painting ‘darkness looming’

darkness looming - process step 1 Okay, this one will be quick.  It was the last of the paintings based on blurry photos of doodles I made at work last year.  Painted this one Thursday, 5/15/2008.  I’d been thinking about it for a while.  Thinking pretty seriously all week this week, about how I wanted to go from a blurry simple line drawing to a painting.  I considered just doing ink on paper or some other more common media… But I decided that for the background on this one I wanted to have a slight gradation from blackBlackBlack at the top to pure, unpainted white for at least the bottom half of the canvas.  I considered painting the white canvas white, even doing some more complex, swirly, flowing, sort of out-of-the-head-and-up and into black abstract thing.  But I decided to just take some water, wet half the canvas, take some black paint, black the very top and with water only, work small amounts of the black pigment down the canvas in long, nearly-horizontal strokes.  Then, I took the photograph on the right, to  show off all the excitement of watching paint dry.  Literally.

darkness looming - process step 2 darkness looming - process step 3

While I waited, I sketched and doodled, and otherwise tried to come up with another idea for a painting.  It turned out to be ‘1, 2, 3, 4, ‘ …  Anyway, after that excitement ((don’t tip the canvas, don’t move it, the blackness might move “wrong”)), when the black was dried, I used several sharpies to draw the figure.  I won’t bother pretending that it went exactly as I’d hoped.  Well, the proportions came out right.  The feet are good, the angles on the legs, through the knees, up to the shoulders, the angles were good.  The hands (well, ends of the arms) were just how I wanted them.  But then… well, the head’s shape wasn’t 100% right.  And trying to fix it … well, it didn’t … I’m not 100% happy with it.  I’m not 90% happy with it.  My original thought for the figure was that he was looking down, the line across the head being the eye-line, the dark note along the bottom edge being a hint of mouth.  Then, due to errors, the dark at the bottom became increasingly a shadow, a thick line, and… well, when Mandy saw the finished work hanging on the wall when she came home, she said the figure looked happy – the line is a smile in her eyes.  Which I’m now having trouble not seeing.

So, that was that.  This is a simple piece, based on a simple sketch.  Titled ‘darkness looming’, it is now available for purchase at

darkness looming - finished

Printer woes

To begin with, I will admit that I intentionally purchased the cheapest of all printers, the $20 HP D1415, whose (tiny-reservoired) included ink cartridge retails for $18.  ie: I bought a $2 printer.  This is because my previous near-$100 printer had died (taking >$40 in ink cartridges with it), and I wanted to take the time to shop for a printer with a better value proposition than average.  The Canon printer, which had died, was selected because it’s replacement black ink (separate from color, of course) was $5 to $7 each – the cheapest of inks I could find at the time.  This ~$2 printer had been selected because it was cheap, and the included ink should have lasted until I could complete research on what printer I actually wanted.  Based on previous printing habits, it would have.

Alas, I recently started printing my own labeling for my audiobook packaging, which uses a lot of ink.  Poof, need replacement ink.  Went to the local Cartridge World and bought some cheap ink, will go back to talk to them about cartridges, probably.  Ink is just one problem, though.  Half-way through a two-sided print out (ie: one side is printed, the other side hasn’t started) the $2 printer suddenly started having paper jams.  Sometimes that paper actually jammed, sometimes the printer simply seemed to be imagining that it was jammed.  Doesn’t seem to like the heavy-weight paper for the Jewelbox inserts.  Bleh.  That is a very frustrating and time-consuming and wasteful fight.  It does not make me happy.

So, I’m looking for a printer with:

  1. Good value $$/ink
  2. Ability to correctly handle heavyweight paper
  3. As small of margins as possible, esp. on legal-size paper. (Like, .08″ if possible)

I had also been looking at the Epson R-Series printers, for printing directly onto CDs, but apparently Epson printers have terrible value/ink, even with the “high capacity” cartridges.  So, I’m not 100% sold on that.  Any suggestions/advice would be welcomed.