Julie + 7d = Crazy Updates

First of all, I love my camera. We've only been together for 4 days now, and I can tell it is a great love, one that will go great places and create great things. It's definitely going to be a task to learn this camera though. Thus far I have been practicing with manually focusing the lens. I'm not that terrible at it. Focusing on people has been easy, but sometimes focusing in on my art has proven more difficult. The details are so small and there are so many different textures, I can't tell if I've focused or not. I'm not sure if this is something practice will help or it's just something my eye is incapable of distinguishing. 

This weekend I easily took at least 400 pictures, mostly of art too. There is something so nice about just being able to take as many photos as I want and not have to worry about annoying the friend who I have recruited to help me. Most of the photos were updating current art photos and finalizing my images for print-making (should I ever figure that part out). 

I also played around taking pictures of various objects and people around my house. This photo, to the left, is currently my favorite picture I've taken thus far. It's my dad and Throck-a-doodle. It was just that perfect moment that I captured and it makes me happy. 

I also took a lot of photos of old artwork from my RFH art class days (Ms. Parmly, holla!). I added a new page for that at RFH Archives. It's weird looking back at that artwork. Now my weapon of choice is the paintbrush, but then it was the pencil. I think I need to get back into using the pencil. I can create things with the pencil that I just can't with the paintbrush. 

Anyway, I plan on trying to do an update each day this week on a lot of my paintings that I re-photographed, sharing the story behind them, as most of them have a story behind them. I also feel several of the commissioned pieces deserve a bit of a spotlight. So please peruse, let me know what you think, and check back later :D



My brand new art toy

Some one slap the credit card out of my hand. Now. 

I just bought myself a Canon EOS 7d for photographing my art. It is beautiful. I love it. I ordered it Tuesday and it arrived today.










The rational behind making this purchase is that I need to be an independent person who doesn't have to scramble and rely on other people's availability in order to take print worthy pictures of my artwork. There are too many pieces out there that I just do not have a solid digital image of. The 7d is the plan to correct that. 

Another rational, and I take this from one of my favorite ladies at work, Kathy, is "I neeeeeeeed it" (something her daughter says to her and I think is a very solid and impenetrable arguement for making unnecessary purchases). It was NECESSARY!

Anyway, this camera is BEAUTIFUL. I have only had it for about 5 hours now and I can tell you I don't regret a single penny I spent on it. I've already taken a ton of photos too. You can check those out here: PHOTOS! 

One thing I did not expect though, is this camera is heavy. I'm going to need to develop some major arm muscles just to hold the dang thing. 








The official weekend plan now is to gather all my artwork I have currently and photograph the heck out of them. 

I will at this time, also throw a shout out at Pat Perrotto for help with this camera too. Originally Paul recommended the camera to me back in October. I actually bought it, before it was released (so I guess I should say pre-ordered it), then I met Pat who essentially talked me out of buying the camera saying it wasn't what I should get, only for him to turn around and buy it a couple months later. After Pat came around he helped me with all the specs (cause I am clueless) and also recommended me the lens I bought (24-70MM F/2.8L EF if anyone was curious or if that means anything to anyone) which he also has. Ergo, I feel mad professional having this camera because so does Pat and he's pretty cool. His kit has even been written up by someone out on the internets here

That being said, I've wasted too much photo taking time here as it is. Look at me talking when there's photos to be done...


Julie's Path to Enlightenment: Day 1 & 2

This past Thursday I was out at Sonny's Bar & Grill in Belmar to celebrate the wonderful Matthew Siciliano's (of Gaming Chronicles fame) birthday. It was the day after my meltdown about having no inspiration for painting (see previous post) and I was on the prowl for something to insight passion in my soul. How was I to do this? 

In a previous conversation, Pat and I had talked about how I needed to find a different hobby. He offered to take me fishing with him on that beach at like 6 in the morning. This didn't much interest me at first, but as I was tormented by my current slump all day Thursday, I showed up at Sonny's considering asking Pat to take me. How would I know if I liked it if I never tried? So I asked Pat and he said he would. I just needed to get my license. 

