Feb 15, 2011

The Last Ball of Red Wool - Revisited.

I once wrote a very bad book called The Last Animator.

The book was about a chap (our hero) who was locked in a cell with a fellow named Newton. Newton had this habit of banging his head against the cell bars incessantly - and when I say incessantly I mean incessantly.

 Day in, day out. Minute after minute, hour after hour. Incessantly he banged his head. Adfinitum. Circum maximus nauseum, bigtimeus.

Eventually our hero, whose one heroic quality was that he could make wonderous fantasical animations with his mind, was driven mad by the constant 'boink, boink, boinking' of Newton's skull against the iron bars.

It was a sad book. A bit like 'War and Peace' meets 'Dr Zeus'. 

Sad or not, I'm sure it might have been a best seller had any of the fifty six publishers I sent it too been intelligent enough to have to published. It was a cutting edge novel that would have sent people to the shrinks in droves. The novel would have boosted the  global economy like a ripe progesterone inflated hen sitting on a small New Zealand geyser - and we would not have had the stockmarket crashes of 1987, 1991 and 2006.

But all jokes aside, writing  that book for me was either cauterizing, cathartic or cathetizing - depending on your viewpoint.

But one thing the book was most defintely not - was a 'coif'.

Now 'coif' is an interesting word.

"Coif' may sound familiar because it sounds like "coiffer' - like in hairdresser - partic. usage:  "to be coiffed" per example: "I was coiffed nicely at the ball by Roger de Vanderbongl".

As you can see it's sort of French, and oddly enough is the thing that circa 1066 the Norman's put on their heads before doing their 'thing' at the Battle of Hastings. Consequently it was usually made of chain mail. Along with their hauberk and chausses, the coif was 'de rigger' in medieval combat.

But how does that fit in with my novel?

Well it fits in in all three ways!

Obviously a coif in itself, being a prophylactic device ( prophylactic def:  acting to defend against or prevent something)  was a type of anti-cauterising object - in that it negated the need to be cauterised because if you were lucky you didn't get any head cuts.

Also in it's way it was cathartic, because it helped heal old emotional wounds, expecially if you were the Duke William  of Normandy whose feelings had been hurt by the nasty English who didn't want to give him their throne.

As for 'catheterizing"? (def: to introduce a catheter into a body cavity.) For that we must turn to the English side. So in King Harold's (the English King's) case, you can say he was cathetrized orbitally with a Norman arrow. The Normans were the 'catheterizes", King Harold was the 'catheteree" and, finally, the arrow was the 'cathetererer". And in a way Harold was also cauterized.

Consequently, it all fits together. Catheter, cauterise and catharsis - especially if you know anything about the Battle of Hastings.

 If you know nothing about it, well you probably think I am raving on.

Now, while we are on the subject, another thing a 'coif' is not is a 'sweater."

So, though the Illustration Friday prompt this week is "Sweater' and though these dwarves appear to be knitting sweaters, they should in fact be disqualified because they are merely knitting 'coifs".

I guess the caption is something like:

"It was a bad night, the night of the fifteenth, when Gerald Drawblehood, Captain of the Dwarven Knitting Association (Men's Division) announced to his half brother Cedric, that they were down to their last ball of red wool."

Thank you for looking. I will come visiting tomorrow promise. As soon as I have seen my shrink. :_

Happy Tuesday. Err I mean Wednesday. And I apologise to all those people who have visited to see this post already, to find it vanished. :(

Oh and check this site out! http://martavicente-dibujos-pinturas-objetos.blogspot.com/

Which I found through Don Roberto's blog.


  1. :-) nice history about your book..
    the illustrations are great, I wonder always how do you do, tio made somthings so nice an magic!

  2. No matter what these dwarves are knitting, I find they're managing pretty well! They are so solemn and concentrated, as if this is a matter "of death and life". I like the different points of view you give us, the play with light and the sunflowers as a background - so unusual for the common places dwarves inhabit and giving such an energy to the whole! Where's Snow-white?! She's the one to knit the sweaters, I think!:O)

  3. Magical work Andrew!
    You are so talented

  4. Andrew. GPS works!! 1
    (I never had much confidence in these modern devices but you have to believe or burst, as the old gaucho's saying )
    Sorry, I'll be back, to read word for word and try to interpret everything that you've written here, you know I am a poor Patagonian Indio, which only can speak their language. and I translate English with this plague called Google
    Did I told you my real indian name?,listen: "Condor Flies Like a Jet, Looking from Above a Mouse for Breakfast" but the translation is: roberto

  5. Andrew, are these the seven dwarfs' cousins? They certainly don't look grumpy. The dwarf on the far right, what is that extending from his leg, or is that his leg or boot? I like the cat sitting cozily among them. Ah I wish you do get to publish a book with your current illustrations now. It will no doubt be full of giggles and laughs.

