Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Animated Gif

Now that I know how, why not? Sit up close and warm yourself up with this one.


Photobucket

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Animated Gifs with Adobe ImageReady

I made these simple but cool animated .gifs of the making of two of my recent paintings with Adobe ImageReady 7.0! Don't stare too long, or you will go insane!!


Photobucket


Photobucket


Now wouldn't these make nice profile pics for Phil and John's Myspace pages. It's too bad the fascists at Facebook clamp down on our freedom of expression by flattening animated .gifs. Below is a video that shows you how to make your own. I'm sure there are a lot of ways and cool apps you can use to make animated .gifs, but I already had ImageReady on my computer.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Ambiguous Report About the End of My Painting



"An Ambiguous Painting About the End of the World", 2010

24" x 20", oil on wood


Finally finished it! I could work on some pieces forever, and even though there is a lot that bugs me about this painting, I'm sick of working on it. This was to be my homage to Giorgio de Chirico, but I don't think I'm going to be painting any more arches any time soon. I also went with De Chirico's color palette for the most part: ochre ground and blue-green sky. These are colors I wouldn't have naturally used. I don't know if it's what I took from De Chirico that bothers me about this piece, or if it's just that nagging regret I often have just after finishing a painting. Oh well, it was an experiment.


The other experiment here was posting a photo after each painting session to show my progress. This is another experiment I don't care to repeat any time soon. I referred to this piece as "New Painting" for each of these updates, as I had no working title. Absolutely nothing came to mind until one night when I was browsing the web for "end of the world films". You see from the outset I had the vague idea that this painting was about the end of the world. Anyway, while browsing the web I came across a Slovakian film called "An Ambiguous Report About the End of the World". It didn't matter to me at that moment whether I would ever see the film or if it was any good. I knew I had a name for my painting!


"An Ambiguous Report About the End of the World" is certainly a provocative name for a movie. I decided I had to see it after all, but even though the film was released only 13 years ago, it seemed it was already completely out of print. Thank god for filesharing sites! I found and downloaded the .rar files below and with the help of Winrar put the film together.


http://rapidshare.com/files/35896915/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD1.part1.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35896878/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD1.part2.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35896792/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD1.part3.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35896798/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD1.part4.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35896985/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD1.part5.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35896883/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD1.part6.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35896812/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD1.part7.rar

http://rapidshare.com/files/35897380/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD2.part1.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35897286/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD2.part2.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35897363/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD2.part3.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35897317/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD2.part4.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35897393/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD2.part5.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35897346/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD2.part6.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/35897269/NejasnaZpravaOKonciSvetaCD2.part7.rar

http://www.opensubtitles.org/en/search/sublanguageid-all/idmovie-10170


The movie begins with a double death slash suicide. A heroic-looking man carries a dead woman in his arms through the snow to the edge of a cliff, shoots himself and they both fall into the void. We are then transported back in time to the events that proceeded this tragedy. We begin two decades earlier at a joyful folk wedding in a quaint village high in the mountains. Everyone is enjoying themselves and then some wolves are spotted. The men take off after them, guns blazing, in a show of drunken bravado, but while they are gone, chasing after only two wolves, the rest of the pack descends upon the remaining villagers, mostly women and children. This scene is very well done. It has a surreal horror movie quality. The wolves just keep coming, bursting through padlocked doors and shattering windows. The clip below has no subtitles, but you don't really need them.




The bride who loses her bridegroom to the wolves gives birth later that same evening, and she promises her daughter to the 10 year old boy who saved her life. The bride Verona and the boy Goran are the two tragic lovers who die at the beginning of the film. I'm not going to go over the whole film here, but I'll hit the highlights. There is basically just disruption after tragic disruption in life of the little village. There is a traveling circus who get tricked into staying in the village and they soon corrupt the villagers. They give up honest farming, start growing poppy and hemp and turn into smugglers. Earthquakes rock the villages and houses sick into the ground. Some of the sheep smuggled in from across the border (Poland?) are later found to carry a disease that kills off most of the children. A military unit flies in some doctors to help the sick, but they can save no one. Instead they seem more interested in the "hemp" being dried to make marijuana and begin making arrests and threats. In one of my favorite lines from the movie, one of the military "medics" tells the mayor of the little village, "This is a free country now, and you are under surveillance". Later the military attack the fields, burning the illegal crops and as a consequence what's left of the sad little village.


