Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Timpanogos Storytelling Festival

Katherine Farmer (who is one of my heroes) invited me to be one of her assistants for her workshop at this year's Timpanogos Storytelling Festival! (WOO!!!!) I was also the photographer for the event since no one else showed up with a camera. Katherine was presenting her research on the Story Code which she has been developing and writing about for the last 28 years. It's fascinating stuff and no matter  how many times I hear her talk about it, there's always something new to learn. This time was no exception. There is a bulging folder nearby of all my notes, but there were a few quotes that I can't keep from sharing.

"Most work of narrative comprehension seems to occur in what Freud called the preconscious, the realm of elements 'capable of entering consciousness.' The spectator simply has no concepts or terms for the textual elements and systems that shape responses. It is the job of theory to construct them, the job of analysis to show them at work."
David Bordwell (Narratologist)

"If a plot is too complex, Audiences say it is boring. If it's too simple, they say it insults their intelligence." Katherine

"When we are sitting in an arm chair reading or a theatre seat viewing, our brains are behaving oddly. We know that we ourselves cannot change the story, movie, play, tale, or poem. Somehow that knowledge changes our brains. We go into a trance-like state. We become 'absorbed.' We no longer pay attention to our bodies or our environments and turn off our natural defense mechanisms, and this is not normal." 
Norman N. Holland (Neuroscientist)

"Serious dramas will succeed everywhere, but more especially with a people whose manners are corrupt. They will go to the theatre in order to escape the evil-doers by whom they are surrounded in life; there they will find people with whom they would care to live. They will see mankind as it really is, and they will become reconciled with it. Good people do exist, though they are rare."
Denis Diderot (18th Century French Philosopher)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Better late than never!

From our trip to Capitol Reef last June (the same show as this piece)! All of them were on location sketches i.e. done in a half hour or less, because after a half hour, your butt is too sore from sitting on a rock to draw anymore without changing location. 
These sketches and paintings just came back to me from the Show-master. 

The theme for the trip was, "A Private Experience in a Public Space". Most of the artists would fan out whenever we stopped and set up a temporary art camp. I loved sneaking up on them while they were drawing/painting. Seeing them in the wild like that seemed to epitomize the theme for me.

Why do people like things that make them feel small? 
One of my fellow animators asked that while driving in. It colored my thoughts for the whole trip.

Desert clouds are gorgeous! I wish the texture showed up more in the scan. The clouds on this day were fluffy and rolling but all very low (except for the rebel up above). It gave us the best of both worlds: clear, blue sky, and occasional shade from the sun.

^ The colors in this were too light to for my scanner so they look a bit grainy her. But the original is watercolor and gouache.

We drove and hiked all over that park on the second day. Thus, I developed a somewhat...bumpy approach.

Sometimes we stopped driving long enough for me to paint a smooth line.

The sharp shadows on the rocks are some of the most beautiful things on Earth. This peak was near Devil's Tower, I think. We spent to morning scrambling all over the rocks and hills in this area.

A sunrise.

On the last day, we walked through a dried up river bed. The pebbles and sand on the riverbed made it difficult to walk but we saw some great shapes as hewn by the water and the wind.

The road home.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ryan and Family (and Julia Denos)

For Ryan and his cute family! 

Oh my gosh! New favorite artist: Julia Denos. My first draft was an emulation. It later evolved into the finished product above. 

Melanie Squared

Happy Birthday, Melanie! 

Sunday, February 5, 2012