Sunday, October 26, 2008

second pic of the day, on a photoshop learning curve, this one was from pencil sketch, previous was an inked drawing.
How come I'm more productive when I'm not supposed to be working ?

another wintery pic. playing with photoshop.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sometimes, wether through my job as a firefighter, a young Carer support worker, or just the horrible awfulness of grown up reality, I have to deal with some stark & harrowing nastiness, I have to see things that are not good for an artist to see, for anyone to see. My brain is a very visual brain, pictures in there. I am torn wether to express the bad things in art, or fight it & steer towards nice fluffy happy things. I have a story in my head, my magnum opus, which is aTarentino-esque trainspotting 18 rated psycho roadmovie ( comic?), I place a lot of bad things that happen in reality into that story... will I ever draw it ?

One of my main characters that I generally draw is the wee girl & her wolf friend. Recently I had to see, & take to the police, a set of photographs with little small young girls in. Small children, dirty, laughing, sleeping, playing in a room full of drugged up junkies, needles & spliffs. I just have to have faith that social work & police will do their job, but experience tells me otherwise. All I could draw for days was gaunt ghost eyed toddlers with a harrowing future in front of them ... not good.
 However a few nights insomnia on photoshop & i've broken through to better images, the wee girl's playing again & winter is here. Stand by more non-nasty pictures.

Monday, October 20, 2008

We watched 'Into the wild' last night. I've been listening to the sound track by Eddie Vedder since it came out & loved the moving magical warm freedom they evoked... cruel Eddie had been lulling me into a false feel-good sing-a-long there.

I don't read reviews & do my research much on films I just wanted to watch it as I imagined it was something about a journey & freedom, the poetic if naive perceptions of youth. That wanderlust is something I relate to, though I am old now & rooted to my comfort zone, I once had very itchy feet & needed to run. Of course life has taught me you can't stand still if you want to, the winds of events will buffer & batter regardless.

I never really did live the road movie, but I touched it, I guess the resposibility of young children at a young age kept pulling me back to earth. Now I don't want to run, I just wish it would stand still for a minute!

Why did the film have such an effect ? because it was beautifully made? because Emile Hirst with his crazy hair & boys beard reminded me of my son before he left? because someone elseI love  has been living rough? because its about a parents loss, the not knowing , the fears, the guilt, that pain that only a parent can feel ? because of my own younger selfs' need to escape, to run, to declutter & de materialise my life. Us grown ups know that " happiness is only real if it is shared" but sometimes its a long journey to understand this.

at 20 I put up my art college degree show, announcing on the day the marks came out to shocked tutors that I was expecting my second baby. gave away all my bedsit furniture, My landlord was putting up the rent, coincidence that I wouldn't go out to 'dinner' with him ? I gave my notice; packed the morris traveller I'd bought with maternity benefits; stole some builders plastic sheeting & headed to Rosyln Glen, now famous from 'the da vinci code'. There were some 'druid' friends of mine camped there for the solstice, I built a crude shelter & lived there a couple of weeks with my toddler son, after that I headed into perthshire & lived in a hut far off the road, then a 6 week road tour of Brittanys stone circles.. and so on... Like Chris McCandless in the film, I felt that society was all wrong, all materialistic, greed, war, pressure to conform, I felt it crush me, I needed to find something simple that made sense, like the trees, tides, rocks & the sky. 

In later years hanging out with 'hippies', 'travellers', 'dropouts' etc going on the road as often as possible, I realised they weren't creating something new, it was the same old crap, only more chaotic, violent & unstable, mere survival gave no room for creativity, & I needed to create. So I settled, lost all these transient hypocritical 'friends' & raised my kids as best I could. That was a long time ago now.

