shiny ideas

Aug. 7th, 2009 05:11 pm
helenic: (chilli flower)

We can has website!

I'd planned to chill out a bit after Glastonbury, but then Denny and I decided to take over the world, so this had to happen. I'm pretty damn pleased with it. And who knows, it might even help us find clients! Because more work, yes, that is exactly what I need. ;)

And now, I sleep.

... Actually I help [personal profile] bard move house and go to a celebratory TG with the [personal profile] denny. That's almost the same thing though? Right?

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: (what's the matter lagerboy?)

I have a whole bunch of new art to post! I've had a successful week, artwise, although it doesn't feel it, for some reason. I spent Tuesday evening having dinner at Straylight and finally getting round to play with ink with [ profile] steerpikelet and [ profile] cyrus_ii. Then Wednesday afternoon was spent painting with Simon, although sadly not for long enough as I was late arriving and he had to head out at 4pm to each his evening graphics class, and on Wednesday night I decided to stay up and see how many of the half-finished little paintings I have lying around my room I could finish by the morning, when I was finally going to hang some paintings in the Pembury Tavern, in honour of which I am using my Real Ale icon. This has been on the cards since the start of the year, but given my own disorganisation and [ profile] timeplease's hectic schedule, I didn't manage to get the paintings there until a few weeks ago, and it took us until yesterday to find a morning when Steve and I could both go into the pub before opening, drill holes in the wall and hang everything.

However, this is now done, and the Pembury is pleasingly colourful :) A lot of the artwork in there is for sale, which is the first time I've had a long-term exhibition space in London. The paintings are all a bit mismatched, including several unsold works from K~nesis, and collaborations with both Stef and Kristen alongside my own paintings. It's basically everything I've had sitting around in my room unsold, apart from the two nude paintings from K~nesis which were deemed NPS (non-Pembury-safe). Not exactly a coherent body of work, so I'm not calling it an "exhibition" and there's no exciting launch party or anything. Just a space for me to hang art, which makes [ profile] timeplease happy because his pub is bright and happy and he gets free decor. And I'm hoping that maybe the people who visit the Pembury might possibly include people with money to spend on art, and perhaps, even, more money than the clientele of the Foundry. (Etsy is, sadly, not as helpful as I'd hoped, mostly due to the exchange rate.) Lovely and generous and supportive as my friends and friends-of-friends are, I think most of them who could afford to buy one of my paintings already have, and lovely as you lot are, I should really have expanded my customer-base beyond you by now.

Not all of the art now taking up space in my favourite pub is for sale. Two of them are the property of [ profile] hairyears, who has failed for about ten months to collect them from the Foundry or my house, and if he doesn't take them home from the Pembury by August 21st (the anniversary of the K~nesis exhibition) then I think he'll have missed his chance, after which I will feel perfectly within my rights to offer them for resale. [ profile] hairyears - consider yourself warned :)

Two others are the property of a friend of Denny's who paid for them via him, but whose life circumstances have since changed, meaning she's not able to come to London to collect them. Denny will be keeping them for her at his place on a medium-long term basis, but until he has a car and can pick them up I thought I may as well show them off.

Staying up all night to paint on Wednesday was a huge success. I completed three new/old paintings, had a lovely time pottering around listening to music, and managed to chat to my parents for the first time since they moved to Belize by dint of being online at 5am when they'd just finished dinner. I crashed out at 6.30am and had a 90-minute powernap which was eerily refreshing; despite only having had an hour and a half's sleep, I felt pretty much normal and awake for all of yesterday. I was expecting to have to sleep lots today to catch up, but after crashing out at 11pm last night I woke up at 9am and feel absolutely fine. Win! I'm not sure if the sleep dep is going to land on my head at an inconvenient moment, like during my shoot on Sunday/Monday, but I'm going to have any late nights this weekend, so I think I might actually have got away with it. I'll post the new paintings in a separate entry, for the benefit of any unfortunates who don't drink at the Pembury. The rest of you can feel free to skip it :)

helenic: (painterly)

I've finally got enough of a gap in my hectic schedule to start posting the art photos that [ profile] synthclarion sent me over a month ago. Yes, I know that the K~nesis exhibition was nearly five months ago. Life got complicated.

