28 December, 2012

Friday; Profiles and prophecies.

We'll start with my weekly life drawing sessions.

19th November, 2012

Deep within the central business district of Sydney, Australia, there is a sanctuary for the artistically inclined such as myself, where there is readily available space for exhibiting and sales, drawing and drinking, eating and celebrating artistic endeavours. Every Monday there is a life drawing session, where a large space is reserved for a multitude of people with two nude models available for the pursue of drawing, painting, inking and sketching to one's heart content.
I love it there. It's a relaxed place I can happily draw nude people without worrying about oddness, because life drawing is something that an artist of any profession must encounter, and participate in. It improves the hand, the mind and the heart.

I regularly fall in love with the shapes of the models, but more so than anything else, I fall in love with the faces of the fellow artists around me, who produce amazing pieces of work with materials ranging from inks and watercolours to charcoals to ball point pens stolen from work and Ikea pencils and Bamboo Styluses.

So, armed with this new found love of profiles and shapes of noses, chins and faces, I draw them while they don't look my way. Sometimes I get lucky and produce pieces that I'm happy enough to leave after finishing, knowing that I have drawn my best of the day, but most of the time they end up being unfinished doodles, because my unknowing model either moves or becomes blocked from my view by someone else, or someone else catches my eye.

I began this weekly life drawing session attendance on the 7th of May, 2012 and I regret to inform you that I have not attended every single week's session as I would have liked to have done, but I have gone to a ridiculous amount of them and I am drawing whenever I can get my hands on materials, so I would like to think that I've improved.

26th November, 2012

There are regulars at these life drawing therapy sessions, just like I, drawing the others at our sessions. I have been drawn a few times, here. It feels wonderfully satisfying to know like someone likes my profile as much as I like theirs.

I haven't spoken to any of the individuals whose faces I have posted today, which is a shame because sometimes I find myself giving the faces a story or a history.
There have been times when the histories and conjured realities that I give others have become so elaborate that I don't want to initiate a friendship with them, because I don't want to be disappointed. What would I do if they were to be much less interesting than the lives that I had granted them? It is a selfish, but peacekeeping manner of treating such a situation.

The man on the right is extremely good at pencil renditions of portraits of regulars, as well as a fine life drawing artist. I am, perhaps, not the right judge for this skill, considering how lacking I am in the department, but I admire his pieces of art constantly, and once caught his eye while I was drawing him drawing me.
It was a fantastic realisation. I have made it a habit to draw him every time I see him there. It could be the unspoken beginnings of a friendship, I don't know.
He has one of the most beautiful noses to ever grace a human face. It speaks stories and it's lines and spots tell of the places he's been, the people he's seen, the things he's smelled.

26th November, 2012

Every person I draw from Monday nights seems to be looking down and away because I try very hard to sit in a position that allows me the access to seeing as many faces and profiles as possible. As a direct result of that and the fact that the model that they are focusing on should definitely not be me, their gazes are never in my line of sight.
People also look down to draw for a lot longer and more regularly than they are looking up into one direction, for an extended period of time.

I would like to start blocking colours at some point again, but for now I have been sticking with inky ball point pens and felt tip markers, mainly of the under 0.4 variety because thin tips make me very, very happy.
I'd also like to learn how to be patient and steady-handed enough to produce a bunch of patterns to fill in the lines that create these spaces on the page, but it's a little too early for that as of yet because there's much more about linework that I feel like I need to learn before tackling anything else.

Lines seem to easy to produce but they are so difficult to master. A drawing is just a line that is organised in a certain manner, but I wish there were a formula for it.
Learning to master it wouldn't take all my life. But I guess that's half the fun.

Sometimes I think that my sole purpose in life should be to draw the elderly. The lines on their faces and the stories that they tell would make a fantastic kind of series of work, I should think. Maybe I'll put that in the back on my mind until I have the skill level to produce something half decent.

All of the scans in this post as raw scans because I do not have the patience to edit anything I scan in. The quality of the drawings themselves are already dismal enough, trying to edit them to make them better will only be me trotting on my own self esteem, and who needs that?
I wish I could post something festive, but I didn't draw anything serious for the holidays at all, and all the stupid sketches go on my sketchblog, not here. If you need more incentive to click on that link, there are actual sketches of the live drawing models from the same sketch book as these drawings have come from.

29th November, 2012

In related news, I have started on my quest to knowing as much as I can about John Ronald Reuel Tolkien's world as I can possibly fit into my life right now, and everything is fine and dandy. 
I have watched The Hobbits and Les Misérables in the past two days, got emotional over Rise of the Guardians pretty much all week and will proceed to watch Wreck-It Ralph as soon as I can and be emotional over Paper Man because feelings.

