Friday, February 19, 2010

...I think we've got it!

Sometimes the break through is small yet significant. A subtle movement around a corner gives sudden new perspective and then you see things anew.
After obsessing about aspects of the logo, I sort of lost sight of the goal and ended up trying to force the green marble background to work. Walking away from something is hard, especially when it has presented a challenge. But enough.
I went back to the brief and thought about the function of the logo within the thoughts set out by my client.
One has to think clearly and only focus on the nature of the piece.
This starting to sound terribly zen... maybe it is. Whatever it might seem, it has worked.
Maybe I should approach doing laundry in the same way.
There is beauty in purity.
Now most of the work is done and the client needs to ruminate over the suggestions and examples and make the call. Then the letterhead and other children of the logo icon can be brought forth....I see a procession and pageantry , banners and music... fanfare!
Hmmmm...what is in this tasty herbal tea that Hoarknockle makes?
Which reminds me......

Thursday, February 18, 2010

logo developments

The logo continues and has had a few interesting iterations. My friend, the client, loves the lettertype and the design. I am happy!
Its been fun working with this logo/name. I have been tweaking it in al kinds of ways and making it do things for me. When it goes well, its exciting.
The green background in
this image is a photo I took of a bucket of waste paint that was being mixed together before being recycled. The colours and the swirls were enchanting and I took a photo. It rather looks like stone...onyx or green marble.
Back to work!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

logo jiggle logic

Some jobs come flying at you out of the blue... this one was one of them...
A dear friend of the family called from London (yes the English city!) and wanted me to redesign her business name and logo.
I don't really do logos, not in the graphic design sense anyway.
After reading her the whole forty page proviso and health warning, she still wanted me to do it, knowing full well that this was not to be anything clean and clinical like any good type software could offer. This would be hand hewn from the finest paper and ink made from 100% natural organic hand grown materials (tended to by children deep in the Abscondian Forests).
She designs fine interiors for refined clients in a rarified atmosphere of elegance and interesting people and also does stupendous floral installations for persons and companies who can afford the last word in excellence. She is to be found at .

There is an elegant atmosphere that oozes down the telephone line from from someone like this, calling from London. I wore my burgundy velvet smoking jacket for the occasion and had Hoarknockle bring me a snifter of Cognac.

The term for this kind of thing is "bespoke". Handcrafted. Original. One of a kind, made to order, only! The logo and lettertype will be entirely, uniquely crafted and not taken from a plastic boil-in-the bag, instant noodle dish.
After some thought and several pencils, I came up with some ideas and started the to and fro which is typical of this bespoke business. I wore a cravat for the occasion and had Hoarknockle smoke a cigarette in a long silver and ivory holder.Outdoors obviously, I cannot abide cigarette smoke!

Tea was Earl Gray and served in the Spode bone china. Was there ever any doubt?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ghost of crutches past

There are a lot of amazing systems built to support cameras...and with the DSLRs that can now shoot video, there is a bigger need than before. The DSLR camera format isnt as ergonomic as the purpose designed camcorders and this causes the DSLR to be less stable when shooting video. They are great when shooting stills...but can become really wobbly when doing video.
The rigs built by mainstream camera equipment companies are very can deduce why....its built for an industry that is known to have masses of production money. In my case, not the case.
I thought about this for quite some time and was stumped about possibilities. When trying to find something in a storeroom, I happened upon a set of crutches and they seemed perfect for a basic skeleton. I built and modified and sawed and cut and added bits with cardboard until I had something I thought would work.
A local company welded and fabricated the cardboard into metal and now I have a shoulder rig at a much lower price than anything I could have bought. It works well too.
Oh...the documentary I am making is about the dreams of a young man who is trying to make it as a professional cyclist in europe. It may take a year or two.
Meanwhile...I shoot footage and make art and tea.

Friday, February 12, 2010

the nest that started it...

Thanks to the magic of digital photography, I found an older photo of the plover nest I painted onto the floor at the Deltacrest home of our friends when I was there quite some time ago.(many many beautiful memories!)
Our friends now live in Australia and no longer have a plover nest with two eggs hiding behind their back door...which was why I painted a more portable version for them.


The soup and the wine made an incredible supper last night combined with fine company. Hoarknockle outdid himself.
The nest is done.
I tried to keep it loose and quick. Added a last coat of satin varnish and now it waits to go away to its new home.
The rig I had built by ProMetal is proving to be a good one. It holds the camera well and seems steady enough. The new camera is well designed, heavier than my previous one and has a massive increase in quality.
The HD video it shoots is amazing. It doesnt look like has a filmic look to it which makes it seem richer and more beautiful. Fingers crossed!
Weekend is here and with it promises of Valentines day and some fine, fine wine to accompany a morsel of foie gras. I know the winter games start tonight...but the thought of some good wine thrills me more.
Hmmmm.... what shall be next?

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Sweating on the stationary bike as opposed to sweating on a stationery bike is an interesting concept. A Stationery bike would be an elegant thing printed on ivory card, small and easy to carry with you.
A stationary bike is a lot less elegant. I try and spend at least 2 hours a day on mine in order to avoid the dreaded cabin madness and to fight off the million threats to my heart. My heart may be benefitting but my bottom is certainly having a hard time.
Right near my stationary bicycle stands my work table with the most recent piece, a painting of a Crowned Plover's nest.
When we were visiting the fairest Cape in South Africa, we lived at Deltacrest near Franschhoek...pure undiluted beauty. The plovers breed everywhere and happened to have a nest close to the house. There is something about the courage of a small bird making a nest in plain view and keeping anyone away by dive bombing predators. The eggs are brilliantly camouflaged and really hard to spot if you dont see the birds sitting on them.
This piece is for very dear friends who no longer live there and have moved to a distant land. I painted a similar piece directly onto the concrete floor of their kitchen, behind the backdoor. (difficult to remove and take along) I am hoping this will take its place.
Hoarknockle is making a delicious smelling lamb and bean stew for tonight... to be enjoyed with a fabulous Diemersfontein Pinotage and good company.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

long quiet...

It was Hoarknockle, I swear. He was supposed to fabricate a credible blog about art while I was sitting and doing nothing.
I see now that he has not been doing this and for al intents, it looks like I have been doing nothing.
Which is not true!
It's been a busy time.
I have been working on the beginnings of a documentary, buying equipment and reading books and harvesting knowledge from anywhere I could find it. Isn't the internet a wonderful place to research and find information?
So far....
I have bought a Canon 7D camera which can shoot HD video and a beautiful little GoPro HD camera which is smaller than a pack of cigarettes (and a lot healthier too!) and shoots full HD video with an incredible dynamic range.
I have been getting a post card made to send out to clients and publishers.
I have been making lists of everything I need to do and keep track of. Making lists of lists....(sad isnt it?)
I have been living with snow. Lots of it.
I have been out and about with my younger son for his speed skating season. He did brilliantly and is now done with his speed skates. Went out on a high.
I have found a wonderful wine shop which sells excellent wines...nearby! Oh Joy!
I have been chatting to possible producers and broadcasters who might advise me on the direction of my documentary and ultimately where it will end up.
I am making a painting of a crowned plover's nest with two eggs in it... for a friend who lives far away.
My eldest son and I baked a magnificent chocolate cake from scratch, just because he saw it on TV and wanted to do it himself and we will share it with friends as its just too rich for only us to consume. Hoarknockle is cleaning the kitchen aftermath.
I shall be posting the image of the plover nest soon.
It was the winter blues slump...nothing more.