Amidst all this there is a surreal cast of characters that includes a horny dwarf, a giantess, a chimpanzee named "Madonna" and a village idiot who turns into a prophet after reading Nostradamus. He quotes Nostradamus throughout the later part of the film and many of the tragedies that befall the village are supposedly taken from the seer's prognostications. Caught up in the middle of all this is the sad love story of Goran and Verona, who die at the beginning and end of the film. This an epic movie that never gets boring even at 140 minutes. The scenery alone is spectacular. There's a lot of symbolism throughout and I guess we are to see this tiny Slovakian village "at the end of the world" as a microcosm of the whole world. A tag-line for the movie says its "A film about the world not being round and love always being sinful, or about the wolves inside us".


It's too bad that this great film by Juraj Jakubisko is out of print or at least not available here. But at least I got to watch a decent .avi. I downloaded the english subtitles from opensubtitles.org, but I at first I didn't know how the .srt file could be added to the .avi so I could watch it in english. Media Player Classic, which is a free video player has the ability to load subtitles or .srt files. And if you want to burn these .avis to a dvd to watch on your television DVDFlick is great free dvd authoring app. It's especially great for foreign films, because allows you to load your own subtitles. You can even chose the typeface, color and position of them on the screen. As far as I can tell, DVDFlick does everything any other DVD authoring software can do and more. It even gives you the option to play Tetris while your files are being encoded. The only downside to DVDFlick as far as I can see is that is doesn't make fancy menus. Your menu screens won't have moving pictures or fancy options, not that you need any of that shit.




By the way if you've downloaded "An Ambiguous Report About the End of the World" and the english subs available online, you know that the subs for "Nejasna Sprava O Konci Sveta CD2" or the second disc are way wrong. It was so frustrating that there were no other english subs available for what the download calls CD2 of the movie that I wrote a new .srt file for the second half of the film with the help of my wife, who's Czech. I uploaded the corrected .srt for the second half of the film today. You can download it here.


I should also mention that the director of "An Ambiguous Report About the End of the World", Juraj Jakubisko recently directed a film called "Bathory", about the life of Elizabeth Bathory, that looks like it could be interesting. You know who she was, right? The Blood Witch of Cachtice, the Countess Dracula, the most murderous woman in history! Well I've written enough with this post, so I'm gonna let "Hot Fact Babe" Damianne fill you in on all the gory details...



Monday, December 13, 2010

New Painting- Day 18



I'm still not ready to declare this painting finished. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Painting- Day 17



It isn't like watching paint dry, it is. Hopefully it will be finished in a couple days.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Painting- Day 15



I basically just need to finish the necklace and earring and sharpen everything up. Hopefully I'll be finished in two or three more sessions.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Painting- Day 13



Still trudging along. The closer I get to the "end" the more I realize how much still needs to be fixed. This posting after every painting session was an experiment that I don't think I'm gonna put myself through again. As you can see there is no magic to this. Its just drudgery to keep at it most of the time.


Anyway, last post I gave a little review or summary of my favorite post-apocalyptic film of all time, "A Boy & His Dog". With this post I thought I'd review my second favorite post-apocalyptic movie, "The Quiet Earth". It's from 1985 and was made in New Zealand. The movie opens with Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) waking up to a city that seems completely deserted and very quiet. Not only does it seem that all the people have disappeared, but we hear no birds and see nothing moving about except for our hero Zac. In the distance there is a fire. Investigating, Zac finds a huge airliner has crashed, but there are no bodies. It seems every other sentient being has simply vanished without a trace.


Zac then heads to his workplace, where we find he's a scientist who has been working on a top secret project. "Project Flashlight", as it is called, has nothing to do with Parliament Funkadelic, but was an experiment to create a global energy grid. Zac speaks into his pocket recorder, "Zac Hobson, July 5th. One: there has been a malfunction in Project Flashlight with devastating results. Two: it seems I am the only person left on Earth." He then goes to a nearby radio station and records a message to play in a loop with his name, address and phone number, asking anyone who hears it to contact him.


The first thirty minutes of this film are the best. There must be something primal about this last man on earth idea. Zac soon "moves up in the world" and takes over a recently vacated mansion. He enjoys the good life for awhile, but soon puts on women's underclothes, goes mad and declares himself president. See the clip below. I never understood where he got all those life size cardboard effigies of famous people from history.




