helenic: (Default)

I've had "Write dw post about Glastonbury/OG/EVERYTHING" on my to do list for two weeks now, and I need to do work in the remaining computer hours of today rather than write one, and those of you who are on Twitter and FB know the gist anyway. But I've just written a catch-up email to a friend, which I thought I may as well copy and paste bits here as a placeholder sort of thing:

--

Glastonbury: I was there! It was awesome! Pendulum rocked my little world. Although I came home with no phone, which I don't really mind except when I need to make calls. The only thing I'm really gutted about is that all my Glastonbury photos were on it, including all the ones I carefully took of our art installation because I forgot to take decent pics of it last year, and really regretted not having them for my website. So that's a bit shit. Waiting to hear back from the lost property people before I declare it properly lost, but I have insurance, so I should be able to sort out a replacement as soon as I decide it's worth doing.

I am indeed well: I discovered on Monday that my long-term design contract with OG is still ongoing, despite my premonitions of doom, and they didn't try and lower my rate or anything, I just got a bit of a telling off for putting them bottom of the priority list during the last few hectic months. Which was perfectly fair, and now they're my only contract hopefully the next few months will be less hectic? Although given Denny is relying on me to go into business with him, and expects me to do a reasonable proportion of the work, when I already have a zillion careers and he's relying on this for his sole income, I suspect that hope is a vain one.... still, going into business with Denny! I have been trying to talk him into teaming up with me for web development awesomeness for ages, so yay for that. Now I just need to make the website, which I am in fact meant to be doing right this second.

Speaking of boyfriends though, Glastonbury was AWESOME for me and Chris, we just sort of walked around in a dazed whirl of me going "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ARE HERE" and him going "I'M SO GLAD YOU BROUGHT ME" ,and he had a whale of a time making benches out of split log with his BARE HANDS (v manly, esp considering a week's growth of festival beard), and we spent ages in the green crafts field learning to turn wood with pedal-powered lathes and make paints out of earth and similar hippyish pursuits, and mostly we were just looking at everything going "we can do that! in fact, we will!" and working out when is the soonest we can afford to move out of London and build an eco-home. It was awesome.

And then I got back to London and, rather than last year when I had total culture-shock and got really depressed at how my life is totally unlike Glastonbury and I just wanted to live there forever, this year I came home to my blooming shady garden and good career prospects and Denny being sweet to me, and my mum gave me homebrewed elderflower champagne and John Seymour's book on self-sufficient farming and homemaking for my birthday, and reading that totally eased re-entry. So, I am feeling actually kind of well-adjusted and like my life is going in the right direction, which is brilliant.

--

Now, I should get cracking with that website. There's lots more to say about Glastonbury, but I don't actually know if anyone's interested, so if you're desperate to know more let me know, and I will try to find the time and energy to write something. Perhaps even before next year's festival. Miracles might happen.

helenic: (100% acid free.)

These paintings fell out of my head on the Sunday just before New Year's Eve, when I was hanging out at the House of Fun with Denny, Chris and Jay. I was in a strange, solitary, focussed mood, although I'd been grounded very effectively by a beautiful massage from J.

Earlier on in the day I'd been playing with a set of wooden building blocks which [livejournal.com profile] skorpionuk and [livejournal.com profile] dakeyras had given me for my birthday the year before last. The little blocks were of London buildings, including generic skyscrapers and icons from the London skyline - the Eye, Big Ben etc. I was setting up skylines along the stripes of J's zebra-print rug as if the white and black pattern represented the Thames and its banks. Along the top of the skylines, I lined up the tiny wooden cars that came with the set, and the buses, which looked to me as if they were elephants.

The image of elephants making their way in a long line along the London skyline hooked my imagination. I moved my game to Denny's glass desk, where the blue light of his binary LED clock cast strange, futuristic light along the little wooden streets I was creating, reflecting from the glass and back up on the pale wood as if the city was floating in a black lake. We had Mirrormask playing soundlessly on the big flatscreen monitor (with psytrance providing a weirdly appropriate soundtrack), and as the images on the screen changed so did the light bathing my little apolocalyptic landscape in beautiful, otherworldly hues. I tried to capture the effect by borrowing J's camera, but I'm not sure if any of them came out well. I'll get the photos off him this weekend and go through them. Later that evening, though, after a pleasingly zen game of Sac Noir, I had a strong urge to play with paints, so Denny set me up on the floor with the carpet protected by a old duvet. I painted for several hours straight - I'm not sure how long exactly. I've never worked in watercolours before, unless you count the foamy water-based tempura block acrylics we used at secondary school. I'd only brought some with me on a whim - I think the little carry case originated in a bag of unwanted art stuff I inherited from [livejournal.com profile] mostly_a_cat and [livejournal.com profile] mirabehn.

These are completely new, for me, in terms of style and medium. They fell out of my head without thinking about what I was doing at all. I don't know if I could recreate this style or if I'm going to try and develop it. But I love it.



I of V: March of the Elephants
Watercolour on primed paper
14" x 10"

This version of the image is sketchy and imperfect, but I'm still in love with the idea. There's a germ of children's book here, I think. In my head there's something very powerfully emotive about the image of the elephants picking their way, one by one, across the rooftops of the sinking city at the world's end. I'm not sure where they're going, but I can almost hear their trumpeting.






II of V: Indian Elephant
Watercolour on primed paper
14" x 10"

Expanding on the elephant theme. What's the name of those Indian ceremonial robes, the heavily embroidered textiles with mirrored sequins and things? Chris thought it was called jhaldi or jaldi, but Wikipedia hasn't heard of it. Is it Punjabi? Urdu? Anyway, this elephant appears to be wearing some. I don't know where this image came from, but I wish the inside of my head looked like this all the time.






III of V: Pipe Dreams
Watercolour on primed paper
14" x 10"

At this point I started making my companions pose for me. They're very long-suffering and patient, my friends are. This is [livejournal.com profile] romauld, for anyone who doesn't recognise him. I love the minimalist, stylised face, but it all went a bit wrong when I added the pipe, it came out far too heavy. I really wanted to do a hookah pipe, but I didn't know what one looked like. Never mind eh. I like the absinthe-chartreuse green, it's very bohemian.






IV of V: Two Headed Dragon
Watercolour on primed paper
14" x 10"

I think this my favourite of the lot. It's a portrait of [livejournal.com profile] mr_magicfingers and the conflict I perceive in his personality. I wanted to paint him as a Chinese dragon, and this is what came out. The two heads were an accident - I started with the one on the left, wasn't happy with it, started again on the right and ended up using both.






V of V: Ubuntu Wrangling
Watercolour on primed paper
10" x 14"

[livejournal.com profile] dennyd was installing Ubuntu on his computer (apparently he was getting bored with Debian), so I took advantage of the fact that he was sitting still for more than two minutes to paint him. This tends to happen when you leave people in the room with me for any length of time. At least I didn't paint on him.













Click on the images to view bigger versions. All of these are for sale, and I'm going to be turning at least the second one into prints/greetings cards. Not sure about the others, it depends on interest. If no-one buys them they'll probably end up on the walls of the Pembury along with everything else I'm producing at the moment :)

April 2016

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