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


Cheetah-20011-499x340 Dog-Dalmatian1-499x340 Elephant-on-brown1-499x340 Flamingo1-226x340 Horse-White-on-brown1-507x340 Leopard-Muray-510x340 Parrot-un-black1-511x340 Polar-Bear-509x340 Swan-Regal-Swan1-499x340 Toucan1-499x340 Zebra-on-blu1-499x340


Candy Corn Birds

Today is June 30th, and as many of you know, tomorrow is a special day for me.  “What day is THAT!?” -says all my american friends.  Tomorrow is CANADA DAY!  As a born and raised Canadian, I like to always make a big deal of July 1st.  And since I can not partake in all the picnics, drinks, and fireworks that my northern friends will be enjoying tomorrow, I am celebrating today instead.  Celebrating today has so far involved a few gin-based drinks with crushed up blackberries in it (blackberries are sooooo north-westcoast) and to show real patriotism, I should have had some poutine followed by a nanaimo bar while listening to the Tragically Hip.  Instead I had stirfry and watched “Guy Code” on MTV…  <sigh> shoulda woulda coulda.  Poutine sounds amazing right now too, but what am I but a slave to what is in the freezer?  I wanted to do a canada day drawing, and had a sketch going, but then the blackberry gin drinks happened (ok, 4 have happened) and a sketch is all i’ve got to show you at the moment:

That’s how most of my art starts out… But today for something different, i thought i would introduce one of my 3 paintings.  I have only done three because i don’t really know how to paint, and drawing is much easier and less messy.  I had some canvases lying around in the spare room and one day last year around Halloween i painted something.  This is that thing: Candy Corn Birds

I have never actually drawn these candy corn birds, they only exist in a world of smeared-around acrylic color.  I wanted to do them for two reasons:
1) i love candy corn.  I always eat too much in one sitting, have massive regret, never learn my lesson for the next time, then eat too many all over again.  (Friend, you know who you are, please continue to monitor my quota)
2) candy corn are the same shape as a bird beak.  I work with birds in my professional career so I like to do bird-related art.

Their story is as follows: I know they live on some secluded island and are a very rare, shy and nervous bird.  They don’t like to be seen and are always worried about predators going after them.  Afterall, a delicious candy beak is irresistable to almost anyone.  This image is a rare look into their world, captured after countless days impersonating a shrub on the other side of the cove.  They nest on cliffs so other animals have will a difficult time reaching them, but they like to venture down to the shore to feed on crabs, serpent stars, and other marine invertebrates.  To feed their young, they dip their beaks into water to melt off some of the sweet candy coating and then drip it into the mouths of their eager offspring.  I suppose they are an endangered species, but not due to over hunting or anything human-related.  They are locally abundant, but don’t seem to feel the need to expand their territory outside of their little island home.  Due to that, their global population is very small, but locally the island hosts a very stable population.  Humans have been captivated by this bird for centuries, even mimicking a popular Halloween candy after their colorful beaks.  We often think of biomimicry as using nature as an inspiration for technological advances, but I bet sooner than later, Modern Marvels on the History Network will feature Candy Corn Birds on their show when they explore the origins of popular American candy.  Biomimicry comes in many forms.  Sometimes in delicious forms.

Happy Canada Day everyone (tomorrow) and happy America Day everyone (thursday)!