Friday Two Cents: The Simplicity Of Play


 

This past week I return home after a wonderful time with friends up north in the Penetanguishene/Midland area. We did a lot of different activities in the area including swimming, sight-seeing and taking in some local festivities. One of the highlights of my time there was going to Discovery Harbour. It is a British naval base that traces it roots back to the War of 1812. The base was established around 1828 and was a presence to defend Canada until the 1850’s.

We were able to go twice to the site during this trip. Once for a Ghost Tour and the other for a Pirate Day. The Ghost Tour was very interesting and it did give me the shivers at times. I think I even saw a sign a ghost who did not want us in his cabin, spooky. The other time was a fun-filled day where pirates invaded the site. Pirate Day at Discovery Harbour was mostly geared towards the kids but I took the opportunity to have a little fun and live a little. I decided to bring up my pirate costume and walk around the site as Captain Jack Sparrow.
I dressed up and went to the site in full costume. To say I got a lot of looks is an understatement. When the kids saw me their eyes opened up and even their parents smiled. The staff was all dressed in pirate gear and they too smiled and encouraged me to play the pirate for the day. I walked around the site learning a few things about the history of Discovery Harbour, stopping once in a while to talk to people and some even asked if they could take a picture with me. I said sure and so I posed for pictures and I got to meet and talk to a lot of people. All in all it was fun to play pirate and learn some facts about the site. Yet I did notice something that made me pause for a moment or two.
While I was walking around as a pirate talking to people, I noticed some people giving me a few, what I would call; nasty looks. It was not as if I was being obnoxious or over selling the pirate theme, in contrast I was simply walking for one building to the next with my friends. Maybe, it was because I was an adult dressed as a pirate without kids. There were some other adults dressed up but they had kids with them. Perhaps they could not understand why a grown man would dress up and pretend or in essence play pirate.
I am not sure why but if that was the case all I can say is that I feel sorry for those people. I am very comfortable being myself and being very connected with my inner child. If those people cannot understand that we all need to play, then I all I can do is pity them and I’ll give them a couple of quotes / life lessons to help them. One from a famous philosopher, the other from a famous captain …

‘You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.’ Plato

‘The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.’ Captain Kirk

Two life lessons I always take to heart. Maybe we all should too.

 

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Art Inspiration: Staff Cartoons A Pirate’s Life For Me: Final Portrait


APiratesLifeLogo04

Inspiration. Something every artist needs and is illusive as the Lock Ness Monster. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people. Whether it be a child asking me about Mythology or adults asking me about their children or even just talking to people about anything, they have inspire me to create and use my imagination to bring the impossible possible.

A prime example is when I draw the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures. It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner. Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle. I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a caricature.

This year the inspiration for the caricatures came from the children’s concert. We were doing a Pirates Christmas and at the same time Pirates of the Caribbean was out. Also for Halloween I dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and everyone loved the costume. It made me imagine, what would it be like if the staff where all pirates? From these simple beginnings I decided to draw all the staff as pirate caricatures.

Well the staff loved the cards and caricatures and in the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

 Final Portrait

In the final image, I gathered all the caricatures for a staff portrait. Obviously the theme is pirates, therefore the scene would be on a pirate ship. I decided to have the scene be on the main deck of the ship looking towards the stern, where the wheel or helm would be.

I began with creating the doors and stairs to the upper deck. Then I created the railings and stern decoration of the ship. Usually there would be a mast with a stirring sail behind the wheel but I decided not to put one in because it took away from the image. After I added the decking and the cargo hold on the bottom centre of the image. I then created cannons for either side of the deck. The rigging and sky was added to give a feeling of depth and it looked good to have some rigging on a sailing ship after all. The last touch was the pirate flag. I have this flag as a prop I used on Halloween and for when I introduce pirates as a theme for the children. So naturally I redrew it for the portrait and it gave a final touch that really made the image come to life.

I added the staff caricatures onto the lower deck but of course the captain is at the helm and that is where I placed my caricature. Then I added my personal logo ‘Paul G” to the lower right with the title “A Pirate’s Life For Me.” The soft-feathered frame was added last to, quite simply, framed the portrait. And there you have it.

After I gave the staff their individual cards with their caricatures, I presented this final portrait to them all. To say that they liked it would be an understatement. They all loved the final portrait and I hope you too will enjoy “A Pirate’s Life For Me.”

Art Inspiration: A Pirate's Life For Me: Final Portrait

Art Inspiration: A Pirate’s Life For Me: Final Portrait

Art Inspiration: Staff Cartoons A Pirate’s Life For Me: Female Pirate Crew 03


APiratesLifeLogo04 

Inspiration. Something every artist needs and is illusive as the Lock Ness Monster. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people. Whether it be a child asking me about Mythology or adults asking me about their children or even just talking to people about anything, they have inspire me to create and use my imagination to bring the impossible possible.

A prime example is when I draw the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures. It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner. Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle. I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a caricature.

This year the inspiration for the caricatures came from the children’s concert. We were doing a Pirates Christmas and at the same time Pirates of the Caribbean was out. Also for Halloween I dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and everyone loved the costume. It made me imagine, what would it be like if the staff where all pirates? From these simple beginnings I decided to draw all the staff as pirate caricatures.

Well the staff loved the cards and caricatures and in the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

The next caricature is a staff member that I wanted to do a bit more to than the rest of the staff. She is a wonderful person and is a great teacher. She is so soft-spoken that I was not sure if I should depict her as a sexy, rough and tumble pirate, but I thought that showing her that way might be good for her. I was also hoping that she would be ok with the caricature because she was new to the staff.

She is oriental and I needed to make sure the eyes would reflect that. Like I said earlier, she was a soft-spoken, quiet person so I decided to draw her showing a fair bit of skin. Her neck, shoulders and legs were a start but I wanted a bit more, therefore I really emphasized the cleavage.

The caricature was very riské, I thought, for the person and I was hoping her reaction to it would be positive. That night she looked on it and was very pleased by it, I think a lot of it also had to do with the fact that the other staff really enjoyed it too. Weeehooo, that was the only person I was not sure about because she was new but I was extremely gratified that she enjoyed her caricature.

I hope you too will enjoy the third pirate caricature from “A Pirate’s Life For Me.”

Art Inspiration: A Pirate's Life For Me: Female Pirate  03

Art Inspiration: A Pirate’s Life For Me: Female Pirate 03

 

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