“Tap Dancing in Space”

In honor of the asteroid that’s supposed to pass by Earth today I posted “Tap Dancing in Space” for sale on Redbubble. It’s from a couple of years ago and is a “digital mashup” of an acrylic painting, an acrylic ink sketch, and a fractal image (digital). It’s also the first time I did any asemic writing on a piece for sale. Like so many of the digitally compiled modern mixed media things I do it began from nowhere, wandered around in confusion for a few minutes, and then suddenly transformed itself into what you see above. Is that good luck? Or art magic? 🙃

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Here’s info about that asteroid, if you’re wondering: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/05/31/nasa-warns-asteroid-expecting-pass-earth-june-1/5281064001/

Also, asemic writing: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asemic_writing

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. :)

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/

That’s Not An Alligator

©Robin King

Really! That’s not an alligator up there. It’s a tree limb masquerading as one. I recently found this photo in my files from 2004. Well, I found the original. It’s dark, less saturated, and has no twinkly places where the sun made the water sparkle. What you see here is the newly-edited version.

Background: I’m currently doing a trial of Affinity Photo and, after thousands of years of using Photoshop Elements, I’m at sea with Affinity. It seems to be great and I’m sure that if I could sit at this computer for extended periods of time, frequently, I’d be a whiz using the software before the trial ends. But due to a leg injury, sitting here leads to problems. I can’t do it for more than a few minutes at a time or I can’t walk afterwards. 

In spite of that I’ve done a few things with Affinity – such as edit the non-alligator above to make it more vibrant. Very easy!

But my “normal” work isn’t editing photos. I generally add photos, scanned traditional art (drawings, paintings, collages), and scanned cut paper assemblages as layers into a software program like Photoshop Elements – then edit, digitally paint, etc. the multiple layers until I create something I like. Doing THAT in Affinity Photo doesn’t appear to be straightforward or easy to learn. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what “Develop” means and why I have to adopt certain “Personas” to do certain things. 

Because of those challenges – and the fact that I don’t have Photoshop Elements (too $$$) on this computer, which leaves me unable to make most of my art!!!! – I thought I’d take a look at Pixelmator Pro in a trial, too.

I downloaded Pixelmator Pro a few minutes ago, found the tools and workspace to be deliciously familiar.

I’m hoping that one of these programs will do the job for me and not cost much. Sooo…I’ll be spending time trying to learn the two programs in order to decide which to get. Can’t have both.

AND: If anyone’s wondering where I’ve been for the past few days here’s the scoop: my internet has been out sporadically, intermittently, inexcusably. I’ve spent days/nights troubleshooting the equipment and the signals. No luck yet, but today it’s working! So YAY!!!!

Do you use Affinity Photo or Pixelmator Pro? Both?

What do you find to be the most useful tools? Why?