We Can Rebuild Him or something like that. :)

 “Better,Stronger, faster…” I’m not sure about better and stronger but this was definitely one of the fastest design and paint jobs I’ve done for commission !

About 3 days before a visit from brother ( who lives in the States ) he asked me if I had any paintings ( for sale). Well yes I did in a way but I wanted to give him something that would have more meaning between the two of us…you know, something special.

So I thought of this old show called The Six Million Dollar Man starring Lee Majors. My bro used to have the action figure and a lot of the accoutrements . There was hardly even the time for a thumbnail sketch and the final design was basically done in my head and on the fly. I knew I wanted the ‘Bionic Man’ closeup in the center with the rocket to the right and the space X-plane in the upper left. In there somewhere was to be his old corvette and the cardiogram-like analog pattern.

So we were to meet Saturday at my Mom and Dad’s place which is about a 2 and a half hour drive from where I live. By about Friday morning I thought I was never going to get it finished. Just too much work and too little time. I got pretty down about it and felt defeat looming over my shoulder.

I managed to push myself and not give up (which I was really tempted to do).  At 10 pm Friday evening I had one coat of matte finish applied to the whole thing. I did a second coat really early Saturday morning and let the painting finish drying in the back seat of the car.

My brother was very pleased and surprised having not expected the nostalgic memento. I must admit that about half-way through, whether it was a kind of exhaustion setting in or pure adrenaline I, myself got emotional during the process. As one ages, I guess, tears become an oft expression of deep joy rather than sorrow sometimes. I am thankful for the family I have now and the one I had then, so to speak.

Just like the Bionic Man the painting was made from available components so here’s a photo of most of what it took to paint “We Can Rebuild Him”.

Thanks for visiting and we’ll see you around sometime!

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The Case for Communal Television

Tubeopolis. Acrylic on canvas 16 x 20 by Kevin Cameron

Tubeopolis. Acrylic on canvas 16 x 20 by Kevin Cameron

I woke up thinking about Tommy Hunter.  Tommy who?  Not Tommy Hilfiger, Tommy Hunter.
Tommy was a household voice I grew up with as part of my family TV experience.  He’s Canadian and was recently, at the age of 77,  honoured with his image on a Canadian postage stamp.
This post is not really  about Tommy Hunter. It’s about the fact that one of his trademark songs that he closed his weekly Tv show with, “Travellin Man” ,was actually wandering through my mind. Here are a few of the lyrics:
“I am a travellin’ man
Followin’ the breeze
Travellin’ here and travellin’ there
Gathering memories
So let me wander,
All my life away”
There’s this refrain , “…let me wander, let me wander, (repeat)” that has stuck with me all these years since childhood.
It awakened me to bitter-sweet memories of my youth…sentimental emotions.  Being young then, Tommy Hunter was really my parents’ show.  I liked shows with action and adventure and space travel.  Yet the song of Tommy Hunter remains with me in the same way the memory of early summer mornings fresh after the rain.
That’s because television was a communal thing in the 70’s and 80’s.
You really didn’t have much programming choice so you learned to like something that your brother, Mother or Father liked a little.  Sort of like the customary middle east marriages that were prearranged.
Sure, sure, preachers wailed against the evils of television and its morality changing powers and teachers scolded us for wasting our academic minds on the bluish glow.  It’s still the same today. They’re still saying the same thing.  Am I denying that exercise is important and lethargy leads to poor health?  Not a chance.
However we were a physically active family when I was growing up and spending an evening sharing a couple television shows was the icing on the cake.
 The family was together!  We laughed at the same jokes, we cried at the same deaths and cheered as one to see our heroes back again next week.
Now , often ( not always) when I see my family of 5 together to watch a show we are all sitting in the same room but almost all of us have our attentions divided.  Each one of us has our own screen.  Each one has a laptop open on our knees or tabled beside us.  Almost each one of us has yet another smaller screen/ smart phone, etc dimly lurking and updating us on our social status.  
Have we lost something?
  Did we lose a communal connection that we as families had in the old days? I’m not sure.  I don’t want to become the wailing preacher or the finger tapping teacher warning us of doom and gloom.
Perhaps they too, the next generation , will still hold fond memories of sitting together with family and Facebook friends at the same time sharing in those sacred Tv/iPhone/laptop/desktop memories.
Really I don’t care so long as they can still sing their own song or  hum along  with Tommy Hunter:
 “Some have said a travellin’ man walks a lonely mile,
But I find friends along my way who offer me a smile.
I tell people that I meet I’ve travelled far and wide.
I’ve just one man for company. My dear Lord’s by my side.
May I keep a-wanderin’ until the day I die.
There’s nothing that can tie me down. I’m free as the birds that fly.”

Batteries Not Included

RobotandTart

I’m liking the pop art genre again.  I think it’s more *me*. It’s kind of a side thing to making logos and graphics but I like how I get to build crazy s….., stuff!

