Friday, May 29, 2015

Magoo's Swan Song

Magoo has never been a parade guy.  I can remember taking him down to the Memorial Day Parade when he was three or four and him being bored out of his mind.

I couldn't blame him.  It's kinda a boring parade.  It lacks pizazz.  I know it's supposed to be more about respecting the troops and not pizazz, but a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, yanno.

However, this year we went to the parade because Magoo was playing in the marching band!  He didn't want to, but since we were around and he was finishing up clarinet altogether, it was encouraged.  I wanted him to have the experience.  Maybe he would love it?  Maybe the experience would reignite his love of clarinet?

He did it. 
He did great.
It's over.
And it did not reignite any passion for the instrument or band.

So that's that.
Good job, Magoo.  Way to suck it up and get it done!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  Thanks so much for stopping in!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Magoo's Meet

Magoo had a swim meet today and he CRUSHED it!  His swim group isn't well attended in the Spring season, which means he got to participate in a lot of the events today.  

He came in first in the 50 meter butterfly and 50 meter breast stroke.  He finished strong in a bunch of other ones that I can't remember because I was too busy trying to get a good photo instead of writing these things down.

I have to say that he's come a long way. He's always been a good swimmer, but now he's a very strong swimmer - very graceful.  His strokes are so much more efficient than they used to be.
It's lovely to watch.

So BIG CONGRATS to Magoo for good races and good sportsmanship!
I'm so proud of you and I know that you are proud of yourself!

Thanks for stopping in!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Game of Thrones Art

Jon Snow                2015              j. c. phillipps

Sometimes I like to make art that has more of a pop culture feel to it than my watercolors and collages.  Just-for-fun art.  I did zombies a few years ago and tattoo people last year.  Visitors at the art show always enjoy these pieces, but I rarely sell the originals.  It makes sense.  People don't want to spend $100 on something their friend Ginny might like because she's into The Walking Dead.  That said, people will spend $20 or less on a print or a pack of cards.

Because I am all about Game of Thrones and that show isn't going anywhere, I thought I'd do some Game of Thrones art.

I had to think about what style I wanted to do them in, and I decided I'd do "loose Book of Kells."

from The Book of Kells

I'd done some Book of Kells style art about a decade ago after honeymooning in Ireland and seeing the real book.  It's beautiful and amazing.  And - I assemble the art digitally - which means there's no expensive original that won't sell anyway.  Perfecto.

Pieces of Jon Snow

I start off with a black line drawing, then scan it into the computer.  I added Jon Snow and the crow first.  I thought the image was a little lacking, so then I added his direwolf, Ghost.  After I scan, I assemble the image in Photoshop and add color.  I use the animal (in this case the crow*)  in two places, in the corner of the border & I recolor and enlarge the image for some added detail in the background.  (I take the opacity of the background image down to about 50%.)  I make the white background transparent so I can add the image of scanned parchment paper to the bottom layer.

(* Yes, I know that Jon Snow is technically from House Stark, but I already had Arya from House Stark so I thought I'd go with a crow for the Night's Watch for variety.)

I cheat a bit by uploading celtic ropes from clip art on the internet.  Drawing that stuff is complicated and time consuming.  Since I won't be charging a lot of money for them, it's not cost effective to design and draw all those knots.

Arya Stark            2015               j. c. phillipps
 I add the red dots digitally.  Not all the art in the Book of Kells has the red dots, but some of them do.  To me, they are a perfect detail for a show that's so bloody.

Daenerys Targaryen         2015        j. c. phillipps
 I've started with four of my favorite characters so I can make them into a pack of cards - but I've had so much fun on this project, I might make more before the November show.  (Hodor.)

Tyrion Lannister           2015           j. c. phillipps

I hope you all are enjoying Spring!  (I had to wash my blue car yesterday because it was yellow with pollen.)
Thanks so much for stopping in!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Magoo's Clarinet Concert

Last week, Magoo had his final concert.  It is his final, because he is done with the clarinet.  He did three years of it, and I am proud of him for that.  He learned an instrument, he practiced, he took both group lessons and private lessons, he had a few concerts (and there is one parade remaining) and now he's done.

I remember taking flute in 5th and 6th grade.  I liked it well enough, but there was no real love between me and my flute.  Before that, I took piano.  I used to ride my bike down the street to my instructor's house.  She was a little old lady who's name I forget, but the piano room is very clear in my mind.  It was paneled with wood and decorated in a Native American theme. She had dolls, weavings, drums, the whole shi-bang.  I liked playing the piano better than the flute, and the piano lessons still come in handy when looking at music.  But still, I don't ache for a piano.

Now I play the ukelele.  Not well.  I can do a decent rendition of Riptide, but it's just for fun.  Just for me.  Just because I want to.

That's how I want music to be for Magoo.

If he should want to learn another instrument, he knows he can.  We have a guitar in the house, a clarinet, a ukelele, and a nice keyboard.  Maybe he'll want to be in a garage band someday.  Maybe he'll never want to play an instrument again. 

But he had the experience and learned some things along the way.  It's good enough for him and it's good enough for me too.

Thanks so much for stopping in!
It's crazy hot here today - too hot - but the temps should drop back down to normal soon.
Happy belated Mother's Day to the wonderful mothers out there!