Hello there. I hope you are all doing well and find plenty of occasion to fulfill yourself and get closer to your life's goal. I personally have had a bit of an art block recently and I feel the need to renew my curiosity and dig into new wells of inspiration. I am ok with that and I am getting ready for the next wave coming up my way. To maintain a healthy and consistent discipline while being isolated in the mountains and working home alone can be sometimes challenging, but here you go: one can find pros and cons to any situation.
I actually made a discovery last week while looking at a little sketch that grew organically, layer after layer over the course of the year. After doodling away on my travel sketchbook I finally came up with this image:
After I finally drew with ink this little character I felt I was onto something interesting at once narratively, aesthetically and conceptually. That gave me the impulse to experiment again in this direction but in a more deliberate manner. I picked a piece of nice, non textured, heavy paper and looked for a spontaneous composition aimed at exhibiting the layered effect of contrasting media. I wanted the media to interact like personalities interact with each other, so that every application retains it's autonomous purpose while leaving space to breath to the other marks. I decided to work as fast as possible (to safeguard the impression of randomness and organicity I had found in the original sketch) and one hour later I came up with this:
Graphite, ink, acrylics, color pencils, markers and oil paint all collaborated to harmoniously reveal this multi-dimensional visual space. Whatever story the overall image tells is up to each. The toughest decision to make regarding this kind of images is when to stop.
But it didn't stop here in fact, for some Photoshop magic had to be poured in there to complete the formula. At this stage in my use of photoshop I generally don't mess-up to much with my images, simply making adjustment here and there, probably by respect for the traditional arts. But little by little I am becoming less ashamed of transforming my productions and I take them a step further by giving them a "digital skin" of sort. So here is what I came up with at this point:
I basically inverted the colour scheme of the image. This is a drastic effect that I like. It does not work with every images, but in this instance I think it does add to the original without perverting the concept.
I will continue to experiment in this direction. And this actually motivates me to break free from my current art block. I hope you guys follow me on this one and that this kind of imagery is of interest to you. I would love to hear your comments on this. Do you prefer the original painting or do you actually think that the photoshoped version works even better? Don't be shy, and let me know, if you have the time, in the comment section.
That's it for today's Trail of colour. I hope this has been of interest to you (if it did please feel free to SHARE that on social media and with your friends) and I look forward to chatting with you about all that. Wishing you an inspired week ahead.
This is Adrien, signing off. Peace.
Hello dear reader. I hope you are now doing well on the other side of your screen. I want to show today a peek at my process while looking for a more defined portfolio. I came to realize that most successful illustrators have narrowed down their style and technique to a very defined and recognizable state both with the intention to stand out from the crowd and by a process of natural selection and refinement of their work.
The goal of a portfolio is to address a particular client or community using a visual language developed specifically for them in order for them to clearly and quickly make their mind about a possible compatibility between you and their project or philosophy or vision.
The way I want to work on that problem and try to speed up this process is by working on a series of sketchbooks each dedicated to one specific audience, and by addressing the same topics throughout to see what difference comes out when I want to visually say the same thing to different groups.
So I picked six different audiences which are: young children (2 to 7 years old), children (8 to 12), young adults (12 to 18), adults (18+), editorial (work for magazines and newspapers) and educational (work for all ages, user manuals, schooling books, etc).
There are other varieties of audiences out there, such as street murals and publicity and all kinds of sub-groups in each category, but in general these are the ones I would be interested to work for.
I picked as well twenty-three different topics such as space, time, liberty, nature/culture, senses or seasons amongst others.
The way I organised myself is simple: spend three days with one audience, sketching for it one topic a day. Meaning two audiences per week, three weeks to cover three topics for all audiences. I scheduled this research to end by the beginning of August this year.
The goal is to let my imagination run freely but within precise constraints, let the research unfold itself, observe what themes I am most in phase with, and which audiences I am most comfortable to address myself to. I want to know better to whom I am best made to communicate with and how.
Hopefully by the end of this process I will be able to show work with better communication and transferability (or empathy) designed into it.
This is an ambitious program and like everything it is not exactly going as planned. Well in fact it is, for I managed quite well so far to stick to my schedule. But the difficulties encountered where not as much expected. Let me show you now a few examples of what I have done. I will then end the article by letting you know what I find most difficult with this research.
Keep in mind that everything you are about to see is early morning sketching, first roughs and raw ideas. This isn't a super personal, gutty work, but this is pure backstage reveal. So be ready for crappy stuff and inconsistencies in design. I have decided to show you today the research down on the topic of mass.
Let's start with the young children sketches.
Now let's look at the sketches done for children.
I know I can be a little more logical and present more precise things to this age group. This is Mr Vroom, a character that is beginning to follow me now for a while and of which I have made a few drawings. With this one, I think children can get a good sense of the interaction of masses. It is rather playful and also communicates a clear sense of what is at play with the concept.
And now the sketches for the young adults group.
The young adult group is a challenging one for me. I think teenagers include a huge amount of sub-groups with different interests and already strong senses of aesthetic. The whole comics style is out of my reach as well as the realistic one. So honestly I don't really know how to approach this group but through humour and symbolism. This two sketches are nevertheless successful in their own way. They depict a good sense of the concept through representation of elevation, descent, fall and suspension, which are all various states of mass and it's interaction with gravity.
Here the sketches made with the adult audience in mind:
I know with the adults age group I can be more indirect in my approach. Here I treat the topic of mass media. Although these drawings are boring to me, I remember being not very inspired this morning, they show the potential behind the use of metaphor.
Now the sketches for editorial illustration.
Not a super inspired day either but what a hell. Editorial illustration is something of a riddle to me, still. Its treatment depends very much on the topic and for what kind of magazine it is for. There is no definitive style to look for but rather some kind of corky way to represent concepts so meaning strikes like a bolt and the image fulfills a complementary and balancing role to the text being illustrated. This is anyway an area where I wish I will find a niche in and in which I shall create many opportunities for myself I hope.
Here I treat the subject in a relatively abstract manner, with the intention to show speed and lightness of execution with economy of means.
And finally illustration for educational purposes:
This also a tricky area for me. Educational requires much economy in style, a strong understanding of the concept being depicted, and a very didactic, designy way of showing elements. One needs to be able to synthesis factors such as movement, series of actions, causes and consequences, and all sorts of abstract as well well as practical concepts, in a way that is visually playful, attractive, clear and non-confusing.
I don't think I quite made it with this sketch or any other I made so far for educational illustration. Not sure that's my cup of tea anyway. But no rush, four months more to go and research.
Here you go. I hope you found this article useful in some way. The biggest difficulty I have with this research is the swapping of styles and representational tools to adapt to each specific audience while keeping my identity, which I have to say is a little confusing to me at the moment. I am, anyway, happy to see this process unfolding as it shows me, as intended, my limits and my strengths and also keeps me engaged with a playful everyday routine. I have treated so far twelve topics and I am midway through my research.
