Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Painting Update

Now that I showed you the painting I started, I suppose I'm on the hook to keep you updated.
I can just picture all of you frantically checking your computers with the attitude of a late person stuck behind a tractor in a no-passing zone. I'm sure after every meal you log on desperate to see my progress.

Wait no longer.

Oh, and here is a close-up:

These are lampreys. They are some of the most primitive vertebrates. They have teeth but no jaw. If you don't know about them yet and, like me, enjoy learning about creepy/disgusting ocean animals, I'd encourage you to look them up!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Once Upon a Time When I Couldn't Smile

If you are surprised by the title of this post, you've probably never seen childhood pictures of me. Honestly. I was a pretty awkward kid. Now, at the expense of my dignity, I think you should enjoy shots from the stage where I didn't know how to smile.

If you read in the next ten minutes, I will put in ADDITIONAL re-enactments of each shot!

And for only an extra $19.95 + shipping & handling I might just double this post in the near future!!

What a deal.

Drumrolls are boring, so before you scroll down to the first picture, I would like you to create a clap-roll. Come on, all the kids are doing it these days.

["Heh, heh, meh, heh."]

From a very young age, my parents should have noticed that I was destined to draw on fake mustaches and look like just like a man. Here I appear to be a 55 year old fella laughing with his jolly chums at the bar. Almost creepy. Should I re-enact this one even though I'm not old enough to be trying to smile? Well... okay. 

[I call this: The Reddish Old Man]

I even made the picture pinker for your viewing pleasure.

Anyway, once I got a little older, my smile took a turn for the worse. I knew what a sphere was but I had no idea how to move the muscles in my face. When my mom told me to smile for a picture, this is what she got:

[Is this one of the seven dwarfs or perhaps a disfigured hobbit? Nope, still me.]

After I failed at smiling, my mom would try again saying, "Show your teeth!"

Better, but no. It almost looks like one of these faces :D
but falls short. Probably closer to this face <:O
(if the less-than sign were eyebrows and not a party hat).

These were a hard faces to re-do! Try them yourself if you don't believe me.

After a few takes I ended up with this for the "smile" one...

and this for the "show your teeth" take:

[It may even be an improvement because you can actually see some of my teeth!]

If you were wondering how the rest of the Christmas pictures turned out, I can assure you it was more of the same.

[The air in my cheeks represents the light, expanding feeling we call happiness.]

I put a shrug on my head to give you the full effect that comes from the garland.
[After all this time my chin still makes the same odd shape when I puff up my cheeks.]

By the time I got what I call my Boy Hair-Cut, I was a little more experienced at smiling. Still not good though.

[I'm the weird one in the middle, next to my adorable, model siblings.]

I can remember thinking to myself that a smile should be so big that your cheeks push your eyes closed. Obviously my little sister Marina already knew that was false.

Before the re-enactment of this one, I will show you a similar picture from when I was older. This one was awkward too, but in a middle-school way, not only because I couldn't smile.

[me = second from the left. Marina is on the right.]

There is something positive that can be learned from this picture: No matter how awkward or beautiful you are as a child, everyone looks like a freak in middle school! So at least I had company.

So get ready for the 21-year-old closed-eyes smile:

[I feel like a kid again.]

My very favorite can't-smile picture has been saved for last. "Arrgh you ready for this?" is what I would say if I was a pirate, but because I am not, I'll just go ahead and show it to you.

So ugly it's cute! Aww... :]

It took me a long time to get this closed-eye half-smile thing...

p.s. Here is a bonus picture for you. 

Not sure what is going on in this photo? I can explain. I am having a horrible time riding a plastic bunny while simultaneously feeding it rocks. 

I like this picture because it gives you the appearance I had some sort of ghetto childhood with no real toys or fun, the only entertainment in my sad life being the neighbors' lawn ornaments. 
(Which, for the record, is false.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Herr Korbes: Behind the Scenes

The making of Herr Korbes was filled with much excitement!

1. You may have been happy that the character "Cock" was represented by this fellow:

when he could have been represented by so many other awkward things. Didn't stop my mom from making a vibrator joke though. That wasn't very fun.

2. Notice how I changed my house number.

Now, all the thousands of creepy people who secretly read my blog can't find me (You know who you are!). More importantly, I used the number to foreshadow the punch-line of the story. According to biblical Jewish tradition, Mr. Korbes might just be a very bad man.

 [hooray for Photoshop!]

3. Fraser (a.k.a. my dog) is not very sympathetic to art. So he ate Hen just before she was shooting her last scene. Not really sure if frozen chicken nuggets are good for dogs, but he seems okay now. 

[He also gets in my pictures. Why I oughta!]

4. Under no circumstances should anyone take a picture of her own butt. This picture:

was going to be followed by a close-up, but it turned out to be a disaster. My mom doesn't have the patience to focus my camera and I couldn't see anything!

[Can you even see the pin? In my pocket for zero pain.]

[Flash. Also a fail.


5.That was not the only attempted special effect that went awry. Before settling for the final shot of Korbes passed out on the ground, I tried to take one of him actually being hit with the grindstone. Not the smartest idea when you are the only one there with your mom on camera.

Luckily I didn't just throw it up and get hit; instead I tried to balance it on my head and assume a pose that made it look like the moment of impact was captured.

Another fail.


