Take Your Name Off It and I’ll Buy a Print

Several years ago my work was being “stolen” (ripped off, infringed upon, misappropriated, orphaned, and then sold by others) with such frequency that I nearly stopped making anything new. Then I had the “brilliant” idea of incorporating my name into the work. The image above is an early example. Can’t miss that name! But why is it there? Because I considered it an organic watermark, so fundamental to the composition that it would destroy the work if removed. I’d solved the problem!

Bwahahah! Wrong

The faces I made that way were immediate failures. “Why’s your name there? Take it out and maybe I’ll buy it!” – that was what I heard from one potential customer. “Get famous, then I’ll want to look at your name.”  – another comment.

My name didn’t do well as a copyright identifier, either. “Where’s the copyright symbol? Either it’s a copyright mark or it isn’t. This way’s just stupid.”  Yes, OK. Got it.

I still struggle with copyright issues but I’ve given up on this particular idea. Someday I may try to rework the images but until then they act as salient reminders of how very ridiculous some ideas can be when implemented by the wrong people. I couldn’t pull it off. The work was – simply – not strong enough. 

Live and learn? Every day. :)

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. 🙃

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. 

Face? Painted! Now put that brush down and walk away happy.

Face, work-in-process (©️Robin King)

YAY! After several months of fussing and fretting about what would happen when I finally started painting again, I did. 

This face is acrylics on paper. It’s not finished-finished (there’s no background and the eyes and nose need more work, etc.) but it’s a face! And it’s clearly one of “my” faces!

However: I’m still fidgety about starting again so I’m going to stop working on this one now. If I do more now I’ll go too far and mess it up, no doubt about that.

I’m so happy!!

State of the Blog

“Don’t blame me. It’s my lizard brain.”

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. 

ACCCCCCK!!!

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)

But it’s ME.

“Who Do You Think You Are?” ©️Robin King

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. 

 

Hair, Hair!

Not creepy.
Oooo…fascinating edges.

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!

Stay tuned.

😁