JIM DORAN

Through The Viewfinder

Jody left an interesting comment on the camera post a couple of weeks ago about using a Kodak Duaflex camera with a DSLR (or a point-and-shoot) to achieve interesting effects. It’s called “through the viewfinder” or TTV and it’s pretty easy to set up!  This guy explains how.

I picked up a manky old camera on e-bay for $8. It came today. Thanks for the tip, Jody!

I didn’t finish building the camera light blocking cravistan (not shown) until it was quite dark out. It still needs some work, and I can’t wait to see how things look in the sun.

I like the weird, scratchy images. It’s like looking at the world through Tom Waits voice.

Reporting from the barn in the backyard,
this is the Director of Alternative Processes of the barn
with his odd companions wishing you a good evening.

ArtScape 2010

More than 350,000 people were expected to attend this year’s ArtScape, now in its 29th year and the biggest yet. ArtScape is America’s largest free Art festival and generates more than $25 million in revenue. Every year, the citizens of the east coast unite to collectively bake our brains under an atomically hot sun.  Here are some pics from this year.

We made circus peanut shirts, as a family, using left over paint from the giant peanut. Making shirts has become a tradition.

There is something really cool about watching people hug art. I watch a guy actually LICK the circus peanut, but couldn’t get my camera out in time. There are no teeth marks. Yet.

I received some much needed Art Therapy on the Charles Street bridge from Cocoa, while Leezle manned the phone.

The girls and I visited our comics at the Comic Strip exhibit at Penn station (previously discussed).

Here’s the Midway banner on the Charles Street bridge.

The girls illustrated messenger bags at the Target tent.

The art cars were amazing, as was the air guitar exhibition.

I tried to glue circus peanuts to the Throne of Glory, but it was in constant use.

Me and my baked brains.

Here are a few of my favorite Sondheim finalists in the Fox building gallery.

Here, There, Anywhere.

I’m sad it’s over, and relieved everything went well. Now it’s back to the drawing board.

The Giant Circus Peanut

The GIANT Circus Peanut is finished. It’s installed on Mount Royal Avenue in Baltimore, by MICA, and will be on display through November as part of the Here, There, Anywhere exhibit. This is the  “making of” post.   I had some help and thank the following peeps.

  • My friends who lent their ears, ideas and support. I promise to stop talking about circus peanuts soon. Very soon. I swear.
  • Kim Domanski and ArtScape 2010
  • RJ spent a hot afternoon in the July sun moving it.
  • My little peanuts helped paint it, and provided a lot of company, interest and opinions.


My initial thought was to use a metal pipe in the center, and build an armature from chicken wire that I could then “paper mache” with house wrap, Baltimore City Papers and the like. My concern was that I’d have to shred the house wrap into slices so thin that it would take weeks to get it smooth, and also that it would be too heavy.

Here’s what I ended up doing instead.

I made a template by piecing together paper into an 8′ x 4′ sheet. I cut out the shape of the peanut and taped the edges with packing tape.

I made the base of the peanut from 2×8’s, held together with decking screws.

I put half-inch PVC pipe in the base for support – very light, and very strong. And, as a bonus, I put some actual circus peanuts into the pipe before gluing the pieces together.

I was going to have three pairs of pipe support, but it was too much, so I removed the center section.

Once the base was assembled, I cut out the “slices” from sections of Owens Corning foam insulation. I used vinyl gutter downspout sections as spacers, held in place with heavy duty foam safe construction adhesive. The bottom vinyl spacer is screwed and glued to the base, and then glued to each section of foam. It ended up being very sturdy.

The original idea was to sculpt the sides to be somewhat rounded, but it proved too difficult to accomplish (well) in the time I had left, so I removed them. I used bamboo skewers as supports between the layers. They are cheap, strong and I needed something to hold the foam spray in place until it hardened.

I’ve used this foam in my home before – it was satisfying playing with it here. Once it cured, I carved the exterior shape, and the divots on the face.

The girls and I  did most of the spackling.

I’m pretty sure it weighs over 300 lbs – it was difficult to move and harder to install. :) Just ask RJ.

Please come to ArtScape and see it in person!

UPDATE

If you’re interested in what happened with the peanut, there’s more to read here and here.