Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Adventures this big don't grow on trees...

I am guilty of having 'Hey, why not?' moments... so sue me. ha ha. If you didn't know already, Disney is hosting a little, good natured contest for it's re-release of James and the Giant Peach. I won't win, but you should enter. XD

If you also happen to be around Taylor, North Dakota for the weekend of the 24th of June, and you also happen to be a horse nut, boy! Are you in luck! And right across the grounds, at the Taylor Art Depot, there will be a free art show. You should really go to that too. Did I mention, it's FREE??!! Stop on over, or I will give your children espresso and a puppy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mott Fair, July 9th

Art in the Park was quite the learning curve. Made new friends, learned new things, had a great turn out, and with any luck, will be there next year. Thank you to everyone who braved the heat and the crowds.

Since photography is my hobby and not my profession, take my opinion for what it's worth, but 2 photographers I met this weekened that you REALLY should not miss are Les Voorhis and Pat Gerlach If you at all enjoy nature photography, you cannot miss these two. Mengleson, eat your heart out.

Speaking of my uninformed opinion, this Friday, I will be over in Mott, judging the fine art exhibits, as a last minute fill in for a real expert, Bev Haas. Have 100% experience on being on the other side of the show fence, so I have never judged anything; bear in mind, I will do my best with the guidelines presented to me, and if you happen to not be awarded the ribbon this year, please remember that I am a cartoonist, and I already have plenty of angry letters informing me about the fact that I wouldn't know real art if it reached up and bit me in the ass.

I am looking forward to meeting everyone in Mott, and seeing the wonderful talent the town has to offer, where I am sure they have a great sense of humor, and strong laws against hurting someone just because they didn't give your picture a ribbon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

that stings. Oh, and there's art show 4th of July.

I suppose it was bound to happen, but rejection has finally hit the studio. Revisions for book illustrations are nothing new, but it's the first time I've been rejected twice. *shrug* There's always a learning curve.

Going to attend more than 2 art shows this year - a number of which are outside. I enjoy taking the art outdoors, but then again, when I think phenomenal, original paintings... the first thing that comes to mind is not hanging it in the park. So long as it's not terribly windy this weekend, we're set!

In between all of that, there are couple book projects keeping me busy, traditional illustrations, sooooo fun, but gaaaaa... it takes so much longer than digital. ha ha.

Pekin Art Show was epic! And this hobbit-inspired painting was my hero for the weekend. Thanks to patrons and art appreciators alike who turned out, despite the weather, and made for a great time. Happy Independence Day everybody!

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Machine, Freeware, and Emotional Closure

It is finally coming to pass. I didn't want it to happen. This is a very emotional time for all of us, I know, but there's no more use in fighting it. I've been in denial, and it's time to move on. I am talking, of course, about having to purchase a new computer.

I don't want to have to say goodbye! I've been patching this poor little gateway along since before I left high school. We have a relationship, a commitment, which has evolved over time, that some days, I take far more seriously than say, for example, wedding vows.

Oh sure, I might have said for richer or poorer, till death do us part, etc, but I think if we're honest, we all have a little spot in our brains that reminds us, 'Meh. You might change your mind.' The bond you have with your computer is permanent! It holds your tax software for God's sake!

Now, you may think my values a little twisted. How can I possibly be more committed to a tower of circuits - none of which have any feeling, or care for me - but you have to consider the larger picture. My husband may be a warm, loving, caring person, but he will never, ever, run Photoshop and iTunes simultaneously!!!

Which brings me to my second point, the fact that the folks who run Adobe are soul-less wankers. These discommodious jackanapes have a brilliant product, and they know it. To make a long story short, my entire package, all-be-it admittedly, CS2, is magically nonrenewable. Oh sure, it might be mine, purchased some time ago, but that doesn't matter to Adobe. They are running out with CS5, and you had better plunk out $2,000 on it, cuz Adobe is pretty sure if you don't, no one will ever shag you. And don't you even think of pleading for mercy, say, purchasing a CS3 package, true, it may be their product, a product they are proud of, unopened, and newer than new, but because they are, and I believe they told you this already, taking pre-orders for CS5.

