Thursday, January 26, 2012

Photos from Long Ago

In October of 2011, the Art Center at the Old Library hosted its annual Grande Ronde Artists’ Studio Tour. I found myself in a “booth” at the Art Center itself with fellow artists Susan Murrell and Jaime Gustavson. The crowds were light and I wandered around the Art Center–an old Carnegie Foundation library–with my 4x5 camera and a couple of packages of Fuji Instant film.

I had sort of forgotten about the images until I opened a drawer in the desk and there they were. I had never gotten around to scanning them, so I thought I'd put them on a secret webpage for people to see. You can access that page by clicking here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday Art #3 (and a half)

If you don't think that these GOP Primary Paint Swatches are hilarious,* you should check out Newt Gingrich's South Carolina Primary victory speech. He never misses a beat, dropping references to Barack Obama's "left wing friends in San Francisco" and how we're headed towards an "Alinksy/European socialist" regime. Pretty good stuff.

The South Carolina GOP Primary Paint Swatch™colors come from screen captures from last Thursday's Fox News debate in Charleston.

Now Newt's campaign will pick up its jowls and head down to Florida, where they'll try to upset ol' Mittens once more. If he does, it'll certainly make the next few months very interesting.

Also attached, and accompanying this swatch in the Sunday Art category, is a quick sketch of the poster I've started for the upcoming Greg Rawlins concert in Union, Oregon. I've never transposed something from a tiny pen sketch (about 3" high) to a large (11"x17") poster size, so this will be quite the experiment.

* It's totally fine if you don't think they're hilarious. They're not really that funny. I just needed a comparison for Newt's bombastic speech-making.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sunday Art #2

Never fear, my friends: the Sunday Art train keeps a rollin' on. I hadn't forgotten about this drawing I finished earlier this week (and started last week), I just didn't have a scanner within reach to get it uploaded to the web.

I've been on a stratification kick lately when I'm doodling, and I figured to put some more effort into a more polished version of what I've been doing in meetings.

I suppose this qualifies as a regular Saturday blog post, but I might chime in later tonight if the mood strikes.

This week I'll upload some sketches I'm working on for a concert poster. A good friend wants me to draw one up for a local show, so that's the project for the next week or so.

Also, stay tuned for a new paint swatch from the South Carolina GOP primaries, taking place today.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Strangers Pick the Best of 2011

Each December, the users of the online forum submit their votes for the best albums of the previous year. All of the submitted lists are tallied by some dear soul who has the time to assign point values to each record.

My relationship with the UFCK folks has changed quite a bit over the last year. The UFCK Photo Project was a big step for me integrating myself into the community and becoming a regular. In the past, the only claim to fame I had was the occasional animated .gif I would throw together in Photoshop.

I submitted a list of albums this year for the first time. By no means a music expert, I scrolled through iTunes in the hopes I had listened to some new music during 2011. I had. Nothing extensive, to be sure, but there was enough variety that I culled together my favorites from among the critically acclaimed to the less-so.

Several things happened during this year's UFCK top 25 voting. State Champion, a relatively unknown (save for rock band from Louisville, took top prize. I met frontman Ryan Davis during my photo trip, and photographed him for the project, despite his never having been a member of the message board. (Though the band has been fodder for many a fantastic board experience.) Enough nice things cannot be said about him, especially considering I met up with him at his place at 9am, while he and his girlfriend were getting ready to head up to Kings Island for the day.

To access the list of UFCK's top 25 albums of 2011, go here. What you'll find is a mix of eclectic and fantastic music. With each entry on the list you'll also find a custom blurb written by a member of the forum. Sometimes the blurbs are ironic, sometimes they are clever. Other times, they are simply a litany of inside jokes that any outsider (or boarder with fewer than 50,000 posts) would fail to understand. The blurbs are usually more descriptive of the person who wrote them than of the record they're describing.

Take a look and you'll learn about UFCK, some new music, and the lives of people who take their music very, very seriously*.

And you'll also have a chance to download, print, and enjoy your very own State Champion Activity Book. Happy coloring!

* This blog does not endorse Dave's Rawk Blog, its opinions, or any of its absurdity. It is worth experiencing at least once, though.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Keeping the Ball Rolling

It's all but over for the republicans running against Mitt Romney. He cruised to victory in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, and if he's able to secure a win in South Carolina, it will most likely be a Romney/Obama election (plus, you know, the other guys) come November.

At left you'll find the next installment in the GOP Primary Paint Swatch© Series 2012™. The pasty skin tones in this New Hampshire set come from an ABC News photo from the debate last weekend. As with the Iowa swatch, the NH file is 300dpi and ready for printing in order to get that perfect Rick Perry shade for that bookshelf you've been promising you'd build for your children. Or whatever.

Collect them all! Coming up next is the South Carolina edition of the GOP Primary Paint Swatch© Series 2012™.

And remember to click to follow me on Twitter:!/meisenhower

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Art #1

In keeping with my previous post about making art on Sundays–and in the face of much procrastination of working on syllabi and what not for the start of winter term tomorrow–I've finishing something that I thought would fit this category.

This will be an ongoing project in conjunction with the presidential election. For those not in the know, four years ago I was working on my master's thesis, a project that addressed mass media, photography, and journalism through the story of a fictional third party candidate.

Something struck me during the brief stints I spent viewing the Republican debate in New Hampshire last night, and I came up with this. Right now this new "project" is in its infancy, even though it appears that it's Mitt's nomination to lose.

The tones in this swatch were taken from official candidate photographs. Most color samples came from averaging an area of pixels in the forehead of each candidate. Numbers are the votes each candidate received, in tens of thousands.

At 300 dpi, the swatch is ready for printing on any thick card stock. With custom color matching available at places like Lowes and Home Depot, now you can paint your entire den with a good shade of Santorum.

More swatches will follow each official state primary, time permitting. Right now the best concept I have going is to use a group photo from an ABC News story from the New Hampshire debates last night. Maybe I'll have to set up the old tripod in front of the television for the next one.

Because of the project from 2008 (which was actually more like 2007-2009), I thought I had tired of elections and politics. But I think the tight race for the spot on the red side of November's card will actually make me pay some attention, even if it's only to mock the candidates, the media, or politics in general. At least it's got my creative juices flowing, as opposed to Santorum juices.

One Week In (And a Day Late)

With the new year, I've decided to add some regulation to my ever-increasing daily life.

After one week of cavalier behavior, and with the end of vacation, I've devised the following schedule that I hope to stick with as much as possible. The new schedule should increase my productivity as both an educator and artist as much of the regulation involves making stuff or getting stuff in order. Below is the schedule I've concocted, no doubt subject to change.

Saturdays - Blog posting. So consider this yesterday's blog post.*
Sundays - Art making. That basement studio gets lonely most of the time. (This also parallels with my book-a-day project from a few years ago.)
Mondays - Music. Haven't opened the guitar case in ages. (Halloween, to be exact.)
Tuesdays - School. All day. Prep work, meetings, paperwork, you name it.
Wednesdays - Catch-up day; whatever I've missed or let slip the previous days gets made up here.
Thursdays - A free day to relax
Fridays - Cleaning. Studio, house, office, classrooms, cars, laundry, self, etc.

I've also been using Twitter much more. And I'm always hoping more people I know will join the conversation. It's a great way to catch artist calls that pass by CAA, Facebook, and the other usual outlets. Twitter name is meisenhower.

* What a stupid blog post to start the year. Seriously. Please email your complaints to me instead of posting public comments here.