Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife for Conservation

Johnny Morris Aquarium – Supersized

Larger than the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., the Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium opened to visitors on Sept. 22, 2017. Applause!

Nine years in the making, the aquariums and wildlife galleries at WOW are a testament to conservation.

Where in the world, other than the ocean, can you watch sharks circle a bait ball of herring … well, at Wonders of Wildlife.

Aquarium and Wildlife Museum – Grand Opening

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Nightmare in eBay Town With Spooky Buyer

Antique art meets nightmare Buyer

We sold a dreamy framed print of Pharaoh’s Horses on eBay. My husband remembers seeing it on the wall in his grandparent’s parlor, and we were hoping to find someone who would treasure it, which we did, but only after encountering a nightmare eBayer.

Packing with care Pharaoh's Horses with bubble wrap and customized foam cutout
Packing with care Pharaoh’s Horses

Hubby photographed the art for eBay and packed it for mailing: two of the five scary steps to selling on eBay:

  1. Photograph item,
  2. Write item description for listing,
  3. Package and weigh item for shipping,
  4. List item with proper information and photos,
  5. Ship sold item securely to Buyer.

Selling on eBay with fingers crossed

Even before my nightmare saga, we had misgivings concerning the pitfalls of selling online due to the drama of mailing fragile antiques.

The frame had a delicate gessoed border. The wood frame had a fragile veneer. And the rolled, antique glass was fragile. Hubby cut round foam spacers for the inset glass and customized the packing materials for travel into the great unknown, the postal system.

Pricing on eBay can be spooky

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Circus Clown Poster Art to Make You Smile

Clowns, giraffes, tigers, lions, and elephants make great circus posters

A selection of our posters are on sale on eBay under my User ID swimyellowduck and in my Etsy store, Pazazz.

Circus World Welcomes Tourists

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Laptop Art and Wicked Tuna, a Perfect Duo

Laptop art, perfect for binge watching Wicked Tuna

Laptop art Edvard Munch's The Scream in pixels as transformative art in a frame
Framed for hanging, my transformative art of The Scream

Often, I am busy on my laptop designing digital frames whenever I watch  Wicked Tuna on the National Geographic channel. If I end up with something to show at the end of the program, I justify the bucket of time I dumped watching TV.

After I completed my first pixel art of The Scream, Edvard Munch’s iconic masterpiece, I thought it needed a frame. So, I made a frame for it while I watched Wicked Tuna, and I recolored my Scream from Munch’s classic palette to my favorite Jelly Bean palette of colors.

I’ve asked myself, Why do I binge-watch Wicked Tuna?

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Transformative Art of Edvard Munch The Scream

Digital transformative art in pixels that references an oil painting The Scream by Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch’s oil painting inspired my pixel art, and hence my transformative art of The Scream

Why I Painted a Copycat version of The Scream

Normally, I would term my digital recreation of Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream a copycat, but today to recreate the art or photographs of others in a surprising or unexpected way is termed “transformative art.” Transformative art has a fair use copyright standing in many cases.

My transformative art of Edvard Munch’s The Scream came about after watching an Adobe Live downstream featuring a Photoshop Contest with free digital brushes, designed by Kyle T. Webster.  Kyle designed the brushes after seven Munch brushes curated at the Munch Museum/Oslo.

I downloaded the digital brushes from Adobe for Photoshop, and had dreams of creating a piece of digital art in the Munch style for the Adobe contest. I made my sketch, and started to paint with my Wacom pen.

However, my computer is a dinosaur, with a slow processor. Every stroke I took with the Munch brushes was like watching a swath of color slowly populating across my screen. As grand as it was to play with the Adobe Munch brushes, it was far too tedious for me, so I abandoned my sketch.

The Scream by Munch has proved itself a timeless classic due to its original expression of a universal theme, panic. Munch painted from life. He was walking with two friends on a bridge, and suddenly he heard nature screaming at him and deafening his thoughts. It was a singular experience that found its way onto his canvas.

Munch painted four different versions of The Scream. One hangs in  Oslo at the Munch Museum.

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Free Munch Digital Brushes and Scream 5 Contest

Munch The Scream 5th Contest Sponsored by Adobe

Transformative digital vector art of Edvard Munch's The Scream
My “Scream 5” in Pixels

Edvard Munch’s The Scream is one of the most recognizable paintings ever. One of his four renditions of The Scream hangs in the Oslo Munch Museum, which houses the largest collection of Munch’s works in existence.

