Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Art Lab #2: the Alchemist Toolbox. REGISTER NOW!!!!!

Another OnLine class is on the way! Yee haw!
This time: TOOLS.  Specifically, tools that I use and how I use them in my work.   I mean we have to figure out ways dissect things and then resect thing in weird and wonderful ways.  This is Humpty Dumpty 101...except we are going to actually put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
To do this we need tools.  Some hand tools but also power tools....yay!  I know many folks are what I call "powertool-o-phobes".
My goal is to show you how to use them safely and with confidence.  So don't fret!

Each artist uses different tools to do the voodoo that they do so well.
For instance, one of the things we will be spending a fair amount of time on is the Dremel rotary tool. It comes with lots of bits and I'll shed some light on those various attachments and what in the heck they are for.    Of course I'll also show you how to make cool sparks...see..
Then of course there are things like drills....though much smaller than this one:
 We will start off with the hand held power drill before we get into the Journey to the Center of the Earth machines.

And then we will chat about things like: rivet guns, torches, Crop-a-diles, vices (the tool kind...not the martini kind),  and a bunch of other stuff.
Fear not ! Tools are you friend.

Ready to sign up? 
Starts on May 27, 2011 


Anticipated Questions
  1. How much does it cost?  A: $59.95
  2. When does it begin? A: May 27, 2011
  3. How long does it run?  A: The class will be available for 2 months before I change the codes, but students will be able to access information after that date when I send out the new codes.
  4. How does it differ from live class?  A: Online classes allow for a bit more in depth explanations of techniques etc.
  5. Will there be video?  A: Yes.  I have about 180 of minutes of protected video that only students will be able to access.
  6. How many videos?  A:  Roughly about 180 minutes of video is included in the instruction.  
  7. Will there be PDFs?  A: Yes.  You will be able to download these to your computer and access them anytime you desire.
  8. Will it be live?  A: No.  I will not be doing live video, but I will be setting up a Yahoo Group where I will be available to discuss your questions and issues once a week.
  9. Can you tell me more about the Yahoo Group?  A: Students can access this anytime and discuss issues with other students.  Once a week I will be available and answer all questions.
  10. Is the class segmented or do I get everything at once?  A: I have designed the class so you will have access to all the information at once and can play with it as you like, at your own speed.  New weekly videos will pop up with additional tidbits and tips.
  11. What kind of site is being used to host this class?  A: I'm using a protected TypePad account.
  12. How will I access the TypePad account?  A: When class begins I will send out passwords and usernames to all the students.  
  13. What else will be on the blog?  A: Along with the PDFs and Videos I will be posting the major questions as they come up, and the solutions.  I will also do weekly video addressing these questions.
  14. Is this for Beginners or Advanced students?  A: It's for everyone.  I've made it so it is information that can be used by all levels.
  15. Will it be entertaining?  A: Geez, I hope so.  I will try and make it very un-dry and fun.
  16. How will  you accept payment.  A: PayPal
  17. What will happen after I sign up?  I'll send you a confirmation to say "howdy" and then just sit back until I start the Yahoo group.  At that point  you'll get an email inviting you to join prior to class and meet some of the other students.  Then on 5/27/11 I will send out the TypePad site, codes, etc.
  18. How do I sign up?  A: Click the little button and you're off and running. WooHoo!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Cowmanthemum

In my last blog post I made a video (click here to see video) that made reference to what I thought to be an imaginary creature...the Cowmanthemum.  I have received a number of queries about this creature and have found out that it did in fact exist., although very rare. 

Here is one of the only photographs of the flowery bovine, taken in 1911 by a Zachariah B. Cribboltz of Fester's Butte Iowa:
He later stated:
"I 'member that day, sittin' by the river.  I smelled somethin'...unusual.  Not quite pleasant, not quite unpleasant.  It was like a bouquet of flowers in a cow pie.  Then I saw it... in glorious yella and black."

Cribboltz managed to capture what came to be know as the Cowmanthemum and later sold the beast to a French cheese maker, name Philippe Bourdon.     
The Cowmanthemum's floral scented cheese was quite the rave in elite Parisian circles.  Customers would frequent the likes of le Dome and nosh the freshly cut cheese.

