May 27, 2013

The camping continues....

I had a stretch of a few gorgeous days for some discovery. I've been starting some new work inspired by my camp and some of the surroundings.

Here is my Henessey hammock amongst the trees.

and a later version where I re-applied the trunk paint over the greenery.

I also started a piece where the camper is amongst the trees.

I used bronze and copper paint for the reflective pine leaves covering the ground and the trim on the camper.

On hottest day of the week-end, I cracked and I treated myself to some of Dar's ice cream goodness.

Nom. Nom.

I took myself on a bike ride but quickly found out it was a walking only trail so I parked my dreamy trusty steed against a big tree and went the rest on foot.

Bird, Butterfly and this little fungi - It is pouring rain now so I have plenty of time to sit down and crank out another painting inspired by my camp.

I sketched it out quickly on a Grumbacher artist panel.

I blocked in the background and base colours.

I worked in more depth on the forest floor.

I then used the a fan brush to block in the background and some of the mist.
I applied more textured lights and darks and painted in the hammock fly.

I still have more work to do on each one of the paintings and some of the other stuff I am working on while in the Artists Cabin.

May 23, 2013

Art in the Park - Mission refuel

Mission refuel.

I need both food and gasoline. I left the Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial park this afternoon to restock my camping kitchen. Having all this quiet time to reflect and relax has really helped make a concise list for the kitchen. I have had a lot of time to think what you really want to eat and drink.  I finished a book already and started another.

When I drove into Maple Creek and saw the high gas price,  I couldn't have felt more like I've been living in a bubble. I can see why disconnecting is nice, but it feels strange revisiting. Like Mad Max. I feel like I'm at end of the world coming back to discover its been obliterated. Mind you this is pretty close to the middle of nowhere. As I drove into the nearest town, my engine light has come on, I hope I can figure that out before I have to head back into the woods.
The weather has taken a turn for the wilder and windier. My camper door blew open waking me up super early this morning. I have been biking and getting inspired on interpretive trails before putting in some time at the studio. It's nice to have a place to go and work while camping, I am making the best use of it I can.
 Look up! These are the Lodgepole pine surrounding all the campsites and hiking paths.
 They whisper and sway in the breeze.

Down by the lagoon there are lots of entertaining birds. I love my new telephoto lens, it allows me to get nature shots without disturbing the critters.

And now for something completely different........ unnaturally bold in colour and man made, I copper coated my backgrounds then used the ammonia to blue them back up and began putting in some more time on the letter characters. I also made some more test boards and began some new pieces.
Here is a the wild flower that is beginning to pop up everywhere. The light is really beautiful here.
I think I've removed the last huge spider from my sleeping area so the next person to use the camper wont wake in horror to giant spiders in the face. I look forward to having another go at instructing some groups this week-end if the weather brings in a new slew of campers. Now off to pick up supplies and get back to camping.

May 20, 2013

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park - artist residency

I'm in Cypress Hills for a 3 week art residency. I arrived before the long week-end began, stopping first in Maple Creek to meet the organizer and to be given a tour and all the necessary forms.

This is the cabin that I get to use as a studio for the duration and where I'll hold classes.

