Thursday, January 31, 2008

A bit of recent Stripeage...

I have some fresh paint that is yet to be photographed, but these are recent:

First is a panel for the GNRS charity auction that was held the weekend of January 25-27. Wish I could have been there, but circumstances didn't allow. Hope it at least made a few bucks for the auction. Herb (Herbie Herbie?) helped with the lettering since mine is abysmal. Hopefully the only time I will ever have to resort to vinyl lettering because I WILL improve my hand lettering this year! I used to to Calligraphy all the time, had to hand render type in art school when I was going through the graphic design department... I SHOULD be able to do this.

All colors in the central part are custom mixed. Some times I just can't leave well enough alone! Of course the wings on the borders ('cause I have to have my WINGS) are straight Reflex Blue. Quite possibly my favorite color of 1-Shot.

Next up is a Fish I painted for my favorite tattoo artist, Natasha of Final Sin. A while back she asked me to paint up a fish for her like the ones I've done in the past, make the base color periwinkle or light purple and take it from there. This damn fish fought me every step of the way! I've never gotten in to so many arguments with a piece of art before.

Yes, I argue with my art some times. Only time that gets touchy is if I'm at the forge. (Oh, how I miss the forge!)

Anyway, here's some shots of Fishie:

More to come soon including shots from the San Francisco panel jam a few weeks ago, and a project I started 2 years ago and finished this week!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

'New' 1-Shot!!!

Ooooo, 'New' 1-Shot! 'New' label on the can... and this stuff COVERS like it should! Hope for 1-Shot not being referred to as 3-Shot? Me likey.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some people, no common sense (Or I Smell SMOKE!!!)

I've been taking welding classes at the local community college for the past couple years, usually on Saturday mornings. Semester just began, this was the 2nd week of class.

I'm setting up my area to do some gas welding, and I keep catching a whiff of smoke. Ok, normally you will smell a little smoke here and there in a welding lab, its normal. This was a lot stronger than what I normally smell so I start looking around. When I looked at the closet that houses half of the power sources for the arc welders, I notice smoke... billowing out of the room, and a nice red glow. Sure enough, there's a fire in the power closet. Some idiot's bag on top of something it should not be on, blazing away. I yell Fire! Well, it was more like 'HOLY SHIT THERE'S A FIRE!! Teacher comes out of his area, and other students are milling about the closet doing nothing, and in the way. So I start barking orders at them to get the damn power shut off & get a fire extinguisher. Fire gets put out without having to call the fire department.

Later I find out the cause. Turns out the thing the bag was set on was a coil base power supply that caused the bag to ignite. I talked to the guy responsible long after I had a chance to calm down and not be so pissed at his idiocy. He says he KNEW that he shouldn't have put his bag there. Well no shit, buddy... good thing he didn't burn the welding lab down. Ah well. Hopefully he learned his lesson and will be more mindful of where to put flammable objects in an area where there's a lot of fire.

What gets me, is that this is the beginning of my 3rd year in this program (part time), I've taken numerous metal arts classes, been around extreme fire, molten metal, sparks, forges, etc... and I've NEVER seen something like this happen. Why did this happen? Because the guy wasn't paying attention to the fire safety instructions that our teacher gives ALL the new students at the beginning of the semester.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Car Show & Panel Jam at the Palace of Cows

The weekend of January 11-13 was the annual San Francisco Hot Rod, Custom & Motorcycle Show. This year was the first of what I hope will be an annual Panel Jam, hosted by East Coast Artie.

I was there Friday and Saturday. Friday I helped Herb Martinez (my mentor and a friend) in his booth. I originally thought that another friend of his was arriving later and I'd head to the panel jam, but it didn't work out that way so I was there for the duration. No problem, I pulled out my paints and did some striping in his booth. It was a lot of fun, really. Herb's a total HAM! He knows how to be quite social, so I call it learning at the Herb Martinez School of Shmoozing.

Here's Herb's booth. And Herb. What a ham!

I can't remember the guy's name, but I believe he is the one running the show. He was also running around with a microphone, interviewing various participants in the show. Naturally he had to interview Herb.

Cool thing about where Herb was set up is right next to him was the legendary Bill Hines. It was a pleasure and a privilege to meet him!

Yours truly, cheesin' with Bill:

If you don't know who Bill Hines is, let's just say this guy has forgotten more about lead work on auto bodies than most people today know!

This is but one example of his work:

Amazing, isn't it?

I wasn't chained to the booth the entire night, so I did a little wandering around. Lots of shiny and not so shiny pretties on 4 wheels in this place!

A '37 Zephyr:

Pardon me while I DROOL!!

