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Guinea Fowl

Friday, March 18 2005

Several people we’re interested in my Guinea Fowl piece created for the most recent 20×2 event so I thought I’d share a bit about how it was created, link to the video, and also give away the “joke” about why I chose to paint a guinea fowl in the first place. And finally, I’ll be auctioning the piece starting today. Spread the word.

My “studio” is really just a corner of my home office that I set aside so that I could easily capture digital video straight to my G5’s hard drive. The tripod straddles the desk, and one of its legs is indeed taped to the wall with masking tape. It’s very solid. Normally I give myself a bit more room, but video capture put some constraints on that.

Before doing the illustration I did a sketch on paper. For best results, I should have done several mockups on paper first, but I was running out of time. I also have a photograph of a guinea fowl for reference. To the right are a bunch of bottles of Liquitex Concentrated Acrylics. Accept no substitutes, this stuff is the best. Perfect consistency, excellent pigments, long lasting.

The music in the video is done by a folk singer named Almeda Riddle and is based on an old Scottish folk song. The song is used in the opening credits of the movie Gummo which in itself is sort of a 2 hour moving illustration. I added the chainsaw sounds for dramatic effect.

So why a guinea fowl? First of all, I loved this song, and was always struck by the choice of animal noises. Most would agree that a pig says “oink oink”, but in her version, it says “mmm mmm”. But then there’s the guinea fowl. She says it says “pad-a-rack” which is totally crazy (though I’ve never heard a guinea fowl, I assume this is crazy). Upon hearing pad-a-rack, I’m just sort of baffled, and end up saying “What?” as proof of that bafflement. The theme to 20×2 this year was “What’s the word?” which admittedly is not the same as saying “What’s THAT word?” but offered me a chance to show off 4 hours of illustrating in 2 minutes.