Friday, April 15, 2011

harpoon the cartoon

I'm really into cartoons. Maybe this says something about my lack of maturity but I'm just going to go with it. I'm a fan of the art, I enjoy Disney for this reason...or at least the old Disney (because lets face it, "the princess and the frog" was the worst cartoon I've ever seen.) When Bambi was re- released from the vault, I had three people call me when they found out because they knew how excited I'd be. The art and observation in that movie is beautiful. It saddened me that they "restored" the old colors. By restored they meant boosting the color and re-coloring the delicate art of mixed shades that was put into the original art. They replaced them with primaries, so our children will know that grass is bright green and bark is brown. Rejecting the idea that there is a beauty is muddied hues and unclassified shades. I think it would be good if we spent more time appreciating the "off colors" and actually thought about the blues and yellows and orange undertones  that make up the intense browns of a forest bedding. I doubt I'll find anyone to back me up since bold, bright, primary, high contrast are huge elements of modern art right now. Also we spend much of our day with these ideals thrown in our faces via internet, TV and billboards. White backgrounds and loud pops of color get our our attention. They sell. 
Wow. That turned into a rant. Back to cartoons: it's really relaxing to just let the mind wander through abstractions. We once did  a project in art school where we had to pick a subject and drawn on  a three by five card every single day a new way to represent the subject. The goal is to expound upon, or simplify the concepts of line, shape, rhythm and emotions that can go into a single character. I chose a horse, and you would think that after 200 something odd note cards I'd be tired of "the horse" but I felt like I had only just tipped the iceberg. I drew carousel horses, horse costumes, fat horses, lazy horses, dancing horses, horses working in offices, single outlined horses and horses made up of dots. Sometimes I was so abstract in thinking of the idea of the horse that you could no longer distinguish what it was supposed to be. Perfect, goal reached. Doing this type of project is a good start to thinking outside of the pushes you to zero in on a single subject and think of everything in life it could represent to you or to someone else. 
Last night I grabbed a sharpie and drew Juneau (she was asleep in front of me) and started thinking of how she is such a "character". She needs her own book or something. She's the perfect cartoon dog (in my rather biased opinion). 

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