The short version is that several of the pieces are still for sale, and limited edition prints are available of all the paintings in the exhibition. Prints are available in sizes 8"x10", 12"x16", 16"x20" or A4, A3 and A2 depending on the artwork. Prints will be ordered on a limited-edition basis of 50 prints per artwork; I'm arranging giclee prints from a specialist fine art printer on a choice of Somerset Enhanced Velvet 255gsm, Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gsm, or Hahnemuhle Torchon 285gsm. I'll be posting photos of the paintings one at a time, so comment if you're interested in the original (if available) or a print.

If you ordered a print at the exhibition, I'm sorry it's taken us so long to get organised. I've since realised that the printers I was going to use for the prints back in August aren't actually good enough to get high quality fine art prints. As such, the specialist fine art printers we'll be using charge more per print, which means that the prices listed at the exhibition have unfortunately been updated. You will get a correspondingly higher quality print, however, on mould-made, acid-free textured paper idea for fine art reproduction, so I think it'll be worth the upgrade. The new print prices are as follows:

A4 / 8"x10" - £20
A3 / 12"x16" - £30

Plus postage and packing if applicable. Custom sizes are also available.

I'm still not entirely decided on the subject of prints larger than A3 size. I haven't ordered a sample print yet to see if the images I have are high quality enough for this print resolution. I'm fairly sure they are, but without paying through the nose to get professional drum scans done of all the paintings, I can't be certain. So bear that in mind if you want to order a larger print. Once I've got a sense of the numbers, if people are interested in the higher print size, I'll order a couple of test prints just to check everything's okay. If they're good, which they should be, I'll go ahead with the order; if they aren't, I'll absorb the cost of the test prints myself and ask people if they want the next size down instead. Just bear in mind that larger prints might not be available, but I'll find out before taking any payments, so you won't lose anything if you order one and they aren't good to go.

Hope that makes sense! By the way, if you've bought a painting and still haven't collected it, please do start thinking about arranging to pick it up - I don't want to risk posting anything, and I don't want to have to store them all indefinitely. I'm in Spain from 13th-21st Nov, but I can arrange to be in on weekdays before I leave, and any day after I get back, if you can come and collect.

ps. [ profile] synthclarion, my offer of a free print (or two if you want little ones) in exchange for getting the photos done still stands. Comment on the relevant post/s when you've decided what you want :)

helenic: (windowsill; cafe; people-watching)

I was in Camden this morning averting a rent crisis (by depositing large amounts of borrowed cash in my current account; but it's okay, I have a big cheque that will clear before the end of the week) and I decided to get the bus home. I've used buses far more than the tube since I moved, but Seven Sisters from Camden was a mystery. So I looked at the map in the bus stop, and decided that the 29 to Wood Green was my best bet - it went from Finsbury Park to Turnpike Lane, and I figured I could get off at some point between the two and walk across. Except Green Lanes is much shorter than I thought it was, and I ended up not getting off until Turnpike Lane. At first I thought I knew where I was, and struck out confidently towards home across a beautiful triangle of green covered in crisp orange leaves. I don't know why I have this nostalgic love for Victorian terraced suburbia, for the grey and red stone of it, the doctors' surgeries and the buses, the schoolchildren, the over-enthusiastic borough councils putting up big signs encouraging local spirit, the slightly dreary play-parks rescued by ever-beautiful, vast swathes of horse chestnut trees. I love it, and I was almost skipping across the green, kicking at the leaves and loving the autumnal smell in the air, and wanting to bring Chris here soon and show him how lovely it all is round where I live. Except then I realised I didn't know where I was after all, and had to spend another ten minutes studying maps in bus stops and waiting for a 67. But in the end it turned out that I was only 5 minutes away from where I'd been trying to get to. So that was all alright.

And now I'm home, with a pot of strong Ceylon tea and an inquisitive cat sniffing my ankles. I spent a long time yesterday sorting my room out - emptying boxes, reboxing books and folders for long-term storage and carrying them one by one down the precarious steps into the cellar; tidying and rearranging. My bed's been in the middle of the room since I moved in, facing the windows. I've now pushed it up against the fireplace, which means you can't walk round it on both sides and you have to kneel on the edge of the bed and reach down to get at the bottom shelf of my clothes storage unit, but there's much more space on the other side, enough to paint in, and since that's the side the door opens onto the room immediately feels much bigger. I've hung pictures, and while the room isn't finished yet, it feels so much more spacious and liveable in and me.

