Thursday, March 31, 2011

fart locker

This guy is at the "let it sit for a day" point. A few more touches, mostly cleaning up the background, then I'm calling it done.

Hot summery day today. Bare feet, shorts and t-shirt weather. Didn't get much done besides a couple hours of doodling, and fixing the neighbour's fence. Finding any excuse to get outside. Lots of biking, but no swimming.

The seals were down the beach this afternoon, barking up a storm. I couldn't see them, they were just around a rocky outcrop. By the time I got my bike and snuck down there, they were gone - someone was walking their dog and I'm sure the dog scared them away.

Here's a great term I heard today - used to describe someone's butt: "Fart Locker". It's especially funny if used to describe a hot butt.

i.e. "Luke Perry has a fantastic fart locker."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Every spring I get completely wrapped up in the buds on the trees. My favorite are the ones that haven't opened yet. So much potential just waiting to explode.

One of my big challenges as an artist is saying "yes" to ideas that my logical side wants to knock down. For the past few Springs, I've been dying to paint delicate little paintings of fresh branches and buds, but I've shied away because it seems boring - like something old ladies would do. This year I'm saying "Yes" and "Fuck It" and painting them. Above is a work-in-progress of cherry blossoms from the front yard. I'm having fun. I like where it's going, but it's not delicate enough. I have plenty of reference photos of other buds, so there's more to come. It's kind of like a documentation - a nature study, more than anything else.

I've never noticed the explosions of Spring like I have this year. Some things, like the changing air, are subtle, but the animal kindgom emerges in an awesome roar. In the past few weeks I've witnessed some fantastic things:

- At least one hundred dolphins massing around a ferry, surfing in the wake, gorging themselves on the herring that move up the Salish Sea at this time of year.

- Tens of thousands of gulls at Qualicum Beach, also feasting on the herring. The beach was a blanket of whiteness. Mingled in were all kinds of fluffy little baby gulls.

- After months of silent nights, an explosion of sound from the forest - hundreds of frogs all singing at once. I went for a bike ride and they were all over the road. Water from my front tire kicked up into my bike light like a constant trail of white sparks.

- Mouse shit all over the basement, again after months of no mouseshit. It was everywhere. I've already killed six mice - one per night for the last six nights. Sorry guys.

- Yesterday, a sudden explosion of starfish at the low tide line! The day before there was nothing, now the entire tide line is dotted with pale orange blobs. Their legs are only partially grown.

- Five or six lambs in the sheep pasture down the road. There was only about a dozen sheep there before - that's a lot of lambs per year!

Life is powerful. I can just imagine the blooms of plankton and insects and other stuff lower on the food chain that these animals match their migrations and births with.

It makes me wish I was more synched up with that global cycle of life. Us humans pat each other on the backs for our farms and cold storage and preserved foods - but, in doing so, we've distanced ourselves from that seasonal connection to the land.

But I don't think we've lost the connection. It's inside us just like it's in every animal. We just need to give ourselves the time (and place) to listen.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

probably a worthwhile story to read.

storyboards / designs / doodles - maybe just for fun, or maybe they'll turn into something.

I was going to write something about all the huge explosions of life that mean Springtime on the West Coast - but I have to relate another sea lion story instead.

Last time I swam was 4-5 days ago, and I had a pretty close-up encounter with a sealion. It was a bit scary, so today I was more careful and swam later, after I thought the sealions would have passed. I also swam across a cove, inshore and a bit shallower than where I've seen the sealions before.

I was 2/3rds of my way back to my side of the cove - about 100 m from the rocky point where I enter and leave the ocean on this particular swimming route. The sun had just set, the sky was grey, the water pocked with rain spatters, and the smooth surface was just starting to ruffle from a breeze that was shifting from the south to the southeast.

I'm always looking out for sealife, and up until this point there was nothing but a few ducks and gulls in the far distance.

Then the fucking sealions surfaced - about 30 meters away. Two of them came up and looked at me, and went back down again.

