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Daily Helping for March 27th, 2021 – Canvas – Frank E Abney III

An animated still from the short film Canvas, showing the grandfather giving his granddaughter a hug.

You absolutely won’t believe me, but contrary to all appearances, I do not deliberately search for animated short films that make me cry. And yet I can’t seem to get through one without shedding a tear. Today’s helping was no exception, although there were plenty of smiles to be found in Canvas among the tears. Especially by the end.

Canvas is a short film about a widowed grandfather and his granddaughter, and the empty easel that symbolizes his grief. I’m not going to say much more, but I will say that I will never look at an empty easel the same way again. I will also say that I love how this film depicts using art as a way of coping with grief. It can be so easy to dismiss art as something frivolous or non-essential, when in actuality, the power of art to heal is enormous. In this film, the style of animation literally changes as the grandfather processes his grief, and it is absolutely beautiful to watch.

I’m so happy to have seen this film, but I’m also thinking that I might take a break from animated short films. My tear ducts need a rest.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!