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Cartoons and Natural Delights

Cartoons in Short

The term cartoon has evolved over time. Originally cartoon meant a preparatory drawing for a piece of art. Cartoons by painters, such as Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, are well prized.

Cartoons in the sense of humorous illustrations in magazines and newspapers is more recent. In print media, 'cartoon' most often refers to a humorous single-panel drawing or gag cartoon, and only rarely speech balloons. The word cartoon is not often used to refer to a comic strip. Artists who draw cartoons are known as cartoonists.

In modern print media, a cartoon is usually meant to be humorous. Some consist of a single drawing with a caption immediately beneath. Editorial cartoons are found in news publications and news websites. In such cases the cartoon may give a visual metaphor to illustrate a point of view on topics.

Then there are comic strics. They are also known as cartoon strips, and abound in newspapers the world over. They are usually a short series of cartoon illustrations in sequence. In the United States they are also called "comics" and other things. But the creators of comic strips are referred to as "cartoonists" too. Humour prevails. Noteworthy cartoonists in this sense include Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson, and Mort Walker, to name a few of them.

"Cartoon" also refers to animated films shown on television or in cinemas, in programs for children and adults alike.


Juan Mascaro (1965) points out three ways of enjoying nature:
  • The lowest enjoy to use it and profit grossly, little considering long-range consequences.
  • The highest enjoy nature as it is, appreciating being surrounded by flowers, bees, trees and more - there is much to enjoy in leisure moments. It may be worth while to seek out the blossoms and flower fields of May, many forms of art, including music, and lovely surroundings and frank buddies. They may not consider long-range consequences, too.
  • In between we may find those who hardly seek to capitalise maximally on nature and thriving. Such persons may speak of sustainability after lots of errors, and do concern themselves with analysing and estimating what the effects of this and that may be.

This suggests the highest artists in the long art of living are appreciating their moments. There is reason to suggest you might do well in including some thinking about various consequences of your doings too.

Now, compare Tao Te Ching, ch. 17 and Lin Yutang on the art of lax living as a tourist or better. A paraphrase:

Of the best artists of life and tourists the people hardly ever know they exist;
The best may not reveal much at all.

As for music, some compose it, other repeat the works of others. They are hardly the best musicians. Those who make music rank higher to me, and those who make instruments to make music from them possible, rank high too, although they tend to be left out from presentations.

It is much the same with appreciating nature and people. Hope to see a genuine artist at work -

Treasure the moments - how and which ones?

What fills you with delight and is sound; that is something to cherish. The moment is precious, but hard to point out in the gliding stream of time. To keep alert and at ease in the moment is good, to stay with the moments. What about "frozen moments"? How valuable are they as compared to the Now? If the Now is the most immediate part of what is real, what is the essentiall value of a portrait from hundreds of years ago when viewed in the Now, for example in Louve, surrounded by guards? It depends on yourself. If you sense yourself in the here and now watching something left over from a "there and then" by someone, it may not be so bad. Ask children what they think about visiting museums.

When the name of the painter becomes important and significant so that it raises the collector's value of that work of art, it is at best only second-class value that is ascribed to the work. Art auctions are for that.

The same may apply to snapshots or photos withoug personal interests or sentimental value. If you live and feel deeply in "each moment" as time glides along, there is hardly any awkward need of "frozen moments from back then", and the dealers in compact cameras may come to dislike you for telling it out loud, actually.

For all that, many pictures may affirm "I and mine used to be like that once", and promote a sense of affirming one's identity, or self-esteem. Lovely images could favour such a development (cf. Lowenfeld and Brittain 1964).

Prostituting Good Things for Shows and Money, and the Alternative

As for motives, the living being is ranked higher than stone likenesses (statues, reliefs, etc), if you adhere to "A temple of bone is more than a temple of stone". It is a proverb. It is the life in the "thing" that matters, or the quality of life. This principle pertains to most attractions and sights too. to have or watch a flock of baaing sheep is more than visiting stone churches. Granted the premise - that life is more than rock - the true sights and attractions in a tract are those that appeal to little children too, more often than not. As for many other so-called sights and attractions, they are inherently botch called attractions to draw inexperienced tourists and others to make money on them. Suspect that.

When sights and festivals no longer spring from local roots or local people and money is the key to many outlets, further suspect you are dealing with prostituted attractions somehow. Greed may be glimpsed at the bottom of most of it too. They may flatten life like an onion - you look for the core of the entertainment, and weep over the "onion entertainment" at last.

The Avalance

It is likely to be better to observe and paint lovely maids tending sheep in lovely surroundings around a mountain dairy farm in the summertime than miss the experience. What do you think?

It is better to watch an avalance from the distance than experience it coming right at you. And if you consider that participating in something good is better than merely watch it, you may choose an "experience vacation" next, where you take part in something children love, where the scenery is lovely, and may end up on a farm in the hills, tending sheep, using a scythe - whatever that is still alive, not gross, and well rooted in folk ways. Many who try it, may not forget their moments there, such as sleeping in the hay of the barn with the goats around. They get memories for a life time instead, and they had better be good.

Good travels are slow: Idyls are marked by slowing down or standing still. So the best travels are slow and allow for ample contact with the sceneries we pass through, to say the least. You may ride a bike or a slow-moving scooter, or walk.

Good sights allow you to be among them, not just glance at them from the distance or a train windom. Take a walk in the Norwegian mountains by hiking from cottage to cottage to experience mountains in the summer-time, maybe on skis around Easter too.

Get enriched by some time at a mountain dairy farm, if you can. Learn to make and serve traditional food, for example, and enjoy the good-hearted nature of farm animals. Go fishing in a lake too.

Such memories could enrich you. There is nothing wrong with taking pictures there either, or sketching or painting the sights that come in your way. Skills required for such things may enrich you too, like abandoning grossness and greed for money for something higher and more needed. Mind your favourable balances also.


Cartoons and comics  

Lowenfeld, Viktor, and W. Brittain, Creative and Mental Growth. 4th ed. New York: Macmillan, 1964. —— There are four later editions of this most influential textbook in art education. The book describes characteristics of child art from the angles of aesthetic, social, physical, intellectual, and emotional growth. He also developed a theory of stages in artistic development, namely scribble; preschematic; schematic; "dawning realism"; pseudorealism; and a period of decision/crisis.

Mascaro, Juan, tr. The Upanishads. Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1965. —— The selections are well done.

Nordlund, Carrie Y. Art Experiences in Waldorf Education: Graduates' Meaning Making Reflections. A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School University of Missouri–Columbia, 2006. —— She wondered what graduates of Waldorf Schools (Steiner schools) thought about the art experiences they had got, and interviewed fifteen such persons. Then, on interpreting the data, she found themes and in the end summarised them as (1) expanded ways of knowing; (2) internalised knowledge through visual representations; (3) will-developed intelligence, flow experience, creativity, and emotional intelligence; and (4) balanced sense and reason.

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