Thursday, January 31, 2019

Art supplies

Painted a pentax this week.
Also went shopping to try to figure out paper for William's AP art project backgrounds. Looked at Michaels but didn't have a coupons so didn't buy the $29.99 pad. However, the next day Margaret went to Gale's and bought that exact same pad for full (Gale's) price of $14.25! Less than if we'd used a half price coupon. I'm now painting on a new type of pad of boards I bought for 12 bucks at Gales. I checked on Amazon and it was 50 bucks for the same thing. I can hardly believe it. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


I was teaching and had to miss the Regina premiere of Lowell Dean's "Supergrid", but Margaret and William went and represented the family. Thanks for the poster Lowell. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Return to Pud

It's been about two months since William worked on his Pud page today. Not quite finished a page, but progress. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

bathrooms are changing

I took this photo to do a reverse image search and try to figure out how this works without having to ask anyone.
Image search has failed me.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Setting up flatbed at Matt's

Matt has a heated garage that he's diving up to use as his studio. We set up the Ginny in its new permanent location today. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Shooting in Steve's car

Steve generously let us shoot in his car, giving me the base shot from which I'll be working on my Holophon video. However, the garage wasn't heated and we ended up getting too cold to do a second take. I'm not positive it worked perfectly. Shot with a Sony A7 in 4K. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Slate gallery with Christine Ramsay

I don't even know what they were talking about, by William and Christine had a very long conversation during the Slate opening. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Tea with He Yu

I had a nice conversation with He Yu from China. She gave me a wonderful little teapot and we talked about universities and her family. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Conflicting talks on new media

We went art hopping, first attending a session hosted by SaskInteractive where Ryan Hill just started working. It was introducing a workshop on using augmented reality to enhance business but as it wasn't really our cup of tea, we slipped off to the quick and dirty talks on the subject of electronic media and featured John Campbell, Simon Fuh, and Garry Wasyliw.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

ATCs at Malty National

Cold weather today. I mostly stayed home to work. Margaret had the Saturday morning shift at the gallery while William slept in. We were all quite tired. I cracked the whip on William getting some work done on his English essay (about Hagseed by Atwood). We went out just for a while, catching the tail end of the ATC session at the overly loud Malty National, hosted by Mike Jozsa.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Dunlop opening of "mother" work

The Dunlop exhibition is really good. The artist talk was by Toronto artist/printmaker and sometimes photographer/filmmaker/animator Sandra Brewster. I wish I'd insisted that all my students attend as it was just the sort of interesting/informative/engaged/narrative/personal/professional talk that I wish they all could perform. I got a chance to speak with her at length about process and materials and how one can be labeled by the techniques they use. Super nice.
William got caught up in the artist-designed game just outside the gallery.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

William photo essay for English

I helped William finish shooting a photo essay that was assigned to him in English. It needed to refer to the Canadian landscape (in this case, the landscape of pop and junk culture) and to something that was studied this term (obsession with Pud comics akin to reading in Fahrenheit 451). I have no idea how he'll do in it, but aside from the English angle, it was a decent project. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

return to painting class

Painting class at the Balkwill resumed. Lori's work has become much more interesting following a workshop she took on abstraction last month. I brought in my 16mm Beaulieu camera to paint, forgetting during my visualization of it just how many damn dials it had. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Learning "3-16" game

This evening we pulled out William's book of drawings throughout his life. Allan was inspired by one robot monster and re-imagined it. Allan also brought over the 3-16 game. He uses this during one session of his game design course that he teaches as the Balkwill and at one point this term he is going to be away and needs a substitute. He's asked William and I to run that session so I had to learn to game-master it. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Colour Force

If you'd asked me what "colour force" was a year ago, I'd probably have told you it was an anime show about kids saving the world in a collection of giant coloured robots. I'd have been wrong. I just helped William shoot his grade 12 science project, a video in which he explains this major natural force of the universe. Anime not included. 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Christmas is over

We took down the tree today which, along with Heather's party last night, mark the final signs of Christmas. House will soon be back in order, which I have been looking forward to as the pre-Christmas season was full of restructuring of rooms for better usage. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Heather Cline's Cabbage roll party

