Thursday, October 11, 2007

Meet the Time Frog ::UPDATE::

A new iteration of the Time Frog's character sketch. This one with the clock face set into the iris of the eye which I think gives a more probable look, if something completely non-plausible could look more plausible. He has a froggy ear now (who knew?) And I'm playing with his texture and color.

Nick H and Mike's naming of the Time Frog's live-in-mouth critters, Musca Tempora (Time Flies) is so brilliant I can't even stand it. That is a classic Halfland play on concept and words--and YOU are coming up with them now! Holy cow.

I had a super wild thought this morning. What if I had fun making little 50 Time Flies like I have in mind, packaged them up cleverly as real-esque scientific insect specimen as I have in mind. Then all the readers and friends of this blog who have contributed notions that have been incorporated into it can receive one as a gift. Anyone else could also have one of their own by purchasing it from a proposed Halfland shop (secure, handmade craft online store) for $25 to contribute to a Halfland camera and lights fund. Not only would they receive an original piece of tiny Halfland puppetry as memorabilia but actually support the film's making. What would you think of that? Good? Bad? Do it? Don't? eh? I'm ambivalent. I want to make 50 flies and sell 'em for fun more than money but I don't want to take away (ironically) my time from building the set to do so.

______ previous post ______

I realized today that I get to build my little fly almost-puppet after all. He'll escape out of the Time Frog's mouth, just as for me irritation sometimes accompanies Time. The offer still stands for any reader of this blog to suggest a suitable name for this character. If a submitted name is selected for use, there will be Halfland prizes awarded.

My first time working on a Desktop Publishing computer, circa 1993, during the giant graphics revolution. I was working in a New York publishing house on an early Mac on a large res file of a frog that was overloading the slight RAM typical of those bygone days. The "processing" icon was a little clock with its hands whirling around telling me it was chewing on the file. The cursor happened to be placed directly on top of the frog's left eye, making it look as though one of his eyes was a clock.


I had been devising Halfland in my mind for a while at that point and in the fertile, moist soil of that creative endeavor the seed had been planted for a vignette.

As we pass by the island landscape in the film, Halfland's Time Frog sits nearly submerged in the fresh water stream that runs down the hill from Rana's cottage. He's a normal Halfland frog except for the fact that his left eye is a vintage clock face, complete with the tiniest hand carved hands (these I have already procured from an antique pocket watch). He is the origin of what we know as time. It all starts with him.

Time is not my favorite thing to deal with. It flies by like a freight train and frequently pushes against my druthers. I want more of it. I want enough of it. And when I have to conform my activities to it I can get pretty bent out of shape. I can find relating to it irritating. I also find flies irritating. The incessant buzzing for no reason, the relentless inexplicable dive bombing at the most vexing of times.

Broke out the visual reference material today. Man, are these envelopes filled with collected treasure of ideas and images. Invaluable. I painted the character sculpt with a practice base coat so I could use him as a stand in as I begin to build his set piece. Tomorrow I'll mock up the cardboard and maybe get a little papier mache ou-hon.

I also painted the legs of the kitchen table and added a drawer front. Tested the new balcony by painting it black with black gesso. Loving it now. That'll work.


  1. Sop I guess this answes the ages-old question "whad does a time frog eat?"....

    Time flies, of course!!!

    Nyuk nyuk!!!! ;)

  2. Wow, just call me the king of mis-speelings!!!

  3. I Love the Froggy-Frog. My Mum hates them we had a flood and lots of Dead ones were floating about outside our door, YUK

  4. Mike! I LOVE it! How great is that?! I never realized the connection to the expression "Time flies" BRILLIANT! Of course. I love it when that kind of accidental metaphor happens in Halfland. And I love that your discovered it!

    PS: you are a way better speller than me. If I don't use spell check on everything it would be worse than it is.

    Thanks Ben ben, eewe, floating dead frogs right outside your door! blecjh. Hey, you could say nature was killing time! heh.

  5. Nick H5:43 PM

    Mike beat me to it, they are called Time Flies, you can't do better than that!

    Never heard of time frogs, so I was sceptical at first. But there it is in my Field Guide to Metaphorical Vertebrates:
    "Rana tardis, the common Time Frog. Diet consists mainly of the very fast-flying Musca tempora or time fly (the smaller ones at rates of up to 3600 every hour), although larger specimens may also consume Minute Men or even Calendar Girls."

    Some beautiful work happening lately, nice in any scale but amazing when I realize how small it is. I can't believe that iron railing, you've built a giant finger and thumb to place it in, admit it!

  6. Nick H6:06 PM

    Of course, this doesn't help with a name for the frog, since you've already used Rana (European genus of frogs) for another character's name.

  7. Nick H, you DARLING! I think you've done it! *Tardis* the Time Frog who eats Musca Tempora (Time Flies)!

    I'd like the frog's name to convey the idea of how all time is NOW, in one moment. I'll keep rooting around but I do really like Tardis and how you brought it to me here!

    That Musca Tempora idea is brilliant! (A star constellation shaped like a fly, denoting time). Love it.

    You'll get a Halfland prize gift package retailing for... well, it's not for sale and therefore priceless.

    I'd like to send you one of the Musca Tempora puppets and a finished color print of Timey (he's changed a bit today).

    I'll contact you privately for your mailing address.

    Thank you for the kind words, reading your comments is such a RUSH!

  8. Show us the Flies, Giving some away is very Generous, On the Proposed Etsy-Shop ypu could make another Pin-Cushion and sell that?

    -Good Luck

  9. Shelley -
    I am totally in love with this project; could I snatch some of your pictures and blog about you sometime on my fledgling fairy/folktale art blog?

  10. Perfect idea, Ben! I will make one up and show it!

    Miss Rose Red, how kind you are! You are more than welcome to take any imagery here for your use, gladly. I appreciate your affinity for it!

    I checked out your blog and will again. Those half tree beings sculptures you shared by Rachael Direnna blew me away! Fabulous!

  11. Thank you! I can't wait to pick out some pics.
    Yes, Rachael's stuff is just incredible, and she's always churning out new sculptures and posting them on Flickr.


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