Tag Archives: commentary

Thieves (All Six Parts) and Desktop Downloads UPDATED 09/20/12

NEW: All parts posted. Scroll down for Part 6.


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:


Part 6:


I put this six-part video series together in 2009, wasn’t sure what I’d do with it, and forgot about it until recently. Hope you enjoy it:)

When I finished the film I deleted the high-res video files (who knew there’d be such a thing as internet HD?) because they were so large, but below you’ll find some ways to see the painting in full detail.

If you would like to share the images please link to this post. Please do not link to the images directly. Thank you.

A medium-res version of the full painting with options for prints:

Detail Crop 800 x 600:

1024 x 768:

1280 x 1024:


Hopi Indians

Core Knowledge Foundation commissioned me awhile back to do some illustration sketches for an educational series on the Hopi Indians.

Archaeologists think that the Hopi descended from the Anasazi Indians, who were famous for abandoning their pueblo dwellings without any sign of why they left or where they went.

Eventually the Hopi settled on the land around the rim of what is now the northeastern rim of Arizona and northwestern rim of New Mexico.

John K. Hillers did a fantastic photo expedition in 1906 to document the Hopi way of life.

One of the things that fascinates many people about the Hopi Indians is the kachina dolls they create.

The dolls are meant to represent the kachina spirits, which are spirit gods that rule the earth and influence life. For example, in the sketches above the one on the upper left is a clown kachina and the one in the middle is a warrior kachina.

The spirituality of sketchbooking

Over the years of sketchbooking I’ve noticed a few things about sketchbooking.

The main goal of sketchbooking is to increase our ability to observe the world around us (A common misconception is that a sketchbook is a place to increase your drawing ability. While you may find yourself increasing your drawing ability as you go, save that focus for another time).

Catching the simple, everyday things with which we are all familiar, yet take for granted is a part of our impetus for being artists in the first place.

Yet, that’s not far enough. I’ve seen a lot of sketchbooks and art that captures unusual or thought provoking scenes, yet the art still leaves me feeling depressed. I don’t want to look at art like that. There’s too much great stuff going on around me to voluntarily import depressing thoughts and feelings into my life.

Some of the most uplifting things happening are found in the darkest, most frightening places: the ex-convict who returns to prison to teach other convicts how to overcome their addictions; the orphan who marries, and then loves his or her spouse and family; the war-torn refugees who still love their country. There’s magic everywhere, yet we have to tune ourselves into it.

A sketchbook isn’t just a place to observe: it’s an opportunity to observe beauty.

Review: The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderful tale!

Every character in this story is distinct, full of life, and their voices leap out of the page.

The scenes are simply beautiful. There’s a dreaminess to the pacing that sets you back a hundred years or more when people in the Americas used to share their food and talk at great length with strangers.

One particular scene that stuck out to me was the one in which Rat and the Mole are searching for the lost otter child, but hear the call of mysterious music, forget what they are doing, and go searching for the source instead. They come to an island and, traveling inwards, come to a cool-green meadow where the music seems to come all around them with no particular source. Rat says, “…surely, this is where we will find Him,” in awe, and both animals take off their hats and stand silently as the sun rises. Suddenly, when the sun does rise, the animals forget what they had just experienced and remember they were looking for the young otter child. The otter turns out to be just a few yards away from them and they take him home, but Mole drags behind a little, trying to remember, but failing to remember what they had experienced.  I think I liked this scene because when we feel a divine presence or have a wonderful dream, we forget thereafter all of it in its details and only have a taste in our mouths to remind us that it happened.

Toad is hilarious –– definitely one of my favorite character portrayals of all time.

I did have one problem with the story, and that was that Toad never really did anything to redeem himself after all his picaresque harassment on society.

Five stars!

View all my reviews

Collection of Studio Ghibli Background Paintings

The following YouTube video is a montage of backgrounds by Oga Kazuo painted for animated films produced by the Japanese production house, Studio Ghibli.

Animated backgrounds are an art form separate from plein air painting (painting landscapes) in that they must read quickly and then fade away from the viewer’s eye in order to allow the characters to step forward. The background painter has to maintain the entire progression of the film in mind so that each individual backgrounds may contribute to the overall pacing and mood.

Oga Kazuo excels at creating scenes that show contrast between human architecture/civilization and environments produced entirely by nature.

YouTube video posted by user foo9883

Studio Ghibli
Oga Kazuo on Imdb

Conte Animated – Fine Art Show

Conte Animated – A Fine Art Show by Ryan Woodward

A week or two ago I posted a film entitled Conte Animated, directed by my former professor, Ryan Woodward.

This Thursday Ryan will be presenting a fine art show representing a selection of the hand drawings created for the film, roughly 20,000 in all.

For those of you who are local to Provo and can attend, the address is:

Gallery 303 – HFAC
Brigham Young University, Provo 84602

Ryan was my first professor in the animation program. I consider myself very lucky to have watched his style and talent develop. The show will surely be one not to miss.