Also, the museum has curated seven of Edvard’s oil brushes. Adobe recently commissioned artist and art teacher Kyle T. Webster to replicate digital versions of Edvard’s brushes for Adobe Photoshop CC and Sketch.

These brushes are available to you, free to download. Adobe has sponsored a contest for a Scream 5, and offers these digital brushes for digital artists to create a unique take on Edvard’s original works.

Download the free Adobe digital brushes to Photoshop or Sketch, then enter The Scream art contest. [Update: Contest ended,  July 14, 2017]

August 1 Update: Contest over. See entries for Munch 5th on Behance.

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Volunteer at Legends of Golf Tournament Bass Pro

panorama image of golfers on course with swans and waterfall in background

I like to Volunteer at Bass Pro Legends of Golf, and thought you might want to know why. Think green lawns, sandy bunkers, legendary pros, media, eclectic crowds, divine landscapes, swans, boats, ponds, and waterfalls — christened with rain — all that at the PGA TOUR® Champions Bass Pro Shops® Legends of Golf® at Big Cedar® Lodge, played on premier courses at Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge.

Why I Volunteer

Volunteer? Friends and family chuckle when I volunteer at the tournament because it cost $50 to volunteer and it takes 3-5 days of my personal time. Some think I am starstruck, but – no. Volunteering for me is the big picture of what this extraordinary event brings to me personally, to golfing, and to our area.

Kid Rock Swinging Golf Club
Kid Rock styling in camo for the Skins Shootout with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino
    • The tournament is held in April, my birthday month, and it’s a gift of entertainment to me.
    • It supports Missouri tourism and  conservation.
    • Love the color green, and the most beautiful greens in the Ozarks sprout in the spring.
    • Love hearing the birds, watching the swans, and walking the beautiful courses that host the tournament.
    • You never know what to expect. This year Kid Rock played in a Skins Shootout with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino. You had to be there. I’m banking on Mark Wahlberg next year.
Medallion for service given to veterans, military, civil servants at the Bass Pro Legends of Golf Tournament
“Service Beyond Self” Medallion presented at the gate to military and civil servants by sponsor H.E. Williams Electric
  • I volunteer to celebrate the conservation efforts of Johnny and Jeannie Morris to make golfing a premier event in the Ozarks. [Fun fact: Golf became an Olympic sport back at the 2016 Games in Rio.]
  • I like crowds and meeting interesting people.
  • Top of the Rock overlooks Table Rock Lake, an idyllic setting.
  • The tournament expands each year. (Johnny Morris recently announced his purchase of the Legends of Golf franchise for another four years.)
  • It’s meritorious to volunteer at this prestigious golf tournament that not only celebrates golf but also raises money for education at College of the Ozarks.
  • Finally, you get back much more than you give, thanks to the generous support of Johnny Morris and the tournament sponsors.

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Easter and Springtime Collide

Easter arrives at springtime. For me, spring brings marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies, daffodils, dandelions, colored eggs, egg hunts, fishing, hiking, boating, canoeing, ball caps, flip-flops, summer clothes, summer colors, golf, tennis, camping, traveling, friends, flowers, sun glasses, plein aire watercolors, graduations, parties – and family.

Is it Easter yet?

Living in the Ozarks means I enjoy the best spring offers. Our lilac bush is blooming, and we bought a new lawn mower that’s still in the box. Too early to mow.

Illustration of a cardinal sitting atop an Easter egg surrounded by dandelions and a lucky worm
Cardinal’s Easter Egg

Spring comes with sounds. Canaries, titmice, woodpeckers, robins, and cardinals are daily sites at our bird feeders. The canaries made an early return from their winter’s journey, adding splashes of yellow to the backyard. Titmice and woodpeckers stick the winter out in the Ozarks. As well, some robins and cardinals winter here. All we have to do is step outdoors or open a window to hear spring.

We have a squirrel nesting in our back yard – and a possum!

Best of all, spring is when we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His gift of new life evermore.

Slow down for Easter

Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, just came and went.

I say to myself as I do each year at this time, “Let’s not rush through this epic event.”  Do some bird watching. Watch Mother Nature wake up from her winter  nap. Journal an Easter Bible Study.

This week read the Gospel records on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that changed history forever.

  • Matthew 26:1-28:20
  • Mark 11:1-16:19
  • Luke 22:1-24:53
  • John 13:1-21:25.

As it is written … the week of Easter

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Pixel Art Animation Tutorials AdobeLive

Pixel Art of fish swimming in sea with an air balloon overhead that turns out to be a fisherman
Fishy, fishy in the Sea

Pixel Animation, Lesson One

Pixel Animation and Motion Design are mesmerizing and fun to watch on web pages if you like text and art dancing around your website like I do.

