Sunday, October 12, 2008

Time to catch up...

My Whirl Wind week is over...we took my sis to the airport today and this afternoon is the first time Ive had to sit down and make a blog...since the show in Atlanta. I am so proud of my son and his hard work..and he got a promotion at work, he is now in manager of the fitness center..so he is climbing the ladder!

We had a wonderful week, going non stop and enjoyed a fabulous time...I miss sis so much already and her plane hasnt landed yet!...But this is the way of todays families to be scattered to the 4 corners of the planet. We had a wonderful time at the beach it was so refreshing to be by the sea again...and during off season with cheap rates even Better!..We got a wonderful suite for 1/2 price..at the Palms Resort. We had a couple of nice beach walks, we played put- put golf, we went shopping, we dined out, we hit the hot tub, the heated indoor and the heated outdoor pools, we had coffee while relaxing on the lounge chairs and listening to the waves crash...it was perfect.

I took a walk early on Thursday morning hoping to catch the sunrise but dark thunderheads had crept in during the night and all I saw was a pink tint for a few minutes then the black clouds rolled in threatening but it never rained! The fishermen were out in force and kites were flying it was Great!...many Canadians this time of year and no screaming kids, thank goodness for "after labor day" for those of us who have raised our families and dont really want to deal with all the teens and crying babies...Relaxing---it was no lines, no traffic, no problem!...

We headed down to Huntington Beach State Park before we left and enjoyed seeing tons of egrets, woodstorks, alligators, crabs, fish, its a great place to explore.

NOW Ive got one week to get my artwork finished and thats the last thing on my plate between me and the perfect fall weather which I want to get out in and begin digging. Im hoping to get my new garden ground turned before it turns cold...so lots of work to be done there. Im sorry I know Ive missed a lot of blogs there is no way I can go back and read them all so Ill begin to catch up as I can...I missed all your great photos and stories! Ive been trying to get some of my photos uploaded to Flickr...and just winding down from a perfect week. Here are some thumbnails of our travels.

JTs n BeACH 162 JTs n BeACH 169

JTs n BeACH 199 JTs n BeACH 211

BEACH WALK 2 099 BEACH WALK 2 065

BEACH WALK 2 113 JTs n BeACH 191

BEACH WALK 2 185 BEACH WALK 2 274

BEACH WALK 2 312 BEACH WALK 2 316

BEACH WALK 2 337 BEACH WALK 2 328

BEACH WALK 2 359 BEACH WALK 2 385

BEACH WALK 2 427

Sunday, October 5, 2008

the Atlanta Supernaturals..


Im having a cup of java in my motel and trying out the Wi Fi...its in n out I like the laptop for convience but the keyes are hard to find...I keep typing like this majgnlahugieah then

having to start over...here are a few pics from the show...Thats my son in the red trunks...and his trophy for 4th place..he was so tired and dehydrated... They go through this dehydration thing before the show....I will be posting all the photos I took when I get to my sisters I dont want to put all of them in this laptop.. My son goes in drug tested shows only! Im so proud of HIM, he works so hard to keep his body in this perfect condition. Those of us who dont are all to aware of the amount of work and discipline it takes to get to and keep this kind of body. Proud Mom here! :o)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Picture Perfect Rhyme Time

Picture Perfect Rhyme Time

A new day dawns
Brisk & cool
"Wake up, wake up"
"Yeah, I'm talking to you"
Grab your tripod, your coat & boots
You gotta come see
This frosty Blue Dew

Blue Dew

A foggy-cool morning turned out to be a fun thing wednesday when I got out before 7 am and caught the first light and enjoyed the briskness of the morning...dew was on everything as if it had just rained. These tall fall ageratum's glistened like sapphires!..

