Clean Slate, and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Here we are, now it’s 2018. Hopefully you are all feeling inspired to get some creative ideas out there on paper, canvas, computer, on a recording, or any other creative expression!

I believe that we, as humans, are meant to create things. We are supposed to create. Do you believe this too? It makes sense, if you look at all the different forms of life here on Earth. So, why aren’t you creating something now??? And if you already are doing something, are you working to make it better and better?

I only ask this, because I struggle with this question for myself all the time. And still, I procrastinate getting anything done. The only way to get really good at something is to just do it, and get some practice, so what does it matter that it is shitty? (this is exactly what I struggle with myself. Of course, I want everything I create to be perfect right off the bat, LOL)

I keep looking at a blank wall in our kitchen at home and every time I see it, I am reminded that I haven’t done anything to begin my ‘great work of art’ to go on that wall. The thing is, whenever I go to places like Urban Home I see wall coverings that to me, looks like I can do it, but better. And I can personalize it too! But I still procrastinate and put it low in my priority list. But, why? If I know I can do this, why don’t I do it??? I’m hoping I’m not alone with this. Sigh.

So, today, on Jan. 2, 2018, I have finally begun to paint a large canvas that hopefully will be good enough to go on our kitchen wall. I’ve been researching feng shui ideas for the position in our kitchen (southwest = yellow, orange, red… like fire) and since I’m fascinated with doing more landscapes, I am attempting to do a Fall scene. Doesn’t matter if I fail at this point. Why not just do it, and learn from any mistakes???

So, here I go!!

I hope that any of this has resonated with you, whether you are an artist or writer, or just venturing out into your desire, whatever it may be.

Happy New Year, I sincerely mean it!!!

Hello, again!

Hi everyone,

It’s the eve of my birthday, and I decided to work on some paintings for our house, starting tonight.

Of course, I’ve thought of doing this for probably a few years now and even focused on what to paint, but I haven’t executed my dreams yet.

I hear about how we need to just act on our ideas and not just keep thinking about it. So here I go, I will begin tonight. Although I felt inspired to write about it, tonight.

Last weekend my husband and I went to Blick Art supplies in Pasadena to pick up a bunch of supplies so now I am on the hook to produce some really great paintings for our home. I am looking forward to it, but I still worry about failure in getting it to look as nice as I imagine. Sigh. Maybe this is something a lot of artists go through.

I think about this blog a lot, too. I think that I should share all my stories here, for fun, and also to share any wisdom I have learned along the way. Not just in my career but in my life.

Oh by the way, I started a job a month ago. It is in Burbank, at the actual Warner Brothers studio lot. It’s great for me because the commute cuts my usual one by 1 hour each way every day. It’s fantastic!!! Plus, I love walking around the lot throughout the day so I see many interesting things I’d like to share here.

Okay, time for me to actually start on my paintings! I had this inspiration within the past year to do paintings that would be feng shui themed for each room. I’m interested in what comes up with this. I’m inspired, actually!
I want to start with our kitchen. I’m thinking yellows, reds and white to keep with the feng shui idea. It’s something that is interesting to me and I’ve been dabbling in studying this idea for a bit of time now. Time for me to get started!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Cheers!
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Diligence

Hey there,

At one point a few posts ago, I said I will be writing a new blog every day. Wow, I do admire those who stick to that task!  Some blog writers admit that they have nothing to say when they sit down to write sometimes, and some how the words just flow eventually.

I read a book about 20 yrs ago called, “If You Can Talk, You Can Write” and I still believe in the philosophy.  The book said, that you should just sit and write whatever is on your mind and would illustrate the following: “blah, blah, blah, blah… Gold!”  Meaning, eventually you will meander to an interesting story and then just focus upon that, and write about it.

What I have basically learned is, a writer is a storyteller. That’s all, nothing intimidating about that. What’s really intimidating (at least, to me) is that what you write and publish, is there forever in print. So you start thinking more seriously on what it is you want to share… thinking of your audience.  I like to do this for myself, to see my own progress but I have to admit that if you have anyone else reading you start to feel accountable and set goals to put something out there, consistently.

Which I think is a good thing, if you want to see any progress. So in other words, I do see the benefit in sticking with this blog- writing.

I thought about also including some stories about my past adventures, just for fun. Just to get them out there.  My rule for myself is that they have to be interesting or funny stories. That’s all.

Alright, with that said, I’m going back to my main theme of posting artistic and creative progress.

Here, I have a clip from the movie “Her”, where I was told to remove all of the Chinese writing on the buildings, since they shot this particular scene in Shanghai.  I asked if I could replace the sign on the left with the words “Rose”. I was given permission to do this, to my excitement. My usual job in visual effects is to remove things that the filmmaker doesn’t want shown, such as removing wires from stuntmen’s bodies, etc., and someone else replaces it if necessary to the shot.  I was thrilled I had a chance to replace it with something I created! “ROSE” is mine, yay!! The visual effects supervisor had me add the extra flair to the plain block letters I originally created.