I started talking, knowing they could hear my voice through the water. "Fuck off, sealions. Seriously, don't fuck with me. I'm a person. Stay away." Trying to sound as foreign as possible and hoping the sounds didn't make them horny or anything. I wasn't as scared as last time, and thought, "Shit, maybe I can get used to these guys like I'm used to seals." I hoped that they got scared and took off, which is what I think happened last time.

Then they surfaced again, a little closer. One came pretty far out of the water to take a good look at me. A huge mane of gold-and-brown fur, and an absolutely massive girth, even where his shoulders were. This was a fucking huge animal.

Something like this:

Looking online at photos, he had the proportions of a bull. His shoulders were not slim like the females.

The animal's size, and the colour of the hair, made me feel like I was looking at a marine version of the Grizzly.

If my adrenaline was pumping when I first saw them, it was going doubletime now.

The two sealions were swimming to the same point I was going to. They swam ahead of me, but kept surfacing and watching me. I kept talking, partly to seem foreign to them, and partly to calm myself. Once they reached the tip of the point, they waited around and watched me. I swam more inland of them, but i still had to close distance with them to get to shore.

Once I was about 20m from the shore, I lost sight of the sealions around the rocky edge of the point. Right at that moment, one of them started barking. AAAOOOU AAAOUU AOOOU AAAOU! I lost it and swam like a hot bastard to the rocks, pulled myself onshore and ran inland a bit. I imagined one beaching behind me and snatching me like I've seen Orcas do with seals.

The sealions swam away, and I let out a hoot and paced around to work off the adrenaline, grinning like a demon. Now that's livin'!

Besides the size of that big ol' bastard, and the fact that I was completely defenseless, blind to their movements, and out of my element, a few things bother me about this encounter:
(1) There were two sealions, and I'm afraid they're a mating pair.
(2) I don't know how territorial sea lions are. If that was a bull, I don't know if he's going to get pissed at my proximity.
(3) The barking was something I've never seen them do. This was definitely a direct interaction with me. My presence was significantly affecting their behavior. They were scared or defensive or something, but they weren't simply running away.

This has gone a little further than I'm comfortable with, so I think it's time to do some reading before I jump in tomorrow. Things to learn:

(a) what does it mean when a sea lion barks?
(b) when is their mating season? how territorial are they?
(c) are there any incidents of sea lions attacking people?

Nutty times in the briny deeps. I wouldn't trade it for the world. But I don't really want to die out there either.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

hot hot hot

this painting is really close to being done.

Tonight's swim was a little stupid on my behalf, I think.

A tugboat was pulled a huge log boom right offshore, but there must have been a mechanical problem - the tug was barely moving and the whole thing was slowly drifting in towards shore. I didn't swim much, just lazily kicked out and watched as a fast aluminum boat roared up from Nanaimo (the nearest port), and pulled alongside the tug, presumably to help out somehow.

The stupid part was that I knew this was the exact time of night when the sealions cruise past, and I had kicked out right to where they usually pass by - further out than I usually swim in the winter.

I sensed movement to the left, and turned just in time to see the tail of a sealion diving and coming straight towards where I was.

I swam back towards shore so fucking fast - I had no idea I could swim like that. Huge back strokes, kicking my legs like I was biking up a mountain, and trying to breathe and push as steadily as possible, not erratically like a wounded animal.

I was doing the backstroke so I could see behind me, and the sealion surfaced about thirty feet away from where I was when I first saw him. Thirty feet is really close when you're talking about a carnivorous sea creature the size of a pony.

He brought his head about 2-3 feet out of the water and gave me a look and dove again.

I have a deep instinctual fear of large things in the water underneath me. I think it might be some primordial thing that all humans have - which is why the Jaws movie is so scary. Even a log under the water freaks me out. So this sealion action was no fun.

Every time I've seen the sealions, they surface very frequently, almost like you'd imagine a sea serpent. Every 5-10 seconds they resurface, then slide back under, revealing their long back and tail.

