pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I never end up taking any pictures at BurningMan, even of stuff I make. I talked a lot about the bike stuff I was building but got no photos of it assembled and in operation. However, here's a picture of it when I was still in prototype mode: The prow on the front was painted to match the purple and white of the bike and canopy and the fluoro orange tape went away once I finished making the fiberglass connectors for the rods.

I did this project very last minute and found out even more last minute that the port marked 'USB' on the board was in fact FTDI so I had to order another part and wait for that. Between that and writing ISR timer interrupts for PWM so it wouldn't burn up the triacs on the board, I ended up not having time to do the animation I'd planned to do. I burned all my time coding around the hardware limitations of the board. :P

Anyhow, last minute before we left for Burn, I grabbed a grayscale fractal image and threw it into my code as the inputs for the channels. That's the pattern that is displayed here:
It's interesting enough that you know it's not random but definitely not what I had in mind but you can see the varying levels of brightness accomplished with pulse width modulation and you can see all channels lighting at once without the magic blue smoke escaping. So... It was good enough for prototype.

Now that I've got some more time, I can go back and do proper animation for it although on the whole I'm not completely happy with it. It wasn't bright enough and didn't really have enough channels. I think though that I can redesign their board and control many many more channels of EL Wire (In the range of many hundreds) and solve the ground and PWM issues. I am going to do a slightly easier project first to make sure I know what I'm doing and then come back and finish this one. I'll post schematics and stuff as they happen.

Anyhow... That's it. Not very exciting, is it?


Feb. 24th, 2011 09:43 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
A few days ago I was looking at "Dynamic Anatomy" ... Now that I'm a more experienced artist I see a lot of flaws in both his work and his teaching method. What instead kept catching my eye the most were instead the included photos of various renaissance pieces.

Of the well-known works, Michaelangelo's Creation of Adam really caught my eye. In some senses, it is no more technically proficient than many of his other pieces but there's some really interesting stuff going on in it. Take a long look at it: (And be sure to look at the original, not cheap knock-offs like which I will come back to later.)

Adam's pose and his eyes. They don't say love or fear so much as casual indifference. His he reaching out to touch god or brushing him off? Submissive or bored? What really makes this piece so fascinating is exactly that. It is masterful expression. I think, looking closer, it really is Adam who is in power in this piece. He rests alone ont he ground, naked and unafraid. His body is firm and strong and he is very slightly larger than God.

God's hand is ever so slightly withered, showing his age. He is a bit doughy around the middle. God is clothed, though I suspect that was not the original design. It takes dozens of cherubs to keep him aloft and the cherubs look either disinterested or at Adam. They seem nervous even afraid of him, not filled with joy.

It's an interesting image. I don't think that Michaelangelo was a heretic. Far from it. I think the way he painted this is profoundly true to his faith. This is Adam in the bible. He is a god, created in God's image. Adam is not meant to be a lesser being or subject. He is meant to be someone God can talk with and better understand himself through. I think this is the greatest achievement of this painting. I think, in looking at it that Michaelangelo probably understood God better than the people in the building below because it's apparent in his work that he had no fear of God. Fear is the root of all evil and to fear God would in fact be to profane God. In this moment, Adam is perfect. He has no fear, no shame. He is a newly born god.

-- knockoffs --

In looking for a good photo of this online I of course ran across several knockoffs made to be stuck on the wall of the house of someone who wants to feign culture. The example above is a typical one. They have copied the pose but not the muscle tension, the action the expressions or anhy of the subtleties that make this piece what it is. The result is something vastly inferior watered down and ready for mass-production. Unlike the original, it does show fear. Everyone has to wear a happy face. Adam must love god. God is timeless and powerful, all the cherubs are smiling. Everyone is artificially happy, the mood is clearly defined, not set to make you pause for thought. It is tedious, tasteless, and pointless. I can barely stand to look at it, and contemplating the sort of people who would buy it just makes me sad.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
On a more positive note.. I'll be wearing tails to a furry convention for the first time this year.

Scrap Captain by ~dv-girl on deviantART

I'm really happy with this coat. I made it out of scraps from a previous project that I gave to a friend and so it's a zero waste sort of thing plus it reminds me of a friendship.

