Monday, December 3, 2007

A couple thoughts on laser eye surgery....

Yes, I finally did it. After ruining more glasses than I can count with paint, resin, and a small creature named Maddie, I started my research and found that the clinics in Vancouver have great technology and have many many happy customers. I did a goodly amount of research- these are my eyes after all and how would I inflict my thought processes on an unsuspecting world without them?
Anyway, in my research of people who chose to have the surgery, I found that there seemed to be two camps. The first had absolutely no pain and little discomfort. The other camp prayed for death to come swiftly and wanted to gouge their eyes out with a runcible spoon to make the pain stop.
I'm kind of in the middle. While I'm not at the spoon-gouging level, I'm certainly ready not to feel wretched anymore. Ridiculously sensitive to light (it's been 5 days and I still can't stand the blinds open or to look at the computer screen), the drops I have to use cause more pain than my eyes are experiencing, which is a stinging- it feels like I constantly have grit under my contacts. In one way it's kind of neat because most of the day it looks like I'm looking through milk, although one not-neat thing is my eyes refuse to stay pointed in one directions at times. Like how newborns can be looking straight at a person with one eye, while the other has spotted a shiny object 3 blocks away. I'd be the perfect super villain right now. Grumpy, gooey, half blind, eyes swiveling all over, and afraid to come out unless under cover of darkness.

apparently it gets better.

Monday, November 19, 2007

cool bugs

Went to an amazing craft fair the other day. Well over 200 hundred booths and this blew me away- not one was for a corporation that I could tell. No signing up with Well's Fargo, no insurance brokers, no cars for sale. It was all art! I never saw anything remotely similar in all my years in California! And the quality was incredible- it was more than crafts, it was craftsmanship. There were only a couple booths that were kind of so-so. So I ran around like a rabid Fizzgig, Sammy Hagar hair bouncing around in the wind. One of the coolest things I saw was a guy making bugs out of metal and stained glass. One will soon be replacing a fish on my wall because there was no way I was leaving without one!
Bugs are of course, my number one favourite thing. Fish are a close second, but my true love is bugs. And in honour of bugs I'm posting the site of an awesome artist who does amazing work in California

Also, here's the guy whose work I bought at the craft fair- The site isn't up yet, but I'm hoping it'll be soon. His wife does amazing shirts with her super cool characters embroidered on them. I'll be asking for one for Christmas!

And here's a pic of one of the bugs I made while having a rare but wonderful art day with Petaluma artist Richard Benbrook. A fabulous artist, poet and crazy-man, one day I'll have one of his pieces in my house too. He sadly doesn't have a website. Oh, actually I'll post a pic of my favourite of his pieces- a jackrabbit. In any case, the bug is just a beetle and he's a candy dish. My first try at carving foam and using this crazy latex-y type stuff.
He's going to kill me when he sees I've posted his pic. HA!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pandora's Lunchbox

Just some crappy sketches for the next fabulous Gregangelo Pink Room commission (have I mentioned that man is the bomb?). He asked for something Pandora's Box-ish. And if anyone remembers any of their Greek Mythology, it's box holding all the evils of the world and what's left inside is hope. Has Pandora saved, or captured hope? Who knows- what I do know is Pandora's Lunchbox would make a hilarious addition to a room where everything is just like a little girl's pink princess bedroom- only slightly off. So here we have some ideas (okay, these are really bad sketches! I don't have very much time these days!)- the 'Baloney' Sammich, the Bad Apple, a thermos full of... something I haven't figured out yet, and for dessert- the ever endearing Ho(pe)-Ho(pe)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And while...

... I may not be the best painter in the world, I ROCK when it comes to knitting Squid hats. My lovely friend Jessica Teach (Master of All Things Knitted or Involving Cupcakes, Thanksgiving, or Smartassedness) taught me how to knit- just so I could have a squid eat my kid's head.
Give up, kid! The Mighty Squid Hat eats all!

Just a quickie

Just wanted to post a couple pics- I finished the cakes in early September and sent two down to Boomerang in Cali for the big annual Day of the Dead show. They're on display now if you're in Petaluma. I also sent the Dreaded Third or Posssibly 4th Worst Painting too. It's now named "Even Bunnies get the Blues"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Not quite the worst painting ever....

...but still not stellar. The very very VERY worst painting I've ever done was in first year college. The duotang dragons and craptastic cartoon bunnies I did in highschool were better than The First Year College Landscape.
We were supposed to do a landscape, but the painting teacher we had believed in the Figure-It-Out-Yourself-Because-I-Don't-Get-Paid-to-Teach method of teaching so the results for many of us were... spectacular. I'd never done a landscape before and decided in my wisdom to haul 500 pounds of easle, canvases, oil paints, brushes etc down into a ravine to paint down there. I had visions of doing a beautiful green meadow, maybe with some sunlight dappled through the textured trees. You'd almost be able to feel the breeze flowing through and hear the birds chirping. Maybe one would even land on your shoulder and tell you what an awesome painting this was! So beautiful, so peaceful, so not-in-this-lifetime.
I'll just start by saying I honestly had no idea of composition. Or even how to paint- particularly with oils. So there I was sweating and attracting mosquitos because I'd hauled so much junk down a 'gully'. I tried not to think of hauling it back up as I set my newly resized canvas up in a lovely valley between two hills. My prof took marks off for canvases that weren't the exact size and I didn't have the money for a new one 'the exact size', so I took a larger one I had already, and tried chopping it down to the correct size. First mistake. It was all wobbly and the canvas didn't fit properly on the stretcher any more so the bottom wrinkled up. I'd deal with that later- I was going to paint the world's best painting and re-stretch it later! Too bad I didn't realize how dim that was. How do you re-stretch a canvas that is covered with wet oils paints?

