Friday, August 26, 2011

California Street on Nob Hill

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Just Steve.

I'm normally not a name-dropper. I've had this short incident held in reserve for years, and it now seems like an appropriate time to relate it...

In January 2000 at Macworld in San Francisco, Mark Zimmer and I were in the process of wrapping up a press tour for Metacreations Painter 6.1. At trade show events such as this, there are often small press rooms reserved for companies in which to conduct interviews. Mark, myself, and our PR person were in our press room preparing for the day's interviews with the Mac press. As I remember it, the PR person was organizing press materials and Mark and I were busy setting up a Mac on which to demo Painter.

Suddenly, a head popped into the doorway. It was Steve. No entourage or posse. Just Steve. Initially, I was the only one of us who saw him. In the most casual voice I could muster, I said, "Hi, Steve!".

"Hi guys! I just wanted to pop in and say, 'Break a leg!'", he said. We thanked him, wished him a good show and Steve was gone as quickly as he appeared.

Our PR person was absolutely floored. "That...that was Steve Jobs!...OMG!"

Mark and I managed to play it cool and say something like, "Oh...yeah...Steve."

That would be the end of my story except for one small factoid I possessed at the time: Mark previously confided in me that Steve had been in contact with him regarding working for Apple. Steve Jobs has long been known for his finesse at cherry-picking world-class talent. Mark was—and is—one of the brightest engineering pixel-slingers out there.

I've no doubt that Steve's brief appearance at our press booth door was designed to provide a small nudge to Mark in the direction of Apple, but it also provided a snapshot into Steve's inner-workings. The man is always thinking in terms of how to better Apple. Something as small as a quick "Good luck" certainly made our day and see the man devoid of ego...just another Mac-head wishing us well.

By the way, Steve's elixir worked its magic. Three years later, Mark became a Software Development Engineer at Apple, where he works today.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


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I've been playing with my recent spiral staircase photograph and applying the recursive Droste effect. to it.The result is somewhat Escher-like.

Below is a 100% crop of the center of the full-rez image. Be sure to click on the image to see the full resolution.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spiral Stairs at San Francisco's Embarcadero Center

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I've been fascinated by the oft-photographed spiral staircases in San Francisco's Embarcadero Center for years. I finally got the opportunity to photograph them myself during my recent visit to the City by the Bay.

I thought this image would make a good candidate for the Droste effect. Below is a sample:

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I'll most likely be doing some further experimentation!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Michael Tegland Artworks

"Roland" - 2009
Graphite and chalkboard paint on birch panel
24 x 16 inches

Full size detail

Artist Mike Tegland, my good friend and studio mate back in my analog art days, recently launched his website, Michael Tegland Artworks, to show his work. Mike has developed a unique drawing style influenced by the Viking, Celtic and Native American cultures.

Mike's intricate compositions are drawn in pencil on birch panels prepared with chalkboard paint. Depending on the lighting, the graphite line work can appear either lighter or darker than its dark gray background. The result is a dynamically changing view depending on the viewer's relationship to the lighting angle.

When he's not in his studio, Mike works as the Chief Preparator at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha. Mike is represented by Modern Arts Midtown in Omaha.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Latest Title is Now Live

The production elves at have been working much so that my latest title, Transforming a Photograph into a Painting with Adobe Photoshop, has been released ahead of schedule.

The above introductory segment from the title provides an overview of its content. This title additionally comes with a specially prepared version of my Artists' Brushes for use with the title's lessons.

And—to add the icing on the cake—Colleen Wheeler, content manager for design at, just informed me that Transforming a Photograph into a Painting with Adobe Photoshop had the most viewers this past weekend by a factor of 2!