Monday, October 19, 2009

During the second half of the semester we are to create a series of 4 paintings. I've chosen to continue exploring Bleckner's glazing technique on a larger scale using histograms of carcinoid tumors. I survived a burst appendix with severe complications. This near death experience could have saved my life for they found a 2 mil carcinoid tumor on the end of my appendix which was still capsulized. The images are quite abstract and I think will make a good subject.

The challenge for me is that I can only use certain mediums for glazing in the studio. I've had mixed success. I'm adding an additional challenge and will experiment with cold wax technique. Hmmm I wonder if I could use the cold wax for glazing. I plan to create one cold wax painting and perhaps experiment with cold wax as a glaze for the remaining.

Stay tuned to see how successful this emergent can be.

Monday, September 14, 2009

In the spring 2009 Subversive Art I did a photo montage called Coal. I was interested because three trains per hour pulling coal pass through Langley where I live. I wondered about where it went after it reached the coal depot in Tsawwassen by the BC Ferry terminal. I researched information about Canada's coal exports and to my surprise discovered that Canada imports coal for industrial us and power generation. I was god-smacked because there is a lot of criticism of other countries use of coal but not any visible to me about Canada's use.

I placed the statistics that I found in between the cars making it not as visible to the naked eye much like the coal use in Canada. The Mt beside the numbers stands for million tons. The information was pulled from the Canadian coal industry web site.

Friday, July 10, 2009

This is a stencil I created for Subversive Art course. It was to be a pattern for air brushing on a Tshirt.
This painting was inspired by a video still called Bulbs. It's approximately 2'x2.5' on board. It has one layer of cadmium red glaze and I'd like to add 2 or 3 more layers of glaze.

learning Ross Bleckner style

oil on canvas

2009 painting

Here are a few paintings I did in May/June 2009. Unfortunately the flash distorts them and I didn't get a straight on shot. I'll try again later and get a better image. The darker shot is closer to the real colour.
I used Ross Bleckner as a style for the first 3 paintings. The first 2 are canvas, 16"x20"
Little did I know it was going to take a very long time for the glaze to dry. Each painting still needs more layers of glaze so it's not the finished product.

macro view of grass over leaves

This painting is on canvas, 11"x14"
The image is from a photo I took at Derby Reach. it was done as a macro shot.

sky over France

This is Skyscape on canvas 3'x4'. The image is from a photo I took flying over farms outside of Paris. I manipulated it in photoshop to reduce colour (the darker area). It looks very surreal. Again it isn't straight on and the flash distorts the colour.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fall 2008, Nature Collage

This collage was created from photographs I took in Langley, BC. It was done for the Advanced Digital Media course. If you look closely at the bottom left hand corner you can see a charcoal drawing of my face. It's 20"x42"

contemporary Gauguin

Painting based on Gauguin's Where do we come fromI did this in the 2008 fall semester. Gauguin's painting was utopian, wishing to go back to paradise. My painting is a contemporary comment on consumerism giving a false sense of well-being while the reality is we are trashing the earth. The family is a shallow image, much like catalogue persons who have no depth. Their god is the idol of low prices.

my nephew Braydon

a painting I did Fall 2008 of my great-nephew, Brayden

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New love - Oil

I started this blog with the idea to share videos but I have a new love - oil painting! So I will be also posting my paintings from class. Please feel free to comment and give feedback, tips or challenges but be nice about it.
I saw this video on YouTube about glazing.

Shawn Barber Glazing Techniques to link to the video.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Critique of Pablo Useros: I am the only one Video

Check out this video by clicking on the title below.

Pablo Useros’,
I am (the only one) is part of an online exhibit at exhibit. Useros created Workroomfilms in 2005, an independent production company. I am (the only one) is a part of his latest body of work called “The Workroom sessions”, a recompilation of videos exploring themes such as the effects and the increases of loneliness in big cities.” ( The synopsis for I am (the only one) quotes “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Thoreau (Walden). The artist’s goal is to depict what happens if men never have a playful moment and share their playfulness with others.

This piece is a single video that uses minimal visuals and audio. The visuals consist of a stream of people walking past a stationary camera. The frame never changes, it remains a wide shot in a confined area. There are no visible cuts for the six and a half minutes except for the jarring jumpcuts. Movement has been slowed down to match the ghostly rhythm of the music.

The audio is also sparse. There is one simple upbeat tempo sing song while the title is up and the sound for the body of the piece is slow, discordant and eerie, not happy. There is no ambient sound.
The video begins with a title page, Intro Title: Workrooms Sessions,
I (am the only one), which consist of red background with black lettering. The simplicity of the title suggests a child’s world. The use of the primary colour red supports this and indicates vibrancy as well.

The audio continues the child-like mood. There is a man and children singing a guileless playful song accompanied by acoustic guitar:
“Out on the ocean floor,
Out on the ocean floor,
Out on the ocean floor
What could be stranger than the unknown danger
Of lying on the ocean floor”

The next frame, which introduces the body of the video, comes up in silence; the camera is set at the top of a stairway. The walls look institutional. Gradually a lone man comes into the frame moving forward in slow motion. As he approaches the centre of the screen a discordant organ sound begins accompanied by a simple slow rhythmic drumming. His gait is as though he is walking to the rhythm of the drum.

As the second man emerges into the frame in the same slow motion, the lyrics “I am” is heard in the same male voice as the opening song. There is a jumpcut of the man jerking back a few frames as the phrase begins and his steps are repeated. As a third man emerges into the frame the male voice sings “the only one” again with another jumpcut back a few frames.

The happy song in the beginning signifies the freedom in childhood, possessing a fearlessness to face dangers on the bottom of the ocean floor. The children singing with the man represents community solidarity as children. There can be nothing “stranger than facing danger lying on the ocean floor”.

The ambience of the opening song is in high contrast to the stark lonely tenor of the audio in the piece’s body. The lack of ambient sound isolates the interiority of aloneness/loneliness from the exteriority of community. There is absence of personal and communal interactions. The organ and piano chords play like a repetitive song of someone who is tone deaf. The constant rhythm on a single snare drum is hard edge and monotonous. There is no playfulness instead there is tight control so as not to deviate from the internal order. The Repetition of the phrase “I am the only one” is a monotonous chant accentuating loneliness and lack of community.

The visuals also give a feeling of unnaturalness and impersonal. The setting, a stairwell in an institution is highly impersonal and empty giving a hard edge look to the video. The first three persons seen are male and come into frame one at a time. This really gives a sense of isolation. Even when more people occupy the frame the feeling of isolation remains. The continuous audio and lack of ambient sound and institutional setting works together to carry this loneliness forward. Matching the gait of the people to the slow monotonous rhythm of the drum adds to the eerie aura of the piece as well as to the people being portrayed.

The jumpcuts are jarring to the viewer and emphasize the meaning of the phrase ” I am the only one”. The people are stuck in their loneliness repeating it over and over, like spinning one’s wheel in isolation. In spite of being among other people there is no adventure or exploration as described in the opening singsong. As adults they have left their childish dreams behind and have become “the only one”, alone and lonely. The artist’s simple construction of the video emphasizes the starkness of interiority when isolated from any community.

Sunday, February 22, 2009