Happy Birthday Isaac Asimov

New adventures are beckoning.
New adventures are beckoning.

Happy Science Fiction Day!!!!  <3
National Science Fiction Day is celebrated on this day because it is the famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov’s birthday, born in Russia in 1920.
I cut my baby science fiction teeth on some of the best Science Fiction writers that ever lived. Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, H.G. Wells…..and so many many more. I’d be here all day listing them all. These are the men that shape my life, how I think, how I see the world, why I suppose I am so open-minded to all possibilities. Because it’s impossible to read a science fiction book with a closed mind. They taught me, that unless you are a time traveler, then your eyes should only be on the future, because that will always be  our true destination.

The last words of the 2016

I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints about how soldiers, firemen, police officers, and others in public service, don’t get the same respect when they die that a celebrity gets.
That somehow because they are musicians, actors, or artist their lives aren’t suppose to be worth anything.
I disagree, what makes a celebrity’s life any less valuable then those brave souls who died in public service. Just because they didn’t face any danger, doesn’t mean their life wasn’t lived without meaning. Many of those celebrities not only changed people’s lives, a lot of them in their talent, gave people hope, happiness, and for a short time escape from their problems.
So yeah none of them may not have been the silent heroes of this country but they were heroes nevertheless in many ways.
Just a small sampling of the life contributions made from just the most recent celebrities that have died.
Debbie Reynolds, along with Jack Haley Jr., Hugh O’Brien and other young stars, founded a charity to fight the stigma of mental illness, calling themselves The Thalians, after the goddess of comedy, Thalia. Over nearly 60 years, The Thalians have raised over $30 million, endowing The Thalians’ Mental Health Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. It also provides medical and mental health support to returning wounded military personnel.
Carrie Fisher, was a patron for Alzheimer, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, The Midnight Mission, The Humanist Hub, and the International Bipolar Foundation.
George Michael, he supported the Terrence Higgins Trust, which helps people with AIDS, Macmillan Cancer Support, and Childline, which offers confidential phone counseling for young people.
“Over the years he gave us millions and we were planning next year, as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations to create, we hoped, a big concert in tribute to him – to his artistry, to his wonderful musicality but also to thank him for the hundreds of thousands of children he helped,” said a Childline spokesperson.

But you don’t have to take my word for it….it’s all public knowledge.

However if you feel that strongly about an artist’s life being so worthless. May I suggest you turn off your T.V., throw away your music, never watch another movie, never touch another book, or look at another painting, photograph, or sculpture ever again.
Rant over, and I’m out.

The artist, with a green thumb

Artist, with a green thumb
Giving up the commercial part of me being an artist has it’s good, and bad points.  I love being  able to finally concentrate more on creating art,  perfecting, and honing my skills. But seriously for someone who use to be on the go 24 hours a day, things can get a little boring.
Your world narrows down, there is only home, and a well worn chair in front of the computer.
So this year, I went back to my roots. Back to a time when the Navigator and I were first married. Back to being a country girl, when the lady of the house supported her family through a garden.
I have land, but very little of it is really suited for a plowed garden, so I  went all out with container gardening.  I’d seen a lot of Youtube videos on it, and read a few blogs so was eager to see how things would turn out.

Continue reading The artist, with a green thumb

The easy life

I just read an article by Adam Bevan, over on the Fstopper website.

There was a statement that struck a cord with me.

“He’s a really great photographer, but you’ll never see the good stuff he shoots because it doesn’t sell. You shoot what the clients wants. More and more, you won’t like what the clients want.”

I think that statement perhaps explains more why I quit pursuing my art professionally then anything else.

I know a great deal of my decision to quit, was because of my Navigator’s health. But truthfully, I could have found a way to continue things if I was driven to do it.

It’s been 6 months now since I quit being a professional artist, and became an over qualified amateur.

I create photographs, and art just for the pleasure of doing it now. I don’t have to worry about this year’s color schemes, second guess decorating trends, or worry whether my art will match someone’s couch.

When you are a professional artist, success is measured by your sales, not by your art. Your driven by the word sell, sell, sell. During the last few months, I realized I had become very addicted to the ego boosting power of those sales. More interested in creating art for what a potential client might want, and less of what I wanted to create.

I create for the pleasure of creating. I don’t measure my success by my bank account now, but in the pride I feel when a piece is done. I may one day upgrade my status again to pro…..but for right now, I’ll just keep creating. And when I do something I really like, I’ll just upload it to the website.

A little relaxing time on the Ohio River

I’ve been fighting slugs in my little container garden for 6 weeks now. As I’ve never really had a problem until I put down decorative wood mulch last year, I am assuming that was the attractor. After debating on what to use, my navigator and I decided to just go to the river, and collect river rocks. This video is from one of the breaks we took.
I don’t know, but there is something about water, that soothes my very soul, and I could watch, and listen to it for hours on end.

