Dorian Box Receives Award of Merit!

Howdy y'all...sorry about the lack of posts but Ive been super busy setting up the new house and readying the baby's room (he's coming soon!!) Today I picked up my Dorian Gray box from the RHINO Gallery and discovered that it had been chosen to receive an award of merit, hooray for me! Seems to have stirred a lot of interest, I think I'll keep submitting stop-mo for shows...


Meeting Mefull

Mark Fullerton aka mefull was in New Orleans this week for a screen-printing convention and we had the chance to meet up and chat about all things stop-mo! Mark and I have been buddies online for a few years now, but it was wonderful to meet a Moe in person and really put a face to a name. I brought along my early Jenny Greenteeth foam pup, we talked about the city a bit, and touched on many a stopmotion topic. It was truly a pleasure to hang out with you, Mark, and I hope we get the opportunity to do it again sometime!


Dorian Gray Animated

Finally, here is the animation that I submitted to the Art-in-a-Box show. I am not pleased with several aspects, mainly the de-aging of the portrait, which was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I ended up with only 2 sec of animation, painted too many/too big brushstrokes per frame and finished repainting it entirely too quickly, but I was trying to make the July 30 deadline and did not have time to repaint and reanimate. This is really the first time that I've incorporated "live action" shots (the curtain coming down, for example) and I'm not sure how I feel about them. I love the look but somehow feel like I've cheated :)


The Picture of Dorian Gray from Ubatuber on Vimeo.


Art In A Box Announcement

Howdy all, still working on getting my computer up-and-running....here is a link to the announcement for the RHINO gallery Art-in-a-Box show featuring my Dorian Gray set!



Updates and Grown-up Life Junk :)

Tons going on lately, sorry about lack of updates....my Lady is now at 22 weeks, expecting our first baby, a boy....he's about the size of a puppet now, a good 8", and this week I felt him kick for the first time, amazing....tentative name: Roman Alexander Roche. We are also in the final stages of purchasing our first home, have gone through the headache-and-stress-inducing process of financing and inspections and negotiations and we should be closing on the property at the end of the month, and moving in throughout October. I still have not gotten my computer back, its waiting on a part for repair, but I will have to figure out something this week because I have to deliver my Dorian Gray box to the RHINO gallery by Sept. 20. I'll probably ask the shop thats doing the repair to pull my files from the harddrive so I can try to edit them on another computer. As soon as my computer is back I'll post some photos and the final vid. Peace out.


Box - YES! Computer - NO :(

Good news! My Dorian Gray box has been accepted for the Art-in-a-Box exhibit in October!!! Unfortunately, I write this from my local library as my computer has been struck by lightning (I think) and is inoperable. Hopefully all is well with it though, because my Dorian Gray footage is still on the hard drive, not backed up on disk, AAARGH!! I will be bringing it for repair today, ***fingers crossed ****


Frank Darabont - Walking Dead - AMC

I don't often post about entertainment news, unless it has me super-jazzed, which this does....Frank Darabont is "close to signing" to write/direct a TV series adaptation of Kirkman's graphic novel zombie survival series "The Walking Dead" for AMC. I loved the comic series, excellently written with wonderful characters, and, yeah, zombies. I hope this happens!


Dorian Gray - Done!

Animation is done, though in my haste to finish I rushed the de-aging of the portrait, only ending up with about 2 seconds of footage when i really wanted it to be a slow process....much more difficult than I anticipated....que sera sera...I'm not done with the editing or effects but I cobbled together a preliminary "draft" to send along with my submission to Art-in-a-Box....the box is done, sealed up in plexiglass and (hopefully) ready for exhibition. I'll post the completed clip in a week or so, I need a little break from this. And I know just how I'll spend the break...the Lady Julianna, suffering some insomnia due to the pregnancy, went out and invested in World of Warcraft, a massive multiplayer online role playing game which I've started playing also....I can totally see how people can lose themselves in a game like this :)


Dorian Gray - Filming....

Filming is under way, I hope to be done with it tonight but if not, I am going to send the submission in without a copy of the animation, which shouldn't be a problem considering the box is the star as far as the exhibition goes...


Dorian Gray - Dusty

Finished webbing the set, dusty too....tomorrow and Wed I animate and Thurs I send off my submission.


Dorian Gray - Bits and Bobs

Here are the last few bits of the set, didn't get to dust and web up yesterday, will tackle that between today and tomorrow.
The little lamp actually works, a little battery operated light that comes on when you twist the bottom. A knife for to stab the painting. A wall sconce. And the second outer collage.


A (Corrupt) Picture of Dorian Gray

This was probably the most difficult part of the process so far, the miniature portrait of Dorian old and bloodied and corrupt.