This is literally _all_ of the material. The biggest remaining scrap is about 6"x8" so I'm really pleased with that. However, the design and layout took absolutely _forever_ I spent an entire day designing the pattern, pinning and repinning stuff until I got what I wanted.

Hurray for after-christmas sales too. I went and bought tissue paper for christmas wrapping to use for creating my patterns. A lot less hassle than construction paper or newsprint and much cheaper than buying tissue paper from the fabric store.

I should at some point take a photo of the interior too. It's blue with darker blue stripes and red interference. Subtle but very attractive and feels really nice. ;)

Heh. Actually, I should take photos of the interiors of all of my coats. I have this funny habit of putting really nice fabric inside my coats. Kind of my secret treasure in them that no one else gets to experience. ^_^

Anyhow... I guess I've taken yet another inevitable step towards crazy space captain.
pasithea: toadlicking (silly)
I love you guys so much I made season appropriate jolly cards.


PS: Sorry about the image quality. I had to use my phone to upload them.


Nov. 1st, 2010 10:59 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)

Woodworking 1 by ~dv-girl on deviantART

My first serious attempt at woodworking in about twenty years. Not quite done yet. Still needs pegs and varnish but enough to get the idea. Will eventually be a rack for holding belts and be stuck in the closet.
pasithea: glowing girl (lonely)
A few months ago, I was in this funk about art and creativity. I felt like I couldn't write anymore and that I didn't create anything new, just rehash old ideas and clean up old drawings. Also that I just make stuff to kind of show off to others, shallow ego stuff. So I started writing a paper journal entry about it, admonishing myself and the end of that was basically "So just do something off the top of your head. See what falls out." At that time, it was also my intent not to show it to anyone and keep it just something for me.

But... The thing is, I actually ended up quite liking what fell out and I was thinking about it some more and decided that the intent not to show it was sincere at the time but it had also served its purpose in proving to myself that I could make stuff that was just for me.

So... If I make something just for me, what is it?

Click this and find out )

I think I'll ink and color this later perhaps.
pasithea: toadlicking (silly)
Yesterday I mentioned the water bottle abomination I'd built. Today, I photo it! Mwuahaha!

I bet this gave a few trippers nightmares. :)

Click for more images

I'm still shamelessly proud that I put the bung in his bung.

So... I posted this on FA. I wonder what fetishes it fits in? Inflation? Golden Showers?
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Trippy NSFW image )


Mar. 16th, 2010 11:35 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Hurray spring! This winter has been a bit bumpy. Car needing repairs. Stacey battling the police with her ticket, my 'no nice deed goes unpunished' ticket, laptop losing its hard drive, cell phone getting smashed, partner getting minor surgery, not to mention buying a house and replacing a water heater, oh and changing teams at work and being thrown into some buggy code in firefighting mode and the team lead then going on vacation. Heh. When it rains it pours, I guess.

Anyhow. While all this was happening, it was so minor I didn't even bother to mention that my crappy old printer decided it was time to die and my crappy old scanner began getting so temperamental that it was also becoming nearly impossible to use. (the positioning belt started slipping so it makes a ghastly amount of noise and was giving me smeared parts in scans at times)

Meh. Turns out though that both scanners and printers have really come down in price. We ended up going with a combination unit (Epson Artisan 810) It's a glossy oppressive black cube but... Ooooh. Six color printing, double-sided printing, and my favorite, an automatic sheet feeder for the scanner. I'm thinking I can use the peg holes on my animation paper as registration guides. Toonboom will attempt to do some auto registration when feeding from a scanner but I've never really bothered with it as the interface was MUCH too slow and my digital camera was sufficient resolution but perhaps now I'll give it another go.

I'm already pretty happy with this machine. It's higher resolution, it's a LOT faster, it's much faster, the buttons on the machine work out of box and let me stand at the scanner to scan single sheets instead of scampering back and forth, the scanning software is friendly and easy to use and the default calibration is rather decent. The scan quality is very good, and finally, it's not HP!

I used to really like HP back when I was young and foolish (or perhaps when they made better stuff) but both the printer and scanner I've been using were pretty crap honestly. The hardware isn't terrible. It's not the best by a long shot but it's been at least mostly reliable. Their software and drivers on the other hand are complete rubbish. The scanner alone is a 105M download and then it didn't save configuration settings, changed settings between scans, and lots of other things that made it really annoying and a huge time sync. Scanning for the past many years has always been a tedious and fiddly affair.

