Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Picasa 3 Guitar Collage

I was up a little late last night, took a day trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan to see family in the hospital. When I got back I had to unwind so I worked on another Picasa 3 collage, in keeping with my guitar motif.

Using Picasa 3 I selected a number of guitar photographs and made a collage of them. I began by making a trace of the image in CorelTRACE. I opened the collage in PhotoPaint and applied the Effects> Blur> Tune Blur> filter and applied the smooth selection four times. And I applied the Effects> Art Strokes> Crayon filter to it. I then selected the saved file and opened it in Painter 8.

There I selected Effects> Apply Surface Texture> Image Luminance> softness setting was increased to 4.3. Then I selected Effects> Esoterica> Blobs> with a brown color base. I saved this file under a different name. I then reopened it in PhotoPaint and resized it to 1024x819 pixels, 300dpi and saved the final file for sharing here.

We are having our roof done and the noise is annoying to say the least. Hoping for good weather so they can finish soon. Today is clear and cold, the wind is blowing, I don't envy the workers. Because of this I am going to name my next CD "The Roof". Now I have a title I will need a title song. I have finished "Warm and Green", the song I wrote from a recent poem. I need to record it but with the roof work being done, well it is not the right time to record. But it is not so bad that I can't practice the new song and also play a new chord progression I have been working with.

April will be a busy month for us. So my posting may slow down with the coming month. I hope to continue to be creatively productive though busy with other matters.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Rem - Shiney Happy People
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Possible Song?

speeding light trains
through the morning haze
life is going no place today
it's resting in the rain

crowds bellowing loud
discord sounds
no need no need
better times without greed

rushing hybrid cars
through the afternoon
life is going no place today
it's resting on the stairs

one person speaks
unrest abounds
no need no need
better times without greed

satisfied with good things
satisfied with being full
satisfied with covering
just satisfied just satisfied

full of good things
protective covering
a skillet and a blanket
it's all you'll need.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Polyphonic Spree - Debate Montage
via FoxyTunes

Doors To Nowhere

An amusing post that sounds like a good song title "Doors To Nowhere." This image and it's title speaks for itself. The original photograph had only the very middle door without any stairway up to it. I used PhotoPaint and added the additional doors and altered it to a Duotone piece.

I changed the mode back to RGB 24-bit and saved this as a jpg for sharing here. It is a lonely image to me many doors, but where do they lead and why are they in the wrong places?

The furthermost door seems to make the most sense, it opens into a small addition to the larger building. Perhaps a shed for landscaping implements, or an artist's studio with a large North facing window for that marvelous light. Or what about the door that is on the lower left, it appears to be ajar, did someone come in, or are they just behind the door?

Pity the poor soul who opens the upper doors without looking, they are in for a fall. Brick surrounds the doors, old and stained, weathered. Autumn shows in the trees and overcast sky, it's a foggy day for walking in a unique place. The unkempt yard show neglect as well. The doors need new paint and the walls are in need of repair. Nowhere.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Pete Yorn - Lose You
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Keeping an Eye on Things

Today I received a update from my Fine Art America Gallery of views of my works I have posted there. There was a new group established that dealt with Eyes only. So I remembered this image done in 2006.

I looked into the group, possibly to join it and they want painters only, I paint digitally so I don't think I could be included, but I did add this piece to my Gallery there. I also added a link to the blog to get there. It has some fantastic artists and many interesting images to look at an enjoy.

I did this piece as a challenge on WetCanvas an online artist community, when I was very active there. I did many nonrepresentational abstracts including fractals and some manipulation of such while a member. This challenge I did in Painter 8, I really like the glossiness I was able to achieve. Eyes are so interesting as we communicate with them so readily. So much expression from our complex eyes, fascinating!

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Fishin' In The Dark
via FoxyTunes

Friday, March 27, 2009

Vector - 12-string Abstract

As I mentioned, tomorrow will be a busy day, and I probably won't have the time to post. So this is for tomorrow. An abstract reworked vector piece. It started as a photograph I took of my 12-string in it's case.

I opened it in PhotoPaint and did some cropping to focus more closely on the guitar and case. I copied and pasted that into CorelDRAW and using bitmap Trace in CorelTRACE I turned it into a vector image. I saved that to Corel's native CMX format and reopened it in CorelDRAW.

There I ungrouped all the vectored pieces, I pushed and pulled some of the image to tweak it into an abstract. I love the headstock for the 12-string, it looks so large compared to a 6-string headstock, which is an understatement!

