Saturday, August 16, 2014

Preview to animation in progress for David Huntsberger

Here are some stills to the animation project I'm doing for David Huntsberger. This will be completed in two weeks. The next step will be the Kickstarter for David and the animation team (other animators are working on different topics that are a part of his stand up comedy).

The plan is that the videos will be projected behind David, with the concept that it is the audience's thoughts being projected onto the screen. 

This will be filmed in Austin, TX this November. The animation team will be participating in the live show
in the role of "scientists" supervising the audience brain scans as they enjoy the stand up. 

I'm not explaining what exactly is going on. I'll leave that as a surprise but it will come together when
you hear David's topic that goes along with it. 

As you might recognize, Da Vinci's  vitruvian man makes several appearances. His final one at the end I'm giddy about, but not saying why. You'll have to see the final product (will eventually be on DVD) or check it live if you are in Austin this November.  

some fun details: posters in the background of the 
doctor's office setting: the cliched "hang in there" kitty poster
(My own lovely furbean as my model) and what I call Dante's Eyechart

Here is a teeny preview of a motion clip.  
Note that the quality I'm uploading on blogger isn't near
what it actually is for the project. Here the size is tiny.
The real deal is HD 1080 x 1920


I'll share the rest of the stills (puppies, kittens and birds!) at the end of the project in a couple of weeks.
Oh, and the Kickstarter, of course. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Local Color Art Gallery and Other Updates

Hello again.

I've been busy at work on an animation project for comedian and Professor Blastoff podcast team member, David Huntsberger. There will be an update in a couple of weeks with more information on the overall project (what, where, and how it will be used) as well as the Kickstarter to fund it. Something I'm very excited about: it will involve me being flown back to Austin, Texas to feature my contribution in a live performance, as well me (along with the other animators) playing a small supporting role of a scientist!

My portion of the project is fairly brief (approximately a only a minute and a half vs the 4-5 minute long music videos I have embedded on the left side of this blog), but rivals the time taken on my previous animation work, as it is visually and technically more complex. I'm using the latest version of Photoshop Creative Cloud instead of my old Creative Suite 2 version. This allows me to rotoscope video I've shot, and go back to clips to add other layers of movement at different time rates. Still, I've been flogging my Toshiba laptop above and beyond its capabilities which causes it to slow/freeze/shut down Photoshop. After my temper tantrum from too many glitchy shutdowns, I've given up seriously trying to finish the project with my current computer. I've shopped for a bargain store model desktop that has all the features needed to allow the processing of large files and clips, as well as allow me to learn how to work on 3D animation, (which is very demanding on RAM) in future projects. Until it is shipped to my door (in a few days...I can't wait!),  there's still plenty of simpler parts in the project I'm working on, without despair or worry about making unreasonable demands on my laptop.

I've switched to a new art gallery to display my paintings. Work is available for sale at Local Colour Art Gallery, in Alexandria VA. If you click on the inventory page of my work, you will see what is currently available at the location (first half of the page), and other work (second half) that can be viewed with an appointment made in advance. There is talk of a featured show with new colorful still life work of fruits and veggie harvests as well as the dreamscapes with the ghost-like imagery for a festive Day of the Dead inspired party/opening. I'll update when I have more to share about that.

Earlier this spring, my paintings were to be featured in a background set to a short movie that was entered in the 48 Hour Film Project.  The current version was edited to fit the very tight time frame entry rules.  Therefore any footage that had considerable focus on my work was unfortunately cut to keep to the absolute essentials to the story (a parody of a fairy tale). However, the production team is putting out a longer director's cut which doesn't have to fit any external imposed time demands. In that future version, I will have a Production Design credit. I'll provide all the credits, the production company  as well as sharing my experiences on my first film set and embedding the longer video here on this blog, when it is released this fall.

Hope you are all having a lovely summer!  - Jeanne

Monday, April 14, 2014

Still Life - Green Apple

oil on canvas 8"x 8"

available for sale along with other pieces in my online store
                                                  now available at Local Colour Art Gallery

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Some Updates and Online Store Announcement

Hi, yall.
Been a while.
Long Story and uh, not really up for sharing that one. Sorry.

                 Here's a tiny one (on a stretched canvas!) that went to a special someone I encountered 
for a brief but intense spell. 
He told me of warming up a cold shocked hummingbird he found on the ground in Seattle.
She thawed up and flew away.

It's been a such a long winter. It's really getting to me.

