Jul 30, 2010

Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.

Then up Jack got and home did trot
As fast as he could caper;
To Old Dame Dob who patched his nob
With vinegar and brown paper.

Jill came in and she did grin
To see his paper plaster;
Mother vexed did whip her next
For laughing at Jack's disaster.

Now Jack did laugh and Jill did cry
But her tears did soon abate;
Then Jill did say that they should play
At see-saw across the gate.

Well who am I to say? I never knew that about old Dame Dob. This work is a WIP for the Imaginary Mother Goose. I'm also playing with bird sign, the harbingers of doom by the feel of it.

You might also be interested in this poem called Fragment of a didactic poem on the Latin grammar by A.E. Housman. It's tongue in cheeck and ribald in parts, so I'll just give you a clean bit or two. You can find the rest here.

The hero first the strong compulsion feels,
And finds his head supplanted by his heels;
In circles whirled he thunders to the plain,
Vain all his efforts, all his language vain,
Vain his stout boots and vain his eyebrows dark,
And vain, oh vain, his vaccination-mark.
The inverted pail his flying form pursues,
With humid tribute and sequacious dews
(So, through affrighted skies, o'er nations pale,
Behind the comet streams the comet's tail).
The prudent fair, of equilibrium vain,
Views, as he falls, the rotatory swain.
Exhilaration heaves her bosom young,
Tilts the fine nose, protrudes the vermeil tongue,
Bids from her throat the silvery laughters roll
And cachinnations strike the starry pole.
Gnomes! her light foot your envious fingers trip
And freeze the titter on the ruby lip.
The massy earth with strong attraction draws,
And Venus yields to gravitation's laws;
From rock to rock the charms of Beauty bump,
And shrieks of anguish chill the conscious pump.

Thanks for looking again. :)

Jul 29, 2010

Telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Wondering what type of sick man makes 'art' like I do?

Well, this is me.

I've had the beard for about eight years. And just shaved it off yesterday - and already am in mourning.

I really miss it you know.

Not only was great for scaring little kids and making old ladies cry out in alarm - it was like an old friend, in that it kept me warm in winter, had the aroma of home grown tobacco mixed with spilt beer, and gave me something to hang onto on our nightly drop-bear hunting expeditions (you probably know that Australian drop-bears are extremely vicious creatures who can bite your head of with one chomp - and I get nervous).

Of course the dagger is plastic - but I always have trouble convinceing the airline attendents to let me keep in when I fly - even on domestic flights. I hope now that my face is naked they'll  warm to me more. They might even let me keep the fake samurai sword I am attempting to hide with my left arm in the pictures.

This photograph was taken after a few days of slashing rare rainforest timber in the tropics of Northern Queensland.

After a entire eight hour day day murdering small trees I like to relax with a large glass of green lolly water and try and find the interesting and unusual insects that have lodged in my beard sometime in the proceeding week. Of course, like all timber cutters, I don't have a conscience - but sometimes I have strange dreams.



Oh, if you are jealous of my beard, and wondering where you can get a similar one - try here.
Of course if you grow one, let me know. I would love to see it.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post. You are all wonderful, scintillating and beautifully intelligent people.

Jul 24, 2010

Illustration Friday: "Double." (Double Walker Doppelganger)

Hello. My name is Heinrich Doppleganger, it's Sunday morning - and I have a bad hangover.

 The little boy in this pictures is my son, Woody. 

Woody of course is famous for being the model for Pinocchio in The Adventures of Pinocchio novel.

Carlo "Collodi" Lorenzini (the author) only met Woody once. But that was enough.

Collodi didn't discover everything about my boy though.

For example, he never discovered that Woody was in fact a real live boy with a bad skin condition (rosaceau oakenwoodiosis) .

And of course Woody's nose was fake. Everyone in the village knows that!

We'd had it made by the local carpenter Padacious Pedro, to replace Woody's original one - which had been bitten off by one of the village maidens (the priest's illegitimate daughter I believe) during a prolonged attack of 'petit mal".

Collodi also didn't discover that Woody was a wonderful poker dancer.

And that he was in great demand with girls of a certain height, weight, religion and inclination - who all thought he would make an ideal marrigae partner (marrigae being a dance) - and would come in handy if they ran out of wood during those cold winters we get around here (Vladastan).

And about me?

Well according to this site, "Doppelganger" is German for "double walker" - a shadow self that is thought to accompany every person. Only the owner of the doppelganger can see this phantom self, and that it can be a harbinger of death. 

We all have to go sometime. Just be careful when you are looking in the mirror.

Thank you for commenting on my self fulfilling prophecy. Be back soon and thankyou proper like. :) I'm having a bit of trouble trying to reply today ugh. 

