The Relaxing Art of Faking It

Posted in Photography Tricks on November 10th, 2010 by MadDog
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As part of my plan to get more sleep, I’m forcing myself to stay up until at least 23:30 each night. The other part of the plan is not  to lounge in bed watching the same movie on HBO for the twentieth time. I realised that I had failed the second part of the plan this evening when I caught myself staring mesmerised near the end of Dr. Strangelove  at about the point where Slim Pikins was mounting the hydrogen bomb with his cowboy hat on. There is nothing at all wrong with Dr. Strangelove.  It’s an excellent flick. However, it might be considered excessive to have viewed it as many times as I have. I have most of the dialogue memorised.

So, here it is at 23:07 already and I’m just getting around to writing. I did, however manage the time this evening, since I cooked yesterday evening (boiled cabbage, steamed pumpkin, broccoli, pasta with tomato and mushroom sauce) to download some new free Photoshop filters.  When I cook, I cook frantically – several dishes at a time. I had the entire stove going yesterday. It was as hot as the hubs of Hades in the kitchen.

So, I’m celebrating a little free time this evening by engaging in my most relaxing hobby – Fake Art. Some reasons why I find it relaxing are that nobody is telling me how to do it and I have absolutely no constraints. I’m pleasing only myself and, contrary to popular opinion, I’m quite easy to please.

So, let’s get on with it.

Oh, before I forget . . . Stupid Mistake #987 (I start counting all over again on each January 1st). I didn’t think of survivors benefit’s.  Well, I sort of thought of it, but not effectively. When I noticed that Eunie’s Social Security money was no longer showing up in the bank account along with mine I reckoned that I just wouldn’t be getting any. Then a friend (a Canadian,  for pity’s sake!) said to me yesterday that she thought that I should be getting survivor’s benefits and maybe I would have to apply. Apply? APPLY?? Why didn’t I think of that? I don’t think that I’m a danger to others, but I’m certainly a danger to myself.

So, I got on the web site for the SSA and discovered that it may be true. I may not be as impoverished as I thought. Not quite. Wish me luck as I try to figure out how to apply without appearing at the nearest SSA office, as that seems to be the only way to go.

Now, let’s get on with it.

Here is That Flower which I can never remember the name of:

There is a big vine full of them right outside my front door alongside the Night Blooming Jasmine, which I can’t smell any more (interesting story there if you can find it on MPBM). The filter I used is a nice outliner. I’m going  to try it for cartooning.

Here are some of my orchids harassed by the Bad Dream filter:

I still can’t decide if I like the effect or not.

Regulars here will recognise my favourite orange lily:

This filter is a pretty good posteriser. Posterisation is simply the reduction of the number of colours in an image. This one I do like.

I can’t remember the name of the filter which I used for this image. I call the resulting image Coleus on Acid:

It is dramatic enough.

And this is one of my many, many Bird of Paradise plants:

This one has been chewing magic mushrooms since late last night. Its consciousness has now fully expanded.

A yellow flower with dew drops. How prosaic. The filter also is likewise subtle, but insistent:

This one may be my favourite. I can’t decide.

No, I could  decide, but I’m not making any more decisions today.

It’s 23:35 and I’m going to try to go to sleep.

Wish me luck with that, eh?

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Ancient Art Show Material Discovered

Posted in Mixed Nuts, Photography Tricks on March 26th, 2010 by MadDog
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Regular readers may note that my mind wanders more towards the end of the week. This is because I dive on Saturdays and I usually have enough pretty pictures beginning on Sunday which I can intersperse with mind numbing jibber-jabber to fill a page. Heaven knows that I seldom have anything important to say. I do, however, strive to say it with some degree of flair, if not true style. Polish is way beyond me. If I could polish prose, I’d be making a living from it. Prose polishing doesn’t run in my genes. I’m more of an assembler. I’ll screw and glue the chair. It’s someone else’s job to polish it.

Which leads me to . . . well, nothing. So, instead, I’ll concentrate on telling you more about me,  my favourite subject. Write what you know about, eh?

Yonks ago, when I was a young feller in my mid-50s the Madang Country Women’s Association up and did themselves an art show. Being a dilettante artist, I decided to try my luck. It was all for charity, you see. That usually means any fool can pretend to be anything he likes and pretty much get away with it.

If you’re a regular here, you’ve seem my so-called art work. It’s pure fakery – the purest kind. I take pretty pictures and grind them up in a computer and it spits out something that, when printed on paper, might fool bumpkins into thinking that the producer has some sort of talent. That, of course, it the whole point of the excercise.

Not wanting to get caught in a lie, I had to coin a new word to describe my wholesale pimping of digital excretion as art. Thus the novel term “Photostylizations”. I even adopted the Americanisation of inserting “z” in place of “s” to further confuse the issue:

That’s the poster which I prepared to introduce my “work”. That’s more or less how I looked at 50. I’m considerably more handsome now.

One of the “pieces” that has enjoyed the most longevity is this Beach in Christmas Bay  from an image I captured at Bag Bag Island:

It didn’t sell. So it, along with several other of these, is still hanging behind the “Blue Dolphin Bar” at our house to give the place a little class. I’ve also used this one several wedding program covers as a background image.

