January 25, 2010

222: Falcon And The Snowman

Knowing I'd be spending Monday night Creative Night knocking off the tandem workload of my after-hours Dreamweaver class assignment and a noon-hour presentation for my workplace's winter Wednesday travel slideshow series (I'm presenting on Portugal), I took time out yesterday to work on my sculpting skills. I often state my clumsiness in any artistic dealings in the third dimension. Fortunately, my childhood excitement for wintertime "packing" snow takes precedent. Warm winter days of this past weekend's calibre are so rare in these parts – proven quite effectively by today's harsh, blizzardy contrast.

So, given the material at hand, I sculpted this homage to warmer days. I call it Snowman No. 1, with Frisbee, Beer Bottle and Lawn-Chair. It's a mixed media piece, utilizing snow, a frisbee, a beer bottle, and a lawn-chair (the ballcap was a temporary add-on). Today's sudden temperature plummet has nicely solidified the piece, which will now be on display in my front yard/gallery for the remainder of the winter – global warming, territorial dogs and punk kids permitting. Cost is suggested donation. Plan your visit soon; come April the gallery will be installing a new exhibit, titled Rotting Springtime Detritus.

And yes, that is a Falcon Beach frisbee. I don't mind if that gets swiped.

January 18, 2010

221: Small Wilderness

This is my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of
wilderness. The word conjures up images of vastness and scope. True, the wilderness is big. But step inside it, and you'll see it can also be quite small.

I love the wilderness, and I'm most grateful that I live in a place where true wilderness is a stone's throw away. I realize a great many people in the world don't have the ability to say that. The wilderness – and all that is in it – continues to be my number one source of inspiration; anyone skimming through this blog will notice this. I couldn't have come up with a more inviting theme for Illustration Friday.

I'm still dickering around with my woodblock carving, and I don't want it to seem that I have nothing to show for Monday night Creative Night. I hope to display my wares someday very soon. For now, you can click here to see this sketch in greater detail.

January 11, 2010

220: The Return Of Creative Night

It's been too long since I did anything, so Kerry and I have reinstated our mid-winter Creative Night, delegated – like last year – to Monday evenings for the foreseeable future. But this evening I do not have much to show, and that's because I spent the evening working off the grid for once, with a block of wood and some loaner carving tools pretending to know what I'm doing. And at some point soon I'll be finessing my little wood-block, preparing it for my very first press session at a friend's place (I promise to show off the results, no matter how clumsy it winds up looking – I have to work on the deftness of my carving touch). Fun times.

I spent the latter part of tonight tinkering with some photographic elements, off-loading images from a post-Christmas trip to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. That's where this fossil (above) comes from, merged with abstract wallpaper textures and a textbook cover from a summertime trip to an old-timey one-room Mennonite schoolhouse. Also, fun times.

January 06, 2010


First off, apologies if I took too long in announcing it – but congratulations are in order to Sean, from Kingston NY, and Steph, from right here in the 'Peg, for winning their bad selves a free print of their choice from all the artwork ever displayed on this site. Their comments were selected at random from all the bloody aresome responses I received in recognition of Jeopopolis' five-year anniversary.

Many thanks again, to all who responded. It was an absolute treat to read through them one and all.

January 02, 2010

Ought Nine In Music

2009 was a fantastic year for music in our house, our town and in our country. K. and I attended some fine shows passing through the city, culminating with my favourite Folk Festival – check that, far and away favourite – since I started attending in 1993. Seven of my favourite albums (and four of ten favourite singles, below) this year hail from the homeland. Canada, take a bow.

1) Patrick Watson //
Wooden Arms – I picked this up in advance of their appearance at the FolkFest and haven't put it down since. Spooky, ethereal, inventive, like nothing else I've heard in a long time.

2) The Deep Dark Woods // Winter Hours – a selection of K.'s from the Folk Fest, the perfect prairie album with great storytelling.

3) Metric // Fantasies – mebbe not as airtight and rock-hard as Live It Out, but solid nonetheless. Just try not and sing along to "Stadium Love" at the end.

4) Neko Case // Middle Cyclone – following the footsteps of "Ghost Wiring" and "The Needle Has Landed", "Red Tide" continues an odd streak for myself of finding the final track my runaway favourite from Neko's albums.

5) JBM //
Not Even In July – who is this guy? A gorgeous piece of work.

6) Bahamas // Pink Strat – a FolkFest discovery and absolute wiz on the guitar, Afie Jurvanen's album is desceptively sweeter than the goofy/gruff rock-star exterior he exhibits on stage.

7) Marie-Pierre Arthur // Marie-Pierre Arthur – I have no idea what she's singing about beyond the titles "Elle" and "Pourquoi", but I'm hooked – a tribute to her amazing voice (and her band's sound).

8) Clem Snide // Hungry Bird – a quiet and heartfelt little thing.

9) Yeah Yeah Yeahs // It's Blitz! – the one-two punch of "Zero" and "Heads Will Roll" is as balls-out as anything put out in a long time, making up for a mellower back end than I would have liked.

10) Great Lake Swimmers // Lost Channels – a solid addition to their Ĺ“uvre, even if a step down from the beginning-to-end awesomeness of Ongiara.

I also pilfered a number of singles off of albums I wasn't keen on as a whole. They're ranked here, and this list does not include singles from purchased albums:

1) Radiohead // "These Are My Twisted Words"
2) Handsome Furs // "I'm Confused"
3) Laura Gibson // "Spirited"
4) A.C. Newman // "All Of My Days And All Of My Days Off"
5) Charlotte Gainsbourg // "Heaven Can Wait"
6) Leeroy Stagger // "Everything Is Real"
7) Basia Bulat // "Gold Rush"
8) Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros // "Home"
9) Florence + The Machine // "Kiss With A Fist"
10) Franz Ferdinand // "Ulysses" & "Katherine Kiss Me"