Jul 23, 2010

Mother Goose and the Self Fulfilling Prophecy

"The wizard Brian Benderstein Snr on a wild goose chase"

Just did this for fun tonight before going out for dinner. I think I'm going to be late!
 In this one I'm working up 'self fulfilling prophecy." Brian Snr has been sitting in the drawer for a month waiting for his chance.

Thanks for looking.
PS it's only a pretend book!

Jul 22, 2010

Captain Robinson's Expedition to Lightfoot Sound 1886

Looking through my grandfather's old photo albums last night and this post card fell out.....

Well, to be precise, it slithered out like a very large silverfish, hit me on the leg, then slid across the floor. When I finally managed to retreive it from the dust and mice poo under the fridge I discovered that it was an old photograph of a dirigable.

It took me only a moment to realise that the dirigable on the card is almost exactly the same as the one in the image which starts this post.

I felt a bit odd when I saw it - it's too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence, if you know what I mean. I heard that music they play in scary movies - you know, it sounds like : "ooooheeeeeeeheeeeeeeeehhhhhhhooooooaaahhhh ---- errre" (you have to say that out loud).

There's not much on the back of the card - just that the photograph was taken by Lala Deen Dayal.

Lala Deen Dayal it turns out, was a famous Indian photographer of the time. He was well known for photographs of camels, of the Viceroy of India in unusual yoga poses and sumptuous interiors of the Bashir-bagh Palace.

It was less well known that he had a fetish for dirigables. The correct name I believe is "amoria dirgibalitanes".

 Interestingly : "the word fetish is derived through the Portuguese feitiço from the Latin factitius (facere, to do, or to make), signifying made by art, artificial (cf. Old English fetys in Chaucer). From facio are derived many words signifying idol, idolatry, or witchcraft. Later Latin has facturari, to bewitch, and factura, witchcraft. Hence Portuguese feitiço, Italian fatatura, O. Fr. faiture, meaning witchcraft, magic. (from Catholic Encyclopeadia)"

Hmmm... meanwhile back on subject:

I don't know what Lala Deen Dayal was doing in Lighfoot Sound though, as it's about two thousand miles from India. The stamp is Canadian; and the post card was sent by a General A.W. Cutler.

I'll have to look more into this one. I couldn't find out much about Captain Robinson either - but it's early days.

All in all? At the moment? A complete mystery. But tomorrow? Tomorrow is another day.

Thank you for looking. I hope you enjoyed your stay :)

PS thats 21 posts in 20 days. I have one to catch up......

Jul 21, 2010

Airship Quickie: Practicing my Crookedness, The Genuine Sieve of Eratosthenes

Well, thankyou to the talented and intelligent anon-a-mous artist who suggested "airship." My brain, unlike a sponge, is actually a sieve, and so this one nearly fell through. Fortunately the holes in my brain sieve, were, unlike The Sieve of Eratosthenes, too small to let an airship through. And as you know, an Airship is not a prime number.

Consequently I have...... an airship.
A crooked one at that.

And a crooked cluster of medieval buildings, similar to those which might have clustered around a crooked Notre Dame before Baron Von Haussman cleared the place up.

Just before I finished this image, the airship was very straight and in the plane of the viewer - and boring. I tried to distort the perspective, and that helped slightly - to make it look like it was moving away. Then I hit it with a very small amount of wave distortion. And that fixed the problem and made it sit in with the style of the buildings.

And lastly I added the birds. As an edit after the fact. What a difference a flock of birds maketh! So I included the image without birds (small image) for a omparison.

Gee, it's amazing what you learn when you should be cooking dinner - specifically I made this while I was waiting for my free range chook to cook ---- well, I nearly burnt the house down actually. But that's another story. I guess you should never hide newspapers in the oven when guests stop by on an unannounced visit.

Thank-you for looking at this. I was trying to make a post a day in July. I think I'm upto 20, and today is the 21st.... slipping!

Anyway, tomorrow is visiting day. Watch out :)

PS: thanks To Elizabeth  Seaver's advice on UV stabilisers I can start work soon on some digital transfers.

Jul 20, 2010

Little Betty, the Poor Leper Girl

                                               (Verses below from The Pied Piper of Hamelin, by Robert Browning)


They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

Once more he stept into the street
And to his lips again
Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
And ere he blew three notes (such sweet
Soft notes as yet musician's cunning
Never gave the enraptured air)
There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling,
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
Little hands clapping, and little tongues chattering,
And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering,
Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.

