If you've watched my blog for any length of time, you may have noticed an increased interest on my part with members of the bird family. Gathering reference and bird calls, all what have you. Here is an unfinished glimpse of a much larger piece, where this is all going, and why I haven't posted any more one-a-day watercolors the last few days. I'm fighting an entry deadline for The Society of Illustrators Annual (48) as well as next week commences the onslaught of two very large projects.
My shoulder is curious device, spasmodically dislocating having then to be realigned by a certified technician at a local E.R. Things are even more problematic when I am in Colorado in a swimming pool.
I had been just fine for near 12 months. As far as I could tell, the surgery had worked and everything was just fine. As I was to find out later when talking with my surgeon, in all his years of practice, close to 20, he had only ever had a shoulder he had operated on come back out of joint again once before; and that guy was playing football. I'm just lucky. When my shoulder comes out, it's another week before I can move it at all. It's like all strength evaporates. I've got a friend, Justin, who's left shoulder hyperextends/dislocates and he can throw his back in. It hurts like Charles Dickens but he's alright. Mine is just nuts. It comes out and the ball of the joint is next to my ribs. It just drops down and I can't put it back in. This particular time in CO, I had the doctors try to put it back in without any medication to keep the cost low. They tried it twice and the joint simply would not go. I opened my eyes and all I saw was blue. Finally after much medication and relaxers, they got it in. Then we went camping.
Brannon, a park worker, the Mighty Jeff, and me confronted with raw nature at high altitudes.
Chris, Jeff, Cate, Brannon, me, Jamin, and Mel. Moments later I hurled my Nalgene off the face of the cliff to see if it would break. They kept their word. Mel (Jamin's wife) me, & Chris somewhere in Denver.
Me, Brannon, & Chris. I lost my flashlight that you see there. Now in the Rockies. And I carried my pack myself I am pleased to say. * * *
Pre-dislocation fun in the room. That's a travel pillow on my head.
The campus secuity at my Alma Mater is rock solid. They are all eyes and they are all ears. Public Safety (as they are known) is a force of nature; everpresent and always on top of things.
I have had my old stickers on my car since I graduated in May. For some reason or another, I have not been able to remove them. Not for lack of ability, but let us say sentimentality; yes, that will do. Being unable to remove them entirely, I simply employed the technique of keying them up a little whenever I passed. In short, I defaced them beyond all reason. But this was apparently not enough.
I had several minor interactions with the Public Safety during my collegiate years not worth mentioning. However this sticker business is pretty good. I can imagine the hours spent by security combing the campus for my rouge Chevy. The jet black automobile with the forbidden stickers. Her name is Angie and she is mine. What a pretty car she is.
In anycase, the rough story is thus: For whatever reason I've just not felt like taking off the stickers or stopping and having a chubby someone scrape them off with, I dont' know, a goat or something. I was going to meet a friend on campus by my car at the appointed time. As I say goodbye to Erin and she goes to class, I see Cedar leaning on my car. "CORY!" he bellows, glasses glinting in the September sun. "You're not going to believe this." And if you could hear Cedar you would not believe it either. Long story short, Public Safety is gunning for my car and had interrogated Cedar, albeit rather ineptly, just now. The following is abbreviated and not the full encounter to protect the semi-innocent.
* * * P.S.: So, is this your car? Cedar: No. P.S.: Wull, who's is it. Cedar: It's my friend's. P.S.: Wull, who is he? Cedar: I'll never tell. * * *
And this went on, I am told.
So in the end, yesterday after lunch, I walk back to my car after visiting Erin and what do I see? My stickers are gone.
And I wonder who back at the station got the medal.
Today's watercolor. I'm pushing to do one a day til kingdom come. Not only that, but to do them faster and better. I'm thinking color, composition, energy, and time. This one was about 40 minutes I think, if I timed it right. I'm shooting for a half hour every morning.
Scene: The Horrible Goblet Theiving Beast of the Mountain has pilferd the young Queen's favorite Blue Goblet.
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"As swift as you might say, the beast was gone and with it Queen Julia's favorite blue goblet. It was not so particular a mug, no it was not; very plain in all respects and appearance but it belonged to Queen Julia and it was hers.It was this fact of belonging that moved her to action.
In a manner not the least bit removed from her austere regality, Queen Julia took up her traveling hat and cloak in one quick turn of the heel and leaped out the window after the beast."
I had a great afternoon. Bascially I painted, watched Justin throw things, and listened to good music. I managed to pull off 4 watercolors all around 6.25 X 3 in. and had a blast. It was relaxing. Art's not all fun and games you know, it's downright stressful sometimes. I go berzerk somedays.
I'm between projects right now which is nice because I've been swamped since early summer. The paintings I was working on are for my own book, The Blue Goblet.
But then I just did this.
Here's a glimpse of where all that bird reference is going, not that this really tells anyone anything. Mostly it deals only with the subject matter, and at that not even very specifically. Or the colors. Alright, fine, so I painted a giant bird. There's a lot more going on behind the scenes in my head. Stay tuned.
Hey, a big thank you to those of you who've stopped by my blog the past few days. I've had quite a bit more traffic than usual so....
I did a little math.
Math, you ask? Yes. I calcutlated some averages. Now, it wasn't easy, I'll admit, getting to where I am today, mathematically.
In highschool my Algebra II teacher, Mrs. Patton, told me, "Cory, you have like, an F+ in my class. It is a week before school is going to be out. To pass my class you must pass the final."
