Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Thoughtful Cowboy

Day 11: A back and white photo

Day 12: A photo experimenting with bokeh
Day 13: A photo edit that you like
The 30 day photo challenge I embarked upon a number of weeks ago is going to take many more days than 30, but oh well. Here's the latest installment. My favourite of the bunch is Day 12, a photo experimenting with bokeh. I am no photographer and I didn't know what bokeh was before I looked it up on wikipedia, so here's the link in case you don't know what bokeh is either. The bokeh photo is of a ball that's a round mesh made of green and blue plastic wires. I pointed the camera lens at the exterior of the ball and focused the camera on the opposite, interior side of the ball. It's neat how the blurry plastic strands in the foreground sort of look like battling lightsabers. 

If Day 12 is my attempt at being artful, than Day 13 is me being silly. Clarence was eating lunch and ended up with such a perfectly curled mustache of almond butter, that I felt compelled to draw a cow boy hat on his head to match the old West mustache. I used Adobe Photoshop elements. As I look at this now, the hat would've benefited from me seeing what a cow boy hat looks like or maybe just editing in a real cowboy hat. But what can I say, it was fun using the Photoshop brush.

Day 11 is simply sweet and that's thanks to the lovely little daughter of a friend and a cute raincoat. A nice note to end on, I think.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Sky's the Limit

Here's a horse painting that I finished today and although I know the piece is complete, I'm fighting the urge to keep playing around with the layers of watercolour in the sky. Rendering the horse in this commission was enjoyable, but I was especially fortunate in that the photograph I painted from has a beautifully overcast sky. It's been a while since I've done anything that featured a large open expanse, so rendering the brooding sky from this photo was an extra delight. One of the advantages of painting from a photograph is that you can add or subtract elements in order to enhance the composition. In this case, I took out the machinery and fence. I should mention that the lovely person who commissioned this painting is married to an awesome photographer who took the great shot that is the basis for the painting. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Saturday Market

A little mention about tomorrow: there's a Makers' Market happening in front of Christ Church Cathedral on James Street North from 10AM - 3PM and yours truly is going to be there. I hear tell that there's going to be a lot of vendors out tomorrow and I just checked the weather--the forecast is sunny. Indeed. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Parsley/Basil Skills Competion

Day 8: A photo of something close up

Day 9: A photo of something distant

Day 10: A photo of whatever you please

The other day I went with my family down to the Hamilton Waterfront. We parked our car at Bayfront Park and then biked over to the Harbour Marine Services. There's a really big ship that I see docked by the Marine Services building every time I go down there. The ship, which might technically be a laker (a freighter that runs through the Great Lakes) is painted a very bright blue. When you get close to the side of the ship, you start to see the flaking layers of paint and the rust that's corroding the metal. The overall effect is quite lovely and, when taken out of context, looks like it could be an abstract painting.  Every time I've gone by the big blue rusting ship I've thought that I would like to photograph the side of the boat close up, and the other day I did just that.

For the Day 9 photo, I broke a photo challenge rule and took it on the same day as Photo 8. True confessions, I know. The fellow looking out over the water in the background is what makes this a photograph of something distant. My intended subject matter is the dynamic biking duo in the foreground but I think the man leaning on the railing sort of sneaks in there to steal the show.

As for the Day 10 photo, there's no question who's the star: parsley, it's your moment to shine. Every day I take pleasure in looking at the potted herbs by my studio window so it was only natural that I take an herbal photograph. Although scientifically improvable, I maintain that herbs taste better when you grow them yourself. I would've photographed my basil plant because basil is the lion of the herb kingdom, but my basil is not looking well these days. So while basil is tastier than parsley, parsley is currently destroying basil in the category of most photogenic. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong with my basil plant, apart from perhaps pillaging its leaves more often than I should. Hmm, maybe I do know what I'm doing wrong with my basil plant.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Challenge You to an Art Crawl!

Day 6: A photo from a low angle
I love you, asymmetrical balance

Day 7: A silhouette photo

Posted above are my most recent efforts for the 30 day photo challenge. I seem to have really taken the notion of challenge to heart this week. For instance, you would think I've challenged myself to see how little sleep I need. Not a particularly wise endeavour or one undertaken for any great purpose. But tonight I'm going to challenge myself to be asleep by 11 pm. If my tiredness weren't a great enough motivation in and of itself, than the thought that I'll be a vendor at tomorrow's James Street North Art Crawl would certainly give me sufficient cause to rest up. 

The basic premise of the Art Crawl is that every second Friday of the month all the galleries on James Street North are open late and there's a great selection of art to check out. A number of artists who have their studios on James Street also open up their places for people to come in and have a look. And as if that weren't enough, the area is also something of a 'little Portugal' so there's some great food to be had as well (mmm...custard tarts). 

I've been to a number of Art Crawls, but I've never done the Makers Market that happens there so I'm quite excited to be a participant tomorrow. I'll be selling prints of my watercolour paintings and, although it's not quite done, I think I'll bring along the horse painting I'm currently working on to show as an example of the type of custom work I do. The Art Crawls are usually pretty busy with a wide range of people turning out so it should be fun to be part of the vibe Friday night. Things get underway at 7pm and the Market itself ends at 10 pm, although there's usually still other things open beyond that time. 

If you've never been to an Art Crawl, it's a great way to spend a Friday night. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Art of the Afternoon Nap

Day 2: A photo of what you wore today
 I lost the image file from the day I was supposed to take this photo, so this is actually what I wore this morning

Day 3: A photo of your favourite place to be
My favourite place  is wherever my loved ones are

Day 4: A photo from a high angle 

Day 5: A photo of whatever you please 
Here are days 2 -5 of the 30 day photo challenge. I'm sort of glad I lost my original day 2 photo because I wore something I really like this morning to church and I photographed that as my replacement. My favourite photograph of the bunch is Day 5-- a picture of my watercolour brushes. To me, they look like they're taking a well-deserved afternoon nap. It's a gorgeous day here in Hamilton, Ontario, so I bid you adieu for now.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Let the Photo Challenge Begin!

Day 1: A photo of yourself

Not too long ago I wrote about undertaking a 30 day photography challenge wherein there is a list of 30 days and each day has a brief instruction of what to photograph on that day. The self portrait above is from June 1, I just didn't have the chance to post it until today. I'll be taking my photographs in order according to the photo challenge and posting them in order, but not necessarily posting the photos on the day they were taken. Doing this little exercise has already taught me something or, more accurately, reinforced something I already knew: the days certainly do go by in a hurry.