Double Chin

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Once upon a time, a uniquely sexy young man showed up at my doorstop. He inquired if I would like to join him on a roadtrip.

I asked him, "Are you an American?"
He said, "yes."
I said, "Strike one."

I then asked, "When is this road trip to?"
He said, " Chicago, Florida, New Orleans... wherever the wind takes us."
I said, "What, you Americans too GOOD to drive to Europe? Strike two."

I asked him, "Will you stop me from drawing constantly?"
He said, "Only if you're missing something important."
I said, "Never interrupt me from drawing. Strike three. You're out, no roadtrip."

We stood in an awkward moment of mutual disappointment.

I asked him, "Will there be fornication?"
He said, "Um, do you want there to be?"

I asked, "Can I look at your bum?"
He said (nervously), "Uh... I suppose."
I said, "Awesome."
And it was. And we did.*
* Fornicate, that is. I'm not sure how clear that was. I'm an artist, not a writer! SHEESH!
That was a true story, slightly edited for interest's sake. I added in all the naughty bits. It was actually a fairly respectful hug, with respectable amounts of groping. I actually didn't even ask him any questions. I'm an all out LIAR.
So, anyway, I am going on a delightful splendtacular roadtrip. I will be on the wild, open roads of America until around mid April, and thus my blog will only be updated during that time, if I'm able to find internet access in the ditch. I'm going to be drawing like a madwoman, regardless of what Eric has to say about it (he'll be disgustingly encouraging, I'll bet).
So be sure to tune in to Double Chin around the middle of next month, for the post of a lifetime, revealing my unbelievable, death-defying, sexy, hilarious, illuminating adventures, with much tedious driving time thrown in to balance the mix!!!!! Wowzers!
PS. (This Guy: is the shit. His drawings of girls blows my mind. It is how I want to draw girls. I want to steal his hand and wear it on my head as a bloody trophy.)
BTW- the title of this post, "America-HO!" is to suggest that I'm going to America, and I'm going to be a total ho while I'm down there. On a ho-related note... MEL GET A BLOG! Your art is MORE than awesome enough to post! So DO IT DO IT NOW or I won't send you those nudie-girly-postcards!!!! Take THAT!!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Digitamal painting

Guillaume ( ) and I did this painting as a TEAM. I say GO TEAM US, and Guillaume says "ok!" He is very very awesome at painting (and art in general) and is teaching me to digital paint in photoshop! HORRAY!!
This doesn't look near as nice in this crappy little compressed version... the colors are much brighter/more intense in the real one. Bright colors are the shit. This compressed version is just... shitty. MEH!

Monday, March 20, 2006

sometimes i like to draw

Alrighty, I've got some new sketches all scanned up!

These are drawings of the lovely Samantha Morton. I don't think I've quite got her captured, yet, but I'm still working on it. She has such a fascinating face. I'd love to do a painting, using her face for a character.

This was a funny looking guy on the bus. I felt like I was really sticking it to the man, when I drew him. That is, if sticking it to the man meant noticing that he had slightly smaller hands than is normal, and exaggerating that for my own amusement. It probably doesn't, but I'm still satisfied.

Some neat bus ladies. (well, the full body sketch isn't a lady... that's some man. mere technicalities.) My drawings seem to crowd together and/or overlap a lot in my sketchbooks.

A little pen doodle of two women, drawing while watching Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blonds. Man, that movie was halarious. I love Marilyn, I don't care how cliche that is. She's popular for a REASON.

I finally figured a bit better some of the features that distinguish caucaisans from asians. And the guy was this awesome old security guard I was chatting with, he had a great head (and was a funny guy to boot). The lady I just made up. Look at her! She's so middle aged!

I think I need to take a nap. My brain won't sit still lately, and I'm exhausted.

Thoughts on blood, meat, society, womenhood, etc. Same old jazz.

My brain pooed this out this morning. I haven’t been getting much sleep, staying up until 3-5 am ish for the last couple days, drawing.

I’ve been thinking this morning about the link between meat, savageness, society today, and womanhood (including abortion and menstrual periods). Everything today, all aspects our animal nature, seem to be sanitized, packaged, removed from us. The visceral world of blood, death, devouring, pain, ecstasy, instinct, seems to have been taken away from us by an efficient and removed system of healthcare and dead-people removal (dying in hospital wards far away, ambulances taking away the dead body as soon as possible), as well as the many other various means of human sanitization. No wonder there’s obsessions with horror movies, serial killers, graphic/taboo/violent sex, gruesome car accidents, shows about murder and crime investigation. This type of graphic, meaty, bodily happenings is part of humans as animals, and it has been taken away, sanitized and hidden from us, so that we may continue to pretend we are not animals. I suppose it’s part of the Judeo-Christian heritage, to deny the body and all animal ness- I guess in fact that it’s been the role of many religions to make people aspire to be higher than the animals, to move above their animalistic natures and urges and instincts in order to become… what? Principled, non-‘savage’, seekers of ‘truth’ and ‘beauty’ and the classical Greek ideals of order and symmetry?
I even think of the tampons that are sold in the store, in fresh scents and clean white boxes with flowers in crisp graphics on them. It seems women have to be ashamed and hushed about the realities of what they biologically do: bleed between the legs every month. Why is this so terribly gross and taboo? It’s blood, just the same as the blood that sprays from the ‘bad guy’s’ in video games, as boys (and many girls) try to reconnect with the violent/bodily/visceral/instinctual natures in themselves. And without this blood, how would childbirth occur?
And the meat that people eat, in its clean pre-packaged Styrofoam portions. We like to keep the meat as far away in our vision and minds, from its origin: a living creature, and breathing animal with ‘cute eyes’ and skin and blood. It’s easier to just think of the meat as hunk of origin-less foodstuff. No wonder that so many people are emotionally/ethically appealed towards vegetarianism; it’s so hard for people today to see animals as food. The only animals which urban dwellers are exposed to on a regular basis are their pets. And pets have been fully personified into people, the boundary blurred. So isn’t eating a poor little cow just like eating your beloved dog Muffin, people think?
It’s very fascinating to me. Mankind has struggled to pull himself towards an abstract, moralized, quantified, philosophical, sanitary existence, (bring on the air fresheners, counter sanitizers, tampons, hidden away old folks homes and intensive care wards!) which is turning away from it’s animal nature. And now the ANIMALS, the binary ‘opposite’ from ‘MAN’… the animals are seen as pets, taken into our homes, and raised/treated as another human child (one that never grows past it’s childhood and dependency, mind you.) The animals are raised to the status of MAN, with the same abstracted ‘morals’ and ‘rights’ as humans. So now animals, taken into the same category as humans, are also, in the minds of many, therefore taken from the original life-cycles of death, dying, hunting, suffering, blood, pain, messy birthing, etc. Just as humans are (attempting to be) removed from them.
There’s something very disturbing and confusing about these things. All this confusion and about what’s animal and what’s human and what’s clean and unclean. Unsettling, the need to push it all away, forget the blood….

I can’t really finish that this, because I went away and came back to it, and now my brain is not at all in that mode. But I’m posting it anyway, just throw those thoughts out there to the world. This is by no means my absolute treatise on life, just some of the themes that have been mulling through my brain. I'm not exactly sure how the entire womanhood and abortion thing configures into this, but I know there's a key link. Gotta let my brain marinate some more.

Btw. I don’t have a problem with vegetarians. But I don’t like being told I’m bad for eating meat.

HEY hey hey!! I just ate a fortune cookie, and my fortune stated "People find it difficult to resist your persuasive manner." I thought, "rock on!" Then I ate another one (becuase I'm a fortune cookie PIG), and the asshole told me "Birds are entangled by their feet and men by their tongues." Aw crap. I guess it's a good thing I'm not a man! hehehehe

Friday, March 17, 2006


Blah, I'm bored, I should have made plans for tonight. boo.
So in loo of getting up and finding something to do, here's a self-portrait that I have very little liking for... there are many things that are not working well... such as the craptacular 'shading' (I was in some really baaaad lighting, and somehow try to draw pretty tones anyway, bad plan, shoulda kept it linear or made up the tones entirely) ... BUT I like it solely for the fact that something in the way I drew my face reminds me of my mom. And I like my mom.

I've been drawing some pictures of Samantha Morton (an incredible, gorgeous actress), maybe I'll post some of those soon.

Finally, more than just rambling...

At this moment, I am whitening my teeth. The back of the box was right, I CAN wear Crest Whitestrips (TM) while "Surfing the Net". I havn't tried to whiten my teeth while "Reading/Watching TV", "Commuting", or "Shopping", as they claim I may, but I have while "Showering/Dressing" and "Housework." So they're not lying on 3/6 counts, as of yet. The only concern I have is that this box of strips expired two years ago. Will my teeth survive expired peroxide? Only time shall tell!!!!! (cliffhanger!!!)

So went to lifedrawing again, tonight. It went pretty good, I'm starting to get the hang of it again. And we did drapery studies, which I havn't done before, to my recollection (except for a couple clothed quickie gestures once when the model hadn't show up and one of the students got up and posed for the rest of us.) So... yeah! Clothes on the model! Some of the shorter poses turned out pretty cool, but this is the one I'm most proud of, it's 15 min. Too bad I didn't get to the head in time! The model was very pretty, and I enjoyed drawing her.

