Apr 10, 2014

Artistic inclinations

Art.
It's a hard thing to pin down. It is fraught with pitfalls and foibles, charms and delights. It can drive you mad with frustration, or set you free like nothing else can.
Pure art is about creation. Pure art is unsullied by greed or jealousy. Pure art is about being at one with your mind, your skill, your vision.

Art can also be a very ugly thing. It can attract vultures. People who use artists and their creations for their own greedy needs. Artists themselves can be really nasty toward other artists too. I include myself in that list, by the way. I cannot, and will never, understand the attraction to Henri Mattisse!

Being an artist is all about personal taste. I love the work of figurative and semi-realistic artists such as Frank Frazetta, Arthur Rackham, Larry MacDougall, Greg Staples, Brian Froud, Alan Lee, Jean-Baptiste Monge. This is my taste. I like artists that are highly skilled and stylistically refined. They have immense talent, but have a foundation of solid draftsmanship and steadily accumulated skill.
I do not like the work of 'artists' such as Tracey Emin, Rachel Whiteread, Gary Hume and unfortunately, the majority of the modern art world. Again, this is my taste.

My taste shows in my work, I believe. I am attracted to artists whose work I admire, but also wish to produce my own work of a similar aesthetic taste. This is not to say that I want to copy or emulate. It means that I look at the work of somebody like John Bauer, with his dark and moody forests, unusual creatures, cute heroes and heroines and expertly executed style, and these things are exactly what I want to do with my own work. I want moody forests, unusual creatures, etc. But is that copying? Not at all. That is sharing artistic desires and tastes.
 
Many of the artists I like and follow will never be accepted by the mainstream fine art world as one of their own. There has always been that divide between what is perceived as the 'serious' arts and the lesser kind. I'm kinda okay with that though. It has been my experience that artists who like to get mucky in the lesser arts, be it comics, illustration or whatever, tend to be far less pretentious and much more talented!

But does that mean that the mucky arts and the fine arts are mutually exclusive and the walls between are impassable? Not in the slightest. Many artists have mastered both, and have been accepted into both. Sometimes this is good (Durer, Pyle, etc.) but it is often less to my liking. There seems to be a wave of modern illustrators, what I would call 'abstract illustrators,' that produce work almost diametrically contrary to the illustration tradition of figurative skill and storytelling ability. I'm no fan of it and I don't want it in my house!

Personally, I'm all for a bit of high and low art. The majority of my work would be considered low - the Faerie art, the fantasy stuff. But I would also like to be a good landscape artist; portraiture would be something I'd like to have the skill to do well too. And why shouldn't I? Why can't I have my artistic cake and eat it too!? There's an Irish artist, called P J Lynch, who has it right, I think. He produces spectacular work in the world of illustration like this-


And is also a master painter-

That's the way to do it, I think, to be open to new media, new approaches, new disciplines. All in the pursuit of art.
I am a Faerie illustrator, but I am also an artist. I will mostly be producing artwork like this-

But I want to do more of this sort of thing too-
The Pillars. Acrylics on Board. A3ish.
Any objections?

Apr 6, 2014

Bliary Entry #9: A Sketchy Saturday in Galway

Things are really heating up in the Galway art scene at the moment. Maybe it's the onset of slightly milder weather (I daren't say actual 'nice' weather yet), but there seems to be a really positive buzz about the place. There's lots happening at the moment, too. Our little band of merry urban sketchers are getting out there as often as we can, there's serious talks of getting some life drawing classes up and running, and the Galway Pub Scrawl group is going from strength to strength.

And yesterday, on a muggy and wet Saturday evening, the second Dr. Sketchy's Galway branch event took place!

I missed the first event due to work commitments, so I was rather excited to be able to attend this one. A bunch of us purchased our tickets prior to the event taking place, so we got lovely seats right at the front.

sweet!
the gang's all here (almost, anyway...)
And then it was down to the drawing. We started off with some quick poses from the two models, stage-named Azaria Starfire and Kerri Katastrophe.
I always struggle with the quick poses, I invariably end up going for just a face shot because I don't seem fast enough to be able to do a quick, full figure gestural pose in a short amount of time. The problem being, one or two minutes isn't really any time at all to try and get a reasonable likeness down when doing a face shot either.

