Pinterest discoveries, Glen Keane, and Christian Art

I'm blogging right now mainly to keep myself from interrupting my studious roommates, who probably don't appreciate my little-fun-facts-learned-on-pinterest updates every two minutes.

So let me set a scene for you.

This is me. Toy Story t-shirt, comfy pj pants, sitting crosslegged in Hannah's Plaid Chair with Matilda the Macbook in my lap. (Yes, that's her name; don't judge.)

My phone beeps with a text message every so often, as Once Upon a Time is airing tonight with the first look at Anna and Elsa--(Yes, *that* Anna and Elsa.)--in Storybrooke, and my Jor is keeping me updated on its non-horribleness. (We had feared greatly that our favorite characters--our very Disney Dopplegangers--would be butchered by ABC.)

Since I can't watch the episode myself till it comes up on Hulu, I satisfy my Frozen craving with a Disney concept art curation session... on Pinterest of course. As usual, I let the pins lead me, in that beautiful down-the-rabbit-hole way that my pinning habits seem to follow. I tumble into a Wonderland of rosemaling and costume sketches by Brittany Lee, then my interest is piqued by a bit of Claire Keane work on the side; I haven't seen much of her Frozen work. Her Frozen sketches are, inevitably, overtaken by art from Tangled, Rapunzel's golden locks replacing Elsa's snowflakes. The farther I scroll, the more Claire's work becomes interspersed with that of her father, Glen Keane, also a Disney animator and concept artist.

And then I make a connection.

One small caption states Claire Keane's relation to the great comic strip artist, Bil Keane--her grandfather--known for Family Circus; everything clicks together. The wheels in my head start cranking, remembering, recognizing, drawing a firm line from one dot in my present to a tiny dot in my past, and the picture is complete. I remember Adam Raccoon, the main character of a series of pictures books, little Christian parables for kids. Of course, Glen Keane wrote those. I remember it now. I remember thinking as a kid how cool it was that the author of those books was connected to that favorite comic strip. Now, I think how cool it is that he's a Disney artist, too.

So, naturally, I now search Glen's work. I want to know what he's worked on other than Tangled. I turn up Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, and Tarzan. Then I find this video: (Watch it! it's short!)

I'm in tears as I watch it; for as long as I can remember I've had a strong emotional reaction to the Beast's transformation scene in Beauty and the Beast. I loved the rainfall with its sparks of magic, and the way that the Beast is lifted up into the air, cocooned in his cloak, his hands... feet...then finally, his whole person being transformed from beast to human, with a great display of light radiating forth from every part of him. In my mind, I always held that scene as an picture of how we as Christians should be when made new in Christ. The symbolism of light--letting the light of Christ shine through my life--was easy to hold on to. I understand a great many things better through stories. But I always thought that was just my personal interpretation. I had no idea then that the animator at his desk, drawing this iconic scene was thinking almost just that, and this discovery tonight was gold indeed.

To be a Christian artist doesn't necessarily mean depicting literal Bible stories. More often it means letting what you know to be True about God influence the stories we tell, the images we create, the music we write. Even though the message isn't blatantly stamped across the page, screaming "I'm Christian!", it will still resonate true in the hearts of those who seek truth, pointing us back to God.

You go, Glen Keane. Thank you.

Psalm 84:3
 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

Peaceful, restful, thankful Saturday. Very chill: involving cozy socks, and the polkadot pajamas my mom sent in a care package. I love just *being* at the end of the week. I love having a full time job that makes my just being time so much sweeter. I love coffee.

I've been working on things... coming soon to the internet near you! want a preview?
no posts... yet!
I'm working on the design for a dedicated book review blog... part of a personal goal to have a deeper connection to the books I work with, and to build a resource for readers advisory. :) 

Tonight: sister time, and a Tom Hanks movie (The Terminal). Because Tom Hanks. Did I ever tell you that the default voice in my head for reading male voices is his? yep. #WierdFactAboutSarah
On that note...
Author out.

If you're happy and you know it...

We're coming into the pre-fall stretch right now. I haven't seen the clear blue sky due to grey cloud cover for a couple days, and you know what? I'm totally okay with that.  I took my lunch yesterday with a cup of Sonic coffee (because Humboldt has a sad lack of coffee places) in the little corner park across from the library. I love that park because I'm the only one I've ever seen there. Its mine, all 5 benches, the perfectly manicured lawn, the dancing children sculpture and all. I sat there reading (The Magicians by Lev Grossman), texting my best friend about writing plots, and contemplating the manic pixie dream girl trope in movies and literature. I'm still working out my thoughts on that one. The breeze was cool; my coffee was hot; all was well with my little world.