Today I will assemble the final side of the box, finish the second collage, dust everything up, and add the cobwebs. Then I will be ready to animate! (I've got storyboards done too :)


Dorian Gray - Side Collage

Continuing my box....One side will feature the window, the opposite side will be a piece of plexiglass so the inside can be viewed.....the remaining two outer sides will be collages using printed pages of Oscar Wilde's novel. Here is a pic of the first collage:


Dorian Gray - Two Walls and a Floor

Three parts assembled, my room has two walls and a floor. I will dirty and dust up the set after it is done and assembled, including cobwebbing from wall to wall and fixture to fixture. The deadline for the "Art-in-a-box" show is july 15, but there is a late deadline of July 30, which is where I will probably fall. If I shoot for the 30th, I may be able to finish the animation in time too.


Dorian Gray - The Puppet

Basic twisted wire armature, epoxy clay bones, sculpey head baked, wrapped upholstry foam buildup, neck and hands latexed, painted, clothed, topped with hair (hairline painted on then topped with some glued-on doll's hair). Meet Dorian Gray.



Dorian Gray - Fireplace & Mantle

Finished up the fireplace with a brick hearth and some black acrylic paint to add a sooty look.


Dorian Gray - The Tapestry

A piece of linen painted with the image described in the book, a faded king and queen playing chess in a garden....hung on a wooden dowel and embellished with beading bits and golden thread.

I've been working on the puppet of Dorian Gray also, but I'm waiting to post until he's finished so I can do a sort of time lapse .gif of his creation...


Dorian Gray - Wall with Window

I took one of my "walls", cut out a space for the window about 7 x 9" and popped in a scrap piece of plexiglass cut to size. I used metallic Tulip paint to draw the lines on the Tudor style window. I wallpapered the inside with scrapbooking paper and added the decorative window frame, then hot-glued on some plaster castings from my brick mold for the outer wall, painted up with dark and light grey acrylic paints. The window is "dirtied" by painting on a thin watery layer of white acrylic paint that I wiped off of each pane after it dried.


Dorian Gray - Bookcase & Weathered Rug

I got a lot done yesterday, stained the wood furniture and weathered the rug using thinned out black acrylic paint. Also cut up various materials (scraps of mat board and card board and balsa wood) to make the school books for the bookcase. Today I tackle one wall and Tudor window...


Dorian Gray - Beginnings of a Room

To start off my box-set, I pulled six vinyl tiles from a box I had laying around. They look like granite so I thought they'd make a nice basis for a Victorian room. I stuck them to a big piece of foam core, then cut each one out. My box will be 12"x12"x12".
In the novel, this room is sort of like Mrs. Havershams place in Great Expectations, worn and weathered, dusty, old, and unkempt. Sparse of furniture, not visited by house guests or servants, which is why Dorian decides to hide away his portrait here. If you are unfamiliar with the story, it features a young man known for his beauty. When he has his portrait painted, he becomes struck by his own good looks, and his sudden mortality. He will grow old while the portrait will remain young and beautiful forever. He says that he would give his soul for it to be the other way around, and so it is. As he ages, he remains handsome and spry while his portrait becomes bent, withered, and corrupted, reflecting his soul, and eventual madness.
The room contains a table and chair, a trunk, mantle, and bookcase, a rug, a tapestry, and the portrait hidden behind a curtain. I got to work on the rug first, googled some patterns for a round rug until I found one that I liked. Then I tweaked it in photoshop, printed it out, and transferred it to a screen (embroidery hoop and nylon mesh).

Once I had blocked out the negative space with some glue, I printed the pattern in gold onto a piece of suede scrap mat that I had cut to size. The mat is a bit bright, but I knew I would be weathering it, staining it (probably with coffee), so I went a bit brighter that I wanted the finished product to be.

Next I added a little fringe to the edge using some yarn out of my "fabric drawer" (Ive done some serious organizing lately, trying to clean up shop to get ready for baby-proofing, but that is a post for another day :)

I also tweaked some store-bought wood items to make the table, bookcase, and mantle. Today I stain the wood items and weather the rug.


Art In A Box - "Dorian Gray"

For awhile now I've been trying to figure a way to mesh my fine art (painting/drawing/sculpture) with my stop-mo art, some way to make stop-mo gallery-friendly. The other day I read about an upcoming show called "Art in a Box" which requires you to....well...create art in a box.....jewelry box, shadowbox, any box....and I had the idea to build a box, create a set inside, film a bit of stop-mo, and then submit the box "as is" at the end of filming....if someone were to buy the box-set at the show (if chosen to exhibit), they would receive a dvd of the animated sequence leading up to their "sculpture"...I could potentially even figure a way to display the animation with the box, maybe running on a digital photo frame (I have one but have had trouble getting it to play the video formats it's supposed to)...

I want to do something theatrical, and had just finished reading "A Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, so I've decided to tackle a scene from the book, either the big murder sequence from near the end, or the finale, the stabbing of the painting. I've already started gathering materials to build the room that houses the hideous painting, and will update soon with images.


Brian and Roger

Here is a commissioned portrait that I did for a couple of friends of ours last week. It was an honor to create something for them, they have the coolest collection of art out of anyone that we know.


