African Penguin

African Penguin, 5 x 7 ink (O, P)

African Penguin, 5 x 7 ink (O, P); original photo credit A. Phillips

Otherwise known as Jackass Penguins.  This ink is from a photo my relative took of a wild penguin in Africa.  He had this to say:

When I went to South Africa I did not know about the penguins. I took a tour to the Cape of Good Hope and the Boulders Beach Park was part of the tour. There were park rangers there to keep the tourists from getting too close. Penguins will bite. There are only 2 or 3 kinds of penguins that like ice and snow. There are maybe 17 kinds that do not. At least one of my pictures shows a girl in a bikini sunbathing on the sand with penguins walking around her. The penguin in your picture is not trying to keep the egg warm. It is shading the egg from the sun to prevent overheating.

Cider Mill Duck

Cider Mill Duck, 8 x 10 Pastel (O, P)

Cider Mill Duck, 8 x 10 Pastel (O, P)

This is one of a small flock that had begun hanging around my relatives’ house, apparently free-ranging over from another house or farm.  They were very friendly and posed for many photos.

Fooling Around

I have been doing a series of casual 6 x 6’s in various media, usually on the back of scrap or abandoned paintings.  I didn’t sign any, with the thought of taking them to the RoCo 6x6x2014 show.

The first three are from a Farm Sanctuary calendar, the cub was from some magazine, and the other three are my own photos.

Flora and Fauna

My friend and I are having a duet show at the Memorial Art Gallery at The Friendly Home at 3156 East Avenue, “Flora and Fauna,” her flowers and my animals, until June 30th, 2014.  Follow the link above to see my friend’s artwork.  Here’s what’s showing of mine:

Kodak Photo CDs

Red Hartebeeste, 8 x 10 Pastel (O, P), from photo by A. Phillips

Red Hartebeeste, 8 x 10 Pastel (O, P), from photo by A. Phillips

Last summer my relative gave me six Kodak Photo CDs filled with wild animal photos he took when he went to South Africa around 2001, telling me I could do whatever I liked with them.  I created one pastel (shown here), but then hadn’t done much more because this out-of-date format is difficult to work with and I couldn’t get very good resolution.  They were barely good enough to make a 4 x 5 print.

My geek husband helped me figure them out, and now they will be much more useful.  I thought I’d share, though you may need  some tech help.

The CD-ROMS include .PCD image files.  When you can manage to open these with a program such as PhotoImpact (wonderful ancient program I had on my XP system last summer but which doesn’t install on my new Win 7 system) or Microsoft Photo Editor (which opens them now), they may not be in the best resolution.  This is because each .PCD file includes several resolutions, but the software mentioned seems to just pick its favorite.

So he had a program on his Linux box, Image Magick, which was able to convert them, and then we were able to install the application on my Windows 7.  I’m sorry, some of this is going to be pretty user-unfriendly, but maybe it will help.

We downloaded ImageMagick-6.8.5-3-Q16-x86-windows.zip, extracted it to the Program Files directory, and added its path to the path variable.  We logged out and logged back in to update the path, then opened a CMD window and typed “convert /?”  There should be several pages of stuff scrolling by.  If it’s only a half page, you didn’t set the path right, and it’s running the wrong convert program.  Once you have it, the command line is something like this: “convert D:\PHOTO_CD\IMAGES\img0017.pcd[5] img0017.tiff”  So CONVERT, then the source file, then no space and you put [5] to get the highest resolution out, and then a space and the target file.  It seems to know what type you want to make based on the filename extension.  So that I can do this without retyping it, I saved this text into a .BAT file which is just a text file with a .bat extension, and the computer runs it instead of editing it.  When I want to convert a file, I open my ConvertPix.BAT file to edit the target and source files, and then save and run it.  Then I can open the target file with Photoshop.  Janky, but it works.

Iguana, Kruger Nat'l Park, by A Phillips

Iguana, Kruger Nat’l Park, by A. Phillips

Using this method, these 4M .pcd files made 18M .tiff files, 3072 x 2048 pixels.  At 300 ppi, which is considered “high res” and what I use for my .tif scans of my artwork for making prints, these converted images will make a 6.8″ x 10.25″ print.  Possibly they would still look good larger, at lower than 300 ppi.  Image shown is compressed for the internet.

These images have been on these CD-ROMS for 12 years.  It’s probably time to back them up.

South African Photos

Zebras by A. Phillips

Most photos are labeled, but I’ll have to ask him what this is. – by A. Phillips

My relative went to South Africa about ten years ago.  He’s a photographer and he went to several wildlife parks there.  He just gave me over 500 photos on Kodak Photo CD to do whatever I want with.

Since I only paint from photos I have rights to, I’ve been limited to painting local domestic animals that venture near my own camera.  I’ll put these to work as source photos.