Bedroom Inspiration

Some bedroom inspiration for you! As many of you know I will be moving to London on Monday! I have already bought so much stuff for my room but I wanted to share with you what has inspired me:
Lots of White (I have built in white wardrobes) Cerise pink and green. Mirrors all over the walls, sheepskin rugs on chairs. Gold decorations. 
I love the 4th and 5th bedrooms, my dressing table will also be my desk so i am thinking of ways to combine the two!
Which are your favourites? 

If any of these are your pictures please let me know so that i can credit them! 

Miss Audley

Before I start I would like to tell you that I am going to give a talk at the Pixel Animation Festival in Vienna this October. I'll be there for a week, the festival takes place from Oct. 7-9.
It would be great to run into some of you guys over there, if you are nearby, see if you can make it.
Here is the link to Pixel 2011:

Eleanor Audley  was a great character actress, her roles were mostly in TV.
She could be seen in shows like "I love Lucy",  "Green Acres",  "My Three Sons"
and many others.
Her most famous film roles were with Disney. She voiced and provided live action reference for two classic female villains, the stepmother in "Cinderella" and Maleficent in "Sleeping Beauty".
Frank Thomas and Marc Davis couldn't say enough good things about working with her. She was a perfectionist.

I met Eleanor Audley in the early eighties through a friend, who told me that she lived next door to his family in North Hollywood. I couldn't believe it, what a coincidence!
Soon after I got invited to the family's Thanksgiving dinner, and I was thrilled to see that Miss Audley was a guest as well. Imagine...dinner with the stepmother.
I never forget when she asked me: "Andy, pass the gravy!" She totally sounded like the stepmother, with that crack in her voice. I immediately passed the gravy.....

A few weeks later I visited Miss Audley in her house, she knew I was interested in hearing about her work at Disney. Apparently the voice acting was a lot of fun for her, but the live action!
"Oh, that Ham Luske!" she reminisced, "sending me up and down those stairs on the set, up and down!"

In 1985 I invited Miss Audley for a visit to the old animation building at Disney.
At that time I was exhibiting some of my wire sculptures in the studio library.
She arrived in her old Chevy, and I greeted her at the studio's entrance.
We got to the second floor of the animation building, and I asked her how she's been. "Not too good at all" was the answer.
Miss Audley was 80 years old by then, and she talked about her failing health often. I found out that she might have exaggerated here and there.
"Andy, look!" she said (many people called me Andy in those days). "I have these terrible spots on my hands." She showed me her hand, and when I said, I couldn't see any spots at all, she insisted :" Here, take my glasses, you will see them."

I did the above sketch of that situation the way I remember it, especially her bright red coat.
When I asked Miss Audley how she liked my wire sculptures, she responded:
"They are interesting, but keep your day job!" 
What a fantastic line...too funny.

Here are a few photos showing Eleanor Audley at work as the stepmother and as Maleficent.

Look at how beautifully Frank Thomas translated her intense expression into a character drawing.

Marc Davis used this live action reference when Maleficent confronts the prince.
Note the prop of a milk carton being held by Eleanor Audley as a stand in for a lamp.
The final version shows Maleficent holding a candle instead.

If you are interested, here is a Youtube clip from a "Dennis the Menace" episode,
starring Eleanor Audley:

Three Weeks Magazine Review of We See Fireworks

Upon entering the room, lit by faded iridescent light bulbs, you instantly find yourself embedded inside someone else’s vibrant reminiscence; ‘We See Fireworks’ is an unimaginable, enchanting collection of precious and personal memoirs. All 300 voices welcome the listener, to share their story, which is extremely moving as they are often private or once-in-a-lifetime experiences. All the memories relate to theatre and explore the idea of ‘performance’ and how people relate to it. The glowing and fading light bulbs become mesmerising, as you listen to stories of love, fear, woe, hope, longing and contentment. Then they fade and you are left in darkness with other people’s experiences lingering around you. A truly unique, inspirational and poignant piece of work.
Rating 4/5
28 August 2011

