27 December 2007
24 December 2007
Because I'm late cottoning on to stuff, I only discovered how brilliant Wes Anderson is this year. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou quickly established itself as one of my favourite ever films and I became something of an Zissousian evangelist, telling all that they must see this quirkily wonderfully deep and light film. Kate was just about the only person who listened and soon fell in love with Zissou and Rushmore. Who wouldn't? Anyway, skip to my birthday back in August, in Finland, in somebody else's house checking my email and there's a card from Kate.
So when it was Kate's birthday, I thought I should do something similar for her in return. I'm not 100% sure of what I say but I think Kate's favourite person ever is Harpo Marx - if you text her out of the blue she'll tell you what colour eyes he has (and his brothers) even if she's out shopping and nowhere near a reference book. His eyes aren't blue. So I did this.
In other news, please spare a thought for Ms Suomi-Suolmate over there in a corner of a foreign Finland for the ollidaze and the worse nightmare imaginable for a foreign Finn has come to pass courtesy of the new GM sponsored climate - a black christmas, devoid of snow.
5 December 2007
4 December 2007
Blimey I've really let this slip haven't I. Sorry for that - blame a hectic rehearsal schedule for The Weir which goes up this week so I'll be done and dusted, home and hosed, finished and fed up by Saturday and will have more time to post here and stuff.
The main news about the competition:
Hearts and Minds is up at the Domino Gallery which is in the Green Fish Cafe just off the bottom of Renshaw Street - I forget the actual street name - for all scousers, mousers and woolybacks. I was never all that happy with this new gouache version of it and seeing it amongst the other competition entries only reinforces this. I have no gripes with the gallery or how it's displayed but I wonder if I might feel better if it was alongside other small scale cartoony/gouachey things and it's made me painfully aware of how producing art intended for page and screen can be markedly different from producing art for gallery wall.
Needless to say, I didn't win. As soon as I knew partner of friend Legofesto was in the competition, that was my favourite (I can't be bothered with links just now, will add them later, but just Google Legofesto and you'll see) and though it didn't win, it was one of the super-shortlisted runner-ups. For a list of all the winners, click on the art in liverpool link in my sidebar. I'll come back later, possibly at the weekend, and add links and gallery details but right now I have play related stuff to be doing and a busy day ahead.
1 November 2007
Re: Fwd: alTURNERtive art prize submission
It said on the flyer for the competition that short listed artists would be notified 'after 26th October'. Perhaps it's not your policy to do so but to put myself out of misery and end the wait I'm wondering if, having heard nothing, it's safe to assume I'm not short listed?
>31 Oct 2007 18:47
>Re: Fwd: alTURNERtive art prize submission
>Sorry for the delay, we have had 60 + artists contribute work which means we have been looking for extra galleries to display the work. Your work has been selected so please await further instructions... ! m
27 October 2007
The Turner Prize is in Liverpool this year, a curtain raiser to 2008 and the CoC malarkey. At the same time, Merseyside Stop the War Coalition is running its own visual arts competition on the theme of 'War, Peace and Occupation'. I folded the flier away into my pocket and decided to enter hearts n minds. Especially as the rules didn't mention the usual condition that all entries must be created in the year of the competition.
Hearts n minds was scribbled into life in early 2004. A year into the invasion of Iraq and with the regime pretty much changed but the resistance still resisting, the phrase "winning the battle for hearts and minds" entered the stream of soundbiting propaganda issuing forth from the Coalition of the Wiley. And the moment I first heard the phrase it sounded so crass and dumb. Like if you really want to win over hearts and minds, maybe the last thing to do was make it a battle. Lo this cartoon was born, pretty much intact, in my brain-box from where it did squirm onto a sheet of typing paper with the help of some ink.
By the time I got home and dug the original cartoon out from its filing place, it seemed somewhat shabby and old compared to more recent stuff. So I had a crack at doing it again. The deadline was a few days off and I had a fair bit of other stuff going on so it was a rush job, but I reworked the original idea with ink using brushes and drip pens, then painted it with gouache watercolour using my new (and some old) kolinsky sable brushes. I'm not too sure what I think of it but it's submitted now and I should find out in the next day or two whether I've been shortlisted and of course I'll announce it here if I have. And if I haven't, we shall never speak of this again...
16 October 2007
Back in June, Swedish and a little bit French trio Svart Kaffe played a magical gig at the Swedish Seamen's Church on Park Lane, Liverpool. I'd just got a digital snappamajig with moving-picture-doohickys so I recorded a few of their songs and uploaded them to the interweb with their permission. It took me a while to realise (as in, I still sometimes haven't quite realised yet in the heat of the moment) that I can't turn the camera sideways to take a video like I can when taking pictures and so you have to lie down to watch the cow herding song video properly. Also, the space they were performing in, which is a nineteenth century scandinavian style swedish church and in all other ways an amazing space, was right in front of a window through which the almost-midsummer evening sunlight poured, turning the band into silhouettes. Still, it's a nice reminder of a fantastic evening.
So you can imagine how excited I was to learn, just the other day, that Louise Schultz, the superb vocalist and one third of Svart Kaffe, is playing at the church again next Tuesday. That's Tuesday 23 October, 7pm, at 138 Park Lane, Liverpool, tickets £5 including nibbles and wine/coffee/soft drinks. Yup I was over the moon. Until I realised that I'm out of town next Tuesday.
5 October 2007
2 October 2007
26 September 2007
Oh aye, in case it's not obvious, please don't take it too seriously...
(For some reason, the embed thingy doesn't seem to be showing up at the mo in which case, watch it here)
22 September 2007
17 September 2007
25 August 2007
4 August 2007
31 July 2007
You can download your own copy of Softy here. Some of the terms used - glyph, rasterize.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE scroll down to the bottom of my sidebar where I've added a survey/poll to try out the new blogger widget and so far I'm the only person who's voted.
22 July 2007
And seeing as I almost had enough forethought to think of it before I did it I decided to take pics during the process of painting one of the elks to show you all how it happens. Except I didn't have quite enough forethought to scan or photograph the unpainted picture to give you a starting point.
Anyway, I thought the best way of seeing it happen is by the magic of a slideshow. Before the slideshow, here's another unpainted elk to give you an idea of what an unpainted elk looks like in case you weren't sure. After the slideshow there's a chance to gaze upon a fully painted elk displaying plates of meatballs and lingonberries on the one hand, and herring on the other. Yum yum!
22 June 2007
A friend asked me to do an illustration for a conference on teenage fiction. Possibly teenage literature, I can't remember now. Actually, she really asked me to do a logo but it didn't quite work out that way. The brief was vague. Possibly some hoodies and modern teentech (handheld consoles, iPods and the like). Maybe a teenage bedroom. Definitely a cat somewhere - that was the only definite part of the brief - there had to be a cat.
SO I snatched a handful of paper and some pencils and doodled around a few ideas. The teenager's bedroom seemed to spark the firmest visual idea so that was what I worked on. This is the best of the rough pencil doodles.
I'll be careful how I put this because I know from bitter experience that many will regard what I'm about to type as an admission of outright barefaced dishonest cheating. Because what I'm about to type is something about TRACING. After I'd magically fiddled the lone figure into the group, I printed out the magically fiddled with image so that I could roughly trace the image onto some nice watercolour paper for my final illustration. Just so that people know, TRACING isn't CHEATING. Well, I suppose there might be circumstances when tracing is cheating but that's not in BOLD ITALIC so it's less important and noticeable and is probably therefore less true. And anyway, I was tracing my own drawings so I certainly wasn't cheating.