The lake today is gray reflecting the overcast sky. Gray is a good way to describe it right now. Sunny earlier the clouds moved in and that was that. In every state I have ever lived in they say about their weather, "If you don't like it wait 20 minutes and it will change." Funny how that is.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Nelly Furtado - I'm Like A Bird
via FoxyTunes

Custom Pickguard - Seagull 12-string

I've always like the hummingbird guitars, so I customized my Seagull with an etching of one on my pickguard. I just used a regular etching tool and lightly engraved the design freehand. I added some flowers and leaves as well. I've had some compliments on it, and am happy with it myself. It added a personal touch to my 12-string.

This image was done using Paint.NET and PhotoPaint. I created a pencil/ink sketch in Paint.NET which I overlaid in PhotoPaint. It is a soft image with a close up of the Seagull designation on the inside of the soundhole.

I picked up the guitar for a test of my hurt thumb and found that I could play a bit with some pain. So I worked on a the new song about Spring coming based upon one of the three poems I wrote during a dry music spell I was having. So good to be working on a new song!

I am finding that my family group that wants copies of my CD's is growing and we bought a couple of packing envelopes to ship some in. I am actually considering asking them to make copies of the ones I have already sent and share those. But we shall see how I work it out.

I am just glad I can share the music and get some feedback on my work.

I will be busy the next couple of days so I may not post to the blog. I will post again today. I have another guitar motif piece to share that was done using CorelDRAW vector graphics that I convert to jpg for displaying on the blog.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Moby - Everloving
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Looking for Spring - A Walk in the Woods

I went for a long walk in the woods the other day, the day I sprained my thumb, which is much better, thank you. I took some new photographs of different surroundings, looking for Spring. I found many things, a few buds on the trees, some old green of moss, new green on the evergreens, and some man made objects.

It's amazing what one finds dumped in an area that is almost park like. I found a smashed car that used to be a yellow something, but is now beyond description. I did not photograph that.

What I did find you can see in this collage I made in Picasa 3. I adjusted the photographs in Corel's PhotoPaint. A little sharpening and a bit of increased saturation. It was a partly cloudy day so all the colors in the woods were just touched with sunshine. The photographs made a nice collage. Giving a good impression of what my walk was like. Past swampy areas and muddy sections, I skirted, up a steep hill on the way back, which climb set my heart in motion. Good exercise!

Try clicking on the thumbnail for the larger 1024 image, enjoy the details, I did.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris - Beachcombing
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stone Village Turret

Here is the last photograph in the Stone Village series. I did not use tritone on this as the color work included some cloning in the sky to this piece. I also upped the saturation so the browns and greens would show more depth. I am glad it only took me browsing through a couple of my Zip100 disks to find the original work.

I opened the original work in PhotoPaint to resize it for display here. You can always click on the image for a larger view.

I have an early appointment tomorrow, so I may not get a chance to post tomorrow so I am posting now.

If I do get a chance to post I will, of course.

Tritone - Stone Village Backdoor to Barn

I have been keeping up this series of images from the Stone Village in Jackson, Michigan as tritones. I love the warmth and the stone work is fascinating to me. I do have a color image of the Turret On the front of one of the buildings there, but alas, I have yet to find it again. It is on one of my many Zip100 disks and you can imagine how difficult, and time consuming it is to find a badly labeled Zip100. My own fault. I should have labeled more carefully. If I find it I will share it here, if not this is the last in the series of images from Stone Village.

I have been promoting my blog as best I can, I now have a link to Buzzer Hut at the bottom of my blog page. I have worked at this for sometime. Promoting a blog is hard without an advertising budget and even more difficult when one does not sell anything from the blog or from say Etsy, or Ebay. I am uncertain as to the saleability of my work. I create therefore I create.

Hmm, one of my email updates just introduced me to Dr. Detroit's Motorcity Rocks blog, as I live near Detroit, Michigan it is one I will check out. It looks interesting and it has some good graphics going for it. I just hope the journalism is clean and not full of real world swearing. I am always disappointed when a blog reduces itself to using swearing to make it appear 'hip'. My preference. Keep it clean. Swearing can be a poor form of expression and just used when one is at a loss for words. Takes some imagination to blog consistently I'm sure you'll agree.

I will soon return to my guitar motif as I search for the Turret image. I do so love good music!