One day I'll weave these stories into another story, the deaths, the madness, the laughter, the adventures the badness & goodness of other people. But right now I need to shake off the emotional aftermath of that film, hug my loved ones, & get on with work. Tonight I vote we watch something up-beat, with exploding helicopters.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm quite exited about the latest Firefighting paintings I'm doing & would love to post a sequence of progress photos, how ever the last two pictures are gifts, hence surprises for firemen, so it would spoil the whole thing. There's a wee watercolour , I'll tell you the story once the fireman in question has received it. The one I'm working on the moment is a portrait in action, on canvas for a retirement present. Its been one thing painting my own crew in action, but its quite a privilege painting these other chaps, we're a diverse bunch us firefighters & there's a world of difference between whole timers & us retained, and yet the brotherhood thing is really strong, hard to explain. I guess the intensity of experience we go through is something we can't really describe, even if i had to leave the fire service tomorrow, its touch lasts for ever. The sweat, tears, laughter, crackle & roar of flames, smash of glass, crunch of metal, acrid smoke burning lungs, adrenalin clarity & slow motion ultra focus.

I've been sent some great photos from other colleague's I can't wait to paint. thanks guys & keep them coming ! meantime here's something i can show you... stand by for more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

public face private face...integrity & art
Current mood:  calm
I have a moral conundrum, i believe in being honest & open, breaking barriers between people by sharing, being true to myself, all the pain & misery & suffering that everyday people go through seems to me to be exaserbated by the taboos about talking about it, its not dignified, its embarrassing, people don't want to know about your problems, one has to suffer silently, keep up appearances, stiff upper lip and all that... which is a load of rubbish,  lets strip away pretences & get to real human experiences, if we could talk about the bad stuff surely it would lift the taboos ?  yet who goes first ? My favorite songwriters, artists, writers are those who tell it from the heart who put themselves on the line. yet I feel I can't..
see I'm frustrated that I feel inhibited about sharing all my real stuff in blog rants. I am here after all in a roundabout way to keep in touch with friends, and lets face it to sell art, public face-private face conundrum. I let rants out here & people stop me down the street, "ooo you should delete that blog ! people are talking about it in the pub" ( yeah well the local pub deinzens can frak off ). The more I think about it the more that all the big stuff in my life has been shhhh, a secret, who am I protecting ? me , my family ? collegues?  I guess if i vented my spleen about the fire service mis managment, I'd get the sack, what about the other stuff?
I remember having to hide when I was a single pregnant teenager so the neighbours didnt see the bump, that sucked. Is it okay to talk about trauma when time has passed? it seems a long time ago now that my son was rushed off by police, in an ambulance, hauled through the courts, or taken into a mental hospital. People didnt know what was going on, or did they, I notice no-one asks about him, so maybe they did? Surely it would be better if we could talk about death, pain, mental health, cancer, abuse, drug abuse, alcoholism etc ? Sure some people sail through life relatively unscathed, but most sadly don't, its real. its what happens, and yet we have to make sense of it in dignified silence.
For famillies undergoing trauma, the everyday takes on painful significance, mediocre soap opera storylines can trigger heartwrenching memories, something beautiful like a bird in the garden or a cute child can be painfully poignant.
I guess I can't talk about specifics, I guess I need to pour it into art, a comic strip, a story, removed from source, but it feels dishonest to smile & make small talk, feels like I'm not being true to my core beliefs about being human & open. But I am here after all to sell art & project Vicky the artist, not provide gossips with salacious bullets. I have nothing to hide but....
lets talk about the weather, ooo look a picture of a fluffy kitten, aren't I great please buy my art for SALE tra la la.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I havent blogged here in over a year ! I think I felt Blogspot was a bit lonely & isolated compared to the likes of myspace, but of course things have moved on since then & its all more interactive now.

In the meantime I've been ranting away on myspace. We've run a comic convention in Inverness. I've relaunched myself as a nearly full time free lance artist. I've rejigged my own proper website & started a flikr account. Its all rather confusing really .. and whats the point of being in so many seperate places?

Well I figure it all helps combat that artistic isolation of working from home, I need the interaction or I grind to a halt.

I'll probably do the same ranting here as I do on myspace, I know people read that, grud help them.. give me your feedback people, lets get interactive here & cook up some art !
meanwhile heres a picture of me and the boys at the FutureQuake stand at Birmingham.