I can't wait to read your comments. Please feel free to let us all know what this article triggers in you. Maybe you are embarked on some kind of long term research of your own, please share. I would love to read about it and start a conversation.
That's it for today's Trail of colour blog post. Wishing you a great week ahead and a multitude of happy little moments with those you love and with what you enjoy doing most.
This is Adrien, signing off. Peace and Regeneration to you all. See you next week.
Hello blog addict. I hope you are in great shape and condition, and that life is treating you as best as you can endure. Here, the capricious Irish spring makes its show of temperamental moods, as usual.
I have been busy lately, working on the release of four custom notebooks to be available on Red Bubble. Red Bubble is an online shop where artists can upload their designs on multiple products. I have ordered the journals for myself and I am very happy with how they came out. The books come in three versions, with lined, square or blank pages. The format is compact, smaller than a typical A3, quality print hardcover and 128 pages. The paper is smooth and only 90gsm, so no heavy watercolour painting on these. They are perfect for quick and discrete note taking, travel sketching or dream recollection.
This cover is from a watercolor painting I did some years ago. It is based on a photograph of Greenfields, the place where I used to live a few years back. Watercolor painting is a very subtle thing and a great medium to capture the essence of a moment. This one shows the sunset fading in the distance below another one of these temperamental Irish skies. My new logo can be seen on the back cover.
This double page cover is a composition made of a few of the figures I am putting together for a future book about madness, sanity, self-acceptance and tolerance. Titled Be yourself and of a mood completely different than the previous notebook: I hope this one inspires truthful thought and confident writing.
This image is titled Maria. It symbolizes the miraculous pregnancy one suffers after the touch of inspiration. An image made "by accident" which, I hope, inspires you greater clarity of mind and sharpness of aspiration. May the dreams you write in this book come true!
This image, titled Life goes on, was drawn collectively with my father, in a train headed to Paris, after the funeral of my grandfather. I colored it at home, in Ireland. I called it Life goes on. It is a parable of the cycle of the living and the dead, our purpose in life as well as in death. I hope this notebook inspires you more love for yourself and your family, and, as well, a strong sense of connection with the bigger picture.
You can go to the website shop, and click on the links provided to get to my profile on Redbubble and purchase them from there. I hope you will enjoy these notebooks as much as I enjoyed making them.
With Rebibble I can now print these designs on a multitude of products, from pillow to computer sleeves, mugs and what not. If anyone of you has a request for a particular product available on Redbubble, just let know and will make it available.
My next goal is now to put together a nice Patreon page and profile so anyone who wants to support my projects directly can do so. I will keep you updated on that soon of course.
Hoping to see you next week for another episode of Trail of colour, this is Adrien, signing off. Peace.
Hello there! Dear reader I hope you are doing well. What are you doing those days? Who are you? What is the project that carries you from day to day? How is your creativity doing? I would be delighted to hear your answers in the comment section. A good chat is always appreciated.
Between preparing for the launch of my Patreon page, working on the release on Red Bubble of four custom notebooks, keeping up with the reshaping of my portfolio and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle (later not always successfully), I have got to stretch myself up and get in the productive groove.
Today I want to show you the steps I took to make this image which is going to be part of these four upcoming custom notebooks.
My initial motivation was to get rid of a nervous feeling that built up from the frustration of not being able to deal with a certain study of Enki Bilal I was doing at the time. After destroying my failed attempt at reproducing one of Bilal's painting I decided to react and do it "my own way" and "no matter what comes up!". My plan then, was do explore Bilal's technique in a more personal way and experiment with the layering of different medium while letting each step apparent so to include the process in the final image. Somehow I began to draw this imaginary portrait, on this new "mixed media" paper I had recently got hold of. Midway, I realised I was not going at all where my first impulse was suppose to lead me. I kept struggling with hold habits of outlining, detailing at early stage, erasing and fixing instead of compiling and adapting. The subject turned out to be out of control, that is: I wanted it to look out of control, but I kept applying my good old inhibited standards and completely missed my point. How funny that is, even though it really didn't feel that way. I fell I was playing an sort of anti-game with myself, proving myself that in fact I can do things the old way in a secure manner instead of rolling free through a ground-breaking experiment.
This was the first step right after the initial graphite sketch, laying down the ground work with colour pencil:
The plan was to go much wilder and have coloured lines going all over the place. but you understand by now that's not how it went like. Once this step reach completion I knew things were not going to go as intended but that I had to change gear and comply to what was to be done.
The next step was done with acrylic paint on top of the colour pencil layer:
For the mid-layers, I usually like to use complementary colours of the final upper layers, but for some reason it didn't do it this time and the final layer done with oil paint was simply a refinement of the build I had laid down so far. I also clearly so at this stage the religious aspect of the figure and decided to go all in in this direction by putting gold on her aureole.
Here is the final image, after the oil paint layer was applied and varnished:
Considering my initial intent regarding this image and what I wanted it to be, I felt very disappointed by the end result. I nearly destroyed it, but refrained myself from doing so. A few weeks passed and I began to see this work with new eyes. I began to appreciate it for what it was and not what I wanted it to be. Finally, because I felt shy about it and still didn't want to "release it" and show it to the world, I decided to glue it on the cover of my "personal folklore" sketchbook. I love to personalize my sketchbooks, which are for me the most precious things I have. So here is how the sketchbook look after customization:
Finally, after publishing the image on my facebook page I realized, unexpectedly, that people were very fond of it. They appreciate the colour scheme, the atmosphere. I have to say that I was a bit shy to show it and unsure about people's reactions concerning it. But somehow, after all this process, this is a lesson for me. A lesson of acceptance of the will of an image, as if an image had its own will to be and one had to surrender to it to see it appear. And a lesson of letting go of one's judgement of things, and understand that people see and relate differently to an image one "creates", or puts together. (For I don't really understand the word create when it comes to art. But that's a topic for another blog.)
That's it for today. I hope you have enjoyed this episode of Trail of colour. I can't wait to read your comments. Feel free to share the post if you like.
Wishing you an exciting week ahead, full of little and big realisations!
Adrien Sourdot, signing off. Peace.
Hello dear reader and follower of the art.
I hope you are really feeling the spring kick and are having a great time dispensing these renewed energies around you and into the world. Today I want to take this opportunity to make an announcement: I will create my Patreon page very soon. It should be launched before the end of April.
If some of you wonder what is Patreon, it is a membership platform that allows you to become the patron of an artist you want to support and help to grow wings. It makes the relationship between an artist and his community a more direct and intimate partnership working together towards a common goal: free-up more time for the artist to do what matters and making it easier for him to share and provide more content to his community. By subscribing to a monthly donation a patron knows that he is now taking part in a collective effort to make the world a better place, filled with more beauty and words of peace. But not only that: patrons will receive access to exclusive content, early sale discounts and behind the curtain peeks shared by patrons only. As a patron you will really feel part of a community of people sharing together special content.