Camera:Kodak Z712 IS Zoom
Exposure:0.05 sec (1/20)
Aperture:f/6.3
Focal Length:70.2 mm
ISO Speed:200
Exposure Bias:0/3 EV
Flash:Flash did not fire

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just Ask For It~

ITs cold!...I have to make a trip to Kmart to get some sweat pants for this upcoming weekend...Im not a jeans person, I have them and I wear them but they are too rigid and uncomfortable for me, and last yr at the end of the season I finally threw out the sweat pants I had worn for the past 8 yrs...they were worn OUT and I knew if I didnt get rid of them Id wear them yet another yr...so now its time to get some. Thats pretty trivial but its whats on my mind today. Also on my mind today are the revisions Im working on to get my new line ready to show at the quilt show in Houston later this month. I do get flustered...at first on the one I call the Mask...I left the background open, just the Masks sitting on a background nothing filling up the open space..so they said there is too much dead space...so I added elements to fill up the dead space...now 4 weeks later they are saying Open it up a bit....GRRRRRRRRRR. Some of the changes have to do with resizing but some are quite major. And they want me to make 2 brand new prints...so Ive got a lot of work to do and right here while Big sis is coming for a visit and Im going to be out of town quite a bit. They had these designs before I ever went to Colorado..BUT now they want me to rush...I hate that but it seems that is the way it is so when I get back from K-Mart with my sweat pants...Ill be working this afternoon. I get very tense when Im doing revisions...because thats not coming from my head...it is working under direction. I already allowed the creative juice to flow when I created the designs...they look them over and they see it through totally fresh eyes and they see things they want to change. ITs very different to work from within and from outside. I get tense, my neck hurts, and it takes longer to do the revisions than to start from scratch..and when Im creating I go to the zone, you know that place where nothing exists except me, myself, and I. So today Im asking for guidance to help me make these designs to the liking of my constiuents...to make the job easier and better for all involved so everyone is pleased and fulfilled, and balanced.

I got this cool lap top. Ive mentioned it but here it is for you to see. Its not a brand new one but it works perfectly. I thought of loading Photoshop on it to use while Im away but I dont think Ill need to do that I am confident I can get all my revisions done even tho sis is here visiting. BUT imagine how this thing just dropped into my lap. Lap Top Drop...lol. DID I tell ya this before, if I did Im sorry to be repeating myself..over in a yahoo group Im in someone else mentioned a laptop coming into their life and NO money exchanged for it...and thats kinda what happened here. When I was visiting in Colorado I was taking so many photos..and my sister's PC is still running Win ME. And there was no software to download my photos. I tried to download the Kodak Software online, but got an error the Explorer she has...(5.0) was too old Update it, couldnt update to 7.0 due to Windows ME not supported...so it was a catch 22. I tried everything I could think of to get those photos out of my camera...took it to Walmart tried to put them on a disc and there system went down..we were on the way to Utah and had stopped in Glenwood Springs to do this...Well I ended up buying 2 more 2G SD chips instead. They had a promo 2 for $24 great deal...so anyway I now had enough storage for my photos. When we returned from Utah I wanted so much to see my photos on a screen but couldnt. Later that day my sisters friend who was also letting me use her little bungalow came in for one night on her way to Denver. While we were out she sneaked in to do a load of laundry at my sisters and she left something for me. We found this laptop in the living room when we returned...so we thought she left it there by accident...WHEN I went to thank her for letting me use her bungalow and give her back her laptop...she said "ITS YOURS IF YA WANT IT"...at first I said "YOUR KIDDING" but she wasnt...So it took me only a hour to get it updated, and to get my camera hooked to it and we were enjoying a great slideshow of all our vacation photos!..Ask and you shall receive..but be ready for the outcome, make sure you are clear on what you want.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lines on a page...