How my Tri-pod got the name Web Splitter

The picture below is a triumph over fear. It was captured on the Grandview Rim Trail a part of the New River Gorge National Park, here in West Virginia.
I’d gone that morning to catch a sunrise picture, but was greeted with fog so thick, you would think the world had come to an end.
The only thing out there on the trail that morning was me, the silence of the mist, and a million spider webs.
 I renamed my tri-pod that morning to Web Splitter. Because I held it up in front of me, and used it to split the webs as I started down the trail.
The moisture from the fog dripped off the leaves, and you could hear the drops as they fell to the ground. My imagination played tricks on me….the hazards of being an artist.  I imagined each drop was a spider falling from the trees.
They were coming for me, and when the mists cleared, all that would be found, would be a few web covered bleached bones that the spiders didn’t want.
My heart skipped a beat, turning around I could see the fog had already enshrouded the entrance to the trail, with a wall of white.
My heart started beating a little faster, and the sounds of the dripping seemed to fall faster and louder. I took 3 steps toward the entrance, and stopped…..
A wall of nothingness had swooped down, and totally surrounded me. I literally could not see my hand in front of my face.
From an unseen place high above, a drop of water fell onto my head. I let out a little girly squeal, and started doing the spiderweb dance….yeah you know the one.
The newly named Web Splitter swinging back and forth, making a low whooshing sound as it cut through the fog.
And then suddenly I busted out laughing. Because the imagination that had so betrayed me only moments ago, now showed me a picture of what I looked like……I had been jumping around like a drunk monkey.
Ha, I am so glad no one saw me that morning.
And then just like that a hole opened up through the fog. I was shown the beauty of where I was, and the mist like a curtain, pulled back to reveal the trail before me.
And in that moment, I knew despite the fear, I wasn’t turning back…… adventure, and beauty awaited.
A foggy sunrise on one of the trails at Grandview.
A foggy sunrise on one of the trails at Grandview.

A little Sci-fi

The ship in the foreground is a cargo/transport ship.

“It ain’t pretty, but it gets you to where you need to be.” The Captain will tell you that.
The crew has been out running supplies for months, and is looking for a little down time on the space station.
It’s not Earth, but they have 4 Bio-domes. And the only thing the crew has seen of anything green, is from the little hydro garden the ship’s cook has. It’s not exactly regulation, but when you’ve been in space for awhile, a little fresh herbs added to the food rations can brighten up a dull day.

One of the crew members….has heard the station’s cat just had kittens. And is eager to get one for herself. Of course space kittens aren’t regulation either, but they are worth their weight in gold.
These cats were bred for space, and a ship is considered very lucky if one of the cats chooses to become a part of the crew.

Sciene Fiction Image, created by Mary Almond
A little sci-fi scene filled with stars, ships, and a space station

Evolution of a Picture

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about making sketches when they build a scene in CGI. I’m more of an idea person….get an idea and then start living in the scene until its built.

I’ve worked on my country farmhouse scene just a tad over 5 months. I probably would have finished it sooner, but my modeling skills are a little on the weak side. Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to show you a small slice of it’s evolution to the image’s final look.

The first house as you can see was very crude.

I built it in Blender, but had so much trouble getting my textures, fixed on it, that I just totally abandoned it.

First Raw house

Continue reading Evolution of a Picture

Not posted in awhile

I thought since I haven’t posted in a while, I’d share one of my recent creations. 

I started “Night Magic” during a morning cup of coffee. I wasn’t really after anything at the start, but it didn’t take long before the muse was whispering in my ear. Roughly 3 days later, and 59 hours of rendering time, I was finally finished.  

 Night Magic, is I think an appropriate name for this piece. 

Now on to my next project…..not sure yet as to what it will be. But I’m sure the Muse will sing her song soon. 

A New Beginning

Town taxes paid….check.
City taxes paid….
County taxes paid….
State taxes paid……
Done, done, and done.

All paid in full, and told that the Merry Cat is no longer operating as a business entity. And papers filled out to prove it.

I’m just a regular Jill Shmill, with a weird nickname, dabbling at a hobby now.

Still have the Federal taxes to do, and will get those done once I get all my forms and 1099’s in.

Some things about running my art/photography as a business I’m never going to miss.

But I’m never going to stop creating art, I’m an artist…. a definition debatable in some circles, and amongst certain critics. grin emoticon

I will still have my websites to showcase/sell my work, and perhaps an outlet or two.

But for this time, and place stepping away from the profit line, and stepping up to a new beginning is what it’s all about…….that and the health of my Navigator.

“And yes for the accountants out there…..I do know I am still obligated to pay any and all the above taxes when I do make a sale, even if I am just a hobbyist now.”