Got wet? It was raining hard the first week-end. I had to unload a surprising amount of studio stuff and camping gear. It's amazing how much I can get into my Toyota Carolla.
More rain and cold weather means less campers and less people to attend my week-end classes. It'll give me time to settle in and get organized.
 Its a cosy little cabin. there are lights and electricity and a heat register if I need it. I 'm glad I brought an extra folding table it is already proving to be a necessity. I brought tons of things to work on and tons of art materials to use and instruct with.
Here si the classroom after a bit of my magic touch. I put a drop cloth down and hung my colorful prayer flags up. I dragged a big desk clear across the room which is where the tripod is seated for this shot with my new fish eye lens.
I decided, due to environmental factors and ease of cleaning, to NOT bring OIL paints. Instead I will be trying out tons of new acrylic materials because of their easy of clean up with water and quickness in drying. Here I've pried two stretched canvases and made some test panels to try out new neon colors, interference and iridescent paints as well as textured grounds in a variety of applications.
Here is a 3d lettered sign I began as a classroom example beside the cabin window.
Late last night I went to this Yurt/ Observatory for an astronomy presentation  with technical difficulties and glitches being the first of the season but none the less informative. Plus the clouds decided not to cooperate. I met the Astronomer in Residence and saw Saturn thru the large telescope in a way that made me fill like a kid again. Plus I always love yurts, they are so cool!
 As Artist in Residence I have been given a camp stall in the "war lodge" campground. There was a vintage camper waiting for me. This is camping luxury. It has two power outlets and an operating mini fridge. The sink and etc. dot have water and the stove doesn't work but its a warm shelter with cupboards etc. Much better than just tenting it.
I dumped all my stuff and started to get my camp settled. I still put up my Henessey hammock and found other uses for the cooler. The weather has turned gorgeous so I'm off to enjoy it and feed the mosquitoes. There is so much to do and see here, from mini golf and canoeing, to zip lines and hiking. I nearly forgot to mention that there is an ice cream shop below the studio that is way too conveniently placed and extremely tempting. I may come back fat!
I hope 3 weeks is enough to help me unwind after the past year. Tomorrow and the few following days I'm going to get out biking and hiking in the days to take pics then make work in the studio until dinner time when I'll return to my camp and stare mindlessly into a fire until I feel like sleeping.

May 14, 2013


My "In the Beginning" animation is finished and up on video but only for private viewers like you who were so generous in supporting our Calgary Animated Objects Society conflict/resolution invest YYC campaign.
Thank you!!

Ashley Bristowe, David Quiichini, Kate Monaghan, James Murphy, Isabelle Kadyn, Marilyn Field, Angela Inglis, Jake Mulyk, Emiko Muraki, Karen Ball, Colin Jackson, Patricia Glenn, Brenda Lieberman, Sharon Stevens, Gina Georgousis, Michal Lavi, Alane Smith, Carol Beecher, Charlie Johnson, David Nicholls, Jim Button, Jessica Barker, Sharon Watkins, Gina Georgousis, Charlie Johnson, Xstine Cook, Jana Lait, Shawna Quinn and Janet Perlman. 

Got Nerd?!

Even just a little bit?

Exposing yourself to nerd may be dangerous as it known to be contagious in the State of California, viewer discretion is advised. 

Click here, but remember, you've been warned!

Last week I posted a Lego Star wars B-wing Starfighter assembly time lapse animation.  I added the Millennium Falcon kit to my collection. I had to pay full price and choose this kit because of it's classic appeal and multiple mini figures. It has a Darth Vader, Obi Wan, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and of course, Luke Skywalker.  I have so much fun putting these together that I just have to share. I  love Lego!  Enjoy my 1 min. stop motion animation.

PS: if anyone has any Lego they want to send to a loving home, I have open arms eagerly waiting and ready for Lego donations, wink, wink.  =;D

May 10, 2013


Well we all got together at Quickdraw Animation Society for our final extended studies class as well as some past students, some students from the Tue night class and some new prospects for our upcoming animation nights in the summer. The full spectrum crew happened to be in the same place and time again since our Wreck City installation so we had a chance to take a couple of pics of the group together.
 From left to right front to back in an "M" shape:
Bruce Robertson, Ola Birch, Jordan Hollenbeck, Jennifer Buggins, Brian Batista, Sabrina Zbinden, Chris Jones, Keelin Baldwin and Eric Smith.
 Thoughtful pose.
 Animation frustration.
 The point, showing you the love, and at least one duck face.
I'm not really sure what is happening here.

May 6, 2013

If there ws any doubt.....

today may it be put to rest (on May the Sith, as if May the Fourth wasn't enough, it is still STAR WARS celebration day the extended version) I am a complete NERD!

I decided to combine a few of my favorite things Media art and Animation (time lapse) Lego and Star Wars. I went to the Lego store in Chinook Mall (yeah, that's dangerous, I didn't even know we had a Lego store..............future addict right here, got myself a V.I.P card) It just so happened that they had a May the Fourth special on. They were giving away free Han Solo Lego figures with any purchase over $75 and there was a LEGO B-wing Starfighter (10227) kit on sale for 50% off. regular $250. Need I say more?!
Here I am happy as a clam.