Art reflects life. I always enjoy creating from the bottom up. I love to draw but it has to come from inside...sit with pencil and begin. I have never sat before a sight and tried to draw it. Most of the time my art tells a story. There is always more behind the pencil than just lines connected on paper to create an image. Art reflects whats going on inside my spirit and soul. My drawing pad looks more like a scribble pad...I never did enjoy 'Painting' or adding color...too messy and took so much time, If I had a stuido maybe yes. But with no place to leave things out and having to clean up behind myself every time I painted I never really got into that. (my son did, and I cleaned up behind him..lol ) I did use acrylic pens at one time, and that was pretty easy, just put the pens away...but the pens are expensive as are oils and acrylics, and supplies. So I began to use software to complete my art/drawings. This one pictured here was inspired by my feelings or spiritual connection to Machu Picchu. I call this print the Lost Ponies of Machi Picchu. The main problems I had with this print was getting it to repeat, so it could be used for fabric designs. I did however after 3 weeks of work on this one print get it to repeat and it looks wonderful...its currently under consideration for development by Fabric Editions, I sent them some
2nd draft samples last week. So that drawing was the inspiration for my newest line called
Chi Chi...(Chi Chi is the central market where all goods are brought to be swapped or sold in the villages of old like Machu Picchu) Here is the final draft of the Ponies of Machi Picchu.


Lost Ponies of Machu Picchu


For the color I went about creating my pallett of colors that jumped out at me many of which are new for me, like the purple...not a color Im comfortable with but it works very good here. I call it Regal due to the Royal-ness of it. The other lead pattern for his collection is the Masquerade. Masks were used/worn in ceremony in the Myan and Incan Civilizations.


Masquarade



"All rights belong to S. Hickman all artwork is the property of S.Hickman any reproduction or use is prohibited without permission or license."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Who's Counting?

Actually Im only 54 yrs and one day...if you get down to brass tacks. This week is the "hurry and gets things ready week"...First off my son cancelled his Boone, NC contest so he could do the one in Atlanta this Saturday and thats where Ill be headed early Saturday morning and we have a motel for the night...then from there its on to Greenville. All the Wallings (Me, Mom, Lil Sis, and Big Sis is flying in too) are celebrating our birthdays together...mine was today, Lil sis is on Wednesday, Mom's is Saturday and Big sis is in January but we are gonna surprise her and have it a wee bit early...we never get to be with her on her birthday..On Monday we leave Greenville to come here and then midweek we plan to take off for the beach if there is no rain in the forecast, for one overnight. Then back here and she flies out of Charlotte next Sunday...so a busy week coming up. I hope we can find gas...still have stations out of gas, or short on gas.

Anyways I got busy and printed out some of my art designs and made some gift wrap! It was kinda fun and meditational to not think about anything except what was right in front of me. One I made into a small gift bag..and the others I just printed and wrapped it like any other wrap paper. ITS definitely one of a kind.

This one I printed and then cut it out...I wrapped the gift in brown paper. I used some cool yarn to make the bridle and tail..attached it with double sided tape! We made Big sis a sweat shirt with a pic of her dog Jake on it...using an ink jet iron on transfer of a photo I took of him...in fact I made all the gifts too!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Monochrome Monday +12

Monochrome Monday Plus12

This is the original of the droplets I snapped yesterday...I like it as it, a bit dark, but for Mono Monday I took it into my HDR filter and brightened it up a bit raised the saturation...zoomed in only a bit, I used the dodge brush a bit on the drops..and then made a tile edge.

For the plus today...this one is naturally monochrome, green

I had fun shooting these droplets. I love the upside down reflections they capture.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tom Till Photography

The photography of Tom Till is one of my latest research projects. I found him sort of by accident and maybe some of you have heard of him, but I just found out about him. He is a nature landscape photographer and he resides in Moab Utah where I just vacationed a few weeks back. I didnt know about him at the time, found out about him while searching for more information about Moab. He moved to Moab after he gradutated from college and has been lucky enough to support himself with his photography. His love of Canyonlands have brought many beautiful photos to his gallery. As I said I didnt see his gallery when I was there knowing I can't afford to buy usually keeps me from going into art galleries of any kind although Im very curious, I dont want to waste people's time. His photographs sell for anything from $200 and UP. I know its weird...but If I really want a photograph of something special Id rather take it myself. Art and photography have always been a passion for me, and going in search of the perfect shot, or creating the perfect image is part of the challenge.

