expenditure it was still money and there’s a lot of pressure on me to use those crystals well. But that little tub of “Sunburst Lemon” is going to be my dream-come-true in the coming days: sunshine on demand.
The mixed media piece above is acrylic paint, metallic cord, and the holes from hole-punching old advertising circulars. It’s not quite finished.
A few minutes ago, a TV commentator who’s been working from home and “the road” began his interview by apologizing for how nondescript his background was:
I’m in a hotel room. Everything’s corporate gray. It’s not me.
How sad that he felt the need to apologize for the grayness of the room he’s in! No, it’s not his chosen color-level but so what? Why did he do that? Because everyone has a color-opinion and some people rigidly – and sometimes nastily – demand that all people agree with them. Not enough color. Too much color. Wrong color. Blabbity-blah.
The blast of colors on the face up there are me. I’m not going to apologize, back off, mute, or otherwise dilute that me-ness. Maybe that’s the art of the thing? Maybe it’s simply the you and the me in what we do? Dunno. What I do know is that when I posted that face on a social media account last year, a person whose art opinion I respect told me that it was “…too colorful.”
How is that possible?
We discussed it briefly, then suddenly stopped. He said I was making a fool of myself, that it was TOO MUCH. He has color limits. I don’t. We remain mutually-respectful online buddies but I suspect that we will never agree on colors. I can live with that.
Now, with all of that out of the way, here’s what I planned for this post to be about: That face is a mix of my photography, acrylic painting, and digital painting. It doesn’t exist in our world unless it’s printed. I want to be able to paint that face so it will exist. Right now that’s a crazy dream. My painting skills are nearly as nonexistent as that face. The last time I painted I struggled to make any sense of the strokes. I couldn’t create what I wanted to create. Today I could not paint that face. Maybe I’ll never have the patience to learn how to paint that face. And maybe I don’t have to, given that I already made that face. Maybe digital compilations of my own work are my limit.
That’s what this post was supposed to be about. But it’s a whiny rehash of the past and an amorphous daydream of the future. Pointless.
Maybe what it ought to be about is how very personal “art” is, how it is – at its center – us. Maybe the me-ness of my art, whether it’s painted or poured or cut or sculpted or photographed or drawn or compiled, is the art. Maybe that’s why everyone has an opinion. And maybe that’s why those opinions can hurt and buoy and inflate and decimate: because they’re not about what we do but about who we are. They’re about us.
I can live with that, too. But I can’t live without bright colors. They’re – well – me.
Textures! I love “not flat” images! I want my eyes to make me feel like I’m touching the art.
A few months ago I chopped off my “COVID hair” and finally (after years of dyeing) accepted the fact that it’s white. White, white, white. It’s been going white since I was in my mid-twenties so no surprise that now I look like I’ve been wandering hatless in a blizzard.
Anyway, that hair up there is some of the last bits of the charade. Thanks to the lockdowns and isolation and now my gasping-for-air budget, hair care as I knew it is over. I kept the hair, tho. Creepy? Maybe. But why not use it, mixed into paint, for texture? Why not give it a new purpose?
That applies to the honeycomb cardboard packing insert, too. I saved it from recycling to use it as a painting tool. I’ll press it into paint and then stamp the edges on the ground. Whatever it looks like ought to be interesting!
I made this creature with joy and I love looking at it. But I know that it isn’t well-crafted. How could it be? I threw stuff at it, slammed paint on, ignored my own good sense when I knew – KNEW – that the tempera sticks weren’t blending and my marks looked like an inebriated elk made them. I cut paper and glued pieces to the board, and I didn’t even try to make the cuts even or the placed pieces straight.
Why? After a long absence from creating non-digital art I “choked.” But that’s never a reason to stop trying! This result was this…whatever it is.
I’ve decided to look at it as the piece between the work I did before and the work I’m going to do now, a completely separate and bizarrely taste-adjacent thing in between.
Palate cleanser art – fun to make and to mock. Enjoy!
(Tempera sticks, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, cut paper on foam board)