Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 31 work in progress

Yeah, you might want to cue the Mission Impossible music, but I'm not giving up yet!

I only had about 4 hours to work on art today, as I spent much of the day visiting my former roommate K. That was fun, I enjoyed catching up and photographing her cats. Perhaps not a wise thing to do when under pressure to finish art but these invitations don't come around too often (tee hee, I am poking fun at her because I know she reads one of these blogs...) ;-)

So tomorrow it'll be all scrimshaw all the time. Staples, duct tape, rope, staying up all night, whatever it takes to keep me in that chair.

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 30 work in progress

My car is back with several new hoses.

Y'all ready for that I-5 closure? That's practically all they talk about on the news and in the paper lately. It's gonna be a mess. I'm glad I don't have to go through there much, but it'll bugger up the airport trips a bit.

We've been trying to remove tarweed from the pastures. This seems an exercise in futility, there's just SO much of it. It ought to be disced and replanted, or at least scraped, but that's just not fea$ible. Hence two people with shovels, and acres of tarweed. A lot of things seem futile right now. Bleh. :-(

I was left with instructions this morning to make a pie. Cripes. I'm all about baking but I'm soooo rushed right now it wasn't real high on my list of things to be thrilled about today. I did it anyway. You know what one of my favorite things is about pie? The leftover dough from the crust. Not that pie crust dough tastes good (it's kinda gross on its own I think) but it makes lovely mini cinnamon rolls. These things are highly addictive, like it's tempting to make a HUGE batch of them out of a whole recipe of pie crust dough (actually that's not a half bad idea if I ever need to make finger food sweets for a big crowd, hmm).

And then the artwork (here we go on the futile subject again). Obviously I hadn't worked on the scrim at all recently. It's slow going, more so than some others because this is a very hard piece of ivory. It's interesting to me how variable the ivory is, but I guess that's like some people have hard fingernails and others don't. So this has to be done by Monday afternoon if I'm going to enter it. A few hours tomorrow, all day Sunday, can I finish Monday? I really don't know but I'm sure going to try!

"Sunday Morning"
scrimshaw on pre-ban ivory piano key
7/8 by 1-7/8 inches

Thursday, May 29, 2008

stuck in Lodi again


There were two alternate titles for this post. One was "it's always something" and the other was "@#$&!!!" And though I've never been stuck in Lodi before, I couldn't resist the chosen title.

So tonight was dance class as always, but we had to be there in full costume tonight (the outfit, the hair, the flowers, the makeup, you name it) because a professional photographer was there to shoot some stuff for publicity shots. (Normally I don't get too dressed up for class, maybe a skirt and t-shirt).

Anyway, "A+" and I were about a mile from our destination when I simultaneously caught a whiff of coolant, noticed my car running hot, and heard the fan working extra hard. Oh dread, this is familiar. Made it to class, popped the hood, and sure enough there's coolant sprayed everywhere. Great. I guess the nice thing is I manage to stay pretty calm and collected about these cars things now, it's like "here we go again."

I called my mechanic and asked for some suggestions and he said it would be pretty risky to drive back home even if I filled the radiator with water and stopped along the way. And after the car cooled off a little bit a husband of one of the other dancers took a look and found a gaping hole in one hose, so yeah that wouldn't hold liquid anyway. *sigh*

So I called and arranged to get towed back to Wilton.

And remember how last time I got towed I said I was thankful I wasn't in costume? Yeah well this time I was. That was a little embarrassing, but at least I can thank goodness we made it to class and weren't stranded by the side of the road. It could always be a lot worse.

Anyway, I missed a lot of class while outside on the phone but I got in some of the pictures. I'm sure I look pretty grumpy though. I am. Nothing like the second time seeing my car get towed.

Maybe it's time to start buying lottery tickets.

Did I mention I have a lot of art at greatly reduced prices for a limited time? ;-)

I could get pretty sappy mopey here right now, so I'll just leave it at that. The Chicken Lady needs a hug. *sigh*

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Big drawing done!