Soon after this, Zac finally meets a another human being. Its a pretty redhead named Joanne. Just when they start hitting it off, and you think that this film might take a romantic turn, there is another twist. A tall Maori named Api enters the picture, creating tension with a sort of love triangle, but it's obvious from the beginning that Joanne prefers Api. Zac soon confesses to them that he may have been partly responsible for the "Effect" that left them all alone, and this only alienates him more from the two "newcomers". We find out that Zac felt so guilty about working on such potentially devastating project as "Project Flashlight", that he tried to commit suicide the evening before the "Effect" happened.


It seems all three of the survivors "died" the moment the "Effect" took place, and that may be why they "survived", if they aren't already dead, and if this isn't all a dream. It gets more ambiguous the more we learn. Finally Zac is convinced that the "Effect" will soon happen again, and that the only way to stop it is to destroy the huge satellite dish at his former workplace. I won't give away the ending, partly because I'm not really sure I understand what happened, but the skyline just before the closing credits was sure interesting.




Now this has to be one of the best "last man on earth" movies there is and maybe one the best films from New Zealand. You know what the best New Zealand film is, don't you? We're you gonna say the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which is partly an American film? No, that's not it. The film I'm thinking of is a horror movie only the folks in New Zealand could think of...


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Painting- Day 12



Well this thing is really starting to drag again. Today I added the stars and crescent moon in a kind of "A Starry Night" way, the arcade shadows yet again, and the military helicopter, which will be the only "life" here so far. What I really need at this point is a few good long painting sessions to push this to completion. I'm not feeling that inspired lately. Maybe I need to watch few good post-apocalyptic movies to get me in the mood.


I mentioned in a couple earlier posts that I was going for a post-apocalyptic feel with this piece. And what is my favorite post-apocalyptic film of all time? Its the 1975 low-budget movie, "A Boy & His Dog". It stars a very young Don Johnson as Vic, a scrappy post-nuclear survivor, who together with his faithful companion Blood, a telepathic dog, scavenges for food and women in the wasteland of Phoenix, Arizona in 2024. Vic is always horny, and Blood is always hungry. The arrangement is that Vic hustles up dinner, and Blood sniffs out the babes. The movie never explains why Blood is telepathic, but for some reason you never really worry about it. You do find out that only Blood and Vic can communicate this way. Vic tells one nosy person in the film that the reason only he can "hear" his dog is because the two of them "think alike". Whatever the reason, I think that the dim-witted Vic's relationship with the highly intelligent canine saves this sometimes overly slow, low-budget movie. Witness the scene below for an example.




Blood and Vic subsist in the bleak desert for the better part of the film, robbing and raping the other desperate survivors, but soon Vic meets Quilla June. She is "the cheese" sent out by some folks who have been watching Vic and want to entrap him. The randy Vic falls for the bait, and soon he is following the girl underground. Blood is suspicious, and after warning Vic, refuses to go. This is where the movie really gets weird. Some of the post-nuclear survivors still stubbornly keep small town American values alive underground. Everyone paints their faces like happy mimes, and they live for parades and picnics. The "grass" is green even though there is no sunlight in subterranean "Topeka", and the citizens' stifled lives are strictly regulated by "The Committee".




"The Committee", headed by actor Jason Robards, decides they need some new sperm for their now hopelessly shallow gene pool, and that the virile Vic will supply it. But unfortunately not in the way he would like, for he is soon hooked up to a machine and milked. Finally Quilla, "the cheese" that lured him into the trap, rebels against "The Committee" and helps Vic escape. She wants him to help her take control underground, but he would rather go back above. He's gotta see Blood again. He's "gotta get back in the dirt" so he can "feel clean". I won't give away the touching and disturbing ending, but ultimately this is, as director L. Q. Jones says, "just a story about a boy and his dog".


This movie obviously influenced the Mad Max series, and I think the idea of a dog for end of the world companionship was set with this film as well. Mad Max had an Australian Cattle Dog and Will Smith drove around post-apocalyptic New York with a German Shepherd in "I Am Legend". If the mongrel in "A Boy and His Dog" looks familiar, its because he played the family pet "Tiger" in "The Brady Bunch".




The director of "A Boy and His Dog", L. Q. Jones, never directed another film, but his adaption of Harlan Ellison's novella, was purported to be the author's favorite movie version of any of his stories. L. Q. Jones is known for his acting career, which included many westerns. Most recently he starred in "A Prairie Home Companion". He was also in Scorsese's 1995 film "Casino". Here he is giving giving Robert De Niro's character Sam Rothstein the business for firing his brother in-law.


