Monday, May 31, 2010

New Books and Illustrations

I've made some new books covered with some of my illustrations. A couple other new books are covered with some of my photos, and another has a cover of an old late 1800's photograph of a baseball player, Jack Clements. Now available in my shop. Soon will have 8x10 prints available of the illustrations, probably today.

The craft fair mentioned in my previous post, or rather, Scandinavian Days as its called (local cities were founded by people of largely Scandinavian heritage), was pretty much a bust for us (five books sold in two days), but pretty nice for my brother Eric, who we shared canopy space with. He's an oil painter, and he had paintings and prints of landscapes of the area. He sold four small paintings, and ten prints. He really needs to get into some galleries. He'd do well. I'll write more about his work tomorrow.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Books, books, books

Preparing books to sell at an upcoming craft fair at the end of the month. May nor may not even be accepted to the event, but ramping up for this one show in particular, and for others during this craft fair season. With this mad bookmaking dash, my illustrating is on hold, albeit I'll soon be printing some already completed ones. I've already been making some into book covers. Soon to share in a later post.

Also, my report on how I set up my iMac G5 to dual boot OSX and Xubuntu will be on hold, and maybe never materialize as each day that passes, my recollection of what I did to do so grows dimmer. Getting it set up required going into what was a foreign world to me, and I really just pieced together information from others and finally got it to work. Haven't even been using it, though, as I set it up to see how much faster Inkscape would be while running natively, and since then haven't been using it heavily enough to justify rebooting into Xubuntu.

The Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II is doing me pretty well. There does seem to be some bug that sometimes allows the printer driver to change the page set up. Edit: not a bug, exactly, but if I set up a custom size of 4x6, then the printer driver when it goes to print, switches to its own 4x6, which has three different versions, and it chooses a version that doesn't print as I want it It chooses borderless, which also prints with colors waaay off. But, when choosing the pre-set 4x6 page set up, it works as expected. Happened on two different prints (very frustrating), but I finally was able to print them correctly. Still, it made no sense to me why it persistently switched my chosen page setup to a different page set up on these particular images. Even so, it makes some pretty prints. Not having time to really figure out color management yet, I've just done some trial and error in printing to get good images, but don't yet have it set up to produce a print that matches (as much as can be expected) the onscreen image. Which may be dumb, as it may have taken as much time to get the color management in order as it has to do my trial and error on individual images. I dunno. I'd already put a few hours into learning color management, and my initial efforts left me scratching my head. I have loved the results from printing on Mohawk Superfine, though, and would like to try it on some cover weight stock, instead of the 80 lb weight I have on hand. I like Mohawk's high standard for paper permanence, even if the best my current Canon ink can get me is 100 years in dark storage (before noticeable fading), or somewhere around sixty on display if under glass or treated with a protective UV spray.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Acquisition: Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II

It arrived a few days ago from California, after a brief visit to Idaho (tip: change your entire address in your online store account profile before placing your order). I've only dabbled with it in the last few days, mostly devoting way too much time to learning about monitor calibration, icc profiles, printer profiles, and such. In the end, after printing only on card stock and some Mohawk Superfine, the Canon Pixma PRO9000 (Mark II) is leaving me very much impressed. Although, I have an illustration that has been giving me fits in trying to get its printed color right, hence all the time learning about color management. I finally got on the right track using a somewhat odd (to me) method, but it could be better. And shouldn't require going some unusual route to get there. Granted, my paper used so far isn't high quality inkjet paper (or at least not marketed as such), and the icc profiles I've used aren't specifically made for the paper I've used, but the four or so other images I have printed were very much on the right track colorwise. While this one illustration has been crazy off. Not yet sure what the issue is. I'll report more on that later, and give more word on the printer once I have a chance to use it enough to say something more. I'll be using it in the next few days for making some book covers (I'm excited about the possibilities), and when I get my Red River Aurora Fine Art paper I'll be making some art prints. This is my kind of thing, tech and art and fine craftsmanship all rolled into one. I feel a little bit giddy inside.