Sculpting Virtually

I may have previously mentioned sculpting and art within virtual reality, I do not remember if I have. Another fun health issue, my ever failing memory.  I combed my previous posts and did not site one addressing this, and as it is one the mediums I seem to be adoring the most as of late, I would be remiss to not mention it.

The above is a quick burst of some of the sculpting I have been trying to learn in Virtual Reality.

When I first tried VR a while ago, it was on a unit that went with my cell phone.  The VR Gear from Oculus, designed specifically for Samsung.  I knew the minute I “stepped in” that I would be hooked.

Many moons ago,  (1995 to be specific) I fell in love with a television show called VR5*.  The concept behind this show truly drew me in. Once the show stopped airing, my fascination remained.

Fast forward to 2015, a friend tagged me in on a post via Facebook.  The post showed someone immersed in a virtual reality scene and drawing all around them.  I swear to you, my heart stopped.  My eyes filled with tears.  Okay, even now as I am typing this, I am welling up with tears.  I really cannot explain to you the feeling.  It was just incredible. I knew I HAD to have this.

When it was time to replace our cell phones, I was surprised to see that as a bonus, the company was offering the choice of either the VR kit or an expanded memory card.  My husband chose the expanded memory card and I, obviously chose the VR. Thankfully, later my husband gave me the memory card too as between the VR and my propensity to take pictures of everything and everything I needed it.

When the kit arrived, I dove right in.  I was a bit gutted to then realize the art program I was tagged on earlier was not available on the phone based VR.  I was shattered.  Okay, that is a bit dramatic, I wasn’t shattered, but I was a bit saddened.  Nonetheless, the fact that this amazing device made everything look better to my failing eyes was amazing.  Plus, well, I am a gamer, so I got straight on that aspect and began playing non stop.

Suddenly, I started reading more and more about the virtual art.  I found one app that actually did work on the set I had.  Sadly, it was just not as intuitive as those I was seeing advertised and boasted about.

My husband is an amazing man.  He is not an art fan, whatsoever. However, he has always been extremely supportive of me and my career and the many financial burdens it places on us as a family.  Let’s face it, artistry and illustration is hardly lucrative. Nonetheless, he has never once suggested it is a burden. So, it should be no surprise that he went in head first and purchased me the full system needed to use Oculus Rift. Though my computer was not that old at the time, it certainly lacked a lot that was the required minimum to run a Virtual Reality system. As if the system itself alone weren’t expensive enough, this required a brand new computer and monitor. Did I mention he is amazing already?

It has been a love affair ever since.  I do not manage to do art and sculpt nearly as often as I would like to enable myself the time needed to learn it all.  However, for now as I am amidst normal day to day chores, home schooling my beautiful teenager, and illustrating children’s picture books, I realize any time at all to do anything else at all is precious!

My eye sight is worsening and I missed my last appointment and must reschedule it soon.  I fear I may not be able to achieve all I would like via VR as if I cannot see, that will be something I absolutely cannot do.

To see my sculpting progress please feel free to follow my Oculus Gallery.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel. For now, I am not publishing sculpting videos, I hope to once I learn more.

 

My first attempt at sculpting.

 

 

 This is supposed to be a love monster.

 

 Tried making a lighthouse.

*To learn more about VR5 please visit it’s Wikipedia Page or the IMDB Page. Episodes are also available on YouTube.

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March

A quick little post wishing everyone a blessed March.  Hard to believe we are already passed the middle of the third month into 2018.  I swear, the older I get the faster time flies!

Here are a couple of my March doodles.  Once celebrates today, St. Patrick’s Day, the other for Pi day, March 14.

pi st pattys day

Vacationing IN Art

An inspirational journey spanning Key West 🇺🇸, Aruba 🇦🇼, Bonaire 🇧🇶, Curaçao 🇨🇼, Cayman Islands🇰🇾, and Jamaica 🇯🇲…..finding art each stop of the way.
I even managed to find my favorite artist, Michael Cheval, at Wyland’s Gallery in Key West. I was completely starstruck. In my fangirl stupor, I left forgetting to purchase some of his amazing work on display!
From the art on board our ship, to the wonderful artist street market at Bonaire, I found amazing art. Every where I looked, there were magical creations. There were intricate pieces of the creators souls on display.
I am in awe of the magic each talented artist gives!

vacay art Seeing these beautiful works was very inspiring.

I had not, however, packed any of my art supplies.  My phone to the rescue! Without Wi-Fi or other forms of internet available at sea, unless you want to pay a ridiculous amount of money, I was limited to what apps I already had.  Luckily, I still had an expired trial of Infinite Painter on my phone. I only had it on there for my daughter to use, which she never did. Infinite Painter was the first digital drawing app I ever used on my first tablet, many years ago.  I absolutely loved the app.  I lost all the art I did with it when my old tablet stopped working completely. I remember feeling so crushed at the hours I spent.  Specifically, on a drawing of a Pandarian and Tinkerbell.  I digress, back to the present day….. Now, I have not doodled digitally with my fingers on a small surface in many moons. Years ago, I remember struggling with my bulky, sausage-like fingers on a tiny iPod screen for the drawing app Draw Something. I also remember how horrible my art looked because of it…which was extremely frustrating as I knew I was better than the art I was producing at the time.  Nonetheless, remembering all of this, I still opened up the app and began to doodle.  It was soothing and relaxing in the down times.   Down times usually were just prior to the Broadway style shows and entertainment.  In order to have a decent seat, near anywhere remotely close to actually seeing what was on stage, we had to arrive extremely early. As sitting in a theatre with passengers who are older than your grandparents, is well, at best, boring, I found this helped the time pass quickly. I also found just before retiring for the evenings to be a good time.  I usually do my personal artwork at home in the evenings as well.

