Saturday, November 28, 2009

Guitar Series X - Concrete Grunge

Number ten in my Guitar Series uses a concrete grunge background from TextureLovers, and another of my own photographs. I took the photograph using my lightbox that is also used for Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter. It projects bright outdoor light, thus the heavy shadows.

I used the chords and lyrics from a song, "Can You Please Love Me?" ©2009 Kirk Mathew Gatzka. It is the chorus of the song. I kept this image simpler than some of mine. The grunge background adds texture to it. I used Paint.Net for the ink sketch look, and PhotoPaint for all the other elements, using similar techniques I have described in other posts.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Can You Please Love Me?

Guitar Series X - Concrete Grunge

Number ten in my Guitar Series uses a concrete grunge backgorund

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Continuing the Guitar Series - Rust Grunge

A very short post today to share another in the Guitar Series I have been doing. Here is an angled shot of the duo 6 and 12-string guitars. I used similar techniques shown below on creating this image.

The song listed in the text portion is titled "Acceptance," ©2009 Kirk Mathew Gatzka. It is about well-being and acceptance of limitations when one is experiencing them. Time and again one must evaluate a trying circumstance or condition and endeavor to be as modest as necessary to deal with them with a form of gratitude for what one is able to accomplish.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Acceptance

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guitar Series VIII - Music Stand Grunge

Yesterday I took the lyrics for "The Solitary Man" and added chords and a melody. I renamed it "The Solitary Walker" to better fit the words. I found some new chords in the "A chord" group. An A9 in the first two frets then I move it up to the next two frets and lift up one finger for the three chord basis of the verse. Variations of the "D chords" is used for the Chorus. With a simple bridge of G Em Am D.

The lryics were posted earlier and I did not change them at all, I was satisfied with them as they are.

The image today is another in my Guitar series. I used a floral grunge texture from Autumnights as the background. I took the photograph of the two guitars plus a music stand with lyrics and chords for "Cat's in the Cradle," and "Polly Come Home," on it. I play mostly by ear so I use these formats extensively.

I resized the two images to fit each other to overlay them. I used Paint.NET to apply the Ink Sketch filter with the color boosted high. I opened both the images in PhotoPaint and copied the guitars to the clipboard and overlaid it onto the floral grunge background. I used the Object Property Multiply for transparency and merged them together.

I used the font called Yukon Gold for the dripping chords, and WC Rhesus B Bta font for the paint splatters adding the dripping effect filter to them.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Polly Come Home Cover

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Guitar Series VII - Quad Grunge

Listening to some world music today, strange drum beats and stringed instruments and vocals. All inspiring to listen to. Violin's, too. Great music. I like some of this genre but some of it I don't understand from a musical point of view. Cultures differ so much and so does the music.

Today's image gave birth as a photograph where I had laid the guitars across each other. A simple posing for another still life.

I opened a rusty grunge background in PhotoPaint that I believe came from TextureLovers. I took the photograph and resized it to fit 1024 x 684 72dpi for the web. I then copied it to the clipboard and pasted it in as an object in PhotoPaint. I used the Object properties Multiply to make it transparent. I copied that to the clipboard and set the first merging it with the background.

I took the clipboard copy and pasted it as an object (much like using layers) and flipped it horizontally. This gave me the Quad look and feel for the piece. I merged it with the background. I added the text about Folk Rock and some chords from a chart listing. I adjusted them by using the spin tool to slant them along the necks of the 12-string. Applying the Effects> Distort> Wet Paint for dripping of the text after the slanting.

I added some paint splatters again making sure they were somewhat transparent using the Object Properties set to Normal and changing the Opacity to 62%. This allows the texture to show through a bit. I also upped the saturation of the color. This has become a process that I use often to create these grunge genre images.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Baka Beyond - Spirit Of The Forest (African)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Guitar Series VI - Duo Grunge

The Lyon 6-string guitar needed some new strings so a visit to MotorCity Music was in order late Sunday. I purchased a set of D'addario Phosphor Bronze Light gauge strings. I restrung the guitar after I got home and the difference is not subtle. The sound of the guitar improved immensely with the new strings. A rich , full tone with both bass and treble sounds coming clear and true. It's amazing what a new set of strings can do for an inexpensive guitar.

I took one of the photographs of the two guitars I had taken recently and added to my guitar series with another grunge piece.

I started with a rust colored leather like texture for the background, I have forgotten the source online. I resized it for the web to 1024x684, 72dpi to keep it managable. I did this in PhotoPaint.

I opened the photograph of the guitars and ran the Thredgeholder filter on it to get the sketchy feel to add to the grunge style. I copied it to the clipboard and pasted it into the texture as an object, much like using layers. I adjusted it using the Object Properties Multiply to allow the texture to show through.

