Life List Update!

I’m loving having this list up. Have I mentioned? Anytime I’m inclined to be bored I reread it and try to work toward one of my goals. I almost forgot to mention I totally achieved something recently. When I made the list, I wrote:

  • hang my paintings in a Seattle coffee shop/bar

I deliberately made it vague knowing that it was unlikely my art would be accepted to my favorite coffee shop in town [since some developer bought the building and they’re closing soon]. But I really wanted to see my art hanging up at Bauhaus. And then, as if by some sort of miracle, they put out a call to artists on Facebook. They wanted works that exemplified an End of an Era. I took a piece that I’d been working on for over a year featuring a gilded background and painted Bauhaus’ mascot on his motorcycle riding off into it. I love the effect.

If you’re in the Seattle area, you can visit the Wild, Plaid Yonder upstairs at Bauhaus until January 2nd! It’s $250, purchasable via Paypal. And keep up with my Much To Do List here as well!

Image

  • hang my paintings in a Seattle coffee shop/bar

It feels good to get something done!

xo,

Sunshine

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progress 2 [photography]

In continuing on with beginner’s photography I studied a few books on composition as well as just generally experimenting on my own.  I think I’ve made some [more] progress!

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Product Photography: My Ghetto Lightbox

Learning about photography sure is awesome when you have a dope camera! I’ve discovered that DSLRs are the key to making Seattleites behave extra sweet like southerners. For real! There’s a giant stereotype that we can be aloof, even gasp standoffish. You’ve heard of this, yes? Well, strap a DSLR on it and boom everyone has an experience to share. I made it down my block and around the corner before the first person asked what I was going to shoot. What’s even more surprising is that I had an answer for that. I was going to shoot one of my favorite views of the Space Needle. [Show you soon!] Around the corner again, and a guy comes up to the bus stop and just basically tells me his life story. The conversation began, sweet camera, I’ve got a D500 at home… On the bus, two stops from home a cool lookin’ fella gets on and beelines toward the seat beside me. His wife is a professional photographer and he plays in a band. What a coincidence! So do I, I say. It’s like friends fall out of the sky when I’ve got this thing on! Dope.

My Needle shot notwithstanding, I actually procured this beast for the purpose of shooting my paintings and products. Very soon I’ll be adding an Etsy shop to everything else going on and I’ll need things to be well photographed so they best sell themselves. Well, easier said than done. Honeybee and I share a dimly lit basement. Eek! So properly lighting anything is gonna be a challenge.

A challenge I gladly accept.

Here’s my first attempt at a lightbox. It’s way smaller than any of my paintings, but I had to start somewhere. I used brown paper [’cause it was free] instead of the customary white. I also couldn’t find my other [appropriate] lamp, so I ended up using Butterfly’s Big Bird lamp propped up on Honeybee’s weight. I decided to shoot my new boots. They’re L.L. Bean [from Value Village for $12, booyah!] and they fit like a dream. There’s also some shots of Ghost Man and the sleeping statue carved by Honeybee himself. Here’s a slideshow of everything so you can see!

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I love how warm and mostly crisp [give or take an amateur photographer, ha!] they are. My next one will be bigger and better. I’ll even gets some proper lights, but I’ll have to wait until the bathroom construction is done and the studio is set up. Yay! More things to be excited about. 😀

❤ Sunshine

Camera Upgrade

Thanks to a lovely and truly colourful friend, our camera situation has been upgraded! Before I used a Canon PowerShot point-n-shoot dealie bobber and now I’m winking behind a Nikon D70 DSLR camera. This thing is serious. Jessie called it her big girl camera and I’m inclined to agree. There you have it! Seattle transformation complete! You can expect the pictures featured at Sunshine Press to raise in quality effective immediately. Like, right now.

My new camera as photographed by the old. [note the blurry, fuzzy lettering and washed out flash action]

 

My old camera as photographed by the new. [see? there you can read everything and only what’s important is focused]

 

I’ve spent the afternoon reading manuals and watching instructional videos. And taking lots of test shots. Here’s a sampling, including my first ever [the gargoyle] which was surprisingly affective. None of these have been adjusted in any other way besides on the camera.

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How to Learn Stuff: Photography Part II

Step two: download free trial of Photoshop.

Check.

Of the photos I took before, I picked the garlic to experiment with. I lightened things up a bit and brought up the greens. I also blurred the background to make it more backgroundy.

Before:

After:

How to Learn Stuff: Photography

Blog: How to Learn Stuff

 

 

 

I can’t tell you how many amazing photographer lady and gentlefriends I have. Amateur photographers and professional photographers. Film photographers and digital photographers. Wedding photographers and landscape photographers. I couldn’t say. Some delve into graphic design and marketing. One’s a cake decorator. Some work with movie directors, shooting stills. Others are at the scene of the crime, or the courthouse or the red carpet trying to catch a troublemaker making trouble. They come in all shapes and sizes, these picture-takers, but they each have one thing in common: they are all [too damn] busy.

 

Seriously, they’re about to become an urban legend in my mind.

 

If I could find one of these elusive creatures I would ask them about the basics of their craft. I say their craft because photography is not my craft. I don’t know anything about it aside from there being pictures I like to look at and pictures I don’t like to look at. I don’t know what aperture is and frankly it boggles my mind that someone got the bright idea to even invent the things. I mean, if somebody handed you a box and some glass and a battery, how long would it take you to hand them a Polaroid?

 

For-fucking-ever, right?