So I call the pop tart “Popped Art” and the robot, “Batteries Not Included”.  I’ll post some pictures in the making next time. They both are painted and created on canvas.  The robot actually is made of 4 canvases fastened together. It has not been fully coated and there is a little feature I want to add but since I haven’t posted in a while then I thought I’d show it to you as is.

My interest is in vintage and retro items.  Maybe it’s just the kid in me.  Well thanks for visiting again!  I’m anxious to show you something else in the works but it’s not finished enough yet.  Maybe next time.  O, the eyes glow in the dark…spooky!  Be seein’ ya!

Gasp! It’s in 3D!

3DGirl1

Just a quick post about my upcoming  art show in May.  I’ve decide to go all Retro and Pop Art on this.  These are pictures of what I call 3D Girl .  If you look at her with a traditional Red and Blue lens 3D glasses you’ll get a somewhat 3 dimensional effect. I’ll post more of different works as the month of May gets closer.

It’s all acrylic paint with two coats of matte finish. Although I have painted the subject before this one is new and improved ( I think,ha)  More to follow…!

3DGirl2

Talk About Pop , Pop , Pop Music

Handcassettesigned

Just finished a proto-type ( is that the right word?) for a larger painting I’m doing.  I’m working on a new series of Pop Art for an upcoming show in a local cafe (More to follow over the next month or so- the showing is in May).  The painting is 5 x 7 on canvas.  Some of the upper left corner is a little out of focus.  Here are a couple more angles for ya.  Thanks for dropping, er ‘poppin’ in!

MugCassettesigned

PenCassettesigned

Cardboard Glitter House

MaltShopmasWPsmYou’re gonna need lots of cardboard for this project!

It all began when  I saw this picture of a little glitter house on the net.  “Wouldn’t it be cool to just build a big one,” I thought!

The redeeming thing about a glitter house is that they are intended to be cheap tiny houses in which a light was inserted through the back or the bottom for Christmas decoration.  This means you don’t need to fuss.  These houses were only a few inches big to begin with. If you do need some good cardboard then take a visit to the back of your local mall (shopping center) where some free cardboard may be had in the recycle dumpster.  Or ask the store managers themselves.  They will be glad to get rid of the excess cardboard this time of year.

GlitterHousecollage

These are simple shapes of course.  Simply cut out the size you need and if you need to use more than one piece then use masking tape on the back side to attach the side walls.  I use Jo Sonja’s all purpose sealer and paint it on with a brush first.  This seems to keep the acrylic craft paint from sinking in too deeply and looking washed out. However you will have to do a couple coats of white over the sealer as a base coat.  The little blue strips are cardboard as well.  The ones at the top of the building are folded in half and glued over the edge for strength.  I actually use white glue for gluing as well as a hot glue gun to tack everything in place.  When the white glue finally dries it will be very strong.Malt10smallIn the above photo you can see that I added some areas of snowy glitter.  These are shapes of painted cardboard tacked in place with a hot glue gun.  The shapes are thickly painted with a Gleams acrylic pearlescent paint.  While the pearly paint is still wet I shake some iridescent snow flakes onto it and use a piece of cardboard to gently press them down into the paint.  When the paint dries the flakes are glued to it loosely.

I recommend using low heat/low watt bulbs in the back to avoid risk of fire.

GlitterHousecollage2

There is a roof on top as well.  I covered this with a holiday snow blanket ( Buffalo Snow).  The doors and windows have yellow cellophane  ( gift basket type) glued to them from behind with strips of cardboard to keep them taut. The signs were just created in CorelDraw and then printed on glossy paper. The Coke logo was just downloaded from the net after a google image search.  In the next post I will share ( as promised) how to make cheap (inexpensive) evergreen trees to go with your glitterhouse ( like in the very top photo).  Plus I have a couple more glitterhouses to show you

 

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More Fifties!

Well it was my 24th Wedding Anniversary on Monday past.  I couldn’t help but think about how it was for my in-laws when they had their 50th Anniversary in 2007.  I wondered too if any one planned a party for us in 2038 if the eighties would seem as cool as the fifties. Not really sure I want to see the mullet again or broad shouldered suit coats, etc. Anyways …here are some more photos from the 5oth Anniversary which included things that I got to design and build…or paint…or print…what FUN!

My Father-in-law had been in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

                

So it seemed a good idea to make him a poster from the Fifties with his face (from the Fifties) on it.  The original was a scan I did from a book.  Next it was Taken into Corel software and the fun began.  One of his wedding photos was masked and cropped as you can see on the right.  Some adjustments were made to the tone, etc and then by over-saturating the image in the red I was able to get some manly skin tones in there.  I think the poster was 18 X24 but I can’t remember.  He seemed really taken with it! (As you can see from the video link below)

More photos on the use of prints that I designed below. The Elvis and  50ft Woman posters were store bought 

      

      

      

                                                

The Burgers and Fries were T-shirt  iron -ons that I made for some of us wearing white Tees. The Tv shaped posters were made of metallic bristol board and glued together.  There are little glass mirrors glued to some and silver pipe cleaners for antennae.