This is an old favourite of mine. It’s titled Fletch.  It’s based on a photo of Jan Fletcher which I grabbed at Kar Kar Island.  She was free diving down into a fresh water spring just off the coast:All of these were framed and numbered 1/1 meaning that they would never be printed again in the same format. Some people in Madang own 1/1 MadDog originals which will be worth a fortune when I’m dead. I hope that they laugh all the way to the bank.

Here’s a nice little pair of Clark’s Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii):And another lone one:

This is a Many-Spotted Sweetlips (Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides):The common name is obvious. The taxonomic name, not so.

And this, regulars will recognise as a Spinecheek Anemonefish (Amphiprion biaculatus):Above is the mom.

Below is the baby:Cute, eh?

This is a Shadowfin Soldierfish (Myripistis adusta):It does have a bit of the military look. Maybe it’s the chain-mail armor.

This one I titled Piscus Psychedelicus  for obvious reasons. It’s really a Midnight Snapper (Macolor macularis)  with its colours radically modified:The colours on this one came to me in a dream.

Another little fellow who will be familiar to regular readers is the Reticulated Dascyllus (Dascyllus Reticulatus):The title of that one is Size Doesn’t Matter,  one of my favourite phrases.

Just because I could, I threw a gratuitous flower into the show. Straining my imagination, I titled this one White Flowers:The Madang Country Women’s Association apparently never recovered from the Art Show, though it was a financial success. I think that my stuff alone garnered about K500 and I was among possibly twenty genuine artists.

I hope that they do it again someday. My legend needs constant nourishment to stay alive.

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Spring House Cleaning

Posted in Mixed Nuts on January 9th, 2010 by MadDog
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It’s Saturday morning and I’m hoping to get out for a dive. Stuck for something to write about, I rummaged through a folder on my computer with about 10,000 files called “Big Pile of Images” to see if there was anything there with which to amuse you. Well, I found some stuff. Whether or not it is amusing remains to be determined.

This might do it. I don’t know if you’ve heard yet, but there’s yet another ’70s sitcom coming up called, The Groovies.  Here’s the trailer image:

No, I lie. That’s a shot of us that was taken some time in the late ’70s. My son, Hans, made it into this nifty bit of art. That’s a teensy-weensy Hans in the middle. So I don’t have to answer a bunch of questions in the comments section, I’ll state the following:  yes, that is an afro, yes those are radical bell-bottoms (like rocket nozzles, Hans says) and yes, Eunie is looking very foxy.

I’m going to be hopping around a bit here, so hang on. This carrot-topped sweetie is Anja, a pleasant young Austrian who used to dive with me. I’m displaying her to you because she has the most remarkably radiant naturally red hair that I have ever seen. Underwater, it glows like a traffic signal:

This remarkable scene shows some friends on the tiny sun deck of Faded Glory.  Yes, two of them are playing chess. Please don’t ask me why:

Possibly a little beefcake is in order. This is me catching a few rays on Miss Rankin. I don’t remember if I was a guest or a deck hand on this voyage, but I do note that I was looking decidedly chubby – not at my fighting weight:I look better now.

A few years ago we had an art show in Madang. Everybody was scrambling to muster whatever creative talent they might have so that we could assemble enough stuff to raise some money for Country Women’s Association. I made up a series of art prints. I’ll finish up today by showing you a few.

This one is of two Clarks’ Anemonefish:

And, this is a baby Spinecheek Anemonefish:Here is a shot of a beach out on Bag Bag Island:

I’ve used that image on most of the wedding programs for people whom we have married.

And, this is a white flower.

Whoa! Time to get Faded Glory  ready to go.

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Posted in Mixed Nuts on November 23rd, 2008 by MadDog
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Once a few yeas ago we visited a friend of a friend for an evening. It was a delightful experience. I seldom have the good fortune to rub elbows with genuine working artists.

Maja lives (or did at that time) with her husband and her children:

Maja and children

Here is Maja and her husband:

Maja and her husband

She has a quirky style which genuinely appeals to me. Her children often feature in her work, as you can see here:

Maja of Vienna)

And here:

At the beach

She’s a great admirer of found objects and collages:

Maja of Vienna)The background in this painting has a special significance. You can see it in the photos of her with her husband and with her children. It’s also the same background as the painting above with her children and the – horrible looking – fish:

Maja of Vienna)When the great cathedral in Vienna was bombed during WWII it was, of course, blown to smithereens. The ingenious fix for this was to gather as many of the holy smithereens as possible for making useful objects. One of those uses was to make tables. I visited several houses in Vienna which contained beautiful tables or other objects made from bits and pieces of the cathedral. Devoted artisans sold these to the public and turned over much of the profits to rebuild the cathedral.

And so it goes.

Some people get all righteously inflamed about something and start blowing other people and things to smithereens. Then some other, different people roll up their sleeves and put it all back together. Actually, sometimes it’s the same people!

And then we do it over and over and over. Things don’t ever change much, eh?

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