Great and admirable artists using Patreon, such as Iris Compiet, have reached a state now, where the weight of financial pressure is lifted for them to a point where they have all the time it takes to create with freedom of mind. I want to throw myself in this adventure with you guys. I want you to feel empowered by supporting my work. I want you to feel the actors to the growth of someone you want to see succeed, someone you know, someone you relate to.
My patreon page is now in development. I will keep you guys informed about its coming along. I will also ask for your help, in saying for example what kind of benefits you would like to see available to patrons and things like that. I am super stoke by this project and I hope you are too! My adventure is your adventure. The world is one and we will play our role in its unity!
On to this week's news about my work and discoveries:
I have been in touch with the Maple Youth Centre of Ballinrobe, the town nearby where I live. We are now working on putting together a drawing course for the afterschool and the young adult. This should be starting soon and, no need to say, I am super excited about that! Education and transmission matter to me very much, and to help spread the art and its know how is, I think, something super important and much needed in today's rushed world.
Also during my practice this week I went on and worked on a prototype for a logo for my brand. Here is the work in progress.
you I am looking for a logo that could reflect the qualities that I am trying to promote through my art. Something simple, anchored in the traditional, for the people, not too intellectual and rather positive. I kind of like the star dancing with the colour dots. I am super interested to know what you guys think of it, please let me know in the comment section below.
And finally, I did something this week I am actually quite proud of. While looking for elements of the logo I digressed, and draw this character which I later edited into a book cover. This is really something that strikes my imagination and I will continue to explore further in this direction concerning book covers for adult literature.
Here you go. This is it for today's blog post. I am looking forward to reading all your comments and feedbacks, and don't forget to share if you like. Wishing you a peaceful Sunday and a terrific week ahead. Until next Sunday's Trail of colour, this is Adrien, signing off. Peace.
Hello dear reader. A little update for you about what has been going on lately for me and my art.
I recently took a break away from home for four days to take part in what used to be called the Train the trainer workshop, now called Training delivery and evaluation. I was staying at my friends Donagh and Debby in Galway during that time. They are both friends from my years at art college in Galway. Donagh is a historian and archeologist. Donagh will work for the next six month as a guide at Aughnanure castle near Oughterard, county Galway, Ireland. Pay him a visit if you have the chance, this man is a living encyclopedia with a great sense of humour. Deddy, on her side, is an multidisciplinary visual artist and weaver. She works now with groups of children on a parade to be happening next June in Merlin Woods near Galway city. Check out her Facebook page Hazel Forest.
The workshop, which was funded to me by dear Irish Social Welfare was a near complete failure. Not that I expected much. But I wasn't ready for such a corporate format. Where I envisioned days of dynamic activities filled with role playing games and situational exercises on workshop facilitation, I ended up sitting at a table for four days listening to theoretical pre-made talks about "what ifs" and generalities about human nature. Maybe not a complete waste of time after all, as I could, at least, focus on my plans for the drawing classes I intend to deliver in Ballinrobe, the town nearby where I live.
I really enrolled for the workshop at first to make a good impression on my business plan in order to support my application for the Irish Back to Work Enterprise Scheme which grants a two year financial support for business startups. My application was successful which was great news for me. This basically gives me two solid years to optimize on, gathering contacts, making personal projects, entering the market, narrowing down my portfolio, doing all that a new illustrator needs to do in order to get into the game.
So I have come up with a plan for this year 2019 and how to get things in good shape in order to maximize on my time while I am backed up financially.
What motivate me most is personal projects. They are fine assets to present in a portfolio, testimony of a determined spirit able to bring projects to completion through self-determination. Not even mentioning that I really want to express myself, so personal projects are not simply an excuse to fill up my portfolio with content. I want client work to be a thing, but I dream the strength to be able to provide and build many stories from the ground up.
For now, I have a few ideas in the making. A mini-book of wisdom/madness, made of twisted portraits of mad men, that I would like to release before next Christmas. I am now in the process of looking for a publisher, or a printer to self-publish the book after crowdfunding it.
Some examples of what I am talking about:
I am also working on a 2020 calendar, illustrated with watercolour and ink landscapes inspired from photographs of Connemara. Same story here, should I find a stationary publisher of sort, or crowdfund it in order to self-publish it? Here are samples of work in progress, exploring ideas. I am not proud of these and they won't make it to the final project.
Following all of this, by the end of 2020, I want to release my first graphic novel Stories not to be told. Not sure of the final size yet, nore of the format. Lots of work ahead with this one...
What is urgent for me to do at the moment is to narrow down my portfolio. What you may have noticed while looking at my website is the broad scope of techniques I am using and a kind of undefined approach to a subject. That makes for a scattered portfolio made of everything and nothing, the work of a Jack-of-all-trade. Not the kind of folio a client could rely upon to be sure about the outcome of a potential commission. To fix this as soon as possible, and develop a sharper sense of what audience I want to work for, I took on this little project for myself: choose 23 themes, such as form and mass, love and hate, individual and collective, senses, the four elements, liberty, etc, 23 core principles or fundamental ideas that I will treat each with one of 6 specific audiences in mind: young children, children, young adults, adults, editorial and educational. That make for 6 sketchbooks about to be filled with hundreds of drawings and illustrations. This exercise is scheduled to be completed by end of July. I then give myself the month of August to rebuild my portfolio and revamp my website with the new knowledge acquired. Will I end up finally opting for a specific audience I'd prioritize addressing myself to, or will a new style emerge, that transcends ages and medium and open more doors for me than a specialised and targeted approach would provide? Will I focus on one medium, or will I, in fact, keep expanding on my use of various techniques and materials? Will I focus on line and colour, or will I continue to experiment schooling myself and search for a more integrated look made of seisable form and clever edges? Will I simplify my work, or will I become complex? Will I find a balance between spontaneity and order? Will I finally find my centre of gravity?
So many questions! The search for answers is on!
Anyway, when this portfolio will look a little better, I will begin to pitch my work to prospects of all kinds: publishers, magazines art editors, companies, art galleries, newspapers... hopefully hitting hard from next September on.
On the other side of things, as a business manager, self-employed illustrator, I have to expand my network and hopefully grow a bigger list of prospects. An enormous groundwork is to be done. I really need to step out of my usual self-centered mind and analyse the situation around me. Ireland's illustration, it seems, is experiencing some kind of boom, so it is time to step in and take part. Investigate the network, who is who, who is doing what, what events are out there, where is the money coming from, are there grants for this and that, would these guys be willing to collaborate, how far can I work online beyong Ireland and even Europe, how good or bad is the competition, is there a niche I could fit in... I guess this is a lifetime work ahead of me. Hopefully I can enjoy a little the process on the way. I have always been of an impatient and self-destructive nature, but can I enjoy a little metamorphosis, the growing of ears and tongue, a social me, a collective me? Time will tell, if my curse is real or fictional, if I can write my story further anew or play defeated again subdued by endlessly recurrent lamentations.
