Archive for November, 2007

Magnetic Clock Project

Friday, November 30th, 2007

magnetic-clock-mockup.jpgI have a new project I’m working on, thanks to the speedy delivery of parts from K&J Magnetics who sent me some strong neodymium magnets, and Nick’s Equipment Sales who sent me some high-torque clock movements. The plan is to build a clock something like the mockup on the right, where the clock has no visible moving parts (no hands) and steel balls glide over the surface with nothing apparently holding them in place. The way it’ll work is that the hands will actually move behind the face of the clock (I haven’t decided on a surface yet), and those hands will have magnetic neodymium discs affixed to them which will bond without touching to matched neodymium spheres which will indicate the time…

Hopefully it’ll look neat. I have a much cooler clock that I’m building with Caitlin that’s a pair of crocheted robots that point out the time that maybe I can post next week…


I don’t know why she swallowed that fly

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Whew! One more to go… We’re going on a secret mission this weekend (don’t worry, we’ll share afterwards) so I probably won’t have time to complete the last one, the fly (which is being done in a nice iridescent pearl glaze for the wings and a green or blue interference paint for the body), which is the most involved of the set I think.

Oh, and I’ve been asked a couple times where I got my blank Russian nesting dolls — they came from Russian Legacy, who have a number of styles available.


Two more to go…

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

My eyes are so going to fall out of their head! Continued work on my I know an old lady who swallowed a fly nesting dolls — from left to right (click to zoom), the spider, the bird, the cat, the dog, the goat, the cow, the horse… and… she’s dead, of course! I may get ambitious and try and finish the painting tomorrow and then give them a nice topcoat to seal and protect them.


They really look a lot better in person I think… I haven’t decided yet if these are going to be for sale…

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

I was asked how my Russian Doll project is coming. I must admit that it’s coming slowly because it takes me so much effort to paint small (and I’m not really that good at it), and even doing a little one like the one in this entry is about two hours of work… I expect about twenty-five hours in the whole project. Anyway, I am working on it, and here’s the bird!


The picture doesn’t do it justice because it’s painted in iridescent paints and shimmers from tone to tone from different angles.

Update: And the dog too…


Guitar Hero (Sketched)

Monday, November 26th, 2007

So I was thinking about businesses that we could open on Cape Breton Island, and I had the thought that a nice idea might be to open a “Children’s Art Gallery” — an art gallery for and by the young at heart. It would feature [fine] art with children as part of the intended audience, as well as art created by young people (perhaps by students at the gallery if it was also an art school). With Cape Breton Island becoming an increasingly significant tourist destination, I think the idea has potential (and of course it could also exist online). I wouldn’t be surprised if it could be started with grants, and I’m sure there are many artists that would be open to the idea of donating paintings and other artwork. Definitely something that I’ll think about…


Cold Water Extraction III

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Because the temperature just dropped and the first snow storm of the year happened today we rushed the balcony plants into the house, making this place even more insanely cluttered than usual. It’s not that it’s dirty or anything — I do the dishes and all that — but there are always so many projects on the go that it’s a literal maze of wonders. I think even if I had an aircraft hanger-sized space to work in I could very quickly fill it up. I hope to have a little more time to work on it this weekend but I’ve started filling in the background on Cold Water Extraction (which really needs a less mundane title I think) and am opting for a bright and garish theme.


I’ll also mention that The Toronto Winter Swim Club is back in action for it’s second season. We went yesterday and it was wonderful, and will be swimming again on Saturday November 24th at 2PM 6:30PM at Cherry Beach. Anyone who’d like to join us is very welcome. It’s enormous fun. To paraphrase the Russian philosopher Porphiri Ivanov, I agree that the main reason that humans live in a constant state of sickness, both mentally and physically, is that we wall ourselves off from that which keeps us healthy. By living in exile in isolated and controlled environments, away from nature in unhealthy little cocoons, we are unable to exist as functional members of the larger ecosystem of which we are intended to be a part, and can not face our role in the universe. Winter swimming is an excellent first step in immersing oneself in the reality of being truly alive.


Cold Water Extraction II

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

I think the theme of my latest paintings is “things I’ve been accused of” or something like that… I bought some new canvases today — this is being done in 42″x48″. I also got a 54″x42″ which isn’t committed to anything yet, and a couple smaller ones as well that I’ll do stuff with Nefarious on. I’m not sure yet what colors I’m going to do this painting in… on one hand I want to go bright and psychedelic, but on the other hand I want to stay true to the feeling of the kind of high you’d get from an opiate extraction and stick with mellow, warm tones. In any case, that’s my next large piece. As I write this it’s still for sale.


A Simple Painting

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

This is a collaboration with my daughter Nefarious: 24″x48″ acrylic on canvas.


Cold Water Extraction

Friday, November 16th, 2007

An allegation that I was abusing prescription opiates was made a while back, and I took a hair test to — successfully — prove that this was not the case. Getting a hair test done is actually really upsetting — perhaps doubly so when you know you’re innocent — because it’s a physical violation as much as just an emotional violation. Anyway, turtles don’t have hair, and I don’t really know what the mechanics of a “shell test” are, so I’m going to assume my testudine friend here bending the rules need not worry too much about his future job prospects.


I’m not sure if I’m going to paint a version of this or not. It’s really just a doodle… Tomorrow I’m going to finish off a painting that my daughter sketched out — a little fellow sitting on the top of a sole tree in an empty plain. It’s quite serene — and lonely — but a wonderfully structured piece of art either way.

Natural Stone Furniture

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Earlier today Caitlin and I were looking at this amazing “natural bathtub” carved out of an immense boulder. It got us wondering — what if we got a bunch of boulders dumped on our foundation, and then built the walls around them, and carved much of our furniture out of immense stones? I mean, there’s really no reason why you couldn’t care out a couch and coffee table if you wanted to — other than the inconvenience of your furniture weighing an unmovable ton or two, it would be wonderful caveman chic, to say nothing of the thermal mass it would contribute (water in that tub would stay warm for days if the stone was at temperature).


Oh, and my daughter and I built a little tiny frame, which still needs to be painted, for one of her miniature doodle paintings (a striped unicorn-type being and a dragon climbing)…