Sunday, April 30, 2017


I finished a version of a new puppet film today. The IPUF festival is still looking for puppet films to show at the beginning of June. My offering this year is a modest two minute piece based on two of the puppets Margaret designed around 1999 or 2000 for a gong show at Neutral Ground that was cut short by the jury and never completed. I'll never go back to the original script but did want to use the puppets: For more information:

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Multiple art adventures

We began our day with a drive to Moose Jaw to see Heather Cline's exhibition at the Moose Jaw Art Gallery. They don't open until noon so we had an early lunch at Nit's Thai Food. Excellent as usual. Heather's show required more time than we has as she has a number of audio recordings throughout which are quite intriguing to listen to. Each is a person giving some special account or story about growing up on the prairies. I think we heard at least half of them, but we needed to get back to Regina.
This afternoon was the opening of the "Black Sheep" Artist Trading Card event, hosted in the education room at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. I created a new set of Canister the Robot cards depicting the trials and tribulations of him as a child from the pov of a sibling.
We also took in Sarah Ferguson's MFA exhibition of photographs while we were at the MAG. Congratulations Sarah.
Gerri Ann Siwek with her artist trading cards

Friday, April 28, 2017

Ken Wilson's MFA project

Ken Wilson presented two components of his MFA (Theatre) project at the Artesian. The first was an incredible hour long monologue about his walk in Ontario and his coming to understand the issues around first nations land and residential schools. The presentation format allowed these difficult problems to be shared in an engaging and intelligent way, humanizing the pain and politics. Later he presented another reading of his play which we'd seen a version of last year at Neutral Ground. There has been significant development, although he points out that he still sees more changes he'd like to make. Congratulations Ken, this was amazing work. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

David Gane and other writer award nominees speak

I did some restoration on the Dali puppet Margaret made about 20 years ago. The mustache needed to be rebuilt. Took William for a haircut (unlike in my day, he wants his hair cut and proactively looked up the phone number in the phone book and called for an appointment). Quick supper was followed by a visit to Slate where I talked at length with Mike LaFoy until we had to rush off to two separate events; Maragaret went to a curator's talk at the MacKenzie while William and I went to a panel discussion with Saskatchewan Book Award shortlisted authors Angie Counios, David Gane, Judith Silverthorne, and Gail Bowen, chaired by RPL  writer-in-residence Trevior Herriot. The talk contained many insights and we were particularly interested in David and Angie and how they collaborate. I'm recalling some of the meetings I had with David a couple of years ago when we put our heads together to try to advise some students over their screenplays. As we bounced ideas back and forth, we came up with some very strong new directions for those students, likely better than either of us could have conceived of alone. I think his methods of collaborating and brainstorming are almost magical, so I'm not surprised that the co-writing process between them is such a positive experience.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Lunch for Mark

We went out for lunch as Skye to celebrate the end of Mark's 6 years (minus a small break) as department head. He and I met with Wes and Rae earlier in the day to talk about some department stuff.
This evening we attended a Saskatchewan Writers Guild event where four "apprentice" writers who have been working with four veteran writers each read a few pages from their works in progress. Barbara has been working on a fantasy novel with Ed Willett's help. Iryn Tushabe, who studied film and then journalism at UofR, read a very funny and interesting beginning of her own book. Margaret and I won the two door prizes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Margaret's article in Vie Des Arts

The new issue of Vie Des Arts came in the mail today with Margaret's article on the anxieties exhibition from the AGR last December. This time she got in a fairly prestigious mid-point in the issue with her name in a larger bold font along with three colour photos. Looks great. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Nothing stops my BBQ plans

Finished submitting my grades, started on my taxes, and put on some steaks we'd marinated in Worcester sauce and cherry juice over night. The only glitch was the foot of snow that fell last night. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

British cup and saucer

William won a nice cup and saucer at Gertrud's church dinner last night.
Tonight William chauffeured me to a coffee session with Kevin and Geremy. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fourth year screening last night

