March 22, 2010

Drag and Drop Movie Magic

I've always loved nature television and watching animals. Big Cat Diary is an inspiration; Wild Kingdom has fascinated me. That's part of the reason we decided to go on our Galapagos trip this year. Tortoises! Sea lions! Boobies! (That last one is my favorite for many reasons.)

Since we just purchased a Mac late last year, I thought that I would make use of its iLife suite. That's why we got this thing in the first place, right? What good is a Mac unless you use the fun stuff? (It's certainly not because it has made working from home easier. I miss you, Excel!)

I have to say that it seemed like a daunting task to make a movie. I mean, this stuff is usually best left to the professionals. One of my friends is going to film school to study this, and I'm investing a few hours with footage from a Canon point and shoot to do this? Ridiculous. This iMovie stuff had better work miracles!

It turns out that iMovie is one of the easiest programs to use. It loads all your videos in from iPhoto, puts them into nice visual representations and lets you edit in little bite-sized chunks. Because all of the iLife software is totally integrated, there's even a little toolbar on the side where you can pull in your music and photos. It was amazing - literally drag and drop! It took a lot less time then I imagined to cobble together a brief video representation of the wildlife we saw.

But enough shilling for Apple. Check out the movie!

If you have a Mac, try iMovie. It was tons of fun to put together these clips.

March 10, 2010

Color On My Mind

Despite the fact that I said that artwork is not my forte, I've been spending an awful lot of time blogging about artwork. I've started to spend more and more time on it, so I guess it's worth saying a few more words about it.

That said, I thought that I would talk a little more about color. A lot of you know that I really like color. When I was in high school, I had a pair of purple leather high tops and red suede shoes. I also had a bright rainbow stripe knit dress covered with little clear paillettes. Yikes. I've toned my clothing color down over the years with some coaching from some good friends (you know who you are), but I still love a pop of color.

Here's the irony in my artwork situation. I am so shy about applying bold strokes to paper that all my color looks totally washed out. Over the past eight art classes, I have noticed that everyone has artistic habits. One woman has a tendency to draw very hard outlines around her objects to define them; another has a very heavy hand when it comes to shadows. Me? Every image I draw is light. Almost ghostly. No one could accuse me of overcommitting to a line.

I started out thinking that this was a flaw. But I've come to feel that it might just be my artistic signature. For example, take this picture of pillows I drew in class last week. You could criticize it for being way too gray, but in a way, it creates a mood and intention. The background fabric was red, but I hated the color combination, so I made it a gray/white, which give the whole image a bit of a washed out look. Maybe you feel differently about it, but I like how sad the pillows look because of how pale they are and how gray the background is.

Next, over the weekend, I set up a still life in my own living room! Do you remember when I said that this whole drawing this is really messy? Ugh! I'm going to have to find a better solution. Anyway, I made a commitment that I was going to try to saturate my colors a little more. I think I achieved that goal, at least more so than I have in the past, and I achieved a pretty realistic look. However, does the picture says much other than here's a pile of pillows? I'm not sure. I like the image capture, and I love that I framed it a little differently by just showing the corners. But does the color say anything?

Lastly, here is the image we worked on in our second-to-last class. This is the first class in which I felt like I was able to really make use of my lack-of-coloring skills. Since we were working with black paper, the point was to really use the color of the background to greater effect. I used very little color to fill in the shape and color of the spools of yarn/thread, but I think despite the minimal line use, you can still tell what it is.

It was remarkable how different my image was from everyone else's. Overall, because I used so little pastel, it looks like the room is really dark. Everyone else drew spools that were 80% filled in, while I only filled in 20% of the spools. So far, this is my favorite drawing.

Obviously, because I have written so much about these pieces, I seem to be becoming kind of invested in this whole "drawing" thing. My last art class was last night (self portraits - scary!), but I think I'll be continuing to experiment a little more on my own. You'll be able to tell, I guess, if you see more posts in the future.