Norman McLaren

I am watching a full length film biography of Norman McLaren on my National Film Board of Canada app – part of my ongoing, ‘when I get the time’ look at creativity.

Creative Process: Norman McLaren by Donald McWilliams

I had to get down my early impressions – especially that I am seeing the same elements as in the film

Gerhard Richter Painting

McLaren, Richter and Picasso all note that their paintings do not follow the artist’s plan, but follow their own paths.  I see the same in my writing.  McLaren is interesting to me at the moment.  What little I knew about him was he was some boring old NFB documentary film maker – those old short films with a plummy CBC voice putting you to sleep while you watched uninteresting images in some High School class.

Rather, I see a man who combined painting with film – indeed he says that using the human voice would have been a foreign imposition.  He painted in stages and filmed the stages.. he played with animation, but not in the Pixar or Disney mode.  In one example, he had a drawing of dark mountains on a canvas on an easel which was filmed, then stopped.. then applied white chalk to portions of the mountains… filmed that, and so on, then put it all together.  Picasso is reported to have said of one of McLaren’s film paintings… ‘At last!  Something new!”

Well, this interests me as I am following this path, but with text as the basic background….. and with film, painting, music etc. mingled – not enhancing as the current mistake in publishing has it – but intrinsic to the whole.

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