So, I made my first pixel art animation, Fishy, Fishy in the Sea. Plot: Fish are happily swimming  on an idyllic day when a seemingly peaceful air balloon floating overhead is piloted by a fisherman who pulls out a fishing reel and plunks a lure into the water. Water splashes. Fish scatter. End of story. The animation loops endlessly.

Famous Motion Designers Demonstrate Their Work Process, Live

Earlier in March, AdobeLive from Paris streamed video of motion designers working with animation. Designers included: Made By Radio; Alexandra Lund; Lucile Patron; and Cyril Izran. During the 3-day broadcasts, the designers worked in their favorite Adobe animation programs and with their favorite tools and plugins.

During Lucile Patron’s video on Day 1, I caught the bug to design a pixel art animation. I wanted to join the party. During the live stream, hosts Rufus and Michael encourage viewers to submit samples of their animations and motion design for critique and to win a year’s subscription to Adobe CC.

You know how I love contests, so I worked relentlessly during the 3-day stream to create my first pixel animation to post on Twitter.

Lucile Patron, AKA Fulifuli, made pixel art animation in Photoshop look so easy and fun, I thought, Why not me?

I bravely opened Photoshop CC to create my first pixel art animated masterpiece. I can do Photoshop, I thought.

Surprisingly, pixel art animation turned out to be work. Hopefully, I will make another animation in the near future after a tad more practice. Until then, I remain a starry-eyed duck, counting the stars!

vector illustration of two ducks on a starry night counting stars
Two Ducks, Counting the Stars

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Creative Cloud Love for Adobe CC and a Flutterby

Creative bubbalo lettering, painted with butterflies and flowers
Buffalo and Butterflies

Adobe Creative Cloud for Digital Art and Design

Digital art and design just got more creative with Adobe Creative Cloud. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I subscribed to Adobe CC. Buying a subscription was happenstance because I needed a current version of Dreamweaver, which now resides on Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

Now I am walking on a cloud. I grab free fonts from TypeKit, play with color palettes at Adobe Color CC, share my portfolio online and follow my favorite designers on Adobe’s Behance, integrate Adobe iPhone and iPad apps with Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign,  etc.

The sky is the limit. Adobe even provides templates to put up your website if you have a URL. I made a PatriciaWiskur website with Behance in a matter of hours, thanks to Adobe templates.

Discover the Adobe Community on Behance.net

To top it off, you can watch tutorials on  Behance Live and YouTube/Adobe CC channel.

My favorites are replays from AdobeLive, France, with Michael Chaize, Creative Cloud Evangelist, and  Rufus Deuchler, Principal Manager of Creative Cloud Evangelism Adobe. They film artists and designers from London, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, etc., as the artists work in real time.

You can watch replays on Behance Live and YouTube/Adobe Creative Cloud.

Michael and Rufus are engaging moderators. Not only are they Adobe Creative Cloud experts but also artists, photographers, and designers who bring substance and humor to the creative sessions.

Favorite Adobe Live Streams from France

Bird House designed by Maite Franchi and illustrated in Adobe Illustrator
My first attempt to replicate Maite Franchi’s exclusive bird house with Jacuzzi. Watching Maite execute her sketch in Illustrator is memorable.

Adobe Live gives an inside glimpse into how the pros approach an art project. Filmed live from Paris and California, the Adobe team films artists who work from concept to finished art, using sketch pads, iPads, Apple Pencils, computers, tablets, and Adobe CC. The live streams are lengthy, two-hours each, and provide a rare insight into an artist’s working style.

These are some of my favorite Adobe CC streams from Paris, that you can replay on  YouTube:

  • Maite Franchi: creates three illustrations from sketches with Adobe Illustrator, working with symbols, original color palettes, and design tips; then adds texture to her art in Photoshop (watch Maite’s AdobeLive YouTube video to see how she executes her bird house in Illustrator and Photoshop)
  • Marie-Laure Cruschi: has a French design studio, CRUSCHIFORM
  • Pieter Ceizer: demonstrates typography and hand lettering – Pieter is a superstar from the Netherlands now living in Paris, with clients such as Nike, Tommy Hilfiger,  Coca-Cola, etc. Visit his website or see him on Instagram.
  • Swerve from the UK: free-lance designer with his own popular YouTube tutorial channel and eclectic style
  • Amanda Berglund, free-lancer from Sweden, creates in real time a poster for an exhibition for Danish designer Finn Juhl and re-brands Science Illustrated with a new cover design – see her on Behance
  • Tina Touli: London based illustrator. In three sessions Tina creates a poster and pamphlet design to celebrate the 30th year anniversary of Adobe Illustrator – must see all three videos (link to the third of three session).
  • Victoria Uvaldy: illustrator from Barcelona – a modern approach to magazine design with Adobe InDesign. Victoria covers the nuts and bolts process from conception to layout with photos and text.