The inherent challenge was the expired trial version of Infinite Painter.  There were no tools, virtually no brushes, and only one layer! Over the years, I have become extremely spoiled with digital art.  Between Photoshop’s tools and the incredible capabilities of artist apps I use on my iPad Pro, my phone felt archaic. It provided a beautiful challenge.  I embraced it and I actually enjoyed it.

The end results are not great works of art, but they are work I do not mind sharing.

 

vacation1

vacation2

vacation3

The seahorse I ended up finishing at home and adding the background to using Procreate.

For more of my art, please visit my website.  http://www.alysathena.com/

All my art is for sale, I take commissions and everything is always fully customizable! From canvas to clothing, there is something for everyone.

stationery

 

Returning From Holiday

There is nothing that can compare to a beautiful vacation aboard a cruise ship.  Sailing has always been my preferred method of travel.  In fact, I have not even been on a plane in over 30 years. If I had my druthers, I would live on a yacht as opposed to being on land. There is something so tranquil and calming that the ebb and flow the ocean provides. It can rock me to sleep like a mother gently rocking a cradle.  The beautiful salt air from the sea soothes my soul. It would seem for me, the roughest days I have experienced at sea were still more relaxing than the calmest of days on land.  Let me not forget to mention the glorious sunrises and sunsets at sea.  The horizon unfiltered by the congestion of buildings and clutter of man….simply stunning.

sunset at sea

Granted, planning a vacation at sea can be a bit nerve wrecking at times. Especially when hurricanes are involved. Last year’s hurricanes devastated many of the ports which cruise lines frequent.  Several of our cruise ports were shifted.  For me, this is honestly not a matter; I feel worse for those who have suffered living at the regions affected, and find it incredibly selfish when those who are vacationing complain about not being able to travel to these destinations.  A vacation is a vacation, regardless of where you go. This was the second time I had a plan to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico that was altered due to a hurricane.  The last time was in ’98. Eventually,  I will visit Puerto Rico.  In the interim, however, I am praying for those who live there and the horror they have experienced after the devastating effects of the 2017 hurricane season.  And to the passengers who insist on complaining,  I offer you this; imagine, for a moment,  that you were on the ship during the hurricane.  Redirection of ports is not that horrible, it is inevitable.  Nature happens.

wreckage

In all of my years of cruising, and there are many, I must say NCL is by far the best cruise line I have ever been blessed to sail on.  They have, what I believe to be, the friendliest and most talented of staff. NCL’s crew always make us feel like family.  Being an OCD neat freak, I must add that NCL is also the cleanest line.  A spec of dust cannot be found! NCL has become our preferred choice for sailing for 14 years now. I cannot recommend them enough to anyone who is considering a vacation at sea.  I realize have had been a little bit annoyed at times with the experience as a Latitudes member, (example is our cruise this past Thanksgiving, article click  here)  however, overall no other line comes even close to the wonderful vacationing experience NCL provides.

ncl

Now, some may say my daughter is pampered.  I mean, how many 14 year olds can tout that they have taken fourteen 7-14 day cruises in their life time? We have incorporated these cruises into Kira’s home school lessons, however! Each port has a rich history.  Even the ship provides education.  We loved Kira’s questioning the knots to miles conversion! There is a learning opportunity everywhere you look.

 

horses aruba

aruba horses2From the significance of Horses in Aruba………

 

truman key west

the impact Truman had on Key West, Florida….

cayman

to the relations of the United States of America and The Cayman Islands!

cayman 2

Not to say that we did not manage to have a little bit of fun amidst Kira’s cultural/historical and artistic educational experience.  After all, the entire point behind this specific holiday was the celebration of our little girl turning 14!!!

bday decor

kira bday cake

And NCL helped us by having our cabin fully decorated with cake ready when we first arrived!!

We had a glorious 11 days at sea in celebration of Kira’s turning 14.  The only down side was we are all sick now.  Evidently, someone on board (actually several someones) were ill.  Upon our arrival to land, we all fell ill.  Kira’s fever finally broke at 102.4 the other late evening/early morning.  I, myself, have been in bed non-stop. We feel a bit miserable, but it is quite worth our epic adventure.  After all, without the bad, how can you truly appreciate the good?? I finally felt able to move to my computer and try to post. I have managed to fall quite behind on things in my illness stupor!

There is a big artistic significance behind this vacation as well.  I will for now, however, leave that for a separate post.

 

Joyeux Noel

I have just sent out my first ever subscription email to my followers! It is such an honor to have people who do not even know me actually subscribe to me! If you would like to join in you can subscribe via the contact page on my website.
http://www.alysathena.com/

On The Other Side

moth girlI know I have been rather quiet lately……… moth girlBut I have been working hard behind the scenes. leafy dragon girlAmidst the chaos that this time of the year brings, I have managed to eek out some art.  Here are just a few.  I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween and Thanksgiving!  Hard to believe Christmas is right around the corner! 

The Fairies of June

The Fairy and the Sprite

 

The Sprite and the Fairy 

Disney Fan Art

Drawn for one of my best friend’s birthday.

I think fairies may be my absolute favorite subject to draw.  I have always admired art that contained them. I do believe I have more art that I have done containing fairies than anything else.

If you like my art and would like to commission me or purchase any of my original  work please visit my website at http://www.alysathena.com/

 

*fan art is never for sale