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"Art to Play" Nantes 2012

Monday 26 November 2012

I attended the second occurence of Art to Play convention in Nantes, France, as a participant ( once more ) to the "Arting Spirit" painting competition. The subject was given at 9 in the morning: "I am a superhero". The artists, around 20 of them I think, had 12 hours ahead to paint a 50cm x 50cm canvas.

zancan at Art to Play, Nantes 2012

Doing a painting in just one day was a challenge to me. For the first time I gave up the idea of using oil paints, and reluctantly switched to acrylics.
My reflexion about the theme led me to express the dichotomy there was between the genuine normality of "I" and the otherworldliness power contained in the "superhero".
That dichotomy is express through two different rendering styles. The one belonging to the real world of "I" is more realistic, while the imaginary, visionary expression of supernatural is rather cartoonish. The character, by planting a tree in a suburban desert, accomplishes a stubborn act of heroism, powered by the feeling that the whole spirit of Nature is acclaiming behind him.

I am a super hero painting by Zancan

Though I became a bit dissatisfied by the lack of smoothness and density of acrylic paint ( compared to oils ), I had pleasure painting this, plus I seemed to manage the tight schedule okay. At the end of the next day, the jury gave their vote and oh, how cool was that, I got the first prize! I got a 1200 € paycheck which at the same time disqualified me for all upcoming "Arting Spirit" challenges. Instead I'll be a member of the jury for the next event in Switzerland, in April for Polymanga.

Art to Play 2012 - Arting Spirit Winners

Apart from that very happy ending, it was a pleasure, just as always, to exhibit my works, sell prints, share a stand with my beloved Zélie Oiseau, and meet up with all the artists, my buddies Santiago and the craziest of all Meko, new encounters like Kara who was VIP signing his last comics, Cyril Nouvel my kind stand neighbor, Matthieu Moreau who got the second prize, Sitron right in front who offered me this adorable print, my talented right neighbor Senri and of course David and Sarah from Switzerland. Hope to meet you all soon guys !
Zélie Oiseau and Zancan stand at Art to Play

Cambridge Terrasse

Thursday 18 October 2012
De temps en temps, lorsqu'à l'heure du déjeuner, il faisait assez beau, j'allais m'asseoir à la même table sur la terrasse du pub Cambridge, et gribouillais ce dessin en attendant mon plat. Comme c'était souvent 14h passées, il ne restait plus guère de client; j'étais servi trop vite, et ne pouvais poursuivre mon croquis.
J'ai donc fait ce dessin en plusieurs fois; en cinq repas, il me semble.
A vrai dire, rien ne pressait.
Zancan - Cambridge Terrasse drawing

"Ma Bulle", la princesse petit pois

Wednesday 17 October 2012

As an artist invited to the convention Art to Play 2012 in Nantes, France, I had to participate in the challenge named "Ma Bulle" ( My Bubble) where one had to produce a A4-sized drawing in which a blank space had been left for a potential face or character.

This one was inspired by the tale Princess and the Pea, with a little twist. I got the idea after Vanessa, who is posing here, who has a very fragile back, but who is able to fall asleep on whatever harsh surface she finds in the meantime.

See the full picture :
Princess and the pea

Link to vote on facebook: Link

Japan Expo 2012

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Back from my first time in Japan Expo Paris, I must admit it's been a frantic adventure, although I can't say that I found time to actually explore the convention hall.
We decide to share a stand with Zélie. Those stands are rather expensive, so it was good to split the price in two, but it was mostly the occasion to built a little universe of our own. I was exhibiting a few original paintings and selling prints of my work, while she was showcasing her handmade jewelry and goodies.
We are not specialized in the japanese culture at all, but we had seen at Polymanga that our works could fit in. Zélie had made a series of cute kawaii dolls that made a nice link between our creative universe and the theme of the convention.
To speak about the logistics, it's been rather crazy. We came all the way from Bordeaux by car, which is a 7 hours drive, carrying an immense, heavy case on the roof that I had build for the occasion. The case was meant to host my precious canvases. The day of the departure, we found out that it had rained a lot that night, and that my ( thankfully empty !) box readied on the roof rack had a one inch-deep water reserve in it... I had to sink it and rush to the nearest DIY store to buy whatever necessary to make it rainproof. We took off with a 6 hour delay. By the way, it rained all drive long on our way to Paris. Ouch..
Those four days at the convention went by at the speed of sound. We had wonderful moments, met a lot of people and several friends there. Sells went rather well, we managed to reimburse the price of the stand and, roughly, our travel expenses. No benefit at all, but load of fun! After several nights with so little sleep, and the rush of packing everything up, we left for Bordeaux on sunday evening. We had barely reach the southern suburbs of Paris that we fell asleep on a highway parking, inside the car in very uncomfortable position, and woke up only next morning.
Exhausted, but happy ! Not sure we would do it again, but we will surely give the Japan Expo Belgium a try next November !