Saving this file I opened it in Paint.NET and applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch filter with the color full up and the ink brush set at medium. I saved this and reopened it in PhotoPaint and adjusted the Tone Curve to lighten it a bit. This file I opened in Painter and used the Photo brushes Burn and the Splatter watercolor brush to the background. And I used the Photo Saturation brush to boost the color on the guitars only.

Saving that I reopened in PhotoPaint to add the text of a chord progression and a bit of lyric complete with Effects> Distort> Wet Paint> for the dripping. I then added some paint splatters and used the Object Properties to adjust the opacity to 62% letting the texture show through. I added the dripping wet paint to these as well. I merged all the object to the background, completeing the new Image.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Amanda Marshall - Let It Rain

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Guitar Series V - Dual Grunge

A short post today to share another guitar image. This one is done in the grunge style I have used in the past for both guitars and custom cars.

I opened a texture from TextureLovers for the background. I used a photograph of dual guitars taken by myself. I used the Little Ink Pot's Thredgeholder for the sketchy look on the guitars. I added them to the background using the Object Property of Color Burn in PhotoPaint.

I added the text of some blues chords and a bit of a blues song I wrote called "Broadband Blues ©2008 by Kirk Mathew Gatzka."

Also added were the paint splatters using the Effects> Distort> Wet Paint> tool for the dripping paint appearance. The whole image was created in PhotoPaint 12.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Amanda Marshall - Birmingham

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cubist Guitars - Series IV

Received my new Elderly Instruments Catalog Yesterday. It is filled with bargains and interesting accessories for the stringed instrument player. Elderly is known for it's wide variety of stringed instruments from Vintage Electric Guitars to Ukuleles. They have been in business for over 30 years and are one of the best stores in the country.

As I browsed the catalog I saw two Seagull 6-string guitars that attracted my attention. As I currently own a Seagull 12-string the appeal of owning a 6-string of the same make is strong. I am using the Lyon by Washburn 6-string now but it is just a basic guitar and needs the action corrected. I has a treble sound to it and I prefer a guitar that is Dreadnaught in size and full in sound, with easy action for playing.

The prices are very good for these two guitars, and I am tempted.

Today's image was created from a photograph of the two guitars stated above. I opened the photograph in Paint.NET and applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> to it for the grainy appearance. I then opened that file in PhotoPaint and used Effects> Creative> Glass Blocks> filter for the Cubist look and feel. I used the Tone Curve to deepen the colors and upped the saturation a bit. I decided to overly a frame to the resulting image. Again I used Effects> Creative> Frame> and selected a frame and adjusted it's opacity to a foggy black.

I resized the larger image for the web display and saved it as a jpg file.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - A Bm C#m D Run

Cubist Guitars - Series IV

Friday, November 6, 2009

Guitar Patterns - III In Series

Last night I stayed up late because I could not sleep, you know the feeling. Restless and awake, so I worked on a song about feelings. Being so RAW that everything is intensified and burns into ones psyche.

The need for a listening ear that is not afraid of irrational thought or emotion. A tall order to fill. But a good song idea. It is a simple song, not very clever using a chord progression of open chords, with a chorus progression of seventh chords ending in a G.

I added a lead to it while recording it in Audacity. I did the main part of the song with a preamp called Detroit RnB Vocal. I used the 12-string for the background chords and I played the 6-string for the lead. Switching the Woody pickup between the two acoustic guitars. I saved it as an mp3 to keep the size controllable, though losing a bit of quality, it is good enough for my uses.

Today's image is the same two guitars I used for the song. I opened the photograph in PhotoPaint and used the Tone Curve to deepen the colors and upped the saturation as is my common technique for many of my images. I added a pattern with Harry's Filters 3.0 plugin, selecting patterns and overlay to add it. I used the "jump" feature to get just the right pattern and colors. It jumps between patterns as one would guess from it's name.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - I'm RAW

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dual Guitars with a Little Flare

Listening to the Country Rock of Kenny Chesney right now. Great songs and backbeat on this Live version of his hits.

It was suggested I do a series based upon the photography session I had the other day. How they knew I was thinking of the same thing I don't know. But today's image is another of the photographs of the Lyon and Seagull guitars.

I opened this photograph in PhotoPaint and used the Tone Curve on it to darken it a bit. Adding to the saturation made the colors of the two instruments deeper. I also added a Black shadowed frame and a Walnut colored thin frame to it.

I used KPT's Collection Lensflare to add the colored flare to the image with the largest portion on my pickguard. If you look closely you will see I etched a design on the pickguard to customize the 12-string Seagull, made it my own, so to speak.

I am enjoying this series of images and hope you like them as well. As a guitar player images done in an artful way are appealing to me. I have more to come and will share as I go.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kenny Chesney - What I Need to Do

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lyon by Washburn - Seagull - Guitars - Song Registration

Photography is a nice part of my hobbies. It is very nice to have a decent DSLR camera for small projects. I took my Canon Rebel XTi and got some photographs of two guitars.

