TRICK OR TREAT!

Eva-and-her-Bird-on-halloween-charr-crailThere is no book or story to read as the title alludes to.  That’s the TRICK in the Trick or Treat.  The TREAT is this art piece inspired by Edward Gorey and his gothic take on the darker side of life.  I love his work.  One day while allowing the muses to play I drew the strange woman standing in the foreground with her bat-like hat.  The rest of this image was found and added piece by piece over a few weeks.  I don’t think one has ever taken this long to fully arrive.  It was close on that first day but I knew something was missing and I simply had to have the nerve to wait and watch for it.  And wait and watch I did.

The bits and pieces were captured during daily doings.   The old victorian buildings were found on a stroll through Midtown.  The birdhouse and an actual fledgling bird showed up during a backyard garden party at a friends house.  Finally, on a typical grocery shopping trip, the skeletons appeared.

The point of this?  The bits and pieces are everywhere.  Even if you are doing the most mundane things at the seemingly most normal places the extraordinary will show itself.  Being aware of your surroundings and allowing the muses to guide you is the first half of the battle.  The second and most important half is taking up the challenge and stopping to capture the ideas that present themselves.

You are Loved, the Music Video

You Are Loved, a Collaboration:  Something created by working jointly with another or others.

Chris:  “Baby Cakes, let’s make a music video, will you do the artwork for it?”        Charr:  “Yes, I will snookie pie!”

And so began this music video collaboration with my extraordinary husband Chris Goslow who wrote this beautiful song “You Are Loved”.  It’s on his album of love songs“I Love You”.  Special thanks to Larisa Bryski who brought her extraordinary talents on piano and such beautiful vocals to the song!  It’s a great collaboration all the way around.

And yes, Chris really does call me Baby Cakes and I call him Snookie Pie.  🙂  I joke that if we ever begin a company together we can call it Cake and Pie– even though we don’t bake!  But we sure do cook in our own special way- creatively through music, art and love.   When Chris came to me with the idea of turning this song into a music video using my art as the visual backdrop and I love shooting flowers and making art and time-lapse pieces it seemed like a good fit.  Some of the flowers in the video are local to California and some from as far away as Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.  The time-lapse imagery was captured using my iPad and a favorite app.  I think it’s fascinating when you get an insiders view stroke by stroke of an art piece being created.

To me this song is a true anthem.  An anthem of love and the richness and beauty of who we are.  I think this is such a beautiful reminder of the good in the world I wanted to share it with you.  I hope you know that you too are loved, more than you will ever know.  🙂 You can Watch the Video Here.

As the end of summer nears and we are back to a fall and soon winter schedule I hope you are making the most of your life and embracing the love all around you with family and friends.   There is much to be grateful for.  I am grateful for you and thank you in advance for taking the time to watch this video, listen to the moving words of this song and enjoy the artwork created just for this.  We are both, Chris and I, are eager to share this beautiful collaboration with everyone possible and share the message of heartfelt love.  Please feel free to forward to someone you love and share the message with them as well.

The release of the video happened to coincide with the tragic loss of Robin Williams, to whom the song has been dedicated by Chris Goslow who wrote this beautiful song.

Flirty Bantam, the Movie!

Not too long ago I posted about the super fun Flirty Bantam I met at the California State Fair and was inspired to create an art piece of.  Well, here he is again– but different! Lately I’ve been toying with making movies from some of my iPad art pieces– capturing them in progress.  Chris, my amazing musical husband, has begun writing original music for me for them, which thrills me!  Now I’m even more inspired to keep this series called “The Making of…” going and posting them for you to see.  Of course my intention, as always, is to inspire people, possibly to create their own art.  I’m someone who loves the behind the scenes view so this is kind of what I’m creating. “The Making of…” series is the literal process I go through when creating an art piece–  specifically the ones I create on my iPad because I’m able to record the process.

flirty bantam charr crail ipad artist

In a long series of small moves you can see how this image, Flirty Bantam, went from something pretty plain in a pretty messy and bleak location.  I was shooting through the bars of the birds cage with my iPhone. When I looked back at what I had captured what inspired me about this charming bird was his attitude, his bravado.  And I loved his profile body stance with his head tuned directly my way.  Finally, the capper– his intense and steady gaze. Sold!  I knew he had to be immortalized.