Monday, November 29, 2010

New Painting- Day 11



I had planned a big long post, but its been a rough day and I have a headache. I was lucky to paint at all. Tomorrow I need to finish working out the arcade and the rest of the middle ground.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Painting- Day 9

I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Painting- Day 7


I had a lot of distractions over the weekend, and after not seeing this painting for almost three whole days, I'm struggling with a new perspective, literally. I realized the perspective for the arcade or row of arches is way wrong, so I had to finally define a vanishing point and will have to redo the background quite a bit. The "correct" way makes the arcade seem shorter and my column way tall. Honestly, I don't really like this version with its correct one point perspective any better than the original eyeballed version where the real horizon line would have had to be much higher. I should have planned this out from the get go, but I'm used to just eyeballing everything on the fly without sketches and it working out. Instead I had to spend most of this painting session drawing pencil lines with different vanishing points, trying to figure out which made the arcade look best.

When I started this painting I mentioned that the background idea was inspired by De Chirico's metaphysical series. He certainly never worried about correct perspective in his architectural representations. He always had multiple vanishing points, which had the effect of disorienting the viewer, and of course this was what he wanted. But with only one architectural element in the background of my painting from which to gauge perspective, it just looks like I made a mistake if I get it wrong. There were usually many buildings in De Chirico's paintings from which to gauge perspective. In the painting below, "Gare Montparnasse (The Melancholy of Departure)", there are, count 'em, six vanishing points. There are also his ubiquitous bunch of bananas and train on the horizon.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Twisted Toys Reception

Here's some pics from the opening of the "Twisted Toys" show in St. Pete. I sold one already!






Friday, November 19, 2010

The Twisted Toy Show



Just like the flier says tomorrow night 7 to 10pm 645 Central Ave. St. Petersburg. Its an art show about toys just in time for the holidays. There will be paintings of toys and toys and toy-like 3D art Bay area people like me have made. This show was made for moi. Below is video I made a couple years ago featuring my paintings of toys. Some of these will be in this show.




The music in the above video is by the alternative metal band the Melvins, one of my favorite bands. Below is a cool stop-action video made for a song off their latest album "The Bride Screamed Murder". I think its funny that the director of this video must have also thought that the Melvins and toys go together somehow.





For most people the most famous thing about the Melvins is that they were Kurt Cobain's favorite band. They must also be one of Greg Gutfeld's favorites, because Melvins' frontman Buzz Osbourne has been on his show "Red Eye" countless times. In the clip below Buzz talks a little about Kurt Cobain, rock festivals and how rock concerts are just too long these days.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Painting- Day 6



Not that much progress today. Worked on the shell and flowers mostly and started to add what will be crumbling buildings on the horizon. These ruins will be similar to ones I placed on the horizon in another post-apocalyptic painting I did a couple years ago, "Girl in Landscape".




I don't know if I'm going to also include the military helicopter seen here on the horizon just above the ruined buildings in my latest painting. I'll have to think about it. I'm considering putting one living thing in it (even the yellow roses are dead and dried) to make it more poignant, but I will have to wait til it progresses more before I make that decision. Meanwhile, as I said, the painting directly above also has a post-apocalyptic theme. The piece was named after and inspired by a science fiction novel by Jonathan Lethem.


"Girl in Landscape" is set in the near future when a young girl and her family must leave an uninhabitable earth for a new planet. In the story Pella Marsh must adjust not only to a strange new world, but also to the changes in herself, as she goes through puberty on the ocean-less planet with its weird inhabitants. I never read the book. I got all this from the description on the back. So the painting was actually only inspired by a blurb, but I still think the image I made somehow fits the idea of the novel. The assembled still-life in the foreground can be taken as objects salvaged from the desolate background, and the Barbie doll can represent both a girl's toy and the girl herself lost in the bleak surroundings. Anyway, I didn't read "Girl in Landscape", but I have read three of Lethem's other novels: Gun, with Occasional Music, As She Climbed Across the Table, and Motherless Brooklyn.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Painting- Day 5

Shit day. I hate this painting already.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Painting- Day 4

After a day off, I'm back. Here's what I did today. Got more cadmium yellow, so I was able to work on the sky this session. These painting sessions have been a little short so far, only about 2 hours each. I plan to spend at least 3 hours a day on the painting from here on out.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Painting- Day 3

Another day, more paint. I ran out of cadmium yellow, so I wasn't able to do much with the sky. I have the idea to paint one of De Chirico's blue-green twilights with a fading yellow sunset. Maybe I'll change my mind, but I still need more cadmium yellow.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

New Painting- Day 2

After waiting a couple days for the first thin layer to dry, I continue to keep filling in blank spots on the canvas and applying more layers.




