Thursday, October 14, 2010

speaking of fall break...

campbell's covered bridge

We had some photos made at this bridge which might be the only covered bridge left in SC. Blue and Violet were defiant and both seemed to resent the idea of being told when they should smile.
Speaking of smiling....
I picked up the new David Sedaris book of short stories this week and was surprised to see that not only was the entire book about animals, it was also illustrated. I read the name of the illustrator on the cover and it almost rang a bell but my synapses didn't quite make a connection. Each story had an illustration and as the chapters went on the drawings looked more and more familiar. I read the illustrator's name again and finally resorted to searching it online to see why his drawings nagged my mind.
Turns out the same guy who drew this:

Also created and drew this:

That's right. Baby sheep's eyes freshly plucked out by a crafty crow AND Olivia the cute piglet featured in the series of books and animated shows on the kid channel all came from the mind of Ian Falconer.

It would be impressive to say that I recognized his work from his early career stage sets or from some other fine art visual display. But no....I recognized his style because our kids watch Nick Jr. or Noggin or whatever they're calling the kid channel these days. That little Olivia series of books and shows operates with a minimal format. The characters are drawn in black and white with little shots of red for emphasis. The same minimalism and color use are found in the Sedaris book.

The illustrations and the stories work together very well as both deal with juxtaposition of ideas. The drawings are of cute animals interacting with one another in social situations and the red accent often draws attention to some negative or menacing aspect. In the same way, the stories begin innocently enough with some adorable little personified animal and continue on until the story tilts sharply in an awkward or dark direction.

Speaking of duality...

Here we find Kendrick working with a chainsaw to create his sculpture project. It's interesting to think that graceful curves and smooth surfaces can be generated by something as tough and rugged as a chainsaw. And you probably wouldn't think that operating a chainsaw for 3 hours would be any one's definition of fun, but I'm pretty sure he enjoyed it. He worked straight through class without a break. At one point a friend gave him some Mountain Dew but he wouldn't stop working so they had to spray it in his mouth like a marathon runner while he continued carving.

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