Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bokeh 7518

My latest piece of digital art is Bokeh 7518. This was originally the background for another piece. I liked it, and decided to push it further... creating a new piece.

You can find prints, t-shirts, etc... of this piece at http://society6.com/koreywatkins (as well as other art and photography pieces).

Bokeh refers to the aesthetics of an out of focus photo... usually blurred to the point of abstract. It's a cool effect, and I've been playing with it digitally. In working with the original photo, I meant to leave background visible when doing a colour overlay. Ooops! That piece, "Josh 7518/9 Remix" turned out fine.

As I said, I liked the background, and pushed it further. I added layer upon layer and kept going until I got to a piece I felt was strong enough to stand on it's own. I like both pieces, and feel that while similar, they are now individual works. 

I had the pleasure of photographing Josh earlier this year, and have begun to work with some of those images digitally to create pieces that go beyond just being a photograph. This piece of Dalton (Dalton 2707 Remix) was closer to what I was going for with this photo of Josh, but... sometimes a "mistake" leads to something pretty darn cool!

I hope you've enjoyed the digital works I've shared here. Please check out my Society6 page, as well as other sites to the right, for more of my art and photography.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Texas Tornado Cake

I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back, and decided to give it a try. The recipe can be found here: http://cantstayoutofthekitchen.com/2013/09/06/texas-tornado-cake/

The recipe was easy to follow, and the cake turned out well. To be honest, I didn't find this to be an award winning cake, but it had good flavour and makes for a good snack cake. Not every cake has to be some spectacular work or art and flavour! Sometimes they just have to make for a good snack! To be fair, when I clicked on the pin, I expected the recipe to be a doctored cake mix, as so many "Texas" cakes seem to be. And I do like a good recipe for doctoring up a cake mix! I feel this Tornado cake needs some tweaking. Maybe a teaspoon of Vanilla Extract, or some cinnamon. Not sure yet. I'll tinker with it and make it to my liking, which is what I encourage everyone to do.

By the way, if you want to follow me on Pinterest, here's the link: https://www.pinterest.com/dynakor/ Fair warning: not everything is "safe for work". You will find comics, art, beefcake photos, food, t-shirts, beads, drag queens, celebrities, and anything else that happens to catch my eye.

It's back to work for me... Have a great week!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Walt Disney comes to Florida!

My grandfather, Haydon Burns, was Governor of Florida in the 1960's. He was elected in 1965, and served to 1967. 

With expansion of his empire in mind, Walt Disney set his sites on central Florida. We all know that Walt Disney World Resort in the Orlando area is huge... almost a city unto itself! Haydon Burns helped to bring Disney to Florida. 

Ultimately, you can learn more of the history of Disney by searching. I am posting because my mother and I have started going through old family photos so I could scan them in for preservation. We ran across this photo...

The photo shows Walt (far right), his brother Roy (far left), and my grandparents, Haydon and Mildred Burns (middle). It has been signed by Walt.

I thought this might be an interesting bit to share with all you Disney fans out there! I have fond memories of going to Disney World as a child, and still go at least once a year!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Korey's Potato Salad!

Yes. I'm calling it mine! I rarely develop full-on recipes, but this is one that evolved from several sources, one of them being from watching Granny (Dad's Mother) put together potato salad. There were other influences, but that was a big one on how I make potato salad. And I'm just gonna write about it because I'm not sure if I can make it a nice, concise recipe to follow. Consider it inspiration for YOUR potato salad!

So, with Father's Day coming up, it was decided that I would make potato salad to have with ham for dinner. I'm also making baked beans. However, potato salad is best if it sits in the fridge overnight, so I put it together today and took some photos.

So, I use five pounds of white potatoes, six eggs, a bunch of scallions, small jar of sweet pickle relish, mayo, and mustard. Pretty standard. My first step is to put the eggs on to boil. I have found the best method is to cover them with water, bring the pot to a boil, then turn off the burner and leave them alone for 15 minutes.

While they were doing their thing, it was time to peel and dice potatoes. I put them in a large pot, cover with water, then salt and pepper and put on to cook. Once they start boiling, it usually is only 10 minutes or so until they are tender. Check with a fork. When tender, pour out into a colander and drain / cool. Rinse with cool water to help the cooling process. It's okay if they are a little warm when you go to mix everything together. You just don't want them steaming hot.

While the potatoes are going, your eggs are likely done. Peel them. Don't worry about if they look pretty or not, because they get diced up too. You will want the eggs to be warm when you peel them. I find they peel nicer when they are warm. I dice the egg whites and cumble the yolks into my mixing container (which is also my storage container - one less thing to clean!). 

Now it's time to cut up the scallions. I use the whites and a good portion of the green. I slice each scallion in half length-wise before chopping. In the container they go! Wheee!

