Archive for the ‘Posts on Coral Paintings’ Category
Last year my coworkers and I embarked on a year long process of making our own wine. MakeWineWithUs.com, just outside of NYC in New Jersey, offers a service where a group of people can learn how to make wine by going through the process from pressing a year’s harvest all the way through to the bottling.
It all starts with an August “kick off the season” party where my group of about 12 people met up for an Italian meal and wine tasting. During this even we sampled all the different red and white wines from a previous season so that we could choose the type of wine we wanted to make. This season we opted for a cabernet sauvignon/ cabernet franc blend and decided to make a full barrel, which equates to 21 cases with 12 bottles each.
The next event was the pressing, where we saw and tasted our grapes for the first time. By that time the grapes had begun to ferment, so there was a subtle taste of alcohol to them. We then cleaned our barrel, grabbed our bucket of grapes and loaded up the wine press.
Over the next few months there were a few events where we were invited to taste the wine over the course of its fermentation.
The season closes with the bottling of our barrel of wine. Like the pressing, this is a fairly involved experience where we clean the bottles, fill them with our wine, cork them, cap them and label them. One of the best parts is that we get to design up to four labels. I was able to design one of the labels and I decided to create a label with my Bickering Clowns painting. This is currently my most iconic painting and lends itself well to design.
The best part about doing the labels was how many of my coworkers wanted to get bottles with my label design. That always makes an artist happy.
The next season starts in August, so if you are in the area, I highly recommend that you try it out. You will not be disappointed as it is a fun informative time and you come out of it with some pretty amazing tasting wine.
The folks over at LTL Prints have put together a little video demo on how to set up a print for wall stickers. The demo explains how you can easily select the size of your print and select the image you want to print. The great thing about this process is that you can add as many or as few images to a sheet as you would like.
It costs $2-3 per image that I have created so if you choose 10 images it’s only $20-30, no matter what size image you choose. I have designed these image to scale to an infinite size so they will fit upon the largest sheet LTL has to offer (82″x52″).
I’ll be adding some more images soon, including full reefscapes for backgrounds so keep an eye out. And as always if you don’t see something that you want I’ll create it and upload it to LTL for free. Just Contact me.
View some of my decal artwork and see what combos you can create for your mural!
I realized that some of my posts on my art blog were getting to be a little too far removed from actual artwork. So I decided to start another blog that will focus more on reef aquariums and the cool and interesting animals that inhabit them.
My day time job is at a video product review website called Expo. I have enjoyed working with a video website and since video is still considered a cutting edge feature for blogging, I decided to focus this blog on filming various corals and fish, documenting some of my reef keeping practices and for running some features on beautiful aquariums by fellow reefkeepers. So sit back and enjoy a couple of beautiful videos from my aquarium: Torch Coral Video and Pulsing Sinularia Video.
I finished a new painting this weekend. It is of a Scolymia Coral. Scolymia Corals are large polyp stony corals (LPS) and come in a range of different colors. All corals have some sort of polyp structure with a mouth and stingers (with nematocysts) that catch food. LPS corals have very apparent polyps and this painting shows the structure of one of those polyps. Most Scolymia Corals are found in single polyp forms on the bottom of ocean floors. Aquarium keepers around the globe will spend hundreds of dollars on these types of corals since they are very attractive and colorful.
The painting I did show what a Scolymia Coral looks like during the day. They are nighttime feeders and when the sun goes down (or aquarium lights go off) they turn seemingly inside out and expose their tentacles to feed. I am in the middle of a few more LPS coral paintings so keep an eye on my Ocean Paintings Gallery for more.
Those who follow my little blog may notice that I’ve been somewhat absent from posting anything. That is because I’ve been hard at work trying to hit a painting deadline. The Artists Network holds an annual competition and at the last minute I decided to enter it. They have a section for beginners and since I am a beginner I decided to enter that competition. Besides the main competition has some amazing artists submit work and my work does not even come close to that. I entered the Animal/Wildlife bracket.
I started painting again a few weeks ago after a six week break from shoulder surgery. I cannot lift my hand without alot of effort so for now I am restricted to painting small canvases. So I decided to do a grid painting of an anemone with a solitary clownfish in it. My friend Gus is known for his stunning grid paintings and I must say that that inspired me to do one of my own for this competition. I had alot of fun painting this, feel I learned alot and noticed improvement from my previous work. Keep and eye out for more grid paintngs!
Check out the full piece along with details of each panel in my gallery.
