About Jinny and Corel Painter

Hi everyone,

Unless you're very new to the Painter community, you probably know my name is Jinny Brown. If not, that's me! The photo was taken by a co-worker the year I began learning how to become an illustrator. It was a very long time ago, but a time full of happy memories.

Photo © Bill Holman, used with permission from the photographer.

My home since February 28, 1975 has been in the south San Francisco bay area, in the foothills above the freeways. For many years before moving here, I lived down in the "flat lands", in suburbia. I have two "kids", five grandkids, one great grandson, and a 92 year old mother who says she's tired now. Who can blame her?

Coming from generations of military family, I've lived in a lot of other places including Maryland, Panama, Georgia, Texas, New York, Washington State, Washington D.C. and as a very young housewife and new mother, in Germany for a couple of years.

Much later, my "career" began and included almost 28 years as a:
  • Tech illustrator,
  • Graphic artist,
  • Production artist,
  • Proofer,
  • Editor,
  • Typesetter,
  • PMT camera operator,
  • Trainer of newcomers,
  • Greeter of clients,
  • Whatever other hats needed to be worn to produce print ready art and just keep things going, and finally,
  • Tech writer and illustrator.
Of the almost 28, I spent 5 years as a freelance illustrator and approximately 10 years doing temporary assignments. During the last few years, my job title was writer/illustrator, and my days were spent producing manuals from scratch to finish, writing, illustrating, and using FrameMaker to produce them.

Among my employers and clients were:
  • High-tech Silicon Valley companies like Hewlett Packard, Intel, and Applied Materials,
  • Government contract companies like Ford Aerospace (now Space Systems Loral), United Technologies, and Lockheed,
  • Text book publishers Addison Wesley and Wadsworth Publishing Co.,
  • Graphic designers,
  • Small graphics houses where I did work for, among many others, NASA/Ames and HP, small tech writing companies, and odds and ends individual clients.
One of my favorite memories is of working for a very small tech writing company, as an illustrator (and everything else that needed to be done... typesetting, proofing, quality control, PMT camera work, "fetching" coffee for the boss, and oh yes, drawing and inking).

There were only five or six employees, the owner (a writer), and a freelance writer. We were hired to work on a single project, writing and illustrating the manual for the home built aircraft, the Christen Eagle II.

It was a biplane, small enough to build in your garage and one of the fun parts was that we couldn't tell anyone about it during most of the time we worked on the manual, not until the Christen Eagle II was debuted at the Oshkosh Airshow in Wisconsin:

Oshkosh Airshow

Three of the illustrators were men (er... guys) and they absolutely loved this project!

We were all thrilled when we finally saw photos of the plane. The way it was painted was a wonderful surprise!

The two links below show first a small photo of the plane and the kit, then a larger and much better photo so you can see how cute the plane was and how it was painted:

Christen Eagle and Christen Eagle !!

Cristen Eagle II

The Christen Eagle II was an aerobatic aircraft and we heard later that it rivaled the Pitts Special (they told me that was sumthin!) at the OshKosh Airshow.

I'll bet everyone who worked on that project still has fond memories of the experience, just as I do, nearly 30 years later.

Phew! and that's only some of what working as an illustrator and tech writer led me to and through. I'm glad that stage is over now, though it was both interesting and challenging.

Now for the Fractal Design Painter, Metacreations Painter, and now Corel Painter part of the story (my favorite so far):

Fractal Design Painter came into my life just a few years before I retired and it was such a blessing! Organic, colorful, exciting, and not for a minute dry or boring. I spent every free hour playing with it and it truly did save my life. All those years I'd been earning a living, now I was living!

Though I no longer have Painter 4 installed, I do have six full Corel Painter versions installed as well as three "lite" versions, the Painter software that comes bundled with Wacom tablets.

All told, I have 13 years of experience with Corel Painter, starting with Fractal Design 4.0 and continuing through Painter X.1. As some of you may already know because you did too, I worked on the last three Corel Painter version Beta teams and the Beta team for Corel Painter Essentials 4. I use Corel Painter every day and travel the Painter related forums daily (several times a day, actually), helping Painter users out of pickles and into having fun. My two websites, PixelAlley launched in October 1999 and TutorAlley Forums launched in August 2002, are both Corel Painter focused sites. As you may have read on the home page, I'm in the process of updating PixelAlley, a huge job that will take a long time, working on it between other things.

Since Corel, for a while, did not list the most recent Painter IX and Painter X newsletter The Painter Canvas issues on their site, I've gathered the URLs for each of them from the October 2004 issue through the most recently published issue (as of July 2007) and posted the links at PixelAlley. You'll find links to the two pages (one for Painter IX newsletters and the other for Painter X newsletters) in the right column on the PixelAlley home page. You'll also find links to new material (including some tips and short tutorials) added in the past few months. They're written for Painter IX.5 and Painter X but some may also be used in earlier Painter versions. Bookmark this site and stop by often as I add new things frequently.

Let's see now. What else?

I guess that's more than enough except to say thank you all for stopping by to read my "About" page. Please enjoy the rest of PixelAlley as there's a lot of information here to help you enjoy Corel Painter, whatever version you're using.


Jin (or Jinny if you prefer)

© 2
007 - 2008, Jinny Brown
August 2, 2007
last modified October 12, 2008