***

Today saw the first tights of the season in my wardrobe. I decided to channel my inner Amy Pond, with shorts and tights and converse, and oversized sweater. Add in the Tardis blue nailpolish I had applied the other night, and my "I Am the Doctor" mix cd in the car, and you get one very happy Whovian running errands around town.
In case you were wondering, I'm very happy that season 8 is airing and I have friends with cable to watch it with.

***

Final word for the day (and, gosh, just let me thank you all for letting me blather on in my old rambling fashion today) I was just looking at my blogger stats, and saw that this will be my 100th post. wow! I've also noticed different viewing trends of late... non-United States in particular. With the exception of a couple of hits from Austria (which I'm attributing to the fact that a friend of mine spent a month there this summer), I haven't any idea if those views are real people or just silly bots, trolling the webs. So... if you're out there, reading this, no matter where you are, or whether I know you or not, would you leave a comment? How'd you find my little corner of internet? I'd like to know. It'd just add to the happiness.

--S

running over


It's when the freshly ground coffee, deep brown and fragrant, nearly overflows the canister I pour it into that I realize that I am as rich as Francie Nolan.

My hands also overflow with the tasks I want them to do... task that are not chores but privileges to carry out: letters to reply to, packages to send, reading for a class. I can't figure out which I want to do first.

I keep my eyes open, my ears tuned--every sense awake and alive--ready to take in each beautiful moment I can, the small and ordinary along with the grand and majestic: from the final moments of what my memory knows as the Steadfast Tin Soldier piece on my car stereo (Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, Opus 102, Allegro), to the curl--just perfect for twisting round fingers--that somehow survived a busy day full of movement, to the fresh, blank notebooks that lay on my nightstand waiting to be filled with stories and thoughts.

My cup runs over.

Scraping the Fence

There's four of us in this old house, Meriwether, as its called on occasion, after the name on the historical marker out front. I like to say (well, just starting this afternoon) that I live with artists and vagrants--sort of. My three housemates are various visual art majors; I'm the writer that lives in the attic. Terribly romantic, no?

Anyway...

There's a cast iron fence that encloses our itty-bitty front yard--a rusty, patchwork cast iron fence. Our landlady said lower rent if we cleaned and painted it, and we said "why, of course!"
We are artists and vagrants after all. That type is generally starving*. Anything to save a dime.

So we're all four out in the yard on a overcast Saturday afternoon, armed with wire brushes and scrapers and good attitudes. We team up on a segment of the fence: two inside, two outside, attacking the iron posts with a vengeance, moving onto the next section only when we all agree to call it good.

We're chatting and scraping and laughing, and occasionally crying out in pain as a thumb gets smashed or knuckle scraped. The overcast sky lets loose some rain every now and then, but we keep working. On the front porch, the teacher-boyfriend of one of my housemates is grading papers and keeping us supplied with music.

I learn about the neighbors, the girls telling me the nickname they've come up with for the old man down the street, half deaf, who's always mowing his lawn. Old Yeller they call him.

We're all four so close together I'm almost afraid of my scraper slipping and gouging the eye of my partner 'cross the fence. I decide to scrape down, instead of up.

A man walking down the sidewalk carrying business cards asks us if our dad is home. Do we look that young? We look to the teacher-boyfriend on the porch--does he look that old? We're college students, we tell business-card man. He moves on.

We wave to people who drive by, some smiling at the sight of us, some looking away with a sour face after our display of friendliness. "They're thinking, 'those silly girls, working in the rain'" my sister says.

Old Yeller stands in his front lawn at the end of the block, hands on hips, just watching in our general direction. We turn and watch him back.

We're beginning to wonder why we're getting the attention of the neighborhood.

Teacher-boyfriend on the front porch points out his simple observation. They're not amused at our work in the rain, nor the laughing at our ambition for taking on such a gnarly old fence. The fact is, we're all four still working as a unit, one fence segment at a time, standing close together. Four men would each take a different side of the fence, and work alone. It's the female logic that's been amusing the neighborhood.

There's nothing wrong with giving people a little entertainment.



*I speak figuratively of course; we are not, in fact, starving.