Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Teatime 64

As you can see, I've resisted the urge too long and started work on the steam! can see that to begin with I lay a basic layer of thinly spaced dots....then darken areas to represent the shapes of the steam clouds...Passed 200 hours work on this now!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teatime - 63

I've progressed the sky to the far left..I have yet to complete the large planet above the coach, then I shall be free to work on the steam coming from the engine.
As promised yesterday, I can now reveal that the gesture of my left hand is a circle created by touching my thumb to my index finger. Now plenty of people more learned than I will probably correct me, but from what I have studied, the 'Mudras' are hand gestures which convery different meanings and are also an aid in meditation. I specifically chose the Gyan Mudra because it is an aid to mental peace and creativity. One document explained that it's presence symbolically in art is there to promote peaceful and intellectual discussion  .It's use in 'Teatime' is my way of saying that ( as in all my work) objects and thier representation in relation to other objects signify important messages within the meaning of the picture.


Yogic Tranquilizer.
Its practice ensures
Mental Peace,
Concentration of the mind
and Sharp Memory,
Spiritual enhancement
develops creativity

Monday, August 29, 2011

Teatime - 62

I wonder if you know what I'm doing with my hand in this picture?...It looks a bit like I'm about to twang some knicker elastic....but it's not so! I might tell you tomorrow if you don't guess before then!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Teatime - 61

More sky...more stars...more planets..

Friday, August 26, 2011

'The Cello girls'

(I recommend forwarding to 2:29 for the appropriate bit!)

I know I've posted this before..but I just wanted to do so again. Over the years, my work has evolved to the extent that I now have quite a cast of characters who pop up in my compositions...a regular feature has been the 'Cello Girl'..characterised by her dark bobbed hair cut and frilly knickers..oh and the cello of course...although not always. So having lived with the image of this gorgeous female which as a creation of my own imagination has haunted and teased me for many years, you'll probably understand my amazement to discover this little clip from 'The Merry widow'...a French TV production by Baile de la Opereta La Viuda Alegre y final by Fran Lehar .which appears to show a secession of my 'Cello Girls' almost exactly as I've imagined them for years. Needless to say I find this clip inspiring and will certainly use it's influence in future work.

Hope you enjoy to the end to see some wonderfully represented french Can can dancing!

Teatime - 60

Another day of sky...really looking forward to moving onto the steam and underneath the arches!...the frustrating thing for me at the moment ( picture wise) is that I've got a really good and fairly definite basis for the next piece. I also have a commission to complete for the Rose Hill Musical society's production of 'Rudigore'. Lots to keep me busy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Teatime - 59 - my pool of light.

 Hello and welcome to my pool of light. I thought I'd share this photo (I've shown similar ones before)..firstly just to show you my ideal setting for my pool of light...I like to work with my laptop open and little black and white TV glowing, and a daylight bulb in the lamp. I love the strangely cocooned effect the darkness crates...and as the dusk progresses to darkness, outside I can see the boundaries of three counties...the sulphurous glow of orange streetlights stretch out to the horizon like a sea of stars...I set the self timer on my camera to take this pic...
I continue to work on the sky..but time has been limited today..Jan has gone to work in Hong Kong for a week, so I'm in charge! ( read between the lines there if you will !)...I had to get my son to wake up because he need to get to school for 10am to collect his GCSE exam results..I also need to go for my run (3 miles today)...when I got back Will had returned with his girlfriend. Will has all the results he need to go to the college of his choice ( already accepted ) and set out on the next stage of his plans to become a tatoo artist!

I then had to drive up into the Peak District to pick Annie up who was staying with friends in their caravan. Was beautiful to get into the country for a while. We drove back via a supermarket where I had to pick up a few essentials...(Cheese, eggs, alcohol..). then at home it was time to cook! So I really didn't get down to any serious work until this evening.
So here I sit at the end of yet another day..thankful that I have the opportunity to create my fantasies on paper and bring them to life...I wonder where it will all lead...I wonder if I'm just being self indulgent..but I'm sure of one thing...If I weren't doing this..I think I'd die.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teatime - 58

I've now completed 190 hours on this piece..and with a long long way to go yet, I can estimate that around 300 hours will be needed to finish the picture.I'm actually working quite well at the moment achieving around 5 hours on average per day. It's quite tiring and I need to take plenty of breaks.I'm rapidly reaching the point where I need to decide how I'm going to fill the windows in...will I have them illuminated? I also need to consider how dense the smoke from the engine will be...will it be dark or light?...decisions decisions!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teatime - 57

Just progressed the sky a little further today and filled in a couple of planets...I think I'll need to deepen the shadow on the planets at some point!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Teatime - 56

Well...I'm back again! Had a wonderful week in North Berwick in Scotland where we did lots of lovely things including visiting the Edinburgh Festival, the newly opened Museum Of Scotland..ate and drank an awful lot with our good friend's Kay and John...and were taken out on John's boat to try our hand at sea fishing. I don't mind admitting it was one the most terrifying things I've ever done ..I was reluctant to go with everyone, but I was swayed by the lure of seeing Puffins which nested on a nearby island. I have no explanation for the fear I felt..I'm usually quite able to reign in my fear and be rational...but this was wholy irrational and had absolutely nothing to do with the competence of our hosts...I tried realy hard to concentrate on all the factors that meant we would be safe ( which of course there was no doubt we wouldn't be)...but I couldn't help it....I clung onto anything I could..I was an absolute and total 'Big Girl's blouse'!!....but I beat the fear in the end and came through time i'll know what to expect!