This was the following conversation had:
Me: It's telling me my serial number is invalid.
Ass Who Will Remain Nameless: Yiiis. I am showing this to be an invalid serial number.
Me: But this is my software.
AWWRN: Adobe is currently taking upgrade orders, would you like to -
Me: NO! I just want to install my software.
AWWRN: Yiiiis. I am seeing that this is for a CS2 version. We are not currently servicing this product.
Me: I know it's for CS2, that's why we started this conversation!
AWWRN: *takes the time to repeat what Adobe is selling*
Me: *suggests they shove what Adobe is selling up one of their primary nasal passages.*

In the end, turns out, no matter what your problem, if your software isn't the system they're selling, the only fix is to buy an upgrade. To quote the church lady: [link]

So to make myself feel a little better, here are some links to some dandy freeware:
Paint = Sumopaint [link]
InDesign = Scribus [link]
Photoshop = Gimp [link]

Sure, you probably already knew about these, and yes, of course, I have no alternative to break down and get a new system and software, because you can rely on 3 things in this world. Death, taxes, and that the only solution, is to purchase an upgrade.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ramblings and WIP's.

Well, haven't I been the productive, sleep-deprived little sod? New originals, or prints, are now available over at the site, and I have actually managed to meet 98% percent of my book deadlines which can only mean one thing: ART SHOW season is just around the corner. Time to get in touch with your inner gypsy.

This year, I am trying something new. I am taking my husband along on some of these weekend escapades, because I like a challenge*. Ok, sure, maybe he doesn't like hiking, or being out in the sun all day, or finds camping about the same level of fun-filled exuberance as a root canal... but I have never let that stop me from dragging him out on a weekend before. Why start now?

My only reservation is,... with regards to our 2 beliefs about time travel. Every year, time of departure for an event is the subject of literally millions of marital arguments, and while I certainly would never engage in crude generalizations based on gender, all of these arguments are started by men.

Let's say an event starts at, 9am. My husband, under the mistaken belief that events actually start on time, will factor in for traffic, weather/road conditions, being 15 minutes early, time to find parking, the time change, and an extra 20 minute cushion for possible engine trouble, meteor strike or invading Germans, will be ready to go not later than 3:20am and pacing about the house, jingling car keys in a suggestive manner that makes the lady of the house utter suggestions as to what he can do with his bloody keys.

Of course, by the time I have remembered the 12** other things I had forgotten to get done because I was busy for the past 2 weeks doing all the other things I needed to get done first, we have calmly spent the morning discussing our differences and formulating a reasonable compromise in that I am out of touch with the known physical laws of the universe, and he should quit being a bleeding, key jingling time Nazi.

I have yet to be late or miss an art show, and for all the work that goes into it, I love it, and because we are both mature, intelligent adults, the next time we have an event to attend, we will have exactly the same argument.

Tradition is important in marriage.

Will look for you at the art shows! Stop by the booth and say HI!

*or, perhaps I have brain damage.
**I will still, at minimum, forget 2.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tutorials and Art Shows

Recently, I have been occupied with book illustration deadlines and the odd new website construction, but as we all know, May is coming, and thus Art Show season gets into full swing. There's really no better way to get in touch with your inner gypsy than being at an art show - so if you have the chance to throw up a table, I highly recommend it. Or else, face gypsy curse! Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha!

There is only 1 kurfuffle* I have with art shows, and that is, as I view it anyway, the unholy fees for entering. You need nothing less upfront, for some of these shows, than the GDP of Brazil! It can be quite frustrating, especially if you're starting out, and there is always an abundant of talent out there that deserves to be seen. I ask, general public, if you were to see a concert, you wouldn't expect them to charge the orchestra and let the audience in free? Same goes for a movie or a play, readings, ballet, etc.... lame. But I digress; *hops off my soap box*

Sooooo... there have been a few updates over at the site, 4 Dog Arts , including 2 new pieces now available. Hope on over and see! K? Thanks!

*this is a family friendly blog, g*$%^@!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ask A Historian

After finally regaining control of the snow in the yard, nature has seen fit to replace it all, and then some, over this coming weekend. Ha ha, that silly nature, always seeming to tell us and our little Toyota, "Up Yours!"

It is, however, not without it's little delights. No doubt the Fargo Forum did not set out to make my day, but they exceeded my inner 9 year-old's expectations with this brilliant beauty.

(And yes, since you're wondering, I may actually be the last person on the planet who still occasionally reads a newspaper. Who knew they still made these things?!)

