I made this sketch of Norman when the movie first came out, I never really did anything with it, so thought Id’e touch it up and see how my old art looks with how I color and animate now. Also wanted to sneak in my other favorite character from the movie.  This was an experiment to try and combine painterly strokes from sai with flash animation. 

ParaNorman was produced by Laika
Highly recommend seeing their other amazing stop motion films. 

Tombstone for Anna

Under the Norman kings of Sicily, the island became a prosperous and influential Mediterranean superpower. The coexistence of western, Islamic and Byzantine cultures on Sicily created a multilingual state. In Palermo, the messages on public monuments were frequently in two or three languages. This funerary inscription was set up by Grisandus, a Christian priest, for his mother Anna in AD 1149. Her eulogy is written in Judaeo-Arabic (Arabic written in Hebrew script) on top, Latin on the left, Greek on the right, and Arabic below.

Learn more about this cultural centre of the ancient and medieval world in our exhibition Sicily: culture and conquest (21 April – 14 August 2016).

Sponsored by Julius Baer
In collaboration with Regione Siciliana

A tombstone in four languages. Sicily, AD 1149. Soprintendenza Beni Culturali e Ambientali di Palermo. © Regione Siciliana.

Architecture in Norman Sicily: the Palatine Chapel

Many Normans, Christian descendants of the Vikings, left France for southern Italy around AD 1000. Pilgrims and mercenaries soon became conquerors and rulers. The Norman mercenary Count Roger de Hauteville founded a dynasty that reigned over Sicily for a century. During that time the island became a prosperous and influential Mediterranean superpower.

Under Roger’s son, Roger II, Sicily was characterised by an unusual, but fragile, religious tolerance. Jews, Muslims, Orthodox Greek Byzantines, Christian Normans and Italians lived together in one multi-ethnic kingdom. Roger welcomed scholars of all races and faiths to his court and a new art and architecture emerged from the mixture of influences, centred on the king’s court at the Norman Palace in Palermo.

At the heart of the palace, the Palatine Chapel (Cappella Palatina) was the jewel in the crown of Roger’s architectural achievements. It was consecrated on Palm Sunday, 28 April, in 1140, although its decorations were not entirely completed at this time. It combined a church with a hall for royal audiences, complete with platform and throne. Byzantine mosaic artists adapted their skills for western church architecture. Southern Italian artisans made the inlaid marble floor. Most impressive, however, was the ceiling created by Fatimid woodworkers and painters from North Africa. Star-and-cross patterns framed by ‘honeycomb’ vaulting created a complex stalactite structure. Every inch was plastered and painted with Arabic inscriptions and scenes from Roger’s court, which was based on that of the Fatimids in Egypt.

In this video Exhibition Curator Dirk Booms gives a quick introduction to the chapel and its impressive decoration.

Learn more about Norman Sicily and its unique art and architecture in our exhibition Sicily: culture and conquest (21 April – 14 August 2016).

Sponsored by Julius Baer

In collaboration with Regione Siciliana

Palatine Chapel, Palermo, Sicily. © Prefettura di Palermo, Servizi Comuni Siciliani.

I am just not done talking about this Norman Reedus picture this yet. First of all, it’s just visually stunning. The combo of a frilly feminine shirt next to that perfect muscled arm is just a visual overload. But the other thing that is so beautiful here are the thoughts that must be going on behind it. Why? Why put that shirt on and why take this pic? And why post it everywhere? Because Norman Reedus is just simply an amazing human being. He’s not afraid to be himself. He’s this intoxicating combination of utter confidence and self-described awkwardness. He’s this motorcycle riding bad-ass that has a brand new show coming up. And he is still not afraid to do something like this. Is there more to it? Is it a shoutout of support for the transgendered community in the midst of the current national dialogue? Maybe. Probably. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about this man in the million interviews I’ve seen with him, it’s that he loves people. And he has a huge heart. And he has an insanely kind and affectionate soul. He is one of those people that just makes this whole planet a better place just be being here. I hope he knows the profound impact he’s had on so many people just by simply being himself.