I’m off to the sunnier climes of Florida for two weeks. Needless to say I will not be missing the grey, darkening skies and the relentless all pervasive gush of Christmas songs, present in every public space imaginable. I realised yesterday that this may just be my first Christmas outside of England so I am yet to see what it feels like. Another experience to chalk off on my blackboard of life I’m sure. As of yet, Florida is an entirely unknown place to me. When say the word to myself, a strange montage plays itself in my head, a collage of all the snippets heard and pictures seen. Huge spiders and flying creepy crawlies, humid air, oranges, trailers, oak trees, beaches, theme parks, schools that I do not attend – Santa Fe Community College and University of Florida, dry grass and peacocks…and friends, old and new…
<> Westward ho! An adventure awaits.
Recently I have been listening a lot to the piece ‘The lark ascending’ by Vaughn Williams, an English composer who drew great inspiration from English folk music and renaissance music. It is truly one of the most beautiful pieces of classical music I have ever heard. I would recommend seeking it out if you have never heard it before – at a basic level, it is unbelievably evocative of a landscape and of the intended image of the soaring flight of a lark in spring. On another level, it radiates emotion, oscillating between joy, nostalgia, excitement, peace and sorrow. Listening to it with my eyes shut I can see people and places, falling snow, the movement of the clouds and the growth of spring.
If you have an iPod, it is available on iTunes – the version by the Cleveland Sinfonietta is one that you can buy without having to buy an entire album. Another wonderful piece by Vaughn Williams is ‘Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus’. Happy listening.
I recently came upon the blog of Mark Kennedy, a storyboard artist from California. It’s a really great site – he’s an amazing artist and his informative posts on character design and other elements of drawing are really interesting and valuable. Also check out ‘she’s from away’ a simply, yet beautifully drawn autobiographical comic strip by Hope Larson. It’s amazing what can be conveyed when the combination of image and text is just right. It’s overwhelming to see how many talented artists there are in the world – at the bottom you’ll see a link to ‘Drawn!’ who post new tidbits on the incredible work of thousands and thousands of artists every day. True inspiration. That’s all for now folks.