Mary Brennan of The Herald reviews We See Fireworks

Maybe a memory of it will fetch up, along with the other confiding voices in Helen Cole’s haunting, absorbing installation, We See Fireworks. It sound simple. Various light bulbs dangle overhead. Unseen, unidentified strangers volunteer taped memories of performances – some staged, while others were moments of a personal nature – that combined and heightened into a recollected theatricality. You listen. Bulbs flare collectively or dwindle into lone flickerings. And the power of stories – secrets, in many cases – seizes you, makes you hungry for more. Not least when, as happened, I heard a guy speak feelingly about a show I’d seen and reviewed. I saw the stars I’d awarded it, not just the fireworks ... I’d love this to tour all around Scotland.
The Herald 
Mary Brennan 
29 August 2011

Rain-saturated, churning, chanting thunder

The education in Latin shared by English gentlemen was obviously an influence on their landscape gardening.  As Tim Richardson puts it in The Arcadian Friends, 'from the schoolroom to the garden, Virgil set the scene, Horace set the tone, Cicero inspired the political iconography, Pliny extolled the creature comforts, and Ovid directed the sensual fantasy narrative.' Beyond this basic pantheon it is interesting to consider any other writers who touched on landscape themes or inspired future landscape thinking.  One example, less well-known today, was Persius (Aulus Persius Flaccus) who lived in Rome and died young (his dates were 34-62).  His Sixth Satire was translated by Dryden in the 1690s.  In it, a land-owner rejoices in his life free from the concerns of business and state: 'here I enjoy my private Thoughts' and do not care if crops fail or neighbouring farmers have 'a larger Crop than mine.' However, the poem is not concerned with farming or landscape specifically, its general theme is 'an admirable common-place of Moral Philosophy; Of the true Use of Riches'.

The erudite Joseph Addison had read more widely than these Latin writers and in a piece for The Spectator in 1712 showed off his knowledge of Greek: 'my compositions on gardening are altogether after the Pindarick manner, and run into the beautiful wildness of nature, without affecting the nicer elegancies of art.'  According to Richardson, 'Pindar's verse mingles an admiration of the grandeur of raw nature with an ability to complement its changefulness and variety through elegant expression.'  This makes him sound like an interesting wilderness poet, although as with Persius there is no direct writing on landscape in his Odes.  Addison was probably thinking more about the way Pindar wrote. Horace, for example, compared Pindar's writing to a wild landscape: 'a river bursts its banks and rushes down a mountain with uncontrollable momentum, rain-saturated, churning, chanting thunder – there you have Pindar's style...'

Pindar (Roman copy after a Greek original of the 5th century BCE)

Red Kimono

Wearing: DIY red Kimono,  H&M dress, River Island boots, Ebay choker.
Im waving good by to the good weather! These were taken the other day and since then the temperature seems to have really dropped! Im looking forward to wrapping up in lots of layers though! 
The field I took these in is one of my favourite places, the fields we have at the back of the house, they bring back so many child hood memories!

I will be moving to London next week, so I apologize in advance for the sporadic posting! I am so excited to decorate my room! It is going to be cerise pink, bright green and white. I will share it with you all once it is finished! I am so excited! Life seems to be moving so fast right now!

Happy Bank Holiday Monday! It is a certain someone's Birthday tomorrow! So its Shopping time! 

Strong Silhouette...or not?

I am sure most of you know about the value and importance of a strong silhouette
when it comes to key poses.
Some of the old Disney masters said that your silhouette should give the audience an idea about the character's overall mood, and that it also might reveal the business and the acting.

The first two examples prove that point very clearly, the last two are somewhat of an exception in this regard.
Milt Kahl animated these scenes, and as usual they are worth a closer look.

Pecos Bill and Widowmaker show a very clear silhouette. Everything points outward, it's almost like an explosion. The emotion here is definitely exuberance.

This scene with Tramp interacting with the beaver also reads very clearly.
The staging connects the characters beautifully. Tramp leans forward and his paw pushes on the beaver's belly. There is just enough negative space between the two so that both poses are easy to recognize in silhouette.

