That’s How the Cookie Crumbles

My Kitchen Needs a Video Crew on Thanksgiving

Penguin cookie decorated as a turkey for Thanksgiving
Penguin cookie with Thanksgiving turkey decorations

Rushing to finish my Thanksgiving cooking list, Pumpkin Pie, Frosted Apple Pie Slices, Sweet-potato Puff, and a bowl of Romaine Crunchy Salad, I skidded out of control.

I hit the first curve when Shep reported on Fox News, “Just in! ALL Romaine lettuce – RECALLED!”

Yikes! Hubby ran to Wal-Mart to return two packages of Romaine bought for Thanksgiving’s Romaine Crunchy Salad. I ran to our favorite neighborhood grocer for gourmet lettuce to replace Romaine.

Then, as I rushed to whip the sweet potatoes with my KitchenAid, I flipped the speed to high with my left hand and I pulled the lock lever to lock the mixing bowl with my right hand. Unfortunately, I had not seated the bowl into the locking groove at the bottom of the mixer stand.

My sweet potatoes went flying. The bowl flipped and wedged against its base at a 45-degree angle. The motor froze.

I panicked, of course. Fortunately hubby saw this as an opportunity to employ his engineering skills and ran to the garage for tools.

He entered the kitchen armed with a giant paint-stir stick in one hand and a rubber mallet in the other. Within minutes, my mixing bowl was freed, and my KitchenAid was safe to operate. Continue reading That’s How the Cookie Crumbles

Spooky Halloween – Doylestown, Wisconsin

Spooky grapes floating in egg whites and eyeballs
Float grapes in a bowl of egg whites. Close your eyes. Feel the slimy grapes squish through your fingers. Imagine how brave I felt in first grade as I listened to ghost stories, with visions of eyeballs dancing in my head!

My First Ever Spooky Halloween

Unaware to me as a child, I had a speech impediment.

I was clueless my speech was not stellar until my 1st-grade teacher, Mrs. Theresa Bow, enlisted Sally, a 6th-grader, to tutor me in pronunciation.

Those speech lessons turned spooky on Halloween morning, thanks to my playful tutor. She snagged my imagination and drew me into the 6th-grade plot —  scare the Jello out of  the 1st-graders.

Spooky glass eyes from antique Nippon doll
Spooky glass eyes from antique Nippon doll

Continue reading Spooky Halloween – Doylestown, Wisconsin

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?

Continue reading Laptop Art and Wicked Tuna, a Perfect Duo

Transformative Art of Edvard Munch The Scream

Digital transformative art in pixels of a masterpiece, Edvard Munch's The Scream
Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream painted 100 years ago inspired my attempt at transformative art with pixels and vectors

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 an 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 Munch 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.

Continue reading Transformative Art of Edvard Munch The Scream

Free Munch Digital Brushes and Scream 5 Contest

Munch The Scream 5th Contest Sponsored by Adobe

Scream by Edvard Munch in pixels
Scream by Munch 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 works in existence. The museum has also curated seven of his priceless brushes.

In collaboration with the museum, Adobe commissioned artist and art teacher Kyle T. Webster to replicate digital versions of Edvard’s brushes for Adobe Photoshop CC and Sketch. These digital brushes and tutorials are available to you free from Adobe.

Adobe sponsored a contest for a Scream 5 in July 2017, and offered these brushes for artists to create their own digital masterpiece, one inspired by the iconic Munch masterpiece. A print of the winning art would be exhibited at the museum next to Edvard’s The Scream.

Update: Contest ended August 1, 2017. See entries for Munch 5th on Adobe’s Behance.

Continue reading Free Munch Digital Brushes and Scream 5 Contest

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

Continue reading Easter and Springtime Collide

Pixel Art Animation Tutorials from 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.

Learning from Pro Motion Designers

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.

Over a 3-day time span, designers worked in their favorite Adobe animation programs and with their favorite tools and plugins.

On Day 1, watching Lucile Patron’s live stream, I caught the bug to design a pixel art animation.

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

Continue reading Pixel Art Animation Tutorials from AdobeLive

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 basic portfolio website, PatriciaWiskur with Behance in a matter of hours, thanks to Adobe templates.

Discover the Adobe Community on Behance.net

View tutorials live on  Behance Live and YouTube/Adobe CC channel. Subscribe to be alerted of the current live stream schedule.

My favorite live streams from France, 2017, can be seen on YouTube as replays. Moderators for the live streams are Michael Chaize, Head of Creative Cloud Live Streams at Adobe, and  Rufus Deuchler, Principal Manager of Creative Cloud Evangelism Adobe.

In 2017, they filmed artists and designers from London, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, etc., as the artists work in real time.