19 by 27 inches
graphite and charcoal on velour paper
to be entered in the Draft Horse Classic art show (price TBD)


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27 work in progress

This is pretty much done. I'll see if I agree with that statement tomorrow, and sign it, and take a good photograph in daylight that's not distorted by me having to stand on tiptoes and hold the camera up high to get the whole thing in the frame. I'm *REALLY* happy with it! :-) I think I said this when I did the Jessie portrait in graphite but dang I've missed working in graphite. And velour, yummy, love this paper! It wouldn't be good for everything, but for this it's perfect. It does function just like velvet when it comes to picking up cat hair though. Geez, I can see that I'm going to have to go at it with a tweezers before I frame it! And that's just from Olin sitting in my drafting chair next to it! More people need to commission graphite work, I'm diggin it. There must be some people out there with neutral colored animals that need portraits. ;-)

And just to give you an idea of the size:

So I was trying to figure out exactly when I need to mail the entries (this piece is going to be entered in Draft Horse Classic) and I noticed the entry form doesn't say received June 2, it says postmarked June 2. Sweet cupcakes, that made my day!! They normally have a "due" date and not a postmarked day, so that's super duper. That gives me a couple days to duct tape myself to the microscope and bust my butt to get that scrimshaw done. Oh that would be so nice to enter both, I'd really have both ends of the spectrum in terms of size of artwork. It's going to be a very busy week. Actually, pretty much the whole month is going to be nuts. As soon as I get this stuff done, hmm, well I need to get the second rooster portrait done! And if there's any way I can pull it off I need to finish (and start!) both the elk tooth scrim and the bear cub scrim ASAP.

Must. Focus.

strawberry jam!

Okay, there are 29 jars of jam in the kitchen! Whew! That fills the orders thus far and leaves a few extra for immediate shipment or pick-up if anyone's interested. And I'm happy to make more, it's kinda fun. :-) I know the shipping is a lot, but they're heavy! There's really no way around that. So whether you want one jar or six, it's all the same, I'm shipping them priority flat rate.

$6 per half-pint jar
$12 shipping for up to 6 jars (this is how many I can fit in a box, feel free to order more than one shipment)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Art for Sale! Don't miss your chance!

UPDATE JULY 2008: The sale is done now, thanks to those who participated! Maybe I'll do it again next year. :-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23 work in progress

Why was I thinking it's May 24th? Hmm, I think I mis-dated a few items today, like the filenames of my images. Oops.

Anyway, here's the big drawing as of tonight. Just needs the background (eek!) and maybe a little tweaking of some shadows.

If you're wondering about the little horse scrimshaw, I have not been working on it. I need to mail off my entries by the middle of next week and decided it would be better to really focus on doing the best I can do with one, rather than giving two of them not enough attention. (Is that profound or what). If I can I will still do the scrim but it's not looking too certain.

It was a real Betty Crocker day here. I started the ice cream cake this morning, then made one batch of strawberry jam (probably going to take two more to fill all the orders so far, hey keep em coming if you want jam!). And then I had a couple baskets of strawberries leftover so I made strawberry kuchen for dessert. Took forever and a day to bake but it's quite good. :-)

Slaving over the hot stove... :-)

As yummy as it is pretty. You know you want some. ;-)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 21 work in progress

Happy Birthday LP (yesterday) and Happy Birthday LP (today)! Good thing you both want the same kind of cake. ;-)

I'm really happy with how this drawing is coming along. Velour paper is so interesting.

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 19 work in progress

19x27 inches
graphite and charcoal on velour paper

And now for some random photos:

In my next life I think I'd like to be a cat my cat. :-)

This was yesterday, looking out my bedroom window. They left the nest today. I meant to get more pictures of them. Oh well.

And here's what came out of the hatcher yesterday. They can be together about two days before the ducks get too messy and have to be moved to their own brooder.

This is not normal hatching progress. The chick ended up just fine though.

Orphan Works Bill update

Please please please, if nothing else, do this for me. If this passes my little artist world is going to come crashing down into smithereens. This is SERIOUS, and it keeps moving ahead. PLEASE OPPOSE these bills. Click on the links below, it takes just minutes to send letters to congress.


Call to Action
Last Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed their Orphan Works Act.
It is now headed for the full Senate.

If you’ve written before, now’s the time to write again.
Urge your senator to oppose this bill.

Because it has been negotiated behind closed doors, introduced on short notice and fast-tracked for imminent passage without open hearings, ask that this bill not be passed until it can be exposed to an open, informed and transparent public debate.

