Saturday, August 25, 2012

Maybe A Self Publish

I am also concidering a self publish as a first trial.

Researching Book Mechanics

So today I thought I would look at how a children's book would get put together. I don't want to get suckered in to buying software to create one so I downloaded the open source software called Scribus. you can get it here. Its a page layout software and I'm told it does all the right stuff layout wise. The other software you could use would be which I always install on new computers, as its handy as bro'. The next thing is to look at how book mechanics works. A book is not just illustrations and words. There is a pace to how a book operates and it is detailed in various pages across the internet. Tara Lazar has got some good technical details on her blog. I suggest if you want to write a kids book you have a good look at what she has to say. The main thing of interest for me was the number of pages an average kids book has and how many illustrations you have to do to fill them.

I also am looking at stories of other illustrators. This documentary on You Tube was most interesting as it unveiled a lot of techniques like using a sketchbook the same size as the finished book.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tilting At Windmills

Poor Donald Trump has been very upset about Wind Farms lately. He has a point about their effect on birds but maybe he needs to concider his hotels and golf courses displace lots of animals as well. I did this little cartoon to propose a sollution to his stress.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Megaupload Cat

I have been following the trials and tribulations of the Megaupload case and decided to do this.

From Weed To Wonder

These Bluebells were all over the yard and got treated like a weed instead of a lovely flowering plant. So I gathered them all up and put them in this pot last year. Now they are in full bloom greeting people at our front door. Visitors ask where did you buy them.

Possible Zodiac Bookmarks

Yes I know its August but I thought I would start creating some Country Cat Zodiac graphics. I am amazed how many goat symbols there are! I am trying to figure exactly how to show these differently. Heres one I made earlier.

An Image From Country Cat

Unfinished And Kicking Myself

4 years ago I set about creating illustrations for free, for a book Lynda Nash had asked me to collaborate on. The files are here and there in different hard drives but...I don't think I am going to get around to finishing it. Too many projects that are paying are getting in the way. If things get quieter I will need to kick myself into action to finish this. I like what I have done so far.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Some Paintings Never Make It.


This one was very over worked by the time I finished with it. I am keeping it to one side. Maybe I will get around to reusing parts of it in another painting but unfortunately for now it gets shelved. Pity I was using several new types of plastic in this one. I have been collecting coffee bags from work and I used some shopping bag plastic in layers to get different surfaces.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mixed Flowers

I have been inspired by Gustav Klimt and his use of colour as well as his depiction of flowers in his art. Like those seen in the portrait of Adele-Bloch Bauer. A number of the drawings and smaller pieces I have worked on reflect that. My plan is to create much larger versions of this plastic painting.

Another Plastic Painting Ready For Framing

This is the latest painting now finished. I based this one on a small drawing of poppies I blew up in Gimp. I selected smaller areas to use as inspiration for this larger piece. I have some other areas of the same drawing that I will also be turning into these larger Plastic artworks.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Government Explained

Maybe the problem starts with and ends with the ideology of Mandates. Governments should not be allowed to make decisions that are not cleared via referendum. Just because you vote in a party you may not want to go with their decision to poison the water, kill the red heads or enslave the big noses. I believe we give governments too much freedom to control us.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Oscar McCoskar On A Tractor

The Country Cat runs his tractor on biodiesel that he makes from duckweed that grows on his aquaponics to keep his fish in the shade. Oscar McCoskar will be the focus on my book about biodiversity, permaculture, buying local and sourcing alternative fuel and energy sources. I am hoping it proves a hit with modern families as I believe people need to switch their thinking to help keep things running along smoothly.

I hope to encourage children becoming interested in communities living off the grid, being sustainable and freeing themselves of the status quo that is the commodofied world. I don't believe this should just be a hippy eco relationship with community. But a normal ethical way of living that large companies can never interfere with.

This sort of thinking can be found about the place already for example.  The em(POWER) Energy Group are looking into ways to purify waste water while creating biofuel. - LINK

Then there is the community of Hepburn in Victoria Australia who erected their own wind turbine to power their homes LINK

I believe if this type of thinking became mainstream then the better off our future will become.

