Two disagreeable pigeons

Maud, 12"x12", acrylic on canvas, 2016. Rob Elliott

Maud, 12″x12″, acrylic on canvas, 2016. Rob Elliott

Claud, 12"x12", acrylic on canvas, 2016. Rob Elliott

Claud, 12″x12″, acrylic on canvas, 2016. Rob Elliott

I did these two pigeon paintings for this year’s Small Feats fundraiser for the Niagara Artists Centre. They are inspired by my favourite Patricia Highsmith short story, “Two Disagreeable Pigeons”. It’s a bit like a children’s story, but the beastly nature of the birds occassionally disrupts the reader from a whimsical the day in the life of the two avian Londoners.

“They lived in Trafalgar Square, two pigeons which for convenience shall be called Maud and Claud, though they didn’t give each other names. They were simply mates, for two of three years now, loyal in a way, though at the bottom of their little pigeon hearts they detested each other.”

Small Feats is at NACĀ  this Saturday, April 9 and features over 200 original paintings for sale at $200.

Niagara Artists Centre
354 St. Paul Street, St. Catherines, ON

Doors at 8PM / VIP Preview at 7:40PM
More info: http://nac.org/what-have-you/small-feats-2016/

Finger puppet how-to sheets

What do kids love most? Sugar and power struggles. But you can try keeping them distracted with arts and crafts on this frigid Family Day long weekend.

The organizers at Puppet-A-Go-Go asked me to make them some handouts for the finger puppet workshops they are hosting. Here are six one pagers (in easy to download PDF format) for every age and skill level.

Download (PDF, 562KB)

Download (PDF, 498KB)

Download (PDF, 476KB)

Download (PDF, 560KB)

Download (PDF, 389KB)

Download (PDF, 467KB)

 

Raccoon in Kensington Market

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Raccoon on the corner of Kensington and Balwin, Toronto.

Artist David Woodward and I have started a “disintegrating art” project. The idea is simple: we meet up once a week, scavenge materials from Chinatown and our own leftovers, work for four hours, and put the art in a public place.

The collaboration gives us an opportunity to learn from each others’ art practices. The addition of haste and thrift to the project is partially from necessity, but also from an urge to be less precious about our art.

Our first project, a giant raccoon poking out of an window frame, came together over two sessions. I did the raccoon head, David built the hand and the window sash. We both painted it, picking up techniques from each other.

We borrowed a wobbly ladder and hung “Rocky” on a telephone pole in Kensington Market. It was a frigid and blustery day so getting the sculpture in place was tricky. The staple gun jammed, of course. David resorted to scavenging nails from the pole and hammering them in with the butt end of the staple gun.

Check out the raccoon out on the corner of Kensington and Baldwin before the corner of a delivery truck turns it back into recycled cardboard.

Production sketches.

Cardboard racoon.

Cardboard racoon.

Testing the window frame for German Expressionist angles.

Testing the window frame for German Expressionist angles.

Ready to mount. SWIZZLEMACHEN is a portmanteau of our creative handles..

Ready to mount. SWIZZLEMACHEN is a portmanteau of our creative handles.

Racoon chilling up a pole in Kensington Market.

Racoon chilling up a pole in Kensington Market.