November 30, 2011

First Snow


It snowed last night. Just a dusting. Gone within an hour. No where near what this picture from last winter shows...but...it's coming!!!

Besides, it is the Christmas season....and this does look like a Hallmark card....doesn't it?

Happy Wednesday!!!

November 28, 2011

Forward

"Forward" - TypeMpress

Those who know me, know that I can be somewhat cynical when it comes to life...I've seen enough to know that sometimes good guys lose and bad guys win...but they also know that I'm also a firm believer in karma. So maybe it appears that the good guys have lost, but in the long term there will be a positive pay-back. The same with bad guys winning...there will be a negative pay-back. Karma. (I've also been around long enough to have both happen to me...so let me tell you....I do everything I can to avoid bad karma!!)

The long and short of all of this....is....this. I must have accumulated quite a bit of good karma recently as I found out on Saturday that I had been awarded the Liebster Blog Award by blog friend, Amy Duncan (or amyd...) whose blog, Four Corners Design, is something incredible. I am always amazed by the quality of her photography as well as the energy and creativity in her projects. So to have been awarded this recognition by Amy is quite an honor and for which I once again say Thank You!

The Liebster Blog Award, as I understand it, originated in Germany and recognizes up and coming bloggers and is meant to showcase those who have fewer than 200 followers. (Liebster means "favorite" or "dearest" in German.) This is done in the spirit of pay-it-forward. I accepting this award, I agreed to:

  • Thank the person that gave me the award and link back to their blog. 
  • Copy and paste the award to my blog.
  • Reveal the 5 blogs I have chosen to award and let them know by commenting on their blog.


So...without further ado, here are the five bloggers whose work and whose blogs always leave me inspired to do more! Please make sure to visit each of these blogs and show your support!!


November 23, 2011

Questions, questions, questions....

Blank Canvas, David Hayes, 2011

As of late I've been questioning where to best spend my time as an artist. You see, I run two Etsy shops: Clearer Reflections, where I show my mixed media and painting pieces, and Reflective Images, where I show my photography. Running these two shops takes time each day to keep them current and to do what marketing I can to stand out from the competition. (And there's lots of that!!)

I also have a Blogger blog (this one...), a Tumblr, a Flickr, a Twitter account, a Facebook page...and have just started a WordPress blog and another Tumblr...both of which need more work before I "unveil" them.  Naturally all of these sites take a fair amount of maintenance and following. I do these sites not only to market my wares but also to keep up with what's going on in the world and art. (I can get lost for a long time on Tumblr!!)

Now...along with all of the above, I'm constantly doing something in my studio. Currently I have three big canvases started...one will be a figurative study (...an old-fashion over-the-bar nude!) and the other two will be a abstract diptych. Then there's my photography and a dozen or so other projects waiting in the wings. LIFE always takes a big part of the day...and ever since I discovered the "Angry Bird" app for my iPhone...hours can be lost here! (Crazy birds!!!)

So...I guess what I'm getting at is this. Where should I best spend my marketing efforts? However...that's not the question I'd like to pose to you all. Instead I'd like to try my hand at my first POLL and direct your attention to the right sidebar where you should find two questions. The first is "Why do you buy art?" and the second is "Why do other people buy art?" If you could take a moment to click your responses, I'd be most happy!! It is answers to these questions that will help me with my marketing effort thoughts...

Oh...the picture above was created by first taking an overhead shot with my iPhone camera of the blank canvases that I'm using for my diptych. I then used the editing feature in the camera app to reposition and crop it on a diagonal. I then opened the FX Photo Studio App and applied the Noir Blue filter...tweaking the settings a bit to get the color and contrast I wanted. What do you think?

And yes...have a great Thanksgiving and holiday weekend!!!

November 18, 2011

First Showing

I usually don't do this...put pictures of my newest canvases out there for public crit. Yet...it's time to do this sort of thing....

I'm not even sure they're "finished"...yet I think they are. I haven't given them titles or even put the final protective coat on them. It's like I want to see if they make it through the night...

If you would...take a look at these...and let me know what you think. Are they "done"...or do they need more? More of what? Less of something else??

