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Friday, May 28, 2010

Shadows and Travels

 I have spent the past two days moving paper bits around and capturing the results on camera. Soon I hope to have a video of shadow puppet stop motion to post, but until then I am including an overview of some of the bits and pieces used. (The soundtrack is the jazz standard "Fly Me to the Moon" )

Recently I spent a few days in Sete, on the Mediterranean coast of France. Sete is a city with water on all sides--- a grid of canals criss-crosses the urban area, with the sea on one side and a large salt water lake on the other. The canals are used for commercial shipping as well as pleasure craft, so some are quite wide and deep. At other places there are small impasses where looking down from the hewn stone sides is rather like observing a large salt water aquarium. Oysters and dark red sea urchins cling to the sides, small fish dart past and clusters of transparent medusa jellyfish perform their pulsing dance. I found the latter fascinating and deeply calming to watch---the sea is truly an alien world full of magic and mystery.


There are other more raucous inhabitants in the salt water basin outside the city. The brilliant rose flamingos are a sight to see flying en masse to land along the shallow water by the shore. Their voices sound something like the croaking of huge, tuneless frogs but their dances are an amazing synchronized choreography of aligned long legs and nodding heads that sweep forward and back again. They also seem to have little fear of humans, so I was able to observe them at quite close range.

May is also the season for the beautiful papery petalled red-orange poppies that line the roadsides and pastures throughout France.




Until next we meet...


Friday, May 21, 2010

The Merry Month of May

May has been a month of travel thus far---with internet connections few and far between. I feel the frustration of not being able to share as easily as I would like all the fascinating places I have had the privilege to see, yet who could be really unhappy in the midst of so much beauty? I am currently in the mountains of the South working out of our van on the property of friends who have created a truly charming home in an old water mill (more about that later, along with photos). During this stop I have designed and cut more paper shadow puppets and have almost completed a bevy of papier-mache heads for marionettes. Sometime in the next few days, in order to meet my schedule I must begin filming a stop motion paper animation (ready or not!) at another friend's apartment.
In the meantime, I would like to show you a few late afternoon photos of the lovely Chateau of Chambord, happily happened upon in the midst of travel. It deserves much more attention than I have time to give at present---it is a noteworthy site among the many lovely chateaux France has to offer. As you can see, Chambord is massive in size and has a truly memorable roof line of ornate windows, domes and lovely chimneys. So, until next we meet, enjoy...