Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Animated Goings On - Mrs D's Work In Progress

Mrs D is still sat, for hours a day, drawing her animation...

This is all still part of a work in progress, Mrs D assures me. As is her knowledge of TVPaint. But here's a clip.

I seem to remember those red shoes, flamenco ones from Barcelona. At least they are getting an airing ... and what an airing.

Blown Away from Mrs D on Vimeo.
"Wind" sound effect - by Mark diAngelo.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A Political Propapagandist's View Of My Childhood

Well. The UK Election is done with.
The Conservatives have slipped up and Labour have got their voters in. Onward and upward.

One thing I have noticed ... one thing that has been puzzling me ... is when, exactly, did the word "socialist" become a term of deep abuse in the UK? It may not be your flavour of politics but to some so-called pundits it seems to have become a politics "beyond the pale". Link it to the term Marxist and apparently we should all be running around in circles and checking under the bed for bugaboos.

The recent Labour Party Manifesto kicked this off, talk of getting rid of student loans, perhaps re-nationalising part of the transport grid.. government energy companies and so forth. This... they have been saying... is Marxism.

Did my conservative father realise he was living in a Marxist state during my 1950s childhood, I wonder? As he duly voted for Churchill, Eden, Macmillan? Under whose Conservative governments we continued to enjoy in the main Labour's free schooling, free healthcare, public transport, government owned utility companies? The post-war consensus?

We obviously did not see that these apparent pillars of Conservative Government were being manipulated by Uncle Joe from behind Winnie's "Iron Curtain".

I wonder ... how did my family escape the gulags? What with all those Ladies Nights down at the Lodge? Surely that was punishable under a Marxist regime?
Perhaps I was too traumatised and mistook the gulags for the leafy suburbs of Kent.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Mrs D's Current Obsession ... with Animating

Night and day Mrs D sits at her desk: monitor on; pc on; graphics tablet all lit up and nibs for the stylus worn down to stumps and strewn about the place.

What is she animating? Your guess is as good as mine ... or hers. You can see her Mood Board over at Pinterest. There certainly seems to be a lot of stuff flying about.

Will she succeed in making a short cartoon? Alors! Me and Chunky the dog don't know. But here are a few frames for you to wonder about.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Grey Doll Will Be Watching ... The Handmaid's Tale

Without a doubt  I shall sit myself down for the new TV serial based on Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" -  Episode 1 of which is due to be aired UK telly on Sunday evening (28th May 2017) - Channel 4 at 9pm.

Margaret Atwood  is a great writer, I genuinely think so. I read The Handmaid's Tale and think it is one of the most chilling pieces of speculative fiction, alternative histories whatever you like to call it - since Orwell's 1984. Was that a lazy comparison? Possibly. But I am old, hot, tired and want to get back to drawing. Incidentally, this also means that I am old enough to remember the mindset of things before late twentieth-century feminism reared it's "nasty", "castrating" Medusa head ... and I am referencing just such a mindset here.
Finally and a propos watching the new serial, I just plain want to see what they have made of the book.

I give you a link to Atwood's own article (published in the New York Times earlier this year) on her writing of the novel and her thoughts about it.

Read Atwood, Yeah!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Current State Of Obsessions

We are a household filled with obsessions. Aren't you? For me, Bike Girl, it's fantasising a life on the road with my bike and my dog. Have you met my dog?
 Mrs D "arranged" him for me. I'd thought I'd like one of those rangy Lurcher guys. But I think some Chow Chow got in to Dog's mix by the look of him. Whatever, he is a good-natured old boy.

So what are these current obsessions? Grey Doll still reads crime novels and has just reviewed "Fatal Crossing", a crime debut by Danish journalist turned crime writer Lone Theils for Euro Crime. You can read The Doll's review in this post on the Euro Crime blog.

The Doll's eyes are tired and rectangular from her evening TV-viewing as well. She and The Old Man did give up on multinational crime thriller The Team ... and she is beginning to think that the third series of French dirty-politics and PR-villainies series, Spin, has ... spun. But she is happy to see Hinterland back on the screen. It's a Welsh crime series set in almost total darkness and packed with monosyllabic conversations... except for the Welsh bits. Loves the photography though, does the Doll.
Other viewing she has recently enjoyed includes globe-trotting situation comedy Gap Year. And, Oh, how she misses the weekly slot filled with pillage and war, tattooed Danes, prissy Saxons and the muscular, jaw-clenched Uhtred (nee Osbert) of Bebbenburg in The Last Kingdom.

You may ask about The Old Man's obsessions too. But why ask? Didn't you know that in the UK we have a General Election coming up? Shouting at the telly and radio has gone to maximum decibels in this household. Grey Doll joins in and then Dog starts barking.  Then I have to rev up the bike and dream of faraway hills and open roads.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Artistic Obsessions: Adrian Piqueras Sanchez as an "Animaholic"

Still snacking, dozing and discussing creative obsessions, Mrs D is herself rather preoccupied with the notion of buying a fountain pen (after watching Mattias Adolfsson's video about pens).
Whilst considering creative obsession she fell upon this confession of Madrid-born Adrian Piqueras Sanchez on his own consuming addiction. Mrs D do quote from his website  (original is in Spanish of course but ... here's to the glories or otherwise of Google translate.). 

"The first time a painting came to my hands, I heard a voice in my head that said ... Draw! But since I still could not speak, I ate it. That day I learned 2 things: that it is not food does not mean that it does not feed, and that life can be seen in many ways. Since then I do nothing more than draw everything that goes through my head, creating impossible beings with everything I encounter and encouraging everything that is supposed to be inert. 
And yes ... I do keep hearing voices."

Aaah! Passion! says Mrs D. Oh ... by the way, references to "the dragon" in this film are likely to refer to an addiction to the animation software Dragonframe and not another substance... ahem.

ANIMAHOLIC from Adrian Piqueras Sánchez on Vimeo.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Artistic Obsessions: Mattias Adolfsson on Fountain Pens

Mrs D always says that creative makers/artists need to be obsessive... somewhat. She usually says this whilst lying around with a glass of red and a snack. But I have stumbled across some videos which illustrate this point nicely.

The first comes from Swedish artist Mattias Adolfsson - one time 3D animator and now an "analogue" illustrator. Mrs D follows his blog and enjoys visiting his intricate, fantastic and wittily drawn world on an almost daily basis.

His blog is called Mattias Inks. You can read a Nonsense Society 2013 interview with Mattias .... but above all let him tell you about his obsession with fountain pens himself. Watch the video.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Animated Discussions: Eva Cvijanović and "Seasick"

One of The Doll's previous posts was about Kati Hiekkepelto's "The Exiled" - a crime thriller set in Serbia.

OK, this is a ropy link but I'm continuing the theme of exile with this lovely animation featured by Chris Robinson in his blog "Pictures from the Brainbox: a weekly dose of Indie Animation" on the Animation World Network site.

Canadian resident and "Seasick" creator - Sarajevo-born animator Eva Cvijanović - told Robinson that “Making this film was my way of fighting Canadian winter by immersing myself in memories of swimming in the Adriatic Sea by the Croatian coast.”

... It's a very different view of seasickness ... and a tender, beautifully-made, short film.

You can read an interview with Eva on the Skwigly here.

SEASICK from eva cvijanovic on Vimeo.