  6. All the twists and turns are very enjoyable. Images, words, ideas, history. Skip the shrink, buy more wool, knit a coif to sieve your thoughts. Just a suggestion.

  7. I love the red in all these pieces, and the vantage point in the first. Maybe you were just ahead of your time with that book? Such a shame it wasn't published since it would've fixed the world economy. Maybe there's still time?

  8. wow, Dr. Seuss meets War and Peace, that must have been some book. I just can't imagine why they didn't want to publish it ;) because I am sure that it was fabulous. I love this illustration, their hoods, their shoes and the knitting needles, are all great touches. Wonderful work Andrew!!!

  9. Look good. We'll let you off the fact they're knitting coifs!

  10. Amazing
    thank you for sharing

  11. Laura hey you know I was getting excited about meeting you in Marrickville ! That would be strange! Thank you for your kindness. How I work? I just make puppetts in 3d and photograph them - all digitally.

    Nothing I make is real, not like your work.

  12. Hey Rossicheeka, thankyou so much for thinking of me and letting me win one of your give aways . Everybody is jealous :) Oh these dwarves are very serious - it is a serious thing to be a drwarven knitter. I forgot all about snow white you know .... :) thanks for the idea!

  13. Hehe Roberto, that is funny. Yesterday whilst coming back from the surf I met a woman doing tai chi in a bush - yes and accacia longifolio. She said hi. I said hi. She knew I was looking at her strangely. She had a GPS, She was doing something called geocacheing. She read it on the interenet. there was something hidden in this bush (it was about five feet wide and thick). I bet she is still there today.

    I forgot to warn her about black snakes. They live in bushes like that...

  14. Hah Ces, I just wrote the same thing on your blog about your book. Oh maybe I have PSP? Or is it EMS? You never know at my age - maybe I have ABC?

    No, never that. Oh that thing in his lap. Yes I see what you mean. It is a sock actually. :) Trust me to sordify an image accidently :)

  15. These things just appear by themselves in my work.!

  16. AHA views! Thanks that is funny. Yes I do rave on, and I am promising I must not let it happen again. In fact I think I will coif myself when the next ball of red wool gets in off the ship.

    But at least I know that socks are really in the rings of Saturn - courtesy of your work. :)

  17. Linda thank you. I have become used to making them all drab so it was fun to do them red. Yes the book was very bad - much worse than the global economy :)

  18. Karen hey I got waylaid by a huge thunderstorm at work - the water is lapping at the door. Dr Seuss - oh he sends shivers down my spine :) Thanks for your kind words on my work. Again! :)

    see you!

  19. Frances - it is true I was going to do a man sitting in a sweat tub and it looked silly. My next choice was actually the French Revolution with them cutting off heads while the old ladies did their knitting. I don't know how I got dwarves :)

  20. Skizo hey it was good to see your new work this morning :)

  21. Hi Andrew, I'm glad your post reappeared! Thanks for your very kind comment on my drawing being the IF "pick of the week". I'm pretending that I don't know that it's a completely random selection...ha.

    I love this piece - the red really sings to me as well. Visiting your site is such an escapist delight.

  22. Oh my pleasure. It's a lovely inspired zen work that piece you did. Thank you for your kindness in liking the red :)

    PS I have promised to to write gibberish with my posts in the future :)

  23. It would have been so easy for you to lie and tell us they are knitting sweaters. I appreciate your honesty :)
    The atmosphere is so relaxing, with that light and these guys knitting...if the birds don't make much noise could be the perfect place to take a nap in the afternoon.
    Newton sounds like a mysterious character. Is he somewhat related to Thomas Jerome Newton?

  24. andrew, i think you're telling me a red lie.
    me like it xD

  25. Hi Andrew!! jajaja I didn't Know anything about the Battle of Hastings so I think you're raving on....;) Good luck with your next 57 editor, perseverance is a gift and gives fruit...By the way, I loved the story...

