Thursday, October 30, 2014

Something New

Recently I have come across some time lapse videos of artists creating their work. Time lapse videos are so interesting because they capture the process of creating so clearly. So yesterday, with YouTube as my guide, I embarked on making my very own time lapse. 

I used quick time to take a screen recording (which may explain why the video is slightly blurry...or maybe I speeded it up too much?) which was exciting in itself. Recording in real time, decisions being made...I have edited all of the 'looking' in the beginning out because this really was just a learning exercise. Once I landed on the screen shot of Karla Crome from Misfits I knew that I was onto something. 

I have been playing around with a drawing for some time, and wanted to use her in it - she has a lovely, mournful face sometimes..My drawings are built up over time. They are usually made up of LOADS of layers, sometimes folders of layers on top of folders of layers. But each element ie. bodies, faces, hands, arms, background, animals etc, are all done on separate layers and basically independent of each other. In this way, they are built up, and completely editable. This gives me enormous freedom to play and mess and make mistakes without worrying about 'losing it' or ruining the finished piece.

I definitely plan on using this quick sketch in the future, and will make other time lapse videos of it's progress from quick sketch to finished piece.
I hope you enjoy and don't get too dizzy!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


I guess it is appropriate coming up to Halloween that I should see a ghost. I don't mean a translucent specter...those actually don't frighten me at all. It very much is the ghosts of those people still walking amongst us that I am referring to. The ones you have forgotten...buried...that pop out from around corners when you least expect it. 

The past is in the past. We forgive and forget. And I forget very well. I am highly skilled in forgetting. I should have a certificate. So it genuinely throws me for a moment when a ghost pops up, unexpectedly, out of the blue, when I am usually in quite a vulnerable position. 

I promise I am not dwelling, I am digesting and hopefully being helpful because I'm sure many people can relate to this sort of situation. 

Society has put in to place a lovely set dialogue for such an occurrence. If one is inclined to enter into conversation with ghosts. It goes something like this:
(try to compose your face in a surprised but not shocked sort of way, an open smile with bright eyes usually does the trick. Use closed sentences that already have the answer you are looking for weaved into them)

"Oh, it's nice to see you! It's been awhile. You're looking well. You must be down for the weekend, at least the weather is not too bad - wasn't the summer fab. Everything alright, yeah? Well this has been nice - I'm running late you see, can't stop. Good to see you, take care. Good Bye."

Of course it is a terribly vacant way to conduct yourself. Small talk is great for many things. It is a human service we can all provide. But ghosts are different. You can put small talk on them if your are really really in a corner somewhere with no escape. 
Otherwise, remember that they are ghosts for a very specific reason. Be polite and civil, but don't enter into deep and meaningful dialogues with them, or you may find yourself repeating your own past over and over again. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Post Wind Casualty

The transition between summer and winter in Ireland is always something to be marveled at. I mean, at the best of times, we don't really have set seasons here. You can get all of them in a day - and by all I mean 27, because let's face it, there definitely isn't just 4. 
Autumn can be gentle - dreamy mornings of fog and dew lined spider webs. Or it can be violent - gale force winds howling while multicolored leaves do a jig across the lawn.

YOU must be grounded to embrace Irish wind - it really is a force of nature. Turning on and off quite suddenly at times.
And with it, comes the casualties. This is some lovely (but way too tall) willow at the back of my studio. When it is windy, and sunny, the willow dances and casts the most marvelous shadows and dappled light. But for such a spindly, bendable tree, it doesn't fare well in the wind. Two weeks ago, there was another large branch on the far side broken by the wind. But, while it looks slightly desperate, it doesn't seem to bother the willow one bit - it just sends out new shoots, coppices, and gets on with it. 
When I was having my tea this morning, far too early, it was still dark out, in the pale light just creeping in, I saw the MOST spectacular elegant wonderful Mr. Heron being blown about in flight. He just about managed to steer himself in a tight circle to land, quite gracefully, in our pond. I haven't seen one for too long, so I was ecstatic, as you can well imagine. 

I think life - like the wind - is an unpredictable creature. Sometimes it can blow us off course, and we land somewhere we hadn't intended. It can flatten us, we are on the ground, not able to get back up. 
But we are SO able. Nature shows us that. And we are a part of nature (no matter how much technology comes in to our lives, we are not machines, not yet anyway).
We can grow and send out new shoots. We can lift ourselves back up in different ways. Take another route. Try something different. Look at it from a different angle. If you are rooted, you can still grow, even when you fall. 
And who's to say that where you land isn't just as lovely as where you thought you were going? It's a detour, but you don't have to stay there forever. 

Make the most of everything. Even the 'bad' things.