Posts categorized “Art & Artists”

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A Festivus Round-up

Happy Festivus, everyone! I hope you get to air some good grievances. I hope the plain aluminum pole is not too distracting. And I hope you win the Feats of Strength!

Here I’m going to round-up a big random heaping of things I’ve found interesting recently. Artists, websites, musics, games, whatever. In random order:

Michaela Eaves

I saw her at a studio open house where she had some paintings and prints out for display. I really dug the way her paintings have heavy outlines, and the way the lines break up the colors in such a way that her paintings almost look like stained glass.

8020
8080

She also had an adorable painting of a rocket ship, done in a soft, children’s book style of painting. I dug it, but I can’t find a picture on her website (which is mostly about her graphic design & illustration business):
www.michaelaeaves.com

8-Bit Jesus

8bitjesus
I thought this was pretty spectacular. Not only did Doctor Octoroc (sic) make 8-bit chiptune versions of many Christmas songs for his album 8-Bit Jesus, but he also wrote them in the specific styles of various 8-bit video games. My favorites are definitely “Carol of the Belmonts,” “Bubbles We Have Heard on High,” and “8 Days of Master Robots,” which very excellently captures the essence of the Mega Man experience. Also, “Icarus! The Herald Angels Sing” is quite accurate. Check it out:
http://www.doctoroctoroc.com/8BitJesus/

Machinarium

Machinarium is a beautifully done, old-style, point-and-click adventure video game, unbelievably done entirely in Flash. I like it ’cause it’s about robots. But more than that, the world is completely enthralling, and the puzzles all involve robot logic more than real-world logic.

500x_mach

The art style is pretty much spectacular. You can play a demo for free, or buy and download the full version here:
http://machinarium.net/

Kaiju Dance to Thriller

Just what the title says: a bunch of Kaiju dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Wonder Woman Pumps

This woman takes shoes and tastefully collages them with pages from Wonder Woman comic books. She tends to use mostly monochromatic images, so the effect is a little subtler than you might expect.

wonderwomanpumps

She has an etsy shop where she makes all kinds of shoes and boots (not just Wonder Woman):
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Pachainkapink

Regurgitated Thanksgiving Dinner Scarf

Taisha McGee sells what she calls “Ugly Scarves.” They’re mostly actually quite pretty, but she nevertheless gives them hilarious names based loosely on their color schemes, names like “Mulched Roses,” “Tidy Bowl,” “Moldy Cheese,” “Mushy Froot Loops,” and my favorite, “Regurgitated Thanksgiving Dinner.” She also has the sense of humor to take photos of the scarves wrapped around a cardboard stand-up of John Wayne. Bravo!

regurgitatedthanksgiving

Check them all out at her etsy shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/TaishaMcGee

Alexis St.John

An artist whose work I saw in a tea shop in Downtown Tacoma (Mad Hat Tea, 1130 Commerce Street) and I liked the humor and simplicity in it. I also really appreciated how most of the paintings were really small; a lot of ’em were only like 6″ × 6″, and I don’t think anything of hers gets over 20″ in any direction.

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You can buy the actual artwork, of if you’d prefer you can buy frameable prints of it.
http://alexisstjohn.com/Gallery.html

TheSixtyOne

TheSixtyOne.com is a fascinating idea for a democratic music website, where the more people like a song the more popular it becomes, and ANYONE can upload ANY song they’ve created (as long as they’re legally allowed to blah, blah, blah, y’know).

Not only that, but it turns listening to music into kind of an RPG. You gain experience (called “reputation”) and rise in levels. There are quests (like “Listen to 7 recently-uploaded songs” or “Listen to the radio stations of 5 other people for 5 minutes each”) that let you earn experience and “hearts,” which you can use to mark a song as a favorite (i.e., you heart the song). And you also earn experience as other people later heart songs that you previously hearted. The more reputation you have, the more likely other people are to listen to your opinions (in theory at least). So you get tangible rewards for finding new, unheard songs that you really like and then getting other people to like them as well, other than the reward of discovering good music.

Also, TheSixtyOne.com is the only place right now where you can hear Taisha’s musc (yes, the same Taisha that makes those scarves). Just go here:
http://www.thesixtyone.com/taisha/

A Very Alan Thickemas

THE Alan Thicke, Leeni, and puppets. Lots and lots of puppets. And Blake Lewis is somehow involved. It exists, I just have no idea of how to see it. Other than these:

*-*-*-*-*

That’s about it for now.