This time, as I swimming back to shore, the sealion did not resurface. I imagined that it was approaching me, or watching me from under the water. The waves were about two feet high, and I just imagined seeing the full body of that big ol' bastard bearing down on me in one of the rollers. I've seen what a seal can do to salmon, and I have no doubt that a sealion would kill me with one bite, no matter where he bit me.

In record time, my feet hit ground, and I stood and watched the waves, breathing heavily, but never saw the sealion again. I don't know if he checked me out under the water, or just submerged and ran like hell, like I did.

Either way, the whole experience gave me a good bit of perspective for what I'm doing out there every day.

And it reminded me that I'd really feel better with a diving knife.

(Also, the tugboat got fixed and made it away from shore).

it gets so real sometimes / who wrote my rhyme

armoured bear doodles for B.

A few-day visit from two friends - one is the dancer who I'm collaborating with, the other is her son, "B". I have no idea how old he is. Seven? Nine?

I love hanging out with kids like B, because I get to talk about stuff that buzzes through my head when I'm doodling:

- What kinds of weapons armoured bears should have.

- The common misconception that ninjas are masters of face-to-face combat. They're assassins! Masters of disguise, and hiding, and dealing a single deadly blow. Infiltrators! (I was very surprised at B's knowledge of ninjitsu.)

- Whether light power armour is better than heavy power armour.

Important stuff.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

spring swimming

morning wait for the ferry. headed into town to teach a class at emily carr today.

Last night I had one of the best swims of my life.

I put on my wetsuit and went out at sunset. The sky was grey except for the horizon, where the sun was poking out from the clouds, spraying a glorious dull gold over the water. The ocean was still.

Four sea lions were lumbering past in the far current, raising their dragon-snouts into the air, and exposing their backs and rear flippers like serpents as they submerged. I've seen single sealions out there before, but never four. They're huge creatures - 300 to 900 lbs in weight. I'd hate to get too close to them, but they seem to be more into their own thing than seals. They maintained a slow steady course parallel to the coast following the tide into the sun.

The sea lions scared the seals further inshore than usual, so I had a seal swimming pretty close to me the whole time. I'm way less freaked out by them now, but I still think I'd feel better if I had a diving knife, in case they start getting too comfortable around me and try to play with me and hold me under water.

When I was way out in the water, looking back at the rich greens of the treed shore, a flock of geese burst over the horizon and flew straight overhead, honking loudly. It started to rain a bit, and I lay on my back relaxing in the current, watching the droplets explode and make delicate ripples across the surface of the water.

On the way back in, I watched a river otter lay on his back and suck on some giblets he was picking off the bottom of the ocean.

It's so amazing to be surrounded by such a density of life. The land-equivalent would be stepping into a 3-acre meadow and seeing four black bears, a deer, the geese, and a fox, all within half an hour.

To be immersed in the water with these creatures, feeling the same currents, tasting the same salt, watching the sun set together, equally conscious and wary of each others' presence... to be thinking of nothing but these things, and the movement of my body and the timing of my breath...

If there is such a thing as heaven, I can't imagine it could be any better than that.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Went for a nice long swim today in my full-body wetsuit. The water is noticeably warmer - I can dunk my head and not gasp for breath, and the whole thing doesn't have the intensity of a survival situation any more.

A huge flock of gulls massed overhead; two bald eagles; the flock of homing pigeons over the far trees circling their coop at my neighbour's farm. I let out a big hoot at one point, and it freaked out a seal that must have been watching me from below the surface - he came up about fifteen feet away and gave me a "WTF?!?" look, and splashed back down so fast that his tail popped back up in the air. (Usually they slip gracefully under the water by looking upwards and sliding under.)

I'm extremely happy to be getting out there again. I'll be up North in the Yukon for 5-6 weeks, so I'm going to miss out on the real warming period, but by the time I get back in early May, Swimming Season Shall Begin!

