I was recently asked to engage in a Pecha Kucha talk/evening, still not quite sure how the terminology slots with these events. It’s interesting and quite challenging to have to choose only 20 images to cover any given subject, at first it seems like a lot but it doesn’t take long to amass a much bigger pile…then the editing… and what is it one really has to say and why this picture or that one. Quite early on in the process I decided to ditch any notion of what I was trying to say, picked some of my current favourite images and hoped they would inspire a few choice words to slip from my tongue in the heat of the moment… Well it kind of worked, I think. I got a few laughs anyway. I froze up a couple of times and fortunately every twenty seconds the picture changes (saved by the bell!) and one is jolted on. Here’s a basic recap through my rose tinted memory.
Cover image: a collage I made from images I had shown in an earlier installation with a bit of supersize me presiding at this point just mocked up! (currently showing at The Parallel Show on SaltSpring Island)
I started with the above image because it represents me in the big world I think; out in my snail shell home; the Land Rover, exploring the backroads of Vancouver Island .
Then this one; a work in progress currently called Beneath the Above. (58 X 58″ oil on linen) I think with this image I was trying to show the humbling process of trying to imitate nature; ‘still struggling with this one but I have a new angle that I’m throwing at it for an upcoming show at Fault Line Projects.
…and really, who can compete with this kind of oneupmanship!
I think I then brought things back to basics with; what really does inspire us…
In the beginning…
…and then some more of my shoddy attempts of some kind of ownership; because isn’t that what art is… painting the deer you didn’t catch on the cave wall and crying yourself to sleep!
These guys have got more than a deer to chew on. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for the aviation industry, I mean who doesn’t love all the shining potential of a new journey swaddled in technology. It’s all getting a bit old now but we manage to keep dressing it up.
On the topic of humans I followed this with another drawing; a common theme of mine; tables and chairs, not unlike discarded shoes they can always tell a bit of a story,
When I was a lad (Lancashire accent) we would go to the beach in Fleetwood (northwest England) and I would marvel at this building, probably wanted it too…Some kind of meteorological station I think. The theme of the Pecha Kucha was: “what inspires us”… I think this building got me thinking a bit.
Our planet is natural, our world has been designed by someone, well a few people to be un-exact; there are so many beautiful and elegant designs that a lot of us might just take for granted…just the stuff thats always been around. The Kikkoman soy sauce bottle for example.
…and then there’s always these minimalist masterpieces lying around all over the place for us to trip on.
Sporadically I go to a life drawing group where a bunch of people in clothes sit in a circle and draw a naked person posing in the centre. Being a bit cheap or because I use expensive paper I tend to draw my figures one on top of the other and have recently taken to painting in the little shapes when I get home… more ownership stuff I think.
I think at the Pecha… the images got a little muddled but I think this one was next and this might have been where I froze up… I mean , what is there really to say about a highway junction. Do they still call them spaghetti junctions? I think I shot this flying out of Calgary one rainy time. (looks like a new meat packing plant going in over there too)
A lot of how I shoot is done in a style I call “Drive-by Shooting” just hold the camera to the window and rattle off a few shots then see what you get later, one of the great benefits of digital… or is it? 2nd Ave and somewhere.
Often in my travels through daily life i see great inadvertent art, this is a sketch of some empty “drywall mud” boxes craftily arranged in a pile by our local dry wallers: “The Little Brothers”. I’m currently working this into a painting. (don’t let them know, they’ll probably want royalties) Said that like I actually sell paintings for stupid amounts of money, lol.
I’m torn between finishing this now or nipping out for a bottle of wine… ….It always impresses me how little, birds seem to need, they seem to spend quite a bit of time just flying around for the hell of it and to them weather, rain or shine is just weather. I think I titled this one ” Over Nowhere”
Early morning departure, Logan
When I fly, unlike birds, I carry all kinds of stuff; the usual devices, a couple of half decent cameras and the trusty Moleskine sketch book. I also often carry portable drum machines and other electronics that often raise a concerned eyebrow from the flight crew (oh, it’s just a drum machine…). I order a couple of mini wines, get a buzz on, pull out my Moleskine and become a poet..! Well…, I write successive lines of random thought in a linear fashion (Some of these ramblings can be found @ skeletalskreen) or failing that I just stack the words atop one another kind of like the bodies in my life drawing. I also have a series of paintings done in a similar way.
Every now and then I look out the window… The Arctic Ocean is a cold and lonely place.
It’s hard to fly without thinking of mortality, but even death can be beautiful.
There are dizzying myriad ways to negotiate this life, it’s hard not to be inspired. “Don’t Despair” could be a title for my last image but it’s just a drawing of an inspired young organic farmer making some extra bucks by modelling at a life drawing session.