So, yeah, I won't be showing any of those attempts!

But as the evening went on, the poses got longer and my drawings got better.

Kerri - 10 minutes
Azaria - 10 minutes
It was a really fun event. Each model did a cabaret performance, and there were prizes given out for winning artwork based on challenges. I may not have gotten a prize (a choice of a shot of tequila or an awesome donut from Dungeons & Donuts), nor got to pop a balloon, but it wasn't about that at all. It was about having fun, drawing with friends and meeting new people. Well, maybe I'm a little bit hurt too...
 
Here are the final two drawings I produced for the evening:
Kerri - 20 minutes
Azaria - 20 minutes
This is only the second life drawing 'class' I've done in the past decade and a half, but I want to do a whole lot more of it in the future. Nothing beats life drawing for skill refinement. Even over the span of a couple of hours, your skill can sky-rocket. I'm still nowhere near happy with what I produced, especially in the cold, harsh light of the next day, but I can see improvements. And that is the important thing.
 
My thanks go to the two performers, Azaria and Kerri, organiser Scarlett Nymph (sorry about my bad joke at the end!) and the Dr. Sketchy's Galway crew, and our hosts, Kelly's Bar.
See you next time!

Apr 2, 2014

Bliary Entry #8: Energising Edinburgh!

The wife and I are back from a 3-day holiday in Edinburgh. By my count, it's the fifth time we've been there together and it really never gets old. There's always something new to see, but even just the old haunts seem to retain their appeal, somehow.

Misfits, all.
Thanks go to our bestest pals, Gordon & Ruth, for both giving us a place to stay and for sharing a great weekend full of delectable food, big laughs and fun times.
I've mentioned my buddy Gordon many times on this blog. He's rapidly becoming a really fantastic artist, and it was a thrill to see some of his work in the flesh. Go check out his blog right here.
His wife, Ruth, is my wife's oldest friend, and she is a great artist in her own right. She currently has a lovely Etsy store called Felt so Fancy with lots of very beautifully crafted felt objects for sale. I suggest you buy them!

So here's how the holiday went...

Straight after I got home from work on Friday evening, we took Louie to the dog minder and made a dash for the bus going from Galway to Dublin airport. The bus journey, while considerably quicker than it used to be thanks to better roads, still takes the better part of three hours. So we didn't get to the hotel we were staying in until about 11pm. The actual flight from Dublin to Edinburgh wasn't leaving until the following morning, but with me being an Australian citizen still, we would have had to have been at the airport very early, and on a bus from Galway at a ridiculous time. So we stayed in a hotel near the airport instead. This way, we wouldn't be walking zombies already by the time we got to Edinburgh.
Here's a sketch I did on the hotel's paper before hitting the hay on Friday night:

Could that be a new signature style?
It was just before lunchtime that we got into Edinburgh town on the Saturday. Gord and Ruth were waiting for us at the station in the heart of the city and we took the bags back to their place and got introduced to their two kitty cats, Connie and Lizzie. They're mad.

We feasted at Pizza Hut like kings and queens. Our waitress was a new girl called Nicola and we can't have made it easy for her (especially when my wife, after hearing that they only had Pepsi, offered to pour coke from the bottle in her bag into the glass instead...). We then walked around to Ruth's work, which is a Paperchase store, pretty much heaven for me.

I'm a bit of a sketchbook fetishist. I'll admit it. I seem to be always on the lookout for a sketchbook that is a good combination of size, aesthetics, paper quality, durability and usability. Some sketchbooks can be too rigid, especially when you try to open them flat, making the act of actually drawing in them uncomfortable. Others can be the perfect size, but the paper is rubbish. Other times a sketchbook can have everything going for it - the paper is good, the size is right, it can open flat, the cover will last, but it's ugly as sin.

