Monday’s Update

Monday’s Update

Sorry for the poor sound quality of this video. At the last minute, I decided that it might be interesting to get out of the studio and film my update in some other location. In most cases, this means your local Tim’s Horton. Without a Lavalier microphone, the background noise becomes a problem, and I must admit to being a bit shy about talking loudly in a public area. I hope to resolve this problem in the near future by either purchasing a Lavalier microphone or using my Zoom 4Hn field recorder. It is all an evolutionary process.

1.) HD film-making = huge files = no memory space on my laptop

I didn’t appreciate how quickly memory space on my laptop would disappear. My solution was to get a 500 GB portable external hard –drive. Now I am back into film-making. My goal is to document my art, and also examine Hamilton’s heritage. The challenge is to make it interesting and short. I have seen some great stuff like films by Matt Jelly http://vimeo.com/37194879. The goal of this film was to try and save the Hamilton Board of Education building that was located downtown. We need more film-making on Hamilton, and its heritage. We live in a visual culture and web based films is the future.

In the meantime, I still face a steep learning curve. I am dealing with challenges like: maintaining focus on the object as the camera position changes; hot spots and adjusting the aperture; creating a consistent look in terms of tone etc.

2.) Cell phone videos

I have recently seen some amazing films made with cell phones. In particular, the works by the Film Artist on Vimeo:

http://vimeo.com/77095509 – Slo

http://vimeo.com/thefilmartist/iglimpses  – Glimpses from my iPhone to the sounds of Bollywood bites

http://vimeo.com/83505519 – A short Journey – ‘Budapest’

This has inspired me to try my hand at this film-making format. Especially in conditions that require movement and quick response to events. In the future, I hope to get a Go Pro Hero3 camera to capture more of these dynamic conditions.

3.) Blue House Sketch

I am almost finished the Blue House Sketch. This is part of a series of house portrait sketches from the Hamilton area. Hamilton has some beautiful homes that are full of character.

4.) Daily Photographs

Inspired by Chris Healey’s (@muskoxen) photos of Bartonville, I have started to take daily photographs of Hamilton buildings or landscapes and post them to twitter via #HamOnt. This project is my attempt to document the nearly 8,000 historical buildings in Hamilton. Each Friday, I will post one photo to my blog and provide some historical background to the subject.

My #HamOnt – Lecture Hall

MDCL 1110 Lecture Hal
MDCL 1110 Lecture Hal

McMaster University was founded in 1887. The school was first located in Toronto, on Bloor Street West.  Now the original building is used by the Royal Conservatory of Music.  The first classes were held in 1890.

The University moved to Hamilton in 1930 because of the growth of the student population and the availability of land for expansion. The total undergraduate enrolment was 500 students.

Today, lecture hall, MDCL 1110, can accommodate 250 students or 1/2 of the total 1930’s student population.

This year, there is over 21,000 undergraduate students at the school.

Supporting local and independent #HamOnt Journalist – @joeycoleman

Joey Coleman is a local and independent journalist who covers Hamilton City Hall and provides recorded and live coverage of meetings. Joey’s reporting is invaluable to me. Without Joey Coleman, I would simply not know what is going on at City Hall.

Besides, with a young family, I cannot afford the time to attend afternoon or evening meetings. While other media may give me the results of high-profile decisions, Joey’s live streaming of Heritage or City Council meetings allows me to follow the debate and better understand the concerns of the various players.

Coleman’s reporting is supported by crowd-source fund-raising. Without donations from you and me, Joey’s unique form of journalism would not happen. This source of funding also ensures that his journalism remains independent.

The latest campaign has just ended, and I pledged to give $100 to support his efforts. I would like to urge you to consider supporting his work the next time there is a crowd-sourcing campaign.

As you can see in the video part of this post, even one of Santa’s reindeer is coming out to support Joey.

The Art-Family Balance

Five shots of 5 seconds duration – the theme for this video is art-family balance.

Every day of every week I try and carve out an hour or so for art.  Everyone is supportive, but sometimes the art-family balance seems almost impossible to achieve.  My goal is to disappear into the studio before anyone notices that I am home.  Unfortunately, the little people have discovered my studio and feel it is filled with all sorts of craft supplies. And when they get bored with crafts, there is all this wonderful music on Dad’s computer.  Suddenly, my art studio becomes the dance studio.

There is an old rule of thumb that you need to produce art for 10 years before galleries will take you seriously.  This is partly explained by the need to escape your teacher’s influences and develop your own approach to art.  I think the real reason for the 10 year rule is that galleries and collectors want to see if you are serious; that you are able to overcome the challenges of holding a job and raising a family and still develop your art.

The above film reflects my current state of affairs (smile).

My #HamOnt – Bowman Street

Across from McMaster University is Bowman Street.

Bowman Street - 16 Jan 2014
Bowman Street – 16 Jan 2014

The street is located on land that use to belong to George Howlett Ainslie.  He settled in Hamilton in 1838 and his farm stretched from Longwood in the east to Ancaster in the west; between Main Street to the north and the Mountain to the south.

Walking south on Bowman, the Mountain looks almost untouched and suggests what the escapement must have looked like to the original settlers.  Today, most of the Mountain is scared by roads and highways.  It is easy to forget how much of a barrier it was for travellers.

The giant trees on Bowman also remind me of the trees that once stood between my grandfather’s house on Elgin Street and the railway yards.

Monday’s Posting

Blogging at Tim's
Blogging at Tim’s

It is Sunday evening, and I am at Tim’s writing this posting.  Today, I rudely discovered that creating HD videos uses a lot of memory.  So much memory that my hard drive on my laptop is full.

Tomorrow, I will head off to the computer store and purchase a portable external drive.  Every 3-4 years, my computer crashes, so backing up work to an external storage device is likely a good move.

It’s been a very exciting and busy month.  One of my key supporters wanted some large building prints for her home. Another supporter has asked that I do a house portrait that will be hand printed onto greeting cards.

I am working on several video projects including a 2013 Memory Bank video project.

My goal for 2014 is to post a video, an article, or a comment every Monday.  I will do my best to make it interesting and worth your visit.

As always, I will continue to explore Hamilton’s rich history and architecture.  It is my firm belief that what surrounds us also influences us.

I got a lot of positive feedback about my studio tour video. After watching the video, one friend told me that I have serious pack-rat issues.  The organization and cleaning of my studio is a process and not an end – Maria!

Thank you to everyone else who commented.