Animation for The Chisholme Institute

Previously this year, I created this animated introduction video below for Chisholme with Mayra Hernandez Rios mayrahr-art.tumblr.com

This following description is from their website: http://chisholme.org/

“Chisholme is here for those who seek to know themselves essentially and to understand the reality of the world in which we live.

The guiding principle here is the essential Unity of all Existence, a wholly inclusive perspective, not limited by dogma or religious considerations. This perspective, which lies at the heart of the great wisdom traditions, is of particular relevance today.

The Chisholme Institute was established in 1979 on a beautiful 18th Century Scottish estate 60 miles south of Edinburgh. Since then, its focus has been to provide education in the art of self-discovery to students from all over the world and to promote an increased awareness of the real value of our connection to the world and each other.

The courses and retreats at Chisholme address body, mind and spirit in a balanced and integrated way, through programmes of study, meditation, work and devotional practice. Every aspect and activity, from the baking of bread to the planting of trees, is seen to be part of the education offered here.

Chisholme offers a range of courses throughout the year and welcomes volunteers to come and work in the house, grounds and beautiful walled organic gardens.

Visitors are always welcome for both short visits and longer stays.”

A Discovery

‘A Discovery’ – new painting, acrylics on canvas board

I once knew a man who went on a grand expedition to find the centre of the Universe, in the hope of discovering the source of all things. Each time he thought he had found it, it slipped away, or was proven false. The man kept searching, but eventually became bitter and exhausted.

One time, I found him wearily contemplating the movement of fish, back and forth, back and forth, until he suddenly burst out laughing.

“Such beauty!” he cried, over and over again.

I asked him what was so funny, for I had never before heard him laugh.

“The centre of the Universe?” he cried happily. “How could it be anywhere other that here? I’ve been looking for myself all these long years!”

To witness the ephemeral

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To witness the ephemeral in each instant, yet to know simultaneously the unchanging, universal presence underlying everything, is a beautiful, mysterious and unfathomable experience, discovered in moments of stillness and contemplation. This is an attempt to explore this feeling.

Painted with acrylics on wooden board.

Murals in Mexico

I have been in Mexico for the past three months, where I have been travelling, exploring, writing, learning Spanish, making animated videos for Trafika Europe, and painting murals. Together, with Mayra Hernandez Rios, we painted two murals on the side of the Hotel Isabel in Oaxaca, Mexico. Our confidence painting in public was put to the test, but shyness can not hold back the artistic spirit!

Click here to see a video timelapse

Process:

 We also had the chance to make two murals in Mexico City. This photo shows the progress but more photos will be taken soon once finished.

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More soon!

Awaken the Lovers

heartlight

Awaken the lovers,

the ones we left naked

and alone, curled

like vast wildernesses

around their hearts,

and ask what they discovered

traversing the silent knowledge

of their dreaming.

The world calls for them to sing,

and soothe these confused voices

speaking out in fear and hate.

The world calls for them to laugh,

like children, at the boundaries

we imposed upon our minds.

Awaken them,

the ones who abandoned the

procession through the valleys

to dance with the mountains,

and ask what they discovered

wandering the timeless shores

of the bewildered.

We call for them to kindle

our shared vulnerability, so

we may cross the territory of despair

with playful courage and

a deepening clarity.

We call for them to reveal

the strength transcending barriers

and the fearless understanding

dormant beneath all symbols of

power and oppression.

Awaken them,

the lovers kept secret

behind our masks

of doubt and cynicism,

and ask what they discovered

traversing the silent knowledge

of their dreaming.

https://vimeo.com/201719879

Loving Vincent – Summer 2016

I have just returned from Gdansk, Poland after an intriguing painting adventure.

I was accepted in July to join the team of painters completing ‘Loving Vincent’, the world’s first feature-length hand-painted animated feature film.

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http://lovingvincent.com/

The film is a moving insight into the latter days of Dutch painter Van Gogh, exploring the mysterious circumstances around his death, and brings to life the characters he knew and painted while struggling to find acceptance within the society of the time. Each frame of this film is an oil painting – all 62,450 of them!

Several months of intense painting began with a short test, then a week and a half training to practise hitting the canvas in Van Gogh’s style. After this arduous introduction I received my first shot and began the fascinating and ultimately meditative painting process for real. We used still photographs, previous paintings and the footage of the actors as references so that our shots would not look out of place within the scene once completed. To be on schedule, four painted frames of the 12-frames-per-second animation were expected each day by each of the hundred and fifty painters working on the film, something which needed sincere determination and focus. In the end, I am thrilled that my efforts stand beside the work of those who dedicated two to three years to the film, painting scenes inspired by some of Van Gogh’s most well known paintings such as ‘Starry Night’ or ‘Portrait of Doctor Gachet’.

starry-night     portrait_of_dr-_gachet

The film idea emerged around ten years ago with writer/director Dorota Kobiela, who began a short film inspired by Van Gogh’s letters. After some efforts, the film shifted into a feature length production with the aid of a successful kickstarter campaign and support of fellow writer/director Hugh Welchman and the studio Breakthru Films – http://www.breakthrufilms.pl. Actors were cast for the roles, and the live action footage was then used as the reference for the team of painters, originally from Poland, but eventually from many countries, including Mexico, India, Australia, Serbia and Ukraine.

What a unique, challenging and wonderful experience this was! I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity to work on a major and pioneering animated film.

‘Loving Vincent’ will be shown at festivals in 2017 and then released widely in the Autumn.