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hypnotic

wood

Brett Foxwell is a professional stop-motion animator and, if I can be the judge, a loonie. He’s done this fantastic frame-by-frame animation of him…sanding wood, I guess is what. The result looks like breathing creatures or microscopy or aerial photography of a seasonal river delta. Watch it. Wear headphones. It’s something else.

This was not a simple idea. He would have to take a precise amount off each time to make such a smooth animation. Even harder than that, though, he’d have to move either the camera or the wood closer by exactly the amount he’d shaved off, or likewise the animation wouldn’t be smooth. Hence loonie.

If synchronized sanding ain’t your thing, we’ve been enjoying watching this litter of Canadian kittens grow up in real time. They’re all ready to be adopted out, so don’t get attached, but I’m quite sure they’ll follow another litter after this. It’s what they do.

June 20, 2017 — 10:30 pm
Comments: 11

Chikken!

chickensoap

This young feller, Daniele Barresi, is making a name for himself doing quick food sculptures. Though this particular one is a soap sculpture. BUT IT’S A CHICKEN. A friend of mine in art school used to do soap carving, so I have a warm spot. More soap.

Here’s some of the better food ones, on Bored Panda. Yes, despite the name “Daniele” it’s a he. And he bites his fingernails.

Unrelated note: I have just put into the oven the greatest meatloaf ever made — I suspect — and no-one will ever know. But me. AHAHAHAHA!

June 13, 2017 — 10:35 pm
Comments: 17

Walt Disney shits up beach in Eastbourne

statues

They snuck in under cover of darkness and planted these ugly statues at low tide at Eastbourne this morning. I gather it’s to promote the new Pirates film, which is out today. I’m about twelve or fifty films behind in that series, frankly.

Anyhoo! Rejoice! I have finished my work (including my guts homework), a long weekend stretches before us and tomorrow is the first of the big country fairs. It is time to par-tay.

Wait, do people still par-tay? Well, I’m going to par-tay like it’s 1837. Good weekend, y’all!

May 26, 2017 — 9:00 pm
Comments: 13

This is why I hate the art world

snowwhite

Alcoholic Snow White? That’s hilarious!

Oh. Wait. You’re serious? Like very, very serious? Like Disney Princesses face Rape and Murder kind of serious?

Sigh. My first taste of this was Dadaism, which I thought was playful and fun when I first read about it as a wee lass. Turns out, it’s not. It’s super cereal.

Eh. The photographer is a kid still in art school. Good on her for figuring out how to manipulate her milieu into giving her asspats. Which a mature her can convert into genuinely good art, I hope. Maybe even something playful and fun.

May 10, 2017 — 9:16 pm
Comments: 12

Huh. That’s kind of…huh.

emoji

It’s a modern Dutch building, where the gargoyles are emojis.

I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, modern architecture is so plain and dire and serious and determined to impose sick-making non-Euclidean silhouettes on the landscape.

On the other hand, emojis.

The firm that designed it is Attika Architekten. Hit the link for more pitchas.

May 8, 2017 — 7:13 pm
Comments: 18

But are you bad enough?

kitty

It is one of my great regrets that I never visited the Museum of Bad Art when I was in the States. It’s in the basement of a movie theater in Somerville, Mass. I had a job right around the corner; I could’ve nipped out at lunch.

But with a gargantuan sigh of relief I note — nothing of mine has made it into the collection. Yet.

When I moved, see, my studio was a complete mess, so the real estate agent suggested I take out everything I wanted to keep and let the disposal guys hoover out the rest while I was out of town. Less traumatic for me. Lots and lots of bad early Weasels ended up in the dumpster, or worse.

On May 6, they’re hosting a free event inviting the public to bring along horrible art for evaluation. You have to think anything truly MOBA-worthy will be something somebody plucked from the trash. No genuinely awful artist is capable of recognizing his own horror; quality blindness is a necessary prerequisite.

Anyway, do spend some time browsing their collection and reading the captions. Never fails to cheer me up!

Oh, and happy National Tea Day. We celebrated by buying a teapot today!

Nah, not really. We bought a teapot today because Elbows here knocked the old one over and smashed it earlier this week. Good weekend, all!

April 21, 2017 — 6:54 pm
Comments: 13

Blacker than a very black thing indeed

vantablack

You’ve probably seen this stuff in the news: Vantablack. It’s called “the blackest black.” It’s a coating developed by a company called Surrey Nanosystems made out of teeny nanotubes (I mean, I realize there are no big nanotubes, but bear with me). The thing about these little pigment fragment things is that they’re something like five times longer than they are wide and this, somehow, makes a nest that traps upwards of 98% of the light that falls on them. It gets closer to 100% with every generation.

