April 11, 2011

Kitchen Colours and guest blogger Cathy Negus

Most of my backgrounds are now roughed out and I've just decided on the colours for the kitchen! Weeee! Check out my colour choices:What do you think? There were a few versions before this one. Yellow is meant to be predominant but I had versions with far more pink or green. Pink is a colour Birdie likes and green to reiterate the theme of pickles. There's still some of both of those now but much more yellows and brown/tan/beige. It's hideously adorable I think.

I figure that the stove is often a very central piece to the existence of a homemaker. Certainly in the 50's. Green is a colour that needs to selectively pop up in the film. So making the stove green seemed natural. When I first dropped green over the stove, a long lost memory from my childhood surfaced... My family used to have a hideous/amazing green stove!! I had completely forgotten. It was a cheap 70's model. After remembering this I rang my mum and asked her about it. It is too vivid a memory for her to forget. I asked her to write a blurb about that old stove for my blog. So here it is, written by my first guest blogger; Cathy Negus! p.s. please check out her delicious blog Chez Catherine!

“Avocado Green”, by Catherine Negus

“Avocado Green.” How the appliance companies chose that colour description for the once popular appliance colour, I’ll never know. The colour was unlike any avocado I’ve ever seen. The actual colour was a darker, yellowy greenish colour which seems to defy specific description and which, to me, was always sadly unappealing. And yet, I was once the owner, albeit reluctant, of an “Avocado Green” stove. Now many years ago, it had belonged to my then husband at the time we married and was with me for too many years. Not only was it “Avocado Green”, it had been a “scratch and dent special”, with a bottom storage door that was dented and always hung at an odd angle, probably a result of being dropped off the back of the transport truck it was first delivered in. It was never much in the baking department, either. Part way through baking, I always had to rush to the oven to turn my pie or cake in order to get reasonably even baking results. Even that didn’t help entirely, and cakes tended to look strangely lopsided and pies were always more well done on one side.

Unlike so many, who look back on their first-ever stove with wistful nostalgia; who were heartbroken to see the old dear finally go and only after it has become ancient and broken beyond repair, I couldn’t have been happier to see the last day of my “Avocado Green” stove. Overjoyed, I moved on to a neutral toned gas range that was easier on the eyes and performed much better in the baking department. I know there is a current movement towards the “retro” appliance colours of the past, but I believe that there are some things should be left forever in the past. “Avocado Green”, once best friends with “Harvest Gold” in appliance departments throughout North America, died a long, slow, painful death. I say, let it rest in peace, never to grace the front of an appliance again. Believe me, it’ll be good thing for all of us.

*Final Note: I do have a suggestion as a description of the colour of that stove... Cat vomit! I can also say that I adore beautiful retro style! If one does find an appealing vintage appliance, it it certainly possible to gut and fit with new inner workings so as to be a better pie baker. There are also some handsome reproduction or 'retro inspired' appliances on the market these days. Just a few:

Check out the great line up of appliances at Big Chill. (*Note that Big Chill advertises their 2007 "Colour of the Year": "Spring Avocado!!!!)

Retro Planet has a lot of fantastic retro items including diner style booths, barstools, chairs and tables!
Heartland has some very vintage inspired appliances!

April 2, 2011

Too much to chew

Firstly, check out the post that Deanna wrote on her blog about designing characters for my film!
The cake is not too much to chew, I mean I've taken on too much work. Since my last post I had a birthday! That picture above is a the last piece of chocolate cake Steve and I baked.

I've continued to kill myself with roughing out backgrounds since my last post. Since then I've concentrated on getting the rough kitchen shots out the door. The one I just finished today I ended up redoing 3 times after the first go and I think it's finally right. Sucks doing one background 4 times. Oh well.

I realise I have taken on too much, I always do, (but I don't like to admit that). I am making the film I want to make, but it is just taking a long time. I guess that's not really so bad... Sometimes art takes awhile. But next time I make a short film... I may just skip the bgs or have them be extremely simple. (Ha, I say that now.) I'd rather be animating. I actually love writing, boarding, timing the leica, animating, producing and directing. But drawing backgrounds... I don't mind, it's just not my favorite. Actually I've started enjoying drawing up the bg's more as I've been going along which was a surprise. It's interesting and satisfying to encompass nearly every department. I make all the creative descisions regarding the cutting, timing, composition and animation. (Being your own boss is pretty cool but also can be scary.) And then when I am working on a bg, I need to go back and forth between the leica and looking at the size of the characters and consider what they are doing. Revisions that have to go between departments and levels of approval in a studio can be frustrating.

I actually love to paint too! I used to paint a lot more especially when I was in highschool and in college. I don't think I suck at it either. I mostly preferred to paint "organic" subjects though, (as compared to buildings and vehicle, things that fill out landscapes. I painted people, plants, food, fabric, clothing, objects...

A great inspiration for me is listening to music. I love using itunes and youtube to find new artists and having a stream of music or podcasts is a great fuel. I've recently discovered a few artists I like, Dragonette, Annie and Porcelain Black.

I actually just formed an idea for an animated feature the other day. (gulp) I'd LOVE to get a team together in Canada and produce a feature. Recently that desire was reignited and I started thinking of feature ideas. There is no plot, fully formed characters or setting... but I do have an idea that I love. I'd like to write a big post on ideas sometime. People always seem to be asking how to come up with ideas and companies are desperate for fresh ones. I have my own way of coming up with ideas and harnessing them.

Below: me on the day I went out for a birthday dinner. My expression seems a little crazed, eh? I tried a look of sparkly white eyeshadow all around my eyes with no eyeliner or mascara. Kind of a La Roux type look. It looked cool in the mirror.

Take a Deep Breath...

Here is a small taste of a big scene I've been working on! It's been so addictive to work on this. I hate doing a bunch of work and ...