Then tragedy struck...
  On May 12th 1912, aphids by the millions attacked vegetation throughout the French countryside.  This would be infamously known as "Aphid Tuesday".  
Millions of flowers dead by the end of the day...but there was yet another casualty...
The Cowmantheum.
Thousands attended the funeral....  
but only one flower was present...that of the floral bovine.
Believe it...

Coming Soon: ArtLab #2 The Alchemist's Toolbox

ArtLab #1 was a great success.  Another Online Class is on it way.  Class starts May 27th.  Registration begins March 24th.  Check back for more info.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Why Can't We Be Phrens?

So I just spent the afternoon doing tax stuff and adding up receipts until my head was about to explode, and then decided to treat myself with a little matinee.  My choice?
directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
You may be familiar with some of his other films...
and City of Lost Children
So Jeunet's new film is about a man, Bazil, who seeks revenge against the two weapons manufacturers.  One that is behind his fathers death and another that made the bullet that remains lodged in his head after a random shooting.  Don't let the premise fool is actually very light hearted fun
Hey gains the assistance of a band of down and out misfits who have created an incredible junkyard palace.  
Assemblage and found object artists will love this flick.   And the cinematography is phenomenal. Also there are some pretty nifty animated effects when Bazil is having brain troubles. 

Ironically I was going to do a blog post today to promote Jane Wynn and my duo class at Valley Ridge this fall.  Here's the's called Grey Matter's the skinny on that:

A note from the mad scientists, Jane Wynn and Michael deMeng:
We know we are not the only ones out there that have had a fascination with pop-culture Mad Scientists.  You know what we are talking about, the Creature Feature doctors who switch brain like they’re changing light bulbs.   Well now is your chance to test out your maniacal surgery skills where we team up teach a bit of mixed media surgery. 

The basic idea starts with a doll or mannequin head which will be Franken-styled  with found objects using deMengian methods of assemblage and painting.  Now for the invasive surgery, we move inside to the cranial cavity where strange devises, music box, or gizmo will be altered using various Wynn-esque techniques.    The top of the head will be hinged or attached in a way where the inner mechanisms can be viewed and fiddled with....bwa ha ha.

Now if this doesn’t sound like the perfect Halloween workshop then I don’t know what?   A definite mind altering experience.

Dr. Jane Wynn - P.H.D. (Professor of Headless Dolls)
Dr. Michael deMeng  - D.D.S. (Doctor of deMented Science)

Last I heard there were only 4 spots sign up now!!!!!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

NOLA Part 3 The Workshop

Feb 17th - 19th.  New Orleans Workshop Begins!  Woo Hoo!!!! was time to hunker down and leave the distractions of New Orleans least until the stroke of 4pm each day....all work and no play, you know, but we had apothecary kits to make, only 3 days to do 'em!!!!

So over the next three days the NOLA krewe sweated and toiled and listened to my corny jokes.
And I worked them to the bone...
Finally, after three grueling days, the clock struck 3:30 (ish) and the infamous Good, Bad, and the Ugly theme song blared through the room.  That is the indicator that it's "times up, pencils down!".  Time to see what everybody did.  Lets take a look:













 Mary Ann







Yee Haw! Time to party!
 And in honor of the New Orleans krewes' stellar work.  The city of NOLA had a parade for us.
Well, not exactly for us...Krewe du Vieux actually...the beginning of Mardi Gras season, but, hell, we'll take it.

After that we had another day of touring and a birthday party for Marilyn, but gradually everyone drifted away.... sob... sob.  

However as a surprise to me (for my birthday) the clan got together and picked up a little gift for yours truly:
I say this with all my heart...
 it is one of the best gifts I have ever received.  I will cherish my little demon spawn always.
Honestly, this was a truly wonderful experience for me.  New Orleans is truly a magical city, but what really made this trip so special to me, was the wonderful group of friends I shared this experience with.  So, thank you all!  It was truly a remarkable time. 
 Until we meet again...Salut!

I leave you with a man, a guitar, a woman, and a saw...
the Jaded Optimists: