Copyright Notice

All images, photos, and video excluding advertising and google generated content, or unless otherwise labeled, are Copyright Jephyr (Jeff Curtis). All Rights Reserved.

These images are not in the public domain. Contact me for licensing terms and pricing.

Unauthorized or unlicensed use for all commercial and personal applications is prohibited.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Painting Lesson: Seeing Color And Value

Painting Lesson: Seeing Color And Value

with Richard Robinson

Painting by Richard Robinson:  Not covered in this video

I found this video over a year ago and just stumbled on it again.

I'll post it here as a reminder to myself...and for anyone else trying to master some basics about color.

Richard talks about seeing color and value correctly and demonstrates some methods on how to do it more accurately.

"A" and "B" are the same color and value

See more painting lessons at:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Phoenix Dust Storm: Saturday 7-21-12


In my "studio" (the room with my computer : ) I keep the blinds on the lone window closed so light doesn't affect what I see on the screen as much.

Even so, I started to notice that the light in the room had taken on a brown-ish, red-ish hue!!

Outside we were having a major dust storm!!

So I grabbed my camera and snapped a shot or two.

You can see the some of the palms and trees are really being blown by the wind.

BTW...these were taken at approximately 5:00 pm Saturday 7-21-12.

You can see little blowing dust trails at the rear of the white car to the right!

UPDATE:  It's now 6:10 pm and we're having a real good rain!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Computer Art And The Joy Of Pets

Hi again,

I once heard a professional artist talk about pets.  

He said he keeps his studio door closed while he's working because they can be distracting.

This NEVER happens to me!!  : )

Shasta.  Right before I snapped this image Maxwell, my male cat, was laying to the right of her...on my Wacom

Yep...right here!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jephyr Photograph: The Sky Speaks!


As mentioned in some of my latest blog posts...recently I've spent some time exploring the Apache Trail East of Phoenix, Arizona.

As you drive North past the Superstition Mountains, the road quickly becomes a winding 2 lane, up and down some fairly steep grades.  

Occasionally you pop out on top and have long panoramic views of the craggy desert mountains and distant peaks.  

As I neared Tortilla Flat, a little town with a big history, I saw a vista that compelled me to stop.

The sky was amplified by banks of clouds off in the distance with bright, clear skies over head.

Here's one of the images I captured of that scene with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Thank you for stopping by!

Swing by to see more Artwork and Photography!

Jephyr: A New Life Drawing 7-16-12


Yesterday I went to another Life Drawing Open Session at MCC hosted by the most excellent Dr. Gingher Leyendecker.

Even though it didn't start until 5 pm I was a little late.  But soon enough found a place to sit and got set up in time for the long pose.

At first, I wasn't sure I liked where I was sitting and even got up and looked to see if I could find something better but quickly decided to stay put.

I struggled to find my groove in the beginning...and early on it even crossed my mind just to pack it in.

But soon enough I was finding my way...and even started to enjoy myself.

As always I needed more time...and would've loved to keep working on this and really tighten it up.

But I'll present it here as a "quick" study...imperfections and all. 

: )

<  Click the image to see it larger


Thanks for stopping by.

Check out to see more of my Artwork and Photography etc.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Inspiring: Ira Glass On Creativity

I found this on YouTube long ago...and fortunately just saw it again!

In this inspiring video, Ira Glass, a Public Radio veteran, talks about creativity...and the struggle to overcome ourselves!

It is a must listen for anyone just starting out in a creative field...and a good reminder for those already well on the journey!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More Photographs From Last Weekend

Twice I found myself headed up the Apache Trail east of Phoenix over the weekend

The road winds along the Superstition Mountains through old Apache Indian lands...and past historic gold mining camps complete with tales of old prospectors and legends of lost gold mines.

In spite of the oppressive 108 degree weather I'd gone out in search of adventure and brought along my Canon EOS 5D Mark II to document what I might find.

"Shadow Dweller" - Photography by Jephyr, 2012

Along the way I saw a Forest Service road sign indicating there was a "look-out" point for a natural monument called Weaver's Needle.

I took the turn, and found only one other car in the parking area...parked and then began a short but blistering hike up the trail.

About half way up I stopped in the only shade I found and saw a little prickly pear cactus hunkered down in the shade...and snapped the image above.

"Sky Weaver" - Photography by Jephyr, 2012

Later when I reached the end of the trail, I was amused to discover that you could barely see Weaver;s Needle from the lookout point.  (In the image above you can just see Weaver's Needle along the horizon just to the right of center)

But rather than get frustrated I decided to make the best of it and began to notice the beautiful sky and the desert "garden" of plants and cacti all around.

"The Witness" - Photography by Jephyr, 2012

Did I mentioned it was HOT?  With the exception of one lone vulture way off in the distance I didn't see another living thing.

At that point I felt a bit like a crazed desert rat!

Later, on the way back down I swung into the Goldfield Ghost Town and snapped several images of old vehicles abandoned in the desert sun.

"End Of The Road" - Photography by Jephyr, 2012

All in all, it was a pretty good day.

Thanks as always for stopping by!


I just updated my digital art page on my web-site...feel free to have a look!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Lost Dutchman And Other Desert Tales


Twice over the weekend I drove east of Phoenix and up the Apache Trail.

This drive takes you through some very historic lands.  

Originally inhabited by the Apache Tribe, later as Europeans pushed westward it became a region for prospectors and gold fever.

A number of mines worked the area and made some men rich.  Some fell into legend.  Some lost it all.

"The Lost Dutchman's Dream" - Jephyr 2012

Men have literally given their lives chasing tales of a German immigrant's "lost" gold mine...but even then it's hard sometimes to separate fact from fiction.

Nevertheless...there were real tribes, and mines and real gold found in those mountains. 

And signs along the highway speak of them.

"The Ancients" - Jephyr 2012

I was searching for a different kind of treasure over the weekend..and found a few nuggets both days.

All the photos in this post are from Saturday , 7-7-12.

The cactus so familiar to all of us living here, are called Saguaros.  They don't grow a single arm until they are 75 years old.  So when you see one with several...they have been standing for many, many years.

"Superstition" - Jephyr 2012

On the drive back I stopped at a "historic" little shop...selling everything from snake-skins to maps.  Two ol' "desert rats" regaled me with tales from their pasts and from their store front pointed out several mines within sight from where we stood.

One told me about the fabulous wealth earned by some mines...and claimed that 75% of the gold in those mountains has still not been found.

I felt a bit of "gold fever" begin to rise...and perhaps understood just a little why men would leave their homes and families to dig treasure from such a  foreboding land.