Artist Libby VanderPloeg demonstrates just how many layers it takes to get polar vortex-ready.
Despite it’s tragic ending, most of us of a certain age remember with great fondness the Disney film Bambi.
Originally released in 1942, it’s considered one of the finest examples of animation from the 20th century.
Yet the artist responsible for the backgrounds, the atmosphere, the ‘look and feel’ of the film is still largely unknown. Tyrus Wong, 104, died Friday Dec. 30th, yet another remarkable artist to pass on in 2016. You’ve probably never heard of him, however, due to the lack of acclaim offered to Chinese Americans of his generation.
Wong worked as a staff artist in Hollywood beginning in the 1930s. He created storyboards and concept art for both animated and live-action films, many of which are beautiful paintings in their own right.
Born in China in 1910 he arrived at Angel Island at age 9 and was promptly detained under the Chinese Exclusion Act. Eventually he was aloud to join his father. It took until 2001 until Wong received recognition for his remarkable work.
Fortunately for him, and us, he lived a long and creative life.
Read more about Tyrus Wong, here:
Farewell my Princess
I wish this awesome girl hero had come along when I was even younger- but even in college years she was inspiring. When did we ever see such a kick ass heroine in space? Leia opened the door for Ellen Ripley of Aliens, Captain Janeway, even Buffy.
[BREAKING NEWS: DEBBIE REYNOLDS DIES, 1 DAY AFTER HER DAUGHTER. LINK]
When Carrie Fisher wrote Postcards from the Edge, I was really surprised. She was so amazingly candid for movie royalty. When she came out as manic depressive, I was thrilled. Maybe we could finally talk about it like any other illness. May you can be brilliant, creative and flawed. Even crazy. And it’s okay.
When I saw The Force Awakens, the reunion of Leia and Han was a kick in the heart – a good one, but full of real life angst. No fairytale romance for them -clearly they gave it a go, but grew apart. Years of gritty revolution took it’s toll, of course they’re battle weary.
Thank you, Carrie
For the inspiration, for the laughs, and most of all for permission to tell it like it is.
Some words of wisdom from Carrie Fisher
- “I feel I’m very sane about how crazy I am.”
- “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ”
- “There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.”
UPDATE: I’ve excerpted the end of her article; click the links to read the entire peice.
I’m relying on the words of beloved author Barbara Kingsolver’s words about what’s happened to our country and where we go from here. From the Guardian 11/23/16
If we’re artists, writers, critics, publishers, directors or producers of film or television, we reckon honestly with our role in shaping the American psyche. We ask ourselves why so many people just couldn’t see a 69-year-old woman in our nation’s leading role, and why they might choose instead a hero who dispatches opponents with glib cruelty. We consider the alternatives. We join the time-honored tradition of artists resisting government oppression through our work.
If we’re journalists, we push back against every door that closes on freedom of information. We educate our public about objectivity, why it matters, and what it’s like to work under a president who aggressively threatens news outlets and reporters.
If we’re consumers of art, literature, film, TV and news, we think about what’s true, and what we need. We reward those who are taking risks to provide it.
If we’re teachers we explicitly help children of all kinds feel safe in our classrooms under a bullying season that’s already opened in my town and probably yours. Language used by a president may enter this conversation. We say wrong is wrong.
If we’re scientists we escalate our conversation about the dangers of suppressing science education and denying climate change. We shed our cautious traditions and explain what people should know. Why southern counties are burning now and Florida’s coastal cities are flooding, unspared by any vote-count for denial.
If we’re women suffering from sexual assault or body image disorders, or if we’re their friends, partners or therapists, we acknowledge that the predatory persona of men like Trump is genuinely traumatizing. That revulsion and rage are necessary responses.
If our Facebook friends post racial or sexist slurs or celebrate assaults on our rights, we don’t just delete them. We tell them why.
If we’re getting up in the morning, we bring our whole selves to work. We talk with co-workers and clients, including Trump supporters, about our common frustrations when we lose our safety nets, see friends deported, lose our clean air and water, and all the harm to follow. We connect cause and effect. This government will blame everyone but itself.
We refuse to disappear.
We keep our commitments to fairness in front of the legislators who oppose us, lock arms with the ones who are with us, and in the words of Congressman John Lewis, prepare to get ourselves in some good trouble. Every soul willing to do that is part of our team, starting with the massive crowd that shows up in DC in January to show the new president what we stand for, and what we won’t.
There’s safety in numbers, but only if we count ourselves out loud.
