Monday, April 20, 2015


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Christopher "Topher" Schink and Skip Lawrence publish (through Cheap Joe's Art Supplies) a very informative and exciting magazine, called The Palette Magazine.   It has been one of my favorite publications for years.  Early this year I had great fun doing a three artist demo in Santa Rosa, Ca. with the impressive Mr. Topher  Schink and David Lobenberg who is a fabulous watercolor portrait artist from Sacramento.  The latest issue of The Palette Magazine has sequenced photos of each of our interpretations of the model, along with some additional information about each of us.  I knew about the article, but imagine my surprise when I finally received my copy in the mail and saw my self on the cover!  

If you don't already subscribe to The Palette Magazine, you are missing out.  You can order it through Cheap Joe's website.  Worth every penny.  I always read it cover to cover as soon as it arrives.  There is a very intriguing process for mono printing described in this issue  which I can't wait to try.  

I have updated my workshop schedule, so check it out.  If you are local to the San Francisco Bay area,  I will be participating in another 3 person portrait demo for the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society with Topher Schink and Mike Bailey.  It will be at the Los Altos Town Hall on Saturday, July 18th.  It's going to be a fun event.  I hope many of you can join us!   

Saturday, April 18, 2015


As technology changes at the speed of light, it can be challenging to keep up.  On the other hand, we,  are able to do amazing things with just a little knowledge and practice.  The best part is we don't have to know the science behind the wizardry!!!!

I have been an Apple lover for years.  Working at home without an IT Department, I had to be able to figure things out pretty much on my own.  Thank G-d for my kids and grandkids who can help me out when I get into trouble, but the intuitive nature of the Apple products have served me very well.  I finally broke down and bought an iPhone 6 Plus because the screen was finally big enough for me to see stuff on it and the keys were big enough for me to hit the right one the first time!  I don't need to have my phone glued to my body at all times, so the larger size works just fine for me.  The biggest surprise to me was the camera in the phone.  I still can't get over the color accuracy.  It is spot on and I no longer have to adjust the color when I photograph my art work.  With all my other cameras I struggled to get the color on the screen and in a print out to look like the original.  Boy, those days are happily gone.   So, since I had a nice camera in my phone I decided to invest a little in a few extras.  I bought one of those extension sticks, thinking I could take some unusual angles.  That came with an attachable tripod.  I also bought a small table top tripod for the phone and some attachable lenses.  Since so much of my work involves working from a photograph, I wanted to expand my possibilities without spending a fortune on extra equipment.  I downloaded an app called CAMERA PLUS, which turned out to be one of the best moves I could have made... and here is why....

I like to enter competitions where the acceptance requires that you provide camera ready art for the publication.  I never had the equipment or technical skill to take that kind of photograph and hired a professional photographer to do it for me.  Sometimes the painting was already framed and twice it was in a national show and wouldn't be back before the deadline for submitting the photo to the publication.  Lucky for me, those two times the paintings were local and I was able to solve the problem but lots of added stress.  I never professionally photographed my work "just in case" because of the expense.  Enter the iPhone 6 with an 8 megapixel camera.  In the Camera Plus app there is a setting where you take the photo at the full 8 megapixels in tiff format which means there is no compression.  I put the phone/camera on the tripod for steadiness and attached the ear buds which will act as a shutter release by clicking the volume control on the cord.  Now I can take my own professional photographs and I don't need special lighting, a high end digital camera or any advanced photographic expertise....the new technology does it all for me.

The image above is the result of my first professional photo adventure.  It looks slightly distorted here because it is a much higher resolution than the blog is designed for, but,  I wanted to show you an example.

With my tripod and "selfie stick" I am going to experiment with the video capabilities in the phone and try creating some small videos of different techniques.  What technologic discoveries have you made that have enhanced your art making abilities?  Please share.  We learn and grow from each other.

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