Here we have a case of staging where the main business happens within the character's silhouette, not out in the open at all.
Robin Hood is wiggling his finger through a shot hole in his hat. So why does this read so well after all?
Milt made sure that your eye goes right to that subtle motion, look at the arrows.
And then the importance of  color. Robin's brown finger is moving in front of the WHITE  part of his fur.
It becomes a silhouette within a silhouette. 
Check out the frame grab below.

One of the great scenes in Disney animation.
But you couldn't tell from Medusa's silhouette what's going on here.
Again, the important subtle action of the false eyelash being pulled is staged within the main shape.
But to me there seem to be a hundred lines pointing at her left eye area.
No matter which part of the drawing you start looking at, your eye will end up at the stretched eyelash. The bend of every finger, the folds in her towel, even the shape of her lips help the viewer to focus on this one  particular part of the drawing. 

Of course all this looks so simple, but it took a lot of artistic brain power that made results like these possible.


The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Jonathan Tyers, the owner of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, had his own private estate at Denbies in Surrey.  There he named an 8-acre woodland 'Il Penseroso' after Milton's poem - perhaps, as Tim Richardson says in his book The Arcadian Friends, Tyers 'viewed Vauxhall Gardens as its equivalent, the more jocund L'Allegro' and the melancholy woodland as 'a kind of penance for the jolly hedonism of Vauxhall.'  In this wooded part of the garden there was a hermitage called the Temple of Death which contained, in addition to a memorial to garden designer Lord Petre, a model of a white raven and a clock that chimed every minute, to remind visitors of the transience of life.  Black leather-bound copies of Edward Young's Night Thoughts and Robert Blair's The Grave were available for perusal on a table.  Beyond the hermitage was a gateway with posts made from upright coffins, 'its arch surmounted by a pair of human skulls (reputedly real - one belonging to a highwayman, the other a prostitute's)'.  This was the entrance to the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  Here the two artists Tyers had previously employed at Vauxhall were asked to decorate the interior of a temple.  Either side of an allegorical statue by Louis-Fran├žois Roubiliac were paintings by Francis Hayman: The Death of a Christian (peaceful and accompanied by an angel) and The Death of an Unbeliever (about to be speared by a leering skeleton).  Richardson concludes that 'any visitors who arrived thinking they might have an amusing time with the happy-go-lucky proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens were in for a disappointment.'

William Blake, illustration intended for the 1805
publication of Blair's poem 'The Grave'


This last photo is by far my favourite of the whole shoot! 
So as you all know by now I styled my first shoot on friday! Here are the final results, I think Jess has done such a fantastic job! The location is Berlin Gap where I took some photo's a little while ago you can check them out here (One of my favourite posts).
I wanted to dress the models completely opposite from one another as they have such a different look. For Fanny, the blonde, I opted for a really bohemian style with fringing and lots of accessories, I wanted her to come across as angelic.
For Grace I wanted black and for it to look strong yet elegant all at once, for this reason I went for an all lace outfit which I think looks stunning with the green seaweed.
Would you believe everything used here comes from my own wardrobe?
Have a great friday everyone! This weekend I will be decorating my new house! :)

Follow the Trail

This is a scene with Jafar on his horse, which  I animated early on during production.
I remember being a little apprehensive getting started, this was the first time I animated a horse in a Disney film. As far as Jafar, I had only done a handful of scenes with him prior to this one. So I was still trying to work out drawing issues.
It is sort of an action scene, and you can see that my drawings look pretty rough, especially the blue under drawing. But the graphite lines gave my clean up assistant Kathy Bailey enough information in terms of what I wanted the characters to look like.

As far as the action, it was clear to me as what needed to happen.
The horse is spooked by the bright light, it rises up, at that time Jafar says his line and points forward, and off they go screen right.

There were quite a few things to track, overlap wise. The horse's mane and Jafar's sleeves and cape. I messed with the whole thing for a little while, as you can see in the erased areas and the re pegging on some sheets.

Nevertheless I had fun animating this scene. It was painted dark for the final version, because the sequence takes place at night. Probably for the better, any drawing issues disappear in darkness.

These are most of the rough key drawings from the scene.

PS. I just noticed after all these years, the first few frames were CUT from the scene! WELL....