Monday, August 25, 2008

I love Photoshop

I love Photoshop. It makes bad photographers good. Every pro photographer alive uses photoshop before they show you any proofs. If they say they don't they are lying or they are not telling you the truth. Here is an example of a photo I took 2 years ago and it is the naked truth- straight out of the camera. Or SOOC. I didn't need the background to be good as I was shooting this for a painting anyway, which turned out great. She was sitting on my daughter's dresser which had a bunch of junk on it and a crooked poster of Cinderella on the wall. I got rid of that with a PS paintbrush.
Next, I jacked up the color and blurred out the edges with the layers function. That is always real fun. Jacking up color and blurring edges. I try to do that when I cook, too.
Cropping is the single most important thing to do in a photo. If you have a bad composition or someone's hand is in the way, cropping will make it all better. If you have a headache, cropping will take care of that, too. I know, I had a headache this morning and I thought, "Advil or cropping?" I chose cropping.
Here is a different crop. It is square. See how beautiful Photoshop is? I love to make things black and white. It hides a myriad of photography flaws. If you see a photographer who doesn't ever do color, that is a big sign that he stinks. Just kidding, or not, just kidding. Now go back to the first photograph and see how stinky I was until I did some Photoshop.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's in a Name?

Okay. The name of my blog is Morgen Thruston. Because I am not very clever and that is a good enough name to have. But my family should have some anonymity. So to make it fun and cute and easier to type I am going to give you a run down of my Monkeys' names:

Monkey #1 is Junior because he is named after my man and although I never call my husband by his name, it is just not a cute name and we are trying to be cute, right. We never call him Junior but everyone else does. He is 21 and on a mission right now and so I don't see him much, okay ever, and I just don't write about him, okay? But he comes home December 18th, YAY! Then I will write about the crazy things he does. Maybe we will change his name to College Boy.

Monkey #2 is Married Girl. It was Wedding Girl but since she got married it just didn't seem right. She is only 19 and she's amazing and sweet and talented. She works at a hair salon so go get your hair done by her so she can have some money and move out of my guest house. Just kidding about the moving out thing. I love her to be there. I hardly ever see her at all. Her LAUNDRY on the other hand I see every day. I think I need to buy her a washer and dryer, and some shelves in her closet would be nice.

Monkey #2 1/2 is Married Boy. He married my daughter. He is not officially my monkey but he is accident prone and golden and his children will be my grandchildren so that makes him practically blood. He is also smart as crud and fluent in Spanish and handsome. So, I'll take him.

Monkey #3 is Rex eats Chex. It used to be I-man but he decided this year he was too big to be called I-man. He went to EFY and they gave him this name. Now even his best friend of 12 years calls him Rex. He is all by himself in this sea of girl monkeys. He is really a MONKEY. That boy can flip and pike and tuck and somersault like no other. When he was little I thought he would break his neck. Seriously. He is 15 going on 25.

Monkey #4 is Mini Me. The End. She is exactly like me only organized. Just think how dangerous I would be if I were organized. I would be like Martha Stewart. Only practical and very funny and better looking. That is MM. She wants to be a news anchor. I think she will, too. She is in all advanced classes in school and the other kids look at her papers to try and cheat. Yeah, that's my Mini Me. I remember that. Anyway, she did most of the planning for Married girl's wedding and she is 12! She put together a planning book and did maps and diagrams on the computer. Sometimes, she's a little scary.

Monkey #5 is ....... okay I don't have a cute nickname. Only a dumb one. Peeka. It is short for Pikachu from the Pokemon game and Pikachu is so cute, like her. So maybe you can help me out and give me a new nickname for her. She is very talented and like me. Only she is nicer and is better at making friends. She is like Mini Me but softer and 10. And more patient. I love that about her.

Monkey #6 is Art Girl. Okay, all my girls are very artistic but Art Girl will spend 3 hours wrapping a present. She will make the most unconscionable messes involving art I have ever seen. Paint doesn't come out of things. I have marker on almost every surface in my house. She has a pile 3 feet high in her closet. Yeah, I gave her that ability. But she is good. I think she will be a professional artist when she is about 15. She is 7 now.