We’ve drafted a special letter for this purpose.
You can deep link to it here:

Contact your Senator in opposition to S.2913 NOW

The House Judiciary Committee is considering H.R. 5889, the companion bill now. Please write them again:
Contact your Congressman in opposition to H.R. 5889 NOW

2 minutes is all it takes to write your senator and representatives and fight for your copyrights. Over 68,000 e-mail messages have been sent so far.

Don't Let Congress Orphan Your Work

Please forward this message to every artist you know.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

strawberry jam anyone?

We're still a few months off from the bounty of the trees in the orchard (plum, peach, nectarine) but strawberry season is in full swing and oh wow are they good. Those pale things you get in the plastic boxes at the grocery store don't compare to a real strawberry. I don't grow them myself but there's a little farm about two miles away.

Last year was the first year I made jam and I got a kick out of it. I've gotten a lot of compliments on what I made last year, so let's do it again!

I am willing to make pretty much unlimited quantities of strawberry jam.

$6 per half pint jar

Shipping/packaging $12 for up to 6 jars (feel free to order more than 6, that's just how many will fit in the boxes I'm using). I'll ship anywhere in the US. If you're local and you know me you can pick it up here. :-)

May 17 work in progress

Thankfully the horse show practice tomorrow got cancelled. I was going to bow out anyway. There is no reason to be riding in this weather. Shylah might melt!

Jessie is the dog with nine lives I think. I honestly didn't expect her to be alive this morning. But she was, and though she's still not getting around all that well she was happy and bouncy and perky again. It really is hard to know what to do. Yesterday I was sure it was time, but today...not so sure anymore. The only thing she will eat is cooked eggs, so I cooked eggs for her several times today. I think she's got me all figured out. Why eat dog food if I'll make fried eggs?

The enormous drawing is coming along at a pretty good clip despite the size. I run into some issues due to the size of the drawing and the size of my table, but so far it seems to be one of those drawings that just kinda flows. It's all done in 8B graphite and hard charcoal, if anyone wants to know.

Friday, May 16, 2008

random crap

I don't feel like doing WIP photos tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Horse show practice on Sunday? This is not sounding like fun, considering the stupid stupid stupid 100+ degree temps. I'm doing that costume horse show again in July. The outfits aren't as bad as last year, but still, oh geez. It needs work. :-/

I saw a movie tonight called "Into the Wild." I *highly* recommend this. It's about a guy who takes off across the country and ends up in Alaska in search of, well... a lot of things. It's incredibly thought provoking, and gripping, and a true story. I've never been the adventuresome sort, but sometimes in little ways I think I would love to take off and see where the road takes me. Or get off the road and see where the trails take me. I could never do it though, not for long. I'd be overwhelmed by the urge to bake something. ;-) Or check my email....

I went to a camera store downtown this morning and promptly fell in love with the Nikon D80. It's exactly what I'm looking for, does all the things my N6006 did but in digital format, and fits the Tamron lenses. Glee! On the downside, I can't easily afford it right now, and it's just as heavy as the old camera. So with the camera body and the two lenses and batteries and whatnot, that's an 8 pound camera bag (and then some, as I'd probably put the Coolpix in there too for macro shots). That's a lot to lug around! But dang I've been wanting this for years. I found a very good deal on line, and I tell ya if I can pull some strings and make a few things work out like I want them to I'm going to buy it before I head off on The Adventure next month.

Jessie the dog has taken a turn for the worse. She was doing quite well lately but today has been pretty bad. We'll see how she does tomorrow. I've never seen her look sad before, but she did today. *sigh*

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 14 works in progress

TOO FREAKIN HOT. It was 97 here today. Y'all know what this means..... it's time for me to start ranting about how much I hate summer here! *grumble*



"Caligo" (Serama rooster)
5x7 inches
colored pencil, graphite, ink
on tan Stonehenge paper
sold (commission)

The big horse drawing: Crap, what was I thinking? This is huge! Hugest drawing I've ever done. So huge that I can't sit and draw it, I have to stand up! Now that's an awkward way to work. I tried drawing at the easel but that puts my hand at a weird position and I can't get enough pressure to get the dark areas anyway. This is crazy stupid to be attempting something so large this late in the game. But I'm doing it nevertheless.