I found out by reading Tom Till's blog that you have to apply for a permit if you are a professional and you intend to sell your photographs of our National Parks, and BLM lands. I knew about the video permits but I had no idea still photography was under this permit as well..there is a list of PERMITS here. These permits can be $50-$100 a day for stills or if you are a video crew $150 a day. A movie crew its $750 a day...DID you know this? Neither did I. So if you sell a photo of recognized landscape of our parks you should have a permit to show for that...if you sell a photo of Disney Land you need a permit also. Its sort of a use tax.

Anyways back to Tom Till. We have had various discussions amongst the various photographers Ive read here on Multiply about processing digital photos. Wel if you want to know what the professionals are doing they are PROCESSING their photos. According to Tom Till its a must for any photographer in the market this day and time to spend even more time Processing Digital than he did in the darkroom with film. He also taked about using the HDR process which is one of my favorite formats...I never purchased the software I did download a trail version to use and its pretty good but since its a trail version its not fully functional. I do use it tho and its a great addition to my software. I just thought that was interesting to note that the REAL pros are doing a lot of processing to get those fabulous images!

While reading his blog I realize you have to really be ready to stick it out to get the photo you want...Meaning research the location to find the best light for your image...whether it be a sunrise, or midday, or sunset that provides the best look for that area...It could mean wading into water to get the best shot of a waterfall. I just think in order to move the level of your finished result up you have to be willing to raise the bar. I think its pretty fascinating...

I would love to put up one of his photos....they are so beautiful but I dont want to infringe so this is my photo at the Sand Dune Arch...I hope you will click the link up there to go see his work.

arches np (230)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Picture Perfect Old Fashioned

Picture Perfect Old Fashioned

This great antique/garden center is located in Basalt Colorado where I recently vacationed. We enjoyed rummaging around and taking lots of photos.

Old fashioned2

Kodak Z 712 IS

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pony Tails~

This little fellow caught my eye while we were traveling around upstate last week. The field was full of miniature horses. They are so small and cute but then I saw a FOAL, and she is just the cutest thing. I had to stop and ask the owner if I could take pics. They walked up a bit too close to the fence for me to get good shots, they are so short. The mare's name is Barbie the filly doesn't have a name yet...she is about a month and 1/2 old and she is about 2 ft tall. She kept hiding behind Mama but I got these...

This pony had the most beautiful eyes!

Monday, June 23, 2008






Wow its been a while since I posted in this blog...time is not exactly my friend. I never seem to have enough of it! It's sort of nice to come back even after a short time and re-read your own words one reason I enjoy keeping a blog...my main blog is not here its at Multiply. But before that I was at Myspace, then Yahoo, and now Im at Multiply. Ive had this Blogger spot for a very long time back when they fist came out...but I never used it, I thought it was s bleak and lonely here and it is...I dont see anyway to have a friends list but thats why I chose this spot to concentrate on the art projects that I am working on. I dont necessarily want feedback, its more for me. Like I started to say its very educational to come back even after a short time and re read what you have written...and to see how much you have grown as an artist and as a person. Thats what this blog is about...growth. I wanted to post the rest of the pictures which I finished for the Unicorn Project. I sent the project off to one publisher but so far nothing. They said 4 months is normal wait to hear. Doesnt matter, for I was just thrilled to work with the theme Unicorn. While working on these I did some sketch drawings and then finished them in Photoshop and Paintshop Pro. These are the illustrations I made for the Childrens Story
Once Upon a Time There Were Unicorns.













Friday, March 7, 2008

Country Roads....


With spring upon us, it makes me think of growing things and most especially a garden. With that inspiration I added to my collection "Americana." This is the lead design, its called Down on the Farm, and what Farm would be complete with Mr.Crow to come stalking the corn field.





~Field of Dreams~



Note: all artwork is the property of S.Hickman Designs all rights reserved 2008. Although I would love to give my art away, there is the wee problem of food and shelter. So please dont copy, save or duplicate my art. Thank you. If you wish to purchase, or license my art contact me at swh@shickmandesigns.com