You can watch replays on YouTube/Adobe Creative Cloud and on YouTube by search.

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 Prez Donald Trump for Card Art

My first portrait of Prez Trump, in a Modern style

Trump of Spades playing card
Trump of Spades

I went Modern when I grabbed my pen to ink the portrait of our new President, Donald J. Trump, 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 notable 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 and the first lady for the White House gallery, a tradition since Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of President George Washington in 1797.

And one of many decisions our Presidents and First Ladies make as they leave the White House at the end of their term is who will paint their official portraits for the Smithsonian.

Benefactors underwrite the cost of these portraits to honor the President and First Lady and to present historical portraits for public gallery viewing at the Smithsonian.

My portrait of President Donald Trump is an unofficial portrait.

Trump of Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and Clubs

Play your Trump card of Diamonds
Trump of Diamonds

I framed 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

Pick a Card, Any Card

 

Contest Crazy Led Me To Winsor & Newton Contest

The words Prize and Free always turn my head

So, when Winsor & Newton hailed a new line of ink pen and brush markers with an art contest centered on their ProMarkers and BrushMarkers and having a grand prize of a complete set of their ProMarkers, I was in.

Contest Pay to Play

The catch was, I didn’t own any of their markers, and I had only used gel and ink markers in lettering and calligraphy – not illustration. Still I jumped in, cannon ball style, to win their prized markers.

To enter, I bought the required Winsor & Newton ProMarkers and downloaded their template. They didn’t want random art, they challenged artists with a template of five flowing lines taken from their iconic, winged lion logo.

Winsor & Newton ProMarker Contest template
Winsor&Newton contest template

Inspired by those five flowing lines and a table full of newly purchased W&N ProMarkers and BrushMarkers, I began a month-long obsessions to create my very first masterpiece.

contest entry with pumpkin, fish, turtle, leaves
“Summer’s end” – Farewell to summer … hello, autumn!

In the end, I submitted Summer’s End, the first layout I had inked. I knew it was a flop, but I had worked my heart out and felt compelled to enter the contest if for no other reason than to validate my month-long obsession. Summer’s End got four Likes on Instagram.

I had allocated so much time to the initial layout and idea phase that little time remained for the final work and inking. No time for a re-work and no time remaining to ink my favorite layout, Kitty Diva.

Contest Entry Kitty Diva in Fish Repose
Kitty Diva lounging on a chaise lounge, surrounded by fish, line work for inking

Contest over. Winners announced. View their work.

Still a winner! I have a drawer full of newly-purchased Winsor & Newton markers and a feeling of accomplishment.

The beauty of entering art contests is that you challenge yourself to think outside the box. I mean, I never would have drawn Kitty Diva lounging on a chaise sofa and in a room decorated with fish, were it not for the contest and those five flowing lines.

So, everyone wins when you challenge yourself to be better.

You can color your own Kitty Diva and Summer’s End on the Color page of my website.

Original Contest Rules for Winsor & Newton’s 2016 Contest

  • Create your artwork – it can be anything you like, but you must use the lines displayed on the template below
  • Your artwork must be made using mainly ProMarkers and/or BrushMarkers
  • Upload your picture to Instagram using the hashtags: #InspiredByProMarker and #WinsorNewtonChallenge. You can enter as many artworks as you would like and the closing date is 31 October 23.59 GMT. (Check out the talented artist who entered the contest on Instagram.)

Winsor & Newton

Founded in 1832 in London by William Winsor and Henry Newton, the company continues to supply artists with paints, brushes, and art papers world wide. Headquartered in England.

Check out their new travel watercolor palette and brush set for sketch books and their professional compact palette for your masterpieces. And watch some art tutorials. Maybe there’s an art contest in your future.

Illustration for Children’s Books

Annual Talent Search For a Children’s Book Illustrator

illustration of birds on teacup for global talent search 2016
Birds Chatter on Tea Cup, my entry for GTS2016

I’ve emerged from my cave after sleeping through the fourth annual Lilla Rogers’s Global Talent Search. I would still be in the dark about the talent search if not for artsy friends on Instagram. Fortuitously, a hash tag led me to a talented network of artist and illustrators who had entered a contest to win agency representation by Lilla Rogers Studio.

Lilla Rogers at Make Art That Sells sponsors an annual  Global Talent Search competition to find talented children’s book illustrators. The Grand Prize winner receives agency representation from Lilla Rogers Studio; career development support in illustration; and numerous product licenses. Zowie!

Stop the presses: Lilla Rogers announced the winners of the Global Talent Search 2016. Entering the finals, Five Finalists were selected! Also, Mara Penny’s menu cover for Sunny Spindler’s cafe received the People’s Choice Award! See their work!

Continue reading Illustration for Children’s Books