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Lou Barlow - Legendary
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tritone - Stone Village Tower

As I mentioned before, Stone Village has great atmosphere and feel. Here is another photograph taken there. I was using a Pentax K1000 Student 35mm SLR film camera then. It took wonderful pictures. I have since sold it and I hope the new owner enjoys it as much as I did.

I made this piece into another tritone in Corel's PhotoPaint and changing back to a 24 bit image for resizing and adjustments. I love the door in this piece. A door to a tower is a mysterious thing, what lays behind it? A cylindrical room furnished? Did anyone live here? If so it must have needed much light as the tower did not have any windows to it, except the door window.

I went for a long walk in the wooded area nearby our home with my newer camera and took some pictures. I did a collage of some of the images which I will post after my small series on the Stone Village.

I slipped and fell catching myself before the camera hit the ground and sprained my left thumb. It is very sore and I will not be playing guitar chords for a time. So I have a forced break from music making. It will allow time to meditate upon the lyrics I have in poetry. And by the time it is healed I'll be primed for songwriting the musical part of the songs I plan on doing.

I am glad I don't type with my thumb!

Now playing on Windows Media Player: J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton - Ride The River
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tritone - Stone Village Hovel

I made mention of the Stone Village in my previous post. Here is a house or small hovel, the photograph taken at the Village.

Using Corel's PhotoPaint I altered the image to a Tritone and then converted it back to a 24-bit color image. If you look closely to the left side you can see where I used KPT's Collection Projector filter to straighten the photograph. I also added a slight brown frame to it for better balance.

I love these warm tones as it builds an image that is closer to what the stone colors were like at the time the photograph was taken.

As you can notice I am having an much better day, thank you. And I just got done putting up a bathroom fan with my wife. Something we have needed since the old one broke down. One little project on the house. We have many, it's a list that is intimidating to one who is not a fixer-upper.

Ahh, music, still in a dry spell, but much more positive today. It will break soon I can feel it. So in the meantime I am listening to many new songs that I am unfamiliar with. Helps me want to stretch my talents beyond my usual fare. Those of us who do songwriting need to do that so as not to grow stale and produce the same sound all of the time. I have been playing so long by myself that I tend to do just that, stay safely within my style. I need to grow and listening to others songs can be cathartic.

It is warmer and sunny today and the lake is beautiful, partly cloudy but some blue out there. Lends itself to a more upbeat outlook. Hope your day is a great one.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Go Betweens - Streets Of Your Town
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vector Enhanced - Round Windows

Ever have one of those days, you know the ones that don't start out right at all? I'm having one of those days today. It just started out wrong. Up late, missed an appointment, coffee even tasted funny. Couldn't wake up, took hours to get a grip on the day. What a day I'm having!

I am sharing a vector enhanced image today. It started out as a black and white photograph that I sepia toned in Corel's PhotoPaint.

I vectorized it in CorelTRACE and pulled it apart in CorelDRAW. It is a piece that was a round window built with stonework. It was taken at Jackson, Michigan's Stone Village South of Jackson. It is a very picturesque place with an atmosphere of it's own. It has many stone buildings and was once a cattle farm. They have a ceramics gallery and art gallery there, or at least they did the last time I was there, years ago now. It has a huge stone barn and a wonderful turret and tower of stone. I may share other photographs of it here.

The piece ended up with five round windows with the blue showing through the sepia browns, along with a bit of foiliage. Small windows fit my mood today. A narrow view through round windows. I need a bit of relaxation and this lends itself to that.

I have been working on a song, "Warm and Green", about spring coming. I haven't been successful in getting the chord progression right just yet, let alone the melody. It stems from one of the three poems I wrote the other night. I'm hitting a dry spell. But, I'll come around.

I did play around with Audacity and some trance music with a dance beat and some ambient sounds. I labeled it for the "JUNK" folder, experimental and not too good. But one can't always make a great sound each time one tries. So I'll keep on trying. I hope you do too when you are afflicted with a dry period. Point is don't give up!

Now playing on Windows Media Player: MGMT - Electric Feel
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Corel's Painter 8 - Hugh's Girl Portrait

A Digital Painting project, done in Corel's Painter 8. Based on a photograph by Hugh Hill.

I did this image back in 2006 and it is one of my best painted portraits done in Painter 8. I am especially happy with the way the hair turned out.

It was done so long ago I am not certain if I used the Oil or Acrylic brushes to paint this. I did it with my Wacom Graphire tablet, which is getting old now and needs replacement.

