I really like John Boivin's work. On more than one occasion, I've looked at one of his large wilderness scenes and have been instantly transported back to times and places and hikes that I remember fondly. I like his art because it's not always about big, sweeping vistas and dramatic views - it's more about the colours and lighting and essence of just about any random spot in the middle of the bush. Sometimes - especially with his larger pieces - it's easy to imagine that you're standing right there, in the spot the he painted.
I mostly enjoy, however, pieces that make me think about society and the world in which we live - which lead me to think about the form of art that does this more successfully than any large installation or traveling exhibit or performance art piece. I'm talking about humanity's greatest achievement in the world of self-reflective art. I'm talking about an art form that, on occasion, causes violent protests and changes the course of history. I'm talking about an art form that can make you laugh, think, and cry all at the same time. I'm talking about an art form that reaches millions upon millions of people every day. I'm talking about an art form that can summarize complex situations and controversial issues in one small box.
I'm talking, of course, about editorial cartoons.
The second I started thinking about editorial cartoons, plans for two of them popped into my head; one to summarize the current state of affairs in the federal election and the other to parody what I've heard about the Yukon election candidates' arts-funding-related debate that happened at The Old Fire Hall on Tuesday Night (I wasn't there, so the idea was based on what I saw in the news and read in the papers).
I dried off from my shower, got dressed, and bounded upstairs to my office to sketch them out.
Now, I'm no Aislin, so go easy on me. It's the first time I've done this. Here they are (you may need to click on them to read the text):
Election 2008: Situation Analysis
Wow, I had a hard time drawing Stephen Harper. I'm not a good enough artist to capture those cold blue eyes and that Mona Lisa smile and that perfect part in his hair. Also, I wasn't able to fit "Puffingate" onto the weights.
Election 2008: Candidates for the Yukon riding debate arts funding
It was easier drawing the candidates running for the Yukon riding, for some reason. OK, so you'd never be able to recognise them without the name tags, but at least I tried. Thought-provoking editorial cartoons are hard to do!
In case you're wondering, I don't mean any offense by these cartoons. It's just the way that things seem, right now, to me. If you know any of the campaign managers however, please feel free to pass these on - it might help with their campaign strategies.
Let the "changing the course of history" begin!