As you know these late night photos are pretty crappy, but obviously I can't scan this one! There's much more definition in the drawing that won't show up in these photos. Notice I put the penny there for size comparison. ;-)

not yet titled (Percheron)
19x27 inches
graphite and charcoal
on white velour paper
will be entered in Draft Horse Classic art show

And then I figured well just in case I don't finish that I'd better get something else underway. So why not do something else enormously time consuming? (Yeah, I'm really brilliant sometimes). Hence, a scrimshaw:

"Sunday Morning" (Percheron)
7/8 x 1-7/8 inches
scrimshaw on pre-ban elephant ivory piano key
will be entered in Draft Horse Classic art show

It's midnight and it's 74 degrees.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

horses and friends

Yeesh, I feel like I can hardly find the time to sit down and write blogs lately. I'm juggling a whole bunch of art projects right now, so there are lots of deadlines and things over which to feel stressed.

I'm probably going to visit a camera store downtown on Friday, hopefully that will give me some more info about whether or not what I want is even going to be within budget. Word seems to be that my lenses "might work" with certain cameras, but I definitely would not order anything without knowing for sure. And it's quite possible it all might be too expensive anyway, so I'm not going to get too excited about it.

I've been sort of doing inventory of the art I have around here, and I think in June I'll go ahead and do an "I'm running out of storage space and I need money for vacation" sale and way slash some prices on 1) old stuff 2) things that aren't really what I do anymore. My art show booth has started to look pretty cluttered. Out with the old, need room for the new. :-) So watch out, your favorite piece might come up for sale!

Anyway, I don't want to ramble on about art too much, and I'll have WIP pics later or tomorrow or some time when I don't feel like my brain is exploding, but in the mean time I thought I'd write about the weekend, because it was fun.

I've waged war on the house sparrows. Considering my world-renowned bad aim and 20 year old BB gun I think they're pretty safe, but I'm at least going to wreak havoc on their lives as much as possible. They are trying to take over the nests that the cliff swallows have been working so hard to build out back, and I won't stand for that! I hate house sparrows. Nobody messes with the swallows and gets away with it. Grrrrrr.

I went on a big trail ride on Sunday with a lot of people out at Lake Natoma. This is only the second "big group" trail ride I've done (and the first on my own horse) and it was a lot of fun, but I have to say I'm not too keen the huge group thing, I really prefer to ride with no more than a few people. Otherwise it's like organized chaos. Or just plain chaos. Shylah, with short legs, short stride, and generally relaxed attitude, is a slow moving horse. That's fine, but she really lags behind the group. Luckily there was another rider with a slow-ish horse, so we rode together and she's really nice and I'm hoping we might go riding some other time. For the most part Shylah isn't too concerned if the other horses are way ahead, she's content to look at the pretty scenery and try to scope out if any of the joggers/cyclists are carrying food. But on the way back when all the horses up ahead were getting jiggy and trotting on the narrow trail it was hard to hold her back, and I REALLY wish people would not let their horses do that on the way back, it's really not good behavior, but boy when you're the last one in the pack it's hard to keep a horse from following along, and when they get into that mindset they don't pay attention to what they are doing or where their feet are, they just want to stay with the pack. I'm all about the relaxed trail ride. Trot on on the way out, not on the way back. Anyway aside from that rant I had a very good time and enjoyed the ride and would love to get Shylah out on the trail a lot more. She's awesome, and it was a busy day on the trail, lots of people and bikes and dogs and the picnic area we walked through was packed and smelled like all sorts of food.

Here are some pics:

The staging area before the ride:

Lunch break. Wendy are you laughing at me? :-)

The whole group (I'm on the far left).

Little Shylah, always bringing up the rear...