"Alright, Mrs. Patton! I'll do it! I'll do it!" quoth I.
I set about to make the best grade of my life. Yes, I'd hardly passed Geometry; yes, I'd nearly failed Algerba I; yes I actually did fail Chemistry [Professor says, "Cory, you've got like, an F-zero in my class. You will not pass." But you know what! ...I sure showed him or not! And I took Driver's Ed. the next semester.]
BUTthis, this Algebra II and the important grade would be different.
I worked and worked. I studied. I got help. I did everything in my power. I took the test. Easy, easy test. I easily must've made like, an A+ on it.
The next day or whatever I went and checked the test score sheet outside Mrs. Patton's office. There, in plain black and white, was my name, and my grade: 50%
I was in a sweat for a day or two, then I got my report card. Algebra II: C-
Who knew? I do love math after all.
Anyway, enough of that-- on to the good stuff.
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I checked my this morning and figured that yesterday I had over 7 times as many visitors I usually have and over 10 times my weekly new visitors. This is an encouraging development for a pretty new blogger.
So thank you all very much for your support. I really appreciate.
Thank you, Cory
PS-- To thank you all once again, there is a secret link to a wonderful place hidden within the text somewhere.
I'm curious if any one has found it yet. It seemed appropriate at the time.
************************************* Olaf der Postman (Troll)
Unbeknownst to most of us, 33% of our mail is delivered via Trollpost.
Trolls, large man-shaped figures with pointed ears and long tails, hail from the Black Forest (or Schwarzwald) in Germany. They are typically shy creatures, large and cumbersome but not unintelligent.
Trolls lack chiefly in interpersonal skills, they are not necessarily disaffectionate towards others, it is more of a deficiency in their neurological capacity to engage in small talk outside the weather.
While inapt with their communication skills, trolls are superbly gifted craftsmen (or craftstrolls I suppose you might say) manufacturing toys, cuckoo clocks, radios, and musical instruments.
Thriving mainly off orange juice and chocolate (and the occasional polish sausage) the troll population of Germany has historically been overlooked due to their indifference toward politics and motor sports outside their own kind. That is not to say trolls have some sort of advanced political structure or a superior soapbox derby (by any means) but in all actuality they are rather poor sports at both, and are generally contented with soaking in mineral springs and eating chocolate.
Trolls, as a rule, do not travel further west than the Rhine.
One young troll, however, has ventured past the safety of the silky black forest and has sought to make his way in the world, specifically that of the postal service. Olaf is venturesome and spirited. He enjoys coffee (which is traditionally only savored by the audacious trolls) and delivering mail by any means possible, whether by motorbike, salvaged Messerschmitt, or by boat.
Olaf enjoys Mozart, toast with cheese, and is considering taking up the violin.
I came back from lunch, new tube of Indigo watercolor paint in hand, to find that during my absence, arrived by stork and left on my desk were several beautiful Landon Snow and The Auctor's Riddle books.
The book opens everywhere October 1. To celebrate, I'll post the cover and a link to Landon Snow on Amazon.com.
One of the most knock-out cool stylisticly done things in 3D animation I've seen in a while. I'm still not even sure what it's about here, but it looks amazing. Sent to me by friend and animator, Josh Burton.
The link is to a fastpaced video about the making of, or something like that. Oo la la.
Based on the critically-acclaimed novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, "Everything is Illuminated" tells the story of a young man's quest to find the woman who saved his grandfather in a small Ukrainian town that was wiped off the map by the Nazi invasion.
What starts out as a journey to piece together one family's story under the most absurd circumstances turns into a surprisingly meaningful journey with a powerful series of revelations -- the importance of remembrance, the perilous nature of secrets, the legacy of the Holocaust, the meaning of friendship and, most importantly, love.
"Everything is Illuminated" is adapted for the screen and directed by Liev Schreiber and stars Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, and Boris Leskin.
Jasper Johns. Flag (1954 -55) Encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on plywood. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
"No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have?
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God.
I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."
Last night Portland Studios & Co. visited the Greenville Little Theatre and the folks there we kind enough to allow us to raid their fantastic prop room and gather all kinds of costumes for refrence.
The real allure of the prop room was the fact that they have everything... like props for The Jungle Book.
I am now Bagheera. I seek jungles and whatever. Photo courtesy Portland's own Jamin Micah Jantz.
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And new PS intern, Matt, as the rougish Winnie the Pooh.
Pooh from the Pit.
Actually, the Pooh bear costume was flat-out terrifying. It was missing one of the shiny plastic eyes and the crooked jaw only served to further enhance the effect.
The actual refrence photos we shot later that night are much more tame and much less feral. Top hats and funny coats for Chris Koelle's new project, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." Well, tame, unless you count the fact that in the story an orangutan goes on a killing spree and murders people and shoves a woman up a chimney.
Come to think of it, the actual photo shoot was not less tame or less feral. I think it was more so.
I really like that bird, that Red Whiskered Bulbul.
Aerial combat with an onlooker.
The cockatiel's head makes for shapes I really like.
development doodles for an upcoming show.
I really love doodles. I think they're more intersesting than finished paintings most times. I love lines and shapes. There's such fervor and life in drawings. It's like you can never get the exact energy again in a painting fully that was in the rough or the drawing. Not to say there aren't powerful paintings, but there's such power in just line. You can see the artist in his drawings and doodles more I think. Maybe I'm wrong.