I think I'm good for sketchbooks that tick all of the boxes for the foreseeable future, thanks to Ruth's store:

objects of great beauty



Here we have...
#1: A4 Green Recycled 150 page Perfect Pad.
#2: Kraft square cream notebook. 180 pages of both cream and brown craft paper. Awesome.
#3: A5 Green Recycled 150 page Perfect Pad.
#4: Kraft cream exercise book. Cream and brown paper again. Sweet.
#5: This one I got from the art supply shop, it has all craft brown paper inside. Noice.
Aren't they gorgeous?

That evening, we stayed in, watched some telly, played some card games, had a good laugh.

Sunday was a funday too. We were out and about in the Grassmarket area for a lot of it. We visited Mary's Milk Bar, which is run, not surprisingly, by a lass called Mary. It's a gourmet ice-creamery/café sort of place, and it has a really nice charm to it. I had a cup with two different scoops of ice-cream in it - choc-orange and coconut. I said it at the time, and have subsequently said it several times more, and will do so again now: these two scoops of ice-cream were the greatest two scoops of ice-cream I have ever tasted. And, believe me, I have eaten a heck of a lot of ice-cream in my years on this planet. This is the stuff of the gods. It's as though Mary is the re-incarnation of a somehow forgotten goddess of ice-cream. It sound like an exaggeration, but it really isn't.

We also went to the National Gallery on Sunday. Steph and I used to go and visit these two pictures a lot back when we briefly lived there back in 2001:

The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania by Sir Joseph Noel Paton

The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania by Sir Joseph Noel Paton

Last time we were in Edinburgh, these two pieces weren't currently on display, so it was good to see them out again this time.

Gord and I strolled around for a while, too, looking at some truly remarkable paintings, wishing and wanting to do things like this ourselves (more on this soon)-

Wandering Shadows by Peter Graham
You swear those light spots are actual spotlights in the gallery pointed at it.

Autumn in Glencairn, Moniaive by James Paterson
This is how I want to paint. The trees are incredible.
 
Inverlochy Castle by Horatio McCulloch
Best reflected water ever. Mesmerising.
We also went to Gord's work on Sunday, which just so happens to be the National Museum of Scotland! They have everything there, including gigantic Claymores, a creepy executioner mask, some nifty gems, and a whole wing dedicated to natural history. I love dinosaurs, but I cannot recall ever being in the presence of a full dinosaur skeleton. This is what is at the entrance...

roar
It was a fantastic place to be, there was a whole lot to see and the taxidermy was pretty spectacular.
Also on was the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. This was my favourite piece:

Last Light by Mateusz Piesiak
We had Haggis for dinner that night. I don't care what anybody says about it, Haggis is delicious and I want more of it. We watched a few TV shows that evening, including Archer and Bob's Burgers. Why hasn't anybody ever told me that H. Jon Benjamin is in these shows!?! I love him, I've been a big fan of Dr. Katz for many years...

Unfortunately, Gord had to work on the Monday, so I left the girls to it and went walking on my own. Here are some snappy-snaps:

 



I met up with Gord during his lunch break and we went art supply shopping! You may recall me mentioning an Art Supply store that I bought my Karisma white pencil from years ago. That store is just opposite the Museum. And Gord gets a discount! It's called Greyfriars Art Shop. Unfortunately, those Karisma pencils are no longer available anywhere, but we did pick up some brushes, quills and some paper. Fun times.

Then I went off on my own again. I did a bit of shopping and even managed to find time to do a quick charcoal pencil sketch of a view of a section of the castle:

yep, that's a new signature style all right...

I haven't used charcoal in a very long time. I used to hate the stuff, but this little sketch has renewed my interest in it. Hopefully there'll be more to come like this.

The, before we knew it, we were on the bus to the airport and on our way home. Sad.
Here's some pics of other things I picked up on the trip:

 
 Precious trinkets! I picked these up at a great little store called Helios Fountain in Grassmarket.