Speaking of old and things 'past-it', let's move to the history corner where we can ask all sorts of pressing questions with regard to our past:

Q. Why do I have to read this crap for History class?

A. Because The American Society of University Professors Who Are Never in Their Offices need job security you little twit, so just pretend you even cracked the cover, and we'll let it slide.

There is actually a trick to reading medieval literature. Because for the most part, they lacked the common courtesy to write in modern English, this was the 'days of yore' you will recall, and frankly, we're pretty sure there was a lot of 'yore' laying about the place, so these old, white, dead guys and the occasional Julian of Norwich, put pen to paper quite often, and continued to be miffed that Gutenberg was taking his sweet time to getting around to opening that Print Shop.

It was also the age of metaphors. When authors of this period talk about 'bird watching', we promise you, they are not ornithologists. You see, feudalism and Christianity were so popular, it ran under the themes of: if you could work hard, avoid witches, followed the rules, and proved to be a 'team player', you might live healthy and well right into your late 20's. Metaphors were a way for the whole, maybe, 3?, literate folks in the country to get around saying something so horrible, it would get you barbecued and quartered.

Beheading = "I think the king is a ninny."
Modified = "I think the king is a ninny, and I hope he doesn't use a metaphor to remove my head."

Friday, January 1, 2010

Are you there, Internet? It’s me. Jack

Happy 2010! Despite my hit and miss relationship with this series of tubes called the Internets, here I be, blogging away. No doubt, time could be better well spent - cure for cancer, ending world hunger, moving that mountain of snow piled in the driveway... but I have been informed by all my friends that if I continue to hold out from blogging or joining facebook, not only will they give up on me*, but I will suffer the friendless fate of having my brain devoured by snails**.

2009 was for sure, a year that far too many will be happy to put behind them. If you're stupid brave enough, let's swallow our meds and head up for a re-cap:

President Obama is elected as the first black president and then delivers an upbeat inaugural address, ushering in a new era of cooperation, civility and bipartisanship in a galaxy far, far away. Here on Earth everything stays much the same. The former president is taken back to Texas under the cover of darkness and is released into the wild where he no doubt bonded with a colony of ferrets.

Of course, none of that compares to February, when congress decides to send a stimulus package totaling $787 billion. The money is immediately turned over to taxpayers so they can use it to stimulate the economy. Ha ha! Got you, silly person! Of course it isn't. It is given to select institutions for the preservation of the economy as determined by, what we figure, is perhaps the Dept. of Treasury's magic 8 ball. By March, the citizens of America have their knickers in a bunch about these same failed institutions handing out bonuses to their top people, although we here at 4 Dog can't get our heads around why, when the initial number is still 787 BILLION!

April is pretty well dominated by international affairs, America issues a few even 'stronger!' words to North Korea, and it is otherwise lame, so we'll move onto May which if you ask us, was just about as exciting, so we'll move onto June.

The media produces a shocking outcome that sends shock waves of shock reverberating shockingness around the planet whom turns out to be -- incredibly -- that guy singer, whatshisname,... Michael somethingorother.... and proves that timing is everything, a lesson Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, missed by just a day. The nation therein learns that "hiking the Appalachian trail" is code for, "partaking in lucid, unholy, acts of an explicitly sexual nature in Argentina."

July was just awesome because a new car be had by this house via cash for clunkers. We would like to announce that yes, our vote is up for sale.

August to November was pretty much a cut scene, with a few exceptions: confronted with concern, public meetings were held wherein, members of the American public calmly ask questions in a respectful manner to their elected representatives about the proposal of a health care bill. Ha ha! That cracks us up. Of course, members of the American public actually hurl themselves at their political representatives in the manner of a rabid dog on a rancid squirrel.

President Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and David Letterman admits on TV that he has had several "hikes along the Appalachian trail" with members of his staff. Also, although we don't have a joke for it, the Large Hadron Collider is restarted after a 14-month delay. We just happen to think the LHC is kick-ass.

Also, we had swine flu. We do not wish that even on members of the public who arrange dog fights.

And so then, in ending, December will probably be remembered for announcing that anything that moves "hiked the Appalachian Trail" with Tiger Woods.

The end. Happy New Year everybody!

*Not a surprise, considering who we're dealing with here.
**Still doesn't sound as bad as having to remove the snowdrift piled up the steps to the front door.