Back to the Hands: Sign Painters, The Movie

Sir Barken Hyena writes:


This most engaging documentary comes recommended by a highly talented painter and lady friend who, though she has repeatedly rebuffed my invitations to be the next Lady Barken, I feel is beginning to weaken in her resolve.

You don’t need to be a painter to enjoy this movie, or even interested in art. Though both would all be to the good, the real point to me is a favorite around here: the need to return to and revive the old art forms, the old crafts, all the old stuff that had a human texture, a warm surface, and a depth of time on it.

How is that done? This film answers that question: by doing it, simple as that. Naturally the real world presents obstacles and inconvenience; never mind, there’s a nobility in doing things right, to last. We’ve got a whole movie here of people doing just that, from all backgrounds and ages. They paint signs because they love it and think it makes the world a little brighter, which it does.

Same thing can be done across the board. This is not a luddite thing; it’s about the spirit of the work and doing things by hand again, but computers and new tech can be adapted. But it should serve and not dictate: as it has in the movies with the awfulness of so much CGI. As a musician, I’m applying this by recording my next record without a computer at all. Which is pretty damn daring these days! But that’s one way to capture the real human touch and leave it to show, proudly, not stuffed into a digital grid.

About Sir Barken Hyena

IT professional and veteran of start ups. Life long musician and songwriter. Voracious reader of dead white guys. Lover of food and women.
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7 Responses to Back to the Hands: Sign Painters, The Movie

  1. H.D. Miller says:

    Sir Barken, the name to search for on youtube is Glen Weisgerber. You’ll find instruction videos in freehand lettering that are mesmerizing.


  2. JV says:

    I’d love to read about your experience with analog recording. As a musician myself, and a part-time one, I haven’t recorded on tape since 1993 due mostly to cost. The convenience and affordability of digital recording is pretty great, but you can’t beat analog, for my money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can have analog recording thank you! I ditched it about the same time as you, bye bye $80 a reel 1/2 tape.

      No, I meant specifically the computer itself, I use instead a fully digital Tascam portastudio. But no editing! No “I’ll fix that on the computer”, so in that sense I use it very much like analog tape, just one that has a level of undo 😉 Everything has to be played in right. For two reasons: it sounds better and it’s much more fun. Recording music on a computer becomes a desk job sooner or later.


  3. Will S. says:

    On a tangent: the trailer looks so great in Vimeo, that between it and SBH’s great post, I want to see this; I might not necessarily if I only had seen a YouTube clip. Why is Vimeo’s quality so good and YT’s so mediocre, in comparison? Why doesn’t anyone at YT want to do something about that? Sheesh!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Father Knows Best: Early June Edition | Patriactionary

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