Arriving back at the trailers:

And for another type of horse, I told someone I would post pics of my collection of horses (and similar) so here it is:

some random horses that don't fit on the shelves (and if you are going to ask "who is that "Deadly Buckaroo" character in the back, well I made him up and drew that when I was about 12, he's a soft-hearted rodeo bull who just couldn't do his job because he didn't want to hurt anyone. I had a whole troupe of characters for western story):

The Schleich and similar horses and my sculpture of Thunder (yeah, I really do have unicorn posters on my wall, hey it's an easier way than painting to put some color in room):

The main part of the collection, all the Breyers, Hagen Renakers, and a bunch of other ones (some I've made, some relics of my childhood, some vintage given to me by a friend):

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rosecomb Bantam eggs for sale

I'm finally ready to start shipping eggs. Since I have so few hens now, egg production is way down, no longer do I get several dozen per week. So I am going to sell eggs "by the week" per variety. I expect a little over a dozen BBReds and Brassy Backs per week, and likely under a dozen Blacks per week.

Not including shipping, prices are as follows:
BBRed $35 per week
Black $25 per week
Brassy Back $25 per week
These may change over the next few weeks depending on egg production.

Shipping is $10 for one variety, or $15 if you order more than one variety.

I will ship once a week, on a Monday or Tuesday.

BBReds will throw 100% BBRed. I have seen no single combs and am using no Black Red birds this year.

Brassy Backs are not producing 100% pure because I had to use a Black male. I'd figure maybe 75% Brassy Back, 25% Black, 0% Blue Brassy Back.

Blacks are an outcross this year. My females with a Patterson male. Fertility/hatchability has been great.

Just let me know if you are interested and I'll get your name on the list! There may be a waiting list.


Any camera buffs reading this? I need some advice. It might be time to start thinking about moving up in the world of cameras. What I have (it's now 5 years old I think) is a Nikon Coolpix 5700, 5 megapixels. I do love this camera, it's easy to pack around and great for most things (and really excels at macro photography). But when it comes to telephoto, it sucks. Images are not sharp, and it just doesn't have the range that I had with the old Nikon SLR and the mondo huge telephoto lens. The Coolpix does not have any ability to continually focus while shooting photos, so if the subject is in motion it's not going to work well. And I miss the ability to manually zoom and focus by adjusting the lens.

So basically what I want is a digital SLR that has the same look at feel as my old film SLR, only shoots digitally instead of on film. I want manual focus as an option, I want continuous focus while shooting, and most importantly it MUST be compatible with my old lenses:
Tamron F3.8-5.6 28-200mm
Tamron F5.6 200-400mm

These are old lenses, 10+ years. But they are good. The downside is they are enormously heavy. So I know this means getting back into the "heavy camera" world again. Ugh. I'm guessing newer versions would be just as pricey as these were though.

There have been a lot of times when I've needed more telephoto power than I can get with the coolpix, but haven't wanted to shoot film. I'm going to run into that problem again next month (I hear there's some wildlife in Yellowstone, I'm going to want to take a zillion photos, do I really want to shoot film again?? I could, I could just pack along the Nikon N6006 and a whole bunch of film, it's definitely an option.)

Does what I want actually exist? (at a price that won't kill me?)

Friday, May 09, 2008

May 9 work in progress

I thought I had a lot to say but I think the air went out of the balloon, ptththtbtbt. I'm whooped. It's been a busy week. I am looking forward to being able to put in the appropriate number of art hours next week. I cleaned and polished one of the elk teeth the other day. It looks GOOD. I almost hate to put a scrimshaw image on it, makes a pretty neat pendant as is! ;-) But I have my reference photos picked out and will be starting that very soon, along with half a gazillion other things. Just got the velour paper for the horse drawing too.

Here's Caligo today:


*IMPORTANT* help defeat Orphan Works Bill!!!!!

(as copied from an email I just sent): Attention everyone who is an artist/photographer/writer, or knows one, or cares about the arts! This is not just some random thing I am sending, this is really really really important, like "could potentially really screw artists" important. I am forwarding pieces of several emails I have received about the Orphan Works Bill. The other emails can explain much better than I can, but it's really important to act now and defeat this. I will be writing and faxing letters TODAY!

PLEASE oppose this bill. The link below has all the info, and letters that you can just click and send. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.



There's a bill that's been put forward in both the house and the senate called the Orphan Works Bill. Basically it destroys the copyright protections now in place for artists of all media - visual, literature, performing.

here's a portion of one of the letters that explains the situation much better than I can:

"I would like to make it clear that I am not opposed to usage of orphan works by the cultural heritage sector for noncommercial purposes, or use by museums and libraries for preservation and education. But this legislation makes no limitations for these purposes, and will dangerously expose my art to infringements while stripping me of any practical means to protect my work. The bills have been written so broadly it will endanger the rights of anyone who creates intellectual property. Although the Senate and House bills differ slightly, the effect of either would be devastating to freelance artists and photographers, as well as to the licensing and other collateral small businesses that serve, and are dependent on, creators.