My Christmas gifts have been distributed and my New Years Eve and Day has been planned. All I must do now is to get through the next two days in a wholesome manner and my year will end fabulously. 

I bid you a fantastic finish to a fruitful year,

24 December, 2012

Monday; Eve.

Here is a long excerpt from my journal, back in October, because I feel like sharing:
I fall and fall and fall in all sorts of ways for all sorts of people and for reasons that, at times, astound even myself. I love it.  
I love people and I love people's lives and how they go about in them. I love cracking open someone's shell to get them comfortable. I love talking and finding out about someone to catalogue their life story both for later writing use and to use information about them to make them happy. I love approval from people I admire. I love differences and similarities and I love befriending people I never thought I'd get along with, and I love being around people who are so much more impressive than I but somehow grant me their presence and let me bask in their attention. 
I love discussions and opinionated statements and disagreements on the meanings or connotations of words, and I love the sleepy but deep and meaningful conversations and the way people use my name to restate or capture my attention. I love it when people hug me hello or goodbye or just 'cause and I love it a lot when people tell me they love me because I really love people and when it's mutual it just makes me all the more happier.
I love looking through my photos on Facebook to remember things and relive fond memories and then discussing them with people who were there. I love meeting the friends of my friends and then finding out or asking about what my friends were like before I met them. I love knowing someone so well that they begin to tell you something and I am able to say what they've told me before. I love sharing stories and knowledge and trivia and useless tid bits that make life just that little cooler. 
I love being with people a lot then cataloguing their little habits and quirks and kinks and the way they talk and walk and attitudes. I love it so much when I realise that my friends are contagious and I suddenly use phrases that I never used before for situations that I'd never have gotten into without them. I love deep and meaningful discussions at the wharf, at a party, drunk, sober, tipsy, tired, while all nightering at uni or while procrastinating or texting or while we talk towards an unknown destination... I am feeling so much love right now for all my current active friendships it's impossible. I love them all so much. So much that my heart is bursting into ink and words and sounds and there is just so much to love. I want to love them forever, and just tuck them inside me and carry them places. I want to travel and show them places and learn alongside them and learn about them and convince them to let me be around them forever... I just really love people. I really love people a lot. 
I think perhaps that it's the most honest piece of writing I've ever written. And it is my gift for you, this Christmas. I am solitary tonight, like the moon.

Sleep well,

23 December, 2012

Sunday; Southern hemisphere.

We'll start with summer.

I have had half a summer thus far, and here is a short list of what has happened:

  1. I have fallen in love with one of the greatest eternal friends of mine;
  2. I have drawn less regularly than I would perhaps prefer but I am spending more time on each drawing;
  3. Christmas Eve is tomorrow and I am going to spend it with people who are practically family;
  4. I have spent a few weeks drastically low on money due to the ridiculous gifts I have been purchasing for my golden trio and golden people, for Christmas or otherwise;
  5. My room is a great mess right now due to Christmas gift wrapping and hiding;
  6. Kristin, my beautiful flatmate, has gone and come back from a cruise;
  7. I have spent way too much time with my lovely significant others but I don't even mind (simultaneously because I am a paranoid person I am now going to avoid people for a few days in case people get sick of me);
  8. I watched all the Lord of the Rings movies and will soon proceed to read them all once I find a set of hardcover books that I fall in love with because if anything I will judge a book by it's cover;
  9. I watched Rise of the Guardians and cried. Thrice, through out the movie;
  10. I cried a lot in Lord of the Rings. Multiple times. I lost count. That should be saying something, I guess;
  11. I am tumbling at the speed of a round child falling down a flight of stairs into the Lord of the Rings fandom because the world is just seriously fantastic in all sense of the word;
  12. Mick gave me a cork board which I haven't yet done anything to but will, soon;
  13. I'm slowly getting back to digital paintings, click here to take a look at progresses;
  14. My animators and I have been having a few get togethers throughout summer and I miss them constantly; 
  15. There was a Harry Potter marathon but I got a little tired of it around about the fourth movie (we were watching the extended versions and the first three movies alone were like 8 hours straight of Harry Potter) so I went to Mick's place and we started the Lord of the Rings marathon it was crazy and terrific;
  16. I am slowly in the process of acquiring all the episodes of Quite Interesting (QI) and it feels amazing because I love Stephen Fry like dog loves it's master;
  17. I've not baked for a while and that makes me sad;
  18. My current repeat music is The Black Keys;
  19. I saw a group of friends that I've not seen in months and months the other day and it was glorious because it was like nothing really changed when everything's changed. It's those moments that make my life worth crawling through, because there are moments when you sit back and just know that the world is ok, and everything is fine;
  20. We decided on our Christmas menu the other day and hopefully it turns out fantastic because it'd be nice to make the ones that care the most feel ok and that we can care for ourselves;
  21. I haven't done much animation but plan on doing so in January, which, on another totally unrelated note, has the most amount of birthdays that I am to assist in celebrating, so January is going to be incredible. Like every other month of next year, hopefully. 

