This year, I joined Hakatere Ceramics and Pottery Ashburton to learn more skills and make art with clay.
Pocket is a handwork piece that I formed after the noticing the canvas pattern left from rolling the clay. I carved the stitching and added clay for the stud features and after drying, I bisque fired the piece.
The club held a Raku Firing day and so I glazed Pocket with a copper glaze on the studs and another glaze I have forgotten the name of. Raku Firing is exciting. The work is heated to over 1000 ºC and then quickly removed from the hot kiln and placed into a combustible material and starved of oxygen to produce a myriad of colors in the glazes and black where the clay was unglazed. The results are often unexpected.
Pocket has been entered in the Ashburton Society of Arts’ 59th Annual Exhibition and is available for sale at the Ashburton Art Gallery from 4-28 July 2023.
I’ve been helping artists get their art online since 1998. To help local artists get online, I ran a workshop at the Ashburton Art Society studio on 29 October.
The workshop covered using social media and websites to share and sell art online. We started by looking at what online presence the artists already had and how to increase their online presence.
We then looked at creating content and sharing this via social media as well as joining art communities online so more people could view their art.
As a result of the workshop, the artists now all have Facebook pages (or improved Facebook pages) and are exploring other ways to share their art online. They have had a month to post content so explore their art and encourage them by following them here:
When I was a child, our grandparents would travel eight hours to visit us at Christmas time. Nana was a caterer and she would bring a load of sweet treats like her peanut brownies and melting moments so soft they would melt in your mouth. Poppa was a real life Santa Claus – him and Nana would often give presents to Birthright kids. So when we heard they were coming for Christmas we got super excited. Mum tried to get us to clean the house, but we would spend more time looking out the window and trying to be the first kid to see them coming down the road.
I have often thought that God is like that with us. Jesus told the parable of the lost (prodigal) son, which is really about a forgiving father. In Middle Eastern culture it is undignified to run, especially to greet someone who has dishonored the family, yet this father runs to meet his lost son.
Perhaps you are like Sarah who laughed in disbelief when she got the promise of a son in her old age, or like Hannah fervently waiting for a child. Maybe you are like Anna and Simeon waiting to see the promised Messiah. Or Mary or Martha. The lyrics are deliberately ambiguous as to who is singing to who – perhaps God is waiting at the window for you to return to him or to meet with him again. Perhaps he is like the grandparents coming with presents and good things to meet with you.
G D Em C
When I heard you were coming I could hardly believe it I was so excited I had trouble sleeping
The house was a mess Floor needed sweeping But my nose was at the window Looking for you
You were bearing gifts But the treasure I was seeking The greatest gift of all To be in your Presence
The news of your advent Had me joyful weeping Overwhelming hope of spending Time with you
I was recently on stage again in Variety Theatre Ashburton’s Its Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Baby. Featuring over 30 songs, the show had the tagline “The Songs we Sing to, Dance to, Laugh to and Cry to” and it did that with songs grouped into brackets such as The Flirtys, Country Classics, One Hit Wonders, Love Hurts Sometimes, Kiwi Classics and Inspirational. A bracket of songs on domestic violence titled “It’s Not OK EVER” was emotionally powerful and to lighten the mood it followed with the audience singing along to Sweet Caroline and Delilah. I played the role of a reluctant volunteer beside an overly enthusiastic volunteer with cue cards for the songs.
Ashburton Online has more photos of the show on Flickr.
As you can see from the above photos, I played a variety of mostly comedic roles – Loser Sidekick, Disinterested Cue Card Holder, Tough Guy, Zombie, Pretty Girl, Jim and a Balloon Boy in the Just One More bracket. There were several quick costume changes as well as makeup for some complete transformations. Curling my hair took ages was worth it for the laughs when I turned around in Pretty Girl.
The show was enjoyed by all those I talked to and local media published some reviews.
30 Year Hiatus
It has been about 30 years since I last performed on stage, so it was great to get back into singing, dancing and acting. As a child I was incredibly shy, but since being involved in theatre I have overcome the fear of performing in public and during this show I was never nervous. I am keen to join the next production – auditions are being held soon for JC Superstar.
Coincidentally just after opening night, a video of the show that first got me started in theatre was shared on YouTube [warning: 2.5 hours of low quality audio and video]. I never saw Woodville Little Theatre’s show Brylcreem live in 1986, but rumour about the show and after-party motivated me to want to join the back stage crew for their next production. With this in mind I went along to rehearsals of Streetcats in 1988 intending to be in the background but I got cast in the show and made my debut on stage.
I changed my calendars again today. Only five days after the start of the month. That might be the earliest I have changed my calendars since they arrived (though I don’t remember when they did and postage is notoriously slow, so they might have been installed late).