Yes, I use a big ol' container! It's five pounds of potatoes! 
At this point, your potatoes have cooled some. They might be a little warm, but that's okay. Dump them into the container. I use the whole jar of pickle relish. It's a small jar, and I just pour it all in... Then, I get out a tablespoon and a teaspoon/small spoon... the kind you have at your dinner table. I start with four or five tablespoons of mayo and four or five teaspoons of mustard. Salt and seasoned pepper to taste! I get a big cooking spoon and give it a stir. I add in more mayo and mustard as needed, usually opting for just a bit more mayo than mustard. Once it's all good and mixed up, give it a taste to make sure you're happy with it. Either adjust as needed, or seal it up and sling it in the fridge!

I know, the container doesn't look to pretty after mixing it, but it sure is handy to mix it in the same vessel you are storing it in. Of course, for special events, I usually transfer it to a nice bowl for serving. For everyday, just get it out of the container. Be sure to go back for seconds!

Now, go make some of this for yourself! And make it your own! Perfect for picnics and barbeques, and potlucks! Share any variations here in the comments. Or ask me questions.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Sesame Ginger Slaw Dogs!

So, what's for lunch? Well, today I tried something a little different... Sesame Ginger Slaw Dogs! I think I came up with this on one of my walks. (I've been walking lately, trying to drop some weight.) I love slaw dogs! I try not to have them too often as hot dogs can be little sodium bombs, but they are delicious! Normally, I just buy deli cole slaw, make the hot dogs, and go to town! But a while back I had bought some Sesame Ginger Slaw dressing, and I thought, why not try something different.
So, here's what I did and used:
Turkey Hot Dogs (I don't eat beef or pork, so I buy turkey dogs. Use what you like!)
Cole Slaw mix
Sesame Ginger Slaw Dressing
Whole Wheat Buns
So, I like scallions, and I thought it would make a nice addition. I cut up half a scallion for two hot dogs.
 I dressed enough of the slaw mix for two dogs, and even added some seasoned pepper as well as the Sesame Ginger dressing.
I like to fry my hot dogs in butter, getting the outside blistered and crisp. However, if you're gonna try this, prepare them however you like. Once the hot dogs were ready, I assembled everything and sat down to eat!

They were yummy, but I didn't put enough dressing on my slaw, so I added more...

The hot dogs had a nice tangy & spicy flavor from the dressing, and the fresh slaw was refreshing! I really liked the combination of flavors here. I will be making my slaw dogs like this again!

Now, if you're inspired by this, I want to encourage you to make this yours! Maybe the Sesame Ginger dressing doesn't appeal to you. Well, why not make your own dressing? There are plenty of recipes for cole slaw to be found. Or, change things up with a gourmet dog, a different bun, etc... The real point of this article isn't to go out and make hot dogs but to think about the food you like, and how you can change things up a bit. Don't be afraid to try new things. 

Since it's summer, I'm in the mood for hot dogs. Something about them just says "summer" to me. Please, leave comments and share you hot dog variations, no matter what you like to top your dogs with!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Water And Fire Tiles

The painting was inspired by an art project recreating Roman tile design with paper. I opted for paint, and just went for it. The tiles evoke water and fire. Done in acrylic on 4"x12" canvas.

Of course, you know that there's also a t-shirt of it... Check it out at https://paom.com/products/water-and-fire-tiles/

Pasta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing & Grapes

I found this recipe on Pinterest yesterday, and decided to give it a try. I had most of what I needed on-hand, only having to buy the poppy seed dressing. Here's the original recipe: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/chicken-pasta-salad-with-grapes-and-poppy-seed-dressing/4d5c3a2a-968d-4873-accb-8fff434edd05  Now, I did "customize" it a bit. I'm not a fan of celery, so I used a carrot instead. I didn't have almonds, but I had cashews so I used them. I also added scallions in. This was for the Classic version of Suddenly Salad, and I had the Creamy Macaroni style, so I just went with it. I like Suddenly Salad, and often dress it up by adding chicken and veggies to it. I usually get 3 or 4 meals out of a box of Suddenly Salad. I liked this recipe because it gave me something to do with the dressing. It was yummy! Here are the results:

In the plastic storage container:

In the bowl:

When I served it, I also added some baby spinach. Yummy! 

So, give this recipe a try, and even use it as a guideline to experiment yourself. The possibilities are only limited by our imaginations! Feel free to share your favourites!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday's Lunch: Chili's Queso Fried Chicken Bites + Cookie Monster Ice Cream

So, it's Saturday and I'm out running a few errands, thinking I might buy lunch out somewhere. Honestly, I've been craving McDonald's all week, but avoiding it because I'm trying to lose some weight, and don't need all the empty (but delicious) calories! Still, I'm not on a diet per say... just trying to watch what I eat. Anyway, I'm in Wal-Mart, and not finding what I was looking for, but I was wandering the frozen foods, and some of Chili's products stood out. I bought a couple of meals, paying less than I would at a fast food joint.

So, for lunch I had the Queso Fried Chicken Bites, pictured above. The picture is from the Chili's web-site, here: http://www.chilisathome.com/product/queso-fried-chicken-bites/ For $2.50, there were three decent sized bites and a scoop of mashed potatoes, smothered in queso sauce. The flavor was good! It was like eating a chicken jalepeno popper almost. Hot enough to be flavourful, but not burn your taste buds. I'm a big guy, and wish there had been about 50% more of the serving. That said, this made a nice sized lunch. I'm full, and I didn't over-eat, like I would if I had gone to a fast food place. This gets a "B" from me. I liked it and would buy it again. There are coupons on the site, so be sure to check it out.

