Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Not Far from the Tree

 I make every guest plant springs of crepe paper grass before they sign the Guest Artist board nowadays. HEE heh heh.

Sunday saw two new lovely people visit for their first time, Lesley, from New Mexico, in town conducting research for her latest book at local university libraries, and her grown ass son, Chris, the crazily nice hip science dude with the golden heart who lives nearby with his pretty wife. (no, seriously, they are MIT grads.)

I didn't expect them to be so incredibly enthusiastic about what they saw in Halfland. I mean, it's just a handmade folk forest, but they both went wild! They loved all that they saw and I was especially chuffed that Chris, a researcher who's already contributed to his field with breakthrough ecology studies of tree structures, expressed his affection for the Answer Tree. He seemed genuinely taken with it which I take to be a fully expert endorsement!

Lesley's other charming nestling is a daughter who I've heard lives for puppets, folktales, stop motion, animation, filmmaking, directing, goats (I'm not making this up, am I?), weaving, wool, yarns, mermaids, bugs, etc. Basically everything I showed them here they countered with, "ugh, Mari would LOVE this!" Perhaps, one day I'll meet this sister....

It was so enjoyable and valuable having Lesley and Chris over. The way they both took in what I was showing and telling made me make connections I hadn't before. And I realized, as I could have gone on, pulling more and more out to share with them, that there is now far more complete done finished than I knew.

Please stay tuned....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Here Comes Urhu

A few recently added reference images for making the Urhu, Serpent Sage Musician character for the end of the film series. He is a Magi of sorts, he is half mature male, half snake/serpent. The snake-like features on the women in the upper left photos will influence the character's expression. The dragon's scales, looking like very metallic gold "tiles" on an tarnished iron ground inspire me to the character's lower half texture. Except I'm leaning towards using a bright green metal feel with the gold. I think it'll look fresh and interesting against the orange sand.

Since Sherie from the Sea has helped me complete the entire last set in the production. The sand has now been stained golden orange, the tent is complete done finished, inside and out, including all the furnishings and props, the palm tree, the instruments, the mats he sits on, the floral prayer flags, et al.

With this done, we begin to create the Urhu puppet in earnest.
The last time Sherie came over (again with her beau David!), she began taping the understructure for the puppet's sculpture. She did a good job shaping his head to a proportion that suits both halves of him.

I haven't decided yet whether to make him as the other main characters, with clay/mold/cast, or to make him as a "build-up" puppet. A build-up would save me the effort of creating the molds and casting. But it would mean I'll have to jump forward and make his animation armature right now.

And yet he comes.

Catching You Up: On the Head of a Pin

I want to start posting some of the action that's been happening in Halfland. So much has been built now, but I had been waiting to post until the big items were all done to show the big payoff, with pictures of the start, the process shots, and then the result. But because it takes so long to complete things all the way, posts get rare.

Here's a quickie just to share things as the big things roll along toward getting finished.
The Bug Party set is complete done finished, both the daytime and nighttime versions. All the little plaid covered mushrooms are set as the insect cafe in the same spot that the party will happen when it gets dark. Three of these mushrooms have the smallest-scale-in-Halfland doors, fitted with heads of pin doorknobs. One even has a twig mullion window that glows invitingly to those passing by.
Please stay tuned for more to come...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sneaking Up On It

  
Been peeping around the set with my Lytro. Looking for good square compositions and discovering what amount of light is needed to get clarity on multiple planes within them.
This one worked fabulously! Giving several planes of focus, click around on it to see!: porch railing outside cottage, chairitable just inside window, floral arrangement and/or cheese & peas on table, easy chair back in foreground, pin cushion resting on the arm of the chair.
These are "flattie" (non-Lytro) samples of better compositions that I'll use as guides later to capture with better lighting set up to get better interactive shifts in Lytro.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Opening Night

Meet the Bugs in the Band.
Made a lighted display box to display the Buggy Band mates with their instruments.

A one note at a time xylophone playing worm wearing a pink tutu.
A lumpy drum-banging spider with a bright tipped mohawk wailing on his tomato kit.
The tiny guitar playing black beetle with long antenna.
The no lady Ladybug on her fiddle head cello, keeping the beat tapping her feet on the log.
The fuzzy caterpillar blowing the twig horn, puffing out his cheeks.

This crew will play during the nighttime bug party
while the moths and caterpillars tango under the lights.
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