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Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Jeff Scher "Welcome Back" (2009)




When they are not panicking at ill-considered or, more accurately, criminally stupid fly pasts, New Yorkers might well look for a more palatable uplift in the April 13th electronic edition of The New York Times where Jeff Scher, their resident animator -well, not exactly that though he does a regular series for the newspaper - posted his latest short, Welcome Back. Made in the manner that makes the artist such a favourite of mine, Jeff works in pastel and watercolour, providing machine gun-like changing images of Spring, from the cold of winter, through the first green shoots beloved of our politicians to the bursting out of flowers, return of wildlife and even a tiny bird hatching. The problem of writing about Jeff's work is that he's so damn eloquent. His own commentary about the pastel residue ruining his studio and suchlike also uses the phrase "sense of wonder", exactly what I was going to write. He uses it in reference to his composer Shay Lynch. If ever animator and musician worked in harmony it is here, the music and images carrying one through the heaviness of Winter to the excitement of Spring, from snow laden tree to blossom laden tree. There's a particularly elegant passage when the icicles drip water in time to the music which then picks up pace with the arrival of migrant birds to be followed by bursting buds. Jeff has provided two stills, only a click away to reveal the richness of the drawings. I should have asked him how many sketches there were in total but got sort of side-tracked in a New York travelogue. Brief though it was it has determined me on a visit to the great metropolis, there being people I wish to meet as well as much to see.

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