For the Love of Toast

“For the  Love of Toast” 

I feel like the Badger from the book “Bread and Jam for Frances.”  I love toast an obscene amount, and I often make up songs to sing while eating it. Coincidence?  I think not.

Badger Frances + Jam

Human Frances + Jam










This final animation will be my Ode to toast.

The Plot Proposal: “For the  Love of Toast”

Intro: Person is in their kitchen, putting bread into the toaster.  The suspense builds as they wait for the toast to be done.  IT is taking a long time.  This scene is created using hand drawn 2D animation or rotoscoping.

Development: In a delirious desperation, the person starts to see toast and toasters everywhere.  The fridge is a toaster, the door is a toaster—even the house is a toaster!  (insert hallucinogenic Phenakistiscope sequence).

Turn: The persons is sucked inside of the toaster, being toasted (perhaps this could be a claymation sequence?).

Conclusion: The persons pops out of the toaster. The toast eats the person. The person is crispy.

The end.

My objectives for this project:

  1. Become better acquainted with Aftereffects
  2. Create a scene that uses:
    1. a Phenakistoscope animation OR
    2. some sort of claymation
  3. Practice with morphing scenes together
  4. implement creative transitions from one scene to the next

I am excited for toast.




Graffiti on the Wall Street Bull

A field trip to the Wall Street Bull for on-site drawing proved difficult.  It was an early autumn day, and the mass of tourists surrounding the bull was almost impenetrable.  Some were there to see the bull, while some were more interested in the Fearless Child statue that had been placed in front of it.  The top of the Bull, untouched for the most part by intrusive hands, glimmered in the sunlight, while the bottom half, patinaed from being touched, was a dull grayish gold.

The way that the crowds swarmed the bull invoked a sort of biblical scene.  I imagined the mass of people as the unruly mob below the base of Mount Sinai, violently pushing each other to get close to their false idol.  I view the Wall Street bull as the new sort of God, which stands in as a symbol of greed and money (while that was not it’s initial intention, it’s meaning has certainly shifted over time), instead of the Christian sort of benevolent image of God.

I feel like I can’t leave out the Bulls balls.  Yes, animals have anatomical parts.  It’s just so strange to me, how everyone lined up to touch them.  The bulls balls seemed to be it’s most magical part.  Everyone wanted a piece of them.  Everyone wanted a photo.  Everyone posed in exactly the same way.  I went on Instagram later that day just to make sure the that my theories of their unoriginality were correct.  They were.

So this is the new religion: Gigantic Statues, selfies, and a fixation on balls.

The assignment for Typography class was to Graffitti the Wall Street Bull.  I imagined the Bull as a canvas for the new religion and the old to butt heads.  The Bull sylbolizes the new religion.  The graffiti would be from peopel of the old faith: Phrases such as ” Thou Shall not worship false Idols” are violently carved into the brass flesh.  The back and forth profanities from people with different opinions fill in the space.  Then there’s the peopel who troll just to instigate the situation, not really taking any side. I empathize with them the most.  I snuck in a a Buffalo Bill quote from Silence of the Lambs as well, trying to make it as profane as possible.

As a side note, this piece of art produced some internet trolling from someone who called it “an atrocity” to vandalize something that represented American resilience (I’m paraphrasing, as it was a really long message).  I think that creating art that invokes a reaction out of strangers means I’m heading in the right direction.

Also, it’s a school assignment bro.  Get over it.





Experimental Kids Book: Gunther Get Out of Bed

Gunther, my childhood stuffed dinosaur, is the main character in many of my projects.  Because he is small and innocent-llooking, I find that he is easy to place in uncomfortable situations.

Gunther Get out of Bed is my final project for Experimental Kids Books. For a kids book to be considered “experimental”, the book must have some aspect of being non-conventional in form, content, or subject matter. I chose to address the subject of Depression, while maintaining a conventional kids book form and appearance.  As the story processes, Gunther consumes the page, while the main character tries to get him out of bed without success.  This serves as a metaphor for depression and calls into question if Gunther is experiencing depression, or if the main character is projecting her own feelings onto him, blurring the lines between what is real and what is imagined. In creating this work, I am trying to convey the weight of mental illness from two points of view: from the person experiencing it firsthand, and from the person who is powerless to help.