Today has been productive. I've bought new canvases, I've paid my rent despite the many financial disasters of this month, and set up an ongoing standing order; I've sent emails, including a couple of really rather exciting ones; I've finally fixed the final irritating bugs in the last few websites for Online Galleries, which is a HUGE weight off my mind. I'm now going to make more tea and eat mozzarella and tomato salad, and then I am going to spend the rest of today painting. Painting! For the first time since the exhibition, really, apart from a brief attempt at gouache with Kristen the other week. I have missed it SO MUCH. Yay.

Speaking of which, these two paintings were the most popular in the exhibition - they were the first to sell, and the ones most asked after:

Bird of Paradise

Dragonflower (we don't have a full image of the finished painting yet; the first of these is a work-in-progress photo, the second is from the launch party, and cropped from this photo by [ profile] arachne)

[ profile] synthclarion very kindly took lots of high-quality photos of all the finished paintings a couple of weeks ago, and I'm waiting to get those back from him before I do things like updating the website and organising print orders. But in the meantime, I want to do more brightly-coloured tropical paintings like these two. My parents have said they'd be interested in buying one if I do a series, but not in commissioning one especially. It occurs to me that the people who would have bought Bird of Paradise or Dragonflower if they'd got there first might well be interested in something similar. If this is you, feel free to let me know; it would be useful to know in advance what sort of interest there is :)

helenic: (ARTISTE dahling)

We're on the Foundry website! It's real! And we're nearly there! Most of this week and weekend is being spent frantically finishing everything. Kristen and I are going to be bringing everything left at her flat in Maidenhead back with us on the train on Saturday, which will be tricky, but since neither of us drive it's our only option. After that, we just have to work out how to get it from the Catcave to the Foundry.

We'll be able to start work installing the exhibition from 2pm on Tuesday afternoon, and the work will all need to be completed by 6pm. We won't get any help from the venue, so the afternoon will be an entertaining one of painting the walls, drilling holes and hanging hooks, sticking up titles and prices, arranging sculptures and canvasses, and working out how to suspend things from the ceiling. It'll be hard work but lots of fun, hopefully.

The Foundry have offered to let us bring all our gear on Sunday evening, so that it can be left there until we arrive on Tuesday to set everything up (they're completely closed on Monday). This would mean that if any of our friends who drive are able to help us transport artworks from Archway to Old Street, then we could do so outside of working hours, which makes things slightly more flexible. However, we would need to turn up with all our stuff after the bar had closed on Sunday - between 10.30pm and midnight would be best. Kristen will need to have gone back to Maidenhead by then for work on Sunday, so if we are taking stuff over on Sunday it'll be just me.

It would be really really useful if any of our friends were able to help with setting the exhibition up, and love/beer/presents would be happily given in return if you wanted to be part of it :) Would anyone be available and willing to help with any of the following?

- driving paintings/sculptures from Archway Road (N19 3TT) to the Foundry (EC2A 3JL) on Sunday night, aiming to get there by 11pm - it's about a half hour drive. We wouldn't have more than a carload; if you had a car in which the back seats could be put down, that would be ideal as paintings could be laid flat.
- driving the rest of the artworks to the Foundry on Tuesday, aiming to get there by 2pm.
- if you don't drive, helping us carry paintings/sculptures down to the taxi on Sunday or Tuesday (one of the sculptures is heavy and fragile, and will take some care to move).
- lending us tools to hang paintings - an electric drill and hammer would be particularly useful
- coming along on Tuesday afternoon to help vandalise do creative DIY in our corner of the Foundry (Kristen and I will act as creative directors so you don't have to have any ideas unless you want to, but since we're quite short on time it would be fantastic to have an extra pair of hands to help with the physical work).
- distributing flyers around your London workplace, or pubs/coffeeshops etc this weekend

If there aren't any drivers available then we can make do with taxis, but if we could get even one lift there on either day then it would make it far, far easier and cheaper. Please let us know if you're around at either of these times and able to help out! Free drinks at the launch party and similar boons are available in exchange - as well as our deep gratitude and the chance to be involved in an art project which is extremely special for us, and hopefully fun and exciting for everyone else :)

And for everyone else, a reminder: the exhibition is set up on Tuesday 21st, but the launch party will be the evening of Wednesday 22nd, from 6pm (I'm not sure what time we'll be arriving). There will be interesting and entertaining music by [ profile] kilinrax, locally brewed beer, and lots of art as well as ours - but of course, ours is going to be the most interesting. Do invite friends, family, co-workers, and rich people.

