Saturday, May 28, 2011

encore Crow dreams

When I was very small, long before we were formally introduced, Crow would sometimes come to call wearing his fairy godmother disguise. This is one of those rare shots from the old family album where he can be quite clearly seen as we visited strange places that only Crow and very small children are able to behold. Parents may laugh to see their child chasing dandelion fluffs in the back yard but who knows what wonders may appear to those without preconceptions?

Imagination is a funny thing and not strictly a human prerogative. Do you know the type of dog that just keeps on barking and barking and, well, barking? The small but very noisy hero of this story is just one of those dogs. So, his owner invests in a collar which will dispense an electric shock if he barks.

Unfortunately for the poor dog this new gift coincided with some really momentous world events going on outside his little window:

Dog With Electric Collar from Steve Baker on Vimeo.

Steve Baker is the very clever Australian animator who won a Film Institute prize for best animation with this one.

Happy Memorial Day weekend to my American friends. Let the summer commence!


jams o donnell said...

Ah Susan there is nothing like one's imagination. I still chase dandelion clock thingies! When all else fails one can take a holiday in our head. No imagination, no holiday!

I love the animation

Linda said...

if there was no imagination, this world would be a very dull world indeed... love your always manage to put such animation into your drawings, i can almost hear them conversing, the little kid screaming in delight, the floaters musing...either we're both crazy, one of us is or we are normal, completely and everyone else is..hehehehe. :) xooxox hoping you are having a sunshine weekend. it's still raining here and so cold, it drove me indoors... ah well. xo

Pagan Sphinx said...

I can't begin to describe everything I love about this whimisical visual ditty you conjured up. I love it. Truly. The dandelion fluff turned either playful or menacing; not sure; will have to look at it again and again to decide. As you know, I love that little girl in her tiny glory and spunk! She and Crow make a fine pair no matter what sorts of adventures they may engage in.

Your imagination delights me, my friend. :-) Thank you.

Crow is dressed to the nine, as usual. I have always loved a man in a cape, though I did find the fangs that went with Count Dracula's cape a bit unsuitable to a good night out on the town! ;-)

Oh! Oh! I LOVED the little film. I'm a fan of the animated short. That blue cat (among other details) just about slayed me!

When I was in high school, I worked behind the concession stand at what was even then one of the last large suburban movie theaters. One large room, hundreds of seats a huge single screen.

I worked there with three of my best friends and we three made friends with the rest of the crazed teen/early twenties people that came before and after us.

When they ran The Fantastic Animation Festival (1977)there, we collectively invited a crowd that almost filled up the entire theater. In those days, you can imagine the layed-back party scene that ensued and all the free popcorn that was consumed on the house! So sorry - for some reason I could not link it.

Mary Ellen said...

I loved that short film...the exploding dog in the end was very unexpected (and loved the karma with the fly). For some reason, the aliens, Godzilla, and OBL getting blown away didn't seem in the least bit surprising. Not sure what that says about me...maybe I just have an overactive imagination.

I also wish I had your brain and talent. :-)

Randal Graves said...

This is one of my favorite works of yours, the liminal twixt imagination and the yeesh we find ourselves in.

susan said...

jams - Somehow it comes as no surprise you still chase dandelion clocks. Me too and I'm always on the lookout for buttercups and daisies too.

The little film is a great one.

linda - We don't have to believe everything those poor creatures bereft of humor and compassion would command of us. When I get sad I like to remember the lesson of Plato's Cave;

'Most people, including ourselves, live in a world of relative ignorance.  We are even comfortable with that ignorance, because it is all we know.  When we first start facing truth, the process may be frightening, and many people run back to their old lives.  But if you continue to seek truth, you will eventually be able to handle it better.  In fact, you want more!  It's true that many people around you now may think you are weird or even a danger to society, but you don't care.  Once you've tasted the truth, you won't ever want to go back to being ignorant!'