Friday, March 18, 2011

nature-lovers post

This one's getting close. It's a bit busy right now, but I think it will feel more solid once I fill in some of the negative space between the leaves. I'd like it if the bottom felt like one solid mass of colour - which means I'll have to make the silhouette interesting and well-defined.

I'm starting to like where this one is going. The pink stays. I might try to make the top part as realistic and volumic as possible, to contrast with the flatness and graphic bits.

Morning Walk:

Springtime on the West Coast is subtle but thrilling to me. In the shadowy understory of this rainforest, buds are bursting open into shimmering clouds of bright green dots - tiny leaves emerging from the Salmonberry thickets. The moss on the forest floor is iridescent with fresh growth. Streams are swollen and overflowing, forming murky pools among the roots and ferns, or mucky marshes where skunk cabbage will soon appear.

The world is so filled with amazing things - I think you could spend a whole lifetime on one acre of land and never get tired of the change and the variety you'd see.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

painters I love - part I - Piet Mondrian

I want to occasionally share with you some artists that inspire me. I may be factually incorrect on some of this, and that's fine. This is about my personal reality as it relates to the artist. If you want the "real" facts, there's plenty of places to find them.

PIET MONDRIAN grew up in the early 1900's, probably. He started by painting things realistically. Mostly trees:

What I love most about painters is watching their evolution. Watching them learn and grow, and seeing their thoughts literally projected onto the canvas.

So Piet realised that painting every single branch was a pain in the ass. He started trying to dissect the tree, to understand it's components - to simplify it into the essentials:

I think he was probably watching Picasso and Braque blow peoples' minds with the whole Cubist thing, which really pares down a subject into simple shapes. Then you can get free and innovative with the open space between the shapes. So he jumped onto that exciting way of thinking.

So this is a four-year period so far. Look at how much time and thought he put into just trying to understand the shape of a fucking tree! I love that. Pure intense focussed visual and intellectual exploration.

So far he's been following other peoples' styles, but working them in his own way. Then he has some crazy revelation that only he will ever really understand:

This is called "Ocean and Pier." What? Awesome! Piet's on a roll, he's got all kinds of ideas now. Here's a town or a building or something:

This is starting to seem really intellectual and personal now. Yes, he's still trying to make a pleasing and balanced composition, but he don't give a shit if someone is going to want to hang it on their wall.

Now there's no subject-matter whatsoever, and not even a variety of shapes. This is a pure mindfuck of colour composition. I can just imagine him stewing away at this, trying to balance it nicely but also give it life and movement.

A unique thing about painting as an art form is that you're working out a problem, live. You think something and you try it and that brushstroke is forever recorded. If you wipe it off, some of the paint still remains and your thought is still a part of the painting. So a painting is just one big map of a thought-process. I think that process is really evident in Mondrian's work, because he throws out pretty much everything except the basic elements he needs to solve a problem.

Case in point- This is Mondrians's longest phase, and it's what most people associate with his work:

I'm sure most people think "This is incredibly boring, and pretentious and intellectual. This is what I hate about abstract painting. Is that even art? I could do that."

And I would tend to agree with you. I have no idea why these paintings are so famous. But here's what blows my mind about them:

This dude spent TWENTY-THREE YEARS painting hundreds of paintings that look almost like this!

If you ever see them in a gallery, you'll see that some were whipped off pretty quick, and others were slaved over - getting just the right colour of white by putting other colours underneath - and mixing and layering colours oh-so-subtly to get the right red / yellow. The compositions are all different, but every single one of them is white, with black lines, and the primary colours filling some holes. They all had dry names like "Composition 27" or "Composition with Yellow."

Twenty-three years of his life.

It's like he zoomed in on the smallest portion of a "compostion" that he could, in the hopes of at least trying to master this small and simple combination of shapes and colours. But every one looks different. I get the feeling he was trying too hard to control and intellectualize things. It makes me think he was probably a serious dude, and in a rut, and not fun to hang out with. And he was getting sick and old, too. Not long left in life.