Illustration Tee-Shirt Art Streamed Live from San Francisco

Butterfly on leaf with iris bloom and a stem of lilies of the valley
Iris and a butterfly, AKA, a “flutterby”

In February, AdobeLive streamed from  San Francisco, with talented U.S. designers and their creative process, during a 3-day marathon that included portfolio revue, tee-shirt art, drawings for free subscriptions to Adobe CC, and tips and resources. Check out replays of the event artists on YouTube/Adobe CC or Adobe Live:

 

Watch Maite Franchi create her birdhouse in Illustrator in real time!

Buffalo Roam In Their Ozark Home

Home, Home on the Range

Buffalo [AKA, bison] roaming the range in old western films is shear movie magic. I loved the pivotal movie moment when cowboys would ride over a mountain top and see herds of cattle or bison below with the soundtrack playing in the background…Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam….

I found those films fascinating in my childhood. Beloved cowboys Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Hopalong Cassidy named their horses, carried a guitar strapped to their saddle, made grand entrances into a saloon, and rode down trails amidst rolling sage brush.

Flash forward to the Ozarks today. Thanks to brilliant conservation, you can ride or drive to a mountain top in Missouri and Arkansas and see  a herd of bison below in a nature preserve like Dogwood Canyon or spot them grazing along a ridge, like Buffalo Ridge Golf Course.

Famous Sculptor Designs Most Famous Buffalo

End of the Trail, James Earl Fraser
James Earl Fraser, “End of the Trail,” at Top of the Rock, Branson, MO.

Renowned sculptor James Earl Fraser, artist of the famous End of the Trail bronze, also designed the buffalo on the collectible Buffalo Nickle (minted between 1913 and 1938). The Fraser buffalo on the nickle is the most famous buffalo of all.

Of course, there are the beloved Buffalo wings, Buffalo Bills, and Buffalo, NY.

Bison roaming Ozark mountains and nature preserves remind us to conserve nature and to celebrate our pathfinders, cowboys and Native Americans who once slept beneath the stars.

Little known facts about the American bison

  • American bison is the formal name for the American buffalo.
  • The bison is the national mammal of the U.S.
  • In addition to being a major food mainstay. the American Indians found a use for nearly every part of the bison: buffalo robes, tools, utensils, and implements for hunting and war; hides for canoes and various styles of portable huts and teepees.
  • American bison are gregarious. It was not uncommon for herds to grow to 1,000 bison and for herds to migrate together and form a herd of two- to three-thousand.
  • Known as herbivores, they snack on grass every two hours, moving between snacks to greener grass, throwing in a nap along the way.
  • The American bison have distant relatives in Europe.
  • Mason and Dixon journal about spotting bison when they surveyed the Mason-Dixon line.
  • Bison share international lineage with the Asian water buffalo and the African buffalo.
  • The average bison weighs over a 1,000 pounds.
  • They are protective of their space. Stay out of it, or you may find a 1,000 pound buffalo charging at you.
  • The average lifespan of the American bison is between 15 and 25 years.

 

Modern Portrait of Pres. Donald J. Trump

My first portrait of our new President, in a Modern style

Trump of Spades playing card
Trump of Spades

I went Modern when I got out my pen to ink the portrait of our new President, then framed it for a deck of cards. The first thing that pops into my mind when I hear the word trump is … Play Your Trump Card.

A great painter is always commissioned to paint an Trump of Hearts for Valentine's Day, a Modern Portrait of Donald J. TrumpOfficial Portrait of the President to hang in the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian, a tradition since Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of President George Washington.

My portrait is the unofficial portrait.

Trump of Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and Clubs

Play your Trump card of Diamonds
Trump of Diamonds

I had to frame Donald Trump’s portrait with all of the playing card suits, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and Clubs, so  you could play with a full deck.

Here’s a link to a coloring page. Go wild with  your color palette when you paint, like I did.

Credit: my Modern Art of Pres. Trump was inspired by Newsweek’s Special Inaugural issue: Trump, Commander in Chief.


Color and doodle 45th President of the U.S.
Click to paint Trump Portrait