I had volunteered my time working on a graphic art holiday project for fundraiser and/or awareness raising regarding a unique and tragic cause that moved and saddened me. I took the team leaders' direction and gave it the equivalent of about a 40 hour workweek. The end result (which was deemed by the same group members to be professional, attractive and attention getting) was dismissed and discarded upon completion. In addition I was told any further contributions of mine were not to be trusted. It makes absolutely no sense to me except it was spawned from a good deal of already present collective dysfunction, distrust, inflamed egos and poor communication, despite individual good intentions. To the individual who was the focus of my efforts...sorry-I tried. I'm glad to hear you are keeping brave and may be coming along in your journey.

Moving on:  I'm working off and on a series of images for my friend and niece's mama, Susan Michalski, author of the Geodesy Series. It's about the world of four teenagers linked with a psychic, sensual, and emotional bond.  Each book narrated by one of the characters: Sage (Book One -Safe Distances),
Elena (Book Two - Stellar Navigation), Ethan (Book Three) and Finn (Book Four) as they unravel their interwoven personal tragic past and grow into adulthood.

In Safe Distances we are introduced to Ethan, an intellectually and artistically advanced seventeen year old, who is also emotionally stunted..stuck at age  four, when  he had suffered a violent loss. Susan asked me to create his drawings and paintings described in the book.

More are coming.

Currently, I'm working on a collaborative animation project for David Huntsberger. He is a witty, silly, and thoughtful comedian, host of Huntsberger Junk and podcaster of  Professor Blastoff (along with the amazing Tig Notaro and Kyle Dunnigan) Unlike past projects, I won't be previewing any images ahead of time on this one.

There's an past stalled animation project (didn't have/couldn't afford the right software at the time, as well as other considerations that pushed it down on priorities) that may be yielding a painting series before I make it into a video.

Just contributed my paintings to a multi media party featuring experimental live music (homemade instruments-like a gong made from industrial gas tanks!) and a fiction reading headed by this group: in a big open hippie loft house in Takoma Park, MD.

I just opened an Online Store for some select smaller artworks and works on paper framed using acrylic glass. I put up one group last night, and will be re-photographing other pieces with new frames and uploading those soon.

Update 3/29/2014: Some of my pieces are also currently available for viewing and purchase in person at Arlington Arts Gallery. 

Update 7/17/14 I've moved a selection of my available art to a brand new gallery in Alexandria, VA. See the link in the upper left corner of my blog for more information.

Happy Spring (I hope...)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Life Sized Figure Painting (with some camp and metaphor)

This piece lightened up both in pallette and mood from my original concept to the finished result. It was darker and more somber in my sketches. I don't mind the change, but would like to try variations of my original idea and sketches in future figure work. It certainly is seasonally appropriate.

(Edit/update: My goal was to have this ready for a show I'm hanging in Arlington. However, there is an issue that the piece may be too big and a safety issue to hang. After sleeping on it, I'm thinking the piece lacks something in a flow. I'm going to take it back home today and try to take it to a resolution that works for me.)

oil on wood

Monday, October 21, 2013

Night Scene 2, interrupted & concluded

oil on canvas 20" x 20"

This started as one of several on-scene night landscapes I've been working on lately. My plan was to work on this start to finish from direct observation. Unfortunately, I had a major disruption that kept me from being present on location to complete it. I had to use my backup photos and improvisation to conclude it.

I'm still debating whether to tweak it a bit more or not. The color is a bit much for me, could be toned down For right now, I'm just going to let it be.

I'll describe the disruption, as I've been trying to get the word out for my neighborhood's safety. The usual places that would publish this kind of incident aren't taking much note of it, despite my efforts (so far, anyway).

Here in Shirlington, a small and upscale neighborhood with a village of boutiques, fine dining and bars is considered to be an extremely safe area  in terms of crime stats. For night owls, it is very easy to be comfortable with  late night grocery errands, walking/running/working out on the nearby outdoor trail fitness equipment , and wandering to and from the bar scene. I felt very safe painting some views nearby when the sun went down. I'm fond of the look of artificial light on natural scenery outside. It has a sort of lonely drama to it.

Sometimes I do get interrupted when I work, but mostly just dog walkers and a couple of semi buzzed patrons leaving the village. I'm not crazy about that, but the attention is usually benign. Generally, the most I've had to deal with are unsolicited critiques, or someone who wants to bend my ear about art when I try to show with my body language I really need to focus on my work. 

