a journal of my creative efforts, past and present

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Location: Berkeley, California, United States

Monday, July 28, 2008

wall of buoys

These snapshots were taken on Orcas Island in Seattle, WA about two years ago. As you can see, the sun was really hot and bright that day, not ideal for picture taking, but I like the combination of colors and textures in the buoys so I decided to post them here. I think the second is the best of the three. They might look good as oil paintings once I improve my skills...let's see, oh, about 10-20 years from now :P or maybe I should just leave them as photos. What do you think?

Monday, July 21, 2008


This morning and afternoon has been filled with numerous computer hassles but I wanted to at least post a photograph of my newest painting subject. I went to The Bone Room in Berkeley on Sunday and perused their extensive insect collection in an effort to find a good specimen of a Hercules moth, one that wasn't already encased in a frame. I want to be able to get a good look at his face, head and antennae while working on the painting. They did have one specimen but his/her wing was torn up so I purchased this one instead. As usual, click on the image itself for a magnified view:

This isn't exactly the species I wanted but his head, antennae and face are close enough. He also shares some of the same orange coloring on his body. The best part of it is that one of his legs are down as though he is standing. Most of these pinned specimens have their legs tightly wrapped up against their body so it's very difficult to get a sense of how they would position themselves in life. This is where additional photo sources become invaluable being that I am unable to travel to foreign countries and get these images myself.

I tried to get a picture of the front part of this specimen's face and body but was unable to. Unfortunately, my digital camera isn't very useful for macro subjects. Also, when I took him outside for the photo shoot just now, a gust of wind swept up under one of the lower wings and made it fly up, thereby weakening the area that holds it up. Now it's drooping a bit. If you are curious though about the way the face and arms look, I recommend doing an image search under Google for "Hercules" or "Atlas Moth" and the word "face." You will also get a glimpse of the caterpillar, which apparently is as big around as my wrist! Can you imagine one of these devouring your tomato plants in the garden?

Monday, July 14, 2008

chirping cricket

This is another of my Tisnikar studies. With each one, I have to change the composition and colors a little bit to fit the medium I am working with and proportions of the paper, but hopefully I am able to retain the basic feeling in it. I think I'm learning a lot about the way he uses color and simplified lines to express emotion. This is a good process for me to go through since I have a tendency to follow things too literally with my own work. Of course, my version of this painting is still not as dark and somber as the Tisnikar version. There definitely seems to be a pattern going on in my attempts to capture his style, but not a particularly troublesome one - not yet, at any rate.

Here is the quote that accompanies the painting, from the book Tisnikar; Painter of Death:

The morgue and autopsy room where I work are in a little park set off from the rest of the hospital buildings. While I work during the warm summer nights, only the chirping of crickets break the silence. Not one, but dozens of crickets pipe up one after the other, or all together chirp their endless song. While the town sleeps, I work and they keep me company - they're wide awake, like me.

Once I managed to catch a cricket. He seemed to be chirping on the tree next to the open window. I went out and saw the cricket in the light coming from the window of the autopsy room. I brought him in, took a good look at him and then let him go. In this painting, I show dead people and animals, and the cricket as I remember him.

Monday, July 07, 2008


I shot this sequence of images for an assignment in a photo design class several years ago. I just got around to scanning them into the computer. This was the first time I got a taste of what it might be like to do animation. Shortly afterwards, I changed my class emphasis from Graphic Design to Film Production. This is what people commonly describe as "catching the bug." I admit it still has a hold on me.