Engraving

Posted on July 25, 2022

I have a small engraving/cnc machine and I am thinking about future projects. Really want to work with Blender to develop some files to cut. One piece of software that can run a CNC machine would be BlenderCAM. Will see about getting it installed properly on the laptop. Last time I tried, it didn’t work. It may have just been an outdated OS issue. Fingers crossed.

Work by David Sheehan
Wood carving by PatrociƱo Barela
Work by an unknown NM artist
A really great example of carving by DariuszMax
An example of something that could be done with a CNC machine by this producer

Relief with Blender

Well, now we are talking about using software to get us there. Here is a sweet tutorial that gets us started. In sculpture, this low relief process is called Bas Relief. Here is one video tutorial that explains the process. This time-lapse video may give a few hints on creating the low relief in blender. This is a detailed description using Z-brush.

Making little saints

Posted on July 25, 2022

Have reconfigured my place a little. Hopefully prioritizing my painting a bit. Took my living room that I almost never have guests over to use into a work space. The living room has migrated into a smaller den space that used to be my dining room. Cozy and bright in that space now. The main area is being taken over with what will hopefully be an almost daily work area. Instead of coming home for a nap I can engage in a few fun projects. Things I enjoy far more.

The new organization of things

A first attempt at making the little saints that I have been thinking about. There is a bit of a way to go to get them right. I am also not really starting out with the right process or materials, but using what I have to get started. Right now I am happy about the relaxed and more joyful depiction. Want to bring a distinct style to the figures. Sure, they have a very contemporary style. I just don’t want them to be sad and scary.

Ultimately I want to work with traditional methods and materials. I took a class on creating my own paints from raw materials quite a while ago. Really want to work on that foundation. At that time I went Australian indigenous style with the paints. This time, I am going with the more proper regional traditions. My oil paints and flatter brushes are not going to cut it here. I also need to figure out how to make a natural pine varnish to seal things up.

Really rough – working out the space – realize it isn’t a traditional depiction

Gay Colors

Posted on July 22, 2022

Starting a project around Gay Colors. Essentially thinking about how colors relate to the concept of queerness. Queer people may have a slightly more diverse way of communicating colors. Things aren’t just “Red”, they are “Raspberry” or “Fire Engine Red” to a queer person. This subtlety and descriptive naming really can be useful in a few ways. Sure, it may help people remember a color, but it also adds meaning to our experience with the world.

Green M&M

Maybe it should be queer colors. A series on how to see the world a little differently. Maybe a bit more fabulously.

Here is the color of the day for tomorrow. You lucky people get a sneak peek. #cotd #ColorOfTheDay #color #pantone

Privacy Divider

Posted on July 18, 2022

Have found what I want to do for my privacy divider. Just something to give a little privacy for my guest and myself.

Privacy fence with a bit more detail that I was going with
Using varying widths of wood
Something like this would be quirky and fun though. Maybe as a shield to hide vehicles. A coyote fence would be just as good though.

Considering building houses

Posted on July 17, 2022

How can I make a profit on my land? I need to find a way to take care of myself in the future. Part of that may be working the property that I do have. One method of dealing with that would be building a few mini homes on my land.

Incredible Tiny Homes builds some really reasonable structures. Yes they are just boxes with minimal foundations and basic everything else.

Anther company that seems to hit a very basic cost is Nidus Homes. They offer better design, better insulation and a cleaner delivery of those spaces.

Nice adobe style
Not quite the right style – but a good scale
Pretty minimal
Cute and probably reasonable
Little El Ray room
Pretty much what I would actually like to build
Building this would also be great
Something as simple as this would be great
Typical Portuguese house – like

Contemplating the future

Posted on March 17, 2022

Looks like I have decided to move forward again with making daily paintings. For a while I was concerned about making large paintings that would really make an impact. While I am not really moving away from that, I just really need to create a simple process that gives me content to work on. By content, I mean I really need to focus on gathering material that I can use to compose paintings. This means landscape photography and portrait photos.

The decision to do this is partially about using my time better. I really don’t need to watch Netflix shows. They don’t really add much to my life. I also would prefer to be a bit more active. Laying in front of the TV is not a great practice for engaging in living.

Today I have been exploring various blankets that I can pick up. Useful for wrapping and setting up portraits. I have also been exploring using Photoshop to re-light or manage lighting in a composition. Yes, my sketchbook is a mix of Procreate and Photoshop. A good tablet goes a long way.

There are several kinds of things I want to do with frames. Simply getting some basic unfinished frames and running them through my CNC machine could be nice. Was thinking it would be nice to add punched tin to the edges of the frames too. Something to separate the frames from the rest.

Frame corner
I would love frames like this. Not gonna happen any time soon.
Taos modern frame
May have to survive with frames like this.
These may be passable. Not thrilled though.
American 20th C. carved and gilded Taos frame.
This is a nice original frame.
There are also these. Really nicely finished.
AMCI Regence - C & J Frames: c915
This collection is nice too.
There are also these C&J frames.
This small detail is probably enough.