So I was doing my 3rd session on this scene and it got to a point where the canvas was really saturated with oil and not taking any fresh color without mushing and muddying so I packed it up and thought I'll finish up with a final visit later before the foliage changes.

I was kneeling on the ground  over my bag of paints when I heard a man's voice directly behind me.
"What are you doing?" As I noticed out of the corner of my eye his legs were very close to my back, I felt him touch the back of my upper arm. 

I stood up and whipped around quickly and was about a foot away from a man facing me with a 4"-5" knife held low but pointing at me. He softly said to come with him and "everything will be ok". I glanced and saw a vehicle idling in the street, door open. I was blank, numb and staring, but unfortunately not really taking in his features or what he was driving in much...was focused on the knife.

(This I know: 5'7"-ish, Hispanic, black short hair, clean shaven, medium build, late 20's/early 30's--oh, and the location was Taylor and Arlington Mills Drive, across from Four Mile Run trail and creek This all went down around 1:30am -ish on 10/19)

My mace was well buried in my pocket, in my key chain holster so it wasn't helpful. He repeated to just come with him and there won't be any problems. 

I leaned my body like I was going to go with him, then bolted as in the opposite direction to the 24/7 grocery a few blocks away, screaming "MURDER-RAPE" at the top of my lungs. I didn't turn to see if he was following until I got to a more populated street several blocks later. I didn't see him. From there I jogged to the grocery store up another block and called the police.

I understand I didn't look like a typical Shirlington resident at the time. I'm dressed for work with paint, shabby clothes, dirty hands, etc. The police seemed skeptical and asked me to repeat my story several times stopping at details as if to catch a discrepancy, asked for my ID (which I expected) and then my social security number (which I didn't expect..never had that experience when I had reported apartment neighbors domestic brawling/other criminal disruptions in Austin, TX--maybe it's procedure here in VA? Tell me in the comments if you know). They appeared to have swayed to the notion that I might be credible as I continued with my consistent report. Appeared to.... might be...

I had about 300 bucks worth of oil paint in my art bag, plus painting, easel and cart left behind and I needed to get it. They seemed reluctant to escort me or deal with that inconvenience, but they eventually got a younger officer to retrieve it. I do appreciate that they spared me from having to even consider returning to the scene . I would have had to get a cab to idle there with my sister accompanying me I suppose. Or just let the supplies and work go untill sunrise and risk someone hauling it off.

I was assigned a case number but I have not seen it up on the Arlington police daily crime reports.I passed the word on to my apartment staff so they could get the word out to my neighbors.  I've tweeted info to different Arlington/Shirlington handles and emailed DC metro news agencies and so far, again no response. (UPDATE 10/23- The local DC metro Fox and NBC affiliates got in touch and filmed spots regarding the incident. Also, a detective from Arlington Police department gave me a call earlier this evening.)That bothers me, because especially during this time of year, it would be good to alert fellow Shirlington residents, patrons, and employees not to be lulled into a false sense of security.

Anyone with a large Arlington/Shirlington/DC metro area following please link this story to your followers. Thanks.

Oh, yeah...and I sort of lost my taste for painting outdoor night scenes for the time being. I have a few balcony images I'll still sort out but that's about it. I'll take more advantage of the fall colors in sunlight this season.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Night Scene-conclusion

You may have seen this in earlier stages a while ago on this blog.
A scene outside my old apartment in Austin.

I had previously left it in a state that wasn't quite resolved when I was suddenly dealing with a myriad of personal/family issues and lost focus. I put it away hoping I could bring it to some resolution in the future.  Right now I'm working on several night scenes of trees around Arlington.  Having  recent practice observing and interpreting similar artificial night lights on nature scenes gave me some confidence to give this one a final workover.
oil on panel 2 ft. high by 3 ft. long

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Black and White Dreamscape Compilation, Framed

One of the pieces I'll be presenting at Northside Social at the end of the month. This is a collection of older dreamscape work. I thought the images resonate well with each other as a group, and that this presentation has a sort of non-linear anti-comix like narrative.

Total size: 45"long  x 35"wide.
Individual images: 9"long x 7"wide
India ink on acid free paper
White archival ink on black acid free matboard.
white acrylic painted wooden recycled frame
covered with uv acrylic protective "glass"

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Announcement: Solo Show

I just wanted to mention that I will be having a solo exhibition of my work at Northside Social up at the end of the month (I'll be hanging the work on the 28th, but all pieces should be up by Halloween if not sooner).

