Off On My Hollyhocks

Blue Horizons
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Superdome

A group exhibition in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo, shows this work by Daniel Firman called ‘Wursa, 18,000 kilometers from Earth’.

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(You MUST Click the picture!)

Firmin’s calculations establish that an elephant could balance on the tip of its trunk at 18,00 kilometers from the Earth, though it’s motivations for doing so remain enigmatic to say the least.

Link Link
The taxidermist who made it possible: Jean Pierre Gerard.

Related elephantine post here.
And because elephants never forget, let us also stretch back in time and remember an elephant post from the very first days of Articles and Texticles here.

New Look for Articles And Texticles

Regular visitors might have noticed that Articles & Texticles has changed its appearance.
After a couple of years of using the lovely minimalist theme called “plaintxtblog” designed by Scott Wallick, I’ve now converted the site to a theme called “Shades of Gray” which is based on a very advanced sandbox design by, er, Scott Wallick.

Shades of Gray is a style sheet designed by Leslie Franke. I’ve succeeded in getting the header image – one of the main attractions in this theme along with the crisp layout and typography – to display a succession of randomly selected images.

The other big attraction for me was the easy-to-find-and-use navigation bar right under the header picture. I’ve been planning to put some new types of content on the site for a long time, but my search for the the most usable and elegant way of doing so has been painstaking and slow. While there are thousands of themes available to WordPress bloggers, it’s been a long wait finding exactly the right one.
The good thing about WordPress software is that you can change any aspect of it you fancy, so there may be a bit more tweaking going on around here.

I hope you like it!

Art & Design in The British Film #19 Tom Morahan

Continuing a series about Art Directors in the British film industry up to 1948, when the book containing these articles was published.

This chapter deals with Tom Morahan (1906 – 1969)

Tom Morahan is a very true artist and a great fighter for the recognition of the film as a medium separate from other art forms. To some his nature appears at times to be rather rugged. But among those that know him he is recognized as a most genial character with undying energy and honesty of purpose.

(Please click these thumbnail images to enlarge them.)

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Jamaica Inn. Continuity sketches, Ink wash. Mayflower Productions.

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Men of Two Worlds – Water Colour. Two Cities Films.

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Perrin and Trail – Pen & Wash. Two Cities Films.

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St Martin’s Lane (AKA The Sidewalks of London) Charcoal & Wash. Mayflower Productions.

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Jamaica Inn. Charcoal & wash. Mayflower Productions.

Continue reading

The Totoro Sayama Forest Project – Updated

On the outskirts of Tokyo, there’s a forest that’s very dear to the heart of Hasao Miyasaki, who claims that it was this very place that inspired him to write and produce the most enduring animated feature film, My Neighbour Totoro.

The forest is being encroached upon by urban development, and so the Totoro Forest Project has been set up to oppose the spread of building into the forest area.

It must be one of the first ecological fundraising efforts ever to be inspired and co-ordinated by an animated cartoon character.

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There will be an auction of donated works at Pixar’s Animation Studios in Emeryville, California on September the sixth, 2008.

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Craig Elliot‘s The Source of Protection

There are many animation concept artists getting involved in the project.

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Erik TiemensUnknown Path.

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Huy Nguyen – Morning Sound

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John Lee – Untitled.

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Robert McKenzieUnion Square.

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Wayne LoShe Spies A Pool Party.

And a friend and colleague who’s linked in the sidebar: Luc Desmarchelier

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Luc DesmarchelierThe Resting Place.

UPDATE: Have a look at Neil Ross’s 1 contribution to the project here.

There’s an amazing collection of talent to see in the gallery section of the Totoro Forest Project site. There will be two separate exhibitions of selected works in the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum in September and November.
See site for details.

Footnotes for this post:____________________________________
  1. Apologies to all the other colleagues, mates and co-workers that I’ve missed out here []
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Animation Notes #2 – The Richard Williams Studio Memos

Here’s the second post arising from the discovery of a group of documents published by the animator Richard Williams sometime in the late 1970’s.

He’s making a strong bid for the high ground in this document, elevating himself (and his studio staff) to being the natural successors to the skills and craft base of the Walt Disney animation studios of the 1930’s.

The main body of the document has its roots in 1937, and it appears to me after several readings, that it’s probably the result of mashing two prior documents together. One would have been a general outline of Disney’s animation theory and practice, and the second source document consisted of a sort of question and answer internal training document that dealt with procedures between animators and checkers.
Much of the discussion of levels, overlays and cut-outs might appear arcane and irrelevant to today’s CGI animation students, but remember that all of our working methods in the new digital media are based on the old studio practices, so it’s worth paying attention.

Whatever its roots, the publication of this memo reflects the stance of the Richard Williams studio at the time, and how it was positioning itself in the hierarchy of world studios. The first paragraph of Dick’s introduction resounds with a cocky arrogance that, in the gentle glow of hindsight, now seems justified and hard to deny.

As usual, click the images to make them bigger.

There’s a pdf file of the whole text after the pictures, so continue to the end of this post after the fold.

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Read the rest of this texticle here >> Continue reading