Going Digital

Getting help!

After years of periodically attempting to use Photoshop for the odd project here and there, being completely baffled by the user interface, sitting through bizarre DIY youtube videos, then finally after hours of grueling work, figuring out how to pick up an image and move it, only to forget everything I'd learned by the time I needed to use it again, I signed up for ART 210 at North Seattle Community College.  Here is some of the art I made while learning how to use Photoshop and Illustrator with Bo Choi.

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A postcard-

If there's one thing you can learn from Daniel-San, it's Beginner's Mind, exactly what I needed for learning how to properly use Photoshop.

 

 

 Seattle Postcard as an ode to the Karate Kid

Seattle Postcard as an ode to the Karate Kid

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A self portrait, our first big project-

Riffing with the idea of a self portrait as a looking glass. Also, the wonderful people in my class, sharing about all kinds of unexpected things in our critiques, and my awesome seat buddy, remind me a little bit of the delightful characters in Alice's Wonderland. Our teacher was definitely the white rabbit, who I was always trying to catch up with!

(I did this is Illustrator before we started using Photoshop.  It would have been MUCH easier to do in Photoshop.)

 Eliza's Wonderland

Eliza's Wonderland

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A landscape-

Exploring the universe as an ongoing collaborative act of creation, energy seeking energy in different forms.

For this one, I digitally completed an unfinished oil painting.  So, I guess this is my first 'Tradigital work." I combined three photographs of my painting, one was a negative, one was desaturated, and one was unaltered. Then I added in pictures I'd taken of birds flocking around the Denver Zoo during Jazz in the Park last summer, a heron from Greenlake in Seattle, graffiti from Post Alley outside of my theater at Pike Place Market, a photograph I'd taken of the shadow cast by one of my IKEA glasses that has music notes on it, and a picture I'd taken of a display about flappers from the Cartier exhibit at the Denver Art Museum this winter. I felt like a bird building a nest.

There's a love story hidden in this one, too. Can you find it?

 

 Mojo: the bittersweet impermanence of life

Mojo: the bittersweet impermanence of life

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A poster featuring type-

I used Illustrator and Photshop to play with a poem by Marta Anex-Schnauss

Emerge

nameless ones

I.

three up two across (the checkerboard of fate)

a square lit up above the street

one "do we have a winner?"

 

in silence a canvas

will succumb to the box of colors

 

three in the morning

two window paned uncurtained

one man traces his shadow

in the room of quiet watching

 

II.

Kettle whistles

Dog barks

Keys rattle

Door slams

Engine starts

Car leaves

Fridge hums

Phone rings

Heart pounds

There is no quiet anymore.

III.

     when days and tempers are stretched

the sky in fits of anger

washes away our hopscotch game

 

moments of respite when cherry blossoms fall

like snowflakes in sunshine, scattered petals

like feathers in the wind

     we drift in slow migration to a place of light and warmth

 

IV.

this is an okay place to be break glass only in case of emergency emerging an act of revealing break me only through honesty level spirits climb their ladders in measured ascent sharing treasured space this is an okay place to be break glass only in case of emergency emerging an act of revealing break me only through honesty share the treasured space this is an okay place to be

-Marta Anex-Schnauss

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Speaking of Marta, she's one of my favorite training partners at Quantum Martial Arts.  A huge bonus of finally taking a Photoshop class is that I was able to make this add for our website upgrade with no hair pulling at all!

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Characters-

(Illustrator and Photoshop)

I'm not sure who built the sandcastle, but I really like these little guys.

 Day at the Beach

Day at the Beach

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Patterns-

Pattern #1: Some of you might recognize this from Doodle #94: Sky Bouquet

I turned the watercolor into a pattern using Photoshop.

 Sky Bouquet pattern. From Doodle #94 of the The Daily Doodle Project.

Sky Bouquet pattern. From Doodle #94 of the The Daily Doodle Project.

Pattern #2:  Cosmic Puzzle made in Illustrator and Photshop

 Cosmic Puzzle Pattern

Cosmic Puzzle Pattern

Pattern #3: Skeleton Friends

I made this pattern in Illustrator.  I think it would make a pretty adorable pair of pajamas.

 Waves on Wood (oil on wood 2014) Collection of Jim Cruse

Waves on Wood (oil on wood 2014) Collection of Jim Cruse

 

 

 

 

 Pattern #4: Waves

Adapted from Waves on Wood, an oil painting on wood.

 Waves pattern

Waves pattern

And finally, we learned how to make animations using Photoshop...

Introducing: "Mom, where do baby bears come from?"

 

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Final Thoughts from ART 210:

If there's a fairy godmother reading this..... I'm yearning for a big shiny apple desktop and a Wacom Cintiq tablet.

I'm also yearning to get my hands on actual art materials again!

After a little bit of a break, (YAY SUMMER!) I'm really excited about being able to combine the digital skills I've learned with some oil painting and watercolor collage to do the final illustrations for my children's book, The Last Gift.

Even working digitally, I still prefer using an improvisational process:

...beginning with a single gesture of line or color, or now- a photograph, and then asking, "Is there a story here? A poem? What is this about?"  It's a little like hunting for pictures in the clouds.  When I see something that intrigues me, I play a little more in that direction, and then step back again, observing, interpreting, imagining.

Being an improvisational artist means there are no mistakes, just whatever there is now, and whatever can happen next.  When I commit to a project through all of the ugliness, doubts, and messy middles,  I discover whole new worlds, ideas, and ways of making art.