Then he started hearing Jazz music and moved to New York, and after so many years of painting the same thing, he went "BOO-YAH! THE FUTURE IS NOW, BITCHES!"

"Broadway Boogie-Woogie", the last finished painting of his life. You know when you've been in a funk for a long time and you finally break free, and you're like "FUCK! Why have I been acting like such a dry-heave for so long?!?" I get that sense of excitement and energy in this painting. It's especially amazing because he was really sick at the time.

"Victory Boogie-Woogie" - unfinished. Turned the fucking canvas, and died. Just take a look at that painting for a second. I don't know about you, but I see a lot of joy and music in there.

. . .

These last two paintings are why Piet Mondrian stands out for me. In the last days of his life, he was still working and thinking and trying. Even on death's door, it's possible to have this kind of huge energetic exciting breakthrough. I think he died happy.

Everyone's life happens as it does, but I can't help wondering what else ol' Piet would have painted if he got over the hurdle of those years of painting the same zoomed-in compositions. This also inspires me not to get in a rut. To keep pushing and taking risks.

Scroll back and look at where this guy went, in his mind, over the period of his life. It's amazing to watch someone's growth, visually, like this. It's not just about one painting, it's this recorded process of intellectual evolution and growth that makes a painter interesting to me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

throw a tire iron at your leg

First pages of my next film, superimposed on top of each other. I don't know how long it's going to be yet, but I have a good start that feels very emotional and real, and that I can draw from a lot of personal experiences to create. Ideas have been percolating for about a year now, but this morning I had a big breakthrough that sets up all the characters, most of the tension, and gives me a rich world that I'm really excited to create.

So I didn't sleep outside last night, but I think I have a few good excuses:

(1) It was pissing rain.

(2) I had to wade into a six-inch deep puddle to put my bike on rack at the front of the bus to get to Horseshoe Bay, and I was wearing runners so my shoes and socks were soaked up to my ankles.

(3) *ahem* I seem to have come down with a case of the Hemorrhoids. *ahem*

It didn't seem worthwhile to sit around on cold wet pavement with soaking wet feet and a posse of The Hemmies partying on my backdoor. So I got a room at the Travelodge and ate Pho and watched ghost story TV shows instead.

Day 1 of Hemorrhoids wasn't bad. I was like, "What is with all those H535 ads? They make it sounds so terrible! This is nothing!"

On Day 2 (yesterday), all the ads suddenly made sense. Painful distracting itchiness. My arse was all I could think about. I did a lot of research online, hoping to the gods that Hemorrhoids Aren't Forever. Fun fact: We -ALL- have hemorrhoids all the time! Sometimes they can get inflamed though. Beware.

Day 3 (today) its pretty much gone. Maybe it was a sign to not be an idiot and get some sleep instead. Strangest goddamned omen I've ever had.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

City Camping III - Extreme Limitz

No pic today. Instead imagine this:

Ugly orange lights over a slick wet road, with traffic hissing by. Rain is pouring down in a torrent, streaming off the awnings. In three minutes, this coffeeshop is closing down and then I'm out in the bullshit.

I wanted to rough it overnight with just my jacket to keep me warm, but I'm really waffling on that idea now. I already feel lonely and tired and without a plan.

I guess it's nice to feel that sometimes.

But I can't shake the feeling that tonight is going to suck.

So tempted to book a motel but I just can't bring myself to bail on my plan.

Monday, March 14, 2011


sound kitchen studios. my film is not this green in real life.

Today was a fun dance-creation workshop until 8 pm. Lots of good play time with more exciting and creepy discoveries. I actually felt nauseous watching one bit today, which is a good sign. Things are starting to solidify into more serious talks about set construction (which I love), and finalized animation. The whole thing is nonstop invention, collaboration, and fun.

