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Blog - Page 2 of 59 - Ardent Pictures

The Blog

The Museum of the Street

In the summer I was contacted by the curators of The Museum of the Street, an exhibit and archive of prominent illustrators in Canada. They were interested in the inclusion of my father, Peter Swan’s, work. As most of his illustrations were sold during his career, and he passed away in the 1990s, I was concerned about being able to provide them with enough material. They requested original artwork as well as published tear sheets. The few originals I have gracing my walls at home are paintings, but where to find the illustrations of his prolific career? The countless magazine and book covers, story illustrations, postage stamps? What did he do for Esquire Magazine, and what about the Mona Lisa with Telephone? It was an involved process, having to track work down, to be able to contribute to and attend meetings, to consider what pieces to include.

A curator told me that the genesis of the project was asking the question, “What ever happened to the work of Peter Swan?”

A biographical overview of my father was requested, over which I proceeded to fret and sweat. Simply put, we had always been very close, and I felt the responsibility of representing him as he himself would do.

I had just finished my first draft, when I found the old portfolio case of his that he had given me for my own drawings when I was a kid. Incredibly, in it I found a school composition I wrote when I was about eight; a biography of my father. Why on earth had I been sweating over it? Apart from an over enthusiasm for exclamation marks at the time, clearly I’ve been writing the same goddamn thing for thirty years.

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A Tartan Ribbon for Hogmanay

As the clock winds down on 2015, I’ve been thinking about filmmaking in black and white, and in color, and the differences between them. My thoughts turned to my family and our Scottish New Year’s tradition of Hogmanay. In the past I’ve tried to explain to friends that historically, it was bigger in Scotland than Christmas, a fact that people seem to have trouble accepting. Continue Reading →

Friday Fun: Three Films for Thanksgiving

Though Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US and Canada, film lovers are everywhere, so today we’re sending a little Thanksgiving movie humor your way, for Friday Fun: Three Films for Thanksgiving.

It’s certainly not depicted in the movies as often as Christmas is, but there’s rich film fodder in these holidays, and why? Because holidays bring family together, and family is… fill in the blank. Close-knit. Split-apart. Happy. Hateful. Nuts.

Whatever they are, they are who we are and what we come from… which is always funny, no? Now throw a turkey and some pumpkin pie on that, and enjoy our recommendations for a Thanksgiving movie or two before that tryptophan kicks in. Continue Reading →