Being busy with the sketchbook project and vector graphics galore, I haven’t contributed to Illustration Friday for so long! Too long! But when I saw this week’s topic “Myth”, I was so happy because as it turns out, it fits with the series of paintings I have been working on for the past several months. For those of you who have been keeping up with me, you know I have this obsession with the fox maiden, Tamamo; perhaps the most intriguing and beguiling female figures in Japanese mythology. It is a story I am obsessed with for the past few years. I am in love with her, with the idea of her, and with her story because in many ways I see her smile reflecting back at me when I face the mirror. I suppose I can call her my familiar. The fox maiden has had to endure hardship, a downtrodden heart, and betrayal but always moved forward gathering her strength to protect the truth but according to the old myth with tragic consequences. I want to change that. Give her a “fair” ending, an ending I could live with 🙂 Usually I would be nice enough to give you a hyperlink to some resource material like wiki but this tablet app for wordpress does not allow me to do it so I will suggest that you wiki Tamamo if you are curious and want more in depth information about her. Well back to the painting! kisses, Paintblotch…
Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius —William Blake 1757-1827
No, I am not calling myself a genius 🙂 My lovely man pictured here, is the model for genius. I haven’t submitted for Illustration Friday’s prompts for over…2 months? Well, this week’s prompt actually reminded me of a contour drawing (hand did not leave that page until D.K. was fully contoured) I did after 8 hours of wandering around the streets of Copenhagen with D.K. and his mum recently. He was very grumpy…didn’t want to be disturbed…I guess his dogs were barking 😉 Here it is:
I had A LOT of fun doing this and can imagine doing this more often in the near future…lets see…who wants to be my next victim eh?
This week’s IF prompt is “Space”…at first I had a desire to go a little more sci-fi…maybe send my fox girl, into a galaxy far far away. I may still do that. Let me tell you a little about myself. I love my space. I revel in my solitude and savour any second of absolute utter aloneness I am given. You know why? Because I can think better and I feel grounded. Of course many of you might not understand and may even think that this is mentally and physically unhealthy. Well, thats just…unfortunate. Being alone is the best opportunity for someone to be aquainted with their true self.
Its been a busy month since my last post and during that time I’ve been keeping myself happily occupied with some side projects, live sketch streams, and also stepping out of my cave on the rare occassion to meet up with friends whom I had not seen for a long time, as well as a much needed quality time with DK —who was starting not to recognise me even though we live together. Anyway, here is my fox girl sitting on her favourite spot, her special space. My fox girl who still lacks a name. I did this sketch a couple of weeks ago. I will be using it as a basis for a 30mm x 40mm painting on wood panel. I am busily preparing some pieces for an art fair in October and I hope everything turns out well. Wish me luck.
Serendipitously, this week’s IF prompt and my sketchbook theme for Arthouse Co-op’s 2012 Limited Edition project matched! So here are a few pages from my book will be shipped off tomorrow morning. As I was working on the project, a character and story started to develop which I want to explore with more depth. May I introduce…Otis, the little owl. Here he is knocked off his beak and finds himself plummeting towards the great Unknown. Poor little guy hasn’t even learned to fly yet!
On other news, I am very excited because I’ve got some very EXCITING collaborations awaiting me on my desk…A possible foot in the door to the fascinating world of children’s book illustration! I will post further info here once everything is official. Also, I am working on a self portrait for Arthouse Coop – mini mini portrait…don’t quite know how I will capture the essence that is Paintblotch on such a mini canvas…there is enough room on there for my ear. As soon as that is finished though, I will post and hopefully dear readers you will be able to understand me a little more.
Last year for my birthday, a couple of my friends got me a 100 sheets of 200 g smooth paper from Schöllerhammer. It is one of the best birthday presents I have ever received (being whisked off to Valencia was the topper). Its awesome when your loved ones gift you with useful things…but thats just the pragmatic side of me talking. Anyway, from a couple of din A3 sheets, I cut up a stack of A6 sized postcards 🙂 and decided to play around with a couple of neglected copic markers and some coloured pencils…this paper was definitely made for the markers.WOW! I hated using those markers normally on every other surface I have tried them on. I found that it worked really well with coloured pencils too. Well, the aftermath is my contribution to this week’s IF prompt. I was having so much fun on that little space…but the swamp girl, she wasnt too happy with her situation at all. I guess I would be really grouchy too if I had to wade around in a thick soup of algae, swamp mud, bugs, and micro creatures all day, with nothing to eat but flies, crayfish and toads.
