The other day I re-discovered one of my forgotten favourite artists: Guido Daniele.  I came across his work years ago and was fascinated and inspired by it, but then must have forgotent to bookmark the webpage and his creations were re-absorbed into the internetal abyss (‘internetal’ just became a word, everyone) only to be re-discovered by me yesterday.  His art is unlike anything else and takes the concept of “body painting” to the next level.  My favourite of his is the series of hands painted like animals. Or, HANDIMALS, if you will!

Here is a compilation I like to call  “If Animals at Living Coast Discovery Center Were Actually Hands”:

Franklin the Bald Eagle



The nameless chameleon – one of our Splash of Color seasonal exhibit animals




Dorado, the noble Golden Eagle


Our friend Verdi, the Iguana.  We miss you every day, old buddy!


The monarchs that pass through to feed on flowers in our native plant gardens


Pico the owl, looking particularly irritated (as most owls do when they are awoken from their daytime naps)


Snakes!  Not a local species, but you get the idea


Our majestic sea turtles.  Maybe the most charismatic animals you will see at the LCDC (Howie the giant pacific octopus is giving them some competition though).  Turtles look great as hands too, apparently


And we can’t forget our wild visitors, the mallards.  Each spring mom and dad mallard parade around with their little crew of chicklets, making all of us squeeee every time we see them.



So there you have it.  If LCDC just exhibited hands in place of the animals i’m not sure anyone would really notice.  These creations are realistic to say the least.  Perhaps we can get our summer camp kids to try doing this on themselves or each other and post the results here too.  It might be epic.

So to conclude, I am going to leave you with more fun Handimals, because i just can never get enough of these.  Here is a link to his website too, in case you want to see more of his amazing creations (he does full body painting art too which is totally worth checking out):  http://www.guidodaniele.com/hand-painting/art


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Gourd Ducks

Today, in honour of Canadian Thanksgiving, I will be sharing some of my favo-U-rite fall themed art!  It’s not art in a traditional sense (whatever that means, I can’t quite seem define ‘art’ let alone ‘traditional art’) but it is a creation nonetheless.  Every year, I bring to life dozens of pumpkin gourds in the form of ducks.  They go from inanimate table decorations to charismatic little creatures who seem to have personalities and expressions all of their own.  What am I talking about exactly?  This:

It all started on a beautiful fall day in Colorado.  I was at the local pumpkin patch to pick out a nice big pumpkin to carve for Halloween (maybe I should feature pumpkin carving art in my Halloween post?! There’s some good stuff out there).  I like to look at each and every pumpkin when I go to a pumpkin patch… I envision it coming home with  me and sitting on my front porch.  I need to connect with my pumpkin, and it is not a choice I take lightly.  This one?  no… that one? no… and so it goes until I eventually spot a little orange squash sitting among all the others, stem sticking up in the air as if it was raising it’s hand to ask a question in class or catch my attention, and it is indisputably and undeniably “the one”.   I don’t know what makes it special, but I pick it up and my feelings are confirmed: this is the pumpkin that will come home with me.   
I purchased it at the counter, and then I did something that I normally don’t do.  I am a serious creature of habit, and I don’t know why this particular year I stepped out of routine and did what I did.  I have never in my life paid any attention to the big cardboard boxes by the register that hold various ornamental pumpkins, but this time I peeked in.  Despite holding the perfect pumpkin in my arms and having all my pumpkin desires fulfilled for the season, that one brief glance into the box changed everything:  Gourds.  But they weren’t gourds at all.  They were DUCKS.  I just had to bring them to life.
Since that fateful day 5 years ago, I now look forward to fall because it has become Gourd Duck season.  They are like a rare migrant bird that passes through my life and I look forward to seeing the flock every year.  Each new season brings new gourds, and new ducks are born.  My friends all now eagerly anticipate the season because it means that they all get to take a gourd duck home to enjoy for as along as their short little lifespans allow.  Within a few months, they succumb to the same fate that all organic things eventually experience, and we are left waiting until next season when the new flock arrives. 
Here are some highlights of ducks from the past years:



I haven’t photographed all of this year’s flock yet, so check out the Facebook page because I’ll be posting them there soon.  www.facebook.com/kindofanartblog
I’m also selling them through Etsy, so go to www.etsy.com/shop/kindofanartblog 
and you too can have your very own Gourd Duck!  They are great additions to any household and make wonderful fall/Thanksgiving table decorations.