I am listening to the Doves "Caught by the River" right now as I post. A mellow song with a great feel to it. Nice guitar work and singing, very polished.

I am going to save up for that soundhole guitar pickup I mentioned recently. I have forgotten the manufacturer's name, but it will be a good addition to my recording. It may take a couple of months because I don't want to use credit and pay for the interest. So save I must. Much to my bookkeeper's chagrin I also want to subscribe to Dooley's Drums for some backbeats also for recording. Like many I am always looking for ways to improve my recordings.

I have been rather dry with songwriting lately. I have written three poems that may make it into a song or two, but that remains to be seen. They are rather free form with rhyming no story to tell just experiments with words and rhyme. The title's are "It's All You Need"; " Make Some Tracks"; and "Warm and Green". We'll see what becomes of these poems as lyrics.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Doves - Pounding
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Guitar Player - Jerry Sprague

This is an old photograph from the 70's of Jerry Sprague. He and I did a duo with myself on guitar and singing and he was playing stand up bass, years ago at a Hall on MSU's campus in East Lansing.

Jerry is an accomplished musician and I have done various interpretations of this photo over the years this is the most recent.

First I resampled the bitmap by 150% in PhotoPaint before I traced it.

I used CorelTRACE to go from bitmap to vector image. Opening the file in CorelDRAW I modified it to create this abstract. I grouped all the vector pieces and the background together and copied that to the clipboard.

I opened PhotoPaint File> New from Clipboard> and I used Effects> Art Strokes> Crayon> filter to soften the image and create a feeling of calmness.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Deana Carter - Strawberry Wine
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Change of Pace - Traditional and Digital - Portrait

Listening to Citizen Cope's Back Together as I am posting this today. Here is a portrait I did from my imagination. I used some old packing paper with white Gesso on it for color, texture, and tactile feel. I used pastels and pastel pencils to create this piece. It is larger than this but what you see is what my scanner could scan in and you get the sense of what the larger image is.

I wanted to show how I use traditional media and digital media together. After I scanned the pastel piece in I opened it in Painter 8. I used the acrylic brushes with texture added. As you can see if you click the image for the larger one there are things like the fold in the paper, the strokes of the pastels, and the digital strokes visible.

I created a unique blend of pastels and digital tools. I titled it "Harold", no apparent reason just came to my mind as I finished it up.

I am a bit discouraged today as my plans did not work out for the day. I imagine that happens to all of us. You plan and yet something comes up and changes the plan. Rather unsettling for me. I imagine others look at it as a challenge to employ their creativity and put it to use. So I am going to try that today. I need to do some creative activity. That will definitely help.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Coldplay - Speed Of Sound
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Seagull 12-string Guitar Collage

I'm listening to Bruce Spring-
steen's One Step Up
right now as I post. It's really mellow and smooth. A bit like my post of today. My Seagull 12-string Guitar as a collage.

I had found this image I had done previously from a photograph taken with my little Gateway DC-T50 a 5.2 mega pixel camera.

I treated the image by creating a golden fractal background using KPT's Collection, and adding a crayon filter to the finished piece. It has been awhile ago so I don't remember all the steps I took. It was done in PhotoPaint.

It's a golden warm image, that really gives the guitar a visual equivalent to it's deep sound. The dreadnought size makes for a fullbodied sound. It is definitely one of my favorite instruments I have owned over the years. It is now bordering on 10 years old and it still sounds wonderful to me. But I am bias I believe. After all it is my only guitar of the moment. I have to like it!

Now I am listening to Cake, a new group for me, one I am unfamiliar with. Interesting influences in their music.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Cake - Short Skirt, Long Jacket
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 16, 2009

Electric Guitar Player

I found this Photograph in my older pix files. I don't remember the source. If you know of the source or recognize the image, please leave a comment so I can credit the photographer! Thanks!

I took the file and opened it in Paint.NET first, used the Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter on it. I further used the Artistic> Pencil Sketch> filter and saved the file.

I opened the original photo in PhotoPaint and filtered it through KPT's Collection Pyramid Paint. This gave it a painterly feel. I then opened the Paint.NET file I created prior to this and copied to the clipboard. I took this and pasted as an object into the painterly original. Using the Object Properties set to Multipy I added the lines to the piece. I merged it to the background.

I then created a mask around the guitar player, still in PhotoPaint, and adjusted the background with Effects> Custom> Alchemy>; this made the guitar player stand out. I cropped the image to focus more on the guitar player.

