In October 2018 I started working at Great Northern Way Scene Shop, housed in Vancouver's new shared studio building, the Arts Factory. GNW serves the theatre and live event companies of Vancouver, creating set pieces, display setups & props, and installation art pieces.
Through October, November, & December I contributed to several productions; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at Pacific Theatre, The East Van Panto for Theatre Replacement, and Children of God for Urban Ink. Over December & into January 2019 I was making rocks for MEC, see my earlier blog post... then in late January & February I got to paint the floor, the set, and the wall murals for "Jesus Freak" at Pacific Theatre as well as a few set pieces for touring children's theatre shows.
Please click "Read More" to see below!
Over December 2018 - January 2019 I had the pleasure of casting multiple cement "rocks" for people to test their shoes on at Mountain Equipment Co-op, through my work at Great Northern Way Scene Shop. This was actually the second round of rocks that were built at GNW; this year's rocks were made to be smaller, easier to step on and off, accompaniment to the first round which were bigger & steeper. Props artist Tara Wallace created the sculpture and the mould, with support from Che Campbell who created the rotating table to cast the rocks in.
Here are some "behind the scenes" shots of this process! Each rock has 4 adjustable feet set in with rebar posts and a piece of metal mesh to support the structure, as well as a styrofoam core to lessen the weight of the finished piece. They were all finished with a mixture of concrete sealant product, tint, and some of the cement for texture.
2018 was a year full of painting, and sculpture. I continued working at Scenic Oasis as the Head Painter until October, at which point I switched back to freelancing and started working at another scene shop in addition.
At Scenic Oasis we do all kinds of set pieces and props for commercials mainly, although we also did some pieces for the TV show "Man in the High Castle" and some pieces for real-life actual places (gasp!). Read more and scroll down for the results and some process shots.
Seen above; my "office".
Close your eyes and imagine, if you can, the smells of old papier mache, coconut rice with the slightest hint of curry, feel the heat of a rehearsal studio filled with about 70 people and their various smells too, and you will have a sense of the Bread & Puppet Theatre experience.
Love Over Bias is the name for this commercial released by Proctor & Gamble before the Olympics in Peong Chang. I recently discovered it and saw that I painted the scenic elements we provided at Scenic Oasis, back in April 2017. Wow! I had no idea that the kid's bedroom ceiling was in the same project as the dark wooden sign with Korean characters and the giant blue square arch at the ski hill! Cool! And I'm very happy to think that people enjoyed this work. Scroll down to see some shots of the stuff we did in the shop and on location.
Proctor & Gamble owns many well-known brands and their Chief Brand Officer had this to say about the campaign according to this article: "At P&G, we aspire to create a better world for everyone - a world free from bias, with equal representation, equal voices and equal opportunity. When the world is more equal, society is better and it leads to economic growth. Unfortunately, equality is limited by biases, and we recognize we can use our voice to be a force for good and shine a light on the bias that limits human potential. We hope to promote open discussion, influence attitudes, and ideally change behaviour.”
I'm glad to see such a positive and socially-beneficial purpose behind a project I worked on.
Production Design by Michelle Foote-Derrick
Director Alma Har'el Production Company Epoch FIlms
Scenic Oasis Film provided the set piece for this commercial, namely the exploded wall interior and exterior. I had the privilege of sculpting/painting these pieces as Head Painter with the SOF team. We built the parts in our shop and then installed them into this house in East Van (after removing the existing window). See process shots below the Youtube link to find out more.
Seeing it now I wish I had painted more of the ceiling interior... Ah well. Oftentimes I never know what's going to be in the shot or not.
This post is far more personal than most of what I've shared here: today I'm writing to talk about my experiences with the self-development company LB Seminars, also known as Liberty & Balance, based in Richmond, BC with offices in Calgary, Alberta. Their workshops are directly related to or descended from PSI Seminars in the US.
Sometime in 2017 we made several table tops for this commercial for Outback Steakhouse. I recognize them in the video because we refinished them three times to get the right color/texture that the client wanted. I can see why! The rough, charred texture of the table works really well with the steak. It's cool to see how that one detail had such a big impact on the aesthetic of the commercial.
In the quiet months of the winter this year I got really into making these mixed-media paintings. I'm really enjoying the process of creating these and I intend to do a show at some point, as well as make reproductions and open an online store, printing on-demand if there are customers. Hopefully this will come along over the course of 2018 to launch the series in 2019.
Using old canvases I first address the "underpainting", then cover them with garment pattern paper in a papier-mache style, then layer on acrylics lightly with a sponge, lightening and obscuring the patterns. Then I project a black & white image onto the canvas and paint that on top, adding a caption sometimes. I chose these images for their sense of mystery; biological, astronomical, and social. Evoking a sense of mystery while adding a contemporary caption, I'm intrigued with the possibility for engaging the viewer with humour and curiosity. I also chose images that aren't under copyright or are specifically labelled for re-use, with interest in open-source work and recycling.
On April 1 2017 I took up the role of Head Scenic Artist at Scenic Oasis Film! I hadn't had an actual ongoing Job since 2008, so this was a big change. I began freelancing for them in March 2016, painting sets and props, mainly for commercials. Working in film for a scene shop I have learned a great deal about scenic paint skills as well as construction, installation, and the process of film shoots. I lost count of the number of commercials we did over the past months, but here are a few I was able to track down, with some behind-the-scenes photos.
Chiquita Banana - Sun Announcement
Production Designer - Athea Boyes
Chiquita Banana took a pretty funny approach to the solar eclipse of August 2017... we did the sun and the moon out of styrofoam, and I painted the floor to match the giant backdrop.
Duracell Christmas 2017
Art Director - Pedro Romero
Duracell's Christmas commercial for 2017 was a really big project for me: all the shelving was painted, the floor was huge, plus the plaster-finish walls, a stone fireplace, and a variety of other items. This commercial was shown in Canada (most of what we do is not) so it's nice to have people see my work.
Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch - A World Without Layers
Production Designer Katherine Reynolds
For the Hershey's commercial we made a "lava" table, using Plexiglass, tinted Versagel, and painted Polyurethane. It was altered quite a bit in post-production computer graphics but you can still kind of see what we made.
Coke Zero - Nailed It
Production Designer Katherine Reynolds
Xfinity xFi - Dinnertime
Art Director - Pedro Romero
Amira Emma Routledge,