I was working at Digital Domain and then, the facility was about to move from the Venice location to Playa Vista, CA. I thought “Rose” was fitting because it was located on Rose Ave. at that time.

Rough first attempt

Hi again,

I have been going back over some of my lessons on matte painting, taught by someone from fxPhd, a few years ago.  I had previously needed to stop attending my online class because I realized I was totally lost when it came to using Photoshop.

Then, I bought an online remedial Photoshop training class that I never had time to finish all the way through.

About a year ago or so, I decided I wanted to do a projection of a sky using photos that I took of the sky near my house, then stitched together using PTGui. Then I brought it into Nuke and attached it to a sphere, to simulate the dome of a sky appearance. But I never put it into a scene, so that idea also had been put aside when I got busier at work.

Fast forward to now, where I do have some time off again. I have all these ambitious dreams of creating 5 really awesome, spectacular matte paintings so I finally got started today to resume my matte paint class.  I now feel like I am right back at square one again! I still can’t easily perform well in Photoshop so I will need to get back to that remedial PS class again, sigh.  It’s frustrating when you have ideas in your head, and know what you want to do, but the tools are not working for you.

Well, as with anything, you need to know the basics before advancing onto greater things!

I did at least go back today and try to finish that sky replacement piece I started in Nuke. That was going okay until I realized there is a technical issue with that technique as well, and needed to put that aside too.

Which leaves me to… my rough simple matte painting that I projected onto a card and then rotoscoped buildings and other objects over top of it. Voila … this is (sort of) my first attempt at a matte painting, put inside a moving sequence!  I am using the non-commercial license for Nuke so they won’t allow me to key anything so I rotoscoped everything in front – so time consuming.  It’s not perfect, but I wanted to demonstrate my simplest first step into matte painting. I will progress from here, for sure. I guess I also cannot submit the entire sequence I did, so I will post a few photos from it instead:

 

Here is a pic from the original footage:

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It’s not spectacular, but at least I got something to show here on my progress so far. I was busy last week doing personal stuff and now I’m dedicating more time on advancing my skills.

Thanks for reading!

 

A Few of my recent Landscape Paintings

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Hey there,

I’m making a point of it to write here every day, at least every day that I am not working my long hours. Maybe this will become a habit and I’ll want to write every day anyway. Or at least a few days a week.

So, a few months ago (maybe it’s been a year already! Time sure does fly..!) I created 3 little landscape paintings and then I framed them and put them up on a wall inside my home. I have felt inspired for a while now, to fill up my blank walls with paintings that I made.

Today, I plan on continuing with my matte painting online class. Soon, I will have something to show here… always a work in progress!

Keep painting and creating!

 

Work In Progress

Hello there,

Working as a VFX artist tends to make me slink away for sections of time, due to work deadlines and such.  It really bothers me when I cannot keep up with all of the stuff I’d like to do, when crunch time happens. But, it’s my chosen field of work and I do love it very much!

Now that I’m on “funemployment” because the project I was previously working on just ended, I have so much I want to study and learn, to advance my work skills. I also want to just create art in general, which I will post here.  I will try to post daily progress, if I can. This way, it will hold me accountable to not get lazy or do all of my gazillion other house projects before taking a moment to post something here.

I decided to go back to my fxPhd class about Digital Matte Painting.  I signed up for this a few years ago, along with a couple of other digital paint/environments/compositing classes.  I found, at the time, that I could not keep up with this particular class, because I hardly knew how to use Photoshop.  I’ve since taken lots of online classes to teach me Photoshop and now as I go over the first fxPhd class again, I do have a much better understanding, phew!

Here is how far I got with my digital online training of Photoshop, so this was from a class and not an original:

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I did the elephant one several months ago, towards the end of 2016.  Lately, I have been sitting down with Photoshop and loading images from the internet and practicing layering them together, and manipulating it to create my first matte painting. This one, a work in progress, I did about a month ago:

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What I plan to do with this one is to add a nice beach on the right of the scene.  Also, blend that sailboat with the background a lot better. I’ll post this again once I have a finished product.

Here is another one I had been working on:

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File format came out tiny, so I see that this is another one of my rookie errors. But what I did was remove cars and telephone poles, etc from the landscape, and added a house to the lower right. It is not yet blended in.

OK, so that is my very beginning stage of learning how to create matte paintings. I also would love to learn how to work in Environments, which means that I’d get to attach my matte paintings to some geometry that I created, as well as possibly my own lighting and camera work. But I will begin with learning the basics first. 🙂