It has been foggy and overcast here every day but one this past month. The locals say it's not normal but I'm not so sure - in fact, I'm growing to like it. Must be that Oregon thing :-)

pagan sphinx - I don't know why it is but these are the kinds of drawings that come without seeming effort and so I end up thinking them pretty worthless. I'm glad to know that's not true.

That must have been a great part time job to have when you were in high school and I can only imagine the silliness that ensued. We love animation too . I do, just barely, remember the Fantastic Animation Festival with Spike Milligan as the narrator. I also remember the amazing cartoon shorts that came out of Zagreb, Serbia before the war there - a lot of those animators were pretty radical.

mary ellen - The film was a wonderful find that I'm delighted you enjoyed. There simply aren't enough truly weird things around on tv to feed our imaginations so no wonder some of us have overactive ones. I'm happy with mine and so should you be.

randal - and to think I thought so little of it myself it almost didn't get posted. Thank you.

Francis Hunt said...

Ah, Susan, sometimes the things that come easily with little effrt are the best things that we do. I know that I'm often still haunted by the all-pervasive Calvinist ethic that anything of worth must be difficult.

I love this picture - there's something about the composition and lines that made me immediately think about Saint-Exupéry's illustrations for Le Petit Prince. Real imagination floats so effortlessly - like dandelion seeds on the May breeze!

Love the film too ...

susan said...

francis - That's so very true. At this point in my life I'm only beginning to learn to trust my instincts.

What a wonderful compliment I infer from your mention of Saint-Exupery in relation to my picture. I wish I could write half as wonderful a story.

Lisa said...

I love that painting. Is Crow peeking out of the corner of his eye? And the image of you with your arms outstretched, embracing the world with your imagination. Brilliant.

The cats were particularly fond of the end of the film where the dog exploded while I got a kick out of the entire thing.

Ol'Buzzard said...

Susan. At times our cat runs through the house screaming - obviously chasing something - I am convinced it is fairies.

the Ol'Buzzard

TheCunningRunt said...

How utterly delightful, from your beginning to the animated short's end.

And I'm with PS - 'cept, that blue cat pissed my pants!


susan said...

lisa - Yes, he is. They say we're not awake yet as children but I have reason to refute that.

I loved the movie too and I'm glad to know the P4P enjoyed it.

ol'buzzard - They definitely see things we don't allow ourselves to see.

cr - Glad you enjoyed the entertainment. Cats can be so cruel :-)

Lydia said...

This painting is beyond special, taking me straight to the land of imagination. I need to visit there more often, which is only one reason why I am grateful for your blog.

The video was great but a bit unsettling for two sleeping dogs in the next room!

Spadoman said...

I liked this post so much, I had to link to you at my place in today's post. I love the painting of Crow. He looks so regal. ( I imagine he was the Black Crow that was talkin' to me in some song lyrics).
But really, your painting is fabulous!
Your dog video inspired me. Of course you knew I'd have a story about shock collars.

Peace to you dear friend.

Nancy said...

Just catching up on blog reading and several of your posts. Your paintings are beautiful and I love Halifax. Crow is busy, I see, and the story of the aliens sounds very much like the one my daughter is writing.

okjimm said...


... GOOD THING I WAS NOT WEARING SOCKS... cause that print is sooo good I would have jumped out of them had I been wearing any...

(well, actually, I would be wearing some, but who needs laundry when the weather is nice!!)

susan said...

lydia - I'm happy to know you liked the new picture so much - it was especially fun to paint.

Sorry about having disturbed your dogs but the video was too much fun for humans to miss.

spadoman - That was really very nice of you and I'll come by to visit shortly. Ah yes, I remember that song of Joni's well - black crow flying in a blue, blue sky..

I'm glad you like the painting and the video both. Sometimes one inspiration leads to unexpected magic.

nancy - It's great you've been by to visit again since I know you're busy too. Your daughter's story sounds like an excellent one.

okjimm - How nice of you to say so :-) You're right that it's a good time of year to shuck the socks and forget where you last put your gloves.