Friday, June 30, 2017

1388 - Crow With A Croissant

So I'm on the highway driving with my wife, meaning traffic in every lane is jammed and crawling by inches.  I take the exit, which is also packed with idling vehicles.  To the left is a massive peristaltic anaconda of gridlock, the upcoming concrete underpass swallowing cars the way a giant snake eats mice whole.  To the right, mercifully, is a small natural-looking green space encircled by the ring-shaped exit ramp.  I dutifully watch the truck in front of me while my wife gazes out at the park.  

A black shape whizzes by the passenger window.  I see it in the periphery of my vision.

"Was that a crow smoking a cigar?" I ask.

"I think he's got a croissant," says my wife, "A whole croissant."

Where the devil would a crow get a whole croissant, I wonder.  I imagine a nearby stereotypical Frenchman in distress, hollering after the bird while carrying his white ceramic cup of steaming hot breakfast chocolate. 

Crows are expert scavengers, and employ a high level of intelligence to decide when the effort to steal potential food or something attractive and shiny will be worth the effort.  They will use deception and sneaky tactics to gain their objective.  Once they have snatched their prize, the perceptive crow will have a smart exit strategy.  They will find ways to hide or cache food in unlikely places so that they can eat it undisturbed.  

As we slowly creep in traffic round the exit, my wife and I watch the crow bury what indeed was an entire croissant in among some tall green reeds.  Later that day, we find ourselves at the grocery store looking at shelves of golden flaky pastry. 


Thursday, June 29, 2017

1387 - The 75% Solution

I know for a fact that there are people walking around in the big world out there who look a lot like me.  Doppelgangers.

I've previously been mistaken for a delinquent college drop-out, a hotel manager, and someone who works on a movie set - none of which are me, but none of which are all that far from me, either.  I met the hotel manager; we do strongly resemble one another.  I even have Jeff Shyluk as my cousin, although we don't look much like at all.  His claim to fame is dressing up as the Molson Old Style Pilsner Rabbit for Saskatchewan Roughrider games.  There's no easy way for me to explain how this works if you don't know about CFL football and prairie beer.

So, I'm kind of used to seeing myself out in the wild when it's not me.  Above is a picture I pulled (without permission, but I am using it for personal illustration) from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation  website.  I included the arrow just to make certain which person I think looks like me.  Or at least seventy-five percent like me, not a clone, but in a dark room from a few feet away I bet we'd look enough alike. 

The man in the middle with the hat is Robi Botos, the feature of the photo.  He's a Canadian jazz pianist living in Toronto.  The rest of these people are his friends, and that's all the CBC had to say about them.  

The friend with the arrow has either a guitar strap round his neck or more likely a strap for a large saxomophone.  I used the Internet to find saxomophonists who are likely to play with Robi Botos, and the name and picture for Seamus Blake came up.  Most pictures of Mr. Blake look only maybe 50% like me, so this CBC photo is a bit of a fluke.  Still, recent portraits of the man show some resemblance to me.  Plus, although he lives in New York, he has roots in Vancouver.  It's not outside the realm of possibility that we could run into each other, especially at the posh hotel with that manager.  


Friday, June 23, 2017

1386 - Mayorotechnics

If I were mayor, I'd pass legislation that would allow me to shoot off the annual Canada Day fireworks for my City.  Mayor Greg Moore, pictured above, hasn't done that yet.  


Monday, June 19, 2017

1385 - Gestures & Scale

A bit of planning from the old sketchbook:  I want to have a crouching hero character but I want his body proportions to be good.  So, I drew him standing in one colour and then used the measurements to figure out his proportions when crouching in the next colour.  The croucher's head is too big, but I decided to enlarge it so that it reads a little better. 


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

1384 - "BBQ'an"

I really enjoyed the Logan (2017) movie, enough to fashion myself into this tribute poster.  Well, mostly I did this because my barber was out of town on vacation for a month, and my hair and beard grew out long.  I am powerfully loyal to my barber (see JSVB Posts #343 by clicking here.), so I knew it was better for me to wait than find a replacement barber. With long scruffy hair,  I knew if I pranced around in my suit I could re-create the look of Logan.

The hands are a problem, though, since I don't have adamantium claws.  I do have barbecue utensils, though, so close enough.  The cruel irony is that the weather has been cold and gloomy for the past week, and something my wife and I ate has been upsetting our stomachs, so no BBQ.  Quel bummer.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

1383 - Jeff Prances Camerawards

Today is the thirteenth of the month, which is traditionally Ungood Art Day on JSVB.  I show some of my works that just isn't all that great.  Most artists always strive to exhibit only their best work, but the ungood stuff is often the foundation for the final product.

Take the photos above, which are self-directed of me walking in a stiff and peculiar manner towards the camera. They aren't much to look at, but with a little love and attention, I can build them into something I figure people will like - see JSVB tomorrow. 

Sometimes, it's irritating for me to show clients me work in progress, since often the early stages are so ungood.  I remember one client whose wife told him to drop me because my stuff was looking really rank.  Truth be told, it did look bad, and I wasn't even certain I could pull the project together.  One thing I have learned, though, is that a piece won't seem complete until I get around ninety percent into the project.  It's almost always that last push that makes the whole thing sing... or not.  


Saturday, June 10, 2017

1382 - Happy (Fiftieth!) Birthday To Me (8)

Click above to embiggen.

(Cue John Barry Orchestra, James Bond Movie Theme Mode)

He has your figure on his mind
He knows that numbers never lie
The years tumble forward, a deadly sum
But he's prepared you for the world to come

He knows all the best odds to play
To draw you in his own special way
He lives under no one other's thumb
He'll have you ready for the world to come

Lovely woman, with your precious look
He will trace you in his artful book
You will live forever by his design
His very touch is a golden mine
With you near he is far from done
He will bring you to the world to come

The world to come!
The World To Come!

The Woooooooorld Tooo Cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo- (breathe, Shirley Bassey, breathe!) -oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooome!


Friday, June 9, 2017

1381 - Golden Numerals

My new favourite typeface of all time has to be Baskerville Italic, as shown above.  Recently, I participated in a psychological profile to find the typeface most suited to me, and Baskerville Italic was the result.  

Designed in the late 1700's by John Baskerville and manufactured into metal dies by John Handy,  this venerable typeface was regarded by Pierre Simon Forniere, the inventor of the point system for controlling font sizes, as "the best italic to be found in any English foundry". High praise indeed!

I used a bunch of Photoshop blending effects to make the number "50" look snazzy and golden. Shiny!  

Friday, June 2, 2017

1380 - Stanley Cup Birds 2017

Two new chicken-sized Stanley Cup jerseys for 2017: no self-respecting chicken would ever wear a Penguins jersey, though.  One of the chicken brothers has been temporarily replaced by a penguin.  I had to break a promise to myself that I would never ever make a chicken-style Pittsburgh jersey, since I really do not like the Penguins, least of all their captain Crosby.  The last couple of times the Penguins made it to the final, I found excuses not to make their jersey.  Hopefully, the Predators will find a way to win the Cup this year!