In his favourite blue boiler suit jacket, an old electrician's blue boiler suit converted into jacket and trousers, for daily work wear. The blue boiler suit jacket was worn with grey jeans today. He'd just got back from an uncharacteristically adventurous walk across the fields, having been turfed off the old colliery site for trespassing. He was feeling quite chipper. (Quietly smiley). He'd popped up to see about a take away. I read recipe ideas from my new purchase while he sat and mused with Godzilla in one hand. Subtitles? No, sorry. I won't do subtitles. But he likes macaroni and cheese.
I felt sick and thought about drawing the ceiling it was all I could see. Then I felt better and drew my little table. It's like writing a diary. It doesn't matter what you say, it's that you are saying it. The act of drawing makes me feel better. I think when I am drawing I sort my head out. It needs to be relatively functional to draw at all (not stressed) but the drawing activity in my brain lets the other part check itself without too much tightness, control.
Took a break from drawing. Have another painting on display at Ragley Studios, Alcester where I entered their open Studios competition. I got through the first round to exhibit so that's nice. I don't like the feeling of being on display much, though it is the point, I'd prefer my work to be owned and loved than peered at. It is still an endorsement I need. Also really good to be in touch with the best art teacher I had.
So as always she helped me, just a tip, she said my work reminded her of Willem de Koonig, I hadn't seen his stuff, but I know I am an abstract expressionist (for my sins) but when I saw what he was doing, I just felt like - maybe its ok to just be myself here.
My best work comes from a strong emotion. What stronger emotions should one feel than in the face of superficial dismissal of human dignity?
This is happening all over the world, Gaza, Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria. and Ferguson, Missouri.
This situation is not only a metaphor, sadly it was a person's life, it is a community's experience, a microchosm of all that is wrong in the world. The protectors turned aggressors, blatant lies believed over facts, appearances 'taken as read' by ignoramuses! Wrong assumptions, needless pain, blind eyes and guess what ensues: rage, chaos and hopelessness.
But there ARE millions of people who care. Who do see. Who aren't just looking at people from the outside. Who see people's hearts not their skin or tribe or wallet size. We can't get bigger guns, or cheezier news stations, but we can tell the truth and protect ourselves. Love anyway.
This picture is already annoying me.
It is merely a facade that does or doesn't reflect who I am inside.
I drew this (rather than continue the series I was working on) because it's from life (and I am the only human here right now) because I read today that you should draw from life in order to synthesise all the information without losing the essence, as you can using photo reference. (Though I wonder if a camera-mirror does that too or if because it's a live image it counts as life?) Is it the spirit or is it just about two or three dimensions? I was reading about some artists I like, not least of which was Sempe.
The other thing about self portraits - someone said the other day that 'artists are all vain'. Though if you spend your life drawing things, focused a lot if not completely on what you see, then of course you become aware of appearances not necessarily enamoured of them. Steve Rude the other day got really animated when relaying how he finds analytical or meaning laden approaches to art and drawing irritating. But I can't understand how an artist can want to make art devoid of meaning or depth. I get what he means in a way, as in you just have to draw what's there and draw it well, but to completely reject the invisible in art is a mistake to my mind at least.
I have opened a shop to make buying a copy of Longship easier. I am also selling a limited number of prints, here's one I have framed myself to give you the idea.
Because I haven't paid weebly an annual subscription I can't do swanky things like add shipping, so it isn't obligatory. I would like you to own my art so we won't worry about shipping if you're in the UK. If you are overseas a donation for shipping would be appreciated but isn't obligatory if you are stretching to buy something. Please use the social media buttons to get things out there, help keep me in pens and cat food! Thank you for all your support!
I am getting used to these con things now... Yesterday's was good fun, and I was running around pretty much all day. It was a little confused with the delegate event for creators going on behind the scenes of the standard con event, I think overall it detracted from both events, because there weren't enough people at the creators' thing, and the con lacked the sparkle the famous names might have brought had they been doing what they were doing up front and centre. I realise the organisers were trying to please everyone, and create an exclusive feel, but sometimes inclusiveness, and lowering of prices pays off too.
So enough about the event onto the people which is always the best part. I saw Steve Rude draw a live model while waffling on! He is a funny guy and a talented artist. And I caught the end of Joey Cavalieri's talk on his experience as a DC editor. I wish I had heard it all, but didn't get my bearings till about midday which is normal for me, but a shame when there's good things to miss. Luckily I was meeting him for a review of my portfolio and he was as affable in person as he seemed while speaking publicly. A really down to earth guy, he used to be an artist I gathered who became one of DC's major editors. He looked at my stuff, and strangely enough picked out three of my pieces which I would never have expected him to - but are the ones I liked drawing best. I thought they were too gentle for 'comics', but he went straight for them. He liked my Renoir renditions, and my vert cartoon! The Hare and the Tortoise in particular. We talked about line weight and how use of heavy lines and solid blacks was not suited to my style, that I should pursue my finer line work which is 'accomplished' whereas the heavier lines hide what would be otherwise good panels under clumsy lines. Yeah! I liked him! We talked about Moebius, he pointed out that its no coincidence that I would like his work when he too uses those delicate lines and light colour washes. He's a laid back experienced Dude. It is so so helpful to talk to people with experience. Being an artist is so isolated but these guys are like beacons. (I still think about things I learnt from Klaus Janson last time I was at the Studio. I think Joey's words will be the same.) Not what I expected, but then he said, if you work for DC you have to produce the house style, they do what they do and so they should! he was pretty tired from being at SDCC and I mentioned Chris Sims... because you know, he's awesome. It turns out Joey thinks he's a 'really intelligent guy' and would like to meet him. I would tell him but we don't want the internet to explode with humility now do we?
Yeah. The Longship book was selling well, and people were genuinely impressed and excited about it, Steve mentioned something about Waterstones and Foyles stocking it - but I can't quite believe it's true. Lawrence and I are going to run round all the stores we can moving them to the front of the shelves.
The only purchase I made was Newt by Mahler and Wolf brought out by Soaring Penguin.