I was teaching FINE 328D and FINE 328H
Computer Animation along with Josée and Pascale in
Fall 2000 and Winter 2001. I hadn't really done any real animations
during the teaching, just short crummy ones to illustrate techniques,
and sometimes examples of what the students shouldn't be doing :p. I got
an idea to make an animation that looks like a painting at some point.
After talking with Art, I submitted a proposal for an independent study.
I was accepted into the graduate independent study course FINE 695
Studio Art with Art Green as my supervisor. There is nothing
more fun than taking an independent study with Art as your supervisor!
My original idea was to make a moving painting by projecting
an animation over a blank canvas. I thought that if I used fairly
dull colours, I can get it to look like a stained acrylic
painting. I wanted to do something that was in the style of
I started off experimenting with different kinds of varnishes
over white paint and projecting stuff over it to see what the
effect is. One day, I projected a digital image of
Sleeping ferret over a blank canvas.
Then, just for fun, I project the digital image over Sleeping
ferret itself. The painting turned into this funny saturated
version of itself. Art calls this MSG for paintings.
The natural thing to try next, of course, is to invert the
digital image and project it over the original painting. It
didn't cancel out and turn into uniform gray, but the overall
image did turn pretty gray, and some of the lines would
disappear. We tried different effects too, it was pretty
The project changed afterwards. We felt this MSG stuff
would be more fun to explore. The result seems to be something
that is more than just a painting or projected animation,
which is the point of combining mediums.
Then I had to decide on a story. I love moons, and
one of my more succesful paintings from the
term before was of a ferret jumping at the moon. I always
thought Exuberance or Solar
Dance would make very good animated paintings, and finally
decide to take the moon jumping ferret idea a bit further.
ferrets are very obsessive little creatures, and I can really
see one becoming fascinated with the moon, doing all they
can to reach it.
I also wanted to keep things very simple, practising
less is more, which was what we kept saying in the
animation courses. silhouette style ferrets seem appropriate.
the projector projects wide enough that I can cover at least the
area of two paintings, and I want to make the paintings a more typical
painting size, i.e. rectangular and no weird shapes. I'm
not sure when I figured out some of the details, like using
the projector to simulate the gallery lights as well and so
on. I guess right from the start, I intend to make the
setting as similar to a traditional gallery as I possibly could,
part of the focus of the project is to befuddle people!
the painting on the left (titled Watching ferret)
is of a ferret standing under the moon,
watching it. every now and then he stands up and stares,
sometimes he makes a leap at it. the moon waxes and wanes
as the night goes on. will he ever catch it?
the painting on the right (Sleeping ferret)
shows a ferret sleeping on a
pet bed in the corner of the room, under the window. this
is partially in response to people making jokes about the
wild ferret, they are domesticated! the other ferret just