Tag Archives: doomspiration

Secret of Kells

23 Mar

oak_spiralFinally saw this movie last night (it’s available on Netflix). The art is exquisite, the story mythic, layered, the music hauntingly beautiful. I loved it. Reminds me of Miyazaki’s work, it’s that good.

It tells the story of Brendan, a boy who lives in an irish abbey of monks in the dark ages, learning the skills and magic of manuscript illumination against the well-meaning will of his uncle, the abbott. It addresses the role of art in the face of evil, as well as the power and mystery of nature as a source for spirit.

Last week in my Fairy Art class, since it was St. Patty’s Day, I read them a leprachaun story and taught them some things about illuminated manuscripts. We illuminated our intials, incorporating an animal symbol. The kids enjoyed it and each had thoughtful reasons for which animal she chose.

Preparing for it, I remembered this movie, which had been highly recommended to me years ago.

Doomspiration! To tell stories like this, tying history, religion, myth, humor, beauty, nature all together. This is my white whale. This is what Heart of the Beast and Paperhand do that thrills me. It was made by Cartoon Saloon (now in my links), an irish animation studio, and directed by Tomm Moore. They are releasing a new film this year called Song of the Sea.

After seeing it, despite a day-long headache, I was inspired to start sketching some ideas for the Woody Guthrie shadow show I’ve been tentatively planning with a friend. But it is coming out more film-ic than puppet. Wonder why…



9 Mar
leaf 2

Winter begins to turn to spring

Bless me Father for I have disappeared. It’s been 3 years since my last post.

Confession done – I’m here again now! Good things have happened over that time in my art making quest. Our business is doing much better so some of the money stress is off of me. C is 15 and can work more independently at homeschooling. I’ve found a puppetry community. I have gotten older and more determined. There have been many false starts and some baby steps, it’s all good, as R says.

I’m currently taking an online art history course with C. It’s a Coursera course offered by a professor at CalArts, my alma mater. It’s strange to see those white cinder block walls again. The assignment this week was to list ten influences and inspirations.

I dug up the sign-in info for this blog and updated my link roll as a way to make my list. I hope to use the blog again, as it was intended. The links will keep some inspiration close at hand – or is it doomspiration?

Have you ever said, after seeing someone’s amazing artform, “I don’t know whether to be completely inspired and get back to work, or to give up [insert creative activity here] altogether.”? That’s doomspiration. I got the concept from Robert Genn’s The Painters Keys.  Read on:

Here are the signs:
Pounding heart, shortness of breath, sweaty.
A feeling of unexplained longing.
Simultaneous melancholy for making things, and joy at the meaning of life.
Willingness to work, plus temporary unpleasant realism.
Emptiness and fullness.
Ecstasy, laughter, fantasy and fanaticism.
Urgency, lethargy, confusion, clarity.
Worshipful gratitude.

How to move forward:
Try to make something you deem equally great, if only for a few moments, and remember you were moved and that’s what art is for.

I know that feeling. Some of these artists in the link roll do that to me. I found many of them by mining my bookmarks sidebar, which was quite out of date but had some forgotten gems. Some of this work is new to me and some I have loved for years.

There are many others not on the list that have fired me up, given me that doomspiration. These include: Georgia O’Keefe, Frida Kahlo, Joseph Campbell,  Dr. Suess, Marc Chagall, Odillon Redon, Joni Mitchell…

Now I’m going to take advantage of this gorgeous spring Sunday and go make something!