Art (and more) by Nic Mac

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Awesome Artists

I have no new drawings to share, but don't want to neglect the blog!

So here's a link to an awesome artist. The lines and colors blog is awesome in its own right too!

Brian Dettmer on the lines and colors blog. Brian uses books to make three dimensional sculptures, page by page. Gorgeous!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wet years

For city dwellers, rain is a bad thing.  It's an inconvenience.  It coops your kids up indoors.  It seeps into your basement.  If it persists, it's even worse.  "Where's summer"?  people whine.  How awful, when we are hit with cold, rainy weather.

Even farmers complain when there's too much rain.  But dig a little deeper.  It's not too much rain, until they (farmer or city dweller alike) are personally affected.  When their fields flood.  When their basement fills with water.  Don't mistake me, my heart goes out to people who have their lives turned upside down by weather.  But so many things can do this to you.  Recession, border regulations, disease. 

Rain is life. 

It comforts me.  Yes, it seeps into my basement, and I miss the sunshine.  But growing up, I heard so many stories about the dust bowl.  And a friend of mine told me all about the drought in Saskatchewan a few years back, while it was happening.  The river near her house darn near dried up.  She told me about ruined farmers, about watching the clouds gather, letting your hope gather, only to have it scattered when the rain just doesn't come.  A professor at university told us similar stories and was overcome with emotion. 

What happens when there's no water?  

So I like wet years.  We had a few dry ones, but last year was wet.  Looks like this one is going to be wet too!

That was a long preamble, to a photograph that no longer seems relevant!  I'll include it anyways.  This is a photo of a flooded ditch.  Flooded ditches are great.  Lots of birds use 'em!  When it's also humid enough for mist, all seems right with the world. 

Taken near Hartney, Manitoba, July 31, 2005.  One of the last wet years.  2006, 2007 and 2008 were drier and drier.  2009 was a wet year.  And how!  Summer didn't arrive until September.  We had plenty of rain last year as well.  I love every drop.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel

We don't see these guys as often as the Richardson's, they don't tend to colonize near people.  But they are awfully cool!  Sometimes when I first see them, I think they are wee lizards, the way they put their little heads down and scuttle along!

Yeah, just like that!

Photographed at Beaudry Provincial Park, May 18, 2008

Of course, they stand up too.  They're probably only about half the size of a Richardson's, and blend in with the grass really well!

Look at those teeny-tiny little forelegs!

Photographed at the Alexander-Griswold marsh, April 25, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Well, I had pretty big plans for making prints available for sale, but looks like that's not going to happen right now.

But I do have the supplies and the capability to make art cards - ACEOs - those little 2.5" x 3.5" cards on bristol paper. 

I'll probably limit the number, and am thinking about hand-coloring a portion of the run, probably in colored pencil. 

Looks like I left it pretty late to have these intended as Christmas presents - it's only a few days until the "mail before" day! 

I'll post again when I get it worked out, but if you're interested, feel free to email me at pterelas at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Concert! The Casualties! Gwar!

Missed The Casualties last time they came to town, so I sure was happy to finally be able to see them!  Figured Gwar was worth seeing too!

First band was called Mobile Death Camp.  They didn't use the lights much, and all my photos were this red color. 


Next band was Infernaeo.  The red lights persisted...

Bouncer is not impressed!

Pantene moment!

Next was The Casualties!  I have no idea which songs they played...  OK, I do remember "Made in NYC", but that's all!  People were really excited to see these guys, I was right in front of the stage for the pics, and got myself slammed around quite a bit!  Hit a guy in the head with my camera - sorry, guy!

My camera worked better with the flash, like the photo above, less motion blur, and better focus.  But I think I preferred the pics I got without the flash, like this one: 

and this one:

Another bonus bystander!

Gwar was the headliner, and people were kind of excited about them!

Gwar definitely put on the biggest show I've ever seen on such a small stage!  Part of their act was cutting up effigies of Sarah Palin and Lady Gaga.  They also spray lots and lots of fake blood at the audience.  Afterwards, people crowded outside.  That's not smoke, it's the people that are steaming!  Good ol' Winterpeg!

Concert info:  Mobile Death Camp, Infernaeo, The Casualties, Gwar
December 4, 2010, Garrick Center, Winnipeg


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


What does it mean to be calm in your heart?  I hear that sentence a lot, but it seems that people interpret it differently.  Maybe that's the point.  Oooh, how zen. 

The city doesn't suit me.  I like the convenience, but it's not always convenient.  I hate the noise.  Even in the middle of the night, road noise and street lights pervade.  To say nothing for noisy neighbors, sirens...   

I crave stillness, and have to leave town to find it. 

But I find I need it to live.

Taken at Oak Hammock Marsh, October 17, 2005.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Northern Flickers

Northern Flickers are the other common woodpecker in our area.  We also have Pileated Woodpeckers and Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers, but we don't see them very often at all!

Flickers are quite widespread, and versatile in their choice of habitat, farm yards, towns, cities and woods all pass muster. 

In our yard, the Flickers come to the virginia creeper, just like the thrushes.  What a versatile plant!

I get such a kick out of this photo...  Tweedledee and Tweedledum? 

For a while, we had a post leaning against our fence.  Talk about a Flicker magnet!

Check out those cool, spiny woodpecker-style tail feathers!

There are two color phases of Northern Flicker - Yellow-Shafted and Red-Shafted.  We have the former here.  The male above illustrates the id points well - black "moustache" mark and red head crescent.

No moustache mark on the females!  Too bad I didn't think to do anything about that branch in the foreground!

I think this is the same bird.  Females DO have the red crescent!

We didn't get any Flickers on our creeper this year, much to my disappointment.  Maybe next year!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Tailed... Squirrel??

Well, this is a new one for me.  We have a LOT of Gray Squirrels around here.  Once had one with white patches.  Whether it was pinto-spotted or white from injuries, I don't know. 

But this clairol-touched fella isn't like anything I've seen before!!

Sorry about the cut-off nose, but I include this picture to show the extent of the red coloration.

I found some google references to melanistic (black) Grey Squirrels having red tails, but couldn't find any pictures, nor any reference to a normal grey-phase having a red tail.