Heather's party was great. A full house (might not be the most people ever, but close enough). I think my perogies were a bit rushed this year as I made them in the afternoon then wanted to fry them each individually and put them on skewers with bacon. I needed another hour or two to get it right, so I wasn't surprised when someone else took my trophy. Everyone spoke highly of my perogies, so they were certainly far from a failure, but I agree with the overall judging. Next year, next year, next year.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Dinner with Xincheng and committee

I took Xincheng along with thesis committee members Ian Campbell and Philippe Mather, to Creek Bistro for supper. Wonderful as always. Great conversation about movies, China, culture, food, and other stuff (rather than the usual conversations about the thesis and the schedule). This moment is what makes it all worthwhile.
When I got home I felt like I had conversation fatigue from four solid days of talking/teaching/listening. Needed to watch tv. Took a nap and then did so. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

screenwriting with Vishal

Did my first session with Vishal on a one-on-one screenwriting course for the term. We grabbed a "story" from the news and then discussed how it isn't so much a story as an event, then began making up possible details to turn it into a simple three act story. Hoping we can create a lot of work this term. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Xincheng Zhang MFA defense

Xincheng defended his MFA successfully today. I am always amazed at our student's ability to accomplish this when working in a foreign language (English) and faced with very challenging questions. It was great to see Chris Gehman, albeit over Skype, who generously came on board as the external examiner. Huge congratulations to Xincheng. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

sequins are unsettling

Had to pick up prescription at London Drugs after the first day of classes today (18 students in Film 200) and wandered the store for a while to discover this unsettling reverse sequin mannequin. The nature of these sequins is that it draws people to fondle them. However, standing in a store rubbing your hands over the breasts of a headless mannequin can draw undesired judgments.
However, they ARE on sale.....

Monday, January 7, 2019

Back to work

On Saturday I finished the vital stuff on my "vacation" list of work to do so took yesterday off. Near midnight I wrote a new (detailed and frighteningly long) list of things to do now that the new term is upon us. I stroked about EIGHT (some difficult, some easy) items off it today. Classes start tomorrow. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Joshua is a mother too?

I'm pretty sure, based on its strange swimming maneuvers today, that Joshua (another of our catfish) was laying eggs. This follows Buddy's similar odd movements and similar depositing of eggs just a couple of weeks ago. 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Kristin visits

Kristin came over for waffles, along with Fred and Gertrud but not George, a few hours before she had to return home. We managed to play a bit of Lovercraft Letter last night but overall quite a short trip for her and I didn't get to see much of her (and not her sister at all). 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Rudy Sirke

The funeral for Erik's father was today. The service was nice and the eulogy given by Erik and Kara was very emotional. The crowd was huge. So big that Geremy and I ended up in the far wing of the room and didn't see Erik and his sister play a duet on the grand piano. Sounded wonderful. I regret not knowing Rudy. His support of his children and community was admirable. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Furnace repaired, Surrealism begins

The head exchanger arrived a day ahead of schedule and so we got our furnace repaired today. It really kicks out heat like never before. I also replaced my thermostat with a new one from Honeywell but am disappointed that I can only set it on Fahrenheit.
This evening I hosted the first of three talks/screenings of films of a surreal legacy at the RPL. Good crowd of about 20-25. Went for coffee with Kevin afterwards. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019


Weather is turning mild again, but the cats have become accustomed to there being selected warm spots in the house. In a never-before-seen move, Nick tried to step over Sylvie while see lay on the bed. Sylvie seems to be behaving again, but she was having some terrible box issues over the past few weeks that I worried would not be solved. Fingers crossed. Margaret and William went to visit friends and I am trying to work on my Bunuel talk for tomorrow, but got myself distracted catching upon writing and backdating the past 3 weeks of blogs, which likely explains the thin descriptions of everything. Heat is still off, probably another two days.   

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year's Day

"Buddy" probably laid more eggs last week
For the first time in a few years, I did not feel like I could make a resolution this year. Last year I resolved to read fiction every day but after sticking with that for six entire months, I found that the act of forcing myself to do that was draining my personal creativity. I felt more and more empty and unable to come up with ideas of my own. Perhaps it was some other issue. After two months without forcing myself to read, I started having ideas again. I also resolved not to play video games last year. This was fine for a while, but this fall I was needing a distraction before bed and craved games. I just loaded spider solitaire into my new tablet, four days before the year was over, but I needed something that wasn't work. I have worked on the expressionist paper, mfa papers, surrealism presentation, and class prep every day since classes ended. I likely won't have an actual day off until May.