Actually Today is their wedding anniversary.  Hard to believe this all took place 5 years ago!  Happy Anniversary Barb and Brenton!

Celebrating 46 years!

To commemorate one of my all time favourite television shows ( the one that started it all -Star Trek) I thought today would be a good day to re-post this recent painting I did.  (Original post)

Google had a great cartoon special on their home page.  Hope you got a chance to see it today.

Back to the fifties

Continuing with the 50’s Anniversary theme, for which I had the pleasure of designing set decorations, I’d like to show you a few of the smaller decorations I had designed and created. Again this was a load of fun for me in trying to create a fifties feel on a small budget  but it can be done!

                                                       

I wanted a clock with lots of chrome.  Very Shiny!  The actual clock-face was  designed with CorelDraw and based on the logo I designed.In the left photo you can see there were two clocks.  The bottom was my first choice and it didn’t seem shiny enough even after spray painting chrome finish on it ( which I wasn’t sure would hold up anyway).  The cost of one of the clocks was only 12 dollars at Zellers ( I think).  The other wasn’t much more.  The display on the right is now in storage in my studio.

Quest for things Fifty

The internet was a great help.  Perusing thousands of photos and articles allowed for a taste of 1957 and it set my imagination on fire.  My wifes Dad was in the airforce and so that info would also be a great help.  What was launched in 1957 ?  Answer:  The Sputnik.  The space race was on between Russia and the U.S.A.. This fact lead to America putting the first man on the moon- Neil Armstrong (r.i.p.)

So here was a great opportunity.  Take a look at Russia’s Sputnik below.

  

 

How to Build a Satellite 

There were only  several of these decorations made so as not to overtake the theme. Essentially the sputnik is a ball with 4 long antennae.  The ‘ball’ was made with a styrofoam ball seen above and bamboo skewers which both were purchased from a dollar store.  First paint them with acrylic white paint such as Decoart or Americana.  You will get better reflectivity with the metallic paint if you undercoat with white first.  Also the latex (acrylic) paint will protect styro-foam from harsh chemicals such as acetone that will virtually eat the foam…not good.   You can brush on gold acrylic paint on the skewers.  Then brush on a silver paint (acrylic) on the ball.  Next (outside- do not breathe in fumes) spray a chrome finish on the ball.  Put a dab of white glue on the sharp end of the skewers and then when all the paint is dry shove the sharp (glued) end into the styro-foam ball at equa-distances.  There you have a Sputnik.  The other material is simply silver pipe cleaner, christmas beads and small ‘disco’ balls bought from a dollar store.

The print-outs of Sputnik which I made on the computer have since faded some from the bright sun I get in my room. It’s amazing what you can do though with a just a 40 dollar printer!  The decorations proved fabulous and you can see i made some mini-sputniks to be a little thematic that were used around a small window/counter.

Here’s some more photos for you!  More next time!

Is that a Sputnik I see in the halo?!! ha!

Here are some more of the resource photos that came in handy.

The Center Piece (that was off to the side)

It was my wife’s parent’s 50th Anniversary and I was happy to do the art and decorating based on a fifties theme. As discussed in the first part of this post “One of the Funnest Things…” I thought it best to use colour and branding to give the whole event a “feel” as though we were in 1957.

After deciding on the basic colours and designing a logo of sorts, it was now time to build something that would actually iconify (is that a word? ha) the event. So the idea came to me to build a transportable mini-set or display that would be an actual dimensional  piece and add to the ‘realness’ and the fun. The above is what I came up with in CorelDraw.  Below is the actual piece in the hall made from masonite and a pine frame then painted.

     

      

The diner display sign used small Christmas lights with a flashing bulb unit.  Not quite neon but still it was effective.

The laminate counter top is really an illusion. I created this by using a rag rolling technique.  First the masonite was

primed and then a light grey acrylic house-paint was rolled on with a fine sponge roller. Then I twisted a rag, dipped it in a darker colour paint.  I did a brief test on some spare masonite (hard board) then I remember basically drawing in a deep breath and then just going for it. This is how it turned out.  Most people thought it was real laminate.  Also the top dark grey layer was part glaze and part paint. For the chrome moulding around the upper edge, well, it’s just woden decorative molding first primed white and then spray painted chrome.

The model cars were made by my youngest son and I. They seem to add to the 50’s ambience.

   chrome8clockface2

The sign was made of masonite as well and hand painted and lettered.  I did print out the font to help as a guide.  I still get a kick out of it.  The last main element was the diner clock. ( sorry for switching from past to present tense, so much).

I bought the clock at Zellers for around 12 dollars, removed their paper clockface and replaced it with I designed on the computer.

Visit again and in the next post I hope to show you more pictures of the event plus some of the decorations I made,etc

Take care! K