Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Color & Charcoal: Mark Your Calendars & Preview the Work

June 19th, 2013, 5:16pm by Jake

Color & Charcoal, August 3Celebrate the art of Rachel Rome at the book launch party & show on August 3. This is the follow-on to last year’s book & show, A Celebration of Art (you can still order books & prints). That was a huge success, raising $3000 for art programs offered through North Shore ARC. Moving from the east coast to the west coast, Jake is hosting this year’s event at his home. You can find more details & RSVP on either Facebook or Evite.

The title of this year’s entry, Color & Charcoal, refers to both the vibrant colors Rachel used in her painting and the charcoal employed so skillfully in her sketches. The show will feature 60 original works of art, plus prints of dozens more. You can preview the book at Blurb and place an order directly with Jake; later on it will be available for purchase direct from Blurb. While a limited number of prints will be available for purchase at the launch party, prints are available for purchase right now on the website. That includes bonus pieces as well. If you just want to browse, they look great on Flickr.

Just like last year, all the proceeds will be donated to charity. This year, the beneficiary is Mychal’s Learning Place of Hawthorne. The funds will be used to support their arts programs. Mychal’s mission statement is, “to assist children and adults with developmental disabilities to build self esteem and independence by providing social and recreational activities with an emphasis on life skills training in a safe and loving environment.”

While last year’s book focused on the amazing work created in San Miguel, Allende in Mexico, this year’s outlook is broader. Of course San Miguel is well represented, but so is Viterbo, Italy. Truro on Cape Cod, and Ipswich, Beverly, Gloucester & Rockport along Boston’s North Shore. Take a look at the photos below to get more of a flavor of the book. Between now & then, make sure you like the Facebook page to see a new painting each day.


Sunflowers Model clothed in black & white

Lady in the red dress



Collage for Mom's 2nd Book

Home Gallery, 2.0

July 12th, 2012, 1:44am by Jake

Living Room Art

That’s just the back wall. There are 18 photos, 1 giant rainbow mosaic (256 images) and 4 LARGE paintings in addition to the 15 photos & 3 paintings you can see in the shot in the living room, kitchen & entrance hallway. My plan is to add 4 or 6 more above the kitchen alcove (living room side) and 5 more above my large side window. I’m no math genius but that’s… up to 45 photos and 7 paintings. The four squares I have in the corner may be moved to be flank the rainbow mosaic, opening up room for a couple more paintings (I got enough photos).

Of course, if anyone wants a print, just ask!

The Camera You Have With You

July 3rd, 2012, 12:56am by Jake

Following up on Mike’s post about the limitations of even really good phone cameras. I had a fairly marginal phone camera and a mostly busted P&S for years until I got the iPhone 4S and the Canon S95 in short succession in the Autumn of 2011. I’ve gotten some gems with both– some were almost ungettable with a DSLR due to reasons of access. I’ve gotten several of each into The Icebox’s The Fridge. All told, I think I would be happy with the S95 shots blown-up to 8×10 size or larger, but the iPhone pics have obvious issues even at small resolutions. It’s really really good… but not great. Can you guess which is which? No cheating! Here we go, randomly arranged. Mixed in a few other pocket & phone cams, too.  Click through for the full  look. (more…)

Mom’s Show Was a Complete Success!

June 10th, 2012, 10:46pm by Jake

Thanks all for your help & encouragement over the past year. I had a vision, but it took many friends & family, online & off, to bring it to fruition. Also, in case it’s not obvious, I’m cross posting this just about everywhere. Save for the bottom bit. 🙂

I am happy to report that to date, we have raised $3,159.24 to donate to charity. I am very happy about that– at one point I worried we wouldn’t raise $500.

We sold about 10 pieces of original art. 25 small prints, 17 large prints, 13 little books, 17 large books, 3 XL prints, more than 20 ebooks.

Over 150 people viewed the exhibit so far. There’s a fair chance that selections from the show will be featured in the library & in ARC’s community gallery. Plus online sales will continue & expand.

If you want something, here’s what is still on offer:

Original Art, priced from $50 to $5000. The pieces are selling, both slowly and surely.

Large hardcover & small softcover books from Blurb. (If you ordered one from me, they will be shipped in a week or two.)

Prints from the show, but more importantly, view the virtual gallery and simply admire the artwork. That’s what true artists truly want.

If you want the eBook, just shoot me an email. The recommended donation is $5, but you can contribute as much or as little as you’d like. We’ll pass it all along to ARC.


Special thanks to Mike, Joanie, Adam & Emmie who journeyed all the way to the nether reaches of the North Shore to join in the celebration. I know you all would’ve been here if you could. You all really helped me out, especially giving me that lift in January for March when I really, really needed it. I can’t express in words what that meant to me. Thank you!

A Celebration of Art: The Book

May 14th, 2012, 12:01am by Jake

The photos have been taken. The paintings & sketches have been selected. Well, the website is up. The site has been secured. A charity has been chosen. The press release has been sent. And finally, after months of editing, 2 full proofs, contributions from a dozen friends & family, design help from friends worldwide and countless hours of proofreading, the book is complete & ready to order!

