Drawn Together (Colin MacIntyre cartoonist interview)

After quite a bit of thought, and just a touch of procrastination thrown in the mix to spark heightened awareness under duress (read:one of the camera angles came out yellow), I think I found another classic pairing that future generations can use, one that just seems to click and is, of course, obvious upon reflection. That said, we already know that certain things in life just pair together well – Peanut butter and jelly, bees and honey, salt and pepper, black and white, dogs and cats, king and queen, socks and shoes, and Laurel and Hardy. All of those choices are great examples of individual items which end up being even better together.

In fact, every romantic couple is supposed to function this way, when it’s healthy. In fact, when you talk with someone after a break up, they will often cite compatibility as a major factor in it not working out. Chemistry in love is a very real thing.

That’s why this month’s interviewee is so special.

He is a creative person who dabbles in a great many different arenas, with his most important asset being his love of drawing. For example, he cites instagram as a major inspiration in getting back on the creative horse, and following through each day. Producing at least one drawing on a lunch hour is quite the feat, but Colin MacIntyre does it with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. The act of making itself is a major reward for him, and given that he has at least three other regular projects on the go at any given time, it’s an impressive thing all it’s own. Colin and drawing.

Now by chance, are you wondering what those other projects he does could possibly be? Heck, you haven’t even seen his art yet, but I have a direct line to everything. Which is why I recommend you get right into the video below or hit the jump for the Youtube express train.

What a great topic dear readers! I’m still smiling and all fired up after all of that talk of Beeverine, Winter activities, and the many shades of Batman. And those were just tangential points to be made in this down-to-earth interview about the life of a salesman.

But what did you think folks?

Did  you like it? Did you hate it? What part of the interview inspired you to get back to making art – when you heard those answers on how Colin deals with the challenges of life? If you want to see more of those kinds interviews, then please, please, please subscribe to the mailing list. We need your comments and shares in order to grow. And to know. If the interviews flow.

And special thanks to Colin for being cooperative, capable, and charged up during this entire process! His enthusiasm knows no bounds; at least, that’s my theory.

Tim!

She Paints (Edmonton Valley Zoo)

Zoos are controversial, apparently.

Some people think that we shouldn’t cage animals, like at all. Because of a few different reasons of course.

And they just might be right.

  1. Captivity can make animals unstable. Zoochosis is a condition where some animals pace back and forth, others injure themselves, and the rest seem to move their heads from side to side or back and forth frequently.
  2. Zoos are profitable businesses. This means that baby animals are traffic drivers but older animals are not, and are often sold off.
  3. Endangered species don’t live in zoos. Lots of zoos claim to care for rare animals and breed them for longevity of the species, but not for preservation.
  4. Limited education opportunities. Signage out front of animal displays only cover the basics, animals don’t exhibit normative behaviours, and people spend little time at each display.
  5. Enclosures are dangerous. For animals anyway. They eat thrown away trash, sometimes face negligence, and are a secondary consideration in the event of natural disasters, like floods and wildfires.

Walk With The Animals

But I wanted to visit the Edmonton Valley Zoo for myself this weekend. It reminds me of my youth, its located in the heart of the river valley, and it’s open every day of the year except for Christmas day. Owned and operated by the City of Edmonton, this zoo has by accredited by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

I know it’s weird for me to write about a zoo, which has little to do with the arts, except I’ve known an artist activist or two in my lifetime, and there is an elephant there who likes to paint sometimes. If that’s a thing, and not training.

It’s a big part of Edmonton history, just like Fort Edmonton Park. Founded back in 1959, replacing the Borden Park Zoo which was on the property that currently serves as Northlands, it was called Storyland Valley Zoo up until 2010, when it went under some major renovations. Why Storyland? Because a big section of the park featured nursery rhyme characters.

The zoo is also home to over 350 animals (both exotic and local, including hundreds of squirrels) and it houses over 100 different species.

Edmonton Valley Zoo regularly hosts events and raises funds through conservation efforts – the Makira Conservation Fund, Red Panda Network, and the Species Survival Plan to restore endangered animal populations to the wild. And things like letting children take on the role of a veterinarian of an animal hospital to see what zoo veterinarians do. After Edmonton City Council decided to inject $50 million into the zoo, we’ve seen the property expand to one and a half times its previous size. The Arctic Shores exhibit and The Wander Trail being key elements in the facelift.

Additionally the zoo is home to the Inner Zoo (formerly Storyland Valley Zoo), Makira Outpost, Carnivore Alley, Elephant House and Exhibit, Saito Center, African Veldt, Back Paddocks, and the Birds of Prey area.

So there are two sides to this story of whether captive animals are happy or not.

But let’s talk about Lucy for a minute.

Lucy

Lucy is the elephant which lives in the Elephant House and Exhibit – at over 4000 kg and forty two years young.