Then I had a late night at Sound Kitchen Studios where Sound-Engineer-Chris puts the finishing touches on Perfect Detonator, my next film. The film is done! I love working with professionals who really care about quality, and know their job inside-out.

I'm super ramped up on coffee right now.

Staying at my sister's tonight - but tomorrow is going to be City Camping III - Extreme Limitz!

I have no camping gear whatsoever this time - just my rainjacket, bike, and laptop bag. I'm not going to make the last ferry home, and I don't feel like staying at someone's house, so here's the plan:

Bus to Horseshoe Bay (where the ferry leaves the next morning), and go super homeless stylie - wander around all night trying to stay warm, maybe find a dry spot under a tree to curl up. Maybe buy some vodka to help myself sleep.

No idea why I enjoy this kind of thing. Just the challenge and the variety, I think.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


The front painting is moving along. The rear painting is a big wild acrylic thing composed of colours leftover on the palette at the end of the painting session. I have a lot of thoughts about painting, but I'll save it for now and present to you:


1. No matter how lame it seems, always sign a contract before you work with someone. It ensures that you agree on the nitty-gritty details right away so you can focus on the fun stuff without reservation.

2. Monetarily, never ask for less than you deserve.

3. Trust your intuition. No matter how good it seems from a logical standpoint, if the project feels sketchy, don't do it.

People, I'm not kidding about those things. Follow the laws, or you will get fucked every time.

. . .

Two Bonus Laws that might not apply to anyone else, but I continually forget them, only to be accidentally reminded when I go outside to take a grumpy-piss and look up at a gorgeous star-filled night sky, bordered by clouds rimmed with silver from the moonlight. And things like that. So I think I should write them down:


4. When business-stuff starts to piss you off, go for a walk in some nature. Go for a swim. Chop Wood. Whatever it is, do it outside in fresh air and alone.

5. When business-stuff starts to piss you off, ignore it and make art / write / listen to music.

Rules 4 and 5 give me perspective real quick, and remind me what's really important.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

plasti-taco under the stars

Last night was the first time I made a tarp-tent since my early twenties, and back then "tarp tent" meant "Too drunk to set up tent and people are already sleeping in the car, so wrap yourself up in a tarp and hope it doesn't rain too hard."

It was a lot of fun relaxing in the dark with a head lamp on, tying knots and setting up, with a footpath 500m away and planes from Vancouver Airport roaring low overhead. Not a bad way to spend a night in the city.

I kinda knew how the top roof-y tarp would turn out, but the ground tarp was a new one for me.

If I have one, I usually put out a ground tarp just to keep my sleeping bag / mattress / tent dry and clean. Another layer of softnesss as well, and it protects more expensive gear from getting torn by sticks n' rocks. (If it's dry out, you can also prop up the corners with sticks to prevent critters from crawling up to you - good trick for the desert, where you don't need a tent, but snakes like to snuggle up to your warmth at night.)

The weather has been really rainy so this time it was a necessity. But when I laid the ground tarp out flat, I realized rain would flow off the roof and right onto the ground tarp, and puddle under my thermarest. So I got into my sleeping bag and tied the edges of the ground tarp around me and my pack, so I was kind of like a self-contained plastic taco. Totally waterproof!

I have no idea if this is standard practice, or if people have better ideas, but it worked well for me. Two 6' x 8' tarps, 20m of rope, sharp knife and four tent pegs - packs way tighter than a tent and, if you already have the knife, it costs about $20.

Friday, March 11, 2011

city camping

I said "an image a day", so here's your damned image, blog. I hope you like my ear and a dreary street.

Tonight is City Camping night! I learned a lesson last time - it's hard to feel safe camping in the city (or as some people would call it, "sleeping on the streets",) because it's hard to hide. It sucks to have people watching you while you sleep.

So this time I bought a couple camouflage tarps. It's pissing rain and I didn't pack a tent, but I'll use ground tarp, then string up the other tarp between two trees and hold it out with four tent pegs I packed. Can't wait!

