Saturday, 23 March 2013

2003/2004 - Photography

So it seems I was quite into photography in 2003.

After finishing my graphic design course at college I followed my group of friends and moved over to North Devon. With lots of new sights to see and such grand sweeping scenery it’s kind of not surprising I grabbed a camera and indulged in being snap happy.
Although I should probably mention the camera I had at that time was an ancient SLR, actually it was an Olympus Trip35 that looked pretty much like this:

However I seem to recall my Olympus having a plastic shutter lever next to the lens as opposed to on top of the body as well as a few other minor differences, anyway, point being it was ancient back then and is probably currently on show in a museum somewhere today.

Now despite the fact that this camera was likely made in the 60’s and spent most of its life gathering dust in my dad’s cupboard until he gifted it to me and despite the fact that it was an entirely manual camera with limited functions encapsulated in a reassuringly rickety case that would often pop open and ruin entire sections of film, plus the fact that the winding mechanism would get stuck midway on intermittent negatives - I have to say it was the best damned camera I have ever owned!

Here’s what happened one day when unbeknown to me the film inside wasn’t clipped properly into its runners and hence only wound forward every second or third exposure:

Yep, a happy accident probably caused me to take the best experimental photo’s I’ll ever produce in my lifetime!

That’s not to say it didn’t take a cracking photo on other occassions, here’s a few from my visit to the Broomhill Sculpture Park in Illfracoombe that year, quite an inspirational place to wander around if you like sculpture.

Certainly some interesting work on display and yes this is how I looked in 2003. Hopefully this is only how I looked specifically for the few seconds the photo was taken, jeez what an awful picture! Bit of a shame as I really liked the sculptured I was standing in front of.

I also found these intriguing: 

My mum was visiting (sorry hope you don’t mind me posting a pic of you mum!) I like the way she was unknowingly mirroring this sculpture ^^

Funnily my favourite photo from this day trip wasn’t a sculpture but one of reflections: 

I rarely frame a shot as well as this; it was such a pleasure to see once I got the film developed. I had always intended to turn this particular photo into a painting but sadly never got around to it.

One photo I did end up painting was this:

(Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the painting I created, since it is currently in England)

Now that’s a ye old warming filter i.e. bit of yellow plastic I held in my spare hand whilst taking the photo – which is trickier than it sounds with a clunky old shutter switch.

Also that was a real butterfly that coincidentally died on my windowsill with its wings spread open. Obviously when I found it my first thought must have been, must put this on fruit and capture the moment! As I’m sure most people think when they find dead insects in the house…

That aside this photo was taken in a small village called Braunton. I was renting the upper/attic level of a fantastic old house, I remember the ceiling was so low up there I could touch it if I stretched upwards and there was an odd walk-in cupboard space in the living area with a mid-level doorframe that meant even I had to crouch down to get inside.

Incidentally I spent a lot of time painting inside that quirky little cupboard space as it was the best place to store my large dragon painting. (That’s also currently in England and I’m working on get a photo of it) This is also the room in which my water tiger painting was created, mostly in the dark, seeing as the only windows were an angled skylight in the stairwell, a small one in the bedroom and a single glass pane in the bathroom.

This was the one in my tiny bathroom:

Quite the view :)

Speaking of views I will leave you with one final image from my 2003 photography splurge.

We travelled everywhere in a bright orange Beetle in those days, exploring the coast with no particular place to be. Hence this image typifies the closing of a journey; travelling back to nowhere as the sun dips lower with rose-tinted memories of a day well-spent.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Regarding the Title

Ok so as some of you may be aware I have been super busy setting up the Spire Art website and finally getting a couple of ACEO’s up for sale on eBay – hurrah! However in between of all that I have scarce had time to turnaround, let alone find and fix the relevant images for the next post here at The Glass Spire, argh!

Still, so as not to disappoint I thought I’d elucidate the meaning of this site’s title.

So why is it called The Glass Spire? I hear you cry alongside the many other imaginary voices in my head. Well ok, whilst the title IS related to my writing it also has a couple of other nice meanings for me too. 

Firstly the novel part: we have a large city of trade called Draygun at the centre of which is…you guessed it, a great glass spire! There isn’t one specific line that details the spire so here’s a few chopped up excerpts of how it’s described in tale, ‘Draygun’s great glass spire/ representing a church of sorts, the building shears into the sky like a shimmering corkscrew/masterfully layered with a mosaic of green glass tiles, dotted with tiny broken windows/it coils heavenward, and glints brilliantly in the bright morning sun.’

Secondly I associate the both glass and the word spire with art: glass makes me imagine things that catch the eye and are beautiful yet fragile, things that should be handled with great care and respect, whilst a spire literally shoots up towards the heavens, it is a goal, an apex, and an integral part of creative words such as aspire and inspire. It also phonetically contains the word ‘pyre’ which is great as it makes me think of intense fire, the passion of creativity and when I have off days, dumping gasoline on the whole lot, lighting a match and watching it burn!

 Quite cathartic as I’m sure fellow artists will agree. ^^

Saturday, 2 March 2013

2002 - my room

So what was I doing in March 2002? Well completing this as it happens...

 Yep this was the spare room in our shared house at the time so I er, painted it!
I haven't worked on this scale since then and I remember the surface of the wallpaper (a hideous green chipboard) being awful to work with, bear in mind I was using cheap poster paints and the chipboard was so greasy I had to paint several layers which would then crack and flake off - yargh, nightmare!! >.<

 That little butterfly was my attempt at some relief work. I simply painted up a cut bit of a cereal box and I can't recall where I found the silver chain....anyhoo it worked a treat as guests (after the intial freaking out at the size of the painting/the fact that this ghostly figure was directly in the open doorway) would, from a distance, mistake it for a real flutterby ^^ awesome!

 Tilted photo so you can see the smoke rushing up onto the ceiling.

Daww I look so young!!
Still I wasn't any less vertically challenged then than I am now so we can safetly conclude that the ghostly figure is 5ft 2in tall.

 Yes I only got rid of that jacket and those jeans when I moved to Canada last April *ahem* lol

 Yep that's the right hand wall so you can see how the ghostly figure would be spooky in the middle of the night when the door was left open hehe.

 Also yes, that green hand is the original colour of the wallpaper, gross.
Included this one so you can better see the wee arch windows at the top and mannequins on the stairs.

 And lastly how the two pieces fitted together, or not as the case may be.
I was once asked, 'but what does it all mean?' In all honesty I didn't know then and am no wiser now, it was just something I wanted to paint in that room, like er, what I saw when I went in there and imagined what should be on the walls. 

Make of it what you will :)