Le nez aérodynamique de la caisse en bois

Sur les genoux

Tuesday 26 June 2012
I was working late on my computer; she sat by my side, and as the hours went by, she fell asleep on my knees. Photoshop was open, my tablet wasn't far neither, hence the sketch. It's not that often that I use a tablet to draw. Still that old, minuscule Graphire 2 from Wacom.

Traveling through photographs

Monday 25 June 2012

It is a piece of work that I wanted to show here, for I have been working on it for the last two months and the result is worthwhile. It was aimed at a museum in Porto ( Portugal ), for a historical movie called "The Douro region: 2000 years of history".
I proposed the idea of using old images ( paintings, ancient photographs) and allow the spectator to enter them in 3D.
For this purpose I have put on my programmer's costume and coded franticly, to create an application that would allow me to reach my goal.
It also involved a heavy Photoshop work, in order to decompose each picture into various dimensional plans, which required to invent what was behind the foreground objects. ( I must thank my employee Julia for her help on that huge task).
The movie below show the process on one out of 18 images that have been animated this way. You will see the initial picture, a glimpse of the homemade software, and the end result.
When watching the Douro movie in HD on a large screen, you get swallowed. It is both disturbing and amazing. I'm rather proud of that project. It also gave me some ideas for my paintings !

La coeur à la sieste

Thursday 2 February 2012
Je me suis étendu sur le lit, la face la première. Je n'avais retiré que ma veste, ai dormi un quart d'heure, vingt minutes au mieux, tandis que le soir installait lentement sa pénombre dans la pièce.
Au réveil je ne me sentais plus vraiment réel. Une situation, fut-elle sans problème, revêt une allure angoissante dès lors que l'on ne sait plus qui l'on est.
Mon téléphone était resté en suspens sur cette case vide, une réponse de moi que je ne parvenais pas à écrire, depuis le matin. J'ai rédigé lentement, pris dans le renfrognement d'un demi sommeil encore lourd, un message cruel.
Je suis un menteur, et je ne parviens pas à m'y reconnaître.
L'air extérieur se précipite sur le visage et le saisit. Une pluie fine le compose, qui se fige en minuscules auguilles avant de percer la peau ou de saupoudrer les rues. J'achète au tabac qui s'apprête à fermer un paquet pour n'en fumer qu'une. Prétexte, sans doute, à une circulation sans but défini, dans la petite ville silencieuse qui a pris ses congés d'hiver.
Au bord du lac Léman, dont on ne distingue que la masse vide et noire le long de la jetée, les ingrédients des lumières, de la neige, de l'opulence ancienne d'une architecture Art Nouveau et d'une ville balnéaire figée dans le gel produisent une sensation surréelle, qui ne parvient pas vraiment à me sortir de mon état obtus.
J'ai allumé la cigarette au sortir d'une visite superficielle du hall d'entrée du Palais Lumière. Ces décors sont beaux, assurément, il est une magie certaine dans ma déambulation solitaire, mais je ne la ressens qu'à peine. Les pas qui s'impriment dans la neige témoignent de mon privilège, et pourtant.
Retour par de petites rues où les âmes sont rares. Tout est étrange, je suis toujours ce même menteur, mais le froid cinglant qui s'est emparé de celle des deux mains qui alternativement actionne le mégot, celui-là n'est pas un mensonge. Bonheur de sentir que la mission jusqu'ici indéfinie accomplit son but, celui du retour à la réalité charnelle, à l'expérience douloureuse, exaltante, des éléments et des sens qui composent le vivant. Presque, parviens-je à regretter de n'avoir pas emmené mon reflex en balade.
J'étais gelé en revenant à l'hôtel.
Je reprend la grosse clé de bois au crochet du casier 38. Hier soir, ici, m'attendait une lettre. Un courrier d'une main jeune, et qui tremblait sans doute.
Menteur. Menteur que de faire croire que je puis aimer encore.
A la petite table de bois, sous l'abat-jour rustique, j'écris.
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26/11/2012 "Art to Play" Nantes 2012