I'm staying out of the downtown area. It's actually not going to be very "city" - I'm gonna crash up in the Endowment Lands - a chunk of forest that separates the University of British Columbia from the rest of Vancouver. I used to mountain bike around there all the time, so I think I should be able to remember some places where I can get off the trails and be out of sight. (There's a wide network of trails through the Endowment Lands.)

The trick is that I'll be heading up there after dark. I brought my headlamp so I won't have a problem setting up, but I'll have to do a wide circle after I pick a spot to make sure I don't wake up 30 feet off the trail, with some senior citizen's walking group staring down at me as I crawl out of my sleeping bag wearing nothing but my boxers in the morning.

Should go well.

because i know you can't get enough salal

Yesterday I started two paintings of salal - westcoast rainforest undergrowth whose leaves stay on year-round. I don't know what's going to happen with the watercolour one, but some strange shapes are starting to appear on the acrylic one. These are details, so you can't see the strange shapes.

I got my film back from Mister Colour Correction tonight - no problems at all! The video was good just as it was, with absolutely no changes.

I haven't had to deal with post-production in a few years, and I can't believe how much easier things are now that everything is digital. If the film was getting mastered to analog, there would be all kinds of problems with colour bleeding, blacks crushing and losing definition, etc. But now it's all zeroes and ones, so there's no worry about the information being lost through different media.

Tonight is a Vancouver night. Hotel window looking over a field of halogen lights, with a brighter haze of murky white light on the horizon. It feels all sci-fi out there - like people are being bred in vats and shooting lazers and shit.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

line ups

Lineup at the ferry.

I saw a pod of 10-12 Orcas (Killer Whales) right off the front of the ferry today. Then I saw a heron land on a rock and scare the shit out of a river otter (not to be confused with sea otters, which are the little cute guys who live out in the water and break open shells on their bellies. River otters are larger and live along the shorelines. Most people call them Sea Otters because they're in the ocean, but they're WRONG!)

There has been way too much administrative work in the last couple days, which has been eating away at my art-production time. An independent artist is basically running a business at the same as creating the product. It's amazing how much time I can spend on agreements, proposals, marketing, meetings, organizing finances, planning, etc etc. You could do it all day, for weeks, if you're not careful.

Tomorrow, administration can fuck right off and it's gotta be All Art All The Time, or I'm going to Lose It.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

dance dance revolution

workshopping "Plaything" dance piece. photo by Daelik - MACHiNENOiSY Dance Society

Lots of different art-ing happening these days. I'm painting whenever I get the chance, working on animation for the dance piece, starting to plan for a documentary, and finishing up an illustration contract. There's a lot more ideas I'd like to be acting on, but I guess they gotta wait in line.

This dance thing is a lot of fun. It'll be showing in June at the Scotiabank Dance Centre - stay tuned.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

hot donkey action

I don't think I've ever appreciated a West Coast spring like I am this year. I think it's because I'm not living in the city, so I'm able to pay more attention to the lengthening days, the changing temperature in the air, the migration of birds, the buds in the trees and the fresh smelling soil.

Springtime means things need to be done outside, and I'm being asked to perform a lot of fun farm-y jobs for people these days. Today I was fixing this corral - the donkeys panicked in a windstorm and kicked out a rail, and some of the siding of the barn. It was a perfect day to work outside, with a clear blue sky, warm air without the chilled edge on it, the rich smell of hay and dung, and waves crashing on the beach a hundred yards away. I said to myself "this feels like heaven", which is really saying something since I was also nursing a brutal hangover from last night.

At the moment I'm also taking care of the neighbour's chickens, which is a fun little job. Letting them out of the coop in the morning, collecting eggs (sometimes still warm), feeding them, and locking them back in at night.

Tomorrow I'll take an hour to collect donkey dung off the meadow and use it to fertilize some raised garden beds that are in the works.

To be out in the fresh air, using my hands and a little common sense, and working with animals, is extremely fulfilling.