As I was consuming my drink of choice (Stoli O and cranberry), I thought that maybe I should try lots of new hobbies to see what I can glean inspiration from. Megan, Pat and I bounced ideas around. I mentioned bike riding but my bike kept breaking. Pat suggested I take up "bike repair", then I could buy a cheap beach cruiser and fix it up myself (and I so desperately want a beach cruiser cause I would just look so darn cute riding it in one of my many dresses). I also spoke to Bill who was just full of wonderful hobbies, specifically my favorite being the burying of  - and documenting of the burying of - random objects in my yard. Thus deciding this, the trying out of different hobbies began yesterday.

First course of action, I got my fishing license. Yup, I am licensed by the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife to fish effective 04/09/2010 through 12/31/2010. I also have a 2010 Striped Bass Bonus Permit. Holla!

Friday night, everyone seemed to be ill or unavailable so to further my trying new hobbies, I decided to partake in my brother's hobby: drinking forties and watching Cops and 1000 Ways to Die (hilarious show btw). This was a pretty solid evening. I just mellowed out, and saw the truth in everything. I was starting strong on this path to enlightenment.

I woke up this morning feeling cheerful and ready to take on the day. What would I do? What way would I expand my mind? One word: DIRT.

This all started at about 9AM. Good thing I didn't want to sleep in because bright and early a huge truck pulled down my driveway and dumped a heaping pile of top soil to be spread out in our backyard. 

About 4 or 5 years ago I started on a campaign to get a pool. I pestered my dad about it constantly and to my utter shock, he eventually gave in and bought us one. When the pool people put it in, they put it in about 2 feet too high on the lawn, causing us to have the weirdest, most uneven backyard. And today, my dad was going to spend the whole day outside trying to fix their error. I decided to help.

Normally my dad's hobbies of slaving in the yard are pretty awful, yet today it proved very entertaining. It helped that Ellis and I were working together. We were shoveling dirt into a wheelbarrow and then carting it wherever dad - or "the slave driver" as Ellis called him - told us too.

My favorite line of the day was when Ellis and I asked how much longer we had to work (although I'm sure I could have walked away at any point since I totally just walked out and asked to if I could help). Ellis asked, and my dad's reply was "Let's go look at this dirt".

Bemused, Ellis and I followed our dad out front, then stood and started at the pile of dirt. This yielded no results. My dad just walked away. We were getting loopy too at this point because Ellis got some whey protein and started throwing it on the dirt pile and me. I then climbed the dirt pile and started dancing while Ellis sprinkled whey protein around me. Dad walked back and was not amused. Back to shoveling we went.

While I was out working the land, I did gain some inspiration. After I posted my first blog about my painter's block, I got a message from a girl named Steph who went to my high school and played soccer with me. After reading my last post, she had an idea about adding Horton from Dr. Seuss to my paintings Thing 1 and Thing 2, whose names were inspired from Dr. Seuss. I had no desire to touch those two paintings again because of the contempt I currently feel for them, but I loved the idea of doing something from Dr. Seuss. As I was outside it hit me which one... THE LORAX! 

I have always loved the story of The Lorax, just as I have always cared about doing my part for the environment. What could be more perfect? Janna and I have many times talked about doing something with plastic bottles, trying to make them into art because we hate that they are so prevalent in society and are so bad for the environment! This just clicked. Outside, enjoying the beautiful day, getting inspired (and my dad paid me).  

I also made Ellis a tuna fish sandwich.


(I Can't Get No) Inspiration

I need some serious help. I have hit that creative block that I hit after I painted that mural back in the day. I completed 3 paintings I am in love with - Mother, 50 Years of Love, and Candied Island. Now I am just crapping out paintings.

These two I have entitled "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" (a little Dr. Seuss homage there).

