Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The Life Drawing Class starts again

School holidays are over, the kids are back at school and the Life Drawing class resumes for the new term in the Drama room at the local College.
I made this drawing at last night's class, an artist at her easel, seen from below. How I got to be crawling around the floor while everyone was busy drawing the model I do not know but I was intrigued by the view of a face from below and there on the floor was Janice's cardboard drawings satchel and a big box of chalk pastels just laying beside it and no one looking so I got to work...
Because I teach the class I don't usually get the chance to draw but take opportunities as I find them.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Marley's Mural, a Pictorial History Part 5: the second canvas gets designed

Friday was a warm and bright, sunny Winter's day and I spent the morning making phone calls to sort out, and keep up with, stuff. Then I put on good clothes and walked up to town and got in some R & R, bit of shopping, couple a bevvies, home for tea and then out again for a few drinks with friends. Saturday was a big, vicious storm and the bamboo growing back of the studio smashed the edge of one of the studio roof's clear panels, the water leaking through this was blown inside by the fierce wind gusts but luckily blown clear over the canvas clipped up there and not blown far enough to hit the table and ruin all the drawings etc.
I love storms like that, they remind me of Wellington, where I grew up.
Saturday afternoon and night and Sunday afternoon and night I worked on the canvas in the cold draughty studio and now both canvases are ready for finishing - which will probably take two weeks.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

The Waihi Rocket Park Mural, a cautionary morality tale. Part One: In which a recividist criminal hatches a cunning plan to get off the chain gang

Waihi's Rocket Park

John goes down the slippery slope of bad behaviour!
In an earlier post I told of losing my drivers licence after having a couple of beers too many at my favourite bar in Katikati one hot Wednesday afternoon last January and then driving home via a police road block on highway 2 especially placed to catch just such people as myself.
Eventually I had my day in court and as well as losing my licence for a year and a day I was sentenced to 150 hours of community service.
On the appointed day I had my friend Sandra drive me to Paeroa to the Probation Office and there I explained to the good folk in charge of my sentence how lucky they were to have such a rare and especially fine variegated species of mural artist on their books and what wonderous things I could do for the local community.......
In formal no-nonsense prison guard speak I was informed that I would be on the chain gang for at least a month (at least one day a week labour in service of some community organization or other) and then we would see what we would see..
I see said I. Yes. Yes of course. Sir.
Well I really enjoyed the chain gang, the work was good exercise and the company great as everyone of my workmates, guys and girls of all types and ages, were all there because they had fucked up in one way or another and there was no bullshit or judgement and we all got on with enjoying our days work and chipping away at the hours we owed the community.
A typical day would be a van load of us arriving at a local small communities' war memorial hall early on a cold Winter's morning with a trailer load of gardening and scrub cutting and lawn mowing tools and we'd all get dirty scratched and blistered and leave the place looking a whole lot better than we found it. Satisfying work actually and no shortage of good humour...

After a month or so in the trenches I told my gang's boss of my local councillor's favourable attitude towards me painting a mural for the community.

Because of my punctuality and reliability I was given my head, so to speak, and I used my newly returned head to finalize where and what and do some design drawings and submit them for approval to a meeting of ward councillors.
Waihi's rocket park rocket will be made more of a feature with the addition of two large portholes through which can be seen the rocket's crew comprising of my neighbours Leah and Kevin's son Daniel age7 and my pal Georgia's daughter Amelie age 5 and my grandson Mateo age 2 and a half inside the rocket preparing to take off.
Kinda cliche but very cute.
Along with this I will be making some changes to the rocket's colour-scheme: red nose cone and silver gantry tower. At present I await the delivery to the studio of two large sheets of thin galvanized metal for me to cut to shape and paint the porthole murals on. These will then be riveted on the rocket.
And my debt to society will be paid. Yay!


Marley's Mural, a Pictorial History Part 4: Images and Design Ideas hit the canvas at last

Tuesday 22 July 08: A mural comprised of some of my drawings and photos of musicians and the sheet music to a Ricky Lee Jones song begins to come together on a 7 metre by 1200 primed canvas.
The other 7 metre by 1200 primed canvas will have more of the same and the sheet music to a Warren Zevon song.
The mural panel shown here will be high up on the left interior wall of Marley's Music store and the other will be high up on the right.
I had no definite idea of how this would come together when I started Tuesday morning but it began to take on a life of it's own and I got a wonderful natural high and could not sleep until four in the morning Wednesday.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Marley's Mural, a Pictorial History - part 3. The continuing story of the mural decoration of Marley's Marvelous Waihi music store

I have been busy collecting and collating the various images that will make up Marley's Mural.
Here are a few. The job has been going slowly, at it's own pace and I have been designing another mural at the same time: The Waihi Rocket Park, which is a kid's playground, more on that later, it's an interesting story, to me anyway..
Previous Posts show the modifications I made to the studio to accommodate Marley's Mural and the priming of the two 7 metre canvases.
Finding all my many drawings of musicians, some photos of musicians and making new drawings of musicians and preparing all these for loading in the computers and printing then as transperancy's ready for screening up on the canvases via the old overhead projector has been an effort. Me poor wee brain has been stretched and scattered and subject to hanging up and not infrequently crashing.
Perseverance has found me still sane, luckily, and ready to boogie, design-wise. Yay!!
You can read all about it in the next thrilling installment... 

Music lessons in Marley's sound proof room at the rear of the store

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Painting on Glass, or, Commercial Art is a fishy business

What The..!!

Inspired by my artist pal Barbi I played with some old computer art done on the paint programme back in 04.
Back then Barbi and I sat opposite each other from 8.30 till 4.00, five days a week, all year, learning about computers. Because of my interest in art I was given one of the more powerful computers with a massive 90 megs of RAM and I would crash it about 3 times a day because of the huge pictures I was scanning in and manipulating.
Barbi has been making some great stuff lately on the old Paint programme, she is one of my favourite artists.
The pictures above come from a story I have in mind that serves to inspire images and may be written one day but that is another story..