Thursday, September 8, 2011

sea oats are easier than videos

A few weeks ago, we spent a weekend at the beach.  I took Big Girl with me, thinking to capture photos that would wow the world.  That didn't happen.  I tried, but my camera karma (say that real fast 3 times) was working against me.  By the time I found the perfect place to take photos, the sun was setting and they wouldn't let us through the gate (it was a state park).  I was so disappointed.  For about 5 minutes.  Then I remembered I got a few shots on my iPhone with a nifty little app I love called the Hipstamatic.  So all was not lost.

I posted some of the photos on Flickr, and as I looked at a particular one, I decided I wanted to adapt it to canvas.  I had been thinking about sea oats for a bit.  And just happened to snap this on my way from a day at the beach:
They aren't really easy to see, but they are there.  I decided I liked the monochromatic look of the photo, so the gears in my brain started whirling and I decided to try that effect in paint.  I didn't want black and white, so I chose brown and white paint.  THEN I decided I was going to try to video as I went along, and post the video on this blog.

EPIC FAIL.  I have a notoriously slow Internet connection.  I had 9 little videos to upload, most less than 1 minutes each, and every time I tried, I got to number 5 and it wouldn't cooperate.  I was grinding my teeth in frustration.  I love tech stuff, but this was ridiculous.  I had posted on the Facebook page the fact I was going to post on the blog page (never promise something before you discover if it is achievable).  

Then I discovered YouTube.  I mean, I didn't discover it.  I've been playing YouTube videos for eons and sharing them on Facebook.  But I discovered that what my computer was spitting back at me and refusing to upload, YouTube did quite nicely.

So this whole experience has become a lesson in discovery:
1. my iPhone takes pretty darn good photos
2. painting with just 2 colors of paint can be done
3. YouTube has perfected the art of uploading videos so I don't have to
4. don't narrate off camera with a paintbrush in your mouth

So here are my few moments of YouTube fame.  This is also the second video I ever made and posted on a blog (you can read about my first experience here, before I learned you can also combine short videos into one video).  So don't be too critical, but I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on my attempt at channeling Bob Rossi. :)

~cath xo 


  1. It is surprising how good of a camera is in these Iphones. The image reminded me of a very old picture maybe circa 1930s.. I love the video it is great to see your process.

  2. This is way cool, and you are one especially talented lady - but what I really like is that one of the two colors you selected is named after me!

  3. I LOVE IT! Beautiful!!!!!!! You're so talented! The beach is my favorite place to be! Now, I want to paint! Congrats on your vlog! xo

  4. I love the idea of doing a video. Also fun to get to hear your voice! Great!

  5. @JIM: I can't wait for the iPhone5 to come out. I've had my iPhone for over two years now (almost 3) and have been so pleased with the camera and apps. Thanks for your comments, I appreciate them.

    @Thom Brown: I had lots of fun making this, after the fiasco on the other blog. Now my brain is trying to figure out how I can set the iPad up to video my next painting project. It is exciting to step into a new area of unknown quantity. Scary too. :D

    @pamanner: Thanks for the compliment! I love the beach too, and Gulf Shores is particularly lovely, not as touristy and the beach is divine. We plan to go back sans kids in November and I am going to get some shots with Big Girl.

    @Eileen: Thanks Eileen, that was a fun thing to do. Have lots of fun on your trip and bring back lots of cool adventures to share with us!

  6. I don't know what happened to my comment, but I thought this was great. Love your accent even with the brush.

  7. @Jan: thanks Jan, I appreciate the feedback! After living in the south for almost 41 years, the accent just stuck. :)

  8. This is great, Cath. It's not everybody who can explain the process as well as do it. If only I could draw even a little bit! :p

  9. You're very talented and like your exploring the two color process. Enjoyed video though I couldn't hear much.

  10. Forgot to add that I love that picture of you and your sister at the top! It's startling, impactful, colorful, grabbed me just as I got into your post and I thought, OMG, where am I? Then that beautiful Sea Oats photo.

  11. very nice. i am an artist (not a painter) although i used to watch bob rossi as a kid -- you definitely captured the spirit of his show ;-) i love your willingness to experiment with new ideas. that is at the heart of artistic expression. thank you for an inspiring post!

  12. Hi Cathy, I am impressed. Not only are you a gifted painter but you're also a wonderful teacher. I've always wanted to paint but never took the time to learn. A few more of these and I should be well on my way. BTW, next time you do it it would be helpful to show a sample of how to paint a cloud, create depth, paint a fence. Simple stuff for you but for someone like me it's a challenge. I do know how to stipple thanks to you;) Wonderful job!!!!

  13. @sweepyjean: You may not be able to draw, but I could teach you to paint! :D

    @Penelope J.: Glad you enjoyed it. I think you had trouble hearing it because I had a paintbrush in my mouth part of the time. Not a good way to make a video I discovered, too late. :D That logo at the top is actually one of our Wine Girls series, and I thought it would make a good one for us. It seems people love to come drink wine and paint themselves on canvas. :D We've seen lots of variations on that one.

    @Dangerous Linda: Thanks for your comments and feedback. I never know when I post something if it will fly or not. :D

    @Leah Griffith: Leah! I am so happy you are learning from what I post. I wanted a way to get across what we do in the studio (which is a fun experience!) on this blog, and maybe nudge those of you out there who fear painting. There is nothing to fear. Just lots to learn and have fun with. I look forward to hearing from you again! :D


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