Sep. 15th, 2008

helenic: (Default)

Called Candid Arts this morning about the October art and design fair (a big event, not the same as the weekly markets) to ask if they had any spaces left for volunteers. They said in general, they weren't offering free stalls to volunteers, but rather a 30% commission on sales instead of an up-front fee. I'd be happy with that, but sadly they don't think they're offering any for the first weekend of the fair, which is the one for painting/fine arts and therefore the one I'd be interested in. The others are all design, textiles, jewellery etc. They said if they did decide to offer any stalls on that basis they'd bear me in mind, but they don't think they will. I suspect they've got enough people willing to pay that they don't need to.

I am hungover today. Last week, when I realised that I hadn't had a day properly off since Glade - I've had days not working, but they've all been spent moving house and going to weddings - I promised myself I'd take two days off after the art fair to watch films and sleep and recover. This morning, I realised that I just can't afford to. Once I've got some paid work lined up, or I've sold a painting, then I will stop. Until then, I can look after myself, but I can't take two days completely off. So I am not in bed, I am pottering and drinking tea and planning, answering my modelling emails in the hopes of booking a shoot or two, and scanning in new artwork.

I went round to Straylight last night to see people, because I wanted chats and company and wine. The Snug is a fantastic work space, productive and private, but not terribly good for socialising or relaxing, yet. It was lovely to see people - the usual suspects, plus a cute pagan historian from Yorkshire called Lizzie, whom I may have rambled at drunkenly, and also [livejournal.com profile] sashagoblin, which was a lovely surprise. I got there late and she left before she turned into a pumpkin, so we didn't get as long as I'd have liked, but I am looking forward to seeing her again at Planet Angel next weekend. Which I am facepainting at, again - hoorah! :)

I really, really needed a drink, so Chris very kindly bought me a bottle of white wine since I couldn't afford to buy anything myself. Which I then proceeded to drink all of. I ranted about the art fair, and then started talking enthusiastically about my pagan card/calendar ideas. Somewhere along the line, asking Chris if, in theory, he could help me with the symbolism for some of the festivals I'm less knowledgeable about turned into me spreading out the whole of my DruidCraft tarot deck in order on the bed in three concentric circles.



Inner circle - Major arcana. The journey of the soul through initiation and rebirth. Spirituality, abstract concepts. The inner universe. Faery, the non-physical realm, the innermost (and outermost) ring of druidic cosmology, outside time.

Middle circle - Court cards. The self, facets of identity. People, personalities. The human realm. Relationships, interaction.

Outer circle - Minor arcana. The physical realm - real life, the mundane and day to day things. The external world, the measurable universe as it exists in time.

What you can do is spread them out in a wheel so that the Ace of Pentacles is the Winter Solstice, the Ace of Swords is the Spring Equinox, the Ace of Wands is the Summer Solstice, and the Ace of Cups is the Autumn Equinox. The minor arcana then create the wheel of the year, with the four major pagan festivals falling on the Sixes. The court cards for each suit are spread out evenly around the four quadrants/seasons, with the Princesses aligned with the Aces. Then the Trumps are spread out with The World/The Fool aligned with the Winter Solstice, and The Wheel/Justice aligned with the Summer Solstice. You can then read symbolic correspondences between all the cards in terms of where they fall in the pattern. It was AWESOME. Things fit in really cool ways.

It's not completely perfect, but that has only inspired me to make it all fit even better when I design my own tarot deck. I was hoping that the seasons would be immediately visually obvious from the colouring on the cards, and they aren't, although the trees on all the cards are mostly at the right time of year for the seasons they fall in. I want to design a deck which is coded chromatically into this pattern, and I'd want to add an extra ring, for the four-part goddess/lunar cycle and how that fits in with the wheel of the year, with full moon falling on Beltane and new moon falling on Samhain, and I'd want any moons appearing on the cards to be in the right phase for where that card is in the wheel.