A pace truck:

A race truck:

Johnny Benson's Toyota Tundra. Only a couple more weeks until NASCAR's season begins again! WOOOHOOO!!

A dragster truck:

Couple old pickups:

Some muscle cars:

And lots of other beauties.

The next day I was at the panel jam. ALL day. I was there at 8am, left at 10pm. I got to meet a lot of great guys who have been striping for years!

Guys like the legendary Tom Kelly:

Tom sat me down and gave me a demo on why a #1 or #2 Sword Striper is better than the #000 dagger I have been using. Suffice it to say it was a very jaw dropping, eye opening experience. I'm grateful he took the time to give me a demo like he did. Thanks, Tom! So now I'm practicing with an actual sword striper too. Its a completely different animal from the dagger.

Coop and Mitch:

These guys are a kick!

TBonez and Mr. J:


John "Deadman's Hand" Frankel:

And quite a few great guys that I didn't get pictures of. East Coast Artie being one of them.

But ironically all we kept hearing about over the PA when they mentioned the panel jam was Herb... and he wasn't even at the panel jam! I'm not quite sure how the 'Herbie Herbie' joke started, but it kept going throughout the day.

Somebody made a lettered comment about it on the table:

And then a running tally about how many times Herb's name was mentioned got started. Notice how many times Herbie Herbie's name was mentioned opposed to Coop's, Artie's and even Tom's!:

Herb thought it was pretty funny.

I painted these up before the show and donated them for the auction:

two sides of a 1.75 l. Jack Daniel's bottle.

The other 2 sides:

And painted this while I was there:

Its a magnum sized wine bottle that was from my boss' vineyard. I know the auctioneer's wife was eyeballing it. I wonder if she got it?

There was also a donated Chevy Lumina that all the stripers added some art to. This was my contribution:

Lastly, the Mother's wax guy talked me into painting his laptop:

I hope it survived the trip since he had to split for Arizona the next day and the paint was still wet when they left he Cow Palace.

All together I believe the auction made $25,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation.

What a great time! I was bloody exhausted the following the day, but I can't wait to do it again!

So I'm a Pixel Jockey for a living...

Basically what that means is I spend a lot of my time color editing and retouching images for the magazines that my place of work produces. Overall I LOVE my job. I get to play in Photoshop most of the time. I love Photoshop. I'm also starting to do a little photography for the company too. This is new ground for me... but I'm enjoying the journey so far.

There's a few things that I don't love, however.

The downside to this job is I end up having to deal with a lot of client provided images. While a good deal of them are just fine, especially after a few tweakings in color and a few hits of the healing brush, there are... disasters.

I don't know if it is because the account reps are clueless on what to tell the clients to give us, or if the clients are just clueless even after instruction, but I have to deal with nightmares like...

-the client just asking us to 'pull an image off the web and use it blown up to 300%'
Ok, first of all... we're dealing with a serious resolution issue here. Web images are generally 72 ppi (pixels per inch) where printed images need to run at about 300ppi to print decently. Blowing up the 72ppi image (usually a greatly compressed jpeg) and then adding in resolution to compensate = BAD IMAGE!

-badly retouched images. Call me cranky, but some people should not be allowed to have Photoshop on their computer. Ever. Blast me all you like on this, tell me I started from the beginning too. I agree and some of my early stuff is scary. But it didn't get sent to a publishing company with the expectation of it going to print. If you have aspirations to being a Photoshop junkie... that's GREAT! But please, for the love of Jon Knoll... LEARN the program!

-badly retouched images by professional photographers. Please, if you are a digital photographer, learn as much as you can about Photoshop, especially if you are sending your work to be used in a publication. I can't tell you how many times I've had to fix really bad edits done by decent photographers. Hey, look at it this way... I'm a Photoshop user learing about photography... I know photographpers can learn to use Photoshop. Or please trust me with your images to make them the best they can look if you aren't comfortable with the software. I can do it, really.

- Images taken from high end, RAW capable cameras, but sent to me as a low end jpeg. I mean, what the hell? If you have a Canon EOS 40d and you are taking pictures for me to put in your magazine...SEND ME THE RAW FILES!!!! I can make your images look so much better if I can take the editing from the very beginning. Otherwise I have to undo all the bad that you did (if I can), which takes more time.

-Pictures taken with dirty lenses. For God's Sake...CLEAN YOUR LENS!!!! Nothing like having to clean up a dirty, smudgy picture because somebody couldn't be bothered to take a bit of lens tissue and give the lens a swipe.

and on, and on...

I need a Photoshop Bat. Or I am going to grab a hard bound copy of the Photoshop Bible and start bludgeoning offenders with it while shouting 'Thou Shalt NOT Use Photoshop'!!!

And so it goes...