We’re already wading into 2013 up to our knees in the fast-flowing river of the new year. Here is an update on the latest new thing.
Recently, Earthen Vessel released our first DVD, Speaking for Fire. A video of James BlueWolf’s award-winning children’s book by the same name. James narrates it in his sonorous storyteller voice, while Nathan DeHart’s artful video editing brings graceful and dramatic movement to my papercut illustrations. Dan Worley used authentic native instruments and bird calls to give musical support to the tale. It’s mythical, memorable, and meaningful. The message is especially needed in this day when one voice can easily be drowned out by the clamor of louder, more insistent voices.
Here are some frames from the movie. These are all papercuts, no coloring or line work added. I chose to use papercuts because the story is symbolic.
Animals, fleeing in terror, express their panic with the panting mouth, the angle of the head, limbs stretched as they flee.
Burnt trees are reduced to stark, bare ruin.
The hummingbird’s wings are made of thin, gray tissue paper, folded and made transparent with glue.
There is no shading, no subtlety. Since the story is set in the oldest of days, this reductionist approach helps express an earlier, simpler era.
Of course, I did all these when I could see better. I could not do them now.
We had our debut at the Lake County Arts Council, showing the 8 1/2-minute film on my 52” flat screen TV to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience of story and art lovers. What fun it was to see my tiny paper illustrations zoomed and magnified so big! In actuality, the hummingbird is only about an inch and a half long. None of us had seen the illustrations so large, and we all noticed things we’d never seen before.
There are special features on this DVD, including interviews with James, Dan and me. It was a most rewarding collaboration and we’re all very proud of it.
You can purchase the DVD here.