There's no point in dragging the painting outside for photos until it's finished. I might as well photograph it on the easel.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My New Painting- Day 1

When I start a new painting, I try my best to cover the whole canvas with paint right away. I don't care if it's sloppy, just so long as it isn't applied too thick. I paint with oils, so I will have to wait a couple days for this coat to dry a little before I can continue. Otherwise the surface is too gummy and tacky, and the new layers don't go on smoothly. Anyway, this is what I did today. For this new piece I am going to try to post photos after every painting session, something new to try. I've taken photos after individual painting sessions before and made cool time-lapse videos with the pics, but I've never posted a painting's progress on my blog before. I don't have a name for this piece yet, so I will continue to refer to it as "new painting" here until I can think of at least a working title.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Primed Canvas + A Rough Sketch + A Photograph = A New Painting


I found a nice piece of cabinet-grade plywood (my "canvases" are usually plywood or masonite panels) left over from trimming a larger piece down for a previous painting, so I primed it to get it ready for a new one. I'm limited by the dimensions, which are 24" x 20", but I sketched out an idea that I think will fit here. Looks like it's time to breakout the old mannequin head and conch shell again. I love this mannequin head with its exaggerated neck and upturned head. I think it was made for displaying jewelry.

This painting will be primarily a still-life, as most of my paintings are, and as usual I will makeup a background. This time the background idea came from pre-surrealist/surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico's metaphysical town square series. A couple people have told me that some of my paintings remind them of De Chirico's work, so I decided to reacquaint myself with this influential artist. De Chirico's metaphysical period from 1909-1919 is what he is best known for. These are melancholy, dreamlike paintings concerned with myth, nostagia and desolation. The earliest of these were primarily haunting cityscapes inspired by the architecture of Turin. I decided the background of my new painting will be a De Chirico town square in ruins, crumbling arcades and pillars, a post-apocalyptic town square even more desolate than De Chirico's lonely cityscapes. Below are some examples of De Chirico's metaphysical towns.


This one is the one most people know from art history books:



"Mystery and Melancholy of a Street", 1914



"Piazza d'Italia", 1913



"The Soothsayer's Recompense", 1913



"Torino printanière", 1914



"L'Angoisse du départ", 1914



"Love Song", 1914

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And My Kiss Army Continues to Grow...

Here's the latest recruit to my Kiss Army, Mr. Philip "Space Ace" Bloom.




"Philip (Space Ace) Bloom", 2010


18"x18", oil on cradled panel


With Philip as Ace Frehley, I now have 3 of the four original members of Kiss represented in fine portraiture. Here's a collage of what I have so far. I just need Peter Criss, the original drummer. Hal if you're reading this, the Kiss Army needs you asap.




These portraits are inspired by the Kiss solo albums all released on the same day back in September 18, 1978. The cover of each album featured a painting of the Kiss member on the respective record. Ace Frehley's effort did the best commercially and was also considered the best by music critics. Ace was the lead guitarist of the band. He was the most consummate musician in the group and his guitar playing inspired many to become axe-men back the band's heyday. And just as Gene Simmons' onstage character spewed fire and blood, Ace Frehley had his own performance trick: The smoking guitar. He put smoke bombs in the compartment of his Les Paul and lit them causing smoke to come out through the pickups. Sometimes the smoke would gum up the volume and tone controls and Ace's custom Gibson would stop working. He needed someone to save him from "Spinal Tap" moments like this: Enter John Robison.

In Robison's 2007 memoir "Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's", he devotes a whole chapter, called "The First Smoking Guitar", which details how, as pyrotechnics wizard on the road with Kiss, he helped Ace Frehley create a smoking guitar that was still safe to play. Robison had the idea to put the smokebombs in an insulated box inside the guitar, rather than just dropping them lit into a hole carved in the guitar, as Ace had planned. Bright lights were also added to the custom Gibson, and sometimes there was a wire attached for it to be sent "rocketing" away.




