At work, I helped out on a project involving CSS, and it reinvigorated my interest in webdesign. Thus, I spent Valentine's evening and into the next day (currently 1:47 AM) improving my design. I stretched out the "Anna Perkins" part of the header and made it stick to the top of the page as you scroll. This sort of thing seems to be in fashion on the internet these days. I separated the navigation bar from this header so that not too much of the screen would be taken up by the sticky header.
I got rid of the gradient on the nav bar. I like the tab animation on hover, but that in combination with the gradient started to seem obtrusive to me. Then, I made some minor tweaks here and there, adjusting widths of floating divs, improving mobile compatibility, etc.
I finished an oil painting just before the new year, but I am waiting until I finish the next one to upload it so that I can fill up a new page (rather than having to shift everything over a spot). Next, I think I will paint a self-portrait. At school, the professors always made us do at least one self-portrait a year, and since then I've only produced one self-portait, the oil painting with my pets in 2018 (which is now even more special to me since my parents are selling the house). I didn't make any self-portraits in 2019 - really, I didn't paint any human faces at all in 2019 - so I'd like to do one this year. I plan to start tomorrow, er, today...
Posted on: February 15, 2020Continue Reading
New Music and Paintings
This year, I delved into the world of music production. I really missed a cappella and chorus, and I wanted to keep arranging and singing - the problem was, I no longer had a group to perform with! While I couldn't replace the joy of singing with other people, I still wanted a place to be musically creative. Upon researching, I realized that it wouldn't cost me that much money to purchase my own recording equipment. The microphone, headphones, preamp, cables, and mic stand together cost me around $350, and I used a free digital audio workstation. Arranging and recording were pretty straightforward for me, since I had prior experience, but the producing...that was a steep learning curve. I learned a lot about mixing from YouTube, and eventually I finished my first song, a cover of Eet by Regina Spektor. I like the way it turned out, but obviously there was room for improvement - I needed to record louder to minimize background noise, I needed to leave a half-second or two empty at the beginning to prevent a jarring playback, etc.
My new song, a mashup of Lizzo's Cuz I Love You and Regina Spektor's Fidelity (yes, Regina Spektor again), took me a lot less time and turned out a lot cleaner. I went through a lot of iterations, polling friends and family for feedback, and I'm feeling pretty confident about it at this point. Of course, it can never truly be perfect when one is not willing to pay for an autotune plugin, but I like the realness of no pitch-correction. I like my voice, and if I miss a note, I prefer to re-record, rather than manipulate in the mix.
In other news, I have added my acrylic painting, Bubbles, to the acrylic page. The bismuth crystal painting to the right is an oil painting I did of a bismuth crystal given to me by a friend who crystallized it himself.
Posted on: November 16, 2019Continue Reading
6"x6" Reveal: Cat on Quilt
My painting for the annual RoCo 6"x6" is revealed! I was inspired by my cat, Jasper, and this quilt (also featured in Assembly, 2017) that I found at a secondhand store. Click the image for a larger view. Someone bought it on opening night, which certainly boosted my ego. I'm actually amazed someone bought it so soon, considering it was in the back room, in the corner, and at the bottom near the floor. Took me a while to find it in there. I used Golden Open Acrylics for this painting, my first time in a few years painting with acrylics. Of course, now that I work so much with acrylics for my job, I will certainly be experimenting with more acrylic materials.
Open Acrylics are slower-drying than typical acrylics, making them a good choice for slow workers like myself and oil painters who may be looking for an acrylic compromise. In the low humidity of January, I found they dried fairly quickly, and I dismissed them. I found that when I tried them again in February/March, they were slower-drying, and to my pleasant surprise, I could leave them out overnight with no problem. Actually, once I mixed all the colors I would need for this painting and finished my first session, I covered them with plastic wrap and didn't come back to them for a week - still wet! Thicker puddles take forever to dry, so your colors on the palette will stay wet, while your thin strokes on your painting substrate will dry in the span of a few hours (of course, depending on the humidity). While they don't feel or behave at all like oil paints, Open Acrylics eliminate a big drawback for me of using acrylics - drying time.
Posted on: August 12, 2018Continue Reading