Oh, it was awesome though. We got very excited, and I made LOTS of notes and now have at least eight designs in mind for each of the festivals, and several for some of them. I am going to aim to produce a set of Yule cards in the next couple of months, and then work on the rest over the next year. So this is going to be a general eclectic Wiccan/druidic print set, but I have so many ideas of other themes I can do. Like a Heathen set, and a fairy set, and a goddess/lunar set ... I am very excited :)

Anyway, by the time we'd finished with that I was drunk and giddy, and proceeded to get drunker and giddier. At some point in this process art happened. This resulted in OMG SPONTANEOUS SPEED PAINTING with Chris dictating images and me getting what he was describing down on paper as fast as I could. I had to get [livejournal.com profile] cyrus_ii to help with the people because I am rubbish at figures from imagination. And of course the drunker and tireder we got the worse the paintings got. But! So cool! I want to do more painting like that.

Mermaid

Sep. 15th, 2008 03:15 pm
helenic: (Default)

Daunted by the prospect of sitting at a stall for eight hours, I took my watercolours with me to the Angel Art Market on Sunday. The people wandering round the gallery politely ignored me, even the ones who acknowledged my presence (most people are too nervous to smile and say hello back, because they are scared that you will try to guilt them into buying some of your art, which they have no intention of doing. I'm not going to attempt a hard sell, I'm just bored and want to say hi), but the other artists kept coming over and craning round to look without even asking first. I had to resist the urge to clamp the paper to my chest and scowl at them, instead sitting there with a fake smile plastered on my face while they wordlessly scrutinised my work. Occasionally they'd make comments: "Keeping ourselves busy, are we?" "Working on the next masterpiece?" Sometimes I'd pre-empt them: "Just passing the time." "Just amusing myself!"

The bloke manning the stall opposite me was very East London and cheerful and kept the hard sell attempt up all day long. He was exhibiting his wife's London skyline photography, which was very good, actually, although they didn't sell anything either. Early on in the day I was occupying myself by mounting Leaf Spiral. I was doing this with a craft knife, a pencil, some mounting board and some pritt stick. I didn't have a ruler so I was using offcuts of mounting board. The results, unsurprisingly, were not perfect.

Bloke: (wandering over) Do you mount your paintings yourself, then?
Me: Er, this weekend, yes.
Bloke: Don't you have a professional mount cutter?
Me: ...

Things I did not say:

1. If I had a professional mount cutter, do you think I would be KNEELING ON THE FLOOR USING A CRAFT KNIFE?
2. This IS a professional mount cutter, you twonk. I am a professional. This is my cutter. Now sod off before you get on the wrong end of it.

He wandered over again while I was painting.

Bloke: Keeping ourselves busy, are we?
Me: Just amusing myself, really.
Bloke: (looks at painting, blinks) Er, good!

At this point he hurried off without saying anything else. Are mermaids that upsetting?


Not quite finished yet; I want to do a bit more detail on the tail and in the hair, and add more ferns. Possibly some fishes. I can't work on it today though as I couldn't find where I'd left my watercolour pads and paper after our drunken painting session last night. But I was too impatient to wait before I posted her. I'm particularly fond of her purple body hair. :)

helenic: (Default)

Right, so, that drunken painting session? We were in the kitchen, I was adding spirals to the mermaid's tail, [livejournal.com profile] cyrus_ii was doing something arcane with a coin and an electric file (actaully it might have been a mini angle-grinder, I couldn't quite tell) and [livejournal.com profile] romauld was smoking. I stopped working on the mermaid but wanted to keep painting, so [livejournal.com profile] romauld asked if he could suggest an image for me to paint. I said sure. He started to describe a scene, but I was slightly too tired and slightly too drunk to follow what he was saying and remember it well enough to reproduce it, so I got him to slow the description down, and I painted what he described at high speed, as he described it. I haven't done ten-minute paintings since the last time I went to a life drawing class. Here's what we came up with between us:



Brief: A rolling landscape in the foreground, green and summery. Midsummer sunrise on the horizon. On the crest of a hill on the right, an oak tree in full leaf. A lowing stag silhouetted against the dawn.
[livejournal.com profile] romauld's comment: The tree was meant to be much smaller, and also silhouetted. The stag is good though.
My comment: OH GOD NEVER LET ME DO LETTERING. EVER. Especially when [livejournal.com profile] cyrus_ii is around and could have done it instead. ESPECIALLY WHEN I AM DRUNK.

four more, each one drunker and more inept than the last! )

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