Unearthed - The Rest of the Sets

Howdy all, starting today I'm refocusing my energies on stop-mo. I've still got a ton of work left to do on "Unearthed", here's a rundown of what's left, the remaining sets and where they stand. After Herbie takes the path through the cemetery, he wanders a bit through the woods and swamp until he starts to come upon bits of architecture, broken columns and friezes, and eventually makes his way to a cliff which leads up to the top of the hill where the stone giantess is buried.

1)The Woods - I'll be reusing the half-trees that I've been using for years, which were originally planned for Jenny Greenteeth, but will be retired after these scenes in Unearthed. I'll need to set up a few shots for Herbies wander through the woods/swamp. I still need to finish my bits of architecture, the broken columns and such.

2)The Cliff/Lady Cave - still got to moss up the cliff face and add foot/hand holds for Herbie to climb it, along with roots and vines....at the surface Ive got a small arsenal of flowers that I need to add to the ground surrounding the cave entrance....and Ive got to mold and cast my Lady's arms and finish building up the cave with layers of plaster-wrap.

3)Tunnel - mostly done, just needs to be painted...

4)Cave Interior/Pool - also mostly done, a few tweaks needed to complete...

5)Pool Interior - simple set, this one...skeletons and watery blue backdrop....skeletons are pre-fab, need to be painted and mangled into a pile...they will hold the treasure that Herbie is after and will try to keep him from getting it....he will swim down, fight them off, and exit with the treasure...

6)Herbie's Bedroom - After exiting the cave, we cut to Herbie's bedroom, where he is preparing to sleep after a hard night of murder and thievery.....what he doesn't know is that he's gone too far this time, awoken something that is coming after him...this set, again, needs to be tweaked a bit, including several additions that I've been excited about but haven't started working on yet...since Herbie's a mystical treasure hunter, I want to litter his room with his trophies, a couple of wall-mounted shadowboxes, a bookcase housing treasures, a couple of columns with statues (Cthulhu!) on them....I plan to use artifacts that will be recognizable, like a "holy grail" and some objects from Gothic lit like the print that is featured in James' "The Mezzotint" (fantastic story if you haven't read it)...lots of props to make here but I think it'll be worth it...


Unearthed - Tweaking the Cemetery

After the soul-sucking fiasco that was the Arts Market used up most of my month, I'm finally back to work on the cemetery scene for "Unearthed". I had begun to play around with a pop-through, moving Herbie and taking still frames of the scene to get a better grasp on it, and then decided to tweak a couple of things, mostly additions to the set. I haven't done a pop-through "rehearsal" before, I usually semi-"wing it" while animating, figuring out rough timing on moves etc but leaving myself room to improvise where necessary. This shot is different though, due to the fact that I will be compositing greenscreen footage of my ghosts in post, requiring a bit more planning. So this week I'll fiddle with lighting, then work on the "rehearsal". Here are the changes that I made:

I mounted Herbie's bag over his shoulder to free up his hands.

I added the symbol from the book cover to one of the posts on the wrought-iron gate around the graves that serve as the entrance to Herbie's path. This symbol doesn't necessarily mean anything, I harvested the bit from my Lady's jewelry supplies because I thought it had a sort of celtic-y wiccan look to it, and used it here because I thought it would make a good visual aide, connecting this grave to the manuscript stolen at the beginning of the short.

And I added a second tree to the set, this one on the far right, so that I could get a "through the branches" POV shot.


Meet the Flarry's...

We've gotten more great slug photos, and have even attracted the attention of a new breed of slug that we'd never seen before....this new guy was flat and not-so-slimy, looked like a leaf when threatened, hence the name Flat Larry, or Flarry...soon enough there were a couple of other Flarry's, including Juli's favorite, Flo...

The Flarry's have the coolest little motility stripe on their undersides, when you flip them over you can see the little pulses going through, like a conveyor belt...

A teeny tiny Narcisslug...

"If I can just reeeeaaaaach..."

"What are you lookin' at, butthead?"



Metairie Cemetery Angel

I haven't played with charcoal in awhile, got the hankerin', and here you go.....'bout 3 hours of work...


Princess and the Frog

Ive been thrilled to see Disney headed back to 2-D animation, especially set in Nola, but now I'm especially excited, after seeing this new trailer...many of you may recognize elements of some of my recent paintings, the cathedral, the paddleboat, the streetcar....



Business Cards & Artist Info

I may be participating in an Arts Market at the end of May, just awaiting my application approval. I've been gathering together/creating some documents, making prints of some of my work, creating some paintings to sell, hunting for a cheap tent/tables, swiping display materials from work before they hit the dumpster, ordering mylar sleeves for my prints, y'know, getting my ducks in a row....here's a couple of my new documents:
Business Card (front):

Business Card (back):

Artist Info sheet:


Flambeaux Phoenix

Panel #8, the Flambeaux Phoenix.....the flambeaux are light carriers, fire walkers, originally used to light the path of the parades during Carnival over 100 years ago, before the time of electric light...they twirled their torches, danced, entertained the crowds, and still do to this day, upholding the tradition in several parades throughout Mardi Gras...