If you can't make the launch, the exhibition is open until Sunday 2nd September. I'll be there on the evenings of the 21st, the 22nd, the 23rd (maybe) and the 24th, so I doubt I'll be able to give any other guided tours. You are, of course, welcome to look round in your own time, or turn up on any of those nights to say hello :)

helenic: (hooping control)

I've ordered flyers! 100 of them! They should be arriving in two weeks, and they will be AMAZING.

I went with the first design in the end (I'd have used two, but it would have cost twice as much and I'm tight-fisted like that). What I didn't anticipate was having to redo the image from scratch in order to get it to a size and resolution the printers would accept. The eventual image has completely different proportions from the original design (it's relatively about half again as long) and was about three times larger, which was too big an increase to just size it up. Anyway, it's done now. Here's an ensmallened version of the final print image:

large images beneath )

In other K~nesis-related news:

- I have a binbag containing 10 identical pale heads in my kitchen. No, I have not in fact decapitated decaplets, although I think that that would be an awesome name for the artwork when it's finished. And no, I'm not looking forward to having to explain this when I take them through Paddington station this evening.

- The head shop was unexpectedly closed on Saturday, so Kristen and I ended up casting about desperately looking for things to cover with paint. Our initial plan to make plaster casts of the roots of trees sort of faltered before we even started (my neighbours were watching, the plaster was the wrong sort, and we couldn't find any suitable trees). We were at a loss until I realised that I had some bits of mdf in the downstairs loo which I'd obtained from Freecycle to board up the old catflap with, and which I'd kept for painting on at some point. The pieces of mdf are thick, curved squares (what's the technical name for a square with curved corners?) and they take paint BEAUTIFULLY. We undercoated them first in white gesso, then did a background layer of acrylics before swapping to oils for the details. Unlike the texture of canvas, the wood grain is perfectly smooth, and the colours came out amazingly brightly, with a polished finish.

We didn't finish any of the paintings, but all of them are another step on from our previous collaborations. The themes of the day were tropical flowers, excessively bright colour, dragons. One painting started out trying to be an extreme close-up of sunlight filtering through the red petals of a passionflower, with dark waving stamen in the foreground and the perfect filigree of veins on the coloured petals. It went through a tentacles-and-hellfire phase, and is now resting between firelight and tropical blooms. Another started out as a bird of paradise, and quickly became a dragon in flight, although it might be a hummingbird pretending to be a dragon. The third (on canvas) is just bright, bright petals and leaves in electric blues and oranges and greens, sharp focus foreground and fingerpainted blurs in the background, leaflight and moisture. It's simple and complex and beautiful. I don't think these paintings are really trying to say anything. Apart, perhaps, from pure joy in colour and life and sunlight. They are a dance, a riot, of colour. Ever since Kristen left I have been itching to return to them, become immersed in that radiant, sensory world.

- Tomorrow, we work on heads. This will involve me giving Kristen head. I don't think I'm going to tire of this joke, EVER.

helenic: (darkside : lightside)

[ profile] cuteevilpixie's and my exhibition is now on Facebook, which means it must be real. 21 confirmed guests so far! 27 might show up! I <3 Facebook. Thankyou so much to everyone who's planning to attend, and to [ profile] dennyd for helping with the promotion. (This being the man who has just said to me, and I quote, "I wonder what the capacity of the venue is. Breaking that would be cool.")

Kilinrax is confirmed as being in charge of the music for the launch party on the 22nd (although due to licensing laws we can't advertise him as a DJ). This is EXCELLENT news, and he too deserves many thanks, for giving up his time to make our exhibition way cooler than it would have been otherwise. Also many drinks. He deserves to be bought lots of drinks.

I has been making FLYERS.

(click to view full size)

Now, apart from the wanky-but-sadly-necessary art blurb, I'm pretty happy with this. It's based on a combination of images including the Perfect Storm nebula, the ant nebula, and The Dryad's Dream. I love the whole burnt gold summer colour palette: sunlight through leaves; forest; flame; sunburst; clouds boiling into space.

