Wednesday, December 21, 2011

squeezing the tube

I still don't draw on command, especially after not drawing for a while. My equipment is fine, it's me. I start the process by reviewing my collection of sketches and reference pictures. The perfect program for this is called Picasa by Google. If you find Picasa formatted for your version of Linux you are good to go. Another program I discovered is called Fotoxx, this is what I have now. Both of these apps allow you to view a whole directory of pictures. Real cool if you want to compare and manipulate. Photo management yeah, but digital pictures are like digital photos. Most photo management software organize by time stamps and tags, not directories and folders. Directories and folders work better for me.

If I don't rework an old idea I usually see something new to try. Of late, I've been more enthralled by how a picture is mounted. I'll buy some picture mounting hardware and figure out what to put in it. Yeah, I know, this is backward. Sometimes if you change one element of the finished picture before it's done......LOL! I change the frame, it's an architectural thing. If you are not careful the project becomes very big. Scaling it down and or scaling back is painful on the mind. For me also when I am thinking big or needing scale, I get stopped by how to get the drawing big. You can get a service to print it big for you but I can't guarantee print quality or the material to be printed on. What goes through the printer can't snag and that limits the kinds of material you can use. This may mean projecting your image, tracing it and inking/painting by hand. And you thought digital art was less work. It's that label thing, you call something something so that others can get a handle on it. I preface labels with 'sort of-kind of like' but ultimately 'mixed-media' graphics. I say that with great exasperation because it doesn't describe my stuff the way the word 'oil painting' does. Oooh, how does she do that with oils? Oh (only one 'o'), digital graphics, that's interesting! Hey, I want more o's when you see my work. This is why digital artist go overboard to dazzle and amaze. They think you only helped the computer do that. I pushed the mouse the same as she pushed that brush. I constrained the great and endless potential of the computer so that it will do what I want it to do. Do you think it's easy plowing a field with a race horse?

We had a boss that paraded with his cronies through the new CAD department. "Click, click, click and it's done!" Next week he hired two desktop publishing guys that we were supposed to train to work with us. They had no drafting experience or electrical knowledge. We trained and complained, they were let go. Art knowledge and skill applied with oil paint and brush, art knowledge and skill applied with a computer and printer. Not equal but different media and process. Us mixed-media graphic artist of the digital persuasion find the fine arts a mine field of varied acceptance. Publications, ads, web pages, no sweat, bill boards, no sweat. Fine art.........."computers can do a lot!" I guess the antidote is to sign the print by hand.

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