Sunday, February 26, 2017

Top 10 Movie Picks of 2016

Movies take us all to different places and I for one enjoy the escape when I can grab a couple of hours, buckle up, and take a voyage which (more often than not) costs millions of dollars to create. Cinema is one of the reasons we live in the most magnificent time in the history of the arts.  Each year, I compose my own Top 10 list of the films which I found to be my own favorites from the previous year.  It's a way to share my love of film and hopefully give you some suggestions on what to watch when you too have a few hours and are ready to escape.  Making my annual list is never short task.  First I keep a running list throughout the year of the films which I think have a chance of winding up on this post. Mulling over these notations around Oscar season, I get to relive their impressions on me as I revisit them in my mind and decide which I'd like to write about.  I always try to fit in a few I hope you haven't heard of, a few which may be awards contenders, and perhaps even a couple of summer blockbusters.  Here are my favorite flicks of 2016...

Monday, December 5, 2016

After Diego

"After Diego" 
(Pen & Marker on Bristol Board / 2016 / 4in x 5in miniature)

Diego Rivera was a Mexican artist in the early 20th century and is one of my favorite painters. As both a sensual and political artist, he lay some of the footsteps which I aspire to follow on my own artistic journey.  This illustration I created over the weekend was a passion project and reprieve from confines I've felt in my work as of late.  The drawing is based on Rivera's "El Vendedor De Alcatraces" but with my visionary twist of course!  Musing with this painting yesterday morning, I was inspired by the themes of devotion, accomplishment, burden, and strength.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Stand with Standing Rock

The Native America Sioux Tribe along with protesters and now a fleet of military veterans have dug in and set up camp to protest the building the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.  The site has become a cultural and political standoff which will be penned in history despite its outcome this week.  The protest camp is schedule to be cleared in the coming week so the this fossil fuel pipeline may be completed and run under the Missouri River, which is the main water source for the Standing Rock Native American Reservation whose people began to protest months ago. Despite claims by Big Oil their pipelines don't leak, 185,000 miles of pipeline leak every single day in the United States.

For centuries, the Native American peoples have fought to protect their land.  Their culture inherently understands the sacred balance between man and nature.  A balance which has become terribly skewed the past century. A platform for alternative energy is decades overdue and Standing Rock today is Ground Zero for the issue at hand. This week I completed an illustration, simply titled as the cause, Stand with Standing Rock to help lend voice to this pinnacle fight for a culture, nature, and the future of energy in our county.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Not My President? Not My Values!

In the first week of President-Elect Trump here in America, there have been over 200 incidents of hate crimes recorded in our country (as reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center). As protests continue in most major cities under the banner of Not My President, racial and sexist tensions have grown to a fever pitch.  While the chant of "sore losers" goes on from the alt-right, the liberal-minded find ourselves dumbfounded by the lack of understanding amidst smug celebration.  The quiet underbelly of conservative values is the embodiment of centuries-old racism and sexism.  Not all Trump supporters condone or advocate the actions of folks birthed from this swamp.  However, they don't condemn them either, nor does their Lord and Savior of all which is white pride.  Trump's "win" has seemingly opened the door for many of his followers who feel they have "won" the right to not just be openly prejudice, sexist and xenophobic but to also channel this hatred into acts of violence and civil rights abuse.

(Pen and Marker Illustration over Digital Background / 2016)