We sailed out and around the famous Bass Rock (see photos) which is home in the summer months to tens of thousands of Gannets who nest there each year...then to Fidra upon which the Puffins nest...however after getting caught in some very choppy sea and buffeted around, it became apparent that the Puffins had migrated some time before!

at least the sea calmed a little later and Jan and Annie were handed the rods to do some fishing. they caught around 27 Mackerel which when we got home, they gutted! Kay put some of the fish in a smoking oven and barbecued others. they were delicious!

Back home now and back to can see the progress I've made on the sky today having completed around 5 hours of dotting.

John preparing the boat for transfer to the water...Annie in the foreground...Kay on the boat.

At sea approaching the Bass Rock

Up close, you can see the huge amounts of Gannets airborne as well as on the nests.

Here's Jan gutting one of the Mackerel

Here we all are enjoying a glass of red!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Teatime - 55

Here's a close up of the first stages of work on the sky, you'll also see that as I mentioned yesterday, the upper border has now been established (see below) and it alters the whole feel of the picture making it a little more concentrated.

This will be the last posting for a week as we're off to stay in North Berwick which is a favourite holiday destination for our family. North Berwick is close to Edinburgh, so we're intending to visit the Fringe festival and see some comedy. If you wish to keep up with what I'm doing and some photos...check in to my Facebook page. So until I return, I hope you have a lovely week!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Teatime - 54

Having completed the carriage I can begin work on the 'everything else'!...Since I took this photo, I've mapped out various background details and have decided on where to end the picture at the top of the page...The border will be lower than you see here making the format more 'letter box' if you know what I mean?

whilst out for my run this evening ( 3.25 miles)..I had a great flash of inspiration for part of my next picture...OK, so I know I often have flashes and they never materialise...but  they do feature in my sketch book and there they often reside until they're needed. So I'm not promising anything, but hopefully when this piece is finished I can show you what I've been inspired with. Incidentally, it was because of something someone said to me..was it you?...stay tuned!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Teatime - 53

Another 5 hours of unrelenting dotting...mainly on the bridge and the's fairly mindless work but in another way, it's quite hypnotic. I also listen to I was able to listen to radio coverage of the second day of the third test Match between England and India..

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Teatime - 52

I worked for just over 6 hours today on the bridge..I'm quite pleased with the effect and the fact that I was able to spend so long a time on it...I decided I'd have a rest day from Power Walking /running. Below is a closer look at the area i've worked's now quite weird looking at the 'me' from early May..I look nothing like that now!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Teatime - 51

Monday, August 08, 2011

Teatime - 50

Just working on the carriage's rather laborious but necessary! I also had to take my car to be serviced and have it's MOT...which it passed . I was also really pleased to see that I've now lost just short of 3 stone!! My power walks continue , but I've begun to concentrate on running as well...this evening I ran 2.8 miles...I usually run in the evenings, the dusk making the streets more ethereal and magical!

I earlier discovered this interesting magazine cover featuring singer Jessie J...nice dress!.In view of my current picture and my often featured 'Starman', I thought I'd include the image here!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Teatime - 49

I'm working on the carriage..I'm keen to let the stars around Europa's head be seen to glow slightly.I'm also turning my thoughts to the space to the right of the girls...I have two alternatives to go there..perhaps i'll find a way to incorporate them both.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Teatime - 48

I'm so glad I did that Technical drawing 'O'Level when I was at school..(I got an 'A' grade!)..So today's main duties were to lay the pencil work in for the carriage windows etc..and then continue the dot work around europa's head!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Teatime - 47

It might not look like much to you, but I've really made a bit of a breakthrough on this mainly with the first work on the stars around ...(I'm calling her Europa')...Europa's head....having figures that are full of character and form are great....but they function fully when set in an environment...and today with the progress of the bridge up to Europa's head meant I could imagine what things were going to look like when I eventually finish.

The steam engine is almost finished...the detail in the cab is purposefully left for now until I work on the sky and steam...I shall also add in the driver and fireman...depending inn the darkness of the sky..the cab could be illuminated by the fire.

I know I'm getting a few hundred hits on this site each week, but very few don't be shy..let me know what you think..tell me what you like to'd be amazed at how many of my pictures came into being because of comments people have made!

See you again tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Teatime - 46

You can see I've worked on the engine again today and nearing completion...the white areas at the front are where I have yet to work...then I'll add more shadowing...complete the cab area and then move on. Steam engines always figure in my life as you will be aware...steam, diesel..railways in general have always been apart of my life. They symbolise many things and as an allegorical factor in my work, they fulfill many purposes.I am however rapidly coming to the conclusion that there are no destinies in life...there are no mapped out paths...they are only seen in retrospect and it is for our own need and sense of order and need to feel important in the scheme of things that we attach such meanings,. I however am beginning to think that life is just a random series of decisions, events, and our reactions to these which sometimes happily lead to pleasing sates or more often than not..dissatisfaction. ...just a thought.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Teatime - 45