The fourth year film students showed their work at the Artesian last night to a full house. I saw Philippe, back from his world travels during his sabbatical (Tasmania sounds very cool) and I got a few minutes to catch up with Jon Tewksbury. Margaret and William didn't make it out this year as they were caught up with family. Christine presented the Oser prize. The prize was divided between Mark Budd (cousin of Adam, who was in our program 10 years back) and Austin Nygaard (pictured here with Christine sans his signature beard). Austin is the surprise as he is actually a Film 200 student taking a fourth year studies course so would not be expected to outperform the third and fourth years. Big congratulations to everyone, especially Austin. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Kallie Garcia MFA

Congratulations Kallie on your successful MFA defense. For the next couple of weeks, people can come and see your work on display at the Fifth Parallel Gallery at the University of Regina. It looks great and you spoke very well about it. It was an honour to be on your committee. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cousin Julia and her kids visit

My cousin Julia is in town with her husband Mark and their three kids. I toured them the university, shot a bit of video (thanks for giving me a few minutes in the room Rebecca), and they stuck by me as I helped out Kallie on an unexpected power supply glitch. William played Lego with them at the house, we went to the museum, then had supper at mom's. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Third year film screening

William and I really enjoyed the third year film student screenings at the university this evening. There were 10 short (primarily dramatic form) films. Under Mike Rollo's guidance, they are kept tight and maintain their thematic focuses. Pictured above is a moment from Matthew Ripplinger's 16mm exploration of the descent into madness of a 16mm artist. Great work everyone. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


The BFA interviews were conducted today. Went quite well. This evening I met with Erik and Geremy for the first time since the funding applications went in for their pilot project. There is no word on how the application (in Alberta) will be received, but plans were discussed for developing the idea with or without the money. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Kallie Garcia's MFA exhibition, preparing to open

I popped into the Fifth Parallel Gallery on campus where Kallie is setting up her MFA exhibition. It's opening (soft) tomorrow and will have a closing reception next week. I helped out for a few minutes with the ladders and projectors (the remotes don't like to work from below them and the signal doesn't bounce off of the black surfaces). Mostly just small details remaining. It is looking great.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter meal

Gerda and Richard hosted a big spring feast at the senior centre on Easter Sunday again this year. There was a large group of people and lots of food. We brought Mooky along and introduced her to our hosts, setting the stage for future conversations at Yorkton. Margaret brought balloons, which kept Marla and Jason's kids very happy.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sick at home

I didn't leave the house today. I'm actually feeling quite a bit better than yesterday or Thursday, but I didn't have any real reasons to go out and figured I'd nurse my cold and binge-watch Walking Dead. The next door neighbours have a new kitten. They said the name; something with two syllables that starts with a T. I forget what they said. We'll call it Trotski. Good kitten name. Mike is in down for a day and a half and he and Paul dropped by. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Colouring eggs

We drove out to Roulleau to colour eggs at Marla's house. Jason picked this day to rent a chipper and grind up the yard. I continue to have a fever and wasn't much into colouring eggs.  There was some amazing transfers from silk that I want to investigate later.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Superfight and Bang

Terry, Xander and Paul came over for a bit of a game night. We played a bit of Superfight which William had been watching play-throughs of online which led him to buy it for me for my birthday last week. It's a pretty great game with only the loosest of rules. Basically you pick a few cards to create a character (example Clown card combined with "swinging a shark from a chain" card) and a second player does the same (example: Hitler card combined with "turns invisible when singing show tunes" card) and the two player argue about who would win in a fight between them, It is basically an update of grade 2 playground talk, until eventually they stop and the other people at the table vote about who wins. I guess it isn't for everyone, being so subjective. One fight could last two minutes while another could last an hour, which is okay if it remains entertaining the whole time. What is a game for anyway. Bang is more structured and is great for a larger group (I think we have an expansion to allow up to 8 people to play). I had a rough start to the whole thing, trying to ingest enough drugs to cut the massive fever I went home from work with. I had three naps during the day and still fest completely defeated.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Improv last night