Categories: Art & Artists, Arts & Crafts, Celebrities, Christmas, Comics, Japan, Links, Movies, Music, Pictures, Robots, Round-up, Video Games, Videos.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

A Very Belated Halloween Post

So I’m only just now getting around to posting about what happened leading up to, during, and after Halloween. Why? On account o’ the busy-ness, and some unavoidable delays.

My wife caught a powerful sick that lasted the entire week leading up to H’ween, so I was busy taking care of her as well as doing everything around the house that needed to get done. I also had to drive out to me mum’s place a couple of times so that I could borrow her sewing machine, which I needed to create the body portion of my H’ween costume. I’m not a very good tailor, so it took a while, but it came out shockingly well. More details in moments.

The theme I decided on for my H’ween punkins this year was “fossils.” Probably because my friend Three Ninjas is so into them. So about a week and a half before H’ween I carved the first one: an ammonite fossil!

ammonite-fossil

Then the day before H’ween my pal Leiapico had a punkin carving party! It was also a costume party but I didn’t have my costume completely finished yet. Anyhoo, I carved another punkin at the party. You should recognize it pretty easily:

skull-fossil

Then during the day on H’ween I carved a trilobite fossil:

trilobite-fossil

Then I had another punkin left over, so I carved a fossilized dinosaur thigh bone into it just for fun.

And here they all are!

punkins-2009

Normally Carrie & I make Reuben sandwiches with potato/green bean/sauerkraut soup on H’ween evening and give out full-sized candy bars to the trick-or-treaters, but this was an unusual (and special) year in that Halloween was actually on a Saturday, so we actually performed our Fools Play Halloween format (Fools Play Trick or Treat) on Halloween night! As per usual, all the Fools dressed up in costume, so here’s a run-down of what was what:

Jamie Pederson the Fools Play Apprentice as:
Edgar Degas

GingerFool

Taisha McFall the Jade Fool as:
A Cheerleader from Rick Moranis in Gravedale High

JadeFool

Mike Harris the Blue Fool as:
Porco Rosso

BlueFool

And here’s the reveal of my costume:
Chris Harris the Purple Fool as:
A JELLYFISH

PurpleFool

Yeah! I designed it so that I could put the jellyfish “hood” down. I also made slits in the long tentacle sleeves about even with my hands. I then sewed strips of velcro on the slits so that I could cleanly close them when I was in full costume, but I could open them and stick my hands out when I was performing or interacting with grab-able things. I also put my purple shirt on over my jellyfish bottom for the duration of the show.

The Fools were not, of course, the only people dressed in costume. A huge percentage of the audience came in costume as well, which is what we want for our Halloween show. Some of my faves were Tia as a Starfleet Medical officer (with a costume she made herself), and her boyfriend James as Master Onion from Parappa the Rapper. There was also a very good Velma from Scooby-Doo.

starfleet-medical
masteronion-starfleet-witches

Anyway, at the end of the show our apprentice Jamie, whose soul we’d manage to free from the influence of dark magic (long story; don’t want to bore you with the details) and who had overcome the brainwashing of Sir Ian McKellen (who wanted us dead for tearing a page out of his copy of the Forbidden Book of Improv Lore (but, again, I don’t want to bore you with the details)), managed to turn his soul completely around and became an official frikkin’ fool: Jamie Pederson the Ginger Fool!

Originally we were going to give him the Orange shirt seeing as how Nathan Geyer the Orange Fool hadn’t performed in about six years. But in a shocking turn of events, Nathan Geyer was actually in the audience that night, and jumped up in protest when we were about to give the Orange shirt to Jamie. He said he was back in town now, and so he was going to reclaim his Orange shirt and start performing again. So we had to scramble to find another shirt for Jamie and the best we could find was a shirt the color of crystallized ginger, so the Ginger Fool he became. So in one night we got a new Fool and saw the return of a long-lost Fool!

So, yeah, that was fun.

But because I was at Fools Play on Halloween, Carrie & I didn’t do our Reuben Sandwich Feast as per usual. We were gonna do it the day before, but she was still having the sick in her (which is why went to Leiapico’s punkin carving par-tay), so we delayed it until the Friday after. I made 12 Reuben Sandwiches. They were good.

Anyway, one of the reasons why this post is so late is that my digital camera broke back in September, so I didn’t have it with me at Fools Play to take pictures of everyone’s costumes! I had to wait for the person who took these pictures to get them off the camera and email them and then have them be sent to me, etc. Took a while. But there they are, baby.

OFFICER KANE
But there they are, baby. There they are.