 

But there are cameras all around us all the time. They’re just overhead of traffic lights checking your plates, etc. At this point they’re essentially standard on new cell phones. Cell phones with dual camera systems with megapixels so high you’re like, wait–this camera’s a phone, too?! There’s always somebody around with a little iPhone action. Flip on that Instragram…aaaaand scene! All done! This event has been catalogued in the easiest, coolest fashion. You’ve been tagged. No need for me to break out my little blue Canon point-n-shoot at all, which is fine. Totally works out for social gatherings but what about the practical applications of photography for me as an artist? How’s a lady s’posed to build a portfolio around here? It’s been months and months since I spent some time asking for all the help and I could get and so far I’ve gotten none.

 

Granted, my schedule hasn’t been the easiest to work with. I spent about a year working two jobs and more than half of that time in school with a full course load. And my band, Super Plaid, practices usually weekly. So okay. Whatever. I was busy! In that time a lot of my business pursuits went unanswered, some events went unattended. [Missed you!] Sure, I completed a series of paintings, A Touch of Whimsy, but I just couldn’t find the free time to really work at marketing them which, at the end of the day-week-month-semester-season, left my artistic side cold and pouting in metaphorical rain. So that’s it, I gotta change. I’m no longer working that creativity-stifling second job and school’s out for the summer.

 

The time has come to set in place new standards and practices that make it easier to keep this thing going when school’s back in session for fall. Because you can do anything you set your mind to. Because, really, I have to keep making stuff or I’ll just burst. Just ‘splode, I will.

 

Step one is learning the basics of photography, with my little blue point-n-shoot without getting down about my little point-n-shoot. Sure there are better cameras, but if you handed me one, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. If I have to start somewhere I may as well start with where I am. Step one is Google It! Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation. Ooh! Step one is research. Aperture, also known as an aperture stop, is an opening, usually circular, that limits the quantity of light that can enter an optical instrument. Alright. That’s gotta be the little hole thingie that clicks closed with the snap of the button. Okay. Alright. Look at me, I’m moving right along!

 

I realize steps two-through-professional-photographer all involve more research, probably a class. I know I have a long way to go, but every blog I’ve read slash instructional video I’ve watched says the real deal is taking pictures [makes sense] and paying attention to what you like about them [also makes sense]. Okay, here’s some I shot today.

 

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I’ll keep you posted on the progress of my pursuits if you promise to give me advice and opinions and hugs! [Let’s face it, you were going to hug me anyway, weren’t you?]

 

[Weren’t you?!]

Meet: Brianna Brumfield

Hi-hey! Oh, hey! Hi.

Today we’re starting a whole new thing. A new-old thing. I’ve had this idea for quite a while, you could say for as long as I’ve had a good buddy I’ve wanted to introduce em to my other friends. Just makes sense. I’m lucky enough to encounter a wide range of ever talented people. They’re visual and digital artists, they sing, they dance, they run businesses and fight political foes. They inspire change on every level from great big benefits down to small, but innovative personal habits. Because that’s how change starts: small.

So to get this party started right, I’m going to introduce myself and the projects I’ve been working on most recently. It’d be weird to ask myself questions so I opened up the floor to the audience my newest works have had. I welcome you to a side of Sunshine you may not have known before and to new friends to collaborate with. After all, we’ve got work to do.

BB

State your name, for the record.

My name is Brianna Estella Brumfield, though I answer to Sunshine at times.

So what’s your art?

I sing and play keyboard for Super Plaid. We make funky-groovy-dance music for people who like such things. And we wear a lot of plaid. I also paint, mostly in acrylic on canvas and rough plywood. The series I’m working on, a Touch of Whimsy, features my first ever mixed media pieces. I got to smash a warped old guitar and a boombox. There’s nothing more fun.

Does Super Plaid have any shows coming up?

At this exact moment, no. We are preparing for the release of Second Spectrum, with it will come plenty of shows, though. So be ready. I’m fucking serious. I can’t wait to share this thing with the world.

What’s so special about Second Spectrum?

It’s the amalgamation of a year or so’s worth of hard work. It’s our honest take on a good time. When I hear it, I simultaneously can’t believe how far we’ve come and how steady and seamless our progression has been. I wanna give it to everyone because everybody needs to chill and groove. At least for a little while.

But you’re also a painter?

Yes! Oh hell yes. I’ve painted for years, actually. Secretly, sort of, but not really. I used to hang out and paint with the B Side Artists in Orlando selling art on the street. Like, straight to the people as they floated by. I didn’t expect the wealth of knowledge and support I’d walked into when I met Al and Swam [of Solillaquists of Sound]. They hit me with a 1-2 punch of advice a confidence and then practice and patience. I learned something new and amazing, like, every five minutes. It’s crazy!

[Looking at Christine] I like the way the shadow of the guitar leads to the strings. Where did Christine come from?

Christine is a sweet girl I met at a sleazy motel in Seattle. She gave me a six string guitar when she moved away and I kept it in my living room. Guitar and I don’t often see eye to eye so I thought it was just me when it sounded funny. My more guitar inclined friends showed me that it was warped and forever unplayable. I put it off as a possible project for months until this past summer when my heart got broken. In a fit of sorrow I smashed the guitar, nicknamed Christine, and carefully kept all its pieces for the day I could express what had happened. The strings fall in a pattern that seems natural, but actually required a bit of doing. I wanted the lines to read like a feminine form and the colors to invite that warm, homey feeling. Her arm, the arm of a record player, draws inward and finds a hole where her heart had been. She’s heartless but she’s beautiful.

What else can we expect from Sunshine?

I’m also a student and I have two jobs, so I’m pretty busy on the day to day, but you can safely expect more art and more music and more hugs. Those are a few of my favorite things.

Well, kiddies, until next week! Prepare yourself for fun cause you never know who you might Meet: