Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: Artdog Studio

Desk piles

There’s only so much you can do in advance.

That’s what I keep trying to remind myself. There are some things that can’t be totaled up or capped off until after the fireworks go off at 12:01 a.m. January 1. 

For days now, I’ve been planning to write a blog about “desk piles of the future” (considerations of what we might clutter our offices with, in the purportedly “paperless” future). 

This was gonna be the week!

This isn’t gonna be the week. Too many desk piles of of the present. 

These are actually not my own personal desk-piles. Mine aren’t anywhere near this extensive and chaotic. These are more like a dramatization of how mine feel at the moment.

So please excuse this all-too-brief mid-week blog post, while I work on my 2016 Year Review, and my 2017 Year Plan With Interim Benchmarks, while also working on final revisions for Going to the XK9s and squeezing some art-making in edgewise from time to time.

Also, wish me luck, please.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Point It Digital Marketing, for the 2016-to-2017 image, and to Craig Jarrow’s Time Management Ninja website, for photo of the not-so-virtual desk piles.

VOTE like your life depends on it! (Because it just might)

Elected officials make policy decisions that affect everyone–sometimes in life-or-death ways. Don’t let the big-money guys fool you into thinking your vote doesn’t count.

The only way for your vote not to count is not to vote!

Voting Matters
IMAGE: Many thanks to Join the Coffee Party Movement‘s Facebook page, for this image!

A role model for being alive

We sure could find worse models to emulate.

puppy with flowers and quote The old cliche about “everything I need to know” doesn’t hold water–there are many things our dogs can’t teach us (how to balance a checkbook or write a blog post, for example). But the basic attitude of a dog toward life, and toward humans, is another story altogether.

Would that we ALL treated each other as gently and with as much compassion as well-socialized dogs treat us.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Mactoons for this image and quote. 

Amazing healing powers!

While not a cure-all, you might be surprised.

Sometimes the best cure for depression is something that gets us out of ourselves and focused on other things . . . . such as the love and needs of a puppy or rescue dog. Consider adopting a canine companion from your local animal shelter, if you’ve started to feel as if no one really cares about you. 

There’s no mistaking when a dog loves you! Of course, that love must be reciprocal for the magic to really work. Being someone your dog can count on will nearly always make you a better, happier person, too.

A note of caution, however: there are times when a good psychologist or psychiatrist really IS what’s needed (in addition to the dog, perhaps). Don’t use your dear best friend as an excuse not to seek help, if “puppy therapy” hasn’t improved your outlook substantially in a few weeks’ time at most. There are some chemical imbalances or other difficulties you really do need to see a human doctor about!

IMAGE: Many thanks to Mactoons for this image and quote. 

Wouldn’t you agree?

Personally, I’m with Will on this one.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Mactoons for this image and quote. 

The embodiment of service

Here’s a love-note for all the faithful service dogs whose daily devotion makes their humans’ lives better.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Mactoons for this image and quote. 

What is a Service Dog?

They show up in many places: service dogs of all sizes and breeds. Even in places where no dogs are supposed to be allowed. 

Can they really ALL be service dogs?

Sometimes the people they’re with really do look as if they are injured or impaired in some way–but other times the people look normal. 

And yes, sometimes it’s a scam. But businesses and the general public are legally required to treat them ALL as if they are real, and are really needed. The very good reason for this is that everyone’s burden is different, and everyone’s solutions to problems are different. Sometimes, just asking the question “Is that really a service dog?” can cause unintended harm. 

So whatever you might think you know about how “really necessary” that service dog is, choose the path of compassion. Give your fellow human (and service dog) a break–Also, please don’t pet or distract the service dog! It really can put the dog’s human in danger!

I recently posted about working dogs, in a piece called Working Dogs: Canine Enslavement or a Fulfilling Life? (you can find it on both my Blogger site, and on my Jan S. Gephardt’s Artdog Studio website). I intend to follow up with more posts about dogs and the various kinds of work they do.

IMAGE: Many thanks to The Dog Knowledge, for the photo of a variety of service dogs. 

The Making of “Love in the Storm”

My newest piece of artwork debuted at ConQuesT 47 in Kansas City, this past weekend. It’s titled Love in the Storm, and I’m still trying to decide if it’s finished or not.

This is Love in the Storm, as it appeared in May 2016 at ConQuesT 47.

It looks okay at fairly close range, but when you back several feet away the green dragon kind of fades back into the waves. Is this enough of a problem that it needs to be addressed? Or is it good the way it is? Please comment below, and let me know what you think! I’d appreciate viewers’ guidance.

Overlays fit pieces together.

I use overlays to fit pieces together.

My paper sculpture is all based on line drawings that I draw “from scratch,” usually based on reference photos. I scan the inked drawing, and often use tracing paper overlays to draw details, such as pieces of wings, interlocking shapes, etc.–then scan them, too. This piece is the culmination of three years’ assorted drawings and re-thinking. Perhaps you’d like to know how that happened. 

I often re-use “base” drawings for several different compositions. The “base” drawing for the green dragon in this piece dates back to early 2014. You might recognize it, because it’s been the basis for a fair number of my other recent dragon images. I blogged about it last year, in a post called Dragon Variations

I built up the color layers for the “Ocean Wave” background element in PhotoShop.

I originally created the “waves” that form the background of this piece with the idea that I’d use them for the backgrounds of my “Koi-colored” dragons of 2015. They didn’t work for that, so I left the drawing in my sketchbook. But I realized that once I added color, cut them apart and layered them up, they would be just the thing for this piece’s background.

Deconstructing, then sculpting, layering and reconstructing the waves.

The little red dragon was the element I added this year. I’d originally wanted to create a piece with swooping dragons flying together, when I did the 2014 drawing–but I never could manage a second dragon that I liked, until this past May.

Sculpting and assembling the dragons.

I made that one the same basic way I made the first one: base drawing, wing to add on (in fact, its wing is a reverse of the green dragon’s wing), then Prismacolor pencils to enhance the color from the computer printout. I like to add the touches with Prismacolors, for their rich hues and responsive handling. Then I put it all together, and thought, wow. That actually looks okay. 

IMAGES: This is an easy one: I took all the pictures of my own art. 

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