A Lyon by Washburn 6-string and my Seagull 12-string. They were easy to pose and cooperated with me quite well. Neither of them fell or were hurt during the session. I shot about thirty-nine exposures. Using differing angles and backgrounds.

One of my favorites is the image I am posting today. I used PhotoPaint to apply the Mosaic Vignette to the close up of the dual guitars and upped the saturation a bit. Then I added the text using some grunge fonts. The details were made soft on purpose for the image.

I had been playing the Lyon recently and now have a blister on my finger from pushing and pulling strings playing lead on it. One of the small hazards of being a guitar player. It's action is a little stiff and not like my 12-string, which I had had adjusted to my taste quite a few years back. I would like to have the Lyon adjusted as well. But that remains to be seen.

I have been discussing song registration on the Acoustic Guitar forum I am on and it appears that quite a few persons are using to register their songs instead of the site. One reason is that it now costs more to register rights with the government. has a lower fee for that: $30.00 for up to four songs. Whereas the government wants $45 to $65 for song registration.

There is also the ASCAP site for composers and publishers of songs to register for collection of roaylties if someone uses your song for recording or performance. This is another way to protect one's songs from being used without authorization.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Jeremy Fryc - (Part 2)... most people seem to like it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Solitary Walker

The Solitary Walker is a photograph that was filtered in Paint.NET for an Ink Sketch look and feel. I was thinking it would make a good title for a song. I need to mull over that and see what I can come up with.

The bright colored tree seems to be the subject of the piece, but it is really the single person walking in the autumn color. The focus is not on him but the idea is. He is by himself in the brisk air of fall. Others were with families or friends, in groups of two or more. But he appeared to be by himself, alone.

When I was a younger man I would take long solitary walks. It was one way to deal with pressures of life, and on the other hand it was a real pleasure to do so. No one to talk with just the scenes I was in, walking and thinking. At that time I wasn't into photography as much as I am now. So I don't have any images from those days. But the memories are still fresh and clean.

The Solitary Man
©2009 Kirk Mathew Gatzka

The memories are fresh and clean,
The solitary walks alone.
Air was pure and foliage green,
I was alone but also seen.

Time stretched on before my sight,
I would walk on into the night.
A solitary young man alone,
Walking, Walking, Walking home.

Just a solitary man on his own,
Walking for pleasure, walking alone.
A solitary man on his own,
Always walking on his way home.

Seasons come and seasons go,
Weather changes from hot to cold.
Scenes change slowly as I go by,
Routes may differ as I sigh.

Just a solitary man on his own,
Walking under pressure, walking alone.
A solitary man on his own,
Always walking on his way home.

Thinking thoughts so deep.
Watching the Sun creep,
Across the sky as it goes.
Walking, Walking with no purpose.

Just a solitary man on his own,
Walking for pleasure, walking alone.
A solitary man on his own,
Always walking on his way home.

Something to think about and possibly refine, needs chords and a melody line.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Staind - Tangled Up In You

Monday, November 2, 2009

Black Horses - Painter 8 - Watercolor

I was in a sour mood yesterday afternoon. So when I am in a mood like that I turn to music to help me get snap out of it. I took the Lyon by Washburn 6-string guitar and hooked it up to my Toneport UX1 with the Seymour Duncan Woody pickup.

Using the Gearbox software I played around with the grungiest guitar and cabinet configurations I could. I played a couple of chord progressions for a background to play against and played some loud Blues Rock leads.

I used the chords EGAC GEm AmD and for a bluesy background I used E7 A7 B7. I recorded my efforts for fun with Audacity. They are not the best I've ever done, but it helped me out of the mood I was in as I played and improvised. I even used a bass guitar setting and played a bass back beat to the bluesy chords. I stuck with the E string and A string for the bass improvisation.

I usually play the 12-string so the 6-string was fun to work with for a change and the sound was harsh and loud. The best thing was it helped my mood.

Today's image was done from a photograph taken at Kensington Metro Park's Farm Park Hayride wagon. Both horses were black and new to people, young horses that are just getting used to crowds. I got a couple of good photographs of them and I think this was one of the best.

I opened the photograph in Paint.NET and applied the Artistic> Pencil Sketch> filter. This gave me a basis for a pen and ink watercolor. Saving that file I opened it in Painter and applied the woodcut filter which gave it the pen and ink look. I opened the original for the coloring and set it as the Clone Source.

I then used the watercolor brushes for the painting of the image. I saved that file and opened it in PhotoPaint, framed it in black. I upped the saturation a bit, and used the Tone Curve tool to slightly darken the colors too. I saved the file and then resized it for display here and saved that secondary file.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - E7A7B7-Blues