Since the advent of electronic calendars, I have had very little use for printed calendars. I do not buy them for myself, but I usually get one every year from our property manager and sometimes from a relative so we have 12 New Zealand photographs to look at. Of course, living in the opposite hemisphere, the images are counter to the season, but with global friends I am used to seeing Facebook updates of their summer beach images in my winter or their skiing photos during my summer.
Do you still have printed calendars and change them on time?
If I created a series of 12 images would you buy them in a calendar format? Would you look at them? Would you change them on time?
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of acting in a movie.
The Instagrim Generation
For several years, the Outcasts team has entered the 48 Hours film-making competition. I joined the team and at 7 pm on Friday, we were given our genre (Generation Gap) and elements that needed to be included in the movie (wind, overhead shot, double-take, and audible laughter). We then brainstormed the plot, wrote the script, gathered costumes and props, scouted the locations, set up lights and cameras, filmed. scored, edited with titles and special video effects and delivered the finished movie with 2 minutes to spare on Sunday evening.
The film made it through to the regional finals in Wellington and was nominated for Best Use Of Required Elements – Overhead Shot and Best Original Score/Song.
The whole experience was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about making movies. While those, who were more skilled than I, were finishing the movie, I made a behind the scenes short movie. It contains several in-jokes and almost all of the elements of the competition entry.
Behind the Scenes
Director, Derrick Sims, released a director’s cut of the movie as The Reapers and added it to the Internet Movie Database.
Derrick has directed and appeared in other short films and so I now have a loose connection the Kevin Bacon.
My current Bacon Number is 4!
Theo Heartist was in The Reapers with Derrick Sims who was in Making the Film: Come Morning with Michael Ray Davis who was in Endure with Tom Arnold who was in We Married Margo with Kevin Bacon
As I predicted almost three months ago, a scammy website that is “selling” pirated posters of my work would have a recursive poster of my pirated posters for sale on their site.
Now, the 11th item on the scammer’s list of Theo Heartist posters is “Psst wanna buy a #1 | Theo Heartist”. In future, I expect the above screenshot to appear as another recursive poster of posters for sale.
The scammers capture images from websites and their goal is to phish photographers and artists when they try to take down their copyrighted images. They still have the same number of “happy buyers”, but look how nice this poster of posters of my art will look above your orange sofa.
Please don’t buy from these scammers. I won’t reveal the name or address of the scam website because I doubt that they would actually send you a real poster.
Buy a genuine Theo Heartist print
If you do want to buy a print of my art, check out genuine items I have for sale on , Redbubble, or ArtPal.
I came across a scammy website that is selling pirated posters of my art for prices lower than their shipping costs. It appears that they capture images from websites and their goal is to phish photographers and artists when they try to take down their copyrighted images. Conveniently they are “Out of stock” of posters of my work. I won’t reveal the name or address of the scam website because I doubt that they would actually send you a poster.
I am posting a screenshot here of the copyright offender’s page and I expect that will reappear there as a recursive poster in the future.
I am in the midst of my 53rd Winter. So far I have experienced 50 Autumns and 48 Springs, but only 47 Summers. How old am I? Why am I procrastinating Summer?
One of the benefits of international travel is that I can spend time in different hemispheres, experiencing the different food, culture, and people of the world. I grew up in the Southern Hemisphere where Christmas is in Summer and the school year matches the calendar year. But, 14 and a bit years ago I moved to the Northern Hemisphere for work and a different lifestyle. I now get a real Winter Christmas and the academic year spans two calendar years with a long break in the Northern Hemisphere Summer/Southern Hemisphere Winter.
One of the drawbacks of living on the other side of the equator from family and friends is the opposite seasons. With my immediate family in school, our local long Summer break is the only practical time for us to visit our antipodean whanau, who are then in the midst of their Winter.
Unseasonal days experienced during the season have not been counted, only prolonged exposure to the season experienced by the rest of the hemisphere at that time.
For the purposes of my calculations, a season is counted if I was in a hemisphere experiencing any part of that season at the time. If I visit an opposite season and return before the end of the original season, the original season is only counted once – for example, I left the Northern Hemisphere Summer in June 2016, had four weeks of Southern Hemisphere Winter and returned to experience the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere Summer; earlier/later in the year I had another whole Northern Hemisphere Winter. I have only counted a season if I experienced it for at least one week – I do not remember any of the 21.5 hours of the summer of my birth.
I am using the Meteorological definition of seasons: Southern Autumn / Northern Spring: 1 March to 31 May Southern Winter / Northern Summer: 1 June to 31 August Southern Spring / Northern Autumn: 1 September to 30 November Southern Summer / Northern Winter: 1 December to 28 (29 in leap years) February [ Source https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/aboutseasons.html ]