I just wanted to quickly share this snapshot of my newest woodburning with you. It’s called Forever Watchful, and it is burned onto a 4″ x 5″ basswood round. It’s not varnished yet, so this isn’t the ‘finished’ photo. But I think it came out really well, so I just wanted to share.
This is a closeup of a Great Horned Owl, looking very stern. I wouldn’t mess with her, if I were you. Owls are such amazing creatures. Nocturnal apex predators living right here in the nearby woods. I sometimes wonder why there isn’t more folklore and mythology associated with the owl. I should look into that. There must be something. Some Native American mythology, if nothing else.
Anyway, once I get this beauty varnished, I will take better pictures, and get them posted. I will most likely be asking $60 for this, which is the standard price for my smaller works. If you are interested, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So my shiny new WordPress website crashed a short time ago. And I mean completely down, nothing but an error message when you visited jaytref.com. And the crash was so complete, I couldn’t even log into my wordpress dashboard. I got the same error message.
That was really scary for me. After I switched to a WordPress format, I had to completely rebuild my site from scratch. That took an incredible amount of time. And suddenly all my hard work was just gone. I was really afraid I would have to start all over yet again.
This made me rethink exactly where I’m going with this site, and what my priorities are with a web site. I’m an artist, not a web designer. I want to spend my time drawing and woodburning, not typing on a computer. So I was really thinking about just not having a web site anymore. If it did turn out that I had to start all over again, I really think I would have just not had a website. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that. The customer service pros at Yahoo Small Business were able to recover my site, so all was not lost. Thank goodness.
Nevertheless, I really don’t want to go through that again. So I may back off a bit on just how ambitious this website is. I’m thinking of just having this art blog and concentrating on that. The online gallery and store might be a bit too much. Between my day job, my artwork and taking care of a handicapped spouse, I really prioritize my online time. And I still don’t know what caused the crash in the first place, so it could happen again.
Anyway, I’m going to sleep on it. I will continue with this blog. But the fate of the gallery store will be have to be reconsidered.
This is my latest pyrography project. It features yet another Latin American beauty. I really like how she came out. My goal with this piece was to create an attractive woman, make her as pretty as possible, with a ‘good girl art‘ vibe to her, and still make her tasteful and refined. A celebration of Latin beauty, not an objectification of it. So how did I do? What’s your opinion of my work?
Despite how busy I was I did manage to do a couple small pieces, and one commission. Both of the small pieces are shown above (click on them for larger images and more info.) I really like Old Jolly, as I think the white touches really make it stand out. And of course I’m very happy with Never Forget, as it features three pretty ladies in Day of the Dead makeup. What’s not to like about that? Both pieces were really fun and satisfying to make, though I am itching to get back into some larger pieces. The one commissioned piece was some lettering on an urn casket which I’ve decided not to show right now out of respect for the grieving family.
June was a very busy month for me. As I’ve mentioned before, I cancelled my Adobe subscription, so I lost all my software and my my portfolio.com website. In the spirit of open source, I’ve recreated my web site using WordPress, which has been quite a learning curve. So far it’s been working out well, considering I’m a WordPress newbie. Just time consuming because I had to upload everything all over again, and figure out the basics of how to get things done. The good news is I finally have a real store with PayPal buttons again. I haven’t had a proper web store of my own since I switched to Adobe’s my portfolio.com site, which doesn’t support that sort of thing.
I’ve also been learning to get by with open source graphics software, instead of fancy overpriced Adobe junk. So far it’s working out. I used Scribus to layout the fliers shown above. I had it printed by PrintKeg.com without any problems at all. For photo editing I’m using mostly DarkTable and I really like it. I’ve also discovered, or re-discovered actually, that if I pay just a bit more attention to my camera’s settings when taking pictures of my artwork, I can get better quality images that don’t really need that much editing. I guess I got a bit lazy when I had access to Photoshop and Lightroom.
I also had time to do a couple of fabric paintings. The first was a commission for a friend who is way too fond of Mountain Dew. And since I had my fabric paints out anyway, I decided to do a little something for myself too, since I haven’t done any fabric painting in ages. The result is La Muerta. She came out quite lovely didn’t she? I hope I didn’t butcher my limited Spanish too much. The title is suppose to translate to The Dead Girl. A had a lot of fun doing this, so hopefully I’ll have some time this summer to do some more fabric painting. Who knows, maybe I’ll even drag out my old airbrush again…..Nah.
I’ve been busy adding content to my store, and figuring things out here on my WordPress controls panel. It is slow going buy I have managed to add some new items to my store today. I have a nice mid sized piece called Dance of Death that is one a solid piece of Maple. It is a great fantasy art image that I think many people with find appealing. The second piece is a smaller nautical fantasy piece, called A Tall Tail.
Finished this a few days ago. I lovely Day of the Dead inspired piece. This photo was taken right after I finished burning it, and before it was varnished. Now that I have a few coats of Satin finish varnish on it, I will get some better photos of it, and get it up into my store.
I really love to create small works like this. I am a full time furniture builder, I take care of a handicapped spouse, and create art. With that much on my plate, I don’t always get enough sleep. Small pieces like this are enjoyable, spontaneous, and I can do them in a single sitting. I get my ‘creator’s fix’ and a relatively good nights sleep. I like to think of my small works like an author’s short stories, as apposed to his novels. Short and sweet. My favorite contemporary author is Glen Cook, by the way. You didn’t need to know that, but I overshare when sleep deprived.
I’ll be adding more stuff for sale to my gallery shop, including this piece, so please check back in often.By the way, I really appreciate everyone who is checking out this blog. I really appreciate it. I love sharing my artwork with people who can appreciate bohemian artists like me, and don’t buy into the establishment’s celebrity artist hype. Thank you for thinking for yourself, and searching for artists you like, not artists who the media tells you that you ought to like.
Just a quick note to let you know what’s happening in a nutshell. As you can see, this artist’s web site has completely changed and I’m pretty much starting over from scratch. Reason: I’ve canceled my Adobe account, so no more Lightroom, Photoshop and no more ‘free’ myportfolio.com web site. I’m making the move to open source. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now. And I feel now is a good time, as it will coincide with my shift in my art’s focus from painting to pyrography.
How does this effect my website and my artwork?
It’s going to be Gimp, Darktable, Scribus and most importantly, WordPress from here on in. This is a huge learning curve for me, so please be patient, as I have to rebuild my site from scratch. My first priority will be getting my ecommerce store up and running, so you guys can purchase my artwork online. I already have one item up for sale, and will be adding more very shortly. In the meantime, please follow me on Instagram and check back here often for updates. Thanks for your patience as I make the cross over to open source.