A few days left….

Our Open House yesterday went really well.  We didn’t have a humungous turn out, but we didn’t expect one.  We had a good visit with Mike, Riise, and Arianna from Lethbridge, and met a few of the locals here in Blairmore.  It is a little too bad, however, that there was no workable way to show the “house” properly (in the dark) and have the Lethbridge contingent be able to come.

After the Open House, Latifa and I just hung out.  We talked a lot, and played some video games, and generally did nothing serious.  It felt to me like we’ve been so concerned about getting this thing ready that now that the Open House was done, I felt free to do whatever I wanted.  It was nice.

Latifa says doing nothing last night motivated her to work today.  She’s been working on finishing her drawing.  I’ve been working on applications, and writing letters.  We are going to go see Tree of Life in Pincher Creek tonight.

We have a few things left on our list to do before we go to Lethbridge this weekend to show our residency work for Alberta Arts Days.  Stay tuned for details on that.

Any suggestions on things we should absolutely make sure we do while we’re here?

Excuse me while I gush a while…

A personal journey…

I just wanted to say that this has been an absolutely amazing experience that I am incredibly grateful for, and feel immensely lucky to be a part of.  This place is amazing, the studio is huge and has incredible windows, and Latifa is something else.  We get along really well, and though we’ve been together almost constantly for three weeks now, I am in no way bored of her company or tired of her jokes and stories.  While she says, “I’ve learned so much from you,” I’ve definitely learned just as much from her.  We’ve had an interesting experience working together, and have come up with something I think we are both proud of, and feel fulfilled in having made.  It is a good experience in collaboration- I think we both feel like it is “ours,” not “mine” or “yours.”  We have made a good team, and I know that, I for one, feel like I have gained a friend.

I have totally lucked out.  Thank you Trap/Door for giving us the opportunity to come here and have this experience.  It has been wonderful so far, and I’ll be sad to leave next week.  We’ll make sure we get the most out of the last few days, and appreciate our time here.

If this is a little sappy, I apologize, but I think it is important to say thank you and point out what a positive experience this has been, in so many ways.

Star Falls/ Latifa’s First Interview!

Tonight we went for a walk with Kristin and her two dogs, Sadie and Rosko.  We walked the Star Falls trail, which was really short, but beautiful, of course.

Latifa interviewing Krisin, who is being recorded on the phone.

Latifa was interviewing Kristin, for her sound work, which we have decided may or may not happen this month.

I was falling behind taking photos…. of Latifa and Kristin.

On the way out… a beautiful view.

As for the 3D stuff… I’ve been feeling a little stuck in terms of content, but that may be my education talking.  I’m a little uncomfortable because I don’t have a conceptual reason/idea to use a certain type of image with the SIRDs, but maybe I don’t need to, as this is turning into more of a research based project anyway.  I just don’t want to make a bunch of cool 3D effects with landscapes.  What to use, what to use?  Sleep on it.

Thoughts and decisions

I am thinking with all the things we have left to do and all the things I want to do I am going to cut the voice part of the sound project. Sometimes there is just too much, and decisions have to be made. That doesn’t mean I’ll turn down potential interviewees, but I need to concentrate on the most important things. It is now reaching the halfway point. I will definitely have a sound component but will use the sounds I have collected thus far. This evening I collected a lot of melodic samples on the keyboard. Now I just have to get Jen singing hehe.
We were talking earlier and I really think it’s true that to get good interviews you have to become part of a community and it takes time and continued effort to integrate. We are still very much outsiders, in addition to the fact that we spend most of our time in our creative bubble.
Nonetheless I am still very excited about my 8-channel interface, even if I haven’t used it much yet.

drawing fingers


Today is a bit of a dreary day. The first cold day since we got here.

The mountains are covered by fog and it is much colder today.

(The images are from my front step… that’s Latifa’s house, across the lawn.)

Collaboration is a funny thing.  Honestly, sometimes the idea scares me a little, especially if the people you will be collaborating with are people you don’t know very well.  I have to admit that I was a little nervous about the idea of collaborating on this residency with Latifa, who I had not even heard of before.  But it’s going really well.  We’re getting along really well, and I really like her as a person.  We do have separate styles, and skills (of course), but I think our personalities and interests are matching up perfectly.