6. Proof that I do my own stunts:

[in the final version my hand is gone]

In case you didn't understand, here is a breakdown of that picture:


By the way, that mis-aimed water sprayed all of the kitchen for this shot. 

7. I looked up a grindstone on the internet and thought there was no way I could find a stone shaped like this:

Or this:

[obviously hasn't existed since primitive times]

Until I noticed something in my garden this afternoon...

Look at it, just sitting there, next to a regular rock. "Oh, don't mind me, I'm just a rock that looks exactly like a grindstone. Actually, I really am an antique grindstone, but WHATEVER I probably wasn't a good enough actor to be in you post. Asshole."

8. The final behind-the-scenes-super-exclusive-bonus-moment I have for you is a comparison. My mom thinks me in a mustache looks like my dad in the 90's. You be the judge:

[note: this was also during the stage where I didn't know how to smile for pictures. more on that later.]


Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Told You Octopi Are Awesome

So I've been painting a series of creation stories lately, and today I started the "Evolution" one. There is a giant octopus going across it. I love octopi and I was pretty proud of this one, so I thought I would show it to all of you.

["RAWR fear me!"]

The main reason I did the octopus first and made it so huge was because I think they rock. Painting animals that rock is really fun. However, I might tell people the octopus is so big to display the dominance of oceanic animals over the evolution time-line. (Since when is "timeline" not a word, Mozilla? Since when?)

So, if the way an octopus looks doesn't convince you, here is a smattering of other neat things about the species:
  • They have a beak. Sort of bizarre if you ask me.
  • "Probably the most intelligent of all invertebrates" according to Wikipedia. 
  • Most of them can change the color and texture of their skin for camouflage, therefore making them cooler than chameleons. 
  • "The Hawaiian creation myth relates that the present cosmos is only the last of a series, having arisen in stages from the wreck of the previous universe. In this account, the octopus is the lone survivor of the previous, alien universe." says Roland Burrage Dixon. (Yes, I know creation myths are intriguing, thanks for pointing that out.)
  • No bones!
  • Suction cups!
  • Creepy!
  • Octopi can usually escape from captivity because they are so damn smart. 
  • Apparently there is an octopus named Paul who chose the outcome of 8 world cup games and got all of them right. He would be given two jars of mussels with country flags on them and whichever he opened to eat first was the team he picked. 
p.s. If you haven't read the post before this, please do. It took way longer to make than this one. 

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Herr Korbes

    So if you ever pay attention to my "To Read List" on the sidebar, you may have noticed that I am currently reading Grimm's Fairy Tales. They were originally written in German (who knew?) and the translation I have was done in 1869, so there are some quaint old expressions.

    Anyway, some of these will never become Disney movies, but they should still be shared. I have chosen to photo-illustrate a shorter tale for your blog-reading pleasure.

    I'm sure I should probably put it in italics or something, but I'm not a fan of reading extended blocks of italicized text. We live in America and I ONLY WANT TO SEE AMERICAN TEXT! American text pays its taxes and stands up straight. Sometimes it gets a little bold, so I will put what is quoted out of Grimm's in bold. Ka-peesh?

    Herr Korbes

    There once lived a Cock and a Hen, 

    who agreed to set out on their travels together. 

    The Cock therefore bought a smart carriage, which had four red wheels, and to which he harnessed four little Mice; and then the Hen got inside along with him, and they set off together. 

    They had not gone far, when they met a Cat, who asked them where they were going. The Cock answered, "To Herr Korbes." "Will you take me with you?" said the Cat. "Oh yes willingly; but get up behind, for you might fall out in front, and take care that you do not dirty my red wheels," replied the Cock; and then he cried, "Now turn away little Wheels, and hurry on, little Mice, or we shall be too late to find Herr Korbes at home."

    On the road there afterwards came a Grindstone

     [modern substitution = stone]

    a Pin, 

    an Egg,

    a Duck,

    and, last of all, a Needle, 

    and every one mounted into the carriage and went on with it. 

    When they arrived at the house, 

    Herr Korbes was not at home 

     [couldn't reach doorbell]

    [at first]

    so the Mice drew the carriage into the barn, the Cock and the Hen flew on to a perch, 

    the Cat seated herself on the hearth, 

    the Duck perched on a water-butt

    [modern substitution = sink]

    the Egg wrapped itself up in the towel, 

    the Pin hid itself in the cushion of a chair, 

    the Needle jumped on to the bed and buried itself in the pillow, 

    and the Grindstone placed itself just over the door. 

    Soon afterwards Herr Korbes returned, 

    and going to the hearth poked the fire; then the Cat threw the ashes in his face. 

    He ran to the kitchen to wash himself, and the Duck spirted the water in his eyes; 

    so he took up the towel to wipe them, and the Egg broke and ran about over his chin. 

    All these mishaps made him feel tired, and he dropped into a chair to rest himself; but the Pin was there before him, and made him jump up in a rage

    and throw himself on the bed; where the Needle in the pillow pricked him so that he shouted with pain, and ran in a terrible wrath out of the room. 

    Just as he got to the door the Stone fell down on his head, and knocked him down on the spot. 

    So we conclude that this Herr Korbes must have been a very bad man.

    Coming soon, behind the scenes.
    p.s. Aren't you glad I got this short haircut so I could pretend to be a man? Knew it.