Denny, on the other hand, thought it was too brown. "You should do a more blue-toned one for the geeks among us," he said. "Based on Polarity or something." At which point I started FLAILING, because firstly, dude, it's not BROWN. And secondly, this image PERFECTLY ENCAPSULATES the synthesis of immediate and infinite natural environment which is present in the art we've done so far, and we're going to be focussing much more on that juxtaposition of microscopic and macroscopic (molecules, nebulae, fractals, extreme close-ups of foliage and elements) as we develop this exhibition. There'll be a lot of galaxies and stars and universes, but also rainforests, the northern lights, the human form. It's going to be lush and organic and the colours will be intense. And I don't know how I could express that juxtaposition using just the Polarity image (without mentioning the fact that painting is still unfinished, and therefore I'm not keen on using it in a flyer) or just a space-based image. A fractal image would be perfect, but we don't have any fractal paintings yet, and it's a bit daft to have a flyer that doesn't include any of our art.

Anyway, I don't want people to look at our flyer and go "ICK BROWN" so I made some differently coloured versions.

(click to enlarge)

The last one is pretty, but it's kind of wintry, you know? And what we're doing is definitely summer art.

So, tell me what you think? And I'll doubtless be making more flyers as we produce more artworks. (Which will hopefully start happening TODAY, as Kristen is in town!) I mean, the whole nature of this exhibition is that the artwork is improvised and it's sort of essential that we can't entirely predict what we'll end up with. We have inspiration, but that provides a starting-point rather than a goal-post. So it's sort of inevitable that the promotional materials are going to evolve with the collection. I mean, if we could describe the entire exhibition in advance, it wouldn't be very experimental, would it?

By the way, I'm probably not going to be posting collaborative artwork online from now on. We have to give you some incentive to come to the exhibition, after all. I shall restrict myself to blurry cameraphone photos and tantalising prose descriptions. BWA HA HA.

helenic: (Default)

OKAY SO I was totally going to finish posting the art from Monday before I posted about this, but it's nearly midnight already, so. Skip to the end...

On Tuesday I took Kristen to the Foundry, because everyone needs to see it, especially artists. For those not in the know... )

When I saw [ profile] cuteevilpixie's paintings, my first thought was that she should sign up to exhibit them at the Foundry. By the time we got there on Tuesday, we'd spent the weekend together, and the last 24 hours doing art. We turned up with our hands in each other's pockets and without really thinking about it, we were asking about whether their ban on joint exhibitions extended to collaboratiions. Turns out it doesn't: if every painting in the exhibition is by both of us, that's fine: we're effectively exhibiting as a single artist. Which wall did we want - the bar wall, the far wall or the library? The bar wall, we reckoned: it was the biggest, the most visible, and it included a whole snug area by the window with a broad windowsill and various ledges for putting sculptures on.

So Kristen and I are exhibiting at the Foundry from Tuesday August 21st to Sunday 2nd September. It'll be entirely collaborative work. Organic, kinetic, hippyish paintings; painted sculptures. We're going to hang coloured fabrics, totally fill the space. Tuesdays are the open mic piano night, so the launch party will be Wednesday 22nd August. We can organise our own DJ if we like (we're thinking of asking one of the Planet Angel resident DJs if they're interested, but if any of you would be up for it, let us know?). Oh! And also we need a photographer to take opening night photos, so let me know if you want the job? Not sure what the exhibition's going to be called yet - we're toying with the idea of K~nesis. I'll be posting a flyer when I've drawn one up.

Tuesday August 21st to Sunday 2nd September. The Foundry, EC2. EXHIBITION! Me and Kristen! Our paintings! Exhibited! In London! OH MY GOD I HAVE AN EXHIBITION. And it's all thanks to Kristen :) We have two and a half months to produce ALL THE ART IN THE WORLD and I totally could never, ever, have done this so soon if it wasn't for her and what she's done for my art and creativity.

YOU ALL HAVE TO COME AND SEE IT. Please. Bring your friends, your family, random people you meet in the street. Especially bring any friends you have who enjoy hippyish paintings and might have, say, about £300 to spend on a big beautiful piece of art this summer.

I has a Kristen, and an exhibition: life doesn't get better than this. :)

April 2016

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