I painted these over other canvases I was prepared to throw away. I spent about 15 minutes on each of these. First the background, then the swirls later. I do like them, but this took ZERO thought or inspiration. I just did them because I was bored and didn't want to waste the canvases. They annoy me that I like them. I hate looking at them! Good thing I can mail them to you Christian. I want them gone! Away from me! 

Literally, as I said, crapped out.


I'm kind of okay with this one. Except this canvas was supposed to be for Matt's painting of pokemon. Fudge.

It's entitled "Hopeful, Hopeless", like how I feel about painting right now.

Then there is this one:

Ewwww. I don't even know what to say about this. What was I thinking? This canvas may end up in the garbage.

And last, but not least...

This one caused me to get gold paint in my papercut. That felt awful btdubs.

Conclusion: I don't know about any of these! Would anyone want to buy these? Do I even want to show them to a gallery. Why can't I paint something awesome like "Mother", or "Acquiese to Eternity" again? Or "Remorse of Introspection". I look at those and I wonder if I will ever create another painting as solid as "What is Love?" or "The Wave". 

Why am I spazzing out!!!! I think I'm having anxiety at selling my paintings. What do I show people at galleries? What is happening to my portfolio.

I think I need to not paint for like a good 2 weeks. Just stop. Throw my hands in the air and walk away. The problem is then... what do I do with my time?

God help me. Whatever! Gus just walked in and we are going drinking.


I Should Have Stayed In Bed Today

I am having the spazziest day and I have only been awake for about 3 hours now.

I just got back from canvas shopping and let me tell you, this was a mental ordeal for me, and I can trace this all back to last night about 12 o'clock. 

My back has been bothering me a bit this week. For those of you out there who don't know about my back, well, in a nutshell, it's awful. It all stems from a hereditary degenerative malformation of my spinal vertebrae called spondylosis. It developed into further problems, specifically with my sacroiliac joint (or SI joint). That stupid joint just wouldn't stay in place. It popped out a lot, leading to intense pain that I can only describe as the feeling of being stabbed with a serrated knife in my bone. There was also some sciatic nerve pain that would radiate down the side of both my legs. 

This past December I had a procedure done called radiofrequency nerve ablation. This basically meant they put me under an x-ray, found the nerves that cause me pain, stuck a needle into them re-creating that pain and sending a radiofrequency current to the tissue causing the tissue to heat. The nerve is then temporarily deactivated, as well as the pain signal. Since then the pain has been WAY less painful, which is awesome. This means that I barely need to take pain medication anymore, which is AWESOME. I don't like them at all. It also means that when I am in pain and take the medication, I no longer have any tolerance and it hits me like a ton of bricks.

Digression complete, back to last night at 12 o'clock: I took a flexeril to help ease the pain and get to sleep. These things used to not phase me at all. Instead I took it, fell asleep almost immediately, and woke up 11 and half hours later having barely moved all night. I sleep like the dead and I still felt groggy. I could still feel a little weird but had some errands to run. I wanted to go canvas shopping.

Cut to me driving to A.C. Moore and Michaels (I had lots of coupons). A.C. Moore went just fine. It wasn't till Michaels when the spazziness hit. I knocked over a bunch of canvases on top of myself. Then I bought my canvas only to realize I lost my car keys. I searched all over the store then decided to go check the car thinking I may have left them on the seat and locked them in.

To my delight, the car was not locked. To my horror, I left the keys in the unlocked car in the ignition. 

Trying to look on the bright side, at least I didn't have to wait for anyone to come unlock my car. I opened it up, and then went to put the canvas in my car. It wouldn't fit. I forgot to think anything through. The canvas was 4 foot by 4 foot and no matter how I turned it or maneuvered it, it would not fit. People were watching me struggle in the parking lot as I tried way too long on such a futile thing. Eventually I gave up, went in to return the canvas, bought some others, knocked more things over, and returned home here.

I still feel a little wonky from that stupid pill. And I want to go ride my bike to the gym. Then I'm going to come home and try paint. These are all things I should probably not do whilst feeling "wonky". Oh well. Throw caution to the wind I suppose.