These are all from one of my favourite shops, Mr. Wood's Fossils.
#1: Pyrite (Fool's gold!)
#2: Shiva Lingam Stone.
#3: Garnet. Couldn't help but think of Skyrim. I really want some Malachite now...
#4: Pyrite Ammonite. Just cool.
#5: A Mosasaur Tooth. YES!!! One of my favourite dinosaurs.
#6: Apatite

So there you have it. A whirlwind weekend, for sure. Man, my legs are sore, Edinburgh involves A LOT of walking.

Gord and I got to talk in detail about what we want to do in the future with our art, which I'm really excited about. We have plans to become better artists and we will be formulating systems of how to improve methodically and from the ground up. But I'll write more about that in another post.
I also have a couple of new illustration jobs on the slate at the moment. So there'll be plenty of drawing to do in the near future. I'll talk about that soon as well.

Ciao for now.

Mar 25, 2014

Bliary Entry #7: Fighting the cold & inexperience

The Galway Urban Sketchers (unofficial, for the moment) were out as planned on Sunday, fighting seeping cold and various degrees of sleep deprivation. We set up at a nice spot in NUIG (National University of Ireland- Galway) and got straight to work. The sun was shining and the birds were calling, but it was deceptively cold, let me tell you. It was the kind of cold that creeps up on you and before you know it, you're freezing! I had a feeling this would be the case, so I came prepared, with fingerless gloves, a warm hat and a thick jacket. But even that wasn't enough by the end of it.
I assure you, it was colder than it looks.
Quite literally comparing scars. I tried a Robert Shaw impression. It wasn't good.
But despite the cold, a great time was had. I was planning on having a lovely illustration from the day to show, but I'm terribly unhappy with it and consider it unworthy of unveiling. But believe it or not, I look at this failure as a good thing. I thoroughly enjoyed being outside and drawing with my friends, and the experience really did provide me with information on where I need to improve and how to go about doing it.

I've been having a little bit of trouble with the old watercolours lately. Part of it is my nasty dabbing habit, part of it is the way I mix, I think. I tend to use pretty watery washes, and build them up with layers. But this leads to a loss of the spontenaity watercolours are so known for. The obvious solution to this is mixing stronger washes and applying the paint in a variety of strokes.

Which is exactly what I am going to do. As part of my whole 'must use spare time more effectively' kick, I've taken to drawing more during my lunch break. If the weather is nice, you'll find me outside, drawing some Galway location. If the weather is nasty (ALWAYS a possibility in Galway), I'll be inside, drawing in the break room.
The simple fact of the matter is, I have to get better at drawing and painting if I want to be the artists I can be. That will only happen through hard work and lots of hours drawing a variety of things.

Bring it on, say I!

Mar 19, 2014

Urban Sketching

Donal Fallon, Róisin Curé and myself are in the process of establishing the Galway branch of the mighty artistic community, the Urban Sketchers. All we need to do is show our credentials, so to speak, and we'll be that much closer.
So, with that, here are a few suitable sketches I've done over the years...
 
 

I'll let you know how we go!

Mar 12, 2014

Bliary Entry #6: River walking & a tree so ominous!

I had the day off yesterday. Which is nice, but I'd rather have tomorrow off. I'd also like to say that every day.
But the sun was shining, and there was actual heat coming off of it. So Louie and I decided, unanimously, to go for a lovely walk.
We live quite close to Claregalway Abbey now. It's actually a Friary, but everybody calls it 'the Abbey.'

It was Louie's first visit to it, it's hard to tell if he was excited by it or not...

We jumped a wall (possibly illegally), and strolled along the Clare river for a bit.

Then we rounded back, stopping to pick up the odd stone that looked suspiciously like Faerie marbles...

Then we headed over to this giant, dead, tree in the middle of a field.

It has to be a Faerie tree, doesn't it?

And then we headed home and I did a bit of drawing...