The printer is slow, it still works most of the time but every now and then decides its not going to print cyan... And no, it's not a cartridge problem or blocked jet issue. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but again, the software was really wretched. The printer driver is always sitting in memory, it's about 60M, it was only in PPC mode so always running in rosetta mode and being a processor hog, and best of all, it threw up a big 'ALERT' dialog every time I disconnected the computer or turned on the computer without the printer connected. YES HP. I WON'T DIE WITHOUT YOUR CRAPABULOUS PRINTER! ... Wasn't that big a problem when I was working on a PPC G4 tower machine but when I moved I slimmed down and let go of my old machine. Much bigger hassle with an IntelMac notebook that I take to work and am frequently running without it connected to the godforsaken printer.

The new printer has built in WiFi and can just connect to our network. It cost about the same price as each of the other machines when I purchased them and, like the microwave range-hood, the combo device takes up a lot less space than two separate devices.

Long story short... Anyone interested in a mostly-functional USB scanner with really annoying software or a colorblind inkjet printer with serious codependency issues? I'm ready to get them out of my life.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
All done. Here's two photos of it. One under regular light and one under blacklight.

Neither photo is quite as much fun as the real painting but the give you an idea.

The two characters in the foreground are more or less life-sized. :)

there's one more thing that needs to happen which is that after this is all dry I'm going to sew kandi around the wrists of the foreground characters so they're coming out of the canvas. Hopefully I'll be able to get a better photo sometime after that. :)

Normal light:
Black light:

WIP update

Jan. 18th, 2010 10:25 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Took a couple hours of break time in the middle of the night to chat and look at other peoples art for a bit but mostly worked through. Lots left to do but the remaining amount is pretty manageable. Barring some unforeseen even, I should finish by FC.

Here's where I've stopped at for the night.


Jan. 3rd, 2010 10:20 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Augh... After I got home from an afternoon out, Stacey tricked me into watching Captain N, the Game Master and as a result I spent a couple hours watching that and drawing pictures of the unreasonably sexy Mother Brain... And by sexy, I mean she's like the love child of Mok and the Face of Bo.

I do suspect there's something wrong with me.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)

by ~dv-girl on deviantART

There must always be a balance between the things that enter this world and those that leave. Coming or going and this world or that? Those are the questions that matter.


Dec. 30th, 2009 02:38 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)

by ~dv-girl on deviantART

While I've been sick, I've watched the Dark Crystal like 10 times.

Also tried switching to a harder pen for a while to do drawings with a little more detail. I've been working with really soft pencils for some time now because I like the feel of them and how they move when I work. Since my drawings had been way too stiff, this was also good for getting me to loosen up and make things with bigger arcs. But now that I feel like I've got a decent handle on motion, I feel like I should start giving more attention to anatomy and detail.

I doubt I'll be completely switching away from soft pencils any time soon but I may try to use them more often for 'finished' works like this one.

The drawing itself is on 15x20 watercolor paper. At Christmas, I had a friend over and he wanted to study doing gradient washes in watercolor and burned through a few pages of my biggest watercolor paper. I couldn't bring myself to just throw out the paper so I decided to try creating stuff over the washes he'd done.

Annoyingly, my fountain pen, it turns out, uses a very water soluble ink, so after I did all the line work I was somewhat annoyed and dismayed to find that I wasn't going to be able to do color over it.

Curiously however, the ink is not soluable in xylene (which is a non-polar solvent as opposed to water which is a polar solvent) so I did work with watercolor pencil and a brush dipped in xylene. Stinky but effective.

All in all, I think I'm mostly happy with the result. Especially given it was material that would otherwise have just gotten pitched.

It is, of course, nowhere near as lavish as Froud's work and I'm not entirely thrilled with the composition but it's also not the worst thing I've ever made. :)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Watched a biography on Keith Haring last night. The first time I consciously encountered his art was in ~1991 at the Santa Cruz LGBCC (It didn't even have the T back then) It stuck in my head as being really simple and yet really interesting.