Work at the design firm usually has me looking and feeling like my bayou babe featured above, so running home to play around with materials and getting to do my own thing for at least a couple of hours without clients breathing down my back is a real relief for me. Its like a work out for my soul. Another thing I am looking forward to this week is my first ever baby birthday party hosted by …yes…ME! Moof’s little Nazgul is turning 1 next monday, and his adoring fan…me…felt inclined to throw him a tea party…though he will not be drinking the tea as it might be improved with Rum. Tea, cupcakes and sandwiches shared with good friends while the ever so precious little Nazgul is climbing into the plant pots, eating the dirt and knocking my canvases down –I cant think of a more perfect Saturday. Life is truly grand!
I am feeling rather blue lately. I have recently lost 2 of the most important people in my life at the same time and I don’t really think I will ever be able to get over it. I didn’t really have a proper time to “mourn” my loss either. Everything had happened so quickly, and as the oldest of 12 grandchildren, I felt it wouldn’t help matters by crying. I am after all, a grown woman and the younger ones needed more help than I did. Why do I even think this way?! Sometimes even I, frustrate myself. Anyway, I’ve been in the mood lately for darker backgrounds and picked myself up a black sketchbook. I was mucking around with coloured pencils and this is the result:
It was a fun quick drawing. Granted its not a masterwork, but I like the feel and the idea so much, that I am sure I will use it again on a sturdier support , maybe wood panel or canvas…or velvet haha! I also spent most of the weekend working on my latest painting, Leda and the Swan so here is also an update on its progress:
I am off now to spend some time with Mr. K. who is pining away for me on our couch as I write. Never take your loved ones for granted. Never. Until next time dear guests, have a great week and see you here soon.
The swan yields to beautiful and innocent Leda. I’ve always wanted to work on my own version of the famous greek myth. Can’t write much about it right now – so very sleepy. This is a work in progress. I am using Acrylic on 2 mm A3 bristol board and my soundtrack for this was Ólafur Arnalds and they have escaped into darkness. So there you have it for today folks. Now i must yield to my bed.
I haven’t contributed to Illustration Friday for a while. So this week, I finally found the time to make a little sketch. While brainstorming for ideas, I was reminded of the sculpture of Apollo and Daphne by Bernini. I think that sculpture by Bernini clearly defines this week’s prompt: Intention. This sketch is actually a study of one of his sculptures with some added elements. I also took out Apollo…he wasn’t needed in this sketch. Those who know me personally also know that my work is derived from myths, folk-tales. So rediscovering Daphne’s story has of course inspired me to contemplate her story. I am sure she will be making another appearance some time this year. Anyway, for those of you who need to be refreshed of the story:
The sun god Apollo makes fun of his brother Eros (like cupid) and a young river nymph by the name of Daphne becomes a pawn in a ridiculous fight. Eros creates two magical arrows, one made of lead, the other of gold. The lead arrow fills the heart with hate, while the golden one fills the heart with love. Sinister Eros shoots the golden arrow at his unsuspecting brother and the lead one directly into Daphne’s heart. Apollo pursues Daphne, intending to take her virginity. One day while bathing naked in her father’s river, Apollo goes stupid and tries to convince her that she is in need of deflowering. Daphne’s father Peneus intervenes and to save her fidelity, turns his daughter into a laurel tree. The effects of the golden arrow are permanent. In his sadness, Apollo makes himself a wreath made from the laurel tree. Poor Daphne. Turned into a laurel tree for ever because 2 brothers had communication problems.
I managed to send my illustration boards to Filu and those illustrations will be making its way to the Leipziger Book Fair and also the Bologna Children’s Book fair. Though I have a full-time agency job, I would like to make some extra cash in my spare time. No sleep for the wicked! Maybe something comes out of it, maybe not. Either way, I will be painting drawing brainstorming learning and not wasting any opportunity to exercise my imagination. The next deadline is the end of April for the Art House co op’s limited edition sketchbook. The theme is “Why the owl made everyone laugh”. I am very eager to begin this project. My other idea was possibly working towards a duo-exhibit with Moof over at http://moof06.wordpress.com/ I think our styles and narratives, though extremely different, correspond very well together. Also, I would also like to start working on an animated digital picture book for children ages 4 to 6. Sometimes I wish the days were longer. On that note, have a great sunday and thanks for reading my ramblings.