Now, I have a question for you reader, viewer, follower, spectator, observer, spy, for all of you, whoever you are, whatever you are here for: should I create a Patreon? Would you like that? Would you support that? How would you like to see it looking? What content would you like to see me put in there? What are your thoughts on Patreon and do you think I could make some use of it? Please, I would be very grateful to read your answers in the comment section below. Feel free to let me know what you think, I really would like to know your opinion on the matter: should I create a Patreon?
This is it for today dear reader and all folks of the web and beyond. I am looking forward to reading your comments. And don't forget to share if you like, that always helps. See you next Sunday for another episode of Trail of colour, and until then have a masterful and commanding, original and colourful week! Peace.
Hello dear reader.
In my search for classics fit for illustration I went and recently red, for the first time, Robinson Crusoe. I have a few classics to illustrate in mind like the obvious Alice in wonderland and Gulliver's travels. But I am also considering illustrating the tale of Tristan and Isolde, The baron of Munchausen, The perfume by Patrick Suskin, The alchemist by Paolo Coelo, The prophet by Khalil Gibran, Faust by Goethe, The idiot by Dostoievski and other Moliére's and Shakespeare's classics. As you can see my interest is broad, ranging from long psychological novel, symbolic literature, children story and up to comic theatrical play. In short everything that I red when I was a kid eager to read all that came to me through my dad, my teachers and friends.
No, I am not going and to illustrate The lord of the ring, no.
So, here I am, about to review the first novel of English literature history: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. I actually don't want to make it a review but rather a first impression little essay. In one word what is my impression? Disappointment. Why? I think that I red this book way too late. First of all, 400 years to late! For I bet at the time of Daniel Defoe, this kind of realistic novel was brand new and opened the way for a whole new genre in literature. Since then, the history of novel has made it full circle and unravelled the corners of all imaginable realities. Robinson Crusoe has influenced much and many later comer with which we grew up, such as, Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones and Indiana Jones. So at my age, and in such an age we live in, filled with action movies packed up with counter-twists to the the anti-twist twist, I have to say my sense of surprise has been pretty much tamed down to the bones. That is not to say that Robinson doesn't bring its load of surprises and unforeseen events, but honestly it feels very much linear to me. And when something out of the ordinary happens along the story it feels inconsistent, put there by necessity of up-holding a certain rhythm to the story.
My main issue with this book was actually my expectation. I heard so much of this story, watch so many movies about it, that made of it something so different in my mind. I had my version of it in my head before beginning reading it, that I anticipated too much. In short I wanted it to be what it was not meant to be: a story of return to nature and the melting of man's mind with the soul of the world. A very romantic version of it indeed. I wanted it to look like a Henri Rousseau painting.
Instead, it looks to me as, first, a timid attempt at pleasing the church by constantly reminding the reader about God's providence and the great one benefactor behind all calamities. And secondly a demonstration of the dominance of progress and technology over innocence and evolution. Evolution wasn't a thing at all at the time anyway, so let's say the slow and blunt pace of nature's cycles. That's what the book is made of: a strange mixture of subjection to God and to logic.
Robinson only touched transcendence through the use of the Book and the use of his guns. His mindset, barely develops along the story. He is and stays Robinson throughout. Everywhere Robinson goes, it is barbed with guns and powder, armed to the teeth in anticipation of an attack from nature.
Nevertheless the story is a superb, beautifully written, account of how people used to think back then and how society looked like and on what values it was operating.
Now my dream of what is Robinson is broken for good. But not my intend to illustrate it. I already began sketching a little. And with my notes at my side I will continue to illustrate the scenes that seem visually interesting . I also have a funny book cover in mind. Now, let me show you a couple of early doodles.
That's where I stand now. It will take a while before I settle myself on a definite style and colour palette. But overall things look promising and I am looking forward to exploring further Robinson's universe. Things could pan out differently, and I may decide to focus only on the wider story of shipwrecks in general or lone men in nature. Time and practice will tell.
That's it for today. Thanking you reader if you have followed me that far. Please do not hesitate to leave a comment and share if you like.
Wishing you a very good week and commanding times ahead. Since then, see you next week for... another episode of Trail of colour! Peace.
Teaser of the cover of a soon to come notebook to be sold on my website. I can't wait to get this new product out! I love customised notebooks so much. And this one will be made just for you guys! Stay sharp, more info coming soon.
I am water. But a fiery one. I am undivided, but I am only what I discover of myself. I recreate routinely my oblivious person which I am perpetually trying to dodge. I create, or to be more exact: I put name on things I discover. But sometimes I have to burn the bridges that lure at me from the past. Sometimes I burn and destroy what I have discovered to make room in my self, to get rid of a light that blinds, to erase a name from my memory. Sometimes I am consumed by my own fire; fire teased too hard by the breath of my own aspiration, by the vacuum of my freedom. Don't let the children free, they will devour the world, and all will ended burnt to the ground. Pace the way for them, hold their hands, but do not let go before they have touched fire and claim their watery nature.
I have attempted to burn many things in my life. To make room for a freer future. To get rid of my demons. To celebrate my infancy. For the innocent pleasure to look at fire. For the guilty pleasure of breaking apart stuff. I have burnt so many paintings of mine. So many images that I had given a name to, that I had created.
It felt sensual, and agonising; like pumped by the electricity phased during a funeral or the separation of two partner beings. It felt overly warm, and can I still feel it on my cheeks and my torso. Do I regret it? Yes, I do. Would I do it again? Yes, I would.
During my third year of art study at GMIT Galway, I spend my time dismantling the object of fine-art painting. I wanted to reduce image to a pure vision of matter and accentuate the fact that fine-art paintings are physical objects subject to the effects of time and decay. I also denounced the fact that images nowadays are loosing of their physicality to become pure electronic impulses in a digitalised world thus becoming more and more images of themselves.
People too are becoming more and more images of themselves, because of social media and over population. And so we tend to forget, for we try to cover the fact up, that people also are physical beings subject to time and decay.
These were my thoughts when I built, rather than painted, this pieces and prepared my second solo show Head against the wall.
I would like to show you now some photographs and footages of the making of those pieces, followed by shots made at the gallery during the exhibition that took place in Galway during Spring 2012.
The making and showing of this work definitely felt as an accomplishment. I had bridged the mystery which stands between image and object. I had physically worked and made decisions to resolve questions that triggered me on a deep level, and managed to find answers good enough for me at the time. My intentions with this project were fulfilled.
But as life took its toll on me, along with my unease being in this art school, my old illusory demons continuing to pressure me from inside, my struggles to be in harmony with all the social aspects of life, all that pushed me to an edge, the edge of myself. If it wasn't for my partner, I would have foundered like a derelict vessel torned by a sea of disbelief. I had to shade a layer, something was to come off me. The pressure was intense.
