Monday, January 26, 2015

2010 Quasi-Fresh - January.

   Tonight I begin a new year - a new year-in-review, that is. 2010 was a good year for me, art-wise. I came up with several new pattern elements which produced some of my favorite designs. I didn't produce as many designs over the course of the year as I have in the years since. I guess I just didn't draw as fast back then. Still, I hope you'll find that some of these oldies-but-goodies are pretty good!
Also, Kevin is back! Yay!
IMAO Link of the Day: "A Promising Local Artist."

To the Edge. 1/8/10
   I called this one "to the edge" but I suppose it would be more accurately called "to within 1/4 inch of the edge".

Fractile Snowflake - With Linked Background. 1/16/10
   Fractile Snowflake had some interesting touches. I created a transitional zone between the snowflake and the background which I don't recall ever using again on any other design. I don't know why - I guess I just forgot about it. Going through these old designs makes me re-think my creative process. I'll look at them and try to remember what I did to get them to look the way they do. Sometimes I go "Oh yeah, I remember that!" and other times I go "What the heck was I thinking?". Still, I know my methods and I can usually backtrack the steps I took to get the results I got. Here either I was trying to separate the snowflake from the background, or I did the snowflake complete with the transition zone and then decided the design needed some kind of background.
   Whatever. It still looks good!

Color Experiment. 1/21/10
   This experiment was about coloring technique, not about the colors themselves. I wanted to see if just coloring around the edges of the forms would make the design look transparent. My conclusion was that it just made it look incomplete!

3 Snowflakes. 1/25/10
   I braided 3 different 6-pointed designs together in this picture, so it's really 3 snowflakes. See?

   Well, that's all for January, 2010. But before I show the latest episode of Kevin Koastie, here's a work-in-progress I started just today. It's special because it's for a friend here in Memphis who is starting a radio show called "Art A Go Go" on a local AM station. She wants a logo to go with the show - something she can print on t-shirts or business cards, etc. So we talked it over and I sketched out this design. You can still see the pencil lines.
   I should have it done in a day or two. Gosh, I hope she likes it! (She said she may interview me on the radio - as a promising local artist, I guess. Or maybe about my theory that all our problems can be blamed on those sneaking, conniving dirty Elves!)

Art A Go Go. unfinished
   So, anybody need a logo?

1st Corinthians 15:33 - Do not be deceived; "Bad company ruins good morals."
   I got the idea for this plot twist from a memorial address given by C.S. Lewis in 1944. It still applies today, and will probably still apply 500 years from now! It's pretty good, and not too long to read; so enjoy!
Link: C.S. Lewis - "The Inner Ring".

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2011 Sort'a Fresh - October, November & December.

  Hello everyone! I hope you had a good Martin Luther King Day weekend. I went to see American Sniper - The Chris Kyle story. Excellent Movie, you should all go see it! If you don't, the terrorists win!  (ahem)
   Anyway, today I'll be showing the work I completed in October, November and December of 2011, a total of 5 pictures. Either I was too busy with other things to get much drawing done during this time period, or I gave a lot of my work away as Christmas presents - I don't remember which. But you can enjoy the few I still possess.

IMAO Link of the Day: That Frowning Troll Like Face.

   Sorry, no Kevin Koastie cartoon this week, I got busy with a new design over the weekend and couldn't tear myself away to do a cartoon instead. It's still not finished, but I'll show it at the bottom of this post anyway. (It contains a 'secret message')!

Hiding True Center. 10/12/11
   Hiding True Center is a variation on my previous design, Revealing True Center. All the circles are off-kilter, except for one, which would reveal the center, if it wasn't hidden.

Alphacromatic Garden With Ripples. 10/17/11
   This one is a variation on my previous design Ripples. I call it a garden because I used all the colors in my pencil box that had botanical names, like Rose Red or Pine Green, and I call it Alphacromatic because I applied the colors in alphabetical order. After it was finished, I concluded that the circles really didn't add anything to the design - they just made it more complicated. So I stopped adding them. But now you wait and see, I'll probably come up with some new way to add ripples to a design, because looking at these old designs tends to give me ideas for new designs. We'll see.

Shooting From the Hip. 10/23/11
   I posted Shooting From the Hip once before. I drew this design the other way around, then colored it from the center - out to the edges, and didn't see anything in it. Then I turned it around and saw a guy with a gun blasting away. So I included it in my Genius Unintentional collection.

Variation on a Motif. 11/9/11
   I was still experimenting with that zig-zag pattern I created for Sword of the Cherubim. I wondered if I could create a maze with it, but I decided I'd need a larger sheet of drawing paper to start with, so I may take another stab at it someday.

Centrifugal. 11/14/11
   Centrifugal is a simple spiral design with a hyphenated treatment around the edges, but it looked like it was spinning to me.