This kind of image transformation is being able to see beyond the obvious.  It’s about taking a few steps forward in the minds eye to conceive of a new realm of possibility for the image you are working with.  Sometimes it takes courage to imagine something new, elevated, different.  In my experience the minds eye never lies.  It’s tough to capture what the minds eye may reveal in the form of a vision or a brief insight perhaps and it may take a bit of practice.   But if you’re open to it it is always a great guide into what can come next.  It has many many times led me to just the right place– or at the very least just the right starting point.

Thoughts?  Comments?

Watch The Making of Flirty Bantam HERE.

Do you want to expand your creativity?  Do you want to learn more about making amazing art on your mobile devices like your iPad?  Do you want to learn Adobe Photoshop?  Beginners and pro’s welcome!  Check out my workshops here.  If you have any questions at all please get in touch!  Be sure to sign up for my Newsletter too and get your free gist as well as being the first to know about special events and classes.

 

iPad Artist, see the image transform!

cre·a·tiv·i·ty   [kree-ey-tiv-i-tee]

And the Clock Ran Away With a Swoon…

Heaven, I’m in heaven… My iPad allows me to float dreamily in the realm of creativity wherever and whenever using nothing more than my finger and a few truly artful and dazzling apps.  Just last weekend I was at an antique shop in Santa Cruz and photographed the clock face in this image with my cell phone.  I love capturing interesting images and textures with my cell phone everywhere I go.  It makes great fodder for my works of art.  I never know what I might need or what will inspire me in the moment so I keep collecting. Later that day I had a yen to draw and somehow the two images– my drawing and the golden clock– arrived into the same piece together and it worked.  I think this piece took a couple of hours of noodling this direction and that to get to where I felt it was complete.  You just kinda know.

There are definitely techniques involved, knowing the quirks of the apps and how to get something particular done.  One app does this, another does that.  I’ve spent countless hours learning it all via experience and just trying things out.   And I’ve tried more apps than you can imagine.  I’m especially fond of the ones that give me some actual control and allow me to manipulate the image.  The one click wonders mostly leave me cold.  But there are a few that do such special things that they sometimes become ones I can’t live without–  but those are rare.

In my iPad class I will reveal to students just what I do, how I do it, which stylus I use (there are several) and my favorite apps for creating some pretty cool art pieces!  Are you ready to sign up?  sign up for my email list to be the first to know and if you have questions please drop me a line.  I’d love to chat with you and learn what you are up to and see if I can help you in any way!  charr@charrcrail.com.

On a more personal note when I was putting this video together I asked my brilliant husband (www.chrisgoslow.com) if he would write me a piano piece as the soundtrack.  Within one hour there it was, this gorgeous piece of music!  I’m so lucky!  Gorgeous original music created to order!  Heaven, I’m in heaven…

Here is the final image.  I used three apps to create this image.  Titled:  “And the Clock Ran Away With a Swoon”.

andtheclockranawaywithaswoon-charr-crail

The iPad Artist

Here are two brand new digital paintings created over the last couple of days from cell phone images I shot at the 2014 California State Fair in the Fur & Feathers exhibit.  The animals are always are so amazing and I was especially struck by these two beauties– a rooster and a bantam.  Seems like there is great potential for art everywhere I look and even if I don’t have my pro camera with me I know I can capture and create something anytime and anywhere!   You can see the before and afters in the image here.

charr-crail-rooster-bantam-duo

Creating digital art is a realm I am completely passionate about. It’s so great to see someone of David Hockney’s caliber making art on his iPad!  Hockney is a world renown artist from Great Britain and his influence is felt all over the art world.  Early on he started making art using apps on his iPhone and iPad. Personally, I love seeing such an important artist embracing the digital art realm and breathing life into this fresh corner of the world of art this way.  In a recent article he was asked where he saw the art world going.  He said “I don’t know where it’s going, really, who does? But art will be there.”  Yes, and art always has been there since the beginning of man–  we humans have always sought ways to create.

So, it makes me think.  Art is expression and no matter the medium it’s an expression that speaks, often loudly.  From practical invention to object of joy.

I love an original one of a kind piece of art.  But even more I love the minds eye that speaks through an artist.  iPad, napkin, scratch paper, recording, oil, pastel, clay, word, marble, sound, food…  Does the medium really matter?  Art makes you feel.  No matter the vehicle used to express the singular point of view the artist speaks, reveals, sings–  in their own unique voice.

Art is something that never previously existed and now because a creative soul pushed past fear or hesitation, confusion,  rapture, spirit or joy and brought an idea to life.   That intangible, now captured in some form, exists.

To the brave creative souls of this world– I thank you for I have been moved by you.

You can read more about artist David Hockney in two separate and really interesting articles– One on Huffington Post and the others the NYT blog.