What’s worse is, there is no real need for this bill. Under current law, not-for-profit organizations such as libraries, museums and others are already permitted wide use of orphaned works. If they believe they need greater latitude, then a limited exemption should be written to meet their specific needs.

As for commercial users, what’s the downside for those who can’t find the owner of a copyright? If commercial publishers, for example, are uncertain about a work’s copyright status, they can hire an artist to create a new work of art. They’ve been doing it for hundreds of years. Creating new work stimulates the economy. It doesn’t depress it. And stimulating creativity has been one of the traditional goals of copyright law.

I ask you to consider the harm this bill can do to visual artists and vote against it unless it is amended to precisely define an orphan work as a copyright no longer managed by a rights holder."

this is a website where you can point and click and send a message to those who represent you that this bill is NOT a good idea and that it will HURT artists.

Please go to this site and join the artists in your communities who oppose this legislation. Thank You


1. Write a letter to your congressional House leader
and Senators stating your opposition to the bills.
Send the letter both by e-mail and fax.

2. Help raise awareness about the potential
consequences of this
legislation, and ask everyone you know to write and
send letters.

A number of groups which oppose this legislation are collaborating on
creating a website which will enable you to e-mail your congressional
leaders with the push of button. It will also contain sample letters. I will
post the link as soon as the site is live.

The main reasons to object to this legislation are
listed below. In case any
of you want to start work on your letters before the
sample letters are
published, I've also included additional information
to help you explain and clarify these objections.

*1. It changes the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act (enacted in
1978), and makes it
virtually impossible for artists to protect their
work. It basically allows
anyone to use a design without the copyright holder's
Under current law, you receive basic copyright
protection even if you don't
register your work.* Under Orphan Works law your work
could be declared an
orphan even if you have registered it. *Congress, in
enacting the Copyright
Act of 1976, provided that copyright exists in the
creation of any work that
is copyrightable subject matter, regardless of whether
or not the owner has
performed any legal formalities, such as registration,
or copyright notices,
or taken any steps to protect or defend the copyright.
Since 1978 (when it
was enacted) many creators have relied upon the
Copyright Act of 1976, and
employed business practices based upon the protections
it offered. The
proposed Orphan Works Act of 2008 would have the
effect of depriving certain creators of the ability to
enforce their copyrights because they did not take
steps that the Copyright Act of 1976 did not require
them to take. *In essence, it** **will give infringers
the legal means to use a design without the copyright
holder's permission.*
* *
*2. It requires artists to attempt to protect their
work by registering it
with a digital data base system (presumably for a fee,
in addition to the
copyright filing fee)-when no such system exists!*
The proposed legislation is predicated on the
establishment of private,
profit making registries that would establish
databases of digital versions
of artworks and provide a place for infringers to try
to locate the artist,
BUT* it will be enacted whether or not these data
bases ever come into
existence.* This will relieve the infringer of
liability if he simply
attempts a search that cannot possibly be performed successfully.

In addition, the legislation places no limit on the
number of these
registries or the prices they would charge. *The
burden of paying for
digitization and depositing the digitized copy with
the private registry
would presumably fall entirely on the artist,** **and
even if an image is
contained in the registry, as long as the infringer
"looks" without finding
it, the infringement is allowed. *There is no
liability imposed for the
failure of a database to find an image registered in
that database when it is searched, and no requirement
that all available databases be searched,
thus potentially requiring multiple registrations (and
multiple registration
fees). Also there are no safeguards to prevent any
person or company from
fraudulently registering work they do not own.

