Photos

Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue

Each year millions of dogs and cats are euthanized  because not enough people are adopting them through local rescue groups and shelters. Many people buy dogs from pet stores instead, not aware that most come from puppy mills.

Learn more about puppy mills at the ASPCA click here 

Along with all the wonderful benefits of owning an animal companion, much time and dedication is required in being a responsible pet owner. Some people can’t keep their pet for various reasons and are forced to leave them at a shelter, others simply abandon them. This cute little guy was brought to our local shelter after someone had found him wandering on the side of the road.

Can I come home with you?

jack russell photo © Jayme Art

 

  • Local dog rescue organizations consist of volunteers who help by fostering dogs in their own homes while they search for permanent placement, taking dogs to adoption events, fundraising to cover medical and boarding costs to name a few.  Most rescue groups do not have the luxury of employees or people dedicated to promoting their efforts on a large-scale.
  • As their own resources permit, these groups work with local animal shelters in an effort to place adoptable dogs that are scheduled for euthanization. The sad fact is that many dogs die every day before they find a “forever home”. The commercials you see on television about neglect and abuse are very real. Consumers can literally save a dog’s life simply by choosing adoption over a pet store or breeder purchase.

Many cats are also waiting for a loving home.

These are a few we visited yesterday…

Orange cat photo © Jayme Art

I’d like to encourage you to make a difference by:

  • Adopting a companion: http://theshelterpetproject.org/
  • Donating to a local animal rescue organization
  • Fostering a dog or cat
  • Volunteering at a local shelter or rescue organization
  • Sharing this post across all forms of social media and encourage others to participate!

  “Nationwide, only about 20 percent of dogs in homes come from shelters—the rest come from other sources. It would only take a relatively small increase in the adoption rate along with a modest reduction in the birth rate to go a long way toward solving the problem of euthanizing healthy and treatable dogs in many communities.”  ~Humane Society of the United States

Life of a Puppy Mill Dog.    

See the list of other blogs participating here:  http://www.dogrescuesuccess.com/2012/07/please-help-bloggers-unite-for-dog-rescue/

Digital Art

Curious Kitty

 kitty digital painting © Jayme Art

I painted this kitty yesterday using a free version of Sketchbooka program that came with my long-awaited, new graphics tablet.

 Creating art is often challenging, but it’s what I love to do. Finding ways to market my artwork online is the hard part. I’ve been testing and comparing a few of the POD sites lately to see how they operate and if I like them. I’m considering alternative routes to the POD sites as well, like Etsy. Etsy is not a print-on-demand site but a place to: “Buy and sell handmade or vintage items, art and supplies… Etsy, the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace.”
 The high-resolution version of this kitty (and a few other pieces I’m working on) might make nice greeting cards or posters, so I was thinking about having some printed out to sell on Etsy.
 I’ll keep researching.  I think eventually I’ll find the best place for me and a method of selling my art that buyers are happy with. Then I can focus on creating and improving my artwork. (the fun part)
Photos

Public Art in Houston

The exhibit, Circle of Animals/ Zodiac Heads, by artist Ai Weiwei is on display at Hermann Park in Houston, Texas.  (March 3 – June 3)
I took a few photos of his sculptures during our visit and posted them here at my photo blog. Below is one of those pictures with a little color and texture added.

dragon photo art © Jayme Art

Programs & Tools, Video

Intous5 Touch

I’ve been using a Graphire4 for a while. It’s been a really great tablet and I haven’t had any problems with it.  Recently my daughter expressed an interest in using a pen and tablet to draw and create with. Since she was happy with the idea of getting the Graphire,  I began looking for a new tablet.

Wacom Graphire4 Graphics tablet photo © Jayme Art

I basically knew I wanted to stay with Wacom since my experience had been positive so far.  I just needed to decide which model to get. I did read about some other brands available first, just to be sure.

 

After some research, I decided on the Intuos5.

Key features:

  • The multi-touch function supports user-defined shortcuts and conveys a natural feel – simply through multi-touch gestures
  • Focus on your work with the revolutionary Express View display on-screen
  • Gain new freedom via the optional wireless accessory kit
  • Deliberate ergonomics: the new soft-touch surface designed for maximum comfort
  • Highest pen precision: 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and pen tilt for a real pen-on-paper feel
  • Intuitive: up to 8 individually configurable ExpressKeys with new surface feel
  • Efficient: multifunctional Touch Ring with 4 freely programmable functions per application
  • Proven Intuos technology for maximum productivity

Each model can also be made wireless through an add-on called the Intuos 5 Wireless Kit.  It has 5080 lines per inch resolution and comes in the following sizes (active area):

  • Small: 157.5 mm × 98.4 mm; 6.2 in × 3.9 in
  • Medium: 223.5 mm × 139.7 mm; 8.8 in × 5.5 in
  • Large: 325.1 mm × 203.2 mm; 12.8 in × 8.0 in
  • XL: 462 mm × 304.8 mm; 18.2 in × 12.0 in

Since I haven’t purchased a new tablet in such a long time, I missed out on all the previous Intous models. I wasn’t sure whether to get the 4 or 5 at first, but decided on a medium Intous5 for the added touch capabilities. I hope it will last me as long as the Graphire4 (which is still working fine) The new features will take a little time to get used to. I’m sure to like them though, they’ll make some tasks quicker and easier.

The Intous5 comes bundled with these downloadable programs:

Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 10 
Anime Studio® Debut by Smith Micro 
Autodesk® SketchBook® Express  
Nik® Software Color Efex Pro™ 4 Select Edition
 90-day trial of the full version of Corel® Painter™ 12   

I did read how the surface texture on the Intuos and other Wacom models was wearing down nibs at a faster rate. The Graphire in the photo above has a hard, shiny drawing area. The Intuos has a rough, paper-like feel to it.  There are covers available, but for now I found that placing a plastic sheet protector over the drawing area works fine.

Next, I may post a video with it connected showing the features.  Until then, if you’re interested you can watch our exciting unboxing video. :]

Drawing & Art Sites

Make Your Own Comic Strip

Have you ever wanted to make a comic strip

but didn’t want to draw the characters? If it sounds like fun to you, there are a few places online you might want to try.

Pixton is free to join. You can make unlimited comics with posable characters and a variety of props. You can embed, rate, and remix other people’s comics. There’s also a few extra features that come with a paid account.  If you have a WordPress.com blog you wont be able to use the embed feature, but you can add them to your blog via a Vodpod widget in your sidebar.

Comic strip made at Pixton

Strip Generator is another comic making community that’s free to join. They have a quirky set of black and white, static characters and props. Extra theme packs are available for purchase.

strip generator comic by jayme art

The next is Bitstrips. They have posable characters and props like Pixton, as well as other features. Plus, they give you the option to easily post your comic to your blog as an image. Nice for us WP.com users who can’t embed flash.

BitStrips -Guy with a cat Comic strip

If you like the Marvel Super hero type comics, here’s a site where you can create your own comic  using their characters. You can choose the page layout, background, (static) character, props and text. No signup is required and you can print, or download a PDF of your comic.  And a really simple one for the kiddies: ReadWriteThink 

Photos, Video

The Art of Window Display

Window Display Designers are talented professional artists who spend many hours planning and creating appealing and exciting three-dimensional window dressings.  Visual retail merchandising is about designing eye-catching displays, like this swan display at BHLDN, that draw customers into a store.

  BHLDN  recently opened its first brick and mortar store in Houston.

BHLDN-houston

Do creative displays in shop windows work to attract you into a store? Have you seen any memorable window designs you liked?

VMSD- Blog/magazine all about the latest store designs and visual presentations.