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Dallas Poague of Monkey in a Dryer and Pally Pal paper toys has recently put his love of the great 1930s where his internet is! Although the site is currently under construction, his tribute to Ub Iwerks is chock fulla interesting facts, comical cartoons and a 90-minute biography of the man behind the man who swiped The Mouse right out from under him (citation needed)! So go pop some corn, grab a sarsaparilla and while away the day watching cartoons in living blackened white – just the way your grandparents like ‘em!
Checking in from Beale AFB, home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing . . .
. . . responsible for deploying Airmen and delivering high-altitude intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance products. This wing is equipped with the nation's fleet of U-2 and RQ-4 (Global Hawk) reconnaissance aircraft.
I am there with four other members of the Air Force Art Program, getting a behind-the-scenes opportunity to document base activities in photos, which we will use as reference for painting. Yesterday (rainy): U-2 and Global Hawk maintenance in the hangars. Today: U-2 pressurized flight suit maintenance, pilot suit-up, and U-2 take off/touch-and-go landings, with us riding in chase cars going 100 mph+. The chase car drivers guide pilot landings via radio communication. Tomorrow we will go up in the tower and on the flightline to photograph Global Hawk take off's.
Claudia, my publicist, has finished designing my new coloring book based on illustrations from the Andy and the Albino Horse series. It will be published in time for the Ochoco Western Arts Roundup in Prineville, Oregon on May 1st. I plan on doing several more coloring books soon.Here is the front cover and the back page.
The book is not a complete collection of Gross’s work, but does represent a complete collection of the artists’s hard-to-find comic book work. What’s more is the sheet amount of extras, photos, sketches, original art, and other rare pieces of Milt Gross ephemera that you’ll find in its pages.
The meat of the book is the comics, though. Milt Gross’s cartooning is loose and wild, and is quite unlike anything that came before or after. Although I’ve been marginally aware of Milt Gross’s work with the help of books like Dan Nadel’s Art Out of Time and the National Cartoonist Society’s Milt Gross Fund (now the NCS Foundation), this book offered me my first substantial introduction to his work.
It’s a manic, colourful world where anything goes. Gross’s floppy-armed grotesque characters that zoom from one antic to the next remind me of The Muppet Show if they remind me of anything, and that’s most certainly a good thing.
First published in 2002 and recently reissued in paperback by Groundwood Books, Lessons from Mother Earth
by Elaine McLeod and illustrated by Colleen Wood seems to be a perfect book to share with kids on Earth Day. I haven’t read the book yet (am about to head to the library to look for it), but judging by this recommendation (originally posted to Amazon) by librarian Laurie von Mehren at the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Parma, Ohio, it sounds lovely. It seems to convey two very important aspects of aboriginal cultures: a deep respect for nature and the role of elders as culture bearers:
This book by an author born in the Yukon and a member of the Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation is about respecting and caring for the planet. Five-year old Tess visits her grandmother’s mountain cabin and learns about her garden, which consists of nature itself. The first rule grandma teaches Tess is: “You must always take good care of our garden.” Following that, she tells Tess to say a prayer of thanks while picking fruits and vegetables; to harvest just enough and at the right time; and to take care not to trample the vegetation or leave rubbish behind. For dinner, they gather wild edibles-lamb’s-quarters, dandelion shoots, and blueberries.
Wood’s realistic yet impressionistic watercolors are glowing and lush, with dabs of color for close-ups of berries and woodland animals. This book would work particularly well for Earth Day or as part of a nature/ecology unit.
My email account was hijacked yesterday, the hacker soon had sent out spam mails to everyone on my email list, sorry if you got one.
Sometimes I think I'll switch to analog blogging instead... The reach is rather limited but you can stay clear of the horrific web.
This is why the Internet was invented. Here’s something I’d never seen or heard of before. “Niffiwan” in Toronto has post on You Tube a subtitled version of a formerly unknown (to me and all my reference books) 1945 Russian animated feature (43 minutes long). It could actually be considered the first traditionally-animated Russian feature, because there was actually a feature made with stop-motion animation in 1935. (The more well known, full-length, Magic Pony (The Humpbacked Horse) was released in 1947).
