Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Turning Thrift Store Art into ...um... art.

I'm a StumbleUpon addict (It's a firefox and chrome add-on), and I find my self 'stumbling' for waaay too long at a time, but it often turns out to give me some great ideas. For instance, Stumble threw me to an article on altering thrift store art. From there, I fell in love.

My girlfriend an I were dropping off some donations at the local Good Will, and I found a print of painting by Ruane Manning for $2.75. It was all framed up and everything. The frame was in bad shape, and the plexiglass was scratched to pieces, but the art was completely intact!...until I bought it.

I've taken cell phone pictures of the painting, after I 'finished' it, and they ended up blurry. I'm posting them anyway, given the subject matter (which should always be photographed in blurry conditions), and the fact that I don't own the rights to Ruane Manning's original piece. I wonder if parody laws come into effect on this?

Wish me luck in trying to get this new Bigfoot painting hung successfully in my dining room (sans protests!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Airbrushing shirts II - weird discovery about myself

Yesterday after writing my post about the shirts, I felt oddly compelled to make another shirt. I went researching online for some cool '80s cartoon character, or just cartoon in general that I liked, but didn't remember. I'd decided that I wanted a cartoon shirt.

I went to retrojunk and was browsing through the list of '80s shows when I found Saturday Supercade! It was a bizarre show on CBS back in 1983 and 1984, based on coin-op arcade games. The show was segmented into different mini-shows, each based on a different game. I only vaguely remembered the show, but I remember a bit of it that I LOVED. My favorite segment, for whatever reason (I was six and seven when the show came out...who knows why you like anything at that point), was based on the game, Kangaroo.

Kangaroo wasn't a stellar game, nor anywhere close to the top of my favorites, but apparently the cartoon had huge impact on me. I found it's mini intro on youtube and was immediately a six or seven year old kid again. I knew I had to have K.O. Katie as my newest shirt, then.

So, now the shirt is done, and I'm left with questions. Why on Earth did I spend hours painting a shirt with a character nobody remembers? Heck, I barely remember her, but I do remember that I thought she was awesome. Maybe it's because she punches monkeys? I have no idea. Why does a half-remembered show like 'Saturday Supercade' hold any power over me what so ever? Am I just really really weird in having a fixation on a barely remembered bit from my childhood, or does this happen to other people? If you have answers or similar experiences, let me know! I'd love to hear about it. Especially if you loved K.O. Katie, too!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Airbrushing shirts

I've been playing away with my new airbrush, and I finally have things worth showing for my troubles! I've been airbrushing t shirts (the classiest of all things to airbrush).

The brown shirt is mine, it's a winged frog, the black shirt is Sarah's. It's me in a gas mask...I'm guessing you already knew that though. Both of these shirts were heat set with an iron, and have made it through the wash, so we know the paint took. The frog shirt's wing faded just a bit near the edge, so last night late, I added a little paint, then heat set it again, for longer and hotter. Hopefully this time it will take.

Both are done using Frisket stencils that I designed. The frog is a particularly simple stencil. It's just the outline of the frog and an outline of the wing (as separate pieces). All the detail on it was added by hand. As a result, the frog was more fun to make, too.

I've gotten a few more blank shirts over the weekend, so I will be experimenting with different stencil types, air pressures for the compressor and what not, even more. I'm also considering trying my hand at some 'fine art' airbrushing, but I don't quite feel like I'm there, yet.

As you are aware, this has slowed down work on my dolls...but it also means that now I will be able to airbrush them instead of just normal brushing them!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baby Robins

This spring, I had a robin's nest on my front porch, which is kind of cool, because I like birds. The mommy robin was kind of an ugly thing, as far as robins are different (her head looked too tall and too narrow front to back) but it made it easy for me to tell her apart from the other neighborhood robins when she was out and about.

Eventually the eggs hatched, and I got to watch the little birdies grow up over the course of a couple of weeks. Starting at the ugly 'fetus with a beak' stage, until now, where I still see one or two of them (I can't tell them apart), still sporting their little spots, hanging out with the mommy bird. The last picture was taken right before they all took off. I was outside (and probably what prompted their flight), so I got a very good view of their first flight. It was neat.