It happened at the time that we had to move to another house, this one being taken over by the bank of our landlord. It was time to pack and pick what was coming with us or not. This collection of painting was too voluminous to possibly fit in our new place (an even smaller cottage in Connemara). So my temper being what it was at the time, I having this existential break-down, all fostered this need for a ritual to let it all go: I decided to burn all of those painting, and so I did.
I have no idea what you, the reader, can make out of that story. I hope this illustrates how obstinate and confident one has to be to reach to the edge of one's self and come back, if not stronger, at least alive and lighter.
With love , from the other side of your screen, on another edge of time, to you, here, now.
If you made it that far through this post, congratulation, and thank you! Your support is everything. And please, don't forget to leave a comment, I am eager to hear your reactions on the topic; also sharing on Facebook or anywhere you like always helps.
Have a good and commanding week ahead and see you next Sunday for... another episode of Trail of colour! Peace.
Hello dear reader.
I wanted last week to write a bigger article about me burning a large bunch of my past paintings in a ritualistic "never again", but that's going to be for another time. It is challenging me to post dense and valuable content on a weekly basis. So I'll keep this week's article short for once.
When I happen during my evenings to watch a TV show or a movie I am not exactly absorbed by, I pick up my mini A6 sketchbook and doodle away anything that comes to my mind. I can sometimes inspire myself from the movie I am watching but most of the time these are just improvised out of the blue.
As you can see, each of them is pretty different and could be the starting point of a completely unique story. These are just a few examples of a multitude of drawings that will stay in the dark only to entertain my dreams. But these "doodles" are more than time killers to me. They are bubbles of air when I am suffocating. They are the rope that holds me tight against gravity and fatigue. Any kind of little sketche, mark making, anything that gets me going is a building block toward making and keeping my practice consistent and alive.
For there is nothing scarier than a dry artistic block to me, as I know I will fill this emptiness with vanities that get a man to lose his senses.
So here you are: if you feel blue or isolated, if your blood runs scares and things are becoming tasteless, then doodle it! (Just don't Google it.) It will get you through.
That's it for today. I hope you found this little article helpful and I will see you again next Sunday for another episode of Trail of colour.
If you have enjoyed this article or if you are already a fan of the series Trail of colour, feel free to leave a comment, and share on Facebook by pressing the little button below. More exposure is all I need to get my work going and your support will always be most appreciated. Thanking you.
Peace and Regeneration to you all.
My father is my greatest inspiration. My father is also my best friend. That makes for a hard one to kill.
I have always balanced between my admiration for him, my desire to emulate his work, and my refusal to follow a well trodden path, my denial of my roots. But when one grows older, reaches independence and distances himself from the affection that blurs the mind, one can see links instead of chains. My father wasn't always an artist, but I'll always remember him as such. That's when he was twenty-nine years old that he decided to quit his job at the bank and became an illustrator. Over the years he also kept writing constantly. He wrote children books, plays and novels. He directed shows for theatre and circus. And he always painted with oil on large canvases. He is now focused on large scale paper acrylic works like this:
My dad changed name. Everyone calls him Clair. Clair Arthur. It is his artist name. He also had to break away from the enclosure he was born into. He never studies art. He learnt it all by himself, on the way. Never waited to be ready before giving it a go. Intention and dedication are what fueled his practice. But he would say that all was done only to escape boredom... and give a little hope to those around him.
Although I pay respect to his influence and the qualities it brought to my artistic palette, I always was torn by the better, which we say is the enemy of good. While taking my lessons from the folk art genre of my dad and want now to integrate it into something personal mixed with the influences of my own generation.
All that to say: I always wanted to take the flat figures represented by my father and make them look more 3D, give them more volume in a more atmospheric sense of space and distance. That is why I took upon myself to practice the sketching of a dummy. A little mannequin that I could put in various postures so to look at it from various angles and develop my understanding of the human form in space.
So is what I wanted to show you guys today. A little display of the studies I did of this little mannequin, shown more or less in a chronological order. But before that let me introduce you to the man himself, the one, the not so great, the plastic, the fantastic dummy.
Now I hope you can see a progression in my understanding of the form at my humble level. You will see that I got to use different approaches from direct drawing of what I thought I was seeing, a more constructive approach using blocking of shape as a first step, and also a simple gesture drawing of the lines of action. Enjoy the ride...
The next two are showing a little more creative use of the "man".
To finish I wanted to show you the sketch of a hermes I did last summer in the museum of the Louvre in Paris. It's funny how it reminds me of my dummy.
Sorry I cannot come up with the reference to this sculpture. For all I can remember it is French, and from the seventeenth century.
Now my friends, that is all for today. I hope you have enjoy this little trip in the land of dummies. Next week Trail of colour could certainly be about grief and offering as much as the contemporary trends of nowadays illustration... We shall see!
Since then, Peace and Regeneration to you all.
A quick update about my studies for the visual story Meanwhile I am working on at the moment. A story that follows Nature's return which you can preview in the Graphic Novel gallery. I plan to complete and release my first book Stories not to be told, in 2020. I hope you will be there to see that.
I had a style in mind for Meanwhile, something wild and sketchy. A way of drawing with colour that leaves plenty of room for the imagination of the viewer. This approach reminded me of Enki Bilal's work. So I decided to do a few studies of his images. Here is the selection of his work I made.
Enki Bilal is one of my old school favourite French comic artist. He is still around, doing stuff and never seems to age. He is all about love and fatality in a dystopian futuristic universe. The movie Blade Runner could be compared to Bilal's world.
Even though the themes Bilal explores have not much in common with the theme of my story, what I wanted to study here is the way Bilal draws with paint, mixing up his media, exploring movement in time and synchronicity.
I had enough time so far to study the first two images. Here is what I came up with:
My aim wasn't to reproduce the image to perfection, which would be very challenging considering how loose is his mark making made of very jazzy lines, a subdued limited palette and such a unique style. I was aiming at getting in Bilal's head regarding sequencing of layers, dynamics between composition and quality of mark making. I tried to emulate the process rather than the result, so I could take home with me something to use again in my projects.
I had more studies lined up for a more in depth research on Bilal's technique, but I will probably jump back to working on my story. I need to stay on schedule and cannot keep studying stuff around forever and never get to the point which is: getting something out there no matter what, no matter how, and refrain from too much preparation before getting things done.
That's it for today! Thanking you the reader for following the unravelling of my backstage stories. I hope you can take something for yourself out of this artistic srip-tease of mine.
Wishing you a Sunday just like you like them. See you next week for another episode of Trail of Colour where I will tell you everything about my love for a mannequin... Peace and regeneration.
