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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sandy Puc

I attended a photography seminar with photographer Sandy Puc tonight. It was an amazing seminar about marketing your photography business. She gave so many wonderful ideas for business building and bringing in new clients. I really felt inspired by her work. I hope to attend many more of her seminars in the future.

More than Sandy's work, I was incredibly inspired by her as a person. I totally expected to learn the basics of lighting and poses in family photography and got that and so much more. Not only did she teach us an array of her extensive knowledge of photography, but she taught us about the wonderful things we can do to give back with our art.

This woman is amazing! Sandy managed to incorporate her many inspirational stories about the things she has encountered as a photographer among all of the technical things. She told us of photographing Race for the Cure, dying infants through NILMDTS, and her many foster children. It's difficult to describe her approach, for it is completely humble and intended to get us off our asses.

Part of the seminar included a live photo shoot with a young family with a small infant. It was so great to watch Sandy's technique. She created beautiful portraits in minutes and did it with such skill. Sandy's portraits are beautifully posed and captured. She has a booming business in Colorado and still spends several evenings a week volunteering her services for NILMDTS. It is hard to put into words how great this seminar was! I would highly recommend it to any photographer. I truly think that Sandy travels the country doing these seminars to inspire people to change their lives.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep...

I attended a photography seminar recently and discovered an amazing organization. The Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization is composed of a group of non-profit photographers that donate their time and talent to help those grieving the loss of a baby. I am truly moved by this organization. Please visit their website and make a donation.

NILMDTS was formed to help families deal with the loss of a baby. They provide a photographer, free of charge, to come to the hospital, and photograph very sick babies before and after their death. This may sound strange, but the pictures that are captured provide beautiful, lasting memories for the families. These photographs help families with the grieving and healing process.

Families who loose a baby often only have pictures of their sick baby that are traumatizing. One mother explained that the only pictures she had of her baby were ones with him covered in bruises, tubes, and medical tape. NILMDTS photographers capture the beauty of these infants in beautiful lighting and most often in black and white. The black and white photos of the babies show less discoloration of the skin and also match the solemn tone of the scene.

NILMDTS offers free training seminars for photographers who are interested. There is a huge need for photographer! It takes a very strong person to be able to give this gift and the photographers I know who do this just cry along with families during their photography session. I want to help this program grow and succeed because many families are turned away because of lack of photographers. I hope that I can get the nerve to do this.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Art of Tattoos

I think that the art of tattooing is amazing. I really appreciate the detail and precision of the art. The tattooing process possesses physical as well as emotional elements. This permanent art form is can be cathartic but can also be disastrous if not done by an a trained professional. Overall, tattooing is not for me, but I can appreciate the art done on others.

I love tattoo artist Kat Von D. She is covered in amazing tattoos and body art. Kat is perhaps one of the countries most well-known tattoo artists, and deservingly so. She has her own television program featuring her tattoo salon and the work that she does. Her work is incredibly detailed and realistic. She does very beautiful portraits.

The process that those getting tattoos go through is very interesting. Most recipients seem to have a story of inspiration for their tattoos. Many times, tattoo artists act as counselors, by listening to their clients' stories and helping them commemorate loved ones. Tattooing is more than art, it is an emotional process. The physical process of tattooing is painful but seems to be therapeutic as well. The humming and vibration of the tattoo gun is somewhat soothing.

The permanency of tattoos also intrigues me. I have never gotten a tattoo myself because of its permanency. I wish I were more daring but my practical mindset always overrides my urge to get tattooed. I guess never liked a tattoo design enough to have it on my body for a lifetime. The image of me as an old person, with a sagging tattoo always deters me. I have to admit, I am envious of those that have the guts to get tattooed.

I like this image but am not sure that it is real. Can a tongue really be tattooed? It wouldn't surprise me.

Pin Striping and Air Brushing

My husband works on cars for a living and rebuilds race cars as a hobby. Needless to say, I am constantly bombarded by automotive television, car trade shows, and all sorts of auto shows. My favorite part of seeing all of the different cars is seeing all of the amazing art that adorns them. Each car is truly a piece of art.

