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When I started my first tentative floral scans (yikes!  11 years ago now!) I really had no idea about dpi, resolution, file formats or any of the technical aspect of scanner photography.  Yes, I have a computer background and so bits and bytes and similar technology was familiar to me, but best practices with regards to scanning and manipulating the resulting images was new to me and I could easily have lost many early works to bad practices or trial and error. Fortunately I was given a copy of Wayne Fulton’s “A Few Scanning Tips”… Read Article →

First impression of that name may be that it is a Harry Potter character, but his works tend much more to the realistic world than fantasy that’s for sure.  Those that have been following my posts know that I sometimes poke around the WetCanvas site and encounter many an interesting and talented artist there, and Delmus’ work popped up in the Florals and Botanicals forum where he has highlighted several of his works, including some “in progress” images so you can see the process he uses.  I’m a fan of realism in the botanical art… Read Article →

Earlier this month I was able to spend two weeks in the Colorado Rockies – aspen turning gold, an early snow had frosted the peaks (and some of the valleys), and, while there were some overcast and occasionally damp days, there were enough stellar blue ones to make the visit quite memorable. One such memory was visiting the Denver Botanic Gardens.  If you’re in the area and the weather cooperates, definitely check it out.  There are a few dozen different biomes and specialty gardens, with a different one around each corner, making exploring the paths… Read Article →

We’ve had three separate sightings of monarch butterfly in our flower beds this year.  The most recent visitor was skittish and soared up and over the neighbor’s house before I even came close, but an earlier guest cruised around our beds for a good 15 minutes, sampling from quite a variety in the front beds but favoring the butterfly weed the most (though it is also one of our more prolific species – kudos to my wife for getting us started on them!) This three (and hopefully counting!) tally is more than the previous five… Read Article →

After a dry summer or two 2017 has shaped up as a wet one so far.  The dampness is supposed to help suppress the Gypsy moths but I suspect that is for the following year with fewer caterpillars successfully pupating, because the oaks sure took it hard around here this year.  Not as bad as last year’s stripping but plenty of see-thru trees around nonetheless.  Only two weeks into the 2nd half of the year and we’re already past 31 inches at our house (http://www.bitsofnature.biz/weather/).  60 inches for the year?  Yikes! But the lawns and… Read Article →

Those of you who have been following my blog here know that I hang out in the WetCanvas site periodically, checking out what other artists are producing and using it for inspiration.  The site has forums for just about any media you can imagine and I regularly come across works that make me sit up and “Oh, wow!” Here’s the latest by an “indirect method” (not too clear on that yet) artist named Delmus Phelps: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1424348 I especially love the tremendous depth achieved in the first image and suspect it may be even more so… Read Article →

You may not have heard about metal prints before — i know I hadn’t until a few years ago.  They are a glossy print on an aluminum base,  What’s the appeal?  Super bright colors to start with, shiny but not a lot of glare, and deep rich blacks that make floral scans really stand out.  I’ve had a couple printed up and love the result, the most recent “acquisition” being Banquet.  The price initially may cause hesitation, but they come (from the FineArtAmerica site I use) ready to hang: there is a wood rectangular frame… Read Article →

I’m a member of the Franklin Art Association and every month a guest artist does a demonstration at the group meeting.  Not being a painter and thus knowing little more than there is a brush and paint involved (and canvas?) many of the demos go over my head.  Tonight’s session was different, featuring the lively, vibrant work of Adam O’Day. He did not start with a blank canvas, but instead with a rich orange underpainting.  Wait, I thought this was supposed to be a Boston night scene!  What’s this splash of color doing? Sit back… Read Article →

Scanography is one of those pursuits that sound easier than it is.  It took me quite a while to get the hang of it and “plan out” my inspiration.  I had some successes early on but they were often accidental, with some of my best happening by circumstance versus any specific planning on my part.  Shibumi is one such happenstance, where a storm-dropped flower had just a touch of a curve to the top that adds a nice visual interest but was nothing I did consciously.  (Shibumi was just honored with 3rd place at the… Read Article →

Marketing must be a frustrating job.  The number of advertising channels is exploding: YouTube, sponsored ads on targeted sites, general search engine placement ads, Twitter, Facebook, even Pandora radio with ads catering to the tastes of listeners of particular music genres.  With so many channels and campaigns running simultaneously and competing for attention, understanding the impact of a given campaign must be a challenge.  Ooh, sales bumped up a fraction — was that because of a tweak to the keywords in a campaign, or just because the weather is warmer/colder/drier/wetter and impacted buyers’ moods? Why… Read Article →

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