Now, on to the ice cream! Yesterday I made a batch of "Cookie Monster Ice Cream". The recipe came from: http://www.bakingbeauty.net/homemade-cookie-monster-ice-cream/  So, these are my pictures (not my best) of the ice cream in the container. 

I decided not to use the blue food colouring. Basically, you are making a frozen whipped cream with this recipe. The flavour over-all is good. Of the cream without the cookies, I thought "meh" - kind of in the middle. The cookies really help with the flavour, and I wish I had broken mine up a little smaller. I have good sized chunks of cookie in this ice cream! I do like it, and will certainly eat it up. I'm thinking of fiddling with the recipe a bit to customize it to my taste. I highly recommend playing with recipes... make it once as directed, and if you liked it, play with it a little to make it more your taste. The ice cream gets a "B" as well. 

So, that's my food adventure for now. I'm hoping to get out to an art market next Saturday. Until then...

Friday, June 12, 2015

New Paintings

I have completed two new paintings, both of which are available in my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/korokstudios

Both pieces are abstracts. I have been doing small paintings lately, as I don't really have the space to work larger. I actually enjoy the small works. The 5x7 piece is one where I wanted to do something a little different, but I wasn't too happy with the beginning of it, so I set it aside. After a while, I came back to it, and just did something that made me happy. I have really enjoyed the abstract expressionist pieces I have been doing lately. 

The painted cd is my abstract take on a flower. I didn't want to do a straight-up, "pretty" flower. But, a flower is what I had in mind when I worked on this one. I really like how it turned out.

I'm off to get back to work and start on something new...

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Southside Market

I went to the Southside Market at Brooks YMCA today. It was the grand opening of this new outdoors marketplace. While small, it was nice! They had artists & craftsmen, food, produce, and food trucks. I think I also saw a bouncy house and other play stuff for the kids! There was a musician playing as well.

One of the booths I checked out was FreshJax! I sampled the Chili Lime Cashews, and they were out of this world! I bought some, of course (and snacked on them on the drive home)! They are spicy and flavorful, but not so spicy that your mouth is burning with the first bite! You can check out their web-site www.freshjax.com for more details on their products. 

I also went into the Black Hog produce truck! It was nice... a little store in a truck! They had a few animals there as well, in a pen outside. I got some nice looking carrots and some Oatmeal Raisin Bread! The bread was delicious! Full of nuts and raisins, with a nice airy texture. Yummy!

Now, even tho there were food trucks there, I didn't get anything. Odd, because I like food trucks. It was only because the choices didn't appeal to me today for lunch. There was a kabob truck and a Mexican/Barbeque fusion truck. Both had interesting looking food, I guess I was just picky today. There was also a cupcake truck, and some organic ice pops. Money was a factor today... it was either buy lunch, or buy a few treats, and I chose to get some treats. I don't think that bread is going to last the day! 

The only thing I didn't care for was... no relief from the sun & heat! Ouch! I felt like I was baking out there. But, the field is a good place to have it. One of the food trucks had a sheltered table to eat at, and there were other sheltered places to eat as well. 

I enjoyed myself, and look forward to attending this market again in the future! Jacksonville locals (or if you're coming to Jax), the market is at the Brooks YMCA on Centurion Parkway. It's not far from J. Turner Butler Blvd & Gate Parkway. Mapquest can get you there! This is worth checking out!

Monday, June 1, 2015

my lack of blogging...

Well, I've been a bad blogger... I haven't been keeping up with this blog like I should. Sorry about that. To be honest, other than going to the Shrimp Festival and creating some sketch cards, I haven't been up to much lately. Oh, I've put together a few new t-shirts, and you can check previous posts to get to my Print All Over Me page. (And if you're a food fan, I've got a couple of campy food shirts up there now!) I've just been in a creative slump.

I haven't had a photo-shoot with a model since March. No real reason - it just hasn't panned out. I've had potential models contacting me, but... a lot of times, they "flake out" before it's time for the shoot. Sometimes they say something that freaks me out, so I "flake out" and pass on the photo shoot. I've noticed that working with models tends to run in cycles of feast or famine. I had feast earlier this year, so it's a famine phase now.

BTW: If you like beefcake photos, there's a 25% off sale going on in my eBay store right now until 6 June or thereabouts. http://stores.ebay.com/korokstudios Warning: not all of it is "Safe For Work".

I've been putting sketch cards together, but haven't been doing much with my comics that I want to get going. I've got stories to ink and letter, so I'm going to work on getting back to that. I also want to get back to writing that novel I had started last November. I had good momentum for a while, then I got stuck and I can't seem to start back up. I'm also working on getting back to some painting. Lately, I find that most days I don't have as much energy as I'd like to have. Sometimes things in the personal life get in the way.

I'll leave off for now... It's time to get back to work!

Take care!