Saturday, November 30, 2013

Another Heart Shaped Box as of November 30, 2013

I went to Porter Mill Studios this morning and spent some time working on this project, a heart-shaped box that I am covering with collaged designs created from printed metallic ribbon. This was a candy box, but the Turtles logo is beginning to disappear, covered by stripes of purple and orange. If you want to see where this is going, you can see my first heart-shaped box project by following this link:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Quick Little Menurkey

Quick Little Menurkey by randubnick
Quick Little Menurkey, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
This digital drawing is of the menurkey, a rare bird, a fanciful combination of a turkey and a menorah, whose purpose is to celebrate the strange and rare overlap of Thanksgiving and Chanukah this year. I made this drawing a day before yesterday, using the Brushes app on my iPad, which captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw. This drawing is the final frame. (If you haven't already had too much turkey and you want to see the video, follow this link:

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Menurkey a video by randubnick on Flickr.

I made this little video animation last night on my iPad using the Brushes app. (The iPad version of the Brushes app captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw.) I will use it to send out on-lin greetings for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, which overlap this year.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quick Little Menorah

Quick Little Menorah by randubnick
Quick Little Menorah, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
This is the first night of Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving is tomorrow. So today I spent a lot of time rushing around doing errands, but late this afternoon I took a little time to work on a little project on my iPad, a Hanukkah and Thanksgiving animation. (The Brushes app on the iPad captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw.) The first part of the project was to draw a menorah. (Maybe you can guess where this is going.) So I did this quick sketch with the Brushes app. To be continued. . . .

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Composition with Peppers (Posterized)

Last night I posted a photo of peppers (cubanelles and green peppers). (I took the original photo in early October, during pick-up day at the Food Project, our local CSA.) Tonight I opened the jpeg in Painter I2. I was thinking of cropping the image because the shape of one of the peppers was distracting. I tried a few closeup crops, but then decided to go a different way. I used digital pastel to modify the shape of that one distracting cubanelle. Then I posterized the image and really liked the result, so here it is. I might use this one for the food blog. . . .

Monday, November 25, 2013

Composition with Peppers

Composition with Peppers by randubnick
Composition with Peppers, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
I plan to start another painting later in the week, but meanwhile I am catching up with editing photos. Here's one that I took back on October 3, on pickup day for The Food Project, which is our CSA, over at Long Hill Gardens. These peppers were in a great big bin. I liked the way they looked, so I took a picture. Today I did a little retouching in iPhoto and then cropped the original to get this composition.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Oak Leaves (Pen and Ink Exercise)

Here is another little drawing that I did this afternoon with pen and ink, and the last of the 3.5 inch Zentangle tiles that came with my new set of pens. I was thinking about oak leaves, creating a random pattern on the ground.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Translucence of Leeks (Pen and Ink Exercise)

Here's another little pen-and-ink exercise, done on a 3.5 inch square "Zentangle tile" that came with my new set of pens. I did this drawing late this afternoon, just before I started cooking dinner, which might be why I came up with design elements inspired by leeks (which I actually used to cook dinner last night). The title refers not only to the fact that leeks become translucent when sautéed, but also to the fact that the lines began to cross as I drew so I decided to make the leeks translucent.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Slices and Seeds (Pen and Ink Exercise)

Here is another pen-and-ink exercise that I did today, using my new pens. This is a small drawing, 3.5 inches square, drawn on one of the Zentangle tiles that came with the pens. I knew I wanted to draw a pattern, and started drawing circles. I drew this late this afternoon and I guess I was thinking about making dinner, because the shapes started to look like sliced tomatoes, so I went with that and added seeds. But the shapes could also be jalapeño slices, or maybe even pomegranates. Anyway, it was fun to draw, and good practice.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lines, Vines, and Dots (Pen and Ink Exercise)

Here is another pen-and-ink that I did late this afternoon with my new pens. This drawing is 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches. (I used a "Zentangle" tile that came with the pens.) I am not sure it is a "Zentangle"; I just started drawing vines and leaves and let the drawing take me where it wanted to go.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lemon Lime (Pen and Ink Exercise)