It’s called The Lost Letter, and it’s definitely worth watching. It was directed by the pioneering Brumberg Sisters (Valentina and Zinaida) with Lamis Bredis, and was based on a short story by Nikolai Gogol. Made during the darkest days of World War II, this film was practically unknown and unseen outside of the former USSR until now. Ben Ettinger from AniPages Daily wrote a nice mini-review of it back in 2005, though it was unsubtitled back then.
Below is part one (of four). Read more about the film, how it was subtitled and see the other three parts at Niffiwan’s Journal.
If you'd like a little behind-the-scenes for Dotty, here's a link to my interview with Chad Beckerman, art director and designer for Dotty. It's part of his Interview Adventure Series with the artists and authors he's worked with, be sure to check them out. (Also make sure you watch the video of Werner Herzog reading Madeline! Sooooo silly)...Many thanks, CW! Happy weekend.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to head over to our main PaperTigers site and read our interview with Canadian Métis author and literacy advocate David Bouchard. David has produced more than 35 picture-books for readers of all ages, as well as two guides on reading for parents and educators. An erstwhile teacher and school principal, he is particularly concerned with Aboriginal-related issues and is a sought-after speaker for school presentations and on topics of reading and literacy. Earlier this month David was bestowed with the Member of the Order of Canada , Canada’s highest civilian honor, ” for his contributions as an author of children’s books and an advocate who has championed the cause of reading and writing, and who has shared his pride as a member of the Métis community through his stories.”
Winchester Galleries, located in Victoria, BC, Canada, is currently hosting an exhibition entitled David Bouchard – Our Author and his Collection. Throughout his career, David has worked with over two dozen accomplished artists, the likes of Allen Sapp, Michael Lonechild and Jim Poitras, and has amassed a diverse and interesting collection of fine art. Paintings from David’s collection, as well as autographed copies of his best-selling books will be on exhibit and sale at Winchester Galleries until May 1st. Here’s a video from the opening night:
here are the 2 finished paintings for gwen's room:) i got them done quicker than i thought i would...yay!!! 2 down an 1 left to go which is going to be the larger middle panel. after, all 3 will get a gorgeous chocolate brown ribbon attached to them for hanging:) i just started working on a series of sketches today of a little girl (ME) amongst cherry blossom tree(s). i am OBSESSED with these beautiful trees!!! i took my preschool class on a little field trip to a fish pond and took numerous photos of this one cherry tree. i have posted a few below...just GORGEOUS! hence the 'inspiritation' for my little sketching frenzy;)
In New Jersey we encourage writers to join a critique group. We try to bring together our members at various workshops, conferences to help make connections for our authors. If you live in NJ, you’ll find information on two new groups forming at the bottom of this post.
I don’t know why it is, but it is very difficult to see where your own manuscript falls short. So finding a group of your peers is an important thing to do. On Friday night after dinner at the June conference held in Princeton, we are arranging small critique groups for the attendees who want to work on their manuscripts.
Because of this, I thought I would share Anita Nolan’s article on Getting the Most Out of A Critique Session. This article first appeared in Sprouts Magazine.Here is her advice:
Read all manuscripts before you arrive at the meeting.
Mark up the manuscript, commenting on what you see that you like as well as the things that didn’t work for you. If you find your mind wandering as you read, or you’re pulled out of the story, mark where that happens.
You’ll be returning the manuscripts, so make sure your writing is legible and write you name on it.
Come prepared with notes, not just hand written comments on the chapter pages, but one or two pages of prepared comments to refer to. The notes should include the major points you want to make. You’ll be able to quickly make your points if you don’t have to flip through the pages trying to decipher your handwriting.
Start with something positive, both in your written and verbal comments. Mention the things that are well done.
When giving verbal comments, don’t worry about the minor things, like typos. The writer will see them later, when you return the pages.
Focus your verbal comments on the larger issues: Pacing, POV, conflict, characterization, if you were unable to suspend disbelief, etc.