Something of a charmer, and called a peoples elephant by her adoptive herd, she visits with the public at least few times a day and supposedly loves to spend time with her zoo family. Many people have come from all over the world to see Lucy, and we’ve seen our share of protestors ready to come and rescue her from the zoo, including Bob Barker of Price Is Right fame. Lucy was orphaned in Sri Lanka and was brought to the Edmonton Valley Zoo through partnership with the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage and Colombo Zoo when she was two years old.

theories Summarized

Do I think zoos are inherently evil? No. Do I think they are awesome? No to that too.

People have been domesticating animals since we’ve been able to, and the same can be said for eating them. I generally hold the opinion that eating meat is an acceptable way to go, but I’m not overly stoked at the prospect of it. That said, the zoo is a place to go and see beautiful creatures, living and breathing. As a visual artist, I firmly believe that seeing something in person is far better for your creative eye then on film, but I’ll let you battle that out in the comments. Theories and all.

I’m off to the zoo this weekend? How about you?

Tim!

Dream Time (Wilsen, I Go Missing In My Sleep review)

Death and sleep. I don’t know how I manage to link up these themes so easily, but maybe it’s just my nature to find patterns where others would rather enjoy the state of rest.

A departure from the waking state would serve us all well.

 

Wilsen – I Go Missing In My Sleep

released April 28, 2017
******* 7/10

 

Wilsen is an American rock band comprised of Tamsin Wilson, Drew Arndt, and Johnny Simon. Now, while they have been playing together since 2013 and are based out of of Brooklyn, New York, Wilson is in fact a Canadian, so yay for unintended Canadian content! Also, this is the debut album of Wilsen and it was recorded in both the UK and the USA, which means I might want to be gentle with them, though they’ve already done that work for me.

I Go Missing in My Sleep is one of those albums that pays out over repeating viewings, listening to it over and and over again is a must. But thankfully, all of this exploration gives them a ton of opportunity to take new directions on future albums and learn from what they’ve accomplished thus far.

Tracks like Otto, Dusk and Heavy Steps represent the best of the band, and while songs like Garden and Centipede are a bit of lighter fare, they are still incredibly appealing and will do well in drawing in new fans.

This is one of this records which you would want to listen to in the early hours of the morning or while out on a casual excursion, and it’s because the group spent a great deal of time sorting it out in the wee hours of the morning, like something out of a  Frank Sinatra song. But it works for them, and you really do feel a little boozy by the time you get to closer Told You, with Emperor helping create that dreamlike state.

Pros: This album is amazingly good at being intricate, detailed, thoughtful and letting the space between sounds work for it. Wilson has every right to be at the lead of this band. They excel at the warm and melodic.

Cons: Where the album lacks depth is in when things sound just a little to clean and straightforward. It’s as if those tracks were an experiment for Wilsen, like single Centipede. They decided to try something new but couldn’t quite figure out what to do with the melodic arrangements.

Runtime: 44 minutes

Points of Interest: After a couple of small EPs in Sirens and Magnolia, Wilsen carefully constructed I Go Missing In My Sleep. Comparisons will be made to another band they toured with, Daughter, but Wilsen have a distinct voice.

The thoughtfulness of I Go Missing In My Sleep is not lost in all of this reflection, with tracks like Final there to help ease us into the morning. Wilsen are crafting their own sound with a sadness in the lyrics and joy in the melody, I just hope that range continues throughout their career.

theories Summarized

As much as there can never be a perfect album, this is a good album. The vocals are engaging, the arrangements are entertaining, and the production value reaches some heights not uncommon in todays world of pop and hip hop masters, considering this is an alt-folk record, that’s a good thing. But maybe we should just sleep on it?

Tim!

A Day To Celebrate Queens (Victoria Day)

This post is filler. I didn’t know what to write about on Thursday, so I decided to do some research and learn about a Canadian national holiday – Victoria Day.

It’s a statutory holiday for us Canucks, but not too many of us know what it’s about. So here is a list of twelve things I bet you didn’t know about Victoria Day, and then a brief summary on what I plan to do about it myself. Savvy? And here we go.

Victoria Day Fun Facts

I’m going to keep these facts, short, topical and entertaining, but if you think of any better ones, be sure to let us know, after all, we try to keep it classy here at timotheories.