I time lapse photographed my Lego ckit assembly and post it on You Tube with some music, sorry no After Effects laser beams and light saber etc. added, that would be going a little too far! lol. =:D
I have access to some old VHS copies of the original Star Wars and watched episode V & VI back to back. while I put together the 1487 Lego pieces. Check it out below.
I was surprised when opening the box that it was just full of numbered bags full of pieces and also bags within bags. I remember older kits when I was growing up having vacuum formed plastic trays you can organize and fit the pieces into. I recycled all the plastic bags which is a great bonus. I am going to keep the box for future moves and maybe there is some value in it. The LEGO kit even came with a display stand. It has a bit of movement. The cockpit can fully rotate, so can the treads behind and you can change the angle of the wings. Its not stable enough to play with or let the kiddies handle. There were a couple of tough spots and some weaker attachment areas in the design, but all in all a real joy to put together. That is probably why it is a 16+ model. The design of the Starfighter in this kit is bigger in scale then regular kits, so the little Lego men are too small to sit in the cockpit so this kit does not come with any mini figures =;(  Good thing I have the free "May the fourth" bonus gift - Han Solo from Hoth.
Lego instructions are super straight forward and easy to follow. There are no languages, just pictures and a couple of arrows.  This week-end Jess and I played a game where one person had the Lego instructions and the other person had the pieces. Its a great way to practice communication skills as well as being super fun. When I worked for the city one of the application tests was to work as a team giving instructions to another to put together a simple Lego kit. Pure genius! There are no names for the individual pieces so you have to get a system to do it well. I find it is good if you organize the pieces first then get your partner to orient the piece right and get it put together. This is my kind of challenge and its fun. Needless to say Jess and I were very successful in putting together our "cookies" and colored "thingies with __ (numbers) of bumps" correctly.
The B-wing took over 4 hours to completely build on my own. I love how the designer used the colors within. In the end they are completely hidden but makes for easy assembly. At about 1 am, after assembling all the B-wing Starfighter components, I began losing focus some of the smaller bits of the constructed pieces fell apart. This is the time to throw in the towel if you are smart. Battling it just makes it worse. I decided to go to sleep and repair it in the day with fresh hands and a fresh outlook. I shot the time lapse of construction of the stand before breakfast, it was a breeze. I took some finished shots of the assembled B-wing and did the post production. I outputted the image sequence from After Effects with a new orientation and scale and brought it into Final Cut to add the sound. I sped up Meco's 1977 record Galactic Funk 167% to fit the length of the video and outputted it to upload to my You tube channel for the enjoyment of other nerds on planet earth. Enjoy!

Here is the link to the you tube if you want it :D

May 4, 2013

Bare Cares Stare!

Last night and all of this week-ed I have a new piece showing alongside an orchestra of amazing artists and their works at the VHS(ex) show. FB EVENT INFO PAGE HERE.

There is a little TV spot about the show in the link below.
It was a super busy night jam packed full of art goers. I already got four bids for my piece. = AWESOME!

I had originally been working on a Rob Boss piece but at the end I didn't like the product so I sanded it off and re-coated the entire surface with titanium white and started all over again. I did a blended sky backdrop with drips and splashes. I was feeling the pressure, watching paint dry. I sanded the surface to get rid of the angst.
I blocked in some puffy clouds with a dry brushing technique and let some of the background show thru.
I made a pinkish blend with Alizarin Crimson and Titanium White to block in the bear body doing a cute little head stand on the puffy cloud.
I blocked in the rainbow coming out of the bears backside. I threw in some golden falling stars and a lightning bolt. I put in the details on the bear and then added some pink sparkles to the fur. Then I began outlining the clouds with sharpie marker.
I used Copic markers to quickly get the rainbows blocked in as time had completely disappeared. I clear coated it with varnish and printed out a "Be Kind Please Rewind" mock up on pink paper. I scrunched it up and colored the happy face in with a yellow high-lighter like they used to back in the days of VHS video rentals.
Here is an iphone shot of it on the gallery wall. I think it turned out better than expected once I hung it on the wall. You have until Monday to see all the work at this special group show and make bids on the well crafted works available. Do it!