If you’re interested in learning more about creating art with apps I’m teaching a workshop about it — creating art on the iPad and iPhone called The iPad Artist.  You can learn more about it HERE and sign up too!  For the first five people who do sign up I’m cutting the price in half!  Be one of the first five and join this amazing digital realm of art at your fingertips– whenever, wherever inspiration strikes! SIGN UP!

Zenjoyable.com Interview with Moi!

I knew I talked fast when happy, passionate or excited.  What I didn’t know is just how fast.  Now I do!  I recently did an interview with Chamira Young, the brains behind a wonderful photography website–  Zenjoyable.com — and oh goodness I talk fast!  Chamira is a brilliant host and does these remarkable podcast interviews with some of the coolest photographers in the business.  There is such depth of knowledge and points of view about all aspects of this creative business.  What a great honor to be chosen!  She and I had a fun and lively conversation covering all kinds of things related to being a professional photographer and the business of it.  You can listen to my interview podcast with her HERE. Please leave me comments here too.  I’d love to know what you thought– crazy fast talking and all!  🙂

zenjoyabl charr crail

App Art!

This video is all about examples of what you can do by sharing some of my own art created solely on my iPad.  Amazing and endless possibilities for artistic expression using a bounty of fabulous apps.  Use your photos, make drawings and embellish from there. Use your finger or a stylus.  It’s a world of extraordinary creativity in your hands at anytime and anywhere you go.  Amazing creativity at your fingertips!  Wanna take a workshop and learn how to do this crazy fun stuff?  Sign up for my email and I’ll be sending out info about the next class happening very soon!

SUMMER WORKSHOPS ANNOUNCED!

So excited to announce my SUMMER WORKSHOPS 2014!

The first two summer workshops have been scheduled! (There are a couple more workshops coming too–Retouching and an iPad class! I’ll be keeping you posted the moment the dates are announced on those as well.)  

It’s been kinda awesome on my end developing and fine tuning these courses.  I never tire of the creativity Photoshop offers and love teaching it to others so they can experience the same kind of delight in the artistry and practicality of this powerful tool.  My personal commitment is to get you comfy from the bottom up with this tool and all you can do with it– from the basics of making a picture look good to the fabulous realm of artistic expression that is possible. 

As with all of my courses my aim is to share everything I know to help you learn and apply the tools and these courses are carefully crafted to do just that.   You can visit the main Workshop page to see the courses currently listed.  Below you’ll find links to the specific pages for the ones currently scheduled.  If you have any questions at all please get in touch and I’ll gladly answer any question you have.  

crash-course-charr-crailThe Photoshop Crash Course– This is a three session hands-on course designed to give you a deep dive into the fundamentals of Adobe Photoshop, it’s interface, tools and practical application. You’ll learn the useful tools needed and how to make your pictures look great whether you are printing them or posting online.  This course is broken into three parts to make it easier to learn, to practice and retain all the rich information you’ll be receiving in this really fun hands-on class.  You’ll experience and discover many wonderful new ways you can enhance your photographs!  Elements users welcome too!  Visit the Workshop Page to learn more about this great entry-level course.

 

designlayout-charr-crail

Graphic Design & Layout in Photoshop.  This three session hands-on course is specifically designed and paced to give you easy entry into the incredibly useful and increasingly important world of creating great layouts using Adobe Photoshop and all it’s wonderful built in tools of the trade.  Photoshop isn’t just for making pictures look good.  It has a vast set of tools for the designer in you and you can access and create more than you may have dreamed of right there.  Visit the Workshop Page to learn more about this really amazing and useful course.

Beautiful Strangers & Inspiration Happens

imageHas this happened to you?  You see a face in the crowd and are inspired. Something about them gets your immediate attention…  An expression, the quality of light showing off fine features… something intangible. Meet Jadice– who was once a beautiful stranger to me with just such a face.  Chris and I went to a movie premier yesterday and on our way out I saw this beautiful girl doing a selfie with a friend.  Though I walked out of the theatre I had to quickly double back and introduce myself. Moments later we were outside in good light and with my iPhone in hand to do a few quick pictures!   So here is the artistic fruit of an impromptu photo session with a beautiful and unexpected model. Shot with an iPhone, turned into art using an iPad, three different apps and four different pictures combined to create this art piece.

