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Business As Usual

While I normally try to have a blog entry done every week, lately I have been remiss, simply because of my heavy workload. Because of the projects I’ve agreed to, and the fact that I want to put my best effort into them, I have decided not to take any new commission work until the new year.

Here is a brief update of the various items I’m working on, in addition to the daily editorial cartoons.

Cartoon Illustration DVD
This has been a big learning experience so far and I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about PhotoshopCAFE. I’ve had a ton of great support while I learn the ropes. In a perfect world, I’d like to put everything else aside just to pour all of my energy into this, but the bills have to be paid, so it’s a juggling act.

There have been a few hiccups, but nothing insurmountable. The first install of Photoshop CS5 Extended didn’t take, and it was freezing up daily. A reinstall thankfully solved that issue and it’s been working well ever since. Camtasia Studio 7 is the video screen capture software that I’m using, and so far, it’s working smoothly. For any Mac users out there, I’ve been told it doesn’t work well on that platform, so fair warning, but I’m on Windows and the only issue I experienced was a conflict with my Wacom tablet. A download of the latest tablet drivers solved that problem.

I’ve been using a CRT monitor as my main monitor for years as I’ve always preferred them to LCD screens, but due to aspect ratio limitations and the requirements for recording, I finally had to make the switch to the 24″ Samsung that I’ve been using for my painting demo display. I’ve used a dual monitor display for years, but the new size makes it feel like I’m using three. Whether it was the LCD or the larger size, the first couple of days I had a splitting headache and sore eyes. I’ll admit to being worried that this was going to be a major problem, but I’ve since gotten used to the new display and am quite enjoying the increased screen real estate.

Lesson plan and sketches have been approved, test recording has been done and submitted, so all that’s left is the actual recording, which I’ve started this week. I won’t lie, it’s been pretty intimidating, but I’ve no doubt I’ll be pleased with it when it’s done.

Totem Prints
The paintings are no longer available at Editions Gallery in Red Deer as I removed them earlier this month. After a number of months in the gallery, there wasn’t one sale and apparently not much interest in them. Whether it was because of the style or the subject, I don’t know, so I’m just going to accept that Central Alberta may not be the right market for these paintings, at least not now.

The paintings are selling well in Canmore and Banff, and I made a trip into Calgary yesterday to pick up another batch of prints. This is the first batch of framed canvas prints and I’m very pleased with how they look. The framed Wolf and Moose Totem paintings will be available in both Banff and Canmore today in the 18″X24″ size.

A line of matted paper prints will be available at Two Wolves Trading Co. in Canmore today as well. The Moose, Wolf, Grizzly, and Ground Squirrel in two sizes, 11″X14″ and 16″X20″. Each print is mounted with a black matte, open edition, ready for framing. I’ll eventually have all of the Totem series available in matted paper prints.

New Totem Paintings
Another live painting demo is scheduled for Two Wolves Trading Co. in Canmore on November 13th and 14th, working on a bighorn sheep as my next image. I’ve wanted to do this one for awhile. I already have the next four paintings planned out, and have secured the rights to the reference photos for three of them. As I haven’t done any new paintings since I finished the Wolf, I am very anxious to get started.

There are a couple of other projects I’m working on that I can’t talk about yet, but needless to say, I’m busy, and while there are days I’m hanging on by my fingernails to balance it all, I’m doing what I love for a living, and grateful for it.

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