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Portrait of Peter done in Procreate


I feel like I’ve been working on this for a long time and it’s still not done. The hair bothers me. But I love the expression. I was having the kids pose for their passport photos and we were trying to stick with the tips from the US passport photo wesite: “Subject is directly facing camera with a neutral expression; eyes are clearly visible. Neutral expression is preferred.” The kids were having a hard time keeping a straight face but for Peter it seemed to come naturally.

I like that it kind of captures an essence of Peter. In the future I’d like to work on abstracting it a little more (in some ways it looks too photographic). The challenge for me is to see how much I can abstract it while still retaining the essence of the original subject.


Photo shoot at Kinder Farm

Heather and Tim at Kinder Park

The amateur photographer strikes again. I recently did this photo shoot for some good friends of mine, Heather, Tim, and their spirited English Pointer, Gretchen. It was fun – and successful, as they got some decent portraits. But I still find the task of shooting anyone besides my own immediate family kind of daunting. I’ve got the technical side of it covered. I feel like I can use my camera to the best of its ability, taking advantage of all the features. And I know a lot about lighting and composition and all that. The tough part for me is posing people. Or not posing them. Just getting them to relax in front of the camera. Read more

The Cycle of Frustration

The Cycle of Frustration

Ever since I became a mom, there has been a cycle of frustration in my life and it looks like this:

Get inspired to work on art and photography.

Get frustrated over lack of free time and lack of skill.

Give up for awhile.

Get interested in improving my technical skills – WordPress, learning how to code.

Get frustrated over lack of progress, and my inability to focus on one thing and excel at it.

Start pondering the question of what I am really supposed to be doing.

Get depressed because I can’t seem to answer the question.

Realize I can’t afford to be depressed so search for things that make me happy.

Start working on art again.

I’ve been riding this wheel of frustration nonstop for over 5 years now! The only time I feel at peace is when I decide that somehow the cycle is what I’m meant to be doing, even though I doesn’t seem like I have anything to show for it. But each year I make a little progress in my coding skills, and I become a better artist. It helps to take stock. After many iterations on the cycle, I am now:

  • A better photographer.
  • A better digital artist.
  • I can build a wordpress theme from scratch.
  • I’m fairly proficient in HTML and CSS, and I can use frameworks like Bootstrap to get a site up and running quickly.
  • I have a basic knowledge of php and javascript. I can’t really build things from scratch, but I’m fairly comfortable with modifying stuff that’s already built.
  • I have a good working knowledge of web site maintenance, as well as analytics and SEO.

I suppose I just have to have faith that somewhere out there is a job I can do that uses all of those things.

(Note: This post started out from a draft I wrote on September 28th, 2012.)


Chuck Close on Courage

I was recently thinking about why it is so hard to cultivate the habit of making art; whether it be words, images, or photography. I came to the conclusion that it should be as simple as cultivating two qualities: courage and discipline. So of course the next step was to google, “How to be more courageous.” And this relevant quote by Chuck Close came up (from WSJ Magazine): Read more