Why it wasn’t done traditionally?  You may wonder why I didn’t use my big pro Canon SLR camera and Adobe Photoshop program and technique on my computer instead of my iPad.   Jadice was there, I had an iPhone, there was the urgency of inspiration.  It’s the same reason Lincoln wrote down his most famous speech – the Gettysburg Address– on an envelope.  It was handy.   And the reason JK Rowling jotted down her first ideas for the Harry Potter books on a napkin while she was riding a train.  OK, I am NOT comparing my iPad art to some of the greatest minds!  The point is ideas happen, they happen fast.  It happens to us all at one time or another… 

INSPIRATION HAPPENS!  It’s fleeting, it goes so fast and we must capture it while it’s there.  Even on an envelope, a napkin or an iPhone. There may be traditionalists lurking out there but notice lately just how much a mainstream art expression our cell phones have become simply by looking at Instagram with all of it’s built in filters and ways of making pictures look extra groovy!  AND iPhone pictures get published in some of the biggest newspapers in the country!  Here’s an example slide show link with wonderful iPhone pictures by photojournalist Michael Williamson— two time Pulitzer Prize winner.  Slide Show:  The Washington Post, Michael Williamson.  

Whatever world of self expression you’re living or working in what really matters is getting it, capturing the moment, allowing the flow and letting art happen.  Feeling it, expressing it and not worrying about how to do it– just reach for the first available thing and get the idea down, the image captured. You can go back later and refine till your hearts content.  I happen to like refining on my iPad in the toned down quiet of a late night.  It has a very different feel from sitting at the workstation in a more business mind mode.  It’s more relaxed attitude and the plethora of interesting apps allows a different kind of creative exploration.   Not better, not freer, just different.

There’s a place for all of it and we, The Creatively Insatiable, appreciate that!

Be sure to sign up for my mailing list– upper right.  You’ll get free original art and you’ll be the first to know when my summer workshops are scheduled!  I’ll be teaching an App Art class too and you won’t want to miss it!

 

App-solutely! App-mo-sphere to Blog-o-sphere. Loving Creating App Art!

App-solutely!  App-mo-sphere to Blog-o-sphere.  App Art!

I LOVE Apps! I have so many of them they take up massive space on my iPhone and iPad. But I LOVE them!  There are incredible things out there for the creatively insatiable like us.

I’m a digital artist… duuuuh. But I have found some amazing apps that I think are brilliant and monster kudos to their creators who took their time and brilliant genius to get them into the app store so I can do and create ridiculously cool things even while in a coffee shop sipping deliciousness or waiting for whatever while chilling in a warm breeze on a park bench.

Perhaps late night insomnia has kicked in and you just finished a game of Words with Friends so the tools are right in your hands to create something artistic.  I’ve even posted some of my favorite self-portraits created during bouts of minor insomnia on instagram.   I usually hashtag it insomnia.  But really it’s simply a late night bursting forth of creativity and with device in hand and I succumb.  *BTW, I’m working on an APP CLASS I’ll be launching soon too so be sure to get on the mailing list and be the first to know.  🙂  (Sign up top right!)

This particular image is a hybrid of one brilliant app and a pretty amazing website I was turned onto– mrdoob–  http://www.mrdoob.com I did this drawing awhile ago on mrdoob and saved it to my photo stream so I could open it later in various apps. Then I opened it in Phototropedelic to add more artsy elements.  Phototropedelic is a super hippie flavored App that makes me insanely happy.  Simply do a little button and numbers selecting in there and bingo bongo BOOM.  Phototropodelic reminds me of Peter Max, one of my all time favorite artists.  Another is Erté.  Of course the two could not be more opposite.  Art is entirely subjective anyway.   And why am I suddenly singing Sly Stone Everyday People in my head?  🙂

OK, back to the image– In this case I did later open it up in Adobe Photoshop where I dialed in some color and a did few more minor adjustments. Though most of the time for app art I do it all entirely in apps.  You can too!

I keep learning more and more each day as I play with these fabulous tools and criss cross them all over the place.  It’s easy, it’s fun and the creative possibilities are mind-boggling.  I like to create for joy, don’t you? It’s also how I learn. Trying things out, seeing what will happen.  WHAT IF… That’s the game.  If you haven’t yet why not play it with me? I’d love to see what you’re “app” to, please share and I just may post it here! xxxooo  I’ll keep you posted on the app class too!

Interested in learning super cool stuff?  I teach wonderful classes/workshops all about photos.  

Sign up for my email list and get great stuff too.  You’ll get FIVE of my original art pieces turned into gorgeous wallpapers you can use on all your devices, be first to know about my upcoming classes/workshops and read The Legacy Project updates focusing on amazing people who make a difference in the world!  Sign up upper right!  ——>