But don’t order yet. If you’re planning to buy either the 7″ softcover or 12″ hardcover & you live in the United States, send your order to me & I’ll include your book in our launch order, which will save us some money and allow us to make a larger donation. But I won’t be bothered too much if you order it direct from Blurb. I still have to proof the 7″ book before posting it for sale. In the meantime, you’re all invited to order the eBook edition, which is only $10 and will no doubt look awesome on a new iPad.

Mom’s Artwork

October 1st, 2011, 4:20pm by Jake

I’ve had a lot of crazy projects the last few years, leading or helping them along. There’s The Day of the Donut. Free the Dune. Operation Jack Marathon. The Hermosa 24. The Icebox Book & Launch Party. Pacdog is Awesome. DMU Sh*w.

All were lots of fun, hard work (mostly) and I think brought happiness to a lot of people. I’m proud of what I did to contribute, and I know that I have some unique skills that have pushed a lot of these projects forward. Yet none I could’ve done alone, not by a long shot.

But none is more meaningful to me personally that has taken much of the year, starting in January and running through today and onward to next year. That has been photographing Mom’s artwork.

590 paintings, drawings & sketches to date. Of course, it was far from a solo project. He’ll humbly deflect his credit, but without Flickr & IRL friend Edson Matthews the latter half of those wouldn’t be perfect, if I had the time or energy to complete the task solo. Truth is, its harder than one might think, and I’d like to thank NAHppy, leesure & the others as well for chiming in with helpful advice. Edson never shared his lighting set up. But it involved a few white walls, a couple strobes w/ stands, an umbrella, special white balance card & a whole lot of patience. Thanks again. You can see the best photos of paintings you could ever expect to capture in 90 seconds or less here:

Friends, family helped the project too. Most of all Mom, who got me started on it as a snowy day activity. And I quickly realized it was what I was meant to do. Her friends, especially Katerina, helped a ton too, as did my cousin Emily, Mike and assorted other family members & friends. Including of course my step dad John who helped where he could and chauffeured Edson to the airport when needed.

Painting in the garden

So yeah, this is far from the end. But it’s a milestone. Of the 300 photographed before Edson arrived, probably 100-150 need re-takes. That will come in due time. The 20 in my house still await a proper capture. But that’s not what’s really left.

As noted, I have a plan– a real show, next June, with a few dozen artworks, maybe another dozen from friends. We’ll donate every dime to cancer charities or art scholarships, all TBD. But a show, a show just doesn’t happen. It’ll be a slow roll, and a book alongside. So the project continues.

And that’s the gift, really, that my Mom has given me. Among a 1000 others. I questioned at times what was the purpose of this task, and never quite knew. But at last I realized, this project is about me & my brother, which is all Mom ever wanted. For us to enjoy her artwork, to share it with the world, and get a little recognition.

Self portrait

Nothing gets those endorphins going like doing good. Doing good for my mom, that will kick in some endorphins for me. And others. And I’ll gladly basque in that glow. And using my unique skills, leverage it into something more, something greater.

So thanks all for your help & encouragement so far. The task will happily become part of my life’s work– not as a chore but rather as a reward. And for those that seek to share those rewards, I’ll be more than happy to accept your help.

Alas, and only with that does it occur that Edson didn’t just visit Beverly to help me, but to gain his own reward. And I’m certain he collected, and now we are left in each others’ debt. I look forward to owing a debt and being indebted to all of you more than I am already.

Mother's Work

Automated Wallpapers!

August 13th, 2011, 1:37am by Jake

Automated Desktops by jakers!

So I’ve been making these mosaics for upwards of 3 years now, and I always knew there had to be a better way to create them. I couldn’t find any good tools, so I created one!

I learned just a teeny bit of the Flickr API & Applescript and OS X’s Automator. Net result? Two little scripts that take less than a minute to set up– all I need to do is specify the set ID, the number of images I want & the aspect ratio.

First, I get the list of photos using an Applescript that accesses Flickr via the API. Then a few nifty scripts quickly download the 240 pixel image of each & rename them.

A separate script creates a new image in GraphicConverter. Each image is opened in succession, copied, window closed and pasted into the proper position in GC. All that done, I just save the image & it’s done!

Still some manual steps– right now I’m manually deleting the images after, manually saving & I have to make sure GC is open when I start. Plus, I’d like to just specify the desktop dimensions in pixels & images then figure out the rest behind the scenes. Long term goal is to create a web front end and apps that will generate new mosaics on the fly.

For now, this is good. The nice side effect is that when I make my 25×25 mosaic I won’t need to use the largely manual process I used in the past.

In case you missed it

October 11th, 2009, 7:28pm by Jake

That’s me on the last full day of summer camp. Only 10.5 months away!


July 12th, 2009, 2:21am by Jake

I’m working on my next round of solid square projects, and probably the last spectrum-themed endeavor for a long time. This post will hopefully HELP me create it, as I need to make a 16×16 mosaic, and most web pages won’t let me create something that wide. Click through to see all 256, then adjust your screen width to make them fit.
NOTE: I’m going to use this space as my laboratory, and at times I might have several hundred photos that are 240×240 pixels. Maybe more.


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