  1. Victoria Day is a Canadian holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. As such, it is the Monday between the 18th to the 24th inclusive, and thus is always the second to last Monday of May.
  2. The date is simultaneously that on which the current royal Queen’s official birthday is recognized (for instance Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday is April 21st). We also sometimes consider this an informal start to summer season in Canada.
  3. Queen Victoria was one of the longest sitting monarchs in all of British history, and inspired an entire era to be named after her…
  4. Canadians have been celebrating the date of her birthday since we became a country in 1845, and it legally became a day off when she died in 1901.
  5. Victoria Day is most definitely a Canadian festivity and is not widely celebrated in the British Isles, though the Scottish and some English do partake.
  6. For one reason or another, likely old hurts, the Quebecois do not celebrate Victoria Day, and for years chose to celebrate Fete de Dollard, after the French hero Adam Dollard des Ormeaux who won a battle with French soldiers against Iroquois in 1660. Now they celebrate National Patriots Day instead.
  7. The original celebrations of the holiday took place annually on May 24th, no matter what day of the week that was, excepting Sunday. In which case the holiday was moved to the 25th of May. And this changed to the current structure in 1952.
  8. Political figures and hip hop artists of today could take some queues from Victoria as she was able to stave off more than six assassination attempts on her life.
  9. Famous for wearing black before Johnny Cash. Victoria went into seclusion in 1961 after her husband Albert died, and was in mourning for a very long time, not getting back into the public until the early 1870s. There has been great speculation that she later privately married her Scottish butler John Brown.
  10. Before they were abolished in 1968, 21 gun salutes were commonly fired in Ottawa and the provincial capitals on Victoria Day AND and a number of other important Queen days – actual birthday, accession day, and coronation day, for instance.
  11. An important mark in fashion, summer clothing is traditionally worn from Victoria Day through until Labour Day… Hence the expression, don’t wear white after Labour Day.
  12. Canadian band Rush, British band The Kinks, and British musician Paul McCartney of Beatles fame have all written songs about the queen Victoria. Which hasn’t been done officially since that time.

theories Summarized

A day for all Canadians, Victoria Day is often celebrated as May Long in the common vernacular, and that’s okay in my books. But we should of course be aware of our history, and do our best to consider it as we each move forward in our own endeavours.

I, for instance, will be spending the May long weekend working on interviews, editing episodes of Cross Talk, Watch Culture and Just n Time Games, watching movies, and making art.

And so should you creative cuties, and so should you. Thank Victoria for the true north, strong and free, because she was instrumental in helping to shape this great nation of ours, at least that’s my theory.

Tim!

An Oasis of Greenery (Muttart Conservatory)

Have you ever wanted to visit ancient Egypt? The jungles of the Amazon, maybe? How about the Netherlands or even just heading south of the border to explore more Americana? Well I can tell you that I sure have.

As a primarily visual artist, I’m inspired by the world around me.

The challenge of course is that it costs an arm and sometimes a leg too to travel the world we live in. What’s an Edmontonian to do, dear readers? Well luckily, for my local readers, I happen to have a solution nestled right in the heart of the river valley.

Something which both shapes our landscape and is separate from it – The Muttart Conservatory.

Discover the Pyramids

The last time I visited the Muttart Conservatory was back in August of 2013.

A good time was had by all of our group. It was a visit with a purpose though. We were there for wedding photos for one of my oldest and bestest friends forever, Nicholas. My friend Nicholas (often known as Nick) and his wife Coral had their hearts set on getting photos in each of the different rooms of the Conservatory. When the day of the wedding finally arrived, and after the beautiful ceremony of course, we rolled up our sleeves, got in our vehicles and headed to the downtown core for city from The Oasis Centre on the west end. As the group entered each of the rooms, our photographer gave us direction, setting each of us up in turn to get the wedding shots needed. I’ll admit, I had not been to the conservatory in ages and so it was an eye-opening experience for me.

But I felt rushed. I wonder why?

PLUS we eventually found a way onto the roof, so no big deal. Well, except for the security breach.

All in all, it was a good day.

Then a few years later I visited once more with my girlfriend-at-the-time. Under less then auspicious conditions, and mostly to see the roof and outsmart the dinosaur, I convinced my partner-in-crime to attend a nighttime scholarly debate on the conservatory rooftop. This time I did get the better of the situation by outsmarting the dino cop, but unfortunately for you dear readers, that story is for a different post.

The Law of Conservation

The Muttart Conservatory really is a gem of Edmonton.

It offers a year round escape into an active garden, curated with plants from around the world. It has been around since 1976, which means that for over forty years, we’ve been able to enjoy the four garden displays on hand.

When I went to visit with my girlfriend Mysticque last Sunday, we made sure to visit the Arid, Temperate, Feature, and Tropical pyramids with equal measures of attention.

As a lover of succulents and cacti, the Arid room was easily my favourite of the four pyramids, with the Temperate and Feature rooms following closely behind. Of particular significance was the exhibit set up in the Feature room.

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of confederation, the Muttart has put on a Netherlands inspired displayed of Tulips. The reason for this being that each year since hosting the exhiled Dutch Royal Family during WWII, the Canadian government has been presented with thousands of bulbs as a show of gratitude. This year is no different, but additionally, thousands of tulip bulbs have been planted from coast to coast in celebration of Canada 150.

Not only does the Feature display rotate in this way five to seven times a year, The Muttart also hosts regular tours for visitors, and special programming for both children and adults in plant care and creativity with plants.

theories Summarized

The Conservatory is located at 9626 96 A Street. Accessible via Scona Road, Connors Road, and 98th avenue, this building is open every day of the year with the exception of Christmas. Plus it is open between 10am-5pm each day, and until 9pm on Thursdays. If you want to know more about the cost to visit, you should go here.

I highly recommend it, as there are hundreds of plants to see, and an excellent source of still life for all us creative types who are inspired by the world around them. At least, that’s my theory.

Tim!