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Canadian Film Vault Opens

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.

Illustration Friday

"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”.

I have finally finished my Central Park Hoodie. It took me a year to complete this project, but considering that I work full time, have a family etc. That’s not too, bad. It was my first ever cable knit so I learned a lot. It was also my first ever sweater and my first ever hoodie. So considering all of these firsts the journey and the sweater were well worth it. I am finalizing the buttons and of course have to do the dreaded blocking. This is the part that scares me most since I could shrink and screw it up. Photos will be posted soon.

Love those cables!

Love those cables!

Grand Canyon




Grand Canyon

Originally uploaded by bellafiore

There is a reason they call it Grand! WOW!!! I was there once before, but this was more spectacular, perhaps because of the sheer perilous nature of pursuing the view. The area around Flagstaff had received a great deal of snow so the paths leading to the edge were snowy, icy and treacherous. It made the reward of a view that much more inspiring. Seeing this for the first time with my own children also was a thrill. They were unplugged from computers and ipods and all the other stuff that amuses them and instead were truly awestruck by nature for a change. By visiting we lost three hours of precious time on our cross country road trip, but we gained a lifetime of thrills.

Poetry Magnets and More

I found this website that is sort of fun to play with. I have always loved poetry and words and also typography. While participating in a chat on an Art Educator site I found wordle.net. It is a cool site that lets you enter words and then randomly jumbles them up in different fonts and colors. The designs can be interesting because of the randomness of what occurs. You can save your creations to a gallery if you like how they turned out. You can also edit the look of your design with some of the tools that change color, layout, font and several other features. The randomness of this endeavor is part of what really appeals to me. I could do something similar in Illustrator or InDesign or with a real cut and paste collage, but this is just kind of a fun way to brainstorm. These are almost like thumbnails for something else. Have fun with the wordles! Here’s one of mine.

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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.




Path Diverging

Originally uploaded by bellafiore

So it’s November and so much has changed. We voted and elected a new president who promises to be the voice of change. Already there are those around the world who respect us more as a country just because we elected him. To gain respect just for making this choice is incredible. The power of positive thought and talk; to tell others that they will be included in the process of government for the first time, that there is realistic hope for the future. We have not felt THIS in a long time. The Bush administration ruled out of fear: fear of what to do. They inflicted fear upon us, using 9-11 as an excuse for the war we’re now mired in. They used it as a smokescreen to divert our attention from the numerous civil liberties they took from us and from the numbers of environmental laws they reversed. FEAR! I am tired of being afraid and hopeless. It is good to feel proud and hope-filled again. It is good to think that maybe there is a future for my children, that perhaps someone will take charge and lead us into and through the beginning of the 21st century with new ideas. So now what?….It is time to go back to work; roll up our sleeves and pour our energies into making our country what it can and should be. It is time for all those who have been left out for so long to finally be included again. Being an educator I am especially proud and hopeful for my students and the promise of what the future can be under this hopeful president who I think will govern, not rule, with humility-a trait that has not been part of the current administration. This has nothing to do with art-making, but everything to do with how I feel and it is as if a great weight has been lifted. To have HOPE restored is the most powerful of things. Let us hope that at least some of what has been promised comes to pass.