Each of these works are 9x12 inches, done on stretch canvas. Mixed media works...but mostly acrylic...

Thanks for taking a look...even more thanks if you take time to crit....

Painting #1, David Hayes, 2011

Painting #2, David Hayes, 2011

Painting #3, David Hayes, 2011

Painting #4, David Hayes, 2011





November 13, 2011

What My Grandma Missed!

What My Grandma Missed!, David Hayes, 2011

This post is really about the app I used to create this pic, PicFrame, but first the story behind the pictures...

My grandfather, who has been dead for quite sometime, was quite the outdoorsman...hunting and fishing whenever he got the chance. Fishing mostly. His garage was filled with his gear...boats, tackle, rod, reels, etc. etc. It was his dream to retire to Florida and fish. Unfortunately, soon after he retired, cancer got him. (I suppose the moral here is not to smoke...but also "do it now!") In any case, on the walls of this "man-cave" where hung pinups of all shapes and sizes. Nothing obscene or revealing...at least by today's standards...just like the ones above. However, my grandmother was not too happy about this  "art collection"! She wouldn't let her grandsons go out to the garage...although we always found a way...

The story is that soon after my grandfather's passing, while dealing with everything in the garage, my grandmother took down all the pinups. At least that's what I thought. Several months ago, while retrieving her storm windows from the garage, I stuck my head into a small corner storage closet in the back of the garage...and there on the door...where these lovely ladies!! Seeing a "photographic moment" I whipped out my trusty iPhone and took snaps. I left them there...for now. And didn't say a word to my Grandmother. She is 100 years after all...and I don't want her running out to pull these down as well!!

Okay...story over. Now on to the app...

There are any number of ways using Photoshop or Photoshop-like softwares and what are known as "actions" to group images together into frames. Which all work quite well. But this means you have to transfer your iPhone images to your computer to do this. Not what I want to be doing...being the "purist" (lol) and wanting to do everything "in-camera", I started looking for framing apps. I did find the app Diptic which is good, but somewhat limited in formatting options. Just recently, I discovered PicFrame. This app offers a lot more frame options as well as adjustment options for each frame. It also has this neat ability to let you put labels into your frames. It costs a little more than Diptic, but I feel it's worth the price.

So...to create, "What My Grandma Missed!" I picked the three-window frame you see, inserted the pics of the pinups, that I had cropped earlier using PhotoStudio, into each window. I then played around with the corners as well as the size of each window...making the center window just a little bigger. Going to the label function, I created and inserted the two labels you see. Simple as that!

PicFrame allows you to save to your camera roll as well as share to Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, and Twitter.

There you have it. Give this one a look. And, please....don't tell my Grandmother that these ladies are out in her garage!!! 


November 9, 2011

Key. Board.

Key. Board., David Hayes, 2011

It's been a busy last couple of weeks....can't say I've done anything amazing...just dealing with life. Which has been good. Just busy. So I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. I'm working on four mixed-media canvases right now...9x12's. Two of them are "done"...just sitting on the shelf  for contemplation before I show them. The other two are in progress...both giving me problems as to where to go next. Although I did solve one issue this afternoon so I might just be on the right track....again.

I've also been exploring and playing around with new apps. Naturally. So I wanted to show you one that I've been having fun with as of late. (There's a second one that I'll save for my next posting and a third that I haven't played with much...so that one will wait.) 

The first app is called ScratchCam. While I first discussed this app a bit in my last post, the fact that this app gives some dynamite vintage and grunge filters as well as great textures makes it worth looking into again.

In my pic, "Key. Board.", I took a straight shot of old piano keys, then applied ScratchCam's folded paper texture. Then...I played around with the "scratch" and "grunge" filters until I found a combination I liked. (No...I don't remember which ones...I was in my zone and didn't bother to write this down!!) While this app has great effects, it is somewhat limited in where it lets you share your finished work...but it does let you Twitter and Facebook. (You can also follow them on these two sites.) The really cool thing is that right now...for a limited time (of course)....you can get this app for 50% off! I bought it at full price...and would do so again...but heck, get it at the discount!!!

So check this one out...and look for my next post in which I'll show you an app that helps you showcase your work!!