Notice the CRATE amplifier. I enjoyed working on this digital manipulation, it made a very nice piece.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Beth Orton - Central Reservation - Original
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Guitar - Takamine - Close Up and Personal

Just a simple post continuing to feature guitar images.

This Takamine 6-string was the one I sold to my piano playing friend who learned to play it so fast it made my head spin!

It is from a number of photographs I took of it while I owned it. I opened it in Paint.NET and used the Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter on it, and that's it. Just a simple filter effect.

I liked it immediately and wanted to share it in the raw so to speak. If you look closely you can see part of the Takamine seal on the inside of the guitar.

I received in the mail a USB drive from my nephew in Alaska. He sent me a collection of songs that I am listening to now. What a good collection it is, I am not bored at all, great songs. Music from NPR I believe. He had recently listened to my CD Redeye Blues and liked it and wanted to hear more of my work and proposed a swap. So I am sending the USB drive back to him with all my recordings on it. I am hoping he and his family like what they hear.

Some of the recording comes from years ago (1980's) and progress to my more recent work. About six Audio CD's worth of mp3's. There were many dry periods where I did little to no music or decent poetry or even played the guitar, hard to believe I know. But I, like others have had many changes in my life. And sometimes the music wasn't part of it. Though I've always listened to what music came my way, I haven't always written regularly. I am happy that I have the Toneport UX1 and Gearbox to do recording now. Since I have been back in the creative mode again both with Visual Art and Digitally.

Comments are welcome! Feel free to leave your footprint here with a link to your blog or personal website in your comments. Happy you dropped by!

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Archie Roach - We Could Be Gone
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Vector - Three Singers Trace and Guitar

I continue with the guitar motif today, and vector art. I really like the way CorelTRACE does a nice job of vectorizing bitmapped images. It leaves something to the imagination as it simplifies the image.

Another photograph by my son, Keir M Gatzka. I traced it and added to it. I created another vector guitar in CorelDRAW using a design from VectorJungle. I had found more cyber plants design there and selected one that suggested the shape of an electric guitar. I added the body, the strings and tuning top. It is a multi-stringed guitar meant to emulate a 12-string. I placed the guitar, resizing it to fit the piece. I had taken some of the microphone stand and placed it in front of the guitar as you would see at a real show.

The image gives the impression that we are listening to a group singing and playing music. It is my piece for today.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Broadband Blues
via FoxyTunes

Friday, March 13, 2009


This is one of my daughter's favorite guitar images I have created. She has a print of it framed and hanging in her apartment.

I added the beveled frame to it today, it gives it a finished appearance.

I used two photos taken at a guitar music store, they were taken at different angles. I did my best in PhotoPaint to remove the traces of the price tags. I copied the one photo to the clipboard and pasted it into the other photograph as an object. Again using the Object Properties I played around with the Opacity of the object photo to allow the other angles to show through. I merged the two together. This gives the piece a depth of quality with guitars hanging everywhere.

If I remember correctly my son took the photographs and should get credit for them so: Photographer - Keir M Gatzka.

I have been reading older copies of Guitar World's Acoustic Guitar magazine and looking at chord progressions from older songs. I hope to discover something I haven't written with yet. I really enjoy adapting and adjusting chord progressions to create a new song. So I am always open to new progressions and new open chords, which are my favorite to use to write to.

I don't know if Guitar World still prints Acoustic Guitar magazine but I found another one of the same title, without the Guitar World publisher at the book store. I really like to peruse the guitar mags at the book store for ideas and information on what is popular, though I play with an older style based upon my roots in the late 60's and early 70's. I may not be mainstream but I enjoy writing songs anyway. Some have that flavor while others are more Country-ish.

I also keep entering contests from Gibson and Epiphone for a chance to win a new guitar. I am looking at 6-string electric or acoustic/electric. If it is not a sweepstakes where I must buy a ticket or a product I gladly enter. One might just win. As the budget doesn't allow for a purchase right now a, win would be something!

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - In A Bright Room
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Change of Pace - Collage

This image is a change of pace from my guitar motif. I made this collage in PhotoPaint. I used a photograph of Chicago's skyline taken from a moving vehicle.

I used PhotoPaint's spray brush of highway signs. And I added some Dover Publication's clipart. And to frame it I used some Dover clip art and a vector frame found during my search I did the other night.