I had not nearly finished my theatre studies back in the days in France, and I was already feeling that becoming a professional actor was probably not meant for me, even if I had not made yet the conscious decision to give up. I was still taking part in thrilling experiences on stages with a dynamic group of young actors, all studying the art of acting, for the better and the worst. Acting is a tough career choice and committing to such endeavour is madness, I still think nowadays. Nevertheless, even if I did not keep it up and went on a different path I took with me to remember many lessons on the fundamentals of art. Lessons on balance of space, rhythm of actions, synergy of forces, body awareness, focusing and concentration of the mind, psychosomatic and the structure of the self, to name only a few. All of which applies to life, all of which, I would discover later with the years and experience, applies to any art practice.
So my theatre studies where not nearly finished I said, and I already endeavoured to teach myself music and the concert flute. It became an addiction, a madness of its own kind, that pulled me completely off any other tracks. I played hours on, absolutely obsessed with my discoveries. Everywhere I went, whatever I did was to feel and play music, any kind of music, with anyone willing to share a moment of freedom. That is what got me hooked most deeply to music: the vessel it shapes for you to ride on and explore the depths of nature and the self and the world and time. I will be forever grateful to the utmost, humbled to the core that such gift was bestowed to me at that time, that I had the chance in my life to improvise with music and dance with liberty and beauty together. I played for many years and had high hope of making a career in music. I learnt other instruments, began composing and leading collective projects. I learnt this fantastic sign language made to direct a group improvisation in real time: Soundpainting. But my love was to severe, my exigence too high and I burnt myself out, not only destroying my sense of self-confidence but both my wrists with repetitive stress injuries. So again, all I was meant to harvest from this love for music was even more lessons on the arts fundamentals and life's intricacies. I took with me to remember lessons on harmony, on presence to the here and now, on the multi-layered nature of sound, on self-discipline, on transcendence and the universal goal of art, and so much more.
I wanted here to share with you some tunes I made that did survive the flood of years that went by since, so you can continue reading with a little musical atmosphere to keep you company while I tell you the rest of today's story.
(Just so you know this You Tube channel is not active anymore, so don't look for content from me in there. If I go and do You Tube content about illustration I'll let you guys know.)
My missing the target and my ambition at playing music for life led me to a profound and painful process. I had to reconsider again my game and decide of a new direction to take. I always had something going on with the arts and I wasn't going to break up this relationship. The first thing that came up, literally out of my survival instinct, was painting. The thought that I had nearly forgotten what got me hooked to reenacting the pain of creation stroke me so clearly: I can't do this, I can't do that, but I always knew how to do THIS! I used to draw a lot while I was a kid and a teenager. And the first college I failed but attempted to enter was the Beaux-Arts right after my leaving-cert in France.
So here I am now. Doing illustration and painting away. Filled and nurtured by all the side-tracking and the getting lost on the way. Beginning to understand where it all links together; realising the core principles below every art practice and consciously transferring now my knowledge to the visual arts. I am on for another crazy ride, trying to contain myself with humility and patience so not to get burn-out again by my own fire.
I went to art college in GMIT Galway and got a BA Honour Degree in Art and Design. Was it a waste of time I still don't know, but it's done.
One thing that sticked with me since my years in theatre, up and through music, into my painting practice is the use of scales. An actor practices scales as much as a musician does; he tries and repeats a set of mimics, or motions, to weave them in his mind and body so he can access them on command while acting on stage. No need to explain why a musician needs practising musical scales. Some do not practice them deliberately but they walk on them anyway. And a visual artist too as many scales he can base his practice upon and purposefully exercise for the sake of knowledge and observation (as opposed to directly experiencing them in making a piece of art).
So finally, onto the purpose of this blog post: my colour scale practice!
This is a series of colour scales I did to get my mind around the blues and ochres relationship. I studied the way the same acrylic Phthalo Blue and Phthalo Green react to different earth colours. With columns indicating value and rows indicating hue.
Now, I hope you enjoyed today's story about much more than I intended it to be but here you go.
Have a good and regenerative Sunday! And see you next week for another episode of Trail of Colour! Peace.
Hello all! I hope you are all having a Sunday just as you like it to be.
Here at home, Sunday is, for me and my partner Marta, our fasting day. No food or drink until next day mid-day. We decided to implement that as a resolution for the year 2019. We love it. This is not only a day of rest from work, but a physiological comma for the body to process what's there to be dealt with in the depths of the organism. A time for the organs to be free to restore their alchemy and tidy up their laboratory.
I always wish I was drawing and painting more. But this week was heavily focused on the writing of my business plan for the Irish Back to Work Enterprise Scheme I intend to apply for. Next month I will submit my proposal. With the research I have done I am confident I will receive financial support for my business for the next two years. I am spending only a quarter of my time, early morning, drawing, to keep the form. The rest of my day is all about market research, target market, brand identity, aim of the business, etc. I have to analyse my business, name and plan ahead things with the cold heart of a businessman.
I have to say this is good schooling. It gets me into deciding what I really want to commit for and in what way I am setting myself on up a path for reaching my goal. And this goal is simply to live a sustainable and healthy life as a freelance illustrator.
I did not only search the depths of the internet to fetch information about taxation, pricing, licence and copyright, market opportunities, registers and directories of artists, agents, publishers and studios. I ordered and am now reading four books on the topic: The illustrator's guide to law and business practice by Simon Stern, How to be an illustrator by Darrel Rees, Becoming a successful illustrator by Derek Brazell and Jo Davies, and finally The writers' and artists' yearbook 2019 (the one hundred and twelfth edition!)
Anyway! I still had a quarter of my time dedicated to drawing and this time studying skies for the story Meanwhile of my upcoming book Stories not to be told. I borrowed beautiful photographs from my partner Marta. I had been doing studies in black and while for a while then and needed colour to motivate me and start the work at 6am before sunrise. So I went for acrylics. My intend was to spend as less time as possible refining my brushstrokes and achieve a direct effect quickly without too much thinking. I am used to and inexorably drawn toward glazing and layering with paint (oil paint in particular) anytime I have the opportunity, so this was a refreshing direction to take.
I picked two simple pictures at first so to get familiar again with the acrylic medium and painted one every morning.
The sky and clouds always give something special to the atmosphere of a scene. And I want to include these voices in my graphic novel. So next I picked a cloud formation with a bit more complexity and character.
Ultimately I wanted to bring in more colours and get closer to the palette I envision for this story.
As other things took over by the end of the week I had time to paint only four studies. But nevertheless I was happy. One could spend a life time studying the moods of skies and the infinity of cloud formations. But I could already register and take on board few information here and there about clouds appearance and structure, their behaviour in relation to light and wind, stuff that I hope will sink deep somewhere in my inner visual library ready to be played again at the right opportunity.
Now, I hope that you have enjoyed this article about my process as much as I enjoyed recounting my activities to you all.
To keep track of the progression of my work on a daily basis feel free to follow @adriensourdotart on Instagram and AdrienSourdotArtist on Facebook. And of course SHARE if you want to support me.