*3.** **It eliminates statutory damages wherever an
infringer can
successfully claim an orphan works defense, thus
eliminating the only tool
the law provides to prevent deliberate infringement. *
Current law almost certainly deters *rampant
infringement* because the
present remedies - damages of up to $150,000 per
infringing article-- make
infringement risky.* By "limiting remedies," the
Orphan Works amendment will
effectively create a no-fault license to infringe.*

*4. It allows for an infringer to create-and
copyright-a derivative work
from the original design.*
Under current law, the right to create a derivative
work is one of an
artist's exclusive rights. Section103(a) says a user
can't copyright a
derivative image that he's infringed. *"Protection for
a work employing
preexisting material in which copyright subsists does
not extend to any part
of the work in which such material has been used
unlawfully." *Under the
proposed new bills, since the entirety of an infringed
work can be included
in a derivative use, then the copyright of the
derivative will amount to a copyright of the original.
This would be a *de facto* capture of new
exclusive rights by the infringer. In other words,
*these bills allow
infringers to make and copyright derivatives-even if
the copyright holder to the original work objects.*

If this legislation passes it would mean a return to
pre-1976 U.S. Copyright
Act when many artists' works fell into the public
domain because they could
not afford to comply with the formalities of
registration as a condition of copyright protection.
This violates the trust under which American artists
have worked for the last 30 years, and nullifies our
U.S. Copyright
registrations. Further, it is against the Berne
Convention, and invites
retaliation from around the world because
international artists' works are just as vulnerable to infringement under
the U.S. Orphan Works Act.

Now let me recap the current situation:

The Senate has only given a few days for comments on
the bill to be made;
they are due Wednesday, April 30th. The House has not
specified a
time-frame, and may give as little as 24 hours notice
before closing the
window for comments. There are several loosely allied
groups which are
opposing the legislation. These include The
Illustrator' s Partnership
(illustrators) , The Artists' Rights Society (fine
artists), The Advertising
Photographers of America (photographers) , the Artists Foundation (fine
artists), the Textile coalition (4 textile groups) and the Industry
Coalition (whose members include the Craft and Hobby Association and George
Little Management). During an OW strategy session Friday afternoon, Corrine
Kevorkian, counsel for textile giant F. Shumacher, shared that the Textile
coalition intends to recommend to the Senate that they adopt the House
version. If this happens, the Textile industry will be spared the draconian
impact of the Orphan Works Act because the House version exempts useful
articles (see #1 below). She also intends to emphasize that the legislation
shouldn't take effect until the electronic data bases actually exist.

Although the bills are similar, there are some
important differences to
note. Both are devastating to all visual artists, but
the House bill is
somewhat less objectionable. Here are the three main

1. The House bill includes an exception for useful
articles, which (as far
as I can determine) means that products (such as
textiles and mugs) which
are functional whether or not design has been applied
to them, will not be impacted by this legislation.

2. The House bill also requires that manufacturers
file their intention to
use an image before they can use it --although it does
not (a) specify a time period or method for doing so,
(b) does not require an image to be included, only a
verbal description (the Mona Lisa, for example could
described as "a dark-haired woman with an unusual
expression" which would
supposedly allow Leonardo to identify his work), and
(c) does not require
the filings to be readily searchable to allow an
artist to monitor
unauthorized uses of his/her work.

3. The House bill allows for a longer (possible) time
period before
implementation: January 1, 2013 vs. the Senate bill
which uses the date of
January 1, 2011. Unfortunately both bills are
scheduled to take effect on
the *earlier* of: *"the date on which the Copyright
Office certifies under
section 3 at least 2 separate and independent
searchable, comprehensive,
electronic databases, that allow for searches of
copyrighted works that are
pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, and are
available to the public
through the Internet; *or the January 1st, 2011 or
2013 listed by the
respective bills. *This means that if there is no
visually searchable
database operable before the date(s) listed, the
legislation goes into
effect anyway! *

If you would like additional information on the
potential impact of this
legislation, you can learn more by
a. Reviewing the submission to the House by the
Illustrator' s Partnership

b. Listening to Brad Holland's informative webcast: **.

This is a very serious situation, and will require a
concerted effort on all of our parts to stop it. I'm
glad to see so much posting going on. and I believe
that together we CAN make a difference. I'll be in
touch as soon as I have more information.

