December 5, 2011

Potting Shed Project

This past summer I embarked on an ambitious project to build a shed in
our backyard. This timely endeavour was necessary storage space.
This was a challenging and exciting project and it was a break from my
usual artistic work. Aside from my artistic abilities I'm an avid hobby carpenter
and woodworker. I have built many things over the years, and this shed proved
the biggest.

It began with a working drawn plan, by-law enquiries, location and foundation
prep. This shed project took me some time to complete, and the exterior
finishing touches was just finished this fall. I took photos to chronicle my progress,
as much as possible. Working around my children and free time meant slow, slow, slow
progression. I believe in educating through modeling so my kids also learned a lot
about construction through using tools through safe supervision and the joy they
experience through learning.Here are some photos showing the natural progression.

The shed is considered a Potting Shed by building enthusiasts because of
its size. It measures 6.5 ft wide by 9 ft length and 12 ft height (from ground to ridge).
It is an on-grade foundation using pier blocks and the base being an 8 inch gravel bed.

This is the foundation of the shed after the gravel was tampered down vigorously.
Leveling was necessary at this point and very challenging. Once leveled
I built the foundation using pressure treated wood to resist moisture and rot.

A huge chunk of time elapsed between the foundation and
the framing. True to plan, I accounted for the door and windows.
The roof pitch was the most challenging at this stage. I wanted
to maximize the storage space inside the shed and not have the pitch
interfere with the tree behind it and the neighbouring property line.

Alas the sheathing goes up and thankfully my father was always
on call to help me when I needed it-especially with the roof.

Board and Batten was the style I wanted for the exterior.
I'm a big fan of this simple concept. I decided to use small boards
and narrow battens to coincide with the size of the shed. I found out,
through research, that there are style guides for board and batten design.

I incorporated the Dutch Door design into the project. It can
take some time aligning both doors, but very interesting design, and
effective if you want air to circulate while maintaining some privacy.

I used red cedar shingles for the roof. This is the
amount typical of one bundle. Hmm, how many
bundles do I need? 5 more bundles! Yikes!

It's an expensive alternative to petroleum products
but it can last a very long time with treatment and much
more pleasant to look at.

The shakes are up and yours truly is cutting the door and window trim.

Yeah! The finished shed. I primed and painted the exterior
to keep it protected. The platform was retrofitted afterwards and
the ramp proved a good idea for moving bikes in and out.

Decorating the shed with bird houses and feeders was
the fun part. No birds living in the bird house yet.
I used plexiglass for the windows to keep them unbreakable.

I insulated the inside because this is often a artist's retreat in the
fall and winter. Bring in a space heater and it gets cozy fast.

The loft space measures 4 ft to the ridge and is an excellent
space saving room to help keep things off the floor.

October 11, 2011

Salon International Exhibition, France 2011

I was invited to contribute a few editorial cartoons to the Salon
International exhibition this year. The theme of the exhibit was on
"living together." The exhibit wasn't specifically about any particular area, so
I submitted work I think deals within the context of living together.
Have a look and decide for yourself.

The size of the artwork is done on 11 by 14. I prefer Arches Hot-Press watercolour
paper. Viva La Femmes and Policing with Pride are both coloured digitally,
using a pen tablet. Bora Bora is coloured using Pantone markers, while the
other two cartoons are painted traditionally with watercolour and acrylic paints.

October 4, 2011

East Coast Bugs

During our travels, our kids, Rowin and Atticus wanted
to document all the bugs that crossed our path. Using
only a Sony, point-and-shoot camera, and on the macro setting,
we began documenting. I was surprised how well
the macro captured detail, for this type of camera.

October 3, 2011

St. Andrews, NB

The historic monument of St. Andrews, New Brunswick. An old
Fort built during the war of 1812. It was home to 4-6 loyalist soldiers
who called this bunker home for long periods of time.

And some of the smaller cannons seated outside the bunker,
my kids were really enjoying.

Rowin and Atticus enjoying a view of a dead Sculpin fish down by the warf.

The upscale eclectic landscape of Main St., St. Andrews has everything
your stomach needs: Gelato made fresh, fudge, booze, and many good eats
like this place right here.

Enjoying a sunset at low tide on the Water St. pier in St. Andrews.

Cape Breton Island

A beautiful sunny day hanging out on the edge. Many waterbirds
nest on these cliffs, and seals swim by to the patient eye. Being in this
environment certainly fuels my creativity much more than in the big city.
I wonder why...

A favourite spot of ours inside the Highlands National Park. This is a
good spot for skipping stones, watching sunsets, rock climbing, and home
to bald eagles. Yep. We actually saw one nesting by the rock face.

This is a view off the Cabot Trail. Although Cape Breton is an
Island, the coast is very different every step of the way.

This was our secluded beach.

Cape Breton Island

Us on top of Cheticamp Island looking out onto the water hoping to
see some whales as is the whale tours down below.

This abandoned house on the Island has been standing for
a really long time, judging by the weathered exterior. Things are built
to last out here. I love how the composition places the solitude
of the house amidst the grassy hills and the distant ocean. What a view
to wake up to every morning...

Cape Breton has a lot of cultural history. This was the land of the
earliest settlers to Canada before confederation. While hiking
we came across this grave marker representative of a time when people
used to live on this island.

Ahh! Life on the beach. Rowin and Atticus looked forward to
going to Cheticamp Beach every morning. Coastal areas are often
susceptible to severe weather patterns. Jelly fish are abundant
once the warmer waters circulates from the gulf stream. Often birds
don't make it to safety from the high winds off the Highlands mountain
range, as this poor guy can show. Crabs travel to shallow water
to warm up from the cold deep and face the threat of tourists on the beach.
The boys loved the experiences of being in nature every day.

October 1, 2011

The Art of Sole

This past summer I was commissioned to do a painting of vintage
Air Jordans. I was informed about the world of shoe art referenced
through a book called, Art and Sole. The work was done with acrylics
and painted in an impassto style and technique indicative of shoe art. I
began with some digital comps to show him and soon after I was painting.

The finished artwork was painted on canvass measuring 19 by 20 inches.