Contemplating my art

Posted on February 18, 2022

Where am I with my art? I haven’t made a painting in a couple months. I have ideas brewing, but very little on canvas. My space is my own again. I have the ability to store old works. My problem is that I don’t really sell things. How do I get things sold? Join group shows?

I really need to have an identifiable style. A range of colors. The way faces are constructed. Like a fashion house, I need my core elements. Are they texture, weight, attitude? Materials? Woman?

It is about why I paint. I paint for me. I paint for pleasure. I paint to observe. I paint to appreciate. I paint to learn. I paint to be excited. I paint to think and contemplate. I paint to plan. I paint as a diagram. I paint for texture. I paint for color. I paint for body. I paint for cute and comfort. I paint with music. I paint with dancing. I paint with joy. I paint with discipline. I paint with breaks. I paint for mental health. I paint to be proud. I paint to be in existence. I paint to have memory. I paint to discover layers. I paint to etch thoughts. I paint to perform gestures. I paint for repetition. I paint to uncover.

I paint to capture. I paint to interpret. I paint to duplicate. I paint to shape. I paint to mold.

I paint with what I have.

Thinking about personal economic tools

Posted on December 29, 2021

Read about economic and financial tools. Make playing with these tools fun and profitable. Make this your hobby.
– Who did it? Stories from people who use financial tools
– What tools? Figure out what your options are (stocks, investments, property, loans)
– History. Understand how the balance of money has impacted society, and what to do if things go wrong.
– Where to start? Simple and manageable ways to make a difference.
– Read those books!
– Make those plans!
– Have some goals!
– Make it easy to keep track of your winnings and losses!
– Keep it simple!
– Learn to take reasonable risks!
– Learn to negotiate!
– Value your time and money!

Setting up a personal blockchain

Posted on October 19, 2021

Today I had a bit of an idea. It is essentially setting up my own blockchain to track exchanges on a few compelling items. The concept of ownership and sales is pretty interesting. I used to sell T-shirts that I designed in virtual communities. It was absolutely in the infancy of the economy of selling skins.

I was into the idea of blockchain in the early days. Specifically for the potential positive influences it could have. Very visible and secure transactions could have a positive influence on industry and exchanges. Distributed records could be very helpful in understanding the flow of resources and influence. At the start there were great initiatives around health, the arts, and humanitarian interests. There were also several seemingly lame examples.

Anyway, there is this story about a virtual world exchange where ownership of virtual properties happens. The biggest current iteration of this idea is UPLAND. People don’t actually purchase physical properties. They bid on and sell their own record of owning a Google Maps like listing of properties. You do a search for an address and pull up a listing of the purchase price of that address. If you can’t participate in the real estate game, you can hopefully get your foot-in-the-door on this.

So I am researching the process of setting up a similar system. What would it take to set something up? Would I base my exchange on an existing one? Tie myself to ethereum or bitcoin early? Branch out and find a way to take a variety of cryptocurrencies. Coinbase? Let’s find out.

First search

The first item that came up for me is tying myself to the Ethereum blockchain. Essentially using Asure to crate a genesis block with a hash algorithm and tie it to Ethereum.

Next Step

Now I am looking at creating an interface for the exchange. My first stop is Code Canyon from Envato Market. A place where organized bits of code are sold for online applications, services, or utilities. It seems that CryptoLab is a good skeleton to base the interface and marketplace on.

Early Example

In the UK there is CelebDAQ which started in 2002 as an exchange game. There have been celebrities that have asked that their name be taken off that system. It shut down in 2010 and re-launched in 2019.

Researching machine learning

Posted on October 17, 2021

Spending a little time today thinking about machine learning and how it can be useful for what I do. In the past I have used generative algorithms to create patterns and designs that have worked their way into the design. Decades ago I was using PovRay to do raytracing based on simple objects and transparency. Later on, I played with Action Script and Processing to create interactive art pieces. I am currently using C++ and MicroPython/CircuitPython to mess about with microcontrollers, servos, e-ink, and LEDs.

I have used various forms of machine learning in the past to create the base images. Sometimes it is just filling areas in intelligently, or stretching out dimensions without obvious distortion. Other times, it has been making subtle changes to faces that relate to re-lighting or re-posing them. I have also experimented with with causing basic changes to facial features.

At the moment, I am interested in training a system based on a certain genre of painting. I may need a bit more computing horsepower than I currently have. At least I can work out the software now.

RunwayML

https://runwayml.com/ Offers some cool video processing options. It also has a web based interface that seems related to image processing and training. The nice thing about this option is that there really is very little barrier to entry. At the moment, I just have to come up with 500 – 5,000 images that can be used to train the system.

Image from AI Artists Org

ML5.js

This is a community that offers a head start in working with a few of the systems out there. Pix2Pix seems like a good tool to start with.

Example of creating an image with system trained on Pokemon characters.

GANS

The systems behind this work are called Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) and here is a little list of places they are collected.

TensorFlow

This is a free and open-source library for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

On a Mac

Working on a Mac laptop so there is specific code that you can run from Apple. Unfortunately it isn’t really working on my laptop.