CAMERA TRUCKS UPWARDS as OFFICER KANE puts his arm around CINDY. They turn and walk away down the alley in SLOW MOTION and are soon lost in the fog as the END CREDITS MUSIC begins playing.

FADE OUT.

THE END.

Hmm… I went somewhere weird at the end of this post. Oh, well.

Categories: Art & Artists, Arts & Crafts, Cartoons, Cooking, Fools Play, Holiday, Life, Links, Pictures.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

“Of the Month” September ’09

Link of the Month:
Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty
An absolutely charming blog. Here’s the premise: Illustrator/Cartoonist Aaron Zenz has several children, and he encourages them to draw. A lot. They even participate in Illustration Friday and all that. For the past three years Aaron has posted over 400 drawings that his children have made. It’s fantastic to see the progression of skills and imagination. He recently had an open invitation wherein other illustrators could re-create some of his kids’ drawings, and the results are fantastic.

Album of the Month:
September 2009 Album of the Month tangentbot: Cyclops’ Lament
Hey, I know this guy! This is actually a re-mastered re-release of his album of several years ago, but with a couple of changes. These newly-mixed versions are delightfully more crisp and deep, and there’s a very good remix of “8-bit Misfit.” Hey guys: listen up. This is good IDM. Good. Okay? Okay. Take a wissen with this handy MP3 player here:

DVD of the Month:
September 2009 DVD of the Month Avatar: The Last Airbender
I never watched this show when it was on because the commercials made it look like a lame rip-off of Dragon Ball Z and/or One Piece. But I was mistaken. Unlike those shows, this one is actually good. One thing I greatly appreciated was its sense of deadline: pretty early on in the series the characters learn that they have to accomplish the series goal by a set date that is rather disturbingly soon. It really gives the series a sense of urgency as well as the feeling that it is actually building towards a real ending. And, indeed, the show lasted for three seasons (or “books” as the show calls them) and told one full story with a beginning, a middle, and an ending that happened when it was supposed to happen, not because they ran out of stories or the show got canceled. Also, the characters grow and change slowly but surely, and there is never a single mention of “power levels” or “powering up.”
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Book 1 Collection
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Book 2 Collection
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Book 3 Collection

Categories: Art & Artists, Cartoons, Links, Music, Of the Month, TV.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

More Baman Piderman Funtimes

I heart these cartoon so, so, so very much.

First, here’s the one that started it all. I’ve posted it before, but I don’t care:

Baman Piderman Find da Sandwich:

And here are two new ones!

Baman Piderman Hab da Pumkin:

Baman Piderman Make da Band:

Many props to Alex Butera for making cartoons of such awexomeness.

Categories: Art & Artists, Cartoons, Videos.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Surprise! Google Chrome!

Well, you might have heard of this, but it was leaked (due to an early mailing of promotional material) that Google has *surprise!* created its own web browser! It’s called Chrome, and since I’m a big fan of Google’s other products, I’m really looking forward to trying it to see what it’s like. You can read about it at the
Official Google Blog.

One of the coolest things about the whole launch, though, is that they got Scott McCloud, one of my favorite comic book artists, to draw a 30-page comic as an introduction to the concepts of Chrome! Here’s the first page:


You can read the rest of it here. It’s got some interesting stuff! I’m totally downloading it on Tuesday when it’s released.

Categories: Art & Artists, Comics, Computers, Links.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

In a Round-About Way

Earlier this week I was going through all of my They Might Be Giants music to see what I still needed to get in order to have a “complete” collection (knowing full well that some songs are impossible to get right now, like Monsters of Mud) of studio recordings by Them. In researching, I discovered that not only do They have a podcast (which I knew about and enjoy), but they’ve been doing a video podcast for kids as well!

It’s hosted by the Puppet Johns and they play a couple of videos from their two most recent kids’ album-slash-DVDs, Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s. I’d seen most of the ABCs before, but I’d never seen the 123 videos.

One video in particular, the one for Eight-Hundred-Thirteen Mile Car Trip, struck me as being particularly well designed (and passably well animated for a low-budged flash video). So I went to This Might Be a Wiki and discovered that it was designed & animated by someone named Pascal Campion.

A quick Google search turned up not only a website for Pascal, but a blog as well! I have to say, I really dig his style. It has kind of a Maurice Noble vibe, but is still very individualistic. He’s got great lines and a phenomenal sense of color. He’s actually done a handful of videos for TMBG, including some on Venue Songs and ABCs.

Art by Pascal CampionIt’s safe to say that he’s one of my new favorite artists, and I discovered him in a very cool round-about way.

Categories: Art & Artists, Links, Music, Pictures, Videos.