Took the day off to spend time with my brother's family. We hit up Garden of the Gods, Front Range Barbecue, and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Despite the chill, good times were had by all.
Photography purists will tell you that while Photoshop may be handy in slightly tweaking photographs, it is in no way a replacement for good composition and thoughtful photography. I tend to agree, but only to a point. I say, if Photoshop isn't supposed to be a crutch, then why'd they make it work so much like a crutch? Face it, photog elitists. Your glory day in the hot sun is over. If you want to remain relevant, then do something we can't do with a little software knowhow. It is possible to do good photog work still. Just stop griping about how camera raw makes it too easy.
(Sorry. I didn't mean to make this sound so harsh. It's basically my justification for tweaking the crap out of my photos without feeling guilty about it.)
I've been inspired lately to take my photography a little more seriously. Not really in a serious way, but keeping a better eye for composition and working on perfecting my camera settings. Part of learning is experimenting, and that's what these generally are.
I didn't quite make it to my time goal, but I figured artificially bloating the time spent is a pointless practice. It's done when it's done. I'm very happy with the result. Marcia always seems to bring out the best in me.
Acrylics, ink, and watercolor on canvas, 16 in x 12 in.
With my basement nearing completion, I've found time again (by procrastinating on other things) to begin painting once more. I uncovered some old canvases to reuse, so this is the first one. I have three goals for this painting:
1. Take my time. Most of my pieces up to now have been done within two hours. This one I'd like to get to ten hours. I think I could build up a lot better texture if I just stuck with one painting far longer than feels natural. So far I've spent three hours on this one, and fun things are already starting to happen.
2. Get intuitive. I've been obsessed with trying to find the right process in the past; this has led to some very stale work. I doubt I could even keep track of my process with so much work going into this, but hopefully some vitality and freshness will peek out in the end product. I'm also not worrying too much about colors. Whatever feels right is what I'll use. In the past I've been afraid of ending up with every color imaginable in the same painting. But you know what? Van Gogh used a ton of colors too, and yet his paintings have definite color tones. (Yes, I'm comparing myself to him. No, I don't feel bad about it.)
3. Be accurate. If this ends up looking up somewhat like my wife (so far so good), all the better.
The thing about being a graphic designer is that you're at your computer all day. If another designer friend is at their computer all day, you can speak to them via the interwebs. Given enough time, things can get loopy. This story was written by both myself and Gordon (who also took this photo). The idea is that it's what a story would be like if written by someone who 1. can't write well? and 2. has never actually been to New York City. Enjoy.
When he got to New York, the first thing he did was go to that one place all New Yorkers go... you know... on, um, West 57th. He looked awestruck upon the towering edifices of commerce, and then went to Central Park, had an ice cream cone on that one lawn part and watched the sailboats in the pond thingy. He saw some cops working a murder investigation by that castle thing in Central Park. They were using high technology to show people gross things that happen to murder victims in the best city in the world -— New York City!
Then he went to see Letterman, like all New Yorkers do. He stopped at Rudy's Deli for an authentic deli-style sandwich. It was delicious enough for even Regis and Kelly. After the show, he went to Sbarros for some authentic New York Italian pizza and pasta. "Pizza really does taste better in New York," he thought to himself as he walked to his new apartment a couple blocks away from Times Square.
He walked into his apartment and gazed out the wall of windows that looked out over the neighborhood. He felt comforted by the eclectic mix of funky furniture and expensive kitchen tools that graced his 1200 square foot flat. He knew he would have to go to work at the coffee shop soon, but until then he could relax on his modest balcony and watch the world go by with his friends that also did not really work.
After a few minutes, he walked across the hall to his friend's apartment that was not at all in the same style as his own, nor was it anywhere near the same size. They were doing something wacky, the way all neighbors in New York do. He said hello to his neighbor's duck and pet chicken that miraculously survived in a tiny apartment. He and his friend played foosball, and spoke to each other with astounding wit. Moments later their other remarkably attractive friend arrived, and together, they joked. It was a little awkward in the room, seeing as how the remarkably attractive friend (whom everyone knew was actually five to eight years older than she claimed) had slept with both the witty guys playing foosball. Her baby made things difficult as well, when she was actually being a mother, which was about as often as she worked.
After work at the coffee shop he decided to go to a Yankees game. He sat next to this couple who looked really cute together. There was a romantic tension between them but it seemed like neither one wanted to admit it just yet. The Yankees won, because the game wasn't very important. Then he hung out at his favorite bar with some other extremely witty but slightly quirky twenty-something friends.
"What a day it's been," he said. "I totally love New York." And he knew in his heart that it was true.