This work was created inking techniques learned in 2D studio.  Contours and forms are suggested using masses of lines and texture.  Coloring was done using Photoshop.

Robin Bells Political Projection Mapping 

Robin Bells Political Projection Mapping

On the evening of May 15th, 2017, The Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. was bathed in light.   While the display only lasted about 10 minutes before being shut down, both passerby’s and tourists were able to witness it, taking photos and videos as souvenirs.  While may artists use projection mapping techniques to create a visual aspect to music shows, Robin Bell is using projection mapping as a medium for political protest.  In the wake of a new political landscape, Bell is using projection mapping to stage monumental installations on government buildings.  In his guerrilla-protest piece entitled, “Emoluments welcome”, Bell displays a juxtaposition of images against the trump hotel.

The Words “Emoluments Welcome” are the banner above the entryway to the hotel, atop a background of Turkish and Russian flags scrolling horizontally in a loop.  The faux-fluorescent sign that says “Open 24 hours” brings to mind that of a seedy motel instead of the “regal” Trump brand.  The emolument clause from the constitution is then projected, calling into question the legality of the properties of the businessman turned president. Then, In case there was any confusion regarding the meaning of the installation or the artists political stance, the words “Pay Trump bribes here”  are also projected onto the face of the building.

His projections, while not explicit animations, do use similar techniques to animated projection mapping.  He is using light to create a visual narrative while employing an architectural surface as a canvas.  He also makes sure that the words and banners of each scene fit perfectly atop of the entryway of the Hotel, so there had to have been some knowledge of software and composition. 

Sources and Similar Works:

Formal Analysis Paper “The Siene at Chatou” 1906






Frances Ross: Formal Analysis Paper

Maurice de Vlaminck 1876-1958

MET Catalog:


Maurice de Vlaminck painted “The Siene at Chatou” in 1906.  The piece, at first glance, is a river scene stylistically similar to that of the other Paris Impressionists of the early 1900’s.  Chatou is made up of a plethora of color and texture. Vlaminck uses dynamic brushstrokes to build the scene.  He also pays special attention to light and shadow, and how they play in the reflections on the water.  Unlike other Impressionists however, Vlaminck uses more bold and unnatural primary colors, similar to that of the artists belonging to the Expressionists movement.   By combining the elements of color and texture from each art movement, Vlaminck is able to blur the boundaries between two art movements in Paris near the beginning of the 20th century: Impressionism and Expressionism, and incorporates aspects of both movements into his work.

Chatou is approximately 32×39 inches in size. It is a scale model of a real life scene, likely painted on site. There is a peaceful mood to this painting.  Vlaminck rejects the portrayal of a populous Parisian city, beautiful women, or bourgeoisie elites, whose presence dominated much of the art of turn of the 20th century Impressionist and Expressionist movements. Instead, nature is his subject.  He hints at humans in their manmade structures: the boat and the distant village. Vlaminck represents the scene in a sort of subjective truthfulness.  His choice of color, line, texture, and subject matter, all contribute to an overall mood.  IN channeling inspiration from the art movements happening around him, Vlaminck was able to create a new sort of  impressionistic landscape that adds the expressionistic quality of color and line.

The composition of Chatou creates a clear eye path that guides the viewer around the painting. Starting from the striking red trees on the left side of the painting, the vertical lines of the trunk curve slightly inward to the the center right.  From there, the viewer can become immersed in the amorphous clouds that are painted with blues, aquas, whites, and pastels, that give an atmospheric appearance..  A stack of green trees on the right side of the painting guide the viewer back down to a distant shoreline with one small yellow road and a few pale, red roofed houses.  The boat in the distance is a dark blue that dissolves into it’s reflection, that then dissipates into the ripples of the water.  A red boat in the bottom right corner peeks through the composition, pointing at the small boat that is off-centered near the shoreline where the viewer can then follow the trunk of the red trees back up to the sky again.  In creating this circular eye path, the viewer is able to take in every detail.  Vlaminck guides the viewer along slowly, allowing them to become immersed in the scene without getting lost.