In practical terms, it means things painted with Vantablack throw back so little light that we simply cannot perceive them as three dimensional. In the still above (taken from this video) a spherical lollipop shape is dragged across a flat shape, both coated in Vantablack, and your eyeballs just cannot deal. Follow the link and look at some of the other videos. It’s very cool.

This has obvious military applications, which is what funded the development, I feel sure. But it has obvious artistic applications, too. And here follows a fun bit of drama.

There’s a London-based artist named Anish Kapoor who works with architects to make those big dreary public sculptures that are, like, simple shapes supposed to be chock full of meaning or some shit. The mirror finish ones are okay; at least they reflect things around them in an interesting way. Anyway, he stepped in and bought the license to Vantablack for art. In other words, only artist Anish Kapoor may use Vantablack.

I can’t imagine many artists would have a use for this stuff, outside the kind of people who paint bullfighters and Elvises on velvet, but that’s just the sort of dick move that pisses off ‘the art community’ to no end.

So there’s this other London artist named Stuart Semple (his art sucks too, by the way) who worked with paint chemists to develop what he calls “the pinkest pink.” Anybody can buy it, except Anish Kapoor. You have to tick a little box that says I am not Anish Kapoor before you can check out.

As security goes, that’s not the strongest, and it wasn’t long before Anish Kapoor posted a picture of his middle finger coated in the pinkest pink.

So yesterday, Semple fired back. He went to his pet paint chemists and they developed what he calls Black 2.0 — not quite as black as Vantablack, but much cheaper, needs no special handling and, most important, available to people who are not Anish Kapoor.

I’m trying to talk myself into buying some (he’s selling it for what it costs to make, in a mad frenzy of virtue signaling). But I can’t imagine I have a use for it. I hated Elvis.

Good weekend, everyone!

March 31, 2017 — 7:58 pm
Comments: 30

First!

first

Finished my first miniature. Not sure how I feel about it. It’s not the ‘painting small’ part — most of the things I’ve painted in the past had patches of super high detail. It just feels a little cramped. Closeup here.

I liked working on vellum, though. Watercolor doesn’t actually stick to it, so you can lift the paint if you make a mistake. But to make an area super dark, you have to go over it and over it with tiny dots or streaks.

Trying to apply a heavy, wet color wash on vellum is a disaster. It rumples, then dries hard. Live and learn, but whooeee that stuff is an expensive sacrifice to the gods of the learning curve.

Anyway, for a first effort, it isn’t awful. A bit boring. I can’t really do anything with this first one, though…I was getting so wadded up with artist’s block that I finally threw up my hands, went to Google Images search and typed “crowing rooster.” Not usually how I source my subject matter!

March 16, 2017 — 9:13 pm
Comments: 21

Things on my shopping list that probably aren’t on yours

oxgall

It is what it says it is, though why ox gall and not sheep gall or weasel gall, I have no idea. It’s a very traditional wetting agent.

I’ve decided I’d like to try my hand at proper miniatures. I’ve always painted small — sometimes really small — but it takes more than little to make a miniature.

Certain paints, certain techniques, certain brushes, special frames with convex glass to let the surface breathe and not be touched. And holy shit all that stuff is expensive!

I’ve always been intimidated by the prospect. I know a bit about it, but never tried my hand. I mean, what’s the worst they can do — send the miniature police around to break my fingers?

Oh, the ox gall, in this case, is to brush lightly over vellum before you begin. It degreases the vellum (it is skin, after all) and makes it more receptive to watercolor.

Wish me luck. Mooooo!

March 13, 2017 — 10:18 pm
Comments: 7

Speak to me, Ozymandias!

pharoah

Another one to file in the “cool things you will never, ever find in your back yard” file. They drained some standing water in a Cairo slum and found this. They found most of the rest of it, too. They think it’s Ramses II (the Big Guy), and there’s probably more where that came from in that particular small and trash-strewn corner of the city.

You’ve probably seen this one, too — it’s all over the news tonight. But, hey — I’ve been upstairs painting chickens this evening.

By which I don’t mean applying coloring agents to Mapp. I mean painting teeny, weeny, tiny chook portraits. Rendering minute burbly wattles is fun! I’m’a spend my whole weekend doing it.

Hope your weekend is just as awesome!

March 10, 2017 — 10:44 pm
Comments: 13