I have come to realise that it's the comfortable silences which separate the good friends from the ones I will hold close forever. When the world is chaotic and everything is rushing by and people are changing faster than a magician's assistant changing outfits, and all the terrible things of the world build up inside, having someone who can shut you down, take you a quiet place and just sit next to you and share a peaceful moment is one of the most precious things that I will ever experience, I think.

I don't really understand much of this world, but I do understand that there are amazing things that I will live for. It's all sorts of little and big and everything in between.

There's been a wave of calm that's washed over me as of late, like an extreme level of relaxation. I would like to think that it is due to the summer and the lack of university work, but it isn't. It's because my friends and lovely, wonderful golden trio have wedged themselves (further more) in between my heart and mind and turned the staleness into a brilliant sort of mustard and lavender coloured warmth.
This summer is going to change my life just as much as the last one did. There's a part of me that wishes for stability and monotony, but it doesn't rear it's fangs often enough for me to pay much attention to it, because I know that I would be completely happy for my each and every year to change my life as much as the last. 
I don't want to get to a point of living like a straight line. There's nothing wrong with it, but I don't think it would ever do anything to benefit me. 

I think my life is turning into one long extended metaphor.

And I think I love you, 

05 December, 2012

Wednesday; Mary and Her Monsters [page01]

We'll start with Mary.

Meet the first Mary (alpha version)

Once upon a time, during a lecture of a vague Design variety, I drew an image of a faceless doll for Haein, a beautiful darling I know from my studies in Animation. All I knew was that she was to be a doll without a face.
For some reason I fell in love with the illustration, and eventually I resigned her as Mary, the haunted doll, and the singular illustration turned into a series of them. She is currently still lacking a wholesome back story, and so far it's a little weird. Mary's one of those characters that walk into my head almost fully formed, with a personality and habits and everything, but she's not quite human.

Mary was once a girl, but doesn't remember much about being one. She lost her face when she was cursed to be slowly transformed into a doll in payment for the ability to converse with the dead to find out about her past life, before all the familial deaths. The only thing of her past is her hair. The monsters are a result of the combination of unfortunate external circumstances and internal conflicts.

The Monsters are all visually different, but share a desire for Mary's hair. They're not cruel or evil or anything like that, but instead just want to cut her off from her old self, which is the opposite of what Mary herself desires.

Since Mary is not, by all intents and purposes, alive in most of the illustrations (since she's a doll), sometimes I get the urge to compose one where she's hung or otherwise killed. I'm not sure why. I had a friend (I do not recall who) suggest that I was Mary. I shall not agree nor disagree with that because I haven't figured it out yet myself. I don't know. Looking through these is like trying to psychoanalyse myself, and who knows what that will bring out?

The monsters have been influenced by a range of things from objects to characters to actual people who I have either seen or met. Each monster has a back story as well, but we won't go into that because that thought hasn't been thought out enough for me to explain it just yet.

The whole illustration series was to give myself a project to work on, especially during uni where I wasn't working to my own specifics, but it's turned into a bit of a masochistic obsession wherein each illustration is getting more attention than the previous one and they're all turning into something that means a lot more to me than it started out meaning.
Or maybe that's what every project I do ends up being, I don't know.

Each and every drawing was done completely with traditional mediums. Brush pens are my babies but they run out ridiculously quickly and I will love whoever figures out how to get me a lifetime's supply of 0.3 ball point ink pens.

The latest Mary and Her Monsters illustration took me a while to compose and complete. I was trying a variety of new things with the linework (by which I mean I put thought into it at all) and a lot has changed about me and my circumstance since beginning the drawing. The monster is from one of the earlier designs for my monster in my SIAF Project (that ended up with Florence), and it's one I intend on using for something eventually at some time.

The composition changed several times before I was satisfied with it, and even the inking itself took hours longer than I spent on any of the other five that I've done besides this one. I think that's perhaps the reason why I like it best.

I shall blog about this illustration series again when I finish with beta Mary and set her background story in stone.
For now, I'll just keep composing and completing illustrations, hopefully.

I've made a bottle of paper stars in the past week. It's very therapeutic. I'm most of my way through the second bottle now, and when I finish this packet of paper strips it will mean that I've made five hundred or a thousand or so paper stars in a week or something I don't know I haven't been counting. I've perfected it. I know the secret to the art of paper star production.

I have also gone through emotional upheaval in the last few days, forgive me for spending a whole week mostly absent from the internet.

But I'm back. And I love you.

Live long and prosperous,