The colors used in Chatou are a mix of pastels and primary colors.  Manmade objects are a predominantly primary colors, while nature is given a softer pastel treatment. Trees are in shades of red and orange, which creates an unnatural quality.  Distant trees are orange and pink, and have a softer edge.  At the horizon line of the painting, there are green and chartreuse blocks that hint at the presence of other trees.  The sky and water have a similar color palette: various shades of blue, aqua, white, and pink.  The boats in the river are red, dark blue, and ochre. There’s little or no black used in the painting.  Instead, shades are created by mixing colors.  The shadows and outlines are created with dark hues.  Because of this use of color, from a distance there is a softness to the overall appearance of the painting.

The quality of the line is gestural as if the artist were trying to capture a moment as quickly as possible.  Close up to the painting, one can see the jaggedness and sheen of the oil paint.  It appears daubed on with an oversaturated paintbrush, or squeezed straight from the tube onto the canvas, which then became a mixing palette.  The lines in Chatou are build up with textures brush strokes.  The boats and tree trunks are outlined with a thin blue line that suggest a hard edge, while natural elements have a softer liner.  The clouds have a fish scale-like pattern of overlapping color.  The clouds reflection in the water is a soft radial ripple made up of more broken brush strokes.  The variation in line throughout the painting adds to the interest of the piece.  Vlaminck tries to capture that organic quality of nature by differentiating texture.

By incorporating stylistic elements of  color, texture, and line from the Impressionist and Expressionist movement, Vlaminck was able to create a believable, fantastical scene.  Likely, his presence in France during multiple art movements near the turn of the century, and his proximity to other prominent artists at the time helped to influence his style. Much of this influence can be seen in the overall dreamy quality of the work. Chatou it is not life-sized, but it gives the viewer the impression of a faraway place. This is the illusion though: The closer a viewer gets to Chatou, the less focused it becomes, perhaps serving as a reminder that this idealized version of reality is an illusion in and of itself.


Documentary Animation Analysis–“Le Clitoris”

Documentary Animation Analysis

“Le Clitoris” by Lori Malépart-Traversy


“Le Clitoris” by Lori Malépart-Traversy is a short film that addresses the subject of female sexuality in a humorous and lighthearted way.  Malépart-Traversy personifies the sexual organ (the main character) by turning it’s roots into legs and giving it a simple face and small arms.  The narrator takes us through the film, while the main character reacts to every piece of new information presented.

Created using gouache on paper, the soft palette of pinks and greys mimic the overall soft tone of the animation. The use of line is minimal, and the overall presentation is simple and straightforward. In this instance, form and content work quite well together.

By making a cute-ish animation, rather than a live-action film, Melépart is able to achieve a few things: First, the information can be presented in a way that is funny, yet informative, and suitable for a large spectrum of ages.  For instance, this animation could be a great asset for teaching young people about sex and reproductive organs.  Secondly, because animation does not have to abide by the laws of anatomy, Melépart is able to remove the clitoris from the body, personify it, and allow it to walk around.  To shoot this with live footage would likely be grotesque and off-putting.  Thirdly, because the clitoris is personified, the viewer can perceive is as an actual character, rather than a body part. This allows the viewer to potentially make an emotional connection to the character and feel a bit of empathy.  Lastly, Melépart is able to address the male influence in “discovering” the clitoris throughout history without being too sarcastic or didactic.

Because  “Le Clitoris” is presented in such a gentle way,  the viewer can easily learn about female anatomy, and get a brief history lesson about the last 500+years of patriarchy.

Gunther Comics

Gunther is a small stuffed toy dinosaur that I’ve has since I was in Elementary School.  Because he looks so innocent and unassuming, I feel that he lends himself to drama in my comics.  While he is often the victim of unfortunate circumstances, I can confidently say that no Gunthers were harmed in the making of any of these comics.

In this installment of Gunther Comics, Gunther is left alone with another stuffed animal: Skin Graft Monkey (an actual flesh-colored sock monkey that I made).  This comic was made in Typography class.


Gunther’s New Friend


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