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:
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.
Twenty days ago I decided to bring this old, dead blog site back to life. I’d set it up fourteen years ago, used the heck out of it for several years, and then changed course. I left it behind. But it was still “home,” so I paid for my domain (robinkingfaces.com) and began posting again.
WONDERFUL!!! I met you fascinating, talented people! I posted about my art journey!
But I neglected a couple of extremely important things. I didn’t check my Comment spam folder and I didn’t always click the “Reply” button when I replied to comments. The result was that lots of truly non-spammy comments never ended up posted (I never even saw them until yesterday) and even though I typed replies to people, many of those people never knew.
So, yesterday I went back through all of my Comment files and interactions. I approved the non-spammy comments and replied to them. I retyped replies to the Comments that never got them because of that pesky reply button.
If you left me a comment and didn’t receive a reply, I hope you have now. When I jumped back into this blog-world I was so excited to be back that I skipped important steps. I’ll try not to do that again. LOL – I blame my lizard brain (amygdala) for being so emotional about the experience that I messed it up.
(“Lizard Brain” – detail from larger painting – acrylic on cardboard)
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)
Why shouldn’t I doodle with paint? Why shouldn’t I draw with paint? Why shouldn’t I put tea leaves and glitter and thread and the “holes” from hole-punched paper in paint? Why shouldn’t I draw with paint? Why shouldn’t I push paint around with an old hair-comb? Why shouldn’t I paint on top of discarded but still decorative ribbon and deflated bubblewrap and old fabric AND ANYTHING ELSE WANT TO?
And why – WHY??? – why shouldn’t I treat painting like the brain-fizzing fun it can be and not a jaw-clenching exercise in self-control?
The painting above is my first, ever. I did it about 12 years ago, called it “In the Nursery.”
There are old dried tea leaves, paper hole-punched pieces, and large glitter mixed in with the acrylic paint. It was basically a doodle because I started with a blank canvas and no plan at all.
In spite of the fact that it was obviously amateurish, I was proud of the painting and posted it on my original Redbubble site (now closed, replaced by this one and this one). One member who saw it – and who knew I was new to painting – sent me acritique. It was kind but it set me off on years of trying to do things I didn’t want to do. He said (among other things) that “…one should paint with paint. Painterly strokes are what matter. Never draw with paint. Sketch with paint, yes, but only if required. Don’t contaminate paint with anything. If you can’t learn to paint whatever “effects” you desire then perhaps you shouldn’t paint. Those colors are interesting.”Continue reading “Tea Leaves? In Paint? And a Doodle, Too? (Why I stopped painting & will begin again)”→