Tag: wolf

Pumpkin Carving Practice

 

Pumpkin carving: wolfHalloween is fast approaching. For two highly competitive people who are always questing for the sweet taste of victory, pumpkin carving offers a fine battleground.

Understanding that preparation is key to any victory, Damian and I invested in a “practice” pumpkin on which to experiment using various wood carving tools and random kitchen utensils. The carving tools are fantastic at slicing through the pumpkin’s skin, and they slide easily through the flesh to allow as much or as little light through the walls.

We started with a gutted pumpkin, leaving the walls at their thickest (which makes the whole process much more enjoyable, since scraping the pumpkin walls is arguably the worst part of traditional pumpkin carving!). We stuck on our desired images and used pins to highlight major landmarks, like the tip of an ear, the hunch of a shoulder, the length of a leg. Once we connected the dots with a pen, we went to town slicing and carving, occasionally switching off the lights to see the effects of the candlelight through the carving.

“We need to have a chat.”

Now, onto our REAL pumpkins!

 

 

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Culture Days Creations: Custom Glass Tiles

Culture Days is a nation-wide movement aimed at engaging Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Every September, studios and venues across the country open their doors and offer fun (and free!) opportunities to explore both your community, and your talents.

A friend and I visited a few interesting venues, including Fired Up! Glass Arts, where we created custom glass pieces by carefully placing small shards of glass on transparent tiles, which meld together once fired in a kiln. I came up with a wolf face (of course) while Damian crafted an intense tiger (also no surprise). Ironically, the brown bits of glass I used for the nose of the wolf closely resembles chocolate (my favourite). The raised texture of the bigger bits of glass really catch my eye!

Keep an eye out for Culture Days festivities next September.

Clay Wolf Tile

 

Clay and shoe polish (2012)

I attended a very fun sculpture class at ArtVenture this past spring, and this was the first of the three projects I completed. It involved laying out an image in a tile frame, then slowly filling it in from behind, ensuring no air was trapped in the inch or so of clay. I dramatized the topography by adding layers around the snout and eyebrows and carving rifts around the eyes, before adding a few fine details and a sparse coat of shoe polish.

This class was my first art course outside of middle/junior high school, and it was fantastic to learn new techniques and bounce ideas off of others who were similarly focused. Art is fun with friends!

Animorph

Clay (2011)

I awoke one morning to find these words scrawled in a notebook:

my face morphs into wolf

I remember rousing myself from the murky depths of oncoming sleep just long enough to scribble these words in the dark before plummeting fully into dreamland. A stop motion video ran in my mind: a self portrait forming out of a mound of clay, then morphing into the portrait of a wolf.

With my camera set up above the work surface, the initial plan was to make a change in the clay, then momentarily remove my hands from the frame, and repeat. I would then be able to draw a series of frames from the video that could be strung together to form what looked like self-molding clay. However, I only paused to remove my hands about a dozen times before forgetting the plan altogether when I was swept away into the timeless art abyss (and subsequently becoming late for track practice). So instead of the labour intensive stop motion concept (which I will surely revisit), I just sped up the video to 1000x the original speed.

Seeing a finished piece of art is great, but I am also very interested in the process of its creation. With such accessible video editing and media sharing technology, this traditionally very private process can be easily shared, adding a whole new dimension to art viewing, and art creating.

Exhilaration

Acrylic on canvas (2011)

“Accept the challenge so that you may feel the exhilaration of the victory.”

This piece was inspired by a motivational plaque I’ve adored since my childhood. Like my self portrait, it is a product of the dark; the rough brush strokes and colour conglomeration alludes to the vigorous and instinctual act of it’s creation. I recall sitting in the dark room at night, hunched over the canvas, furiously highlighting where a setting sun glistens on fur and rocks, deepening shadows, and emboldening the unique markings on each individual animal. Along with vitality, I appreciate the depicted sense of camaraderie among the three wolves, perhaps reflecting that between my sisters and I.

 

 

 

On the horizon

Coloured pencil on canvas panel (2010)

Why use coloured pencil on canvas? The paints were all the way upstairs while the pencils were immediately at hand. Working with coloured pencil is interesting for two reasons: the fine detail capable of a sharp pencil is second to none, and erasers only go so far. I really like the texture of the fur and that the colours in the wolf are subdued, standing out in my body of work. What could it be that has this creature’s rapt attention?