Wishing you a perfect day. See you all next week for another episode of Trail of colour. Peace.
In one of the first drafts for the storyboard of Meanwhile there is this figure sitting by the beach, looking at the sea, watching this book lying on the sand being washed by the salty waves. While the other protagonists in the story are passing by, walking their own path, this observer is absorbed into contemplating the disintegration of a paper book trapped in the incessant rocking of the waves.
What this book symbolises I guess I'll leave it for you to decide. But I can't resist to think about our stories being washed away by time, our lives disappearing in the rocking motion of our survival.
In this passed blog post I explained my process while making this story come together. To get a better grasp at what I was dealing with, and gather more material so I could tackle a second version of my storyboard, I decided to take photographs of an actual book washed by waves on a sandy beach. I just didn't have the correct book to sacrifice for this. I generally like to keep only the essentials with me. So I don't keep many old books that I don't hold dearly in my heart.
I called my good friend Gosia Kamieniecka, who I have known practically since I arrived in Ireland twelve years ago. She was about to pay us a visit back here in our remote little Connemara cottage, so I asked her if she could bring with her old books that she wouldn't mind to get rid of and sacrifice for a good cause... She said her house in Galway was filled with ancient artefacts from former tenants and she could probably find what I was looking for.
Gosia is an artist. She has many talents. She sings jazz and folk songs. She has a great sense of humour and is a trusty person. But she also paints! She rents her own studio in Galway city where she can do what she wants. She uses oils, acrylics and mixed-media techniques to make delicate and poetical images.
I invite you to pay her a visit on her website at: https://www.gosiakart.com/ and follow her work on Instagram @gosiascolours .
Indeed Gosia brought over three books. One of them was of the appropriate shape and size. Me and my partner Marta (who is a artist too! More on that in a future post...), we took it to Silverstrand beach near Galway city.
It was a sunny day and the beach was busy with people enjoying themselves, playing ball, making sand castles, swimming and working on their Irish tan... And here I was taking picture of this book rocked by the calm waves. That of course intrigued people and kids in particular. I remember one saying: "Whoa that's so cool!" I was pleased to see someone else found this interesting and meaningful.
I was like a kid myself, taking pictures as the waves went over the book again and again. I saw the grasp of time playing with the form of this human artefact, rocking it in and out of the sea, I watched the story I wanted to illustrate in real time. It didn't take long for the book the be completely soaked to the bones...
Once finished with taking the pictures we went back home and I took the wet book back with me. It lay in the garden since then. It is now beginning to decay properly, this old Polish book about gangsters and East-European mafia...
Once home with my reference photos, I began drawing them to get a better feel of such an image.
There is nothing in life like drawing something you have a curiosity for. Something that triggers your imagination. My passion renewed by this whole experience I could take this project further and to its next step. I was making progress and felt grateful for it.
Thank you Gosia for giving me this book. And thank you all for reading this little story of mine. I hope you get something out of it. And don't hesitate to ask me anything, or suggest a theme or a specific subject you would like me to tackle in a future blog post.
Till then, see you Sunday for the next episode of Trail of Colour! Peace.
WARNING: AUTOMATIC WRITING AHEAD
Life is too short and I haven't got enough time yet to do all I wanted to do, that I have forgotten about, but still feel like I have missed out until now, and why would I even bother when I am already two generations behind and can't even type without looking at my keyboard and I still draw with regular pencils, I am better off making ready for the real me for when it comes the world will shake, so I should really be careful to have everything set up and not miss my momentum when it comes, and make sure I am on point and to the point, so I feel justified and less horrified at my vision in the mirror, so in fact I would rather wait a bit more and do nothing for now for it was a mistake in the first place to even consider myself worthy of the gift I wasted, I am surely better off without me, I should stay still for a while more, I am sure there was a wall at my back I should be able to reach at last and feel compelled and forced to act upon my proximus-comicus-cosmos.
What can you not do to procrastinate again? I mean, I don't know about you, I can't see your tricks from here, but I bet you have a few, like me.
I have got to understand, for instance, that this perfectionist of mine I have got inside is not in fact the creative in me, he is the procrastinator and beyond, the destroyer, the hidden glove of death, the fake dreamer , the cream that kills the dream. Like mass censorship in a fake democracy operating with the glitter hand of stardom brushing your hair to one side only.
My perfectionist is like a lion of marble, a giant knee of iron clutched to my spin and holding me chin down to the gravels of detail and asphyxia. I, marooned without a master, made one out but out of tales and sacks of hear-shots. I serve a puppet of quick drying plaster poured in a robe of crooked beauty.
And I walked every corridors in this lonely palace, I know now every corner of it, every impasse, all its traps and I have dwelt in every oubliette I could ever imagine. I have made a nightmare of my own self and body and mind, I have played the game so many many times. Could it be time now to shake the board and make a big fire with it? Again? Yes, again. For a battle is never won once, but all over again at every moment until the sun expires and one becomes a butterfly.
All I want to say is live your life, your real one, not the one you think is worth living. What you think worthy is already a rotten corpse, the breath we took a while ago means nothing for the lungs, for what if the lungs decided to hold onto this breath because it was worthwhile. Good luck with that. Just don't try and hold on to anything, may things grow, bloom and die and fade away like a magnificent day on a yet undiscovered planet.
So here I am. I have postponed the writing of my business plan for the Back to Work scheme for far too long. But, enough is enough, life said to me, in its own way. Now I take on the putting together of this machiavelic scheme to a properly nerdy level. I think I can even feel what I am doing. Soon, when my project is accepted, I will be officially registered as self-employed freelance illustrator with the back-up of social welfare for another two years. Wish me luck!
To fill a form, to apply for support, to contact the man, to approach the woman, in other words to kill a dragon at the press of a button, can seem like a daunting task. But think about it: is this pity I have on myself enough to make me cherish my regrets to the end of me? Or am I just going to miss the wrong bus that would have taken me to a ravine? Just pick a door, any door, you have the key to all doors, but the key works only once. Once that door is passed find the other key for another couple of doors awaits you. You can never go back, but you can always go forward. You have got all the time you want to go from one door to the next. But other people are waiting for you on the other side: don't let them think their are alone, they need you. Maybe they will be pushing the door your way. That's called providence, or logarithms (I'll have to check again...).
Anyway, simply remember: You can never go back, but you can always go forward.
Thank you so much to anyone who took the time and liberty to follow along on this improvised ramble. And remember: all your comments are always very welcome. Let's start a conversation if you like.
I promise next week Trail of Colour will look more like a traditional blog post... Teaser: wet books on the way!
Committed to further study the themes present in the story Meanwhile (of which I talked to you in my last post), I focused during the past two weeks on beaches and ruins.
I worked with graphite pencils on paper again to simplify the information in front of me to simple values and shapes. I worked from photographs that I took myself or that found on the internet.