Be specific. Don’t just say “the dialogue is weak,” or “the POV switches are confusing.” Mark specific examples and use them in the discussion to explain your opinion.
Give first reactions. Did the story hold your interest? Was the main character sympathetic? One of the most precious things you can give is your first impression, because you only have the chance to do that once.
Don’t dominate the session. If the group has 30 minutes and six members, you have only five minutes per person for comments, and you’ll need to take less time than that so that there is a little time for discussion. You’ll learn a lot from others, so don’t spend all the time talking.
When You’re on the Receiving End
Submit your best quality work. If the submission is sloppy, the comments will be focused on simple errors and waste valuable time on easily corrected mistakes.
Don’t expect everyone to love your work. No matter how wonderful it is, that will never happen.
Take criticism gracefully. Refrain from being defensive. Keep your emotions in check.
Let the others know what areas you feel need work, and ask if they have suggestions or understand what you were trying to achieve.
Time sure goes by quickly these days! The end of the school year is closing in so we’re trying to keep on track, although spring fever is hitting us all pretty hard.
I have a confession to make…I have been cheating on this blog. That’s right. It all started so innocently. I was browsing the want ads in our local paper, and that’s when I saw it. It was an ad for an opportunity to write at home and - just maybe - earn a few dollars. Well, since I am currently unemployed and I enjoy writing, I guess I caved to the temptation.
So, I’ve been writing a few articles at HubPages to try to supplement the income…of course, it really takes time to build up any change. I’ll probably only make a dime in the end and won‘t see a cent for years…but it’s been fun.
In the course of my recent writing, I started browsing the works of a few still life artists that I like. One of them is 20th Century artist Giorgio Morandi. I first encountered his work in college, but I don’t think I was as impressed then - it was my vibrant German Expressionism phase. Morandi’s work was completely opposite of my interests at the time, but I really appreciate it now.
Perhaps in my hectic and noisy life, his still lifes are a quiet and uncluttered refuge. I like the neutral tones of his paintings and the minimal details which are so contrary to my own style. The linework on his drawings adds life - a very nice balance to what would otherwise be considered bland compositions.
Another artist whose still life work I enjoy is Wayne Thiebault. Again, I am drawn to him for his difference from my own style. I always liked the thick application of paint and his colors (or maybe I'm just hungry). I’ve always wondered how painters who work so thick financed all of that paint (at least as a student)! In college, I always worked small and thin since I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to buy more paint when I needed it.
Well, I don't post other people's work that often. My plate is pretty full at the moment (and not with cake and ice cream). Summer's coming - things will change to some deg
The idea worked inside my head. I'd make some art that interacted with real animals. I had several ideas but thought I would start out with an "easy" one. One with a domestic, "controllable" animal.
I decided on a cardboard wildebeest being attacked by a cat. Sort of make it look like a scene from the African plains. Only thing, the cat wouldn't participate at all despite the fresh tuna placed on the wooden perch.
You win this time cat... I have other ideas that will include hungrier animals...
For interactive projects that actually did work, visit the Zonkey Street website!
Today we have talented Art Director, designer and illustrator Rich Deas helping us understand what went in to designing the U.S. cover art for ONCE (Henry Holt, 2010) by Australian author Morris Gleitzman. The book, about a young Jewish boy hidden by his parents in a Catholic orphanage in Poland during WWII (the story follows his harrowing efforts to reunite with his parents), is part of a trilogy (ONCE, THEN, and NOW) published first in the United Kingdom. The covers abroad look like this:
A volume was brought out in the U.K which combined both ONCE and THEN. Here's the cover image:
I have to say that I think the U.S. cover of ONCE is a real show-stopper compared to the U.K. version. The focus has come in much tighter, and the relative size of the barbed wire to the small figure produces a visceral reaction that the U.K. version, seen from much farther off and in visual competition with the train tracks and the text, does not. The font used for the U.S. title is heavy, brutal and in-your-face, appropriate to the story, while the U.K. font is gentle, in the style of early Dick-and-Jane books. Though the original cover is good, it's not strong, in my opinion. But the U.S. cover is a knock-out.