  26. Andrew! My word, you are a marvel. The vantage point of the first image is superb, and then to see all of the details is just marvelous. You are a master at cats by the way. My goodness those publishers missed out on a best-seller! It's only a matter of time before it hits the shelves Andrew. I'm always at a loss for words with your wondrous posts and illuminations, Andrew (I am always in awe!). : )

  27. PS - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog header. This one really sings to me.

    PPS - thank you for the link via Roberto! Wonderful work..

  28. Hey Andrew. I do not think when I paint, if the color is blue pthalo, or green pthalo, ha ha. I am an automaton, which put colors on paper... and water was dripping, and my shirt is stained, and I drop the brushes to the ground, and the phone rings, and I put my foot on the tube W & N, (so expensive they are), and my wife call me: "Robert, come for coffee, and I give it two strokes more ... poof !!!!!
    and when completed my watercolors, I see that I painted with pthalo green, and blue pthalo!!
    And my wife says: You always paint the same colors"!!!!!!!
    Sorry, your wife never liked my watercolors :(((((
    (I can paint one specially for her, with, orange, yellow and cobalt blue.)
    Oh, here is raining!!!!!!
    and my dog got wet, and he have a terrible smell of dog!

  29. Og, gracias! Tú eres un magnífico artista!!

  30. Andrew. I saw that you made a link to the blog of Marta Vicente. (and mine, thank you) she is the wife of a friend, Luis Scafati, great artist from my country, like her.
    Always worth going to see what she does. She is one of the people whom I admire what she does.

  31. You spin an excellent yarn, my friend! If your work here is any indication of the storytelling in your Animator novel, you must sign me up for an advance copy, tout de suite. I am admiring your wonderful dwarves. Their coifs are quite chic, perhaps enough to make an enemy stop in admiration for a split second, just long enough for them to make a quick hack to the knees. I do hope there is enough yarn left in that last ball of wool to cover the last guy's noggin. I love all the intricate branches behind them. And the plants and birds! Seems like a tranquil place for them to knit in unison. Oooh, and the kitty's fur! Wonderful texture. So soft. Another incredible piece, Mr. Finnie! You make ME very, very afraid.

  32. Andrew,
    I definitely do not know anything about the 'Battle of Hastings', and I think I still do not know after reading your explanation! hahahah
    but I consider justified the issue with the illustration ;))

    I loved the idea of a distinct group of dwarves to knit with one ball of the red! the caps of different prints, beautiful!
    I miss looking at the details, the cat, flowers, expressions of the faces ...
    the last picture in shades of black, very nice!
    That's it!
    rainy greetings from SP!

  33. hahah :D andrew that is CRAZY!!!
    the only one male follower is Bogglesnatcher xD
    kinda my fave person :D

    ps: i know what the cat is doing there, the scent of the lanolin reminds the cat of his mother.

  34. Here in your land i can see dragons, faeries, gnomes, and other creatures beneath the earth that make words with hammers, bars that refuse to serve dwarfs, a shooting star that shoots back, a fountain like the one in Tír na nÓg that makes you young, a sea made of tears from every lover like me who never loved, a silver boat with a sail made of pages from all the books that were never written.

  35. Andrew, yours is not a problem, to consult an eye doctor, yours is a psychologist problem. I have the same problem, but I do not believe in psychologists. they always blame the parents, or children, (someone has to take the blame) and the guilt of my drawings are all mine. :)
    It was about the weekend hallelujah!
    (I'll try the umber + pthalo)

  36. Andrew, excelente tu trabajo, muy sensible todo lo que realizás, los claroscuros son muy sugerentes. Gracias por tu visita, un abrazo desde Argentina.

  37. Hi Andrew,
    Il est vraiment dommage que vous n'ayez pas réussi à faire publier votre livre et je ne désespère pas... un jour il sera peut-être dans les bacs.
    A voir les extraits, quel travail magnifique ! Quel privilège nous avons de les admirer...
    J'aime l'attitude du chat, prêt à bondir... je suppose qu'il voudrait jouer avec la pelote de laine...
    Vos nains sont géniaux... Il y en a un qui est peut-être presbyte !?... il a gardé ses lunettes de myope sur le front! J'aime le souci du détail...
    Gros bisous

  38. Finally I get the time to visit you again.
    How rare. I mean, I´ve done my fair share of knitting, and not once have I met elderly, short men knitting together like this. My Dad just retired, maybe I should suggest he take up knitting. I mean, it looks very social :-)
    Great work as always, Andrew. I really admire your way of presenting old ideas in new formats.

  39. Oh, you ARE a tonic to my humors!!

  40. sin palabras, que gran conocimiento de la luz, genial


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