And here are some sketches I did today. These three were drawn at the bus station. Hehe I accidently typed "bust" station, at first. That's an interesting mental picture.

This next one I sketched from a funny picture of an old guy that I found on someone's blog. And in response to what you're thinking, no, I really didn't even TRY to make that guitar look like anything. Yeah, sad.

And these next ones are just from trying to sketch chicks from my imagination, fast. I'm getting better, but there's still something too tight and... not fun enough, about these sketches. I need to get looser and loopier, and just go faster, I guess.

My teeth are done their peroxiding. They feel very smooth.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mel Smells.

First off: I need to get a life and stop loving this blogging thing so much.

Second: This is Mel. She is a smelly, dirty ho. She needs to get a blog, right now. Or I will smite her. And by smite, I mean slander online via my blog, as I am doing right now. HEY MEL, GETTA BLOG YOU HO-BAG!!

I heart Mel. Everyone need to have their own Mel. She's like an ipod, or one of those fancy little ridiculously expensive purses that rich girls buy to show off how rich they are. Mel's fit in most overhead compartments, because they are short. They are very poke-able, and if you poke them in the belly you will get punched in the face, which is entertaining. Mel, the must-have accessory of the 21st century. THAT'S RIGHT, MEL, I CALLED YOU AN ACCESSORY! Getta BLOG and REFUTE! MWMWMWHAHAHAHA!!
Oh, everyone needs their own Mel. But get your own. This ones mine, and I only share her with her legions of Man-Slaves. (she has a harem.)

Wowee! Cartoonyness power!

Man, the existence of blogs is the best boon to cartoonists EVER (or at least since... TV???) . There's so many extremely AWESOME people with blogs that I can conveniently look through and get the pants inspired off me. Oh Katie Rice, my love overflows. If you were dead, I'd leave awesome stuff at your grave all the time. Her ID photo is so wonderful, she makes a crazy giraffe kindof shape with her mouth. I was kinda slow on the uptake, here... see, I grew up on a farm, and never got any cable my entire childhood... I actually missed out on most of the cool 80s cartoons (except the Nelvana ones)... and also never saw any Ren and Stimpy, (or any other Spumko related fare) until very recently. (I 'mostly got Carebears and Disney type stuff.) Of course, that influenced my style and tastes. So now, in my early 20's, I'm FINALLY discovering how awesome John K and Spumko's stuff is. ooooooooooooooh. me likey the pictures.

So all these blogs and artists... this stuff is so fun and cartoony and energetic and stuff... so much less stiff than the stuff I normally look at. It's so bloody inspiring... now I'm scribbling all over my sketchbooks, it's so much more fun to just go nuts. I HEART CARTOONINESS, THESE ARTISTS, AND THE INTERWEB for bringing us together!
This blog makes me laugh a lot. It also confirm that living in California just IS more fun than here. It's just a rule of the universe, somehow.

Oh, and on another note, I've realized that usually have the attention span of a toothpick. So rather than fight it, why don't I just make drawings and art that works with this, rather than against it? Exactly.

WHEEEEEEE. I'm listening to music that makes me hyper. Hopefully I'll post some new sketches soon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Art Ramblings and SKETCHES! Huzzah!!

Every time that I start to make a piece of art- not fun little doodle sketches or just mindless scribbles and studies… but something like picking up the paintbrush, cutting out and pasting a collage, beginning a lifedrawing…
It’s like I’m on the top of that mountain again, the black diamond hill, icy, slick, steep; and these skis are new to me, I’ve haven’t done it for too long, and there’s no turning back now, I’m up here, and have to find my way down to the bottom. And starting that artwork feels like going over that edge, and feeling the wind screaming against my face and the shivering bumps of the uneven snow rushing beneath me, and the hill stretches out below, the edges blurred, everything coming faster than my mind can process. My heart is pounding and I can feel the panic response flooding my brain: you’re not gonna survive, there’s to many things to think about, too much that can go wrong, but OH GOD there’s no turning back, if you hesitate you’ll wipe out, so you just have to breathe and stop thinking, twist and turn your body, your skis, let your muscles take over, let them know the right way to bend and move and absorb the shocks, to adjust to the nuances and pressure and angles you must take to navigate down safely; let yourself step outside and watch something else inside of you run the hill before your eyes, until abruptly you have skidded to a perfect stop at the base of the hill.
Ever time I begin to create, I feel the same rush of adrenaline, fear, overwhelming… and like skiing, I need to take the energy and trust it, step outside myself (and somehow deeper inside at the same time,) let the work happen, know that I might wipe out at any second, and carry on anyway.
I know that it could seem to some people that this is being overly dramatic. But this is what I go through as an artist. My experience two weeks ago, of skiing again for the first time in 10 years, is those most fitting metaphor I’ve found (regardless of how cheesy it may be). Art making is intense, it’s pure terror, it’s liberating… it’s anything but calm, routine, and it probably never will be.
Sometimes I feel a little jealous of the artists that can create work calmly, or even relaxed, that don’t feel their mind being pushed over some edge every time. It doesn’t feel fair- I’d like to work tirelessly at my skills and constantly improve by sheer volume of work and persistence. But who’s to say that all artist’s don’t find it just as hard… they’re just better at hiding it than I am!
Regardless, I’m just thankful that I’ve gotten to the place where I can find the courage to approach that edge more often, without backing away to hide in warm, hot-chocolate-y, fire-place warmed refuge from art.

