Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer 2010

Life has been hectic as usual, I often don't know where to start telling the tales... I still have 3,900 photos left to edit from the trip to Hong-Kong & China, not to mention try to actually write articles about my adventures. However, I am working on it.

Zhongshan, China

In The Studio:
I show my fine art very rarely because I am usually working away in my studio painting, not actually taking the time to get the work into the galleries. But this is slowly changing.


August 6th-9th Open Mind Eco-Festival

My fine art will be hung in the Vision Art Gallery. I will also have a shop set up outside of the gallery, offering face painting, body painting, henna body art, and temporary glitter tattoos. There will also be posters, greeting cards, postcards and my new book for sale.

Sculpted bust, multi-medium. Winter 2009

October 2010
Art Exhibition:
I have booked a small exhibition of my work in the Belgo Building at Massarelli Design. Keep your eyes peeled about the vernissage and more information.

Halloween 2010
For anyone wanting Halloween make-up, you should get your bookings in early as I will book up fast. Same deal as last year; $1.50 a minute, but I will also be designing some packages for certain looks I know are popular, such as vampires or werewolves. More information to come.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In a nutshell...

What have I been doing lately?
It is hard to articulate life sometimes. There is always something going on and in my mind sometimes it starts to feel like a bit of a blur, memories not gone, but just so much to mentally articulate, that it's hard to know where to start, or which experience to share. Of course there are also all those millions of little moments that make up a day that don't sound like much unless you are there to experience the magick.

In a nutshell, lately I have been...
Saturday I went out of the city (see photographs) with my fiancee, friends and family to spend the day on the river (it looks like a lake and has the rhythm of the ocean). It was wonderful. The wind was nuts, which was perfect for the surfers. It looked like it was raining in the distance while I was swimming and at one point it rained small teases, but otherwise mainly stayed sunny (I got a sunburn to prove it). As we were returning to Montreal, I was shocked to drive into a wall of fiesty rain.

We've seen more of the Fantasia Film Festival, but will talk about that in another blog posting. We have 4 more out of a total of 11 to go.

Yesturday I took a workshop by Melanie Mathews, this one was a special class. We were hand picked by Melanie to be offered the opportunity for 5 people to have a workshop at her studio & home in Point Claire and be served a lovely light lunch with wine. This was my second class. The only thing is, the class starts in the wee hours of the morning, oye I am not a morning person. This proved quite disasterious because when I got home, I was so over tired (I worked hard on my art for hours on only 3 hours sleep) that I quickly passed out and slept through the pick-up time for my weekly organic food basket (you snooze you loose, they give it away if you don't pick it up). I was so peeved with myself for forgetting. Then I had a meeting with a photographer, Ben Von Wong, to discuss potential collaborations. Shortly after that I met with a fire performer, Christina Lacombe, to discuss collaborations.

Today I worked on a drawing of friends of mine who will get married soon (3 weddings to go to over the next few weeks). These drawings are meant to be realism, first done in pencil and now touched up with pointalism. The work isn't finished though. I plan to transfer it to canvas and add some colour, possibly some multi-media attributes (still to be determined). I have worked on this all day, now into the night and obviously the wee hours of the morning (it's after 5am and the sky is no longer dark blue). Off to bed I go!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fantasia Film Festival: LEMMY

I have been having a splendid time at the Fantasia Film Festival. At the moment I have seen 5 out of the 11 films we have bought tickets for (if we were rich, rich people we would go see more). I have never been to the festival until this year, I didn't realize what I was missing out on.

(Photography by April Anna Bremers)
We live two blocks from Concordia University, where the festival is being held. So far I have seen (and would recommend) "Raise the Castle", "Technotise: Edit & I", "Tears for Sale" (I plan to write a separate blog for this film over the next few days as I have time), "Lemmy", and today we just saw "Sell Out" (not my favourite but Ziggy giggled like a banshee as did most of the audience).

