Friday, June 12, 2015

Why I continue writing.

I was reading Mark Koopman's (Mark Koopmans: Vignettes from VA (and DC, Too!) blog post and started to answer his question when I decided to write a blog post stating why I continue writing.

There is no single reason why I do so. I do harbor some vague notion that I might write something that someone someday will enjoy, maybe even a lot of someones. But that's putting the cart before the horse.

I like writing because I enjoy seeing a story develop and come to life.

I enjoy the surprises I get during the writing process, especially when things I never thought of suddenly appear and make the story better.

I enjoy the process of visualizing scenes and characters.

I enjoy seeing the way my characters change as a result of what happens to them within the story.

I enjoy the challenge of making my words say what I mean, and of searching for the right word to convey what I'm trying to say.

I like a good plot and do my best to develop one. I don't mind if the plot undergoes changes as I write the story.

The more my writing relates to my internal feelings and beliefs about life, the better I like it, that is, the more connected I am to my stories.

Being a writer has been a dream of mine since I was a teenager. I'm still dreaming.

How about you? Do any of these reasons jive with yours?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Am I A Blogger?

I haven't posted much during the past year or so. Lately, my posts have been primarily about painting. Now that my latest and, probably my last, painting course has ended, I've been thinking about my blog and whether I still have anything to say about anything. It seems that I've gone dry.

This doesn't mean I haven't been writing. I've been writing right along. I'm well into a new novel I started in January, putting much more time into it during the past month or so since my painting class ended. So, writing is still an important part of my life. Painting will now take its (for me) rightful place behind writing. Painting has been a wonderful trip. I've learned a great deal, and enjoyed it a lot, but truth be told, writing is my passion. How painting will fit into my life in the future remains to be seen.

The question now is what direction will my blog take. Will I just post whatever occurs to me, much as I've done since my blog's inception? Will I resume interacting more with other blogs the way I used to do? I still read most of the blogs I follow even if I haven't been making comments lately. I've noticed that a lot of people I follow haven't been posting much at all on their blogs lately.

I'm not sure what the state of blogging is for writers these days. Some are still very active, but others seemed to have in effect closed shop. Maybe our expectations were unrealistic when we began blogging in this new era of social media. If blogging doesn't accomplish what we want it to, then maybe closing shop is the best thing to do. Perhaps other activities, such as Facebook and Twitter, are better.

So this is where I am in my blogging mind: I'm not sure where I'm headed.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the state of blogging. What are you finding the most rewarding thing to do in social media?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

UNF Color Theory: Final Group Project

Our final project for the semester was a food gathering based on the color wheel. My group had to prepare appetizer, main course with two sides, and desert based on a monochromatic color scheme. My team chose yellow. We presented a fruit tray of all yellow fruits. We had yellow drinks, mahi mahi, plantains, grilled corn, and banana flam. We also used a yellow table cloth and napkins, and a yellow banana inspired poster. It was called 'Banana Cabana'.

This photo is of another teams food based on complementary colors.

This was a fitting and sumptuous end to a great semester of color theory. In some ways we came to feel like a small family in the classroom. This meal was like a family coming together for a celebratory meal.

UNF Color Theory: Color Inventory "You Are What You Eat"

This assignment was an interesting one. We had to choose our favorite food, then make a color inventory based on the different colors found in the food, painting all the colors in acryla gouache. Then we had to create a self-portrait in any media using the color inventory.

I chose for my favorite food trail mix, which had a lot of browns and earth tones. I painted the self-portrait in acrylic. This is the result.

Monday, April 13, 2015

UNF Color Theory: Color Constancy

In this project we had to paint the same scene four times, but under different lighting conditions each time. This is a scene from the street I live on seen from my garage. The four lighting conditions were upper left early morning to around noontime, upper right overcast sky, lower right foggy weather, and lower left mid-day clear sky.

Each scene took about 5 hours to paint. Each is 9x7 inches, painted in acrylic on Bristol board, mounted on illustration board. These are, if I remember correctly, my first paintings en plein air.

UNF Color Theory: Psychological Self-Portrait

In this assignment, we were to choose two contrasting words to use as the basis for a psychological self-portrait. The words I chose were 'passive' and 'aggressive'. We had to draw two abstract images representing each word respectively, and base the colors used in each on the meaning or connotation we felt represented each word. We then had to paint  two self-portraits using the same colors used in the abstract images.

This is the result of my word choice:

Each painting is 5x7 inches, painted in acryla gouache on Bristol board mounted on illustration board. The two on the left represent 'passive' and the two on the right 'aggressive'.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

UNF Color Theory: The Bezold Effect

The Bezold Effect is based on repeating patterns of colors in which only one color is changed, but by changing the one color, the pattern/picture looks different from the original one, perhaps like a different pattern.

I found this difficult to do, but came up with this:

In these two pictures all colors are the same in each picture except for the green and orange. While the patterns are the same, the color values shift quite a bit.

The gray dots in the corners are the same value in both pictures, yet look as if the ones on the orange are darker gray than those on the green. The inner gray circles are a darker value of gray than the outer gray circles. The ones on the orange almost look brown and darker than the ones on the green.

The blue circles in both paintings are the exact same hue, but the ones on the orange appear to be a darker value than the ones on the green.

Do these look different enough from each other to register as two different patterns?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

UNF Color Theory: Ten Letter Word: Color Schemes

This is the final rendering and design for this project. It's too bad the colors are so washed out in this photograph.

