I did some cafe-sketchings at a show with co-workers on College & Dovercourt a week or two ago. Sort-of-Johnell, an unusually-smiley Tedd, Andrew, one-beer-in Fraser, and Kevin le guitarist who also rocks an impressive beard!
...well I slept in 'til noon today, the first time in months, and that felt great. I've recently been engaged in some fabricating projects, Christmas decorating crezzyness, and a bit of relocating, and this work station pictograph is a pretty apt representation of the last month or two as a whole. All good times though, and I'm looking forward to Christmas and the months ahead.
He wasn't actually a mafia member, I'll assure you, but he did possess some very striking if not uncannily shifty-lookin' features.
I love being back in my parents' church whenever I go home - it's teeny-tiny, filled with old Dutch folks, prayers for the farmers, hymns that move me to tears, and sweet old ladies who take the time after the service (koffie's klaar!) to ask me how my art is going and life in Toronto. I've been really blessed with being a part of several communities, both there and here.
I went to the High Park Zoo for the first time on Sunday - checked out the reindeer and the peacocks in particular, and the smell brought back pleasant farm memories.
Are the animals happy in the High Park Zoo? This is a question all of us should ask.
Are the animals happy in the High Park Zoo.
If they are, one can't complain too much. Food, shelter - they've been blessed and provided for and aren't wandering the streets. Not all living things have the privilege of a place to lay their head.
But if they're not? Do they hang in limbo or get the hell out? Return to their origins in search of the elusive place to call home? Should the brain grow sharp and the spirit dim? And would a return to wilderness reverse this, or merely slip into another form of degeneration?
It sure does feel strange being back in (quote-unquote) civilization. And in the meantime, here is a sketch of the kerry-cattle. They had quite the fan-club of flies.
I had the pleasure of seeing The Scarf included in a University of Toronto film course coinciding with TIFF last night. Many of the questions and observations from its participants and facilitators were ones I hadn't heard before, hadn't even consciously been aware of during the creation process. They're a keen group.
You think you know a work because you created it, but it reveals more than what you knew when it was made. I've read this in Madaleine L'engle's work before but until recently had never experienced it.
The Scarf has also had a surprisingly long tail. It's been two years since completion, it's done a run on the festival circuitry and still seems to be finding new places to go. I'm very grateful for this.
In other news, Words That Feed The will be having its premiere screening at the Burlington Animation Festival on September 29th. Last I heard there are still a few tickets left, so snatch those up while you can! It looks like a good film line-up, and I (as well as a number of the other film-makers) will be in attendance.
A few more chickens!
I absolutely loved these ladies. If chickens by themselves aren't amusing enough to watch, these ones had lost most of their tail-feathers and they looked like a bunch of half-baked meals on legs.
The Railway Steam Gallop just finished playing at the Hiroshima International Animation Film Festival in Japan this week. I had the absolute pleasure of working on this film with Kaj Pindal (Sheridan professor, NFB veteran, and a very funny man) as principle animator under his direction and tutelage, shortly after graduating. It was an incredible experience learning and working alongside him, and tremendously fun as well - Kaj always has a good story or pun hiding in that smile of his.
I don't think I ever properly promoted the work-in-progress or the final piece, so below are a few making-of pictures (courtesy of Owen Colborne, photography technologist who came in to snap a few shots):
Editing stages & director approval
A final shot
Kaj fiddling with an engine. On the back wall are the storyboards, highlighted shots having been completed.
Hard at work
Below is a little snippet of some of the folks behind-the-scenes in the early stages of prep work; painting bystanders, setting up shots, testing equipment (via Chris Walsh, producer). KajPindalTrainFilm_Day1 from Chris Walsh on Vimeo.
I am kind of a bug nerd. Have always been, but being up here means exposure to some pretty snazzy insects. Yesterday we hunted down The Great Tomato Horn Worm which is the caterpillar precursor of hawk moths, and also possesses an impressive array of defense mechanisms:
1) Firstly, they are green and camouflage very well with the plant, and are therefore difficult to find.
2) If you shake a plant on which they are presiding/consuming, they will warn you with clicking noises.
3) They have very good grip and a decent number of legs. Prying them off a tomato stem is not for the easily-deterred.
4) When you do manage to pry one off, it will either try to bite you with its mouth or stab you with the little dark horn on its butt.
5) Or flail one end from side to side so you can't grab hold as easily.
6) And if all else fails, it will try to puke green juice on you.
There was a summer when my twin sister and I tried to speak in our own language.
It never worked though, because we were too lazy to actually bother about giving any words meaning - we just liked making the gibberish with some random French words thrown in.
Second, it will be in competition at the CBC's Short Film Face-Off program happening in May (televised in June, by the looks of it). So I'll be in Hali-fax for a few days where things are happening, hoorah!
And Third, The Scarf has made it into a book compilation of The Art of Short Films, which is a pretty brilliant idea for an art book and something I'm thrilled it's a part of.