My issues with drawing beaches where twofold: the form of waves and wavelets reaching shore, and the shape of human footsteps on sand.
I am sure I missed out some information and deeper study would be required to get a grasp of the various behaviours at play in this kind of scenery: the motions caused by wind, the angle and quality of light at various times of day, different frames and points of view on the scene, the wearing off of marks by wind and water...
I could do colour studies as well, but preferred to focus on value and shape, so not to be distracted with too much to deal with at once.
To study ruins was a real blast. I have to say I was always scared of drawing this complex subject. But living in Ireland and thus being surrounded by remains of the past has forced me to look at ruins no matter where I go. Ireland can be a very ghostly place. It is filled with old castles and abandoned houses. I love everything derelict so I can say I am blessed to live in such a haunted country.
But castles are not what I needed to look at here. In the story Meanwhile a ruined city lies at the edge of a beach threaded by mysterious silhouettes. A long wall separate the sandy coast from the buildings.
My goals was to find the typical elements of a ruined building and how I could, with a minimum of information, convey the state of such building; what visual clues can I use to make a building feel beaten and broken. Also I needed to take a closer look at how a wall recedes in the distance.
I did not apply the results of those studies to my project yet. I know the information I gathered has coasted somewhere in my visual library. This knowledge is inside me somewhere waiting for the right opening to go through.
Next week I will study sky and cloud structures. For they tell so many stories in themselves, and are a big part of Meanwhile.
Also before I go back to my storyboard, I wanted to study the French artist Enki Bilal for another two weeks. He uses a mixed-media technique that inspires me very much regarding the treatment I want to approach my story with. But more on that on due time.
I hope you have enjoyed this little article about my continuous process. Next week in Trail of Colour I want to talk to you about application forms and procrastination. I know there are more sexy topics out there, but I feel I have to get this one out of my chest.
Until then I wish you all a happy new year 2019! Peace and Regeneration.
I was almost finished with painting the first story of my book. I needed ideas for what was to come next. I have never been a very linear person, and valid ideas often came to me at unexpected times. So... I was watching this bad TV show while doodling away. And this sketch came up out of the blue. And that was it. I knew this image already was telling me more than there was to see and that something was hidden behind it: a story, my next story!
I realised that if more stories were to come I needed to organise myself and make a mini book of thumbnails to describe in short what everything could look like at a glance. I knew already that each story was going to be made of seven plates, so I looked for what could the other six plates of this new story look like. Seven is a good number, it is musically sound, visually dynamic, it is neither square nor round, and it seems easy to develop a scene in seven shots. With time my little grid book filled itself with more ideas and half-lit visions.
My thumbnails were up, and it was now time to dig deeper into the story.
I knew more or less what each plate should be about, I needed now to get a clear vision of them in order. Somehow I knew this story was to be about the synchronicity of events that are happening on a beach. Each plate would show a different angle at what was going on there at a single moment.
As I was discovering more about this story that I called "Meanwhile", I came through technical questions and limitations. I needed to begin to study some details of which I wasn't quite sure how they should look like.
But because I am impatient by nature, I wanted to see and draw a version of each plate at its final scale. Getting bogged down in details can be a desperation and slow you down if not kill your momentum. I needed to give myself something that would renew my aspiration to see this project through. With the knowledge I had gathered so far I refined each image while focusing on its structural components, enough to see at that stage how images play against each other. It was very refreshing to then see the complete story. It gave me further ideas about which painting technique to use to complete the final version, but more on this topic in an other post.
Hands were a recurrent motif in the story. I needed to better understand how to draw them. It was time to get back to studying the form and get methodical about it. I decided to dedicate my morning studies to hands only and so for a week. I downloaded free samples of the 360 anatomy collection and began drawing from well photographed and 3D rendered hands.
Captivated but still unsatisfied, I knew that simply drawing from a photograph would not give me the tools to be able to create my own hands when needed. I needed to go under the skin. I needed to understand the structure, the relationship of parts, the principles behind the form. It was time to bring about my theory books and dig into Michael Hampton and Gottfried Bammes methods.
Things were getting serious. I realised there was so much to learn I had no idea about. I guess every single subject can be a bottomless well of discoveries and lessons about nature.
This is my last sketch to date on the topic. The one I call the terminator hand. There is much to say about why it actually looks like that. But I am not going to bother any longer anyone who took the time to read this post that far.
I want now to better study every major motif present in this story. Not only to reach a better end result, but also to learn from it and understand better why things are looking the way they are, so I can build up my visual library, in order to grow further my visual storytelling skills and freedom.
Next weeks study subjects will be beaches, ruins, skys and silhouettes. After I am done with that, I will go back to the beginning and reassess my initial storyboard. Once a second version of the storyboard is complete I will finally be able to paint this thing!
Thank you and see you next Sunday for another episode of Trail of colour.
When your heart takes over, words can mean everything. When your heart takes over shapes can represent anything. When sometime the need to get it out is stronger than the duty of acknowledgement. When your experience of perception is run, not by reason, but by a wealth of resonances coming from a deep well of undecipherable filters. When poetry takes over your existence for a breath of time and makes you brush, makes you pen. When you are freed from using yourself and become a tool of nature. This is probably what inspired the making of this image while I sat nose to nose with urgency.
I am delighted to announce my first line of products available to order online on the Teepublic online store. Click on the images to view the corresponding store page. This is the first model of a series dedicated to the Tarot Greater Arcana. I hope you like the idea. I thought death would be a good theme to start with, for isn't death a new beginning? And if it isn't, why not start by the end? I thought a little funny and dismal tarot design on a T-shirt, a mug, a pillow or a poster, would be nice to have, so here we go!
Hawthorn at Kilbride (20x28cm, mixed media on paper)
A vision is not something you can right click and print on demand. How many failed attempts, how many spirals one has to make to close in on one's own intuition? Do we imagine what we see? Do we really see what we imagine? With this image I aim at the space in between what I saw on the spot while drawing from nature and the memory of an unnamed feeling docked in me for unknown reasons. This image is to me a representation of my relationship to nature: a mixture of perception, feeling and meaning. That is why to me life and nature are a fantastic reality.
I googled my name this morning to see what was showing there about me and I found this .
An old blog post from Galway City Library where I held my first solo exhibition at the end of my first year of art study at GMIT (the "Beaux-Arts" of Galway).
How my practice have changed! Since then I have burnt all the paintings that were done at the time, for I had nowhere to keep them, they were too big. Nowadays I have adapted my style to my new home, a little Irish cottage on the side of a mountain if Connemara. The focus of my practice is also different. I adopted more of a storytelling approach, dropped most of my romantic aggressiveness for a more ironic but poetic intent. But this took a while and went through various phases in between, which you will see on future posts. This has led me to diversify my production to reach a wider audience. The big and furious multimedia and oil paintings are gone for now, but who knows, once I am rich and old, I may go back to large formats.