Monkey #7 is Bee. She is only called that a few times, she has so many names we can't pick just one. But they all start with the letter B so MM and I just call her B. She is 5 and apparently too big to be homeschooled. I wanted to homeschool her this year but my man registered her for kindergarten without my knowledge and she was so happy. I couldn't un-enroll her. She loves school.

Monkey #8 is the littlest monkey and her name is Fifi. She is adorable and funny and little. Like 10th percentile little. She reminds me of my grandma who was barely 5 feet tall. And she runs every where she goes. That girl started walking and within a week she was running and she was been running ever since. She loves to climb on things, things she has no business climbing on. She also gives kisses a lot. I saw her kiss the mustard bottle a couple of times. Her new favorite word is "No". Don't you love babies?

My husband is not a monkey. He is very forgiving. And a little abrupt. When we were dating, my mom, sister and I thought we would call him "How Rude" instead of Howard and see if he noticed. He never did. So that is the only nickname he has ever had other than "Honey" or "Dad". So I will shorten to H. He wants me to make his nick name "Stud Man" but I think that would make the other men out there with only 7 or fewer kids feel bad. He thinks he is virile. "How Rude"!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Now what?

Well, I decided I had better get cracking on the "LDS International Church Art Competition" thing. I thought I would be clever and make a wood panel with Claussens linen on top. I sanded the wood and carefully glued the canvas to the wood. Everything went as it was supposed to. Until I lifted it up and saw bubbles AND lifted off pieces of oil primer. AAUUGGHH! I can't even get my head around trying to fix it and my art teacher Sarah (the best teacher ever) said to cut that part off and use it for something else. Wasn't that so wise of her? No worries, it's just art. But I am so stressed out over it. What if I am not accepted AGAIN? I will seriously have a melt down. Or eat chocolate. Mmmmm chocolate.
So, Friday, I drove 500 miles to the art store (okay, only 15 miles) and bought the same boring canvas I always buy to paint on. It is Centurion pre-stretched linen canvas. Also, it is a little too nubby for me but it was all they had.
Here is my surface. That's not my youthful hand. It's my 10 year old monkey's. She has beautiful hands. And I have been painting her painting for 2 years. Sorry, honey.
Here is the drawing. After I drew on the canvas, I made a copy with some acetate because I am so nervous I want to make sure I can go back to my drawing if I mess up. I don't know why, it's not a commision and it's not like anyone is going to say,"Oh my, Great-great grandma Louisa didn't look like that when she was 5!" I am actually making the whole thing up.
Here is my beautiful hand drawing on the acetate. It is a good thing to do if you are nervous. Computer geeks back up their hard drives all the time so I can back up my drawing. I hope I get it done in time. The deadline is October 10th. Just in case you want to see what I'm up against, here is a link to the Lds Church Museum. Some LDS artists have the courtesy of not entering in it anymore like Greg Olsen and William Whitaker. Now they are the judges. Uh, no pressure. But Leon Parson, Robert Barrett, Mike Malm, and Liz Lemon Swindle are probably going to enter so I just have to be that much better.
Here is something I have never done before. I drew over the pencil with a SHARPIE! I know, I know, you are thinking, "But Morgen, won't the sharpie show through?" Well, I hope not, but I was worried that my drawing would disappear even though I made a back up drawing on my acetate. I'm real nervous. And persnickity. It has to look just so. If I get distortion I would crawl under my bed and suck my thumb.

Here is the first layer with just the flesh tones. It looks like she has a bruise or red smudge on her forhead but that is just the photo. It doesn't look like that in real life. Wish me luck. I will post each new stage as it gets done. Then you can see how a painting progresses... or not, in my case.
And feel free to send me your comments. I am not a sensitive painter, you can critique all you want. Just don't critique my cooking, that's getting personal.