Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter. Blessings to you and your families.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Da Vinci Artists Gallery

I live in a small town, just north of Houston, with a population of around 10,000.  I was pleasantly surprised, when I moved here, to discover that not only does Tomball have an Art League, it is also home to the Da Vinci Artist's gallery.

Da Vinci's is a delightful, member-run co-op of artists. On the first Friday of each month they host "First Friday" from 6 pm to 9 pm, where they have a reception for that month's featured artists of the month, complete with snacks, beverages and live music.

During the spring and fall, often coordinating with other events and festivals that are happening in Tomball, the DaVinci Artist's Gallery holds sidewalk sales.

I'm not sure if they accept digital artists, but I would certainly be interested in joining their co-op.  When I get back from our trip to England I plan to see what is involved in applying. 

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Making of The Easter Bunny

A few weeks ago, I wanted to create a 3D scene in Vue that I could use for Easter products. After struggling to get the exact scene I wanted all in Vue,  I ended up doing a mixed media piece.

I started out by rendering a scene with a cluster of Easter eggs, nestled in some long grass and dandelions, with a background of tree-lined fields, and a nice hazy spring atmosphere.

I played around with the angle of the camera, and aspect ratio to give me a portrait format image, suitable for cards, and with a nice amount of sky at the top where the greeting would go.

My final render looked like this:

Once the render was complete, I opened the resulting image file in Adobe's Photoshop Elements, created a new layer and added a sweet Easter bunny, which is a png file from Bez Boardman and Antje Darling's ABC's Hi-5 Springtime kit at Renderosity.

I'm really happy with the resulting image (although now I look at it critically, I see the lighting on the bunny isn't the same as on the eggs).

Then I had fun with it in my Zazzle store and used it on cards, postcards, gift boxes and I just love it on this plate:

It was a creative project that I really enjoyed - the first time I have tried to layer one of my original 3D renders with a 2D graphic file.  I think I learned some things (that lighting, for one!) and I look forward to improving in the future :-)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Introducing Mockingbird Studio

For some time now, I have wanted to come up with a name for my art studio.

OK, so it's not like a traditional art studio, with easels bearing half finished oils or water colors, tubes or pots of paint and brushes standing ready in a jar.

It's actually what was billed as the formal dining room by the builder, set right in the middle of the house, separated from the living room and kitchen by a half wall topped with arches.

Since my husband and I are the only people living there, and since the breakfast nook very comfortably accommodates four people for meals, which is the most we ever have at dinner at one time, we decided to convert the formal dining room into an office/den/studio.

And since I'm a digital artist and photographer, the only requirement was room for a desk and a computer (although I actually also have a craft table as well as some bookshelves and wall space for artwork).

So I set my computer up facing the living room and I can sit and work on my art, or any other projects, while looking out over the half wall, through the back windows at the garden and wildlife habitat I'm in the process of building. (You can read more about that here.)

We seem to get a lot of Northern Mockingbirds in this area and in previous years, we've had them nesting in the young Live Oak trees in the front garden. This weekend I was sitting indoors in my studio and realized I was being serenaded by a mockingbird.

It was out in the Live Oak tree and I was surprised that I could hear it indoors, so I had to step outside and check -- yes, that's where it was, I have the photo below to prove it :-)

 It's beautiful song went on and on and suddenly, I had the name I'd been looking for, for my studio!

How did you find the perfect name for your studio or art business?