I am always mesmerized to see pin striping being applied to a car. I guess I just assumed that it was done with a stencil or just graphic stickers. The art of pin striping is done with a highly skilled and steady hand. The line of a pinstripe is so perfectly crisp and straight that it doesn't seem as if the human hand could produce it. To watch this painting is amazing.

Another aspect of car painting that I find incredible is air brushing. The layering of different colors of lightly sprayed paints creates such luminescent effects. This layering also adds much depth and dimension to the images. The detail achieved through air brushing is unsurpassed by any other. I am especially fond of the realism of many of the air brushed flames that are done on cars.

It takes a true artist and tradesman to know the ins and outs of car painting. Special paint and chemicals must be used to create a smooth, flawless finish. The combination of air brushing and pin striping produces a highly defined and dramatic piece of art. The art of a car is revealed to so many while driving around. One of a kind auto painting sets a car apart from other models like it and reflects the owner's personal style and personality.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oakland University Senior Thesis

I just came from our school's senior thesis and wanted to be sure to comment on the work that I saw. Sadly, I was only able to stay for half of the students presentations but I walked the gallery and saw all of the work in it's entirety. I must say that Oakland University has a number of very talented and well-spoken artists. I was very impressed with the workmanship in all of the work. I was also very impressed with the articulation of the artists when speaking of their work.

One artist's work was a series of amazing stenciled and spray-painted compositions. These compositions are brightly colored with contrasting tones. The images portray different parts of the world and seem to be politically motivated. I was a bit confused with the message behind each painting. Overall, I was overwhelmed with the paintings' ornate detail and layering and translucency of color.

Another work that I really thought was effective was a series of feminine paintings done by a fellow student. The series consists of several multi-media paintings. These paintings are of high contrasting colors of different statements made about woman. One painting is of a woman's torso with different cords and circuits connected to her womanly parts entitled "The Bionic Woman." Another is a bold, reduced image of a woman's gaze.

The Senior Thesis Art Show was very inspiring. It was helpful for me to see what I will have to face in the near future. I was very impressed with the knowledge of these students. It made me excited to know that our education is important and is essential to us in building skills for our art. I feel very fortunate to be getting such an influential education, inspired by so many.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vector Illustration

This is an illustration that of did of myself. I used the program Adobe Illustrator to create this rasterized self-portrait used for a graphic design assignment. I really like the end result of this portrait because I think it resembles me quite well. The caption of "Life is beautiful-so capture it" I think describes the way I live my life. Everyone should live each day to the fullest!

Our graphic design assignment was to create a self-portrait that captured who we are. I chose to do an illustration of myself holding a camera. I think of my camera as a part of me. By including my camera in the portrait, it conveys my love of photography. Photography is my passion.

A camera also is relevant to the illustration because it was used in creating the image. I used a photograph of myself as a background layer in Illustrator. From the photo I took samples of tones from my skin and then used them as their own layers of areas on the photo. I traced the basic outline of my features with thin, black strokes for definition.The image is reduced and simplistic but has just enough detail to add depth.

My goal is to get into illustration of children's books. I love to first capture images of my illustrations with my camera and then use my skills in Illustrator and use the photo I have taken as a guide for my illustration. Using this technique, I can make take the compositions with my camera and turn them into illustrations with Illustrator. I just received an offer to illustrate a series of children's books and hope to bring their stories to life.


I really enjoy Dada art because of its unusual and unpredictable nature. Dadaism started after world War One as a protest to the happenings of the times. Artists wanted to reject the traditional ideals of art to make a statement about politics, commercialism, and the chaos of society. Chaos was a sign of the times, which is reflected in the Dada art movement.

The work of Dadaism is very controversial and avant-garde. Dadaism showed up in sculpture, posters, collages, paintings, graphic design, and in most areas of the art world. The Dada movement seems ironic because it is known as the anti-art movement.

I really enjoy the looking for the meaning behind the works of Dadaism. The works usually convey a message and are often comical. I like the sarcastic tone of the Dada work. I also like the fact that there are no rules or particular aesthetics of this art era. People just did whatever the hell they wanted, calling it art, which it was.

I really like the composition of these Dada works. They look very modern but almost have a grunge look that I really appreciate. It is not an easy task to successfully do grunge work, I know this from experience. It takes artistic skill to create chaos that is unified. I also like the simple color pallet and different variations of font with in the works.