We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2006! Thanks to everyone who visited our blog in the last few months. We've enjoyed the chance to meet you and to re-connect with so many of our friends. We've found inspiration visiting amazing creative bloggers around the world. Here's to 2006 and more blog adventures for us all!
John took this photo in the village when we were last in New York.
Updated December 18_05: Here are some more wienies from far and wide. To add your wienie dog drawing: post your wienie on your blog and please let us know in the comments on this post, so we can copy your dog and put it up here.
By the way, there seems to be many ways to (miss) spell dachsund daschund dashound and the American Kennel Club spelling: dachshund. So we've got all kinds of spellings on this post. No biggy as far as I'm concerned. As well, I misspelled the word 'wiener' and I've corrected the spelling most places except in the comments.
From the delightful Michael Schlingmann of DRAWNOGRAPHY fame: Dachshund (or Dackel for short) is indeed the correct spelling, Dachs being the german word for Badger and hund being the German word for hound. Bread originally with short enough legs to run at speed through a badgers home and flush them out towards the hunters.
According to the Kennel Club: The Dachshund temperament is clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the senses well-developed. Any display of shyness is a serious fault.
Note: all these wienies are copyright of their respective creators!
Because we saw a fine drawing of three dachshunds* on Jeff Shelly's blog...
Here's an oldie, by Arna, in watercolour on cheapo manilla paper. I had two of these wonderful dogs as a kid -- mine were named Susie and Hank -- so I have a soft spot for them. Plus, they're fun to draw! Anybody else want to show us your sausage dogs? We can make it a dachshund* sketch-off!
*Thanks to Michael Schlingmann for the correct spelling of the breed name and Smook for the correct spelling of the word 'wienies'.
Acrylic paint over two glued together calendar photographs. The photo on the left included flowers, which probably suggested the Garden of Eden idea... hence 'Eve in the Garden.' That would make the striped dangly bit the snake, of course. I'm not sure where the numbers and arrows came from, though. It's a mystery!
Arna goofed around in photoshop to get this blue version:
Continuing with the theme of posting stuff we did when we were younger:
This one's Arna's. The original is a 'stream of consciousness' doodle of the sort that I used to do often... just start drawing and stop when I felt like it with no big picture plan in mind. There's something wonderfully liberating about the process.
Original: felt-tip marker on cheap mountboard, circa 1969...possibly earlier!
I just now made the three variations in photoshop.
A few weeks ago, I finished a torso posted earlier and had some time left over to do a quick clay sketch during the last half of sculpture class. I took some photos of the quick piece then threw it back into the clay bin. A week later, someone had fished the now broken-off head of the bust out of the bin, and stuck it like a cannibal trophy on top of a pole in the corner. It looked pretty funny. Too bad I didn't get a picture of that. Anyhow, the sculpture is now gone and here are the photos:
For those who wish to know, it was about 12 inches high. And I now like it better than the torso that I kept. (posted by Arna)
We live near Lake Ontario in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto, a great place to sketch.
The top image is a progresso pencil drawing of an outcropping at the Scarborough Bluffs. The bottom one is another progresso pencil sketch (with a blue prismacolour underdrawing) of willow trees beside the boardwalk. (Posted by John)
In September, we were fortunate to see a solo show of sculpture by the talented Toronto artist Tara Bursey. I (Arna) met Tara when I was a (part time) sculpture student at The Toronto School Of Art, and she impressed me as a person with intense commitment to her art. The work she does always makes me stop, look...and think.
The pieces in this show were constructed of domestic materials given an alternate, and some would say larger, life of their own by Tara's clever re-interpretation. In the work titled Kimonos (2005), the artist meticulously sewed paper wrappers from tea bags to make several full-sized kimonos. Tara used the tea bags, and the tea itself, as part of the piece.
For her piece Formation (2005), Tara hung a line of boxer shorts as though freshly washed. Each of the shorts carried the name of a different US fighter pilot, honoured as a hero for flying in the bombing raids on Japan during WWII. Tara wrote the young pilots' names by hand, in a crisscoss pattern. If you didn't know the back story, you might assume that these patterns were purely decorative.
The photos in this essay are inspired by Tara Bursey's show. John chose to take shots as details of the works, and allowed the play of light and shadow on the sculptures to create patterns that compliment the repetition so important to the works themselves.
Here are three abstracts I found, using our digital camera while on a recent walk in our Toronto Beaches neighbourhood. The top and bottom images are closeups of a rusted dumpster. The middle image is a detail of graffiti on the side of postal distribution box.
I've collected 'found abstracts' in cities such as Amsterdam, Florence and New York over the last twenty-five years. I love their accidental nature and how the layering/removing of colour, shape and texture captures the passage of time. (Posted by John)
On Sunday, John and I ran down to Harbourfront to hear Kenneth Oppel read from his new book, SKYBREAKER the sequel to AIRBORN. I was smack in the middle of finishing a storyboard so we came right home after, but the break was well worth it.
Mr. Oppel's reading was entertaining and lively, and the questions from the mostly young fans afterwards were intelligent and earnest. Great to see so many kids into reading (something other than Potter)! It seemed that there could be quite a few budding authors in the room.
We enjoyed the first book and look forward to reading the sequel. Highly recommended if you like adventure stories or have a fascination with airships! (Plus it's got pirates).
On the subject of airships: For your bloghopping pleasure, you can check this link: Sean Hayden: ...Must come down ! for a cool illustration by fellow blogger Sean Hayden, inspired by the AIRBORN book.
And this is the link to the official AIRBORN and SKYBREAKER website.
In honour of NHL season starting up again, here are a couple of sketches of a shinpad-wearing, hockey stick-wielding superhero from the Great White North, eh! John drew these in black prismacolour earlier this year while working up another series idea.
And while we're on the theme of hockey players, be sure to check out Mr. Dot's exquisite (and very funny) painting here.