Sunday, October 29, 2006

2006-10-28 Illustration friday -- Wind/rewind/unwind

This week's Illustration Friday topic is 'Wind'.

Because I'm a natural-born contrarian, I decided to think a little laterally. So I looked at it as 'wind' as in 'wound-up'. And what better way to unwind than to listen to a decent piece of music?

I've been sitting in JB Rivers in Hyde Park, Johannesburg all afternoon painting this. The babe count is extraordinarily high today. Definitely a full 5 out of 5. The food was okay... I had my usual Cajun chicken salad. But they sliced the chicken quite thick, so it was a bit harder to eat than usual.

The ambience was super. Especially with me wearing in-ear headphones attached to my Nokia N91 MP3 player/phone. Listening to my collection of Paste Magazine sample cds. Yeah!

This painting was made on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc using ArtRage 2.2.

Monday, October 23, 2006

2006-10-23 -- Illustration Friday -- Ghost.jpg

I'm a bit slow off the mark for this week's Illustration Friday again ('Ghost' this week). But that's okay. I've made my first painting using the new update to ArtRage. It's now version 2.2. And it cooks even more than it did before. Yeehaaa!!!!

I was planning to do a sort of painted montage of my mom and my dad with me in the middle. They're both dead, see? And I've inherited bits and pieces of both of them.

I decided not to right now cos I just don't really want to confront their ghosts for the meantime. Their legacy is enough for me to deal with.

Instead, I thought a weird self-portrait would do the trick. I mean, heck... they're IN me anyway, right? So why would I even NEED to depict them separately?

(It's amazing how adept ex-advertising people can be at post-rationalising their blatant laziness, huh?)

Uh... my hair doesn't REALLLLLLY look like that. But it's getting there.

This painting was made using ArtRage 2.2 on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc, while sitting in Tashas Cafe in Atholl Square in Sandton (contact them on +27 11 884 0365). Babe count: 5 stars out of 5. Unbelievable babeage here. Most of whom are finely sculpted by fine surgeons. Ambience: 3 and a half out of 5. Food: 4 out of 5. And no... there ISN'T an apostrophe. Even though there SHOULD be one.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

2006-10-18: Illustration Friday -- 'Smitten'

I've been a bit whacked this past week. Cos I'm directing a piece of industrial theatre for a pharmaceutical giant, and I'm thoroughly exhausted.

We did a preview for the client on Monday. And it would be a lie if I said I wasn't apprehensive. And to say I was apprehensive would be an understatement. And to claim that it's an understatement is to be creative with the truth. I was crapping myself.

Our client-run was at 3pm. And by noon, my actors still hadn't quite cracked it. I had an outburst. Shrieked a bit. Shouted a bit. Used several dirty words. And we did a quick run before leaving for the client. And the run was good. The energy was higher. And the actors were liberating the comedy in the piece. Phshew.

So we got to the client. And found that the boardroom they'd booked for us was WAY too small. Unusably small. So I went scouting with Seanarie, our production manager. And we found an outside porch where smokers at the company congregated. And we annexed it. Set up. Had some last minute notes. And then the client and his extremely pretty communications person arrived. And it was showtime.

My three actors -- Bronwyn, Linda-Michael, and Billy -- TOTALLLLLLLLLY bowled the client (and me) over. They were awesome. Extreme amounts of energy. VERY funny performances. And two clients laughing their heads off in the right places. And the round-table notes session after with all of us present was VERY positive and encouraging.


Which brings me to this week's Illustration Friday topic -- 'Smitten'.

Because of some of the strife involved in directing a show, I've gone for a literal sideways interpretation of the topic. I've taken it to mean 'smote', as in 'hit'. According to Webster online, 'smitten' means:

1 : to strike sharply or heavily especially with the hand or an implement held in the hand
2 a : to kill or severely injure by smiting b : to attack or afflict suddenly and injuriously
3 : to cause to strike
4 : to affect as if by striking
5 : CAPTIVATE, TAKE intransitive verb : to deliver or deal a blow with or as if with the hand or something held.

I sourced my reference photo on stock.xchng. According to the
photographer, Pablo Medina, it's a pic of 'the Uruguayan "Mouse" Herrera offering a brutal beating to [his] rival of Argentina.' The title of the photo is: 'Box 1'.

I've definitely taken a liberty or two with the pic, just to make it more
dramatic for me.