The big weird thing the little Faerie is holding is a dead Banksia seed pod. The Banksia is an Australian tree and these seed pods are pretty spectacular natural objects. Each of the orange openings is like a little pair of lips. I have a story for these things... of course.

Anyway, I have more thoughts on Australian seed pods (believe it or not), but that is for another time!

Mar 6, 2014

Bliary Entry #5 - A Faerie Find

I was out walking the dog this morning, out by the rubble heaps behind our estate and I came across a neat little rusted buckle. It looks incredibly old, but it probably isn't at all. But this is what my mind came up with for it...


What if it's a misplaced Faerie item? Maybe it belonged to a Faerie that used it on his cap, or pierced their nose with it, or used it as a shield? What if it was simply a Faerie ornament, or a window frame for a tiny house?
Who knows, but I had fun coming up with ideas for what it could be.
Back soon.

Feb 28, 2014

Bliary Entry #4: The Mucous Monster attacks!

The last couple of weeks have been an absolute nightmare.
I had a cold that started up on Sunday the 16th, and now, nearly two weeks later, I'm still dealing with the nasty thing. I think I can reasonably say that it is the worst cold I have ever had.

But it's not the actual act of being sick that bothers me, as that is temporary and soon forgotten. It is the loss of a whole lot of work time that is irksome to me. Especially when I'm feeling particularly inspired/discontented/charlatanistic about my work. The fact that I want to do big things with my art in 2014 means that a loss of nearly two weeks through illness and low energy hurts. A lot.

What I really need is some mechanism, something that will change my biological makeup so that the act of creating artwork becomes second nature, rather than something that needs self-imposed self-discipline and deadlines to get the work done. It is something I have always struggled with. I guess I'm just a procrastinator and a bit lazy.

Something has to change. I have plans and dreams. But my lack of output seriously inhibits and delays their fulfilment. It sounds corny and fluffy, but I can almost hear the Realms of Faerie calling to me, wanting me to immerse myself in them and BE the creative person I want and need to be. So why do those calls fall on deaf ears? Why do I ignore the call?

Darned if I know.

No more, I say. No More!

It's time to dive right in, head first. It's time to be the Faerie artist I know I can be. It's time to be the Faerie writer I feel I have the potential to become. It's time to make my plans a reality, and to live my dreams.

It's time.

The Realms of Faerie are coming.

Feb 13, 2014

On Faerie: Those pesky Goblins!

I really do get quite a thrill whenever I get the time to sit down and actually do some writing. My buddy, Gordon MacKay, and I have resolved to catch up online every Sunday evening to do some writing so that we can keep our respective stories ticking over. We had our first writing catch up a few weeks ago, and I got to progress my Willow story some more. The scene that I was writing is actually one I've been looking forward to for some time. It's when Willow and the Otter find themselves stuck in the dreaded Goblin Market!
Writing this scene got me thinking about Goblins in general and what my take on them is.

There have been many different renditions of Goblins over the years. From Tolkien's version, Magic the Gathering ones, Tony DiTerlizzi's, to Christina Rossetti. You'll notice that I have borrowed Rossetti's title for the scene in my book. Let me assure you, that's about all that these two have in common!
The word 'goblin' has been around for centuries, and there are many interpretations of what these beings are. Some show them as quite evil creatures, some have magical abilities, others are tiny, some are mere phantoms.
Personally, I see, and have always seen, Goblins as tricksters; more annoying than actually evil. This is probably because I grew up with illustrations of Goblins by Brian Froud and Arthur Rackham. Their renditions of Goblins definitely leans toward the practical joker perspective. This is the way I like them. There are more than enough dangerous, wicked and evil creatures roaming the lands and realms of Faerie. Goblins fit nicely into that sort of middle ground between benevolent and malicious. Goblins won't be keen on doing something good, but they do stop at doing something wholly bad. Well, at least in my version they do. This isn't always the case in other versions. Take Chritina Rosetti's poem for instance (incidentally, the definitive version is illustrated by Arthur Rackham himself), the Goblins in that story are vicious and cruel, and potentially murderous! And, of course, Tolkien's Goblins are rather fond of killing things too.

