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I Got This Information From A Cartoon

February 2005

Imagine, if you will, The Pink Panther doing a drinks tasting and everything is just fine, with a pitcher and a sign indicating exactly what is in the pitcher: Pink Punch. So the tasting is set up perfectly except there is just one minor problem, one little imperfection: there is a jazzy green starred dot in the 'i' of the 'Pink' on the sign for the Pink Punch. Obviously, this jazzy green starred dot should be a jazzy pink starred dot and Pink Panther goes about amendment, but that green dot is resistant. The dot fights back with the mighty power vested in its star-pointed arms and legs.

Well, this is what happens in the cartoon Pink Punch. Just as Pink Panther is about to apply the pink paint -- that dot leaped off the sign, and it occurred to me, at that exact point, that this dot is both funny and animated and so is Pink Panther but in a completely different way. Now funny and animated are two of the things I like best in this world, so obviously I am wondering how I can get in on some cartoon action and explore these some more.

I quite like the style of these three drawings I did to help me remember or understand some bits of George Perec's Species of Spaces and Italo Calvino's Mr Palomar. I have lots of these sorts of drawings, from different books I have read or ideas I have come across, and I guess they give an indication of the mildly logical side to my drawing which I haven't shared yet. So I thought this month I would start to introduce that.

Italo Calvino book Mr Palomar illustration.

This is not an attempt at one of those trendy bar codes. No. This is my representation of Italo Calvino's novel Mr Palomar. Mr Palomar has 3 sections (numbered 1 to 3) each containing 3 subsections (numbered 1 to 3) each containing 3 chapters. The chapters are defined with a three figure number obtained by concatenating the section number followed by the subsection number followed by the chapter number. Now, and this is the fun part, the numbers 1, 2, 3 that make up each chapter have a thematic meaning too: 1 corresponds to a description or purely visual data, 2 is taking that data and forming a story with meaning and 3 is a meditation on time and infinity and relationships and stuff. So each chapter's description determines the proportion of description and story and meditation it contains. In the Picture above the light blue-green represents 1, or description, the dark green-blue represents 2, or the story and the red-orange represents 3, or the meditation.

Perec species of spaces illustration 1

Perec's Species of Spaces has a children's song from Les Deux-Sevres that goes: In Paris, there is a street; in that street, there is a house; in that house, there is a staircase; on that staircase, there is a room; in that room, there is a table; on that table, there is a cloth; on that cloth, there is a cage; in that cage, there is a nest; in that nest, there is an egg; in that egg, there is a bird;

The bird knocked the egg over; the egg knocked the nest over; the nest knocked the cage over; the cage knocked the cloth over; the cloth knocked the table over; the table knocked the room over; the room knocked the staircase over; the staircase knocked the house over; the house knocked the street over; the street knocked the town of Paris over;

Perec species of spaces illustration 2.

In his book Species of Spaces, Perec constructs a table with each row being a 15 minute time span and corresponding movement of one member of a family, made up of a mum, dad and child, into a different room in their flat. Perec gives each movement a reason, like the mother finishes the dishes in the kitchen and takes her coat from the entrance hall. It goes on all day. For one day. Above I have mapped the flat and shown the movements with lines with times attached to them. The stripy section in the lower left is the outside cover of the book I draw these things in.

So, that drawing with paints thing I tried this month. It sort of worked. Needs tuning though:

A chair drawn with paints

My living-room chair drawn with acrylic paint on canvas.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.