Since the election on November 8 I have started and bailed on 4 posts, unable to wrap my head/thoughts/words around the election of the 45th president. I’m going to do my best to weave those aborted essays into something coherent, so I can move on. Here’s Part 1. The verse is from a poem by William E. Stafford
How I Became a Liberal
If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
Alas, I am one of those out-of-touch ‘elites’ who, despite my rust-belt roots and my current bank balance, delights in a healthy planet, education, real science, and a sensitivity to and celebration of other cultures. How did I become so solidly Blue?
Maybe it’s because,of this: in 7th grade Civics our teacher used the presidential election to get 35 moody 13 year olds excited about politics. We had to join a campaign team – either Republican Richard Nixon or Democrat Hubert Humphrey.
This was also formative: Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In was a revelation. Here were people that felt my tribe. Before long I was itching to join anti war protests and fighting with my dad. He threatened to vote for segregation candidate George Wallace that year.
Dear readers: I have started several posts since last week’s election results and haven’t decided which impassioned essays will live or die. In the mean time, I come bearing gifts, this one from Nicholas Kristof of the (notoriously liberal) NY Times.
Dear readers: last night Stephen Colbert reminded me that all the beauty OF the world is still right here IN the world. In that spirit I’m re-blogging my neighbor’s beautiful post from today’s morning walk:
I am fortunate that I have the flexibility to walk the woodlands and visit the marsh this morning. Where else would I go on such a troubling day? I went into this election, determined that no matter the outcome, I would continue to do my best to live as salt and light in a world that always needs both. As an unashamed follower of Christ, I have and continue to attempt to live in accordance with what matters to Him…treating people with love, treating the Creation with care, and recognizing my dependence on the Spirit to help me to know and name my blindness and shortcomings.
But this morning, I have to admit that that determination comes hard. I am chagrined to realize who made up the voting block that has elevated our president-elect. I am sickened with grief and foreboding for what this outcome will mean for the earth, for the Creation, its creatures and all the humans who depend upon it for life, as the party elected will not hesitate to exploit it full measure and never look back.
I was thinking these thoughts, and wondering whether I had anything at all to say in this space this morning, anything gleaned from the natural world around me, as I walked along the boardwalk, when I heard the crashing and say the dried cattails waving wildly. I had seen possible traces before of deer in the marsh, but was never quite sure. “How would they maneuver through the muck?”
But there he was….. Read the rest at Earthy Blessings
This American Life commissioned some musical theater songs inspired by this unbearable election ordeal, and here’s one of three (listen to the other two HERE.)
This is the refrain, in the voice of President Obama.
Am I angry?
You ask me if I’m angry?
And I’m at a loss for words.
After all we’ve done,
every battle hard won,
every hair gone gray,
in the name of this place,
in a history paved
with incredible mistakes –
I pledge my allegiance
to these united, divided states
My mother died 24 years ago in late October, and we held her wake on All Soul’s Day, November 1. With all preparations completed, my father, brother and I were looking at a long, sleepless night ahead. It was All Hallow’s Eve, Samhain, the night when the veil between the living and dead is the thinnest.
On a late October night the river bears no resemblance to the brilliant, blue-green paradise of summer. Our island home was now unpopulated – summer homes closed up, their dark windows staring blindly across the river, where a chill wind shoved angry waves up the river.
So, of course, we went out in the boat. Not any boat, but a big yacht that my brother skippered. As we sailed up a river dotted with family memories, we shivered, clutching cups of instant coffee for warmth, peering into the gloom.
Her passing had left us all stunned, with a deep sense of unreality. We hadn’t even begun to understand how much strength and stability she provided to each of us. So the dark and barren world felt somehow just right: the earth was blighted without her. All growing things and all joy had gone away with her, Persephone, but never to return.
I wasn’t searching for contact with my mother on this eerie voyage. I had already spent the three days following her death in meditation, helping her soul fly free to where she was meant to be. In truth, I was afraid of her angry spirit. My mother’s judgement has proved as devastating in death as it was in life.
Today I want connection with the woman who was bold, curious and creative, and asked the big questions of life. The woman who would have a bad day and take good care of us all anyway. And the woman who has known the universe beyond the veil.
Stay if you will, Go if you must. So mote it be.
Sometimes one piece of art stops me in my tracks with it’s inescapable beauty and truth.
Pixar, the studio that brought us Toy Story, Up!, Finding Nemo and so much more, has released a new short that’s a luminous paean to memory, grief and love.
“Borrowed Time” is an animated short film, directed by Andrew Coats & Lou Hamou-Lhadj, and produced by Amanda Deering Jones.
The music was written & performed by Gustavo Santaolalla, composer of The Motorcycle Diaries, Biutiful, and The Last of Us and Best Original Score Academy Award winner for Brokeback Mountain and Babel.
“A weathered Sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on.”
Be forewarned that the story includes a tragic loss. But please, don’t let that stop you.