Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy 2009!

Bon Appétit!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Totoro Forest Project Update

Hi from snowy Montreal!

Let me give you a quick update on the "Totoro Forest Project".
The art auction that took place in September at Pixar was very well attended and extremely successful - we raised more than 200 000$!!! The Totoro Foundation promptly used the sum to buy off a small portion of Sayama Forest in order to protect it from land developers.
Bravo, Totoro artists!

Before I move on I would also like to tell you a little bit about my piece. "My Neighbor Totoro" is one of my favourite Ghibli films, and it is definitely the one I relate to the most. It reminds me of what it was like to grow up as the little sister, of learning to accept my family responsibilities, of helping the elderly, and of understanding that nature commands reverence and respect. I love this film for its balance of truth and fable, grown-up themes and childlike whimsy.

Naturally my painting is mainly inspired by the film itself so just like Satsuki
and Mei (or my older sister and I) it depicts two sisters at play in a field on a warm summer evening. I went back to my own childhood for inspiration on subject matter and look. When I was little outdoor play was the most fun because stick, stone or leaf, just about anything could become a plaything. It was far more adventurous than staying indoors anyways.

Visually, I wanted my piece to be reminiscent of 18th century French landscape paintings and of fairy tales illustrations, both of which fascinated me when I was younger. I looked at
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Théodore Rousseau for colour, composition and mood, but I also referenced some favourites - Ludwig Bemelmans, Maira Kalman, Mary Blair and Aurelius Battaglia for execution and style.
Here below are some references, my digital study and the final piece, again, for those who may have missed the previous post about it.

Well, this is it for the Totoro Forest Project for now.
If you would like to see this or any other Totoro collection pieces, you can still do so at "The Cartoon Art Museum" of San Francisco until February 8th, 2009.