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. 🙃

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. 

Pixelmator Pro: Quick Look

EDITED VERSION (©️Robin King)
Original (©️Robin King)

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.

…….

Here’s the Pixelmator Pro site: https://www.pixelmator.com/pro/

I Dream of Sunshine

Brusho Sunburst Lemon sitting on a work-in-process

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. 

Here’s Brusho, if you’re interested: https://www.dickblick.com/products/brusho-crystal-colours/