Dark Romance.

Wearing: Topshop bead cardigan, thrifted dress, Cavella Smitten wedges, Urban outfitters studded clutch, handmade jewelry

I have never shared with you my dark side, so here it is. Of course I could not be without some sort of fringing but this is one of my more metal/gothic looks. I love the fringing on this dress and matched with the heavy beading on the cardigan I thought it made for a very dark look! As some of you that have been reading my blog a while know, I listen to metal so wanted this outfit to represent that passion! 

Also these are my new booties from Cavalla! I have been looking for these smitten wedges since before xmas so am very pleased to finally have them on my feet!!

I also made this choker (How long has it been since we wore these?!) I have seen they are going to be big for A/W 2011 I really hope they are as I feel I am getting an obsession... 


The Cast of "Jungle Book"

Here they are, the characters from "Jungle Book".
I can't tell you how much this movie means to me. This was my first Disney animated film, I was about 11 years old when I saw it, and my life changed forever.
That's what I wanted to learn and do, Disney Animation.
No way I was not going to pursue this, despite the fact that everybody thought I was nuts. My parents sort of tolerated this "passion", didn't understand it though.
School friends enjoyed my early drawing skills, but me wanting to go to America to draw cartoons for Disney.......sure you will!
"Jungle Book" was and is huge in Europe, more so than in the US.
Audiences appreciated the humor coming from the characters within a very simple story line. Also, even though there are plenty of emotional moments in the film,
sentimentality shows up in more subtle ways than in other Disney films. 
In Europe all these characters are now iconic and part of American/European folklore.
And wouldn't it be nice, if Disneyland Paris had an exclusive "Jungle Book" ride,
.....long overdue.

All these drawings are by Milt Kahl. As so often he gave the final look to all the characters, based on sketches by Bill Peet and Ken Anderson. 
Some are scans from originals, others from copies. The drawings with Baloo
were done for scenes by Frank and Ollie.

When you think of it, this movie had so much going against it. Walt died before it was finished, story genius Bill Peet quit early on, and so did Walt Peregoy, who had much to do with color and design on previous films like "101 Dalmatians" and "Sword in the Stone". Yet somehow to many this became a very special film.
As Milt told me later : " At least the dam thing has a nice flow to it!" 

Climbing Mount Kagu

Among the 4,500 poems which make up the Manyōshū ('Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves'), there is one attributed to the Emperor Jomei (593-641), called 'Climbing Mount Kagu'.  It describes the view from the mountain down towards the land of Yamato: 'Over the wide plain the smoke-wreaths rise and rise, Over the wide lake the gulls are on the wing...'  This translation, like others I have seen, omits the poem's descriptive epithet for Yamato, 'island of the dragonfly'.  The phrase refers to the way a dragonfly's tail touches its mouth to form a ring, like the circle of mountains round the plain of Yamato.  It is an example of a pillow-word (makura kotoba), which Geoffrey Bownas calls in his introduction to The Penguin Book of Japanese Verse (1964) 'a qualifier describing, by tradition, certain nouns or concepts.'  Among other examples connected with actual places are 'rock running' for Ômi' (from the image of water gushing over rocks) and 'spring mist' used to modify Kasuga. Pillow-words are often likened to the Homeric stock epithet, although most of those describe people (ox-eyed Hera, swift-footed Achilles, laughter-loving Aphrodite) rather than places (Mycenae rich in gold).  According to Bownas the comparison fails to do full justice to the essence and purpose of pillow-words, whose 'alliterative or assonantal ring' ensure that the reader pauses on the word being qualified.  'Further, since many of the head-words are place names, it is argued that part of the purpose of the pillow-word in its early use in primitive society was to act as a talisman for the good fortune of the place in question.' He goes on to provide his own example poem in the form of a donnish joke about Oxford's 'Heaven-preserve-it Western By-Pass'.

