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                                                       Studio Journal


    Sunflowers for the Kitchen





    I drew the sunflower used in the web site header on my iPad Pro with an application called Sketch Club. I enjoyed using Sketch Club for this illustration because the vector and pen tools were on point for what I hoped to create.  The detail possible with an Apple Pencil makes drawing on a tablet a true sensual pleasure. This image will be framed and most likely hung in my office studio or kitchen.  Lately I have taken a shine to having sunflowers in the kitchen, so I am leaning toward the kitchen.      

    By the way, I broke my right arm last summer and lost all use of my right hand for months. I was concerned that I would never be able to draw again with any precision. This is my first completed post-break work, and my gratitude for the doctor who performed the surgery and the healing I have experienced is profound.  I will remember this every time I see this image.     


    Retroactive Blessings

    C. S. Lewis wrote: “They say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.” (The Great Divorce, 1946).


    The Southern Physical World

    "There was the influence of the Southern physical world - itself a sort of cosmic conspiracy against reality in favor of romance.  The country is one of extravagant colors, of proliferating foliage and bloom, of flooding yellow sunlight, and above all perhaps, of haze….The dominant mood, the mood that lingers in the memory, is one of well-nigh drunken reverie - of a hush that seems all the deeper for the far-away mourning of the hounds and the far-away crying of the doves - of such sweet and inexorable opiates as the rich odors of hot earth and pinewood and the perfume of the magnolia in bloom - of soft languor creeping through the blood and mounting surely to the brain,,,,It is a mood, in sum, in which directed thinking is all but impossible, a mood in which the mind yields almost perforce to drift and in which nothing any more seems improbable save the puny inadequateness of fact, nothing incredible save the bareness of truth."

     ~ W. J. Cash from The Mind of the South (1941)



    Where Is The Feast?

    About three weeks ago the Summer Solstice occurred, and a full moon came along as an added benefit. And even cooler, this was the June Strawberry Full Moon (according to the monthly full moon naming custom of the Native American Algonquin Tribe). This was a very big deal because it is the first time we have had a Summer Solstice full moon since 1948 (according to National Geographic) or 1967/aka The Summer of Love (according to The Washington Post).  I tend to go with National Geographic on matters of this sort, so I considered this event to be something wonderful that had never happened before in my lifetime.  And since the next Summer Solstice Full Moon will happen in 2062, long after I am dead, I realized I had only one shot at this experience.  

    I headed outside with my camera for this once (literally) in a lifetime event, and waited, waited, waited for the moon to break from behind clouds.  While waiting I stood in the dark thinking that the street should be lined with people pointing, waiting, and gasping when the moon finally broke the prison of clouds.  But, alas, I was alone.

    Where are festivals these day?  

    My Summer Solstice Festival was observed alone and in my heart on a dark road.  But that was cool enough. I didn't miss out.  When the gigantic moon appeared I was just thrilled to be alive to see it and be a part of creation.  Even though I couldn't take a good photo, I have this little shot on my iPhone to remind me of the experience. Thomas Moore (A Religion Of One's Own) would heartily approve.


    Friedrich Poppl's Ruling Pen Minuscule 2

    This lettering is an up close section of an illustration I am making which emulates the Ruling Pen Minuscule 2 script of German calligrapher Friedrich Poppl.  His font dates from the 1960's.  I am creating this work on an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil in the Adobe Draw app and opened in Photoshop to create texture and embossing.  The lettering is smooth as butter with the Apple Pencil.  I am not sure how this piece will conclude, but I think it will be a poster and in different color.

    Apart from admiring Poppl's work, I admire his determination.  Here is a short piece on Poppl's challenging life as an amputee and prisoner of war.       


    Slow Poison

    "I am like a snake who has already bitten. I retreat from a direct battle while knowing the slow effect of the poison." ~ Anais Nin


    The Oh My of the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro



    For years my traditional artist friends have talked about the failure of digital art to provide the sensory experience of traditional media.  I, of course, felt that the graphic sleekness, all colors available, lightening hot learning environment was more appealing from the moment I first began to work in digital art (I'm not the digital art advocate for no reason).  If I thought it before - well - I am now swooning over the new Apple Pencil and iPad Pro.  And the idea of using Astropad, a $20 app, to draw simultaneously on my Mac without a Wacon Cintiq (13" $999+) is pretty amazing.  Oh my, this really is something to look forward to!  



    Lady Banks Color Theme

    These are point and shoot colors seen last April when my Lady Banks Rose was in full bloom on a trellis on the side of my cottage.  This theme was captured by Adobe Color (previously)/Adobe Capture (now) on my iPad. So I can save these nifty themes to my Libraries in Creative Cloud, but how can I share them?  Not so easy.  I opened in InDesign and right clicked the theme and selected Share, whereupon it opens in Creative Cloud where I can make a public link or keep it private.  Note that I can't download it from CC, so I made a screen shot (Mac Command+Shift+4) which saves to the desktop as a .png.  I can open in Photoshop and convert to whatever size and file type I need (to post here I had to reduce the image to 7 in. x 1.458 in. at 72 ppi). And there you have it.  A lot of trouble, but being able to show color combinations has its benefits, especially when working on projects where the input of others is so important.  


    The Beauty of Mystery

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
    ~Albert Einstein from What I Believe



    Adobe Post

    Have you tried Adobe's new iPhone app, Adobe Post?  Adobe launched the free app on December 17, and it's pretty cool. It provides design layouts which can be change to suit the user's purposes (color, font, wording, even image).  The post created is square, and it is fairly large (960 x 960 px; 13..333 x 13.333 inches at 72 px/in).  I had to cut my post down to 480 px to make it fit here in my Squarespace blog.  I can see the benefit for bloggers looking for well designed visuals.