This is the messenger Gabriel announcing to Mary that she will become the mother of Jesus. A popular topic throughout western art over the last thousand years or more, so I thought I might give it a go, so to speak. I've been reading about Angels lately and it's extremely fascinating (I recommend it.) For example did you know cherubim and seraphim are beings of clarity, brightness, tireless ardour and cleansing fire, who with that fire enlighten others and furthermore are reported to have six wings? (Two for covering their feet, two for sheltering their head and two to fly with). I also read that seraphim are caretakers who constantly fly around God's throne singing to each other in exclamation 'holy!' 'holy!" 'holy!' (please take a moment to visualise or even enact this charming vision, I guarantee you will laugh). It's pretty nice.
My version of Gabriel is taken from the Annunciazione by Leonardo Da Vinci, with a few obvious differences such as the size of the wings, the angle of his torso and his face. I was reading that they weren't sure for some time if it really was Leonardo's painting, as it is less human, less 'perfect' than his later work. deciding in the end that it was his youthfulness that mades Mary a little less 'warm' in the face than his later Marian renditions, also he painted it over a very long period of time so it doesn't have the impetus and vivacity that comes from a continuous burst of creativity. Regardless it is a beautiful painting, though I couldn't see his wings being large enough to get much lift, hence my adjustment.
I made this one because I am quite partial to a bit of roller skating. I haven't roller skated for quite a while to be honest but the idea of it still makes me happy. If you happen to be currently near a roller disco and in need of some ridiculous fun, I say get your ankle warmers and sports jacket on and go go go.
This one's a canteen where your Tapas comes to you on a conveyor belt - as in Sushi.
These images between them reference the lines or work of Mobius, Barks, Stotoke, Otomo and Kusama. (Day or two late. Took me a while to track down the name of the Spider-nam artist, apologies). That is my eye in the rock face, a collage using acetone printing, paper and wire, I made back in 2008. The bamboo forest is in Kyoto and I love the style of 50's signage in Memphis! The automatic letters there is nice because while I choose the images I want to play with the process of building the collage of images is pretty automatic for me, I love doing it, always did. Its practicing a different aspect of image making from drafting or sketching, its more about the exploring the idiom, swapping around structures and ideas to create new ones - overall its about the composition. I also like the oxymoron(ic) effect, of contrasting images and styles. Its like holding several different thoughts in your mind at once (which is closer to the experience of living than the linear structure of pure story telling).
Technically I didn't really do any drawing today. Last night I was searching for an old sketch book to check the actual location of the building (with pagodas) in yesterday's sketch. Anyway eventually I found the rest of my sketchbooks from 1997-2004. They stop there, when I seem to have stopped sketching for a few years while my job took most of my energy (boo). Basically it was interesting looking back at my drawing then, it varied a great deal in quality and spanned from abstract to life much as it does now. My recent sketchbooks 2007 onwards are less experimental, as I tended to draw people on the tube, or be working on projects specifically (most of which I have shared online). These were the early days of doodles and self expression. Anyway, rather than keep them hidden I thought I'd pick out a few and put then into some panels and make a sort of accidental story. My favourite is the last one, silver and gold.
This is a digital drawing of a collage I made shortly after returning from my trip to Japan. It is one of a series of drawings, ideas and scraps I put together as a record and to remind me of the designs and images and internal experiences I was going through at the time. The guy in the collage is actually Steve McQueen but I've not drawn him to life, it was more the posture and mood I was after. The hair is a little intriguing, I was going through a real phase of using body parts in my work as you can see here too. Also I was working as a financial regulator in the international department, hence the frequent use of financial terminology in my work. Finance like many things can seem rather dull and opaque from the outside, but when you get to understand the system a little it is as frail and unpredictable as any other human endeavour, also as important and fundamental for a society as the flow of blood in your body.
This topic just keeps returning to challenge my it seems rather fragile ego and will continue to do so I expect until I have a healthy bob once more. Though I suppose it could happen that I grow to like my what is now a pixie cut very much, though waking up with a flat patch on the back of my head every morning is rather annoying.
Everett's many worlds theory considers that at a quantum level and consequently at every turn, given we constitute quantum sized bundles of stuff that constantly fluctuates, the splitting of pathways between this outcome or that, does not mean one doesn't happen whilst the other does, it considers that both or all happen but in different worlds, forever separated by a turn in the road. I always think, where are all these worlds, how are they arranged? Are they like skins in an onion? How amazing would it be to see them all happening at once like looking into an ants' nest except every ant is a different pathway any one ant could have taken in one instant.
So when you think 'what will happen in five years?', you can safely say 'a lot' will happen in five years. And if you think that in a period of seven years your entire cellular structure over that period has renewed itself or been replaced, if that is more your tone, that actually you are not the same person you were seven years ago in any sense, then you might worry less about who you were then or what you might become and therefore what is happening just now.