*This may be forwarded in its entirety to any
interested parties.*

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

just plain busy, plus WIP

I know, I know, you all miss me terribly when I don't write. ;-)

It's been a little crazy around here lately and unfortunately it eats up time when I'm supposed to be making art, but such are the side effects of working from home. My grandpa is here for the week, and Mom's off work, so there's obviously lots of other stuff going on. Like this morning for example I had the pleasure (woop woop sarcasm alert!) of pouring cement. I lifted 30 bags into the mixer. Anyone want to arm wrestle? ;-)

The birds are taking over. Wild birds, that is. The mockingbirds are hatching in the rock rose under my bedroom window. 3 out of 4 hatched by this evening. They look like pink jellybeans that rolled in dust bunnies at this point. I'm surprised Mama Mockingbird doesn't try to kill me when I look at them. So far so good.

I'm still reasonably sure there is a pair of kestrels nesting in the box in the pasture though it's been years since I've actually seen their babies fledge, so it's hard to confirm success. At least one of the small boxes has a pair of tree swallows (they are SO pretty!). The barn swallows out front are as dysfunctional as ever. There seemed to be some sort of foursome going on the other day and they pretty well knocked the edges off the nest in the midst of whatever they were doing, so I'm kinda wondering if they are going to fix it up or just take a year off. For the first few years the swallows would show up in mid March and get right to work and by summer time they would have raised three broods of babies. The last few years they have been lucky to pull off one batch. I don't know what's up.

The highest point of the roof, under the eaves, has been colonized by cliff swallows. I think this is exciting. Mom is not convinced, but then again they are high enough up there's really nothing to do about it anyway. Hard to tell how many nests are going up, but maybe 9, and I don't know how many pairs that is because they seem to pretty readily move from one nest to another so.. who knows. They're pretty darn cute. These are the kind you often see under bridges or overpasses.

I need to take more chick pics. I did end up setting 6 batches of eggs. I have 33 chicks right now.

I am waiting on the velour paper to arrive for the ginormous horse portrait.

Okay, here's some work in progress stuff:

"Caligo" (Serama rooster)
5x7 inches
colored pencil, graphite
sold (commission)

not yet titled scrimshaw (black bear cubs)
(I know you can't see a darn thing but the outline is just barely dotted on!)
1.5 x 4.75 inches
on paper micarta
My immediate thoughts about micarta are that I don't like it as much as ivory. It seems pretty easy to incise but it's hard to ink, it doesn't buff off easily and tends to look discolored. I polished it glassy smooth and there are no scratches. Just takes a lot of elbow grease I guess. I am still waffling about color vs. black and white. Color would look pretty neato but take astronomically longer and I am concerned about getting proper sky color on this tan colored stuff. Hmmmm. Well either way I have to start with black so I guess I'll figure it out as I go.... This'll probably be something I just poke at (ha ha) a little at a time, so don't expect to see rapid results (that and as scrimshaw goes this seems OMG HUGE, eek!)

Oh! I sold the scrimshaw "Nude #3" (the blonde) on ebay today. Woot! I also had posted some toys cars that were in the pile of stuff that I kicked out my closet. Interesting. The Micro Machines are off to Australia and the vintage cars are headed to France! Who'd have thought.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May 1 work in progress

Hmm, I dunno, think this is big enough? ;-)

preliminary sketch for upcoming drawing (to be submitted to Draft Horse Classic)
19x27 inches (cripes!)
will be done in graphite

This drawing is a long time coming. For years and years I have wanted to do this, so I finally am. Of course I had to leave it til sort of the last minute didn't I. Ugh. It was about five years ago, I was at a riding stable down the street to photograph another horse when the owner said "by the way you might want to check out this one." His name was Thunder too. He was (is? I assume he's still around) a lovely dapple gray Percheron very recently rescued from an abusive home. I don't know what happened to him, or how he came to be rescued. He was in the round pen when I was there. With the trainer's approval I went in and just spent a little time with him. He was approachable but shy, didn't want to be too close to me so I just stayed on the other side of the pen and respected that. He was very quiet and the looks he would turn around and give me were just soul-piercing. Like dang that horse and seen some things in his life. So that's what I aim to portray in this portrait of a horse I only met once.

Whether I can draw this and get it photographed within the next three weeks remains to be seen, but I'll do the best I can! Oh and I actually would have been happy to make it larger, but velour board is 19x27 inches (and ten bucks a sheet, jeez!) Hopefully it will arrive soon.

The two rooster sketches were approved tonight, woo hoo! Will be starting those in color tomorrow.