Auld Lang Syne. 12/30/11
   I finished this one on Dec. 30th, and figured it would make a good period to the year, so I named it after that old song they always sing to celebrate the passing of the old year and to welcome in the new year. The picture itself is a semi-random, semi-linked, semi-curved structure with no meaning except what the viewer may place into it - kind of like our hopes and dreams for each new year, which are always deeply personal and subjective. (although, that frowning troll-like face in the lower, left-hand corner worries me a little bit!)
I mean this bit!
   Well, that's the whole 2011 collection wrapped up. Now I'll show the design I worked on this weekend (and yesterday) instead of doing my Kevin Koastie cartoon like I should have.

Unfinished - (secret message)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2011 Sort'a Fresh - September.

   Tonight I'll show the work I completed in September, 2011, as well as the latest episode of The Adventures of Kevin Koastie!
IMAO Link of the Day: United Nations/Un-Congenial Confluence

Ripples. 9/2/11
   Ripples started out as a globe, (large forms in the center, reducing in size but increasing in number as they move to the edge) but then I started fiddling with the circles which I would usually erase when I got to the inking stage. This time I left them in.

Air-Cooled Double-Linked Stars. 9/8/11
   This one started out as a set of 6-pointed star shapes, but ended up looking like some sort of radiator system - hence this particular title.

Salvaging the Grid. 9/16/11
   Since I bought a new pad of drawing paper, I had to create a new square grid sheet to go with my new paper. (I place the grid paper behind my blank sheet of drawing paper on a clear plastic clipboard and this lets me see the grid through the paper when I hold the clipboard up to the light.)
This lets me block out my designs while keeping my lines straight and the proportions true - just a trick of the trade.
   Anyway, I screwed up my first attempt at creating this particular grid and was about to rip it up and start again when I decided instead to add some more lines and some circles and make another design out of it. So 'salvaging the grid'.

Bottom to Top. 9/20/11
   This one is a symmetrical semi-curved woven linked structure. I used 4 sets of 3 related colors and began coloring it from the bottom to the top. I figured that if I didn't make any mistakes, the symmetry should continue all the way to the top. I guess I was right!

United Nations. 9/23/11
   United Nations is a variation on my Un-Congenial Confluence design. (shown in my last post) The news at the time was full of the usual disharmony coming from the United Nations (something about wanting to sanction Israel for being openly and aggressively Jewish - I don't remember exactly what) so the title has a certain sarcastic quality.

Darwin's Dilemma? 9/27/11
    OK, here's my dilemma. I drew this picture, right? I drew every line - granted, quite a few of the lines were selected at random, but within the limited area of the design which was limited by the area of the page. I did all the fiddly bits around the primary design lines, some straight, some curved. I selected the colors and applied them in a simple chromatic progression until the picture was finished.
I swear I had no preconceived idea about what the final picture would look like. So... given all that... where did that monkey-looking thing come from? If everything was random and unplanned, where did the order come from? Hence my metaphysical conundrum!

Piece of Time. 9/30/11
   Piece of Time seemed to me to be moving while sitting still, while having a certain gear-ish quality, like the guts of some complex clock. So there you have it - time frozen in time. Huh.

   And now Kevin Koastie! (I was going to find a youtube video that would prove the allegation I {humorously} make in this cartoon, but then I caught myself and said, "Dude! Nobody wants to see That!", so forget it!)

There are some things that even an Elf just won't do!
 Hmm... maybe it was Yale... Oh well!

Friday, January 9, 2015

2011 Sort'a Fresh - August.

   Well, here I am again! My computer problems are behind me, and I still have lots of pretty pictures to share with you! (well, pictures 'with a great personality' at least). Oh, and I did another Kevin Koastie cartoon as well!
IMAO Link of the Day: That'd Keep'em Out I Reckon!

   In August, 2011 I was working my way through a stack of light-orange colored cardstock paper, and when that was used up, I went back to drawing on the back of FDIC forms I swiped from the customer service counter at my bank. Eventually I bought some real drawing paper, of course, but I did some good work with these "wear-it-out, use-it-up, make-it-do" materials.
   First up, the one picture from August, 2011 that I was actually able to post last week ...

Random Nodes of Confluence. 8/2/11
   I developed a new pattern that August that I eventually refined into the first picture I ever drew to send to Frank J at as an expression of my fan-dom. ( A Little Story - October, 2013 - My first post! )

I mean this one!

Sword of the Cherubim. 8/3/11
   The title of this one was inspired by a line from the Bible, (Genesis 3:24)

"He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.",

Since it looked like a wicker gate made of sword blades to me. I figured, "yep, that'd keep'em out, I reckon!"

   Anyway, that was so much fun, I did two more in quick succession, experimenting with variations in pattern and color. Since the basic structure was just a simple zig-zag, I couldn't make them too hard to draw, no matter how many fiddly-bits I added to the secondary details, which is why I could finish all three in about a week.

