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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The Necktie

The Necktie

The National Film Board of Canada recently released a number of their films and made them available for free downloads and viewing on their website. This is a huge treasury of high quality award winning materials. The site has numerous examples of animated, documentary, feature and short films. You can explore by genre, title, year, length and language. This makes browsing so easy. I enjoy the animation section most. This section features links that take you to educational resources, jobs, festivals and much more. There are some amazing award winning works linked here including: Ryan, Chris Landreth’s Oscar-winning animated short film from 2004. One of my favorites is Caroline Leaf. I especially enjoy the features that not only look at her films but also demonstrate how she made the works. This is great website for students, teachers or just fans of film. Caroline Leaf also has her own website that features a great deal of information. One last note…not all of the films on the Canadian Film Board site are free, but it is still a wonderful resource where you can find quality films to purchase too.

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"Flawed" by Asja CroatiaThere is a site I’ve become aware of that’s kind of fun. It is called Illustration Friday. If you join you get an email each Friday of the theme for that week. You then create an illustration that highlights your interpretation of that theme. Those in charge of the site then choose an illustration to feature. As a member you can choose to enter your own ideas for a theme too. I have yet to find the time to actually enter myself, but I do enjoy getting the weekly theme and seeing what others have done to interpret it. The featured illustration here was the artist, Asja Croatia’s interpretation of the theme “Flawed”. This week’s theme is “celebrate”.

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A friend of mine recently sent me the following website link to look at. http://www.sublackwell.co.uk/ What a cool website and artist. The work is interesting on many levels. As sculpture the pieces are intriguing as they play with the idea of what a book is. The words of a well written book make the images leap to life in your mind’s eye and imagination. In this artwork the images from the book’s page are realized right on the pages of the book. Using books as a form of art has become very popular with the dawning of the altered book craze and the hand made artist book community. These books are art objects themselves with the meaning of the pages and the stories serving as allusions for the artworks. The site also links to several films. http://www.sublackwell.co.uk/films.php Each is interesting as an animated piece. One illustrates the way that an ad campaign was developed utilizing the artists designs and a team of animators. It is intriguing to me especially as I push forward trying to learn the art of animation and pass it along to my students.

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Although I have no picture to post I will write anyways since it has been awhile. The political conventions came and went as has the summer. Being a teacher is enjoyable, but at times difficult since I miss most of September while submerged in the piles of work that surround the beginnings of a new school year. Everyone is trying so hard with their renewed attitudes and new class rosters of shiny faces and possibilities. Each year we’re asked to set professional goals. Mine are always the same and why shouldn’t they be? I am always working on the same things….to raise awareness in the community for art and to help my students become accomplished artists able to communicate their thoughts and feelings.  This is challenging for any educator, but has become especially difficult in the times we live in.  The money in my budget hasn’t grown much in recent years, but the prices for supplies to support the program have increased substantially.  It is troublesome to try to deliver a quality program on a shoestring budget.  It is also difficult to teach, identify grants, fund raise etc.  Sometimes there is so much that gets in the way of just doing the thing I set out to do…make art, teach art, love art.

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It is an exciting time right now, the Olympics will be followed by the spectacle of the Democratic and Republican conventions.  As an artist I often look at these events and wonder what they have to do with me?  What can I do to make a difference to be heard?  Does our society value the artist or care about art?  It feels like art is invisible, on the fringe…not really making a difference or mattering to the greater good of society and the world.  With this in mind I was interested in the community of Minneapolis/St. Paul and their take on the upcoming political machine about to roll into town.  I consider the Twin Cities a place where art is intrinsically part of the fabric of the cityscape and is valued by its people.  The article in the New York Times discusses the reaction and actions that both Minneapolis/St. Paul and Denver intend to take to celebrate the conventions from an arts point of view.  The Unconvention is a clever way to look at the process of politics and not really try to make people be for or against Obama or McCain. It is artists taking action to call attention to the political process.  The Denver version called Dialog:City will feature many things including a political karaoke  created by Daniel Peltz.  This will allow citizens to re-perform the speeches of John McCain and Barack Obama.  Both arts related events make me wish I could visit the cities and participate.  You can take part in some of the events.  There is a YouTube component to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Unconvention where you can record a brief video and have it be part of the I approve this message project.  I watched a few of these and they are fabulous examples of the freedom of speech.  I especially like the one woman’s sarcasm as she discusses the minions whose lives will be interrupted for four days because of the traffic jams that the conventions will cause.

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Here is a new little animation that I just finished.  It is an example of rotoscoping.  The hands in the paintings are mine knitting the cable cardigan (Central Park Hoodie) that I’ve been working on for many months.  It brings together several of my favorites, knitting, watercolor painting and drawing and technology.  It was time consuming to create, but very fun.  I need to work on sound that could go with it, but for now it’s a cool little thing that I tried.  I will try to post some photos of the actual knit sweater, too.  It is progressing with the shoulder seams bound off together as of today.  I still have the sleeves and hood to knit plus the buttons.  I don’t know if I’ll finish before going back to school this fall, but I will try.  Let me know what you think of the animation!

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So I finally have begun making new art work, that actually feels like art. I have been taking the class at MIAD all week and have finished two video works this week. They are posted here . Hopefully, you can view them. I’m pretty psyched about the results. We had specific directions as to what we could and couldn’t do. Considering I knew nothing at the start of the week this is pretty cool. Let me know what you think.


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