The last of the summer monarch butterflies escaped it’s chrysalis today, pictured here climbing up to a suitable branch as it starts to pump up rumpled wings. I’ve not noticed the crazy watermelon-pattern eyes before.
Author Archives: alittleart
Tonight was the first night of All-Star Gorilla, at the Fringe Bar, 7pm Sundays 5, 12 and 19 of May, part of the current Comedy Festival. Not only do I get to make up comedy on-the-spot with a bunch of lovely co-conspirators, I also had the fun of creating the mask for our new gorilla, Dru.
I wasn’t the person-in-the-suit tonight, but have worn it a couple of times to promote the show. Being a gorilla completely changes the way it feels to hand out flyers to the public – people smile and take the things from you nearly every time, rather than that explicit ignoring thing which street promotion usually engenders. It is of course very hard to ignore a shaggy beast, especially if she’s being cute and friendly.
These late-season Monarchs will probably seek an overwintering place rather than breed now – and so live three times as long as their summer-born sibs.
If this was North America, they’d be flying thousands of kilometers to Mexico for the great (if threatened) butterfly migration, as in this dazzling footage. My internet research suggests that these will probably go no more than 20 kilometers to find a sheltered conifer tree. Even that seems a long journey for something as wind-tossable as a butterfly!
Designing posters and flyers and sandwich boards for Thrills & Swoon was a fun assignment. Billed as ‘Improvised Romance’, this May 2013 Comedy Festival show makes affectionate use of pulp novels for inspiration.
My own secret thrill for the next few weeks will be seeing the posters on derelict buildings, alleyway walls and other such poster-posting places around the town, along with small stacks of flyers competing for attention with other flyers on coffee shop counter tops. In the category of “details no one will ever consciously notice”, the background here includes a swimming unicorn, a hand drawn rainbow and a sunset from a trip down the Nile I took a few years back. The central couple were part of an Eclipse Photographic shoot five or six years ago, for a completely different WIT show – but some looks never go out of style. The satin in the foreground is a Photoshop tinted picture of my old red petticoat. Sometimes commercial stock pictures just don’t have the elements you need.
A local photography group organised an afternoon meetup in the Botanical Gardens with a model, so we could practice portraiture in the pretty-yet-tricky sunshine under the trees. These were taken with my faithful 50mm lens and Sony A580 camera, mostly on low iso, f1.8 and reasonably high shutter speeds. We took turns directing our very helpful model, who directed us in directing her.
I love the aesthetics of old photographs, the careful poses, the natural light, even the soft decay of an image. I sometimes collect other peoples orphaned ancestors via online auctions – old photos adrift from family albums, rich in costume detail, hinting at lives beyond the camera.
This tiny tintype is, according to the back, Miss Amanda Fish. She would probably not have been a dazzling beauty even in her own time, but she has made a heroic effort to present herself to best advantage, wearing elaborate earrings, a velvet bow with a brooch, and a top with fancy shiny buttons.
Her gaze is wonderfully intent. Was she having her portrait taken to give as a gift to some special man or woman? I’ll probably never know (nothing showed up with a quick online search anyway), but I can enjoy speculating.
Miss Fish may well make her way into a drawing or painting sometime soon.
This weekend I was a part of Chalkle‘s Space Camp; a night and a day devoted to all things space related. There were proper astronomers with proper telescopes there, but my area of expertise is a little less technical. By day, I helped people to make egg landing modules from straws, string, balloons and all sorts of waste materials, which were then crash tested with bottle rockets. At night, the planned ‘star trails’ photography was stymied by fast moving cloud, and the steel-wool sparks photography by a stern fire ban. Instead, my husband and I gave groups of people a quick introduction to playing with light and long exposures to achieve “special effects”.
These are a few examples I managed to snap between explaining the cameras’ m button to people. Most of are 8-15 second exposures, and made using cheap coloured finger led lights and glow bracelets from the $2 Shop, some <$10 laser pointers, and (for the multiple exposure ones) with an old flash unit – by pressing the “test fire” button two or three times per photo.