Variation on a Theme. 8/4/11

Hidden Circle. 8/7/11
   Hidden circle really does contain a circle, but it's hard to see because it's made of straight lines!

Swirly Cat (Schrodinger's Cat?). 8/10/11
   I posted Swirly Cat back in my 'Genius Unintentional' post last year. Do you see a cat? Is it there or not? Is it in a state of quantum uncertainty, waiting for the probability wave-front to collapse when someone opened the box? That's why I gave it the alternative title, 'Schrodinger's Cat'.
This video is for those who don't know the story behind the term "Schrodinger's Cat".
And this video is for those who don't understand why it's important. Almost as important as Beer!

Un-Congenial Confluence. 8/12/11
   Un-Congenial Confluence starts out perfectly symmetrical around the circumference and becomes increasingly random and lop-sided as the colors progress towards the center, because I fiddled with the proportions of half of the design - just to see what would happen. Now I know!

Bad Apple Window. 8/16/11
   This one was another experiment in color progression, with a green-ish squiggly bit added near the top to cover up a traumatic color application accident. (the clipboard almost slipped out of my hand, I frantically grabbed for it before it fell to the ground while holding a colored pencil in one hand, and left a big, bold streak of color right across the page.) But I think it worked out OK. It became the stem of the apple.

Triple Mandala. 8/17/11
   Here I was able to combine two very different patterns in one picture. The woven structure around and behind the central circular form is actually 3 separate weaves that are locked together, but never actually link together. Pretty cool, eh?

3-Point Progression in Shades of Yellow. 8/20/11
   I made this one using the old Points of Contact structure combined with my recently discovered 3-Point Color Progression. I used all my colored pencils that had any yellow in them, including the green ones. I could have used all the orange ones as well, but I finished off the design before I got to them!

Tightly Structured Pattern Meets the Random Element. 8/20/11
   The title really says it all. Which means that I couldn't think of a title. But it's the first one drawn in a while on real drawing paper. Yay!

Octoglobe. 8/24/11
   After all my experiments with randomness, I felt the need to do a design that was complex, but complete non-random. I started with a simple 8-point structure, then doubled it 5 times, going from 8 to 256 points around the edge. My hope was that the smaller bits would appear to be farther away, and thus curving away from the viewer.
   Well, that's it for August, 2011. Next week I can show the 7 designs I did in September, 2011. I hope you'll like them.

And now, Kevin Koastie!

I tried to work in a "Matrix" reference as well, but I couldn't manage it.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 - Computer Problems.

   (Jan. 1, 2015) Happy New Year, everybody! This week my total tally has gone over 20,000 visitors since I began this blog! Yay! Who knows? Maybe 2015 will be the year it all goes "viral" (whatever that means) and my visitors will exceed the magical "million" mark?
   If that's the case, I better get busy and produce something for all those hypothetical visitors to see, right?

IMAO Link of the Day: Sweet Betsy From Pike!

   I gave away quite a few pictures for Christmas this year, the last 4 on New Year's Eve, before the bank closed. Now everyone should be happy! I have one other picture completed in  December 2014 that I haven't  given away, and unlike nearly everything else I produced in December, it's not a circle!
That right there makes it almost unique! Oh sure, I did some snowflake shaped designs which were kind of cubic earlier on, but these last few weeks have been all 'variations on a circle'. So I made this one extra cubic. Here it is in black and white design stage, as well as the finished product:

   (Jan. 2, 2015) Oops, sorry. My computer slowed right the heck down, and when I tried to run my Super Magic Tune-up software before finishing this post, it failed to load properly and I spent the rest of the night just trying to log back onto my own computer! Oh well, Happy New Year!
....(blows one, lone, pathetic squeaky party horn with descending note)....

   Now, where was I? Oh yeah, my last design of 2014, and then a review of my work from August, 2011, and then the first Kevin Koastie cartoon of 2015! Oh Boy!

Black & White Test #51

Mine Craft-ish Christmas Tree. 12/30/14
   August was a good month for me, if total production is any indicator. I finished eleven designs.

(Jan. 3, 2015) Dang it! My computer jammed up again, but this time I was able to glean a clue as to what was going wrong. So, this morning I made a minor adjustment and everything is now working just fine! (crosses fingers, knocks on wood).

Random Nodes of Confluence. 8/2/11

   Well, folks, my computer is still on the fritz, so I'm not gonna be able to show all my work from August, 2011 tonight. While I still have any capacity at all, I better post my latest cartoon.
   Harvey, this one's for you! (I worked in the General Zod angle, and in a compromise between full Zod-ness and the bare-chested He-man barbarian option, I dressed you as The Dread Pirate Roberts!)

Oh, and the school song is sung to the tune of "Sweet Betsy From Pike".

Kneel Before Harvey!

Hopefully I'll get this computer problem fixed by next week. Happy New Year (again) everybody!