My artistic side

As I get to know more about my fellow Viable Paradise 19 class attendees I am corrected about a major misconception. The class is not as “young” as I thought. I assumed the majority would fall into the 20s-30s range of ages, and while there are some in the 20s and 30s, there are more in the 40s and up. There are even a few approaching my age, but so far I maintain seniority (age only). 

In hindsight, that stands to reason; tuition is not cheap, travel is not cheap, and lodging is not cheap. Someone farther along in their real-world career probably has a bit more resources than someone just starting out. 

Regardless, the level of enthusiasm is still high, and people are looking forward to the experience. It’s because it’s so high that I assumed a younger crowd . . . I must be the only old person with a subdued demeanor.

. . . won’t I be fun at the informal gatherings . . .  

There is a hashtag of “#VP19” for people to connect and easily track posts about the workshop. Past workshops attendees identify themselves as, for instance, having attended VP XVIII (Viable Paradise 17).

The class I will attend will be Viable Paradise XIX or VP XIX.

Following that logic, attendees could be called VPers XIX . . . to me that sounds like the word “vipers”, so I suggested an idea for a logo.

I suggested this class call itself Vipers XIX and run a logo of a viper rising from a book in place of the letter “s” and biting into the roman numerals. Of course, descriptions are difficult to visualize, so I drew a sketch . . . 


One thing should immediately be evident to all . . . namely, them people who insist there is an artist within me are a tad generous with their assessment. 

I suggested the above as a starting point for someone with actual graphic art skills to embellish and take to the next level. For instance, perhaps the snake should be biting into a book since we all have aspirations of getting published. 

The conversation then morphed into possibly getting tattoos, t-shirts, or mugs.

Well, crap . . . if we are going to do something serious with this, I thought I should give it a better effort. I grabbed a freely licensed snake sketch from THIS SITE and made a more serious effort using Photoshop.


I know at least one person (not a fellow Viper) said they preferred the one with the anemic snake . . . I’m not sure if he was serious or not. 

Honest, I’m not married to the idea or even this logo; I reiterated my suggestion other VPers, VPers with actual talent, put forth their suggestions. We’ll see how it goes.

The above is the most work I have done in Photoshop in the last three years or so. I mean, I use it for photographs, but only to merge panoramas, merge layers, and so on. I don’t actually edit the photographs in Photoshop.

. . . and then I chanced on THIS POST which pointed me to THIS CHALLENGE

For them too lazy to click on the links (or them with a pathological aversion to doing so), let me briefly summarize the challenge. Take an existing book cover, in this case, this one:


Using one of your own B&W photographs, perform a cover makeover.

Well, shoot . . . Photoshop was already open, so I gave it a shot:


I was not happy with the impact of the name; I thought it blended in too much, so I tweaked it a bit. 


It’s a subtle change, but I think the name stands out more. 

. . . I still had Photoshop open . . . 


We have arrived at the reader participation section of the post:

. . . and . . . 

I should stress I have not read the book or even heard of Louise Penny. I assume there is a high likelihood both covers are a serious mismatch of the book’s actual content; I was just going on the title.

If the story has a Metropolitan setting, neither covers make any sense.

Anyway, that’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tress in Tension
Tress in Tension

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to:


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.