Above is a part of “Zatoichi Challenged,” the 17th film in the series, and one of my favorites. To me, the movie is just as much about art as it is about swordsmanship. The plot revolves around Zatoichi finding a boy and his sick mother on his travels. The mother dies and with her last words asks Zatoichi to find the boy’s father, Shokichi, and bring him his son. Shokichi is a talented artist, has been captured by a gang and is forced to create beautiful and (illegal) erotic paintings. At 3:40 in the clip here, Zatoich finally gets to talk to Shokichi and tells him that he has a son. The father doesn’t seem too excited about the information until Zatoichi shows him how skilled an artist the child is. That Zatoichi has been lied to about the subject of the child’s portrait makes the scene even that much more powerful.
Archive for August, 2010
I went to the Getty Museum not too long ago and saw the Leonardo da Vinci and the Art of Sculpture exhibit. It was truly awe-inspiring to stand in front of his sketchbooks and to be in the same space as marks made by his hand. Much of the exhibit explained that many of his sculptural projects were never completed. This is good information to absorb since it’s easy for artists to get down on themselves for not getting to projects they had hoped to. That Leonardo didn’t either certainly takes some of the pressure off. I bought the book about the exhibit at the gift shop and finished it only recently. Easily the most tragic chapter in Leonardo’s saga of unfinished projects is the equestrian monument of Francesco Sforza. Leonardo drew exhaustive studies of horses in planning the sculpture, which was to be 17 meters tall and weigh 80 tons. A clay model of the horse was finished in 1493 and displayed Palazzo Vecchio. The gargantuan clay horse was admired by all who saw it, but before the bronze casting could take place, Milan was attacked by France and the clay horse was destroyed – used for target practice.
I mention this story because it helps in giving me a sense of perspective in my own work. The next time a pet ruins something I’m working on, or I lose an important file because I didn’t back it up, I will be able to understand that my artistic losses are nothing in comparison to what the world was denied at the end of the 15th century.
I’ve slowly been uploading pictures to the “ILLUSTRATION” page on this blog. The samples I’ve included are not especially large. You can see larger versions on this photobucket page.
Just got back from the SCBWI portfolio showcase. What a fascinating experience. I was impressed all around. The strength of the field was exceptional. I was told that there were 125 portfolios. I took out a piece of paper and rated all of them from 1 to 5. There was a nothing below a three. I had seen a number of weaker portfolios in events leading up to this one, and I think artists who perhaps weren’t ready for it decided to do some more work before presenting. I tallied 27 artists that I gave a “5” to, which is more than I expected. I’ll link to some of the artists websites who won awards soon. And I’ll also get some more of my own work on this site. I’m just really starting this blog up and have been too busy at the conference to do any significant uploading yet.