Last night at the end of watching "Lemmy" we were graced with the opportunity to listen and watch a live interview with one of the directors and producers, Wes Orshoski. I recorded this interview and have turned the footage into a video-journal for you to enjoy. However, since I didn't take as many photos as I normally would, I have very little imagery to use in the video. This would be due to the effects of my Hong-Kong trip; 300 photos edited out of 4000.

"Lemmy" is an awesome movie, even for people who do not like heavy metal, or even know who Moterhead is. This film is even better then watching a fictional movie, just as entertaining but it's very real and very candid.

(Photography & Photo Editing by April Anna Bremers)

I have an appreciation for heavy metal. My musical tastes have always been mixed. I will go from listening to traditional world musics, to classical to psychedelic trance, to heavy metal, then into good old fashioned rock and roll, all in the same sitting.

A very long time ago, I did go through a period where I was listening to alot more heavy metal then I presently do; but these days if I want something heavier such as what Moterhead creates, I usually will go for something like "Nightwish" (I prefer the period of their music before Tarja Turunen left, but they are still good) or old Tea Party, because there is a balance between the heavy & the gentle melodic, the light and the dark. But despite this, I have always had an appreciation and respect for Moterhead; but I never knew much about them, or more specifically, Lemmy.

Lemmy the person as well as "Lemmy" the film, is impressive in more ways then one. A very talented muscian & composer, he's very real as a person. He isn't projecting illlusions, he's comfortable with himself and definately dances to the beat of his own drum. I feel he embodies the inner strength to be himself without restriction. He strikes me as someone who is direct, honest and up front. He also exhibits alot of wisdom. One of the first things I really enjoyed about watching this movie is the way it has been put together. I had the feeling, as an audience member, that I was right there with the directors, experiencing it as it happened, even though I was not in fact there.

“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering yourself is true power.” 

One of the messages that really sticks out in my mind from this film is when Lemmy is talking about his lifestyle choice; specifically the amount of alcohol and drugs he has taken in his life. I recall him saying that he doesn't advocate this lifestyle because of how many friends it has killed, but he also doesn't regret it either. I can't say there are many people who would be as clear headed, articulate, intelligent and aware while being under the influence of so much alcohol (and sometimes drugs too), it's extremely impressive. I personally think it must be mind over matter.

I don't want to say too much about the film and ruin it for you,
really you just need to watch it for yourself.
At the end of the live interview with the director, Wes Orshoski,
the audience was invited to go down to the Irish Embassy for drinks.
(Copyright Mark Marek Photography©2007)

As I mentioned in my "Tangents" blog posting, when I had a chance to talk with Wes in person, (he bought my 3rd Guinness, which I relished), Wes turned out to be a super cool, chill and fun guy to hang out with. Wes is a talented journalist, photographer & film-maker. While I did get to pick his brain a bit, unfortunately, my memory is a bit of a blur for specifics right now. I hope you enjoy the video-journal, and be sure to check out the trailer for "Lemmy".

I will have to post the video-journal in a few days since I have made a request for permission to use some photographs of Lemmy as well as the film poster in the video-journal to make it more visually interesting while listening to the interview. If I don't get permission to use Lemmy photos, then you will have to suffer through 5 minutes of looking at the theatre while listening to the interview. Also, please keep in mind that my video recording equipment is ghetto (actually it's the video option on my digital camera), but it still does the trick. The audio track isn't always clear, so you may need to turn your volume up on your computer speakers.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Question:

Do our experiences define us?
Or do we define our experiences?


Tonight, while I am writing this (at 4am, I guess it's early morning now), I have enjoyed gifts of Guinness beer (oh lovely dark beer) provided first by my fiancée, and then later, by the director of the documentary "Lemmy", and the last drink came from the director of "Siberan Film" (which looks really well done and very scary, I couldn't sleep after I watched the trailer, but what does this say about me?). The writer for "Siberan Film" & "Tears for Sale" (one of my new found favourites) was somehow involed in purchase of said beer but I don't know if that was just simply by proxy of if in fact he was involved in the transaction but either way, thank you boys for being so generious! Really this was a fun night!