In the broader sense, this was really some of the first art I'd become aware of on my own. Growing up in rural Oklahoma, pretty-much the only art I was exposed to was cartoons, rather *tedious religious artwork, and folk art and crafts. Of those, cartoons didn't really register to me as 'art'. They were 'cartoons. for kids'. Blah. Leaving folk art. While I encountered and made a lot of beautiful stuff as folk art, but the emphasis wasn't pride in my work or really being artistic. My objective was to create things quickly that could be sold for maximum profit. Some 'art' resulted from this, but honestly, except for a few 'just for me' pieces, most of my work was pretty loveless. Almost entirely abstract pattern. I'd play with ideas but whatever sold well would tend to dominate.

Perhaps that's part of why Haring's art appeals to me. It was made to be made quickly and in volume but at the same time, it's got a lot of energy, rhythm, motion, and meaning. It's something I still aspire towards. I've still not mastered a clean graphic aesthetic. Most of my work has a scratchy worked feel to it, almost the exact opposite of a commercial style.

In a lot of ways, I feel like I've taught myself to draw and now don't really know quite what to do with the skill. I'm torn between two desires. The first is to create worlds and ideas. Places that last in my mind forever. The other is to return to doing a more commercial type of work where I can make some profit from my works and give myself more space to do the things I want to do. Haring, it seems managed to find the balance that I long for.

I think another part of my problem is that I have no real style. I tried very hard not to. I'd rather be flexible and able to make anything I want without using shortcuts, but now that I'm basically at that point... I have too many options or perhaps not enough passion or focus. There are so many stories I want to tell with my work and so many political and social commentaries, but there's just not enough time for me to do them all in the way I work. Or maybe I'm just afraid. There's so much beautiful and meaningful art in the world around me and I'm basically nobody. My life doesn't have a lot of point or purpose. What good is a story teller that no one listens to? I can say I make art just for me, but it's really not true. I make art to communicate. All the art is already in my head. It's always eating at me, begging to get out, screaming at me to make it better, faster, more accurate. The need to share is painful. And maybe it's more than that. Maybe I need to see my internal worlds outside my head, just so they seem a little more real and I feel a little less crazy. But right now I'm stuck and time slips away.

Perhaps I need to spend time looking at more art, but I barely even know what appeals to me. Haring, particularly his more complex works are definitely something that resonate with me. Felix, a psychedelic artist I found online and know very little about beyond his works really inspiring me.Winsor McKay, Van Gogh, some Jackson Pollock. some Picasso's work. That's about it for names that come readily to my head, though I know I've omitted several brilliant animators that I like. I dunno. I need to be inspired. :(

*tedious religious artwork: There are some really brilliant pieces of religious art out there. Stuff that is really beautiful and inspiring. The works of Michaelangelo or Bosch come to mind, but the stuff I was exposed to was of a much lower quality.


Nov. 9th, 2009 07:20 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)

Originally uploaded by DigitalVG
Burning Life is over now and I didn't get to spend as much time there as I wanted but I did spend at least a couple of evenings flitting around talking with people and looking at artwork. I even met a few burners. Keen.

This is probably the most common appearance for Aura BTW. I really should have got some photos of Alexia too. Ohwell.

Burning Life is kind of weird in that it all feels like deep playa. There's nothing like the Espanade. Though for what it's worth, I'm really more of a deep playa sort anyhow.

One more photo behind cut )
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Well... This cheered me up. I've done just enough art-for-hire sort of work to know how true this is and to be very glad this isn't my chosen profession.

Art stuff

Oct. 8th, 2009 02:49 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Ooooh. Now these are some Disney Princesses I can really like.

I'd actually just finished altering a few pictures from Disney's Alice In Wonderland actually. Decided that after four years, I should get around to customizing my mac some and make a few custom icons for my hard drive, applications folder and a couple other things. I'd put an art neuvo styled gela skin bye Brandi Milne on the outside of my mac several months ago. (Wow they have a lot more skins now than they did then) and while I like Tennel drawings of Alice, they didn't make very good icons. Disney's clean cel style on the other hand works well.

Of course, this flurry of customization spawned from one of Adobe's inadequacies.

A couple of days ago, [ profile] pseudomanitou mentioned some free photoshop texture brushes and, because I've been annoyed with Art Rage, this sent me on a general search for Photoshop and Illustrator Brushes.

Several hours and an astounding 3 GIGS of downloads later, I had more brushes than I could ever possibly use and a new problem. How the heck do I categorize these stupid things?