The next point of contention is the size of Goblins. They can vary from a couple of inches, all the way up to human size. I put them at about three to four feet tall, on average. This would make tham a little bit taller than a Gnome (cap included). But like any race in Faerie, they can be highly varied. Some have huge and round moon faces, some have long and pointy noses. Some are hairy, others are bald. You get the picture. If you don't, here's an actual picture!
I'll be painting this fella up in the coming week. I'm thinking watercolour and gouache. Pop back soon to see the finished result!

I think that Goblins are a fun bunch to play around with and write about. There's certainly plenty of them in my book, that's for sure.

Let's look at another book from my collection, shall we?


















Ah, Brian Froud's Goblins pop-up book. My brother, Ryan, and I each got our own copies of this book some time in the mid-80's I think. I still have my copy of it and I've picked up another copy along the way somewhere too. It's a really fantastic little book. It's not very long, nor very deep; but by goodness, what Mr. Froud has managed to cram into those pages is just incredible. Whenever I pick up that book, those illustrations really charge my imagination and memories of my first glimpse into Faerie come back, as fresh as yesterday.

There are probably only a handful of books that have heavily influenced my life. This would definitely be one of them. My thanks to you, Mr. Froud!

Feb 2, 2014

Bliary Entry #3: Amalur, Skyrim & Albion

Now that my January Sale is done and dusted, it's time to get things back to normal around here. I say 'normal,' but there really doesn't seem to be such a thing for this blog. It's always evolving. Which I kinda like.
I want to try out new ideas, new features, new adventures. That will never change.
But I want to get back to some proper blogging. Sharing ideas, art, thoughts and news.
Let's get to it then!

The topic of choice today is going to be games. Console games, trading card games, tabletop games. As I am an illustrator that gets most of his jobs in the field of gaming, I thought it might be an idea to mention what hands-on experience I have with them myself.

Firstly, I'm not a hardcore gamer. I have friends who game a lot; an old friend of mine, Kieran Turley, gets in about 3 group games a week. He's so into it that he used to regularly write for both Dungeon Magazine and its partner, Dragon Magazine.
He's done a lot in the gaming industry, writing a lot of rules and working out mechanics for companies too. This is on top of him having a regular job and a family.
As I said, he's really into it.

I met Kieran, and a lot of other serious gamers, about 12 years ago when I got a part-time job at a gaming shop here in Galway. It was a really fun job and I have very fond memories from that time. The boss, Jim Neary, is a great fellow and I still catch up with a good few of the regulars too.
Prior to working at Gamer's Realm, as it was called, I had very little experience in that world. I had friends that D&D'd and played Magic: The Gathering (Toby Rogers, where are you?!), but the closest I ever got to being a gamer was collecting Magic cards with artwork by Greg Staples and Dermot Power on them.
Apart from that, I wasn't a gamer at all. Except, I did play the odd computer game and collect comics.

The comics scene is quite similar to the gaming scene in many ways, with many aspects overlapping and a good chunk of gamers would read comics, and visa versa. I loved comics from a very early age. I was a Marvel fan from those days, with the Hulk and Spider-Man being personal favourites. I reached my comic geek peak at the ages of 14 through 17. Every Saturday morning, I would go into town to pick up comics and spend a fortune doing so. I no longer buy comics, except for the very rare one that catches my eye. I still love the artistic field of comic drawing, but I think I like the idea of creating comics more than reading them these days. But who has time to draw comics, I ask you?