Small crowd at Combat Improv last night but at least that gave me the opportunity to finally meet Christina who acted in Ian's last couple of films. She's got a pretty amazing performing style, very quirky but underscored - often out of place in improv and amazing nonetheless.
Today was the last day of classes. Still a few late assignments to come in, but the end is certainly near. The day was filled with an additional 4.5 hours of meetings so I was mentally rather dull by the time I got home. William's evening was taken up by homework, the last assignment before his easter break. We should both be able to take some time with our feet up. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My New Camcorder

Gerald Saul with RCA VHS-C CPR-150 Camcorder
I was talking with Chris from Education about super-8 film, pointed him in a direction for getting some transfered and so on, and he gave me this choice camera for my collection of useless crap. I'm in heaven. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

New Zealand treaures

Richard and Gerda got back from New Zealand the other day. I've not seen them yet (Easter for sure) but they brought William a bag of intriguing treasures.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Breakfast at Nicky's with family

It's been quite a while since we last went to Nicky's cafe (8th and Winnipeg St in Regina) but it used to be quite the destination for a solid breakfast. As evidenced by the crowd, it still is. We had a nice breakfast yesterday with my parents, Margaret's parents and brother, and my sister and her family. Not everyone made it into this panorama due to the lighting differences.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Nice birthday yesterday

I had a very nice birthday yesterday. I had a short (but very active) day at work then went for ice cream and then out into the country to search for crocuses. We found some but there were not nearly as many this  year. Perhaps more will pop up if we get some rain in the next few days. Thank you to everyone who sent me messages over facebook and other media.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

big crowd to hear Zarqa Nawaz

The term is winding down with two of my three classes ending today. After animation I managed to catch half of Zarqa Nawaz's talk at the library (of Little Mosque on the Prairie fame). Funny and interesting. Glad to see she had a big crowd (over 80). Margaret bought her book and Mooky managed to talk with her about making a tv show, just as the library was shutting down.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Thinking about surrealism

I've been reading a book about Surrealism and it has me thinking about mannequins and pigs' heads. I used pigs as a motif in Film 200 over the past few weeks and it worked nicely. I'm also thinking about a suggestion one of the students made about the recurring appearances of apples in student films (from his online research into student films) which has led me to consider a film about a mannequin with a pigs head and an apple in its mouth. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Alex MacKenzie in Regina

Alex MacKenzie is in Regina for the first time in 12 years (he did art for lunch in October 2015, but that was before my blog). We had lunch at the club then he set up one of his really intriguing multi-projector projects at the RPL. The 55 minute show included two 16mm projectors, strobes, masks, hand-made emulsions, hand-processed film, three dimensional illusions, liminal images just outside out grasp, echoes and loops both visual and aurally, magic, and so much more. Somewhat more formal and less content-based than work he showed in 2005 or in Victoria in 2007, but also tighter and more controlled. His work has become more about the experience and less about the content and process. I marveled. .

Monday, April 3, 2017

William five minute drawings

William is doing five minute drawings based on other drawings or photos as part of his art class. To catch up on these (he'd fallen behind due to our inability to get out of the house on time) he's started to do some at home. I'm hoping this will be a new thing for him to do long term.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Christine Ramsay's "Studies in Aluminum"

Today I spent the day at home with William, who is still a bit sick and is working on his English essay. I worked a bit on grading but mostly I created a new set of ATCs for their "Black Sheep" series due right away. I took a break to walk down to the AGR to see Christine Ramsay's new series of paintings of a coffee pot she calls "Studies in Aluminum". I was taken with the way some of them evoke the surrealists, in that she places the pot as some sort of lonely traveler on a vast landscape. (the light coming in the window made documenting this image difficult). 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Geremy's "BroDown" party

William and I attended Geremy's "BroDown" party this afternoon - the all guy get together coinciding with Ellen's baby shower. Meat was promised, and meat was delivered. Common sense prevailed and we just ate and talked and didn't open the door to speeches or games. Mostly I connected with AJ, Kenn, and Zaul. Ned was there, as well as Geremy's brother James and a good sized group of people. I regret that I missed the visual arts student show opening at the MAG at the same time, but I saw the work the other day.