Night Snow Ball with Mochi

A short video of Mochi playing with a basketball in the snow outside the studio tonight. I don’t know who is more exhausted after running around in the snow — me or Mochi. We both drank a lot of water after getting back inside:)

In case you can’t tell, she’s trying to pop the basketball. She can with other softer balls by biting them, but not a basketball. I have to wear hard shoes when I kick it though, because it hurts my foot otherwise.

Slam Poetry Workshop and Ideas about Art

Not the kind of place you’d expect to attend a Slam Poetry workshop – a little historic Baptist church with vintage neon sign. But the Missouri Literary Festival hosted many events over three days, in a variety of places, and this little church on the edge of campus was saved by Drury University and renamed the Diversity Center.

Drury-diversity-centerI went to the workshop, not knowing anything about it. I was intrigued by the title and thought it might be fun to videotape. I’ve been spending a lot of my creative time this month working with video. I’m better at editing than shooting, so I need the practice. Russ is the great photographer and techie in the family.

In the 90’s we did a lot of video work – documentary type stuff — and am now finding how much fun it is to upload and share videos via our new YouTube channel as compared to having to dupe tapes, design packaging, and figure out how to distribute them. I love video, it’s total immersion into a world of thousands of trillions of single photographic moments smashed together and find myself getting lost in it. But back to poetry.

The workshop was great, amazing — maybe partly because of the environment of the church and the beautiful light that filtered that afternoon through the large stained glass windows. But most definitely because of Joaquín Zihuatanejo. I found out later that he’s really famous – 2008 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, 2009 World Cup of Poetry Slam Champion.

And so kind and generous – with his talent, his spirit, his desire to teach and to share ideas. I made three short videos from the one-hour workshop. This overview of Slam Poetry has pretty much what I think are some universal truths for all art.

The keynote speaker for the MO Literary Festival was Billy Collins, two-time Poet Laureate for the United States. I was pretty excited about hearing him. I thought I was a fan, but he pretty much lost me when he said that all poetry is about death and that someone should tell English majors that when they are starting out.

I was an English major — no one ever told me that, and I wouldn’t have believed them if they did. I’ve always thought that poetry and art were about life, so I’m happy to post this other video of Joaquín Zihuatanejo. He pretty much sums it up in a short minute.

Candy PaMdora on YouTube

pink-octopusTwo Japanese artists visited the studio during their Springfield trip to perform at the Japanese Fall Festival a couple of weeks ago. Candy Miyuki who has taken an old traditional Japanese art of candy sculpture to a new level. She performs at Disney’s Epcot Center, has been on the Rose O’Donnel show, and makes custom candy sculpture for the Tokyo gallery of Yoshitomo Nara.

Here’s a video that Russ took of Candy making a Candy PaMdora at the closing party of the festival. We’ve posted this our new YouTube channel, so you can watch it here, or go to the RuBert Studios channel.

Kuniko Yamamoto also performs at Epcot Center, The Kennedy Center, and at festivals around the world with her wonderfully entertaining stories and magic.

It was fun to have them tour the studio, because Miyuki has just built a new studio, and Kuniko is planning to build a video studio and art center to share with her husband who is a magician and videographer for other magicians.

Here’s some photos from the whole weekend. Click on a thumbnail to see larger.

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Moleskine Tour (detour)

When I travel I carry a little Moleskine sketchbook –these are sketches of some Cameroon masks I saw in the Portland Musuem of Art last year. Invariably, mine gets stuffed with scratchy notes, phone numbers, to-do lists….

Not these folk though. These YouTube video tours of artist’s Moleskines is one of the coolest things I’ve found on the internet in a long time, and if you’re a fan of sketchbooking, journaling, or scrapbooking, you’ll probably like them too. Here’s a tour of my favorites. Most are 2-3 minutes, and I just learned you can click the right-hand box under the video to make it full screen if you want.

Paul Davis (illustrator) notebook: Lots of colorful portraits of people with Picassoesque noses, plus clever collages.

Paula Scher (graphic designer) notebook: Alpha-doodles with lots of fancy and funky fonts. Paula’s sketchbook intrigued me, so I looked up her website and found her map paintings to be wonderful.

Celia Squire (artist/London) notebook: Nostalgic-style ink drawings of this storyboard artist fill the pages.

Stefano Faravelli (artist/Turin) notebook: A beautiful travel-style journal that folds out out into one long composition.

Remy Bardin (student/Santiago) notebook – “One year in Chile”: This one moves more slowly, but then the guy worked a whole year on it, so five minutes doesn’t seem too long after all. Some interesting fold-outs, unexpected changes in style, and orginal music.

Douglas + Francoise Kirland (photographer + curator) notebook: This one reads like a personal album, but the photos are always collaged in a interesting manner.

Dave Egger (writer) notebook: A writer’s cryptic drawings with titles.

Antonia Jorge Goncalves (artist/Lisboa) notebook: The nose book — he drew many people, then cut the pages of the book in the shape of their nose.

Joachim Robert (artist/Paris) notebook: Drawings, collage, cartoons, and a bit of painting.

Wilson and Restrepo (artists/London) notebook: Mostly wax pastel drawings. Abstract and surface design artists will like this one. Some messy fingers at the end.

Detour the Moleskine London Exhibition: I’ve always been a fan of art books, but could never see a way they could be shared. This short video shows an exhibition, and we can derive how it’s spawned these videos. I smell a clever Moleskine marketing campaign, but doesn’t matter — I’m ready to jump on board!

p.s. Just found Birget Brenner’s notebook made with thread.