ANYHOO, enough serious. Here's some sketchbook fun!!!

Woods painting

Tonight I felt the need to pull out the gouche. I used to hate gouche back when I had to do tedious flat work with it at ACAD (Alberta College of Art and Design.) But last year at Sheridan I discovered that it can be used much more freely and interestingly, and less painstakingly.

I love the textures gouche makes, the naive quality about it, the vibrant colors, and it's unforgiving nature- you just have to go for it, there's not much 'fixing' mistakes. You just gotta roll with it. I like that. So then, tonight, I got home from Reading Night* at Eliot's, I badly needed to get the paints out. I planned out an image very quickly (in a minute or so) in my sketchbook, and then just started painting, without letting myself draw anything out. I want to start working more spontaneously, to trust my whims and intuition more, to make decisions and then following them, without room for wimpy hesitation. I want to do more of my exploration of materials and subject matter while in the process of making images, not in laborious planning stages that never come to anything.

I like it, as a starting point to more paintings.
I really need to find a way to post better resolution pictures. Blogger always seems to compress things down. That painting's neat textures have been messed up and supressed. BLAH.

* About once a week, at Eliot's, a group of us get together and each bring something to read to the others (and it can be pretty much anything.) It's great, I get exposed to so many stories, books, essays, etc. that I wouldn't think to read, on my own.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Crazy lifedrawing

I went to Brian Halladin's lifedrawing class in Toronto this evening. I haven't been there in several weeks, and have lifedrawn a total of twice in the past 5 months (I'm not in school right now.) So I was quite frightened of how my drawings would be. But, much to my shock and relief, I was able to get into the right mindframe, and enjoy exploring the figure, to an extent to which I have been unable to do for over half a year. I'm still not at the level of lifedrawing confidence I used to be, but this is a good step back towards it.

In this drawing, we were allowed to play with the figure, taking the pose that the model took, and drawing them as some sort of creature (adding limbs, changing proportions, and combining human with animal features.) It was very freeing and extremely fun. And I went much more bold with shading than I normally do. There are some areas that seem a bit sloppy, but it's a price I'm willing to pay to loosen up.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

An attempt to imitate the fresh sketchy marker deliciousness put out by miss Katie Rice, whom I very much love and want to marry. I just have to meet her first.

I don't think I really capture the spontaneity of her sketches, nor the attitude, character, and liveliness. Boo. But fortunately, markers and I are now at least acquaintances. So maybe eventually we'll become friends. And then lovers. Then, those will be some sweet pictures, letmetellyou.

Sarah: The RETURN.

Ah, first post. I suspect that I need post something in order to activate this here blogger. SO.... after a longtime absence from the internet, Sarah Hermanutz, aka Syna, has returned. In 2004, I relocated from my home province of Alberta, Canada, to the sunny shores of Ontario, where the Sheridan college Classical Animation program embraced me in suspiciously fragrant arms. Was that a run-on sentence? Bah, get used to them.

I think... that posting some art on this blog would be the first order of business. Yes. That's it. Lure them in with pretty drawings. Hmm....

I'll get back to you on that one. Have to do some rummaging.

Ok, I don't have any pretty drawings on hand right now. So how about a picture of me and some friends dressed up pretty and drinking alco-ma-hol? Although this photo could put me in danger of being percieved as some sort of party girl, I'm sure that my natural nerdiness will soon override any public opinion in that direction.

I'm the one in the green dress looking much more intoxicated than I actually was. Geez, my hair was short then.... In white (BWAHAHAHA) is the wonderful Mel (or as she prefers to be called, Smell), who despite her terrible drunken ways, really is a delightful artist and committed videogame player. I cannot quite remember the name of the girl in black, but she also kicks bum at videogames. So there.
Hopefully some actual art will come along soon.