Kristin tells us that we are probably the only pair of artists to do the Trap/Door residency and actually work together.  I find that a little surprising.

These are some stereogram viewfinders I was making today. We still need to work on refining the images for inside of them.

We’ve got a bunch of things on the go, and a good portion of them are things that either of us may not have explored on our own.  I think that’s one of the perks of collaborating…. your lines of thought are influenced by two people, and so are not as linear as they would be working on your own.  You are exposed to another way of thinking, another way of working, another point of view.  And we’ve been collaborating in different ways… for example, there are things we are working on together (such as researching SIRDs and anaglyphs, and learning Blender, for example), and things we are working on separately (I’m doing a bit of a video thing, and Latifa’s doing a humongous drawing, and will be working with sound if she can get some interviews), but all this will come together in the end, as it is all generally related to our theme, Perception.

We’ve also been talking a lot… about life, art, and other artists.  Latifa also knows a lot about nature and travelling, and I’ve been learning a lot from her.  We’ve also been cooking for each other, taking turns… it’s like having a dinner party every night. I’m really enjoying the experience. :)


Hey Everyone:

My sister is visiting, we are having a great time in the beautiful weather, and I am still getting some work done.
Also, it turns out Jen’s camera charger works for my camera too, so I can continue taking beautiful photos like the one’s below:


the creative process

Hiking Adventures

A wooden walkway along the Chinook Lake Trail

So we’ve been doing a bit of hiking lately…. yesterday we hiked the Miner’s Path, and went to Rainbow Falls.  It was pretty, and I learned a lot from Latifa, who knows a lot about nature. Today, we walked around the Chinook Lake Circuit, which was absolutely beautiful.

Latifa and I are enjoying the raspberries along the trails.

Pretty bench to rest at along Chinook Lake.

A Canadian Beach!

What looks like some fossils in a rock…. from the Rainbow Falls trail.

Tomorrow, we will possibly do some more hiking…. maybe the North York Creek trail, which ends where there was a plane crash in 1946.

The Trains!

The trains are a-plenty here.  They don’t seem as loud as I remember last time I was in the Pass, even though they’re literally right outside my front window, but that may be because last time I was in the Pass, my dad and I were camping at Lundbreck, in a canvas tent.  House seems more quiet.

They go by quite often.  There were at least three that I noticed while I was in bed last night, and it wasn’t like I was in bed for 12 hours.  I’m going to start paying a little more attention to time and frequency…

Bellevue Mine Part II

I am tired.
I have been drawing for many hours. It feels nice. My paper is so giant, it could crush me at any moment.

I think also my cottage is haunted, possibly by Charlie the horse. There are strange noises like things are falling but everything is normal. I keep getting this creeped out feeling. I am afraid to turn out the lights.
anyhow, I will add some photos of the mine. I wish I could have gone in deeper. I feel like I only got just one particle of a sugar cube. A sweet taste leaving a longing for more.
At least I got a piece of historic coal for feng shui and burning purposes.

Sweet mannequins working hard




Bellevue Mine and Burmis Tree

Today we went for a tour of the Bellevue Mine…. it was really creepy to be underground like that. One of the teenage boys we were with felt the need to lick the wall of the mine, and then seemed to regret it. Lol.

The walls in there were really interesting…. this wall was called the bleeding wall, because of the colours and textures of the wall.  When we were underground, it actually looked bloody…. sort of oozy and wet, and dark running/dripping sorts of shapes.

We also stopped to get a better look at the Burmis tree, which I have always wanted to take some photos of.  The Burmis tree…. well, read on.

Gushul Residency Blog!

Just letting you guys know that there is a joint blog between Latifa and myself specifically about our Residency experience here (www.gushul2011.wordpress.com).

Note: As of September 6th, I have syndicated the Gushul blog into this one, so all the posts from that blog will show up here.  That way, I don’t have to maintain two (three, if you count the IMR), and I can focus on the residency!