Thursday, July 30, 2009

A not so still still

A session

All this mucking around is preparation for making the trailer for the Tricky Women festival in March 2010. It's going to be 20-30 seconds long and I'm aiming to animate the trailer on one piece of paper. It's going to take a bit of practice and then I'll film the whole piece in one go in a couple of weeks time. When the time comes I'll need a classic serial on iplayer, a minibar, an ice cold flannel and biscuits that don't melt under the lights.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Today we noticed that the Karlskirche dome is actually an elongated elipsoid.

Monday, July 27, 2009


There's one thing I can do pretty well and it's drawing chickens.
This afternoon I've been gleefully animating them on the brink of death.
Now I think about it there's an exploding chicken in The Emperor, and a throttled chicken in Sawney Beane too. What does it mean?

There's no need to answer.

Leopoldsberg and another Flugzeug

I'm animating loads of animals on one sheet of Somerset Satin this morning, there are 11 seconds and 8 creatures so far, I've had to stop because the light's a bit hot, I'm running out of red and I havn't decided what to do with them all next. They've all shot off scene left and I've no idea what they were running away from or if they're still going.
No storyboard then.

I'll just go into the kitchen and see if an idea comes..

Here are two pictures from the weekend, one from Leopoldsberg and another of our newest kite flying outside our front door, where it all happens.

Market and Kaisergruft

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Robert Breer

We visited the Secession museum to see The Death of the Audience curated by Pierre Bal-Blanc. The exhibition was a little bit mixed but full of beans and in a very good space, we found some Robert Breer pieces dotted around, they took the form of two ordinary looking sponge squares and a golden shiny piece of paper, we discovered that they were moving very slowly around on motorized wheels. On the same vein but from an earlier Breer era was a drawing for a proposed conference centre that roamed around it's site so that the delegates would exit the conference in a different environment.

Wiener Riesenrad

Last weekend we visited the Prater and started with a sedate revolution of the famous Riesenrad.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Electric storm Electric Avenue

Last night there was a dramatic storm in Vienna, it arrived very quickly and there was a lot of rain, it's cleared the air thanks goodness.

Red Riding Hood

I've been animating on the theme of Red Riding Hood and wood cutters, whilst simultaneously listening to this excerpt of Lady Chatterly's Lover read by a freshly showered Dominic West from The Wire. It's very Carte Noire and I feel a bit sheepish for being gullible enough to listen all the way to the end. The Katharine Mansfield story is better.

Woolly but not woolly

There's a great new DVD of Vera Neubauer's work published by Tricky Women. It gives a proper overview of her amazing animated work, which is often made of wool but isn't woolly in the least. The films which span thirty years, are full of subversive surprises and passionate moments, including a truly beautiful fierce and woolly embrace between Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Her animate! film Hooked documents her journey through Latin America, knitting and finding women who knit and crochet and also looking for a little doll. It sounded to me like a strange quest, but in Vera's hands it makes a very compelling ten minute film. I've still got two films to watch so I might add some more to this post later (but then again it's awfully hot..)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My experiments

I'm still drawing foxes and now some crows and hens have joined in. I'm warming up slowly, I'm experimenting with the traces that are left behind, I've even been trying out some animated pans and zooms.
Oh yes.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Animators in Wien

On balmy friday night I went out for a drink to Top Kino with Maya and Daniel Suljic, a talented animator who lives here in Vienna. It was really nice to talk about the animation, paper, ink, and festivals. Daniel uses oil on glass and also improvises within his shots, for his film The Cake he even worked with another animator, taking half the shot each, which is a uniquely dynamic way of working, especially since his characters in that film are often in conflict. Fantastic stuff.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


My pact worked, because it was so rainy we spent the day in the Museum for Applied Arts, it was full of treasure and we had a good lunch too.

...Bathed in sweat, Elizabeth awoke. In desperation she cried aloud: "I must be cool in Vienna tomorrow, even if the devil makes me!""

I've sold my soul and at last there's some sweet relief from the heat.
(sorry English guys in the pissing rain)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Old friends

I've put the lucky bathroom tile to one side and I'm doing some experiments with somerset satin and watercolours. The Old Man was just blue ink and so it's good to be back to full colour.

St Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

...Bathed in sweat, the knight awoke. In desperation he cried aloud: "I must be in Vienna tomorrow, even if the devil takes me!"
Instantly the Evil One, astride a feathered mount, appeared and spoke: "This rooster will carry us to Vienna, but in return I must have your soul!"

(I'm not sure that a rooster would be able to fly all the way from Constantinople to Vienna?)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Family life and work

I've been lucky enough to have had a few residencies before but never with a family. I would argue that it's more productive to have the whole family here than not, because pining and moping takes up a whole lot of time. We usually use the day for exploring and then it's bed at 6.30 (we have to work hard to block out the balmy evening and the sound of Austrian children having fun outside) a large coffee and we get on with some work at either end of the very long studio. Last night I managed to animate ten whole seconds, they were slightly sloppy whole seconds but if it moves I'm counting it. I hav'nt exactly nailed down an idea yet, so my tactic is to keep my squirrel hair brush busy and something will come along. Anyone else employ this method?

All around in my city

I was on my own with the children for a few days, we were merrily occupied playing Top Gear Top Trumps, going to the swings and seeing how many kugels of ice cream we could order to go on one cornetto. We bought a new book for the evenings Rundherum in meiner Stadt by Ali Mitgutsch from 1968, which is splendid because it depicts scenes of children playing in snow and parks and in the street but also (without being sinister) shows people fighting, being angry, drinking and being lecherous too. Although obviously to a lesser degree!

I wonder if Hazel has got this one?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Cardinal and Nun

Yesterday we saw an exhibition of Egon Schiele's work at the Leopold Museum. This Cardinal and Nun enjoying an illicit moment was so startling: the pyramid of red and their praying hands and the nun being so like the background. I confess I havn't even thought once about Schiele since my A levels, which is a long time ago and which is lazy.

Monday, July 06, 2009

A lucky meeting

This afternoon the air was full of thunder and it was wet, so instead of walking around slowly I sprinted and even jumped over a few puddles. Coming back through Electric Avenue in the Quartier 21 I saw a small installation. Lots of little drawings and a monitor. It was a very beautiful animation by Maya Yonesho called Daumenreise, I think it was number 6: Kyoto Mix. She had made plenty of small drawings which were filmed one by one in the centre of the frame of a journey from a to b or east to west. Just as I was leaving I noticed that she was sitting there near the work, so I was able to talk to her. She showed me some of the highlights of her Vienna Daumenreise and I shall make it my business to seek some of them out, especially the cake with lots of layers including chocolate and cherry. Maya is also here until August so I look forward to chatting again.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Revving up

My watercolours have been dusty for almost ten months, so I have a job getting my animating brain and arm working again. I've been trying to draw anything that I can see, george and poppy, trams, half waffles (see below), buildings, other people on their way and anything I can think of: wild boars, foxes, dead people.

On the exploring front we have had a helping hand from two very kind Vienna residents, and so now we know where the market is and how to enjoy a Viennese coffee. I've been to MUMOK to see a Cy Twombly exhibition, and we have visited the Danube. Here is the view out of our window, we are right in the middle of everything.

Friday, July 03, 2009

We've arrived!

Here is our very good looking home and studio in the Museusmquartier where we will be doing the artist's residency for two months (thanks to Tricky Women). It's as humid as Shanghai so we are slow as snails. Yesterday we went on a tram and had an ice cream and I did some origami.