The door in the mountain-side shut fast.
Did I say all? No! One was lame,
And could not dance the whole of the way;
And in after years, if you would blame
His sadness, he was used to say,--
"It's dull in our town since my playmates left!
I can't forget that I'm bereft
Of all the pleasant sights they see,
Which the Piper also promised me.
For he led us, he said, to a joyous land,
Joining the town and just at hand,
Where waters gushed and fruit-trees grew,
And flowers put forth a fairer hue,
And everything was strange and new;
The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here,
And their dogs outran our fallow deer,
And honey-bees had lost their stings,
And horses were born with eagles' wings:
And just as I became assured
My lame foot would be speedily cured,
The music stopped and I stood still,
And found myself outside the hill,
Left alone against my will,
To go now limping as before,
And never hear of that country more!

note: Robert Browning has it wrong. It was Little Betty, the Leper Girl, who was left outside the mountain when the other children disappeared. (See Geronimicus, volume IX, The True Truth About Hamelyn)

note also : ref http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/hameln.html#grimm245  for general folklorish references to the Pied Piper.

All verses from

The Pied Piper of Hamelin
by Robert Browning

Thanks to Aspa, for the idea of making children's blocks from recycled children's books.
Thanks to Ces who encourages us all to think of  Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights in her own work.
And thanks to Ginger Pixels who's amazing work constantly reminds me (guiltily) that I should make my work more child friendly - one day!

Thankyou for everyone who commented on my last work.
I will be back asap. One for a visit and two to thankyou personally.


Jul 19, 2010

A Gold Tooth Named "Cedric"; Rats Instead Of Children; Some Methodology.

Rats Instead of Children?

Hello, thanks for looking at these.

They came about from doodles while I was chatting on the phone. Something that Coreopsis planted in my small brain.

I thought I might need a 'view' out the window one day, so I conjoured some up. They are variations on four different houses placed across a landscape, then treated differently in post processing. I've also thrown scattered lights at them to get some variations in the lighting, to dapple it up a bit - so to speak.

This is how I work. When I'm not doing an illustration I will be getting things ready for a future illustration. Like making an ugly child, in case I need one in the future. Or a cute dog with a silly hat....

About the Images:

The bottom left hand image is an example of what the render might look like a small amount of fiddling. (A 'render' is the image that I produce with my 3d modelling program.)

Initially, with the views over the house tops, I aimed for that French village feel that you might find round Haute Provence or maybe Languedoc (Language of  Oc .. isn't that amazing).

But of course I had that moon and a few birds just wanting to get into the pic, so there is a Japanese feel in some of them. Blame Hokusai. :)

For images 5 and 6, I thought I would change the weather a wee bit.

To make the rain? If you havn't seen a tut, here's one. In photoshop, fill a new top layer with black, render some 'noise' then do a motion blur at the correct angle to make the rain drops. This will stretch the dots of noise into small rectangles. Change the layer parameter to 'screen' - then play with the contrast and opacity settings to brighten up the drops. Duplicate the layer, shift it a little so that it is not lined up with the original layer,fuzz it slightly, and you will have depth to the rain. You can also use the threshold filter to make it even more black and white if necessary.

The third image down has a mud texture overlayed in a new layer - I think it's parameter is 'overlay". Just for fun. It adds another dimension - a muddy dimension.

As far as the layout of the images. Sorry about that. It's the best I can do with blogger ..... ugh. :)

The two images below this text you are reading at the moment are early work on the Pied Piper. The surf was pretty good today, so I didn't have enough time to do the children following him. I did rats instead.

Rats instead of children?
Who would have thought?

Of course I made the big mistake of not putting his instument in his mouth. I wanted that marching band feel.
Oh well.... He had a tambourine as well, but that didn't last long!

The rats were fun todo, but the little blighters won't keep still....
If you are wondering how to do the rats as they are?
In my three d program I have four different rat models that I have placed in different poses on the landscape. Then I make a copy of the landscape in 3d and use what we call a surface replicator to replicate instances of those four rats over the landscape surface. I can make the random in size and angle, but cannot change the original poses.

I then make the landscape invisable and 'render' the rats en masse against a transparent background -so it is like blue screening on television. I then bring the render of the rats into my image which just has the pied piper and trees and  ground in it. I place a few different renders of the rats en masse around the Pied Piper and erase those that look a bit weird. I have probably used five layers of rats, one upon the other. I then adjust the lighting and contrast and colour to make them 'sit' better with the original work.

If you look closely some of the rats have missing heads, or two heads if they are lucky.
I think there are about eight hundred rats, but you can't see them all because I have cropped the scene quite visciously.

There is also one Rat with a gold tooth named Cedric somewhere near the back....
Bet you never heard of a  gold tooth named "Cedric" before?