I painted this on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet PC using ArtRage 2.11 at a coffee-shop called 'Gloria Jeans' in Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton this afternoon. Seriously high babe count. Definitely a 5 out of 5. Service and food were excellent. 4.5 to 5 out of 5. Ambience gets a 3 out of 5. A lovely place for coffee.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

2006-10-08 Self Portrait -- Illustration Friday -- Trouble

It's been a while since I last did a self-portrait. And when this week's Illustration Friday topic turned out to be 'Trouble', I thought I'd make a suitable subject.

This works for me on several levels.

Firstly, since I stopped shaving my head, I've basically been letting my hair grow wild. And I assure you, it is TOTALLY wild. The only thing I'm doing with it in the mornings is washing it and combing the knots out. I let it dry as a mop of strangeness.

So, in a way, my hair is the opposite of trouble, since it's no trouble at all to deal with it. But it's also real trouble, cos it's unmanaged, untamed, and says something about me, I suppose. (Or maybe I'm just hoping it does.)

Secondly, I reckon I'm a BIT of a handful as an individual. Even though I've mellowed out significantly in the past few years, I certainly do have my quirks. The word 'eccentric' is actually a bit of an understatement for me.

And I've really thought about this. Some of my eccentricities are cultivated. Some of them are realllllly just part of me.

For instance, I'm a total hermit when I'm in hermit mode. I don't open my door for anyone, unless I know they're coming to visit.

I don't EVER answer my home phone. In fact, only about six people in the world KNOW my home phone number.

I wear strange socks. (Wow, Roy, THAT's eccentric! Yeah. Whatever.)

Some years ago there was an Israeli film festival playing at Cinema Nouveau, the arts cinema in Rosebank, Johannesburg. This was at the (then) height of the suicide bombings in Israel, and passions were running high in South Africa at the time.

I walked into the cinema, spread my arms, and said VERY loudly, WITH ABSOLUTELY NO VOLUNTARY CONTROL OVER WHAT I SAID, 'Excuse me,' I bellowed, 'would all the Palestinian suicide bombers please move to the NEXT cinema. Thank you.'

Stunned silence.

That's a quirk, isn't it?

I dunno.

I don't really think of myself as 'trouble'. But I AM on the odd part of the spectrum.

This painting was made on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc using ArtRage 2.11 software while sitting in Mugg & Bean Cresta, demonstrating the painting software to Ockert and Keith, managers of the place.

Monday, October 02, 2006

2006-10--01 Nadia Chaney on Her Birthday in Africa

Yesterday the industrial theatre troupe I'm co-building did an intervention at the Pioneers of Change 'Arts for Social Change' Day. We ran a forum theatre workshop for people who are interested in using art as a means to change society.

Our workshop got some tremendous feedback from the delegates, and our facilitators took part in other workshops given on the day.

Nadia Chaney was one of the people running a workshop. Hers was on performance poetry, and I was very sorry that our workshop coincided with hers, cos I'd really love to have made it.

Not just cos I'm also a performance poet. More cos as soon as I clapped eyes on her, I wanted to cuddle and hold and and and and and all those embarassing things. (Yes Nadia... this painting IS supposed to be a seduction painting. Now get that gorgeous ass of yours back to Africa as soon as possible.)

This is the description of her from her website:

'Nadia Chaney is an emcee, poet, musician, budding novelist, and multimedia visual artist who loves to dance and imagine. She has been working in arts empowerment in as many areas of her life as possible, from violence prevention, to unity-work, to hip hop classes in detention centres, to self care-for-employability programs, to a massive car-free volunteer-run festival, and lots more. She mostly works in collective, non-profit scenarios, but is also interested in enlightened for-profit work. She believes the sublime centre of the universe can be found at the heart of every moment.'

This week's Illustration Friday topic is 'Quiet'. I chose to paint Nadia for reasons other than seducing her. She performed one of her poems at the celebration after the arts day, and she's really good.

So I figured it would be good to paint a performance poet without her microphone, offstage.

That's my justification, and I'm sticking with it.

One of the other reasons is that she had her birthday in Africa, and she says she really enjoys it here. I'm hoping she enjoys it enough to come hurtling back soon in a jet plane. I'll even pick her up at the airport.

This painting was made using ArtRage 2.11 on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc with Paste Magazine's CD 24 (link to PDF of CD cover) playing on repeat in the background.