It is an improbable setting with ships floating on the horizon. I entitled it: "One If by Land". At best circumstance move Slowly and follow the signs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vector - Simple Guitar Player

I was up lastnight, could not sleep. So I did some searching on free Vector Clip Art, using Google. I found a site called Vecteezy which had many pages of vector clip art. I used some of the Cyber Plant Life clips with a General Public License to create this simple guitar player.

I wanted to do something fresh and upbeat. Using CorelDRAW I took the cyber plant pieces and incorporated them into the guitar first. The one plant looked like a design that could possibly be on an electric guitar. I drew with the freehand tool and did a small extrude on the guitar body. I angled the plant and fit it to the guitar. Then I added the other pieces to make a composition.

Some of the vector files at Vecteezy are very good, but a little big for download on dialup. So I have to be selective by size and type. You can filter your search by type of file EPS, Ai, CDR, etc. It is another good resource for usable vector clip art. Please visit them and take a look.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Vector - Guitar and Banjo Players

Think 1980's. This photograph is an old scan from years ago. I have been reviewing some of my older work and photo-
graphs and thinking of ways to make them fresh images.

I opened the original scan and using PhotoPaint I altered the color. I like the green tones I ended with.

I copied the file to a Zip100 and pulled into Photoshop 7 on my Mac G4. I applied an Artistic filter which acts a bit like posterizing. Back to the PC I did some more work on it.

I used CorelTRACE on this old scanned photograph. After saving it in .cmx format for CorelDRAW I opened it in said program.

I ungrouped all the vectored pieces and moved some of them to provide white space. I added a yellow background and curved the corners. I added a beveled frame.

I am keeping with a guitar motif for a time as it comes under the Music discussion part of this blog. I am having a great time reviewing my older work and photographs and the inspiration comes. Thank you for reading and viewing my artwork!

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Hello Hello
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 9, 2009

Memories of Times Past - Guitars and Violin

You may or may not remember an earlier post where I described the sale of our instruments due to a budget shortage, which took place years ago. I found this photograph in my older photos and it was of the very same instruments.

My old 12-string and 6-string guitars and my wife's violin (fiddle bridge) are here depicted.

I took the small photograph opened in PhotoPaint and resampled it by 150%. I used Tune Blur to soften the photograph with Directional Smooth, a few times. This gave me a workable image. After saving the image I opened CorelTRACE and did an Advanced Outline trace to the image, saving it again with a different name.

I opened this vector image in CorelDRAW where I resized it to fit the page. I copied it to the clipboard and then opened it from there into PhotoPaint again. I decided it needed something extra.

I opened the resampled photograph in Paint.NET and used the Effects> Artistic> Pencil Sketch filter on it and saved that under a different name.

I then resampled both images to 1024x610 in PhotoPaint. I then copied the pencil sketch to the clipboard and closed it. I pasted it as an object into the colored image, changing the object properties to Subtract, which made it transparent except for the lines. Then I merged them together to create the piece.

I used Mask> Select all> then using the 3D Bevel effect I added the frame around the image at 10 pixels.

This was my first 12-string on which I used the GHS Heavy gauge strings on, like Leo Kotke, he used heavy gauge strings. And the 6-string was a Fender that had survived a fire.

Those were good days when I had those two guitars. I remember them fondly.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Warm Guitars - Dry Lyrics

I have shared here a collage I did a while ago using both the 12-string Seagull and the 6-string Takamine guitars. I had owned the 6-string at this time and was getting ready to sell it. I sold it to a piano player who is so talented he picked up guitar playing very fast. He has written some extremely good tunes and since he has moved I haven't kept too much in touch with him. I'd like to hear any of his newer music.

The image has a warm soft feel to it that I enjoyed producing. I used PhotoPaint and the Effects> Art Strokes> Crayon filter on it as one of the effects.

I have played the recording of "The Gossamer Veil" for some family and they liked it, so satisfying to create and have an appreciative audience. My wife thinks that "I Wanna Go Home" is 'growing on her', as she listens to it a few more times she is liking it better. Not all songs I write are good, obviously some are better than others.

I have been dry lyric wise that is why I have been going through my old poems and writings from long ago to the near present. I am selecting ones that work with music. It is interesting that the older poems are somewhat negative in scope. I must have been having some tough times then, as it shows in the content. I tend to write emotional poetry and songs about interpersonal relationships. But at other times I am more upbeat and positive. I think this gives good contrast to any CD I put together.