This is a little pen-and-ink exercise that I did tonight. I was curious about Zentangles so I read a little bit about it, and even bought a little kit with some new ink pens (micron pens with archival ink) and some little pieces of paper 3.5 inches square. Life has been pretty hectic, so my new "toy" has been gathering dust. But tonight I decided to try it out. I didn't really follow the steps for a Zentangle (subdividing the area with strings, etc.). Instead I just invented this little pattern and started drawing on one of the little paper squares. (I was thinking about the fish I was going to cook in lime and orange juice, which is why the pattern I invented looks a little bit like citrus fruit wedges.) Anyway, whether or not this really a Zentangle, it was a good exercise and I am really happy with my new pens.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More Apples from Russell's (Posterized)

Here's another image, also begun with a photo taken at Russell's Orchard in Ipswich, MA. There are huge bins full of apples, and I was photographing different kinds. Tonight I cropped this image from one of the photos, cropped it in iPhoto to get this composition, and then used Painter to posterize it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Apples at Russell's Orchard (Posterized Photo)

For the past few days, I have been posting some photos taken at Crane's Beach on October 22. That day also included a stop at nearby Russell's Orchard (also in Ipswich, MA). Of course there were big bins of apples and I took some pictures. Tonight I cropped this image out of one of the original photos, and used Painter to posterize it.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Crane's Beach Sand Dunes (Posterized)

This is a posterized version of the image I published here yesterday: a digitally modified photo of the sand dunes at Crane's Beach (in Ipswich, MA). I used Painter to apply a posterizing effect. The posterizing is subtle, but it created some nice touches of pink and purple in the sky and in the sand.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Crane's Beach Sand Dunes (Digitally Modified)

Here's another photo that I took during a walk on Crane's Beach (Ipswich, MA), late afternoon October 22. I liked this shot of the sand dunes, but the original photo was not ready for prime time. I used iPhoto to clean up some small bits of litter on the sand. Then I did some cut and paste in Painter to get rid of some bigger problems, something that looked like pieces of abandoned tire left in the sand. While I was at it, I decided to use cut and paste to move some clouds around, to adjust a distracting cloud formation that was exactly in the wrong place for the composition. I also created a posterized version of this image, which I plan to post here tomorrow.

Friday, November 15, 2013

View of Castle Hill from Crane's Beach

Here's another photo that I took during a walk on Crane's Beach in Ipswich, MA back on October 22. As you walk along the beach, the views of the ocean are wonderful. But if you look in the opposite direction, you can see Castle Hill, a huge estate now owned by the Trustees of the Reservation and open to the public for tours and special events. (You can see the mansion at Castle Hill in the distance in this photo.) I thought the colors and textures were interesting so I took this photo. Tonight I cropped it in iPhoto to get this composition.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

October Afternoon at Crane's Beach

Today I finally had a chance to look through some photos that I took back on October 22, during a late afternoon walk at Crane's Beach in Ipswich, MA. I think this is one of the best of the lot. The sky was overcast, which was disappointing for a beach outing, but great for photography. This was taken around 4 PM. I liked the light show in the sky, so I took this picture. Sometimes I try to avoid taking pictures of people when I photograph landscapes, but in this case, I think the human figures help provide a sense of the scale of the place.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Menurkey (Turkey-Menorah)

Menurkey (Turkey-Menorah) by randubnick
Menurkey (Turkey-Menorah), a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
This is a little illustration that I have been working on, and I finished it today. Thanksgiving falls during Hanukkah this year, which only happens ever 125 years. So I thought about making an image for a greeting card. The menurkey is a mythical bird is part turkey and part menorah. I used Painter's digital pastel to create this image, and already used it to make a greeting card on Zazzle. If you want to see the card I made, just follow this link:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pumpkin Dreidel

Pumpkin Dreidel by randubnick
Pumpkin Dreidel, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
This year, Thanksgiving falls during Hanukkah. (The last time this happened was 125 years ago!) I was thinking about ideas for greeting cards this year, and my daughter suggested the idea of a pumpkin dreidel. I already had a digital painting of a dreidel that I created some time ago, so I opened it in Painter and used it to create this image. It makes me laugh! I did use it for a combination Thanksgiving and Hanukkah greeting card (on Zazzle) and people seem to like it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dad in Foxhole (Posterized)

Dad in Foxhole (Posterized) by randubnick
Dad in Foxhole (Posterized), a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
This image began with a small snapshot (2 x 3 inches) that I came across this morning in my mom's photo album. She met my dad in 1943 in Pueblo, Colorado at a USO dance, and they got married a few months later, in April, shortly before he went overseas. While he was away, she kept a photo album with pictures of what was happening in Pueblo as well as the photos that he sent her, a number of them such as this one. This morning I used Painter to colorize and posterize the image. I don't know who took the original photo, but of course it was one of his army buddies. I don't know as much as I should about what he did during the war. Mostly I was told that he played the piano in the band (he did), which is what my folks said when I asked. And I don't know much about this photo. But on the back of the photo, in my father's handwriting, it says "March 4, 44" and "Me in my foxhole. Thinking of you." Maybe that's all I need to know.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Two Mini-Paintings in the Gallery