I began loading them up and looking at them, sorting them into folders. That's a start, but it's not that great. It would have been nice if Adobe had provided some way to preview brushes before importing them to your brush palette. In particular, some of the paint texture brushes I got are huge and incredibly detailed. Loading that palette only to chuck it if it doesn't have what you want is inefficient. Not to mention, it either replaces your current brush set or is appended to it and there's no way to mass delete brushes from your brush set. You have to delete them one by one. Ugh.

Happily, both Photoshop and Illustrator use the Mac's built in file dialog for loading brushes and that means I can select a picture view mode and see the 'preview' image of the brush set.

So... I opened up Photoshop, Grab, and Finder. I replace my current set of brushes in photoshop, resize the brushes preview window to a reasonably square representation of the brushes in that set, then use grab to snag the chunk of photoshop's UI and then paste that into the icon for the .abs file. Similar process for Illustrator.

So now instead of 'So and So's set to 50 Paint Splatter Brushes', I have this:

It's not fantastic but it's better than nothing and will encourage me to use them.

Of course, now there's the question of how much of someone else's brush can you use before you feel like you're doing clip-art or need to attribute. There are some really neat tools for building up some rich texture experiences in my work, and I'm struggling on an internal debate of how much I can use before I start feeling like I'm taking too many shortcuts. I do make my own brushes now and then, but some of these, in particular, the painting textures and some of the lighting effects will give me a lot of boost in digitally producing stuff that has the kind of feel I want.

Funny thing of course is that I had no qualms about using the brushes that ArtRage supplied though their texture patterns were designed by someone. Nor have I ever felt like I was cheating because I used a fan or filbert brush to make trees or clouds when I was painting, though someone somewhere did design the tool. So am I overthinking things now? Dunno. I'll dwell on it a bit more.

More importantly, given the amount of time I invested on collecting and labeling these brushes, I had better use them. :)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I really need to get a new tripod so I can take decent photos of myself.

This photo is from the built-in camera in my mac at work. Trying to get a photo of the jacket I finished earlier this week.

Like a lot of my stuff recently, I'm trying to clean out my fabric bin so this is made from scraps from other projects. It's black stretch velvet over... I don't know what the heck the red stuff is. It's sort of a stretchy shiny PVC on cloth. It doesn't show well on camera but it's sort of flecked like the big crystals you see in sheet metal except red.

Because of how much light velvet absorbs and how reflective the red bits are plus the weird crystal sort of structure in the red, the vents in it seem to glow and shimmer.

If I'd had a little more material, there are a few things I might have done different but with the limited resources, I'm happy. :)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Last week I happened to glance at Freecycle and saw a message for an old Singer sewing machine which 'needed some work'. I've got several friends who either do sew but don't have a machine or would like to learn but again, don't have a machine. So, I asked about the machine and picked it up yesterday but I had my bamboo tiki bar to finish and a date with [ profile] paradox_puree to teach her the basics of airbrushing so she could paint her new RC plane (You can see her completed work here. She took it up for a test flight today. :) so I didn't really get to look at it until today.

The machine was practically new and by new I mean very low use. It's a Singer Model 417 (does straight, zip-zag, and stretch stiches) plus it has a button-holer attachment. It came with all the original accessories (even the oil) and their boxes and manuals. Also tucked away in a corner was the sales receipt from 1974.

It's a GREAT machine. Needed some very minor cleaning and adjustments and I did the full tear-down, lubrication, and inspection. The only thing that has even minor wear is the rubber friction wheel for the bobbin winder but it'll be fine for some time to come. Moreover, it didn't have so much as a single chip in the paint. She's beautiful and runs so smooth!

Honestly, I'd forgot just how nice these machines feel. Everything is so solid and smooth that I confess, I like the feel of it better than my new Husqvarna. Probably because one is mostly steel and the other mostly plastic. The old singers have a much nicer peddle. I've always liked them and peddle is definitely my biggest complaint about my Husqvarna. The husky as a few other tricks (like overlocking stitches and handling of a wider variety of fabrics than the Singer) but on the whole, it's a GREAT little machine.

Soo... Now if any of you guys want to come over and sew or learn to sew or want to borrow either machine for a while, I won't have to threaten you with my 1800's treadle machine. :)

Coming soon: I'll post some photos of some of the stuff I've been sewing lately. Just want to finish the current piece I'm working on. :)

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