Movie #4 out of 11, & a bit more rambling...
Let me say at least that, we live 2 blocks away from the film festival, Fantasia, I feel so luxurious living so close. I am very excited to be participating as a viewer for the first time, and I am excited that I am being provided with the opportunity to witness the results of such awesome creativity & team-work.

Anyways, I am being gushy, but believe me, my gush is sincere!
True hard work & effort is something which I feel goes both unappreciated & sometimes un-noticed. So I wish to bring attention to the effort put in by the creative teams involved in the films presented by Fantasia this year. The folks involved in all of these films are extremely creative, skilled, professional and talented people. It's exciting and inspiring!

My diatribe leaves me with the conclusion that I have no idea how I represented myself or came across to the writers & directors who bought me said lovely Guinness. I hope I made a good impression and I am sure I was very talkative but as faults go this isn't the worst fault to pocess.

I promise to leave a proper blog posting as soon as possible with exciting details about my present experiences.

If you happen to have the chance to see "Lemmy" (as in the documentary about the bass player & lead singer of "Moterhead"), and if you have the chance to see "Tears for Sale" (and "Siberian Film", though I warn you, the trailers affected me in such a way that I could not sleep well after), then I highly recommend it, these films are really worth the effort.

I wish I could pick the brain of said writer & directors more deeply; I would like to be able to convey a true understanding of their message in a way that they would approve of.

Anyways, I am off to bed now.
Cheers everyone, and "rock on" (do I sound cliche?)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

..."Hey! I just saw a giant crayfish"...

My fiancee phoned me yesturday to tell me that I was missing the mardi gras parade (from the Jazz Festival) which I had wanted to see. "Hey I just saw a giant crayfish!" were the first words that Ziggy said to me on the phone. The crayfish is my very talented friend Hala on jumping stilts.

I completely forgot about the parade, I had been working hard in my studio & office (and trying not to melt away in the heat wave). So I rushed up to Saint Catherine Street but as I suspected, I got there just in time to see the end of the parade! ...Oh sigh... I caught the tale end of the choir! But according to Ziggy, it was an awesome and fun parade which he watched from high up in the Concordia University engineering department above the crowds with a good view.

This saturday I will be offering henna body art, and selling henna greeting cards, posters, & postcards at Le Festival du Monde Arabe. The festival will be held at Parc Jean Drapeau. Come by, say hi to me and enjoy the activities! The festival is free!

Monday, July 5, 2010

“The key to change... is to let go of fear.”

(quote is from Rosanne Cash) Would you believe I have been agonizing for 2 years over how I wish to change my website? I get very passionate about it, I always think I have the new perfect look and send out samplers to all my friends & professional networks, but later on I start fussing again, especially once I receive feedback.

My partner and fiancée (did I mention I got engaged while I was in Hong-Kong?) runs my website. He mentioned to me that it's not good to make drastic changes to websites, according to statistics. Apparently people like change to come slowly.

Why do I wish 
to change my website? 
I don't feel it visually represents everything I do & offer. The new website will have new sections, such as a gift shop.

People constantly mistake me as being the model with the black hair that is on the current website, which is something that drives me nuts. It never occurred to me that people would make that association.

Also, with the largest image being of a person in body painting, it subconsciously guides the viewer to focus on the body arts. Ideally I should probably create a separate website for each section of my business, essentially dividing it off into 5 separate businesses, but this is not realistic at the moment in terms of creating & managing multiple websites.

My vision is for my clients & audience to think of me as a multi-disciplinary artist and for people to be creative about how they can utilize or enjoy my work. 

Anyways, I have not quite found the answer just yet but I am close to settling on something. The sample ideas for the new look that are shown above, are the latest of what I have been working on. If you want to go to the website as it is right now for comparison, just imagine the test-sample-looks as having the news section & other content in the blank area (such as galleries or information). Feedback is encouraged & welcomed.