Here are my two miniature oil bar paintings, on display in Porter Mill Gallery. Each painting is only 3 inches square. The titles are "Golden Sunrise" and "Colorado", and both were painting from imagination. The photo was taken last Thursday at the opening reception for the "Small Works Show". I liked the way my paintings looked on the wall, so I took this picture.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Colorado (Oil Bar Mini-Painting)

Here is the finished version of my little miniature oil bar painting. (It is only 3 inches by 3 inches.) I painted this from imagination, drawing from memories of the Rocky Mountains in my home state. To finish this, I straightened out the horizon line before turning it in for the "Small Works Show" at Porter Mill, and it is hanging on the wall in the gallery right now. (It will stay there until December 15, at which point, the person who bought it will take it home.)

Friday, November 08, 2013

Red Leaves (Oil Bar Painting)

Here is the final version of my oil bar painting. I finally finished on October 23. In the end, I decided not to go with the one translucent leaf, so just put it back the way it was.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Detail of Red Leaves (with Sealed Canvas)

Here is a detail from my oil bar painting of red leaves. This was taken on October 21, when I started sealing the canvas (painting the edges). I decided on a gray-green edge. Almost done. . . .

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Red Leaves (Oil Bar Painting as of October 22, 2013)

This is my oil bar painting of red leaves as it looked on October 22. I was almost done, but continuing to repaint and clean up lines. I was also in the process of sealing the edges of the canvas. At the last minute, I decided to try to make one of the leaves translucent, as if overlapping one of the branches, as in the reference photo (posted here September 25). I liked the idea, but wasn't sure if I should keep it that way. . . .

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Colorado (Mini-Painting as of October 21, 2013)

Here is my miniature painting of Colorado as it looked on October 21st, when I added color to the foreground and sky. This is oil bar on a tiny canvas, only 3 inches by 3 inches. This is from imagination and memories of the Rocky Mountains in my home state. I have a stack of these small canvases in my studio, and it is fun to use the last few minutes of my painting sessions to work on them.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Red Leaves (Oil Bar Painting as of October 21, 2013)

This is my oil bar painting as it looked on October 21. At that point, it was almost finished. I was adding more light and trying to clean up any problems and mistakes. In fact I began sealing the edges of the canvas. Just a little bit more to go. . . .

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Another Heart Shaped Box as of November 1, 2013

On Friday afternoon, I spent some time at Porter Mill Studios and worked for a while on this project. This is a heart-shaped candy box that I am covering with collage patterns created from printed metallic ribbon. I have been working on the box top, and the orange and purple stripes I am creating are finally beginning to appear. (And the Turtles logo is beginning to vanish.) I call this "Another Heart-Shaped Box" because this is not the first. If you want to see my first heart-shaped box, follow this link:

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Mom Walking to Crews Beggs (Acrylic Water-Media)

I did this painting of my mom back in 1992, using acrylics as water-media on paper. She died in 1984 and I found comfort in old photos of her. This got me started on a series of water media paintings based on old 1940s family photos. The particular photo that inspired this painting was taken by my very amazing uncle, Ike Fitterman (AKA Jay Phillips of Jay Phillips Photography Studio in Pueblo). My uncle's photo is a 1940s black and white, taken on Main Street in Pueblo, Colorado, in front of the Crews Beggs Department Store. That photo is still one of my favorite pictures of my mother. (I also created a colorized version of that photo which I posted on this site on April 25, 2005.) Just a few weeks ago, in early October, I was ransacking portfolios in my studio, looking for something else, and came across this painting. I thought I had posted this water media painting here previously, but no, I hadn't. So I decided to wait to post it until today, because my mom was born on November 2nd.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Stone and Iron Gates (Color Version)

Yesterday I posted a black and white version of this photo, trying to make it slightly scary for Halloween. This is what the scene really looked like when I took the photo back on October 5th. This beautiful gate is at one of the entrances to Bradley Palmer State Park, here in Topsfield, MA. This has been digitally edited in iPhoto to clean up some litter and then lightly posterized in Painter.