Imagine if you could see an army of you's wading through time in a line that spreads across all possibilities at every passing instant in the virtual zoopraxiscope of you's separating constantly into strangers from one another a sort of stop motion clone wars parody. It's a crowed vision. I am only thinking in terms of individuals but it would be going on everywhere all the time with everything. What a mess. Whether I got that guy's nose right in my latest drawing seems rather less important suddenly.
But I digress.
Five years ago, almost to the day I took this photo. I take a lot of photos of strangers. But when you are out there what difference does it make whether you think you know someone or not. This woman and her five year old son - I am guessing, seemed pretty dudey to me.
I often think how strange it is that we're all living now but living such separate lives, worlds apart from other cultures tied by the flow of money, resources and the weather and yet in fact we all have the same needs. Everyone worries about the same things at different points, feels the same reactions to the same stimuli but still we can't predict each other's thoughts or actions. Care about the next man.
Any of the paths at any point lead to a different you, a different world.
I am not convinced Mr Everett. A lot of what this suggests is chaos, causality is weak, choices become meaningless.
I wonder if its based on a very narrow, linear interpretation of time, the neat progression of one thing to the next, eliminating the opposite charge, the reverse spin, the occurrence or disappearance of one packet of information orr another, on a myriad paths; What about nature and the tightly logical and organised patterns we see everywhere around us, day after day it all works, keeps working with or without our acknowledgement, acceptance or awareness. Where are the parameters that keep it all so regular and beautiful in this world he imagines? Why aren't there four armed monsters driving buses with pigeon eyes and toadstools for feet?
These are my notes from the launch pad, my current road map. This is what I am trying to synthesise into my practice with the faith that it will improve. Through hard work and observing (if not staying within) boundaries designed to channel the sometimes crazy artistic drive that I have within, I should learn and I will. I am gaining a new perspective. I remember what art meant to me back when I was purely absorbing it, making it because I had to, to learn, to escape or just to be with my favourite characters, now it is evolving for me into something else; And that is not only what I wanted, but what my art needed.
Dictionary.com defines it as moderately cold; neither warm nor cold see also "Cool". Yeah.
So whatever. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cool
I am going to rant now, so leave if you don't like it. I just need to clarify that I (currently) have a job where cool is a completely alien concept, beyond the odd reference to it in describing the level of air temperature and the occasional malfunctioning air con in the building. I mean yes some people here are cool but the sense of cool as a state of being is pretty thin, on the ground. Round here. Punctuation is for suckers.
Now I understand why 2yr olds get frustrated. Baby steps are great but I want to run or at least walk without that classic drunken gait! What I mean is I know that 'gif' is not anything to write home about. And it's this that stops most people from ever learning to draw or paint or animate. They try and they don't like what they do and then they never try again. Well first you have to be realistic. I was not going to be a dysney or pixar applicant on my first go. But then I was and am chuffed to get photoshop to even vaguely do what I wanted it to, I have only had it a few weeks. I can pretty much make a pencil dance if I tell it to but a mouse? And progamming. It's all gibbledygoop to me. But as I say, baby steps.
All artists suffer from being able to imagine far beyond their skills, but it takes patience not to give up. When you take the pressure off it helps. After all I still have a day job. Though it's the day job that means I do not currently have time enough to practice as much as I want to. Catch 22. Ah but things change. Knowing where you are heading changes everything. Knowing in the sense of having made a positive decision, a commitment to yourself to try to get better at doing something you love. Knowing is half the battle (as someone I love often tells me) and being realistic means you know what to work on to improve.
I want to learn to tell a story, to capture a mood, a physicality and most of all to convey some meaning. Convery a meaning that helps someone, even if it is just one person. I would love to be able to trigger someone else's imagination, and give someone the feeling I get when I see an amazing idea or image. The most recent animator that made me just smile all over was pointed out by a brilliant artist I follow online called Ward Jenkins (whose website link is in my 'About' page). MALCOM SUTHERLAND (makes me say yay! and Tweets can be friendly and useful) and watch La Fete if you haven't before its great!
So if anyone wants to tell me my twitchy dude is naff, frankly barney I agree, and if anyone wants to offer advice and support on how to learn, with resources and inspiration then I will always be (and am) grateful.
You know who you are. =)
Been holding my breath. Didn't go blue. Now eating that air.
Recent recommendations mentioned by friends in conversation, that I have gathered in the back of my notebook: (still not drawing, fallow time)
Denge Fever - Venus on Earth
In the Court of the Crimson King - King Crimson
Ghost Written - David Mitchell and
Shanteram - Gregory David Roberts
Ghosts and visions, Masonic conspiracy and arcane architecture, painstaking historical research – Moore takes them all in his stride and makes it seem effortless.