Saturday, March 1, 2008

Birdcages Conquered

Huzzah!  I finished the birdcages in this new piece!  I also added another little tent in there too.  Next week, while I wait for my beanstalk plants to grow a bit more, I'll add some constellations and raining stars.  I'll put in some critters and nests and things later on, once I start painting their beanstalk forest home. 

I also divided this background into three sections and started painting in some bean plants.  Each section will eventually be cut out and then cut into separate panels.  This is confusing to explain, but I'll post the progress here and it will all eventually make sense.  Basically I am trying to replicate the accidental inception of Birdwoman.  My hope is to create a whole series of forest transformation paintings/collages.  Here's a detail of the plants I painted yesterday:
I am also reading Dani Cavallaro's critical study, The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki (McFarland & Company, Inc.).  There's a great chapter on Miyazaki's film, My Neighbor, Totoro, which I wrote about in my last post.  The following quote from Cavallaro particularly relates to thoughts I have about my own work, and also illuminates some new avenues of thinking: 
A particularly important sequence, encapsulating Totoro's ethical message, its grasp of child psychology and its approach to the humanity-nature relationship, is the one in which Mei and Satsuki join three Totoros in a nighttime dance around a newly sewn garden patch to help the seedlings sprout.  The sequence is both a ritual and a game.   The young girls' ability to take part in this ceremonial practice alongside the forest's magical creatures encapsulates one of the film's principal messages: the intimation that children tend to retain a connection with the Other, primordial world that does not respect rigid codes and fixed patterns of meaning (69). 

On a completely different note, I have five paintings hanging in the faculty show at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, in Watertown MA.  This one here is an old friend, Froggy Went A-Courting (and He Did Ride), that I painted in 2006.  My newer work, Fish Rain, is also in the background:
I've been hesitant to show this painting with my other work.  My representational skills have improved a lot since I made this piece, so it pales a little in comparison.  For example, the stars, which cover the entire surface, look quite a bit like dandruff.  But I do like the piece, especially the frog eggs floating in space!
Some of my favorite pieces in this show include these big charcoal oil stick drawings by Deb Putnoi:
And this sculpture by Michelle Lougee:

And this crocheted piece by Adrienne Sloane (viewed looking down from the balcony above):

There are a whole bunch of other great pieces in the show as well, and they fill the space beautifully.  

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