For some insane reason that even today eludes me, I decided to paint one of the hills I was standing between. The steep one, with no grass, just brown eroded earth. Don't ask why. I was standing in a lovely valley between two hills with a path that went off in the distance where unicorns ate candy and gave rides to happy little girls who can paint, but I chose an almost empty dirt hill to reproduce.
I feverishly worked away on painting the entire surface of my canvas in... brown. Not even a nice brown. A brown I made by mixing 14 other colours together and turned them into mud. Actual mud would have looked better. I didn't even put a horizon in it or have a vanishing point, not even a whisper of the sky. I had painted a flat, brown wall. Becoming frustrated because my beautiful painting already looked terrible and I'd only been working 30 minutes (with all the hauling it was more like 2 hours, but hey), I started on the trees. Only problem was my POV was about 5 feet away from the tree trunks and at that level there were no branches or leaves. Just brown trunks. Again, another winning design choice. The brown tree trunks melted in with the mud-brown background. Solution? Toxic yellow! That'll work! Nope, still looked terrible. Gave up on the trees and moved to the ferns. The paint was quite thick by that time and I didn't know how to make my new paint stick so my green ferns were more brown than green. Solution? MORE toxic yellow plastered on!

With no sky in the painting, you didn't know it was a hill- it was just this awful brown expanse with some toxic yellow that might have been regurgitated by a penguin. It was like looking at a canvas of nuclear waste. I should have claimed it was and might have even got away with it as the bottom half of the painting was sagging and wrinkled due to my stretcher 'fix'.
Obviously I didn't get a very good mark- it's quite possible I failed that assignment! One clever little monkey in my class sat down with a Bob Ross video and her painting turned out great, as did her mark! Curses on people with brains!
And that's the story of the worst painting I've ever done (so far), but even still I wish I hadn't thrown it out. It's polluting and leeching its toxic-ness (a la that melting guy in the first Robocop movie- the one who fell into the nuclear waste) some innocent landfill somewhere when it could be hung with pride in my house where I could laugh it every day. At the time, and for years later I was so ashamed and down on myself for it. That being said though, I'd love to have that painting now! The best thing I've ever learned is how to laugh at your own terrible work, and truly appreciate shite. What a pile of excrement, and how awesome!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Worst painting ever.

I'm working on what might just possibly be my worst painting ever. Which is pretty amazing considering I've done some impressively awful paintings in my life. For this one to rank one of, if not the worst, I have to say I may have outdone myself this time. It's actually hard to make a painting suck this much unless you were a bi-polar rampaging Mandrill hopped up on some sort of methamphetamine and wearing galoshes.
The painting is supposed to be for the annual Day of the Dead show in Petaluma, Ca at Boomerang with the theme this year being "Crossing Over". I think I've crossed over into Ishouldneverpaintagainville. I'll keep working, but it's a good thing I've got a couple cakes ready to send down!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fun Fish Facts #1!

The Orange Roughy (also called Sea Perch or Slimehead) is a slow-growing reddish-coloured fish. They are thought to live up to 150 years and females don't start to breed until they're around 25-30 years old. Which means this is a fish that cannot recover easily from overfishing. Imagine having to survive at least 25 years in the ocean before breeding? A tough job for any fish, let alone a popular menu item fighting against Trawl Fishing. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has placed Orange Roughy on its "Avoid" list as these fish are in trouble. So in other words, make a responsible choice and don't eat Orange Roughy. Your stomach will survive without this fish in it.
...Okay, so this isn't a fun fact today. It's more of a depressing what-have-we-done-to-our-world fact today. Maybe tomorrow I'll research ebola, tapeworms, the destruction of the Rainforest or some other such cheerful thing.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Last Arnold School set

I'm so going to be out of work when these guys graduate...

And still more

Apparently I can only post 5 pics at a time. Aren't these awesome?!

But wait, there's more!

Here are more of the Arnold School kids' creations. Hard to believe they're about 13-14 years old AND did all this while wearing clean, pressed shirts, ties, skirts, etc. I don't think I have an item of clothing left without paint on it. There's something wrong with me.

Arnold School

Here are some pics of the fishies made by the students of Mrs. Hayley Caunce (Coincidence? I don't know, she may be a Pirate too!), art teacher at Arnold School in Lancashire, England. These kids seriously rock and their fish are brilliant. I was happy to help out where I could! The world needs more fishies.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Have your own Big Ugly Fishy?

If you have a BUF I've made and displayed at your home, or if you've made your own, send me a .jpg of it and I'll post it here for my 3 fans' enjoyment!

another pic

Another view of the cake plus the Mighty Octoegg. Another Great Gregangelo project

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Woohoo! First post!

Hey! My first real post- aside from the test with Chad who set this thing up, which doesn't really count. Perhaps I should try to figure out how to delete that...
I've been told this is a good way to keep the 3 people who follow my work updated on what I've been doing, as I obviously can't be trusted to keep my website updated. Why? Because I'm lame and have no idea how to. Poor Chad has to do it for me from 800 miles away. To make sure his wife doesn't start to hate me I let the site get.... a little outdated before I start pestering Chad to fix it for me. That's the way we pirates are. Very concerned about other people's feelings.

So to start off, I'll add a pic or two of the last commission I did for Gregangelo Herrera (Velocity Circus) before moving to BC from San Francisco. Gregangelo is one cool cat and gave me my first commission two weeks after Madeline was born in 2006. He likes to make his artists really test their bounds and be inspired to go crazy. After touring his fabulous house, this is something we came up with for The Pink Room. Crud... I don't know how to add more pics. Awesome... now I've lost my other image. See? THIS is why I don't update my site more often. Sighhhh. Oh! It's back! Weeee.