Dock Shock Shoutout

I recently stumbled upon Doc Shock Theater, they are a bunch of people reviving the old late night style horror spoof antics of yesteryear. I have never known what it is I like about this kind of  tongue in cheek show format. Its probably the influence of shows like Hey Hey Its Saturday. I thought that I would give a shout out to Doc Shock and the Gang and drew this Cat version of Doc for laughs.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Another Studio Shot

This is another image of my studio from earlier this year It shows a small mosaic icon made of plastic chips and a bowl I am also working on using the same technique. The frame on the icon needs repairing as it fell off of a shelf and broke during an earthquake here in Wellington. The bowl , when it is finished I hope to weld up a metal tripod stand for it to sit in. The shape comes from an old lamp shade. I coated it in a plastic slurry to give it more volume.

What Frame To Frame?

I am soon going to exhibit some of my artworks. Well at least I dream of doing it soon. I have been looking at different frames that might compliment the works I have in mind to get framed. I generally like a rustic gold approach. Here I have pasted digital copies of my art into some frames I found on the web. I think its working well.

I sure would love to know what everyone thought. Comments are welcome

The Red Lady

Very early on I was using little chips of plastic as mosaic pieces to create little images. The idea was to get into larger images but I have not yet moved away from these little icon style pictures using this technique.

Anna's Garden

I believe you can find joy anywhere and something as simple as a potted plant at your mother in laws back garden can inspire an artwork that you feel is worthy of a beautiful frame. This was one such inspired artwork.

Frame yet to be acquired, this is a large painting.

Other Plastic Artworks.

I have a bunch of other large format plastic artworks on the go. I don't just like to paint cats. I have a potted plant image or two happening in the studio. Again I like to use my recycled mixed media process. Keeping plastic trash out of the bin and into frames to be hung on walls as a thing of beauty.

Cat Plastic2

Another in a series of cat images created in recycled plastics.

Cat Plastic

My technique for creating paintings came about when I noticed how much waste plastics I was throwing out. Some of it was really nicely coloured and would lend itself to pigmenting some sort of mixed medium artworks. I experimented and finally settled on a process that I can now use with great ease. By building up layers I think it adds a kind of texturing that is reminiscent of impasto painting. Of course I am painting cats. One of my favorite artists is Pierre Bonard who loved to capture intimate moments in vibrant but soft colours. An effect I am still trying to master myself.

Oscar Inspired.

This is the beginning of some characters that I have been designing around the Oscar McCoskar illustration brand. Some of these are available at Redbubble as t'shirts, stickers and framed images.

Who is Oscar McCoskar?

I have grown up a cat lover. Ever since I can remember cats have been a part of my life. I like dogs too but I have always thought cats were cool, aloof, thoughtful and clever. Some time back, a cat found me and my family in Mittagong in the southern highlands of N.S.W. Australia where we used to live. His name was Oscar and he was all of the above plus very generous with his friendship. He liked everyone. He passed away not too long ago but his memory has stayed with the family. He was a real country cat and would eat anything and would go to any lengths to get food. He once stole a whole chicken from the stove while it was still cooking. I also recall he would eat apples and cut up carrot if you offered it to him.

This is Oscar:

Blog Cull

I found myself with just too many blogs. Lots of them never really went anywhere others were just  too messy and obsolete. So yesterday I deleted them and today I am starting this one to find a place for the images and stories I wanted to bunch together. The images here are illustrations done some time ago the first is a layout for a background. It was designed for a TV commercial that never found its legs. The scene is a Queensland country road where some kids were discussing who would do the paper run. The bush area was to be where the kids gathered and the long road is where the camera pans to follow the dust trail of the kid who gets the delivery job.

The next image is of two pages of a book I will one day finish. It is a scene where a farmer sets off to find a little pig that has gotten lost because of a strange smell. On one side the farmer enters the path from the left and the other you will see the pig silhouetted by the light at the end of the trail.

My Studio

I generally work on my paintings in summer. Even though the glass atrium where my studio is gets good light most of the year. The concrete floor sucks any heat away quickly. I don't want to heat it by using electricity and such so spring and summer is when I can get in and be creative using my recycled plastics method. Lately I have produced a range of large format paintings of flowers some abstract some more impressionist. I can't get great detail with the plastic, So everything ends up looking Bonardesque. Winter is when I like to do the Oscar McCoskar Characters or my robot card designs. Oscar is the country cat character I have been working on. His adventures in sustainable living are a reflection of my own thoughts about how to deal with the pressing food and oil shortage. I have been thinking more and more about a book for children that covers these modern issues but in a positive way. Attacking the problems with real solutions.