Since original artwork is expensive, I wanted to create some ways for people to purchase my artwork at a much more affordable price. My wall stickers, which is still being set up, is one way. The other way is through an online store called Zazzle. Zazzle allows anyone to upload their own artwork or photographs and place them on everything from coffee mugs to t-shirts to shoes. I set up my store this last week and called it Ocean Paintings by John Stires. Now people can purchase everything fish: fish cards, fish postcards, fish stamps, fish t-shirts, and fish posters!
Take a look around the store and leave a comment with what you think.
|Fish Posters and Canvas Prints||Fish Cards||Fish Postcards|
|Fish T-Shirts||Fish Cups and Mugs||Fish Stamps|
Just a short note to let all my blog readers know that I just joined twitter.
What is twitter?
“Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”
Twitter is the up-and-coming tool that is all the craze with the Internet kids. Actually it has been around for quite a while and just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It’s a good way to get quick updates from all your friends and family. The Ocean Paintings Twitter is mainly a marketing tool to help spread the word about my reef fish artwork and fish wall stickers, so if you want to follow me to get updates on my artwork, my decals and my aquarium, then stop by twitter and follow me!
If you don’t want to join twitter but still want updates, you can do that too! Just come by this blog every once in a while and read the side bar of my site that says “Twitter Updates”. You can also join my email mailing list and get a weekly digest of them to your email along with my other blog posts.
It has been almost 6 weeks since my surgery and I am able to paint again! This weekend I spent a couple of hours painting a new four panel clownfish and anemone grid painting. The image shows the pencil drawing of one of the panels that I haven’t started to paint yet. I had to position the canvas on a counter and paint with my arm around stomach height, but hey I’ll take anything now. I won’t be able to lift my arm over my head for a little while longer.
I have had alot of time to think about some new projects so I am excited to get back into painting again. Keep an eye out for my upcoming clownfish work.
To make things easier you can subscribe to the blog and receive an email everytime I make a post.
Before I had shoulder surgery, I wanted to make sure that I was able to finish my clownfish in frogspawn coral painting. If you read my last two posts on this painting (Work in Progress: Clownfish and Frogspawn Coral and Trying to Get a Painting Just Right) you’ll remember that I was having some trouble getting the frogspawn coral right. I got some great help from people over at wetcanvas.com. It’s funny, I have found corals and anemones to be much more difficult to paint than fish. There is a certain shape, color and fluorescence that is difficult to convey with corals. But I am working on it and feel that I represented the coral well.
The female clownfish is the highlight of the piece with the male tucked away in the coral. In aquariums, clownfish will host pretty much anything and it is common for them to pick a large polyp stony (LPS) coral to host if an anemone is not present. Clowns have been known to readily host rocks, coffee cups, and even corners of an aquarium. Clowns need a home base and they will pick out any identifiable landmark. I have 2 false percula clownfish in my aquarium and they used to host in a huge colony of frogspawn corals. They loved it until I introduced a couple of red bubble tip anemones (RBTAs) to the aquarium. Then they instantly took to those. It was pretty cool to witness. Keep an eye out for more clownfish paintings once my shoulder heals. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on this painting.
I still have much to learn about painting. I wish I could say I knew it all, but in reality I don’t. In fact I probably know less about painting than most people. But I’m learning everyday and feel that my skill and technique are getting better and better every time I make a brush stroke.
I’ve been working on a clownfish and frogspawn coral paint for that past few weeks. I got it to a point where I was hoping to be done, but in the end I wasn’t pleased with the result. The painting was just too busy and the main clown wasn’t getting the impact I wanted. So, I posted the image over at Wet Canvas forums and asked some fellow artists to review my work. I’ve been posting alot of my work here and enjoy hearing people’s comments. Most of the time their comments are pretty spot on. It’s nice to get comments from people who aren’t friends or family because they don’t worry about offending you.
If you ever want to see what I’m up to (many times before I post here) do a search for johnstires (my username) over at wetcanvas. You’ll quickly learn that my paintings don’t come out perfect the first time. I usually have to do alot of refinement, mostly because I am my own harshest critic, but often to the comments of other painters at Wet Canvas. But as you can see from the comparison in this post, usually it is for the best. The top image shows what the painting looked like before and the bottom shows what the painting looked like after I toned down the coral’s tentacles. The main clownfish subject stands out so much more than before. I’m still not finished, but feel I am on a better track. I’ll be happy when I finish this 24″x48″ canvas. It’s been alot of work for me, but fun work.
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