Sunday, October 25, 2009

Encaustic Paintings

I'm taking a painting class and I had the opportunity to use a medium I've never even heard of before: encaustics. Basically it's painting with wax. Here are a few that I did:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Magical Goodness

I've loved Hayao Miyazaki's work for many years. His films are breathtaking, inspirational and a joy to watch. From the energy of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind to the urgency of Princess Mononoke to the child-like hope of My Neighbour Totoro, they are pure brilliance. I was first introduced to his work when Spirited Away won the Oscar for best picture. As soon as I saw it I was hooked and I promptly moved on to see the rest of his films as well as others, also wonderful, from Studio Ghibli. It was just after seeing Spirited Away though that I had heard his next film was to be called Howl's Moving Castle. I just so happened to be discussing this with a friend who is quite the reader. She responded with amazement, telling me that Howl's Moving Castle is the title of a book by Diana Wynne Jones. Surely enough this was what the movie was based on. My friend lent me the book and from that moment I was destined to be a big fan!
Both Miyazaki's film and Jones' novel have become great favorites of mine. Both, though not exactly the same (Miyazaki does take some artistic liberties), are the types of stories that draw you in and you can't wait to find out what happens next.
The great news for their fans is that these storytellers have not stopped practising their art. Miyazaki's most recent film, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, came out in Japan last summer and is due for release in the US and Canada some time this year. The trailer can be seen at
As for Diana Wynne Jones, she has written many fantasy books for many ages, from children to adults. The Castle series still remains my favorite, however...although I must confess I have not read many of her books...and yes I did say "series." The sequel to Howl's is Castle in the Air, which is a great read as well (and also a funny coincidence, since Miyazaki made a completely unrelated movie called Castle in the Sky). Castle in the Air is a great read too. But the fun doesn't end there. I recently found out that there is a third book in the series that came out last year, called House of Many Ways, which I have yet to read.

Sophie Hatter in her hat shop in
Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle

Monday, February 23, 2009

Costumes for "The Tempest"

This past Saturday was the final performance of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" by the drama group of my college, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy. I was fortunate enough to be the costume designer second year in a row (last year we did Moliere's "The Learned Ladies"). It was a blast to work on. The fantasy setting gave me a lot of room to move around, especially since the director wanted the time period to be ambiguous. That plus a plethora of magical creatures, spirits and monsters made it a designer's dream. My crew was wonderful, as were all the other departments and actors. I love collaborative art forms like theater; the way it comes together and brings everyone together is amazing. Here are some of the finished costumes. In the near future hopefully I'll get around to posting some of my designs and inspirations also.
Prospero and AntonioFerdinand and Miranda
CalibanGoddesses: Ceres, Juno, Iris
Nymphs: Wind, Mountain, Water, Star and Tree

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Star What?

I love the original Star Wars movies. I watched them many times growing up and they remain some of my favorite films ever. Because they are so well known there are many spin offs and homages-many of which can be found on Youtube (but then again, what can't be found on Youtube!!!) Here are two particularly amusing ones:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Blogger time is always wrong, so it is in fact 2009 already. I just know I'll be writing the wrong date in my notebooks for a while! So anyways I thought I'd reflect on the past year. 2008 was the year that:
  • I worked at Subway
  • Two friends and amazing people died in a car accident +may they rest in peace+
  • The first African-American president of the United States was elected
  • I designed costumes for an actual on-stage production
  • I turned 20
  • A lot of superhero movies came out: Iron man, The Incredible Hulk, The Dark Knight...
  • Heath Leger, Bernie Mac, Paul Newman, Charleston Heston and Arther C. Clark died +may they rest in peace+
  • 100 years passed since the publication of "Anne of Green Gables"
  • The price of gas was crazy high in the summer and dropped dramatically in the winter
  • My cat turned 10
  • 2000 years passed since the birth of St. Paul and the year of St. Paul began
  • There were crazy weather fluctuations-lots of snow in November and early December, rain on Christmas Eve, Crazy hurricane-like winds knockd out power between Christmas and New years
  • I started my 3rd year of post-secondary
  • I read the whole Narnia series
  • I joined my school choir under the amazing Maestro Uwe Lieflander and we performed selections from Handel's Messiah (Not that I did a great job by any stretch of the imagination...but at least I can say I was there...)
  • I managed to stay in touch with friends from high school and play lots of board games, both with them and others (games included Scrabble, Cranium, Disney Scene it! 1st and 2nd ed., Boggle, Balderdash, Rumis, Partini, Scattergories...)
These were only in the order of them coming into my head. I'm sure there are many more things of significance that happened but they are escaping me at the moment. I would like to conclude this entry with an inspiring video. It makes me think of peace on earth, good will towards men/women, and what unites us all as human beings. I think these are very appropriate reflections to kick start the new year and I really applaud the its creators:

P.S. I love it all but especially the parts at 2:25 in Tonga and 2: 37 in India!