Rorshach Images (5"x7"), Acyla Gouache on Bristol Board, mounted on illustration board

The primary criticism was of the analogous painting (green one). I could have used a little more variety in the color selection. Overall, I was happy with the critique.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

UNF Color Theory: 10-letter word: Color Schemes (Part II)

These are my final three studies for the project.


split complementary

The acrylic colors for the complementary and split complementary are pretty accurate, but the colors for the quadratic are washed out. They are actually mostly highly saturated.

Now I have to paint the final pieces in acryla gouache.

Friday, February 6, 2015

UNF Color Theory: 10-letter word: Color Schemes

This is the beginning of my work on our new project. My word is 'configuration'. One of its meanings refers to Gestalt Psychology, which led me to the Rorschach Test.

These are studies for my monochromatic color scheme.

I used pastel pencils for the first study, color pencils for the second two, and acrylic paint for the fourth study.

These are studies for my analogous color scheme.

I used color pencils for the first two studies and acrylic for the third.

I doubt the final color schemes will look exactly as the ones in acrylic do, but they should be close. I still have three more studies to work on.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

UNF Color Theory: Color Exploration

This is the completed project.

The main negative criticisms were that the painting wasn't completely smooth is some areas, the shark should have been larger, and some of the color requirements were a little off. I'm not sure the shark needs to be larger, but the other two criticisms are valid. The main positive criticisms was the overall design was good, the layout was clean and ordered, and some of the colors were smooth.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

New Painting

street scene, acrylic on paper, approximately 7.5 x 10

This is my latest painting. Obviously, I'm pleased with it or I wouldn't be showing it. I'm pleased with it because I learned quite a bit about painting while working on it. It took me about a week to paint and underwent quite a few changes. The buildings on the right and left , especially the one on the right, underwent several different tone changes. It took me a while to get colors I was happy with.

The sky was deep dark-blue originally, with huge white clouds. The contrast between the blue sky and the white clouds was too much and distracted from the focal point of the painting, which is the red steeple, so I changed it to a lighter blue and got rid of most of the clouds. The two clouds that are left help draw the eye to the steeple, although I could have done that better, but I did not want to risk having to repaint the steeple.

This is a scene from downtown Jacksonville, Florida, and I worked from a reference photo I took. It's actually cropped from a much larger photograph. One of the things I learned was to eliminate a lot of details. There were quite a few more trees and lamp posts, and there was another car. The lamp posts are black in real life, but black posts would not have worked in this photo, so I dulled them down to gray. The cars and their shadows were the last things I painted. I've never painted cars before. I did many drawings of cars in my sketch books, trying to get them to look like cars and have the correct perspective. That was probably the most challenging part for me.

The bright spot in the upper left hand corner of the sky is from my camera's flash and is not part of the painting, but I wish it were. It's beautiful. I don't think I could have painted that.

One of the things I was thrilled with, but I doubt you can see it in this photo, even if you enlarge it, is the bark of the tree on the right. It's a blend of burnt umber, raw sienna, and maybe another color. It is beautiful to me. I think it's the best tree trunk I've ever painted.

It's not a perfect painting by any means. The shift from the dark blue sky to the lighter blue sky is too distinct, although it's less noticeable in the painting. Photos pick up every detail. Imperfect as it is, I've decided to let it stand as is, because I find it acceptable.

Well, there's more to tell, but I've said enough. It's on to the next painting--soon, anyway.

Friday, January 30, 2015

UNF Color Theory: Color Exploration Project

I'm halfway through the project. It's taken me hours of work so far, probably an hour per section. This is what it looks like so far.

An unexpected problem I'm having is with the Bristol Board curling up. I'm not sure how I'm going to paste them to the illustration board without making a mess. Good luck on yours.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

UNF Color Theory: Saturation

My saturation studies.

My second red chip in needs more red.

Our "color explorations" assignment is going to be a challenge for sure. Got a lot to do.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

UNF Color Theory: Values

Here is what I turned in today.

Comparing it to the achromatic value scale, my values are off in several areas.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

UNF Color Theory: Color Wheel

This is my version of the color wheel for our class presentation today.

The weakest elements are in the greens. I need to push the tertiary greens more towards their immediate neighbors. Of course, I had problems with the violets, as did most everyone.

Friday, January 16, 2015

UNF Color Theory: Color Wheel

This is as far as I got in class. The purples were very difficult to mix. Not sure I'll ever get them right. I have to admit I like working with the Acryla Gouache. Not sure I'll ever use them for a real painting, because of how expensive they are. Maybe I'd use them for a fairly small painting. But the colors are nice.

Just the beginning; a lot to do.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

UNF Color Theory: Introduction

These posts under UNF Color Theory are related to the art class I'm taking at the University of North Florida with Professor Raymond Gaddy. It was suggested that we all use Wordpress, but I already have this blog and do not want to get involved in another one, although it looks pretty easy to set up one with Wordpress. I may change my mind later if this one doesn't work well.

I've already posted a number of times on this blog about my art work and UNF and some of my professors. So, this is just a continuation of that theme. You can find various names under 'labels' if you wish.

The class blog site is Gaddy in 2D.

This is a recent painting of mine. The photo quality is poor. I need a better camera.

French Quarter, New Orleans
acrylic on paper
approximately 14.5 x 10.5