It will be a mix of both my observed work in oil: still life, figurative and outdoor paintings, and my "dreamscape" decorative, patterned, symbolic stream of consciousness body of work. They both serve important but usually separate veins of expression. There is actually an experimental work underway that does combine both ways of working (to be posted soon). That said, I'm untroubled if these styles resist overlapping. Those concerns are more about galleries wanting a marketable brand.

Currently, I'm mostly working on the work from observation, but there's a lot of framing of the dreamscape work (mostly ink/watercolor on watercolor paper) to finish up too. For those pieces, the frame becomes an integral extension of the design and concept of the piece. I've found and collected quality vintage frames from thrift stores (and some left over from the family homestead) that I sand and repaint as well as the acid free mat/mounting board, then add a uv acrylic cover (I don't like to use glass for all the risks of damage). Here's a couple of examples of work (painted in 2011-2012/frame & embellishments 2013 that recently were shipped to my fellow friends/collectors back in Austin. (Thanks Terri & Border!)

By November, I'll be putting up a page of what is for sale at Northside, with photos of new work and the newly enhanced older pieces and prices.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fantasy Portrait for a Young Child - and My Approaches to Portraiture with Infants, Children, and Pets

     A little something on the light and cuter side I had finished earlier this summer
                                             (my twitter followers may have seen this already):

The Bunny Hutch Sleepover
acrylic ink and acrylic paint on stretched canvas
approx 12"x 8"

One of the frequent questions I'm asked by people when they see my work is if I can do a portrait of their infant/young child/pet in a similar approach as I would with a self portrait or other portraiture. The answer is,! That kind of work requires someone who can commit to a live sitting over several sessions and keeping reasonably still.

I suppose they mean from photographs, but I really hate using them other than for very small reference areas post live sitting. There is so much lost in translation (color, dimension, as well as the vibe and urgency of all the moments of the session distilled into one)  in using photo references as a main source. 

I have painted a few older children directly. They do need to be mature enough to understand what they are committing to, be a willing volunteer (separate from the parent's imposed wishes) and are able to relax into a pose with minimal fidgeting,  I ask that the parent also budgets for and pays the kid for their time as they are working almost as hard on the portrait. I'll bring a roll or two of quarters per session and pile up the earnings for every 15 minutes (after each period I give them a mini break) of keeping still. It also helps to have a favorite movie playing in their line of vision.

I've  also made gestural action sketches from life...the type of drawings that are only minutes long and made in multiples. I would then pick the best out of a group from an afternoon's work for a reasonable compromise with someone who wants an observed interpretation. ( Side note: As far as pets go, cats, with their flexi spines and springy selves are great for this sort of thing. Dogs can get a little weirded out if they are on to the fact you are watching them intently for a period of time..they feel stared at which is a threat to them. They hunch over, lick their nose nervously and sloooowly slink out of the room....) 

The other alternative is to create work based on infants/young children/beloved pets is to approach it with my dreamscape/fantasy kind of work. In the example above I had the mom give me some highlights of the child's loves, quirks, curiosities, anything that captures his attention. I will accept family photos for this, as it's more for a broad cartoon like approach to a likeness. 

The boy pictured was only about a year old. From what the mom told me, he was a pretty chill little kid, friendly, loved cookies, his blanket, and was born in the Year of the Rabbit which she wanted to me to reference in  some way. So I imagined him just a little older with a bunny pal, having his first sleepover get together at his BBF's (bunny best friend) family underground hutch. His own family is comfortingly nearby (used references of the family home) in upper right background.

On an end note: I worked with this family quite a bit in the past. 

I painted his older brother (the zipping by skater pictured above) as an infant in the same approach years ago:

I remember photos of a really cute little baby with huge ears! Fortunately for me, his mother made a point that I capture them. So I played with it by using the shape of a Saturn like planet framing him, the shape furthered echoed with the U.S. Earthmama flying the spaceship he's tethered to.

When he was older, he posed for a live sitting with no small  help of the first Harry Potter Movie playing nearby:

Thought I'd add this too:
Years ago I had also had painted a album cover and graphics for the mom (the originals are in her collection), who is a musician. She wanted themes in reference to her experience of being a first time mother. I see a continuum of motifs in my current dreamscape work..fertility, tendrils of tangled growth, and space.