I have recently gotten some great feedback from my nephew on "Redeye Blues", which CD includes some covers of songs as well as ones I have written. I covered a couple of songs from Gordon Lightfoot's "Harmony" CD that I recorded prior to getting the Toneport and Gearbox hardware and software. The Toneport UX1 acts as a pre-amp as well as a sound card so the songs I record have greater volume and bite than songs I recorded using the sound card on the PC. The Toneport allows more emotion to show in the singing as well. I really like selecting the "Warm and Clean" vocal tone for recording. I also use the "Classic Vocal Front" tone which has more treble to it. Gearbox is very good software and it has many choices for vocal tone and guitar style or models. It also allows you to select amp and cabinet sizes.

I'd like to download the newer version but at 66mb it just bombs out on dialup. Every time I get close to getting the full mb's downloaded my service provider cuts me off. I have unlimited time but it will cut me off after approximately 3 hours online. I just redial in, but the connection for the 66mb download does not pause and restart. It starts from the beginning all over again.

I need to borrow a friends broadband connection and copy the program to a CD or DVD. It is odd that Line 6 does not offer the program on CD. A short-coming with Gearbox and the Toneport.

All in all it is a great way to record music. I recommend the Toneport, it comes in different models as well as the UX1. Check out my link in my Favorite Websites.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Blog Promoting

Just added my blog to Globe of Blogs. Click on image to go there. Or if that link doesn't work Google them!

I added the link to the text as the image link did not work.

I added a link at: Blog Search Engine also.

Blog RSS promotion is a challenge. There are many sites that will promote your blog for a price, but if your budget is tight you need to promote yourself. It takes time but is well worth the effort. What is a blog without some readers? Just taking up space on the web.

If you like my blog thus far, please pass on the word that it is online and I will continue to do my best to make it an interesting and informative one. I welcome comments as well as truly appreciate the readers and visitors I have had thus far. So come often and browse my efforts at presenting Digital Visual Art and Music Discussions. Thanks!
Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Norwegian Wood Cover
via FoxyTunes

Painted Guitars Collage

I took a few photo-
graphs of my guitars, and an abstract I had done a while ago (I use it as my masthead) and using Picasa 3 I made a collage.

I opened the collage in Painter 8 and painted using differing brushes, watercolor, ink, etc., using the clone operation to keep the collage visible.

I have finished two new songs. I was able to work on "The Gossamer Veil" and polish it up and add some background singing and lead guitar as well.

The just playing around with a drum loop from Dooley Drums, I played a chord progression of Em - Em7 - Em6 - F - D and G - C - G - C -D I added some lyrics from an old poem written in 1978. I added a few words as a refrain/chorus. With some lead guitar I had a song! "I Wanna Go Home".

The words are about working in a less than comfortable situation, with a supervisor that was always hard on me and accusing me of things I did not do or do right. But I admit in the lyrics that neither of us are perfect. But still it made me want to go home where I didn't have to deal with that.

Now the day was warm and sunny, I think I do much better in the good weather being creative with music, than in the gloomy winter cold. But I imagine that many do better when the sun is out, I am not alone in this I'm certain. Today is foggy and rainy, I am enjoying listening to what I did yesterday.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - I Wanna Go Home
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Gossamer Veil and other Stories

Speaking about years ago, I found this image on a Zip100 disk and I promptly took it to my Mac G4 and Photoshop 7.

It is either 1969 or 1970 I was about 19/20 years old at the time. I used Photoshop's Artistic filters on it. Yes, that is my old Harmony 6-string and it looks like I'm playing a D chord. I also did the large artwork behind me, in blacklight paints no less. That piece was shown at the then called Pontiac Mall now called Summit Place Mall during a spring art show.

I learned acoustic and played electric using a Woody pickup even back then. I remember learning "House of the Rising Sun" as one of the first songs I played on a regular basis. Most of my songs I wrote then were love songs or imitations of songs like "Eve of Destruction" and Beatles\Dylan. I was really starstruck in those days, like many I wanted to make music my lifestyle. So I emulated the stars I liked. Although I could not play as good as "Jimi Hendrix" (Jimi Hendrix Experience) or "Eric Clapton" (Cream Disraeli Gears) I had dreams of being a singer songwriter.

As I look back I humbly admit that I probably did not have what it takes to make a star. Like so many I have continued to play and write but more for pleasure than anything. I am working on a song called "The Gossamer Veil" which the lyrics were written in the mid 1990's. It's a song about how difficult it is to communicate between persons in interpersonal relationships. The "Veil" hangs as a barrier to full understanding and feelings we personally have. Good Communication is a key to interpersonal relationships. But it is very difficult at times when our background and experiences are different, even cultural differences.