Ace Frehley left Kiss in 1982, finally getting back together with them for their 1996 reunion tour. Over the years he released several solo albums besides the one he did as a member of Kiss. He latest "Anomaly" came out last year. Its his first effort in twenty years. Supposedly Ace gave a concert down here in Venice, FL a few years ago, and almost no one showed, but I couldn't find out anything about it on the web. I was never a Kiss fan, so these portraits are done mostly for their ironic, if not iconic, appeal. Although I did learn a lot about the band over the course of researching and planning this portrait series. For instance, I didn't even know Ace was the lead guitarist, or that he was famous for his smoking axe, or that he is a drugged racist pig with low self-esteem who did nothing...




Good ol' Gene, always the moral compass of the band.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dead Silence

"Beware the stare of Mary Shaw she had no children only dolls. If you see her in your dreams, be sure you never, ever scream, or she'll rip your tongue out at the seam". Happy Halloween! I spent part of my afternoon watching the horror film "Dead Silence", a 2007 schlock-fest by the creators of the "Saw" series. It about a mad ventriloquist named Mary Shaw who was buried with her collection of vaudeville dolls and whose ghost terrorizes the small town of Ravens Fair. In the decades since the old woman's death the dolls have been mysteriously reappearing in the sleepy town, and soon after they are seen whole families are gruesomely murdered with their tongues carved out. The story begins with a young couple who have left Ravens Fair and moved to the big city. But it seems they can't escape the curse of their little town, for they soon receive one of old Mary Shaw's dummies in a package.


When I first saw the dummy I thought this movie was going to be about a homicidal doll like Chucky in the cult horror series "Child's Play". That would have been a better idea, because this stinker of a film isn't even "bad" enough to become some kind of ironic cult favorite. Its just bad. In the end one of the dolls does finally speak, possessed by the spirit of Mary Shaw, and actually this doll does kind of resemble Chucky. But mostly this a slow moving ghost story with bad acting and a contrived "twist" at the end. My favorite bad actor in this movie is former "New Kid on the Block" Donnie Wahlberg. Donnie gives an almost endearingly cliched portrayal of a detective. Ostensibly Detective Lipton is out to solve the mystery of the murders, but he mostly just plays with his electric razor...





"Beware the stare of Chet Loggins. He has no children only dolls..." I only struggled through this rotten tomato, because someone once told me that my paintings of dolls reminded them of "Dead Silence". I don't know about that, but creepy is a word I hear a little too often. I think these four paintings were the ones they were talking about...










A long time ago I did actually do a painting with a ventriloquist's dummy in it. I think this a Charlie McCarthy doll, but I'm not sure. My painting skills were not as keen back in '96 when the painting below was done. Charlie McCarthy was the doll used by famous ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, Candice Bergen's pop.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Snapit Review

Speaking of emails, as I was last post, I recently received a request via email to do a product review for Digeus. Digeus is a software manufacturer and the software they want me to test and review is Snapit Screen Capture 3.7. I downloaded the trial version, which except for its 15 day time limit has all the features of the regular version, and had a look at it.


Most everyone knows that if they press the "Prt Scr" (Print Screen) button on their keyboard that a snapshot of what ever is on their monitor gets saved to their clipboard. Then you have to paste it into a Word document and save it that way. If you didn't want the whole the whole screen, and you almost never do, you have to bring the saved document into an graphics program like Photoshop and crop out what you want. When you have Snapit 3.7 you don't have to go to all this trouble.


When you double click on the Snapit icon, which is a little camera, an even tinier camera appears in your system tray. If you press the "Prt Scr" button while the little camera is in your system tray your cursor turns into cross-hairs and you can drag it over whatever you want to copy to the clipboard.





Not only can you drag and select exactly what you want from whatever happens to be on your screen and copy it to your clipboard, but you have the option to automatically save these "clippings" as image files to any folder you chose. You simply right click on the Snapit icon in your system tray and then click on "Properties" to set up the autosave feature. You have the option to choose where to save the images, what prefix to use in the autonaming of the files and a choice of five different file types to save them as. You can also right click and point to "Save As" on the dropdown menu if don't want use the autosave feature.


















All the pics used in this post where captured with Snapit 3.7. This is a lightweight but very handy little utility for anyone from bloggers who want quickly capture images for a post to business people doing a presentation. Its a great little tool, and I'm glad to be part of their viral marketing campaign.

Btw, if you want to receive a free copy of Snapit 3.7 just download the free trial here, post a review on your blog or website and contact julia.taylor@digeus.com with a link to your review for a free registration of the software.