Computer games are another area where I have played. Again, I'm not a huge console or computer gamer at all, but when I do find a game I like, I obsess over it. So far, there have only been a grand total of 4 games that have actually appealed to me: Medievil (1st generation Playstation), the Fable series, the Elder Scrolls series and, most recently, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
When I mean obsessed, I mean things like playing compulsively, obviously. But I've also got each of those games' soundtracks on my iPod and listen to them religiously (Kingdoms of Amalur is playing as I write this actually), and I get the Player Guide books, limited edition if possible and snatch up all of the merchandise I can.
But again, I'm not a hardcore gamer. It's just that when I find something I like, I explore every aspect of it. That's why I have a Fable keyring on my bag, a hard to find Hobbe figure on my bookshelf and a line of collector's edition games next to my consoles (original Playstation, original Xbox and a 360, all still working), to name just a few things.
But I've always been a fan of fantasy. I was a huge fan of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe when I was young, and still have a big selection of the figures to prove it. I also read Tolkien's work at an early age, and continue to read fantasy books to this day. My mind is never really far from a fantasy realm, be it Mr. Tolkien's, Mr. Sears' and especially my own Realms of Faerie.
You could say that my life revolves around fantastical worlds. So though I'm not a hardcore gamer, I AM a harcore fantasy fan.

Now, for something completely different, here's some new artwork.

I call this guy G-Gnome. Get it? Classic wordplay there.

I mentioned a while ago that my wife and I finally moved out of the dreaded mobile home and into a house with walls made from actual brick and mortar. We've been here about seven weeks now and are slowly getting into the swing of it. I still have a couple dozen very large boxes to unpack, but the process has begun, and it's great seeing some of my old books again.
It's so great in fact that I want to share some of my finds with you all in what I hope will become a regular feature of this blog, where I show off a cool book from my collection.

Here's the first one to be exhibited:



















This is the first copy of The Wind in the Willows I ever read. This edition was printed in 1984 (about the time I must have been given it) and it is copiously illustrated by Harry Hargeaves. Willows is one of my all-time favourite books. I love it to bits and have many different editions of it now. I would love to, one day, be given the opportunity to illustrate an edition of it myself.

Jan 30, 2014

Going, going...

This is just a little reminder that the sale of my original art at ridiculously low prices ends at the close of tomorrow, the 31st of January. That gives you just a little over a day to snatch up any of the remaining pieces while you can.
After tomorrow, the prices go up, and may never come down again! So do yourself a favour, won't you?

Jan 25, 2014

Bliary Entry #2: Artease!

Today was a fun day. As I mentioned in the previous post, today was the day I was going to do some life drawing for the first time in about 16 years, by my reckoning.
It didn't disappoint.

I was invited to this thing, called Artease, by Facebook friend and fellow Galway Pub Scrawler, Anita McGarry. The initial premise of the event was that it was life drawing and alternative performance dance mixed together. And that was exactly what it was. The first performer/model, Chloe, did a burlesque performance straight off the bat, before posing for us. We started off with ten quick one minute poses before moving on to longer ones.
As I said, it's been a while since I've done life drawing, so those early poses were tough. Very tough. But as I loosened up, I got more confident.

Chloe
I did a couple of decent pieces of Chloe in recline, I gave them to her afterwards as a thanks for posing for us. Shoulda taken pictures first, shoulda taken pictures first...

Next we had a gentleman by the name of Willyam take the stage. He had a great figure for drawing, lots of big muscles and oiled skin.

Willyam
Then we had a really interesting performance piece by a woman by the name of Hataitip, I think it was a traditional Japanese dance. Very emotional and graceful. And to think that just a few days earlier, she was lying on a bed in the Galway Hospital! Pretty remarkable stuff, that.
Lastly, a cool woman named Francesca appeared, dressed slightly Gothic, slightly Steampunk, and did some great fifteen minute poses for us.

Francesca
I was really getting into it by the end. I'd brought materials for all eventualities I could think of, but I mostly just used a soft pencil. The traditional tool for life drawing is charcoal, but I don't much like that stuff. I find it messy, cumbersome and difficult to wield.
I want to try out some watercolours next time. I was thinking that maybe I could pre-mix a wash colour and do something with that. We'll see.

Anyway, I had great fun and really cannot wait to do the next event.
Back soon, no doubt.