The chord progression is pretty basic. But it is an interesting set and great to work with. I have the song melody and chorus and some backup written and a raw recording. The lyrics needed quite a bit of cutting and correcting, but I am happy with the song so far. It still needs polishing. I may add a positive verse to it but it is already over the 4 minute length, I have been known to write 5 minute songs (or longer.) Not sure I can keep the listener's interest that long!

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Alison Krauss - Nothin'
via FoxyTunes

Mayan Band

I wanted to share the full image of the Mayan band playing. I used the same technique to create this piece as I did, described in my last post. I have a cassette tape of this band entitled "Ingapirca - Popular Pan Music from South America" ©1996 Jorge Panchi. So it has been more than a few years ago we were exposed to this band. I haven't listened to it in a while. But I have it out now so I probably will take a listen again.

I like some world music though some of it is so different that I have to listen a few times to understand it. I am more interested in the late 60's and early 70's music. Dylan, Beatles, Tom Petty, America, CSN&Y, Neil Young, Chicago and many others of that era. I guess I am part of the Baby Boomers era, but I do like newer alternative rock and country. What are your favorites?

Thank you to all my readers! I am slowly building a group of person who read my blog. I really appreciate your interest and encourage you to share my blog address with others who like Digital Visual Art and Music Discussions.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Free Fallin'
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mayan Piper

A few years ago we had visited a festival in Howell, Michigan. They had Hot air balloons, a car show, and different kinds of live music, and lots of food.

I was using my APS Fujifilm Endeavor 4000SL film camera in those days. It would take panoramic size photographs. I scanned this one in and using Picasa 3 I located it under a folder named oddly enough "OldPix".

They mixed their live sound with guitars and these Mayan type pipes, along with drums. It made a very interesting and enjoyable musical experience. They really knew what they were doing.

I used Paint.NET's Artistic> Ink filter and saved the file. Opening it in PhotoPaint I copied it to the clipboard and then used Harry's Filters plugin for the background color. It turned out very dark after I pasted the image as an object onto the colored background. I used the Object Properties> Multiply to make it transparent. Then merged the object with the background. I simply used Image> Adjust> Gamma to make it less dark, rather than change the brightness of the piece.

It has a flavor all it's own. I loved hearing these pipes played.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Vector - Hugh and Guitars

I worked on this today. I have a great photograph of photographer Hugh Hill which I opened in CorelTRACE and turned into a vector image.

I took Apophysis and created a fractal background. I altered Hugh's photo in CorelDRAW by ungrouping the vector and move or to delete from the original.

I needed a guitar image so I went to Flickr and found a multi-guitar photograph with a Creative Commons License.

I also altered this photo by using the same process described above. I opened all in PhotoPaint and began to build this collage. Changing the object properties to make them transparent. I dropped them to form this piece.

I found that I had created quite a bit of white space so I added a black frame to it, about 15 pixels wide. That pretty well finished it off.

I'm listening to Raising Sand again. I really am enjoying this CD by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. The music has such an unusual feel to it. A combination of acoustic and electric sound and great vocals by these two artists. I recommend it!

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Alison Krauss - Rich Woman
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Collage - Ticket Stubs - Guitar - Paisley

I was working on an idea of two guitars for this collage and I remem-
bered I had a couple of movie ticket stubs. I also wanted to add some paisley to the image so I found some paisley in my samples of Dover Publications Clipart. I added some DaVinci images and created this piece.

By the stubs you can tell how often we go to the movies. Usually we rent the DVD when it comes out. But here you can see "National Treasure 2" and the fine animation flick "Wall-E". Both great movies.

I had the image of a gal playing guitar where the body of the guitar was almost white because of the photograph and the way it was taken. So I added some wood texture to it. I cut it out of the photo in PhotoPaint and I had it treated in Paint.NET with the Artistic> Ink filter. I left the hands in the image on purpose because I liked the disembodied feel it gives the viewer.

I had used KPT Collection's FraxPlorer for the background giving it a crayon look and feel with PhotoPaint's Effects> Art strokes> crayon filter. I over laid all the other pieces in PhotoPaint.

So here is a piece with disparate parts making up the whole with a look of a Journal page to recall the two films the ticket stubs describe.