 Pillow shot from Tokyo Story (Ozu-San.com)

The phrase 'pillow shot' has come to be used to describe the short transitional images of landscapes, interiors and objects that are such a distinctive feature of Yasujiro Ozu's cinema.  There are many examples on the excellent Ozu-San website and a montage on Youtube (embedded below).  The first scene of my favourite Ozu film, Tokyo Story (1953), shows an old couple, the Hirayamas, packing for their trip to Tokyo.  The second takes place in the house belonging to their son, a doctor in the capital.  We do not see the journey itself - instead the scenes are intercut with three pillow shots showing smokestacks (see above), a railway crossing and the sign outside their son's office.  These are more than just establishing shots - as David Desser writes in his handbook to the film, 'careful examination of the exterior shots in the rest of the film reveals that the smokestacks and train station are, in fact spaces "connected" to Dr. Hirayama's, but nothing so indicates that at the start.'  This connection resembles the way that particular words in early Japanese poetry were given associative pillow-words.    

The ear/OAR label specialise in avant garde sounds and environmental recordings; landscape-related examples include Kiyoshi Mizutani's Scenery Of The Border, Francisco López's Trilogy of the Americas and the Phonography series.  In 2007 they released a compilation of music inspired by Ozu's pillow-shots.  A review in The Wire concluded that 'despite the range of idioms on display, from delicate electroacoustic tapestries (Bernhard Gunter) and meditative drones (Keith Berry) to bucolic field recordings (Kiyoshi Mizutani) and frequent uses of silence (almost all), each perfectly serves their respective image. Highlights include Steve Roden's beautiful pairing of chiming guitar and hushed percussive patterns; label owner Dale Lloyd's gently shifting gamelan shapes; and Taku Sugimoto's 'Tengu In Linguistics', where he drops six strident piano notes into a reductive vacuum, reflecting another of Ozu's themes, the eschewal of action in favour of the contemplation of the surrounding space.'  Yasujiro Ozu - Hitokomakura followed an earlier compilation dedicated to Andrey Tarkovsky.  The sequence was completed last year with a tribute to Michelangelo Antonioni.

Take a Look

I've been painting in soft pastel for over 25 years. Long story short: no room to paint in pastels and an urge to move on. (God given!) I have a staggering pile of over 250 pastel paintings ~ credible, beautiful, fun artwork, bagged up and hidden away in the dark of my art cabinet. Take a look: Paintings for a Song

Corrales Acequia, 9" x 9"

Colorado Contrasts, 9" x 9"

Yes Mrs Boss

Wearing: H&M dress, Topshop top and jacket, Asos fringe bag and New Look Boots.

This is a typical outfit if I need to dress a bit smarter for the day but still want to include my most loved items, fringing and boots. I think it makes for quite a nice relaxed yet smarter look.  If that is even English! haha

Unfortunately I have now had to part with the much loved dreamcatcher because I found it chewed to piece and the culprit sitting on the floor with feathers stuffed in his mouth... seems Rodney (my adorable new puppy) liked it more than I did! 

I hope your all having a good week! Its wednesday already! Time is going so quick!!

Mama Odie Test Scene

This is a scene I did a while ago, before we really got going with animation for
"The Princess & the Frog".  It was based on story work  that was current at the time, but was later changed and improved.
It's always good to do a few test scenes in order to get to know your character.
Usually it takes me 5-6 scenes before I feel comfortable with what I am doing.

I am showing you here the first pass pose test followed be the tied down inbetweened version.
There are also scans of the main key drawings.
Looking at the scene now, if it were production, I would probably punch up the timing here and there. 

Mama Odie was a blast to animate. With a character concept like this one, and the voice recordings of Jennifer Lewis....how much better does an assignment get?
Though originally I thought that her eye glasses would present a problem.
How do you show emotional change without eyes? It turned out that her eyebrow wrinkles would work well enough to show the mood she is in.
And "loose flesh" was the name of the game. The more her fatty neck reacted to her overall motions, the better. I probably could have pushed that in production scenes even more.

Anyway, in this scene Mama Odie talks to the off staged frogs, showing her enthusiasm for candy. At the end she interrupts herself when she smells the
burnt gumbo.