Time to think about a new painting for my class – even though I won’t have time to complete it before the end of the course next week.
This idea came to me when a friend was describing a painting she had seen. The strong image in my head turned out to be very different from the actual painting and I decided that it would be an interesting project to try to make my image into reality.
This one is called “the poet” but is meant to be an imaginary portrait of Li Bai, one of the most – if not the most – famous Chinese poet. Perhaps he is looking too studious… Anyway, it is not an exercise in historical accuracy!
UPDATE: New poem from Tom perfectly captures the mood of the scene and even a bit of the flavour of Li Bai’s poetry!!
Walnut writing desk
rice-wine close at hand
I look down… wondering.
What name evokes “immortal”
yet completes the poet’s rhyme:
“moon’s reflection cold and white”?
Well, that was a much longer break from the blog than I had anticipated! Sometimes you just have to do something different for a while.
Today’s doodle is a quick one to get back at drawing on the computer. I am not completely happy with it but I do like that even though the drawing is very quick, there is a feeling of emotional content implied in the faces…
In which Rothgar, the sea bear, swims on through the depths and Songs of Albion comes to a conclusion.
I have been having some very similar thoughts to those of my writing partner Tom Radcliffe on finishing the last image for this project. We have been at this in one form or another since December 2008. I didn’t believe it until I checked my earliest drawing file. Wow. That’s quite a sustained effort. Of course it was mostly over the last year and a half that I was producing the actual images that we used during this past year – summer solstice 2011 to summer solstice 2012. The image above will be the last one. It’s due to be posted on Friday this week. I don’t exactly think it’s a spoiler – any guesses as to what’s going on?? Good luck! lol
As Tom mentioned when he was finishing up the written part, it’s a bitter-sweet moment… we enjoyed the work, learned a lot and yet it didn’t take off in even a minor way. 😦 Perhaps this was the wrong forum for our genre (something between a graphic novel and an illustrated story). Maybe it will grow wings as an e-book. Maybe it sucks. (We don’t think so – but hey, we’re biased!)
Anyway, for the next while I will be going back to random doodles until I figure out what is next…
UPDATE: Lovely poem from Tom for Rothgar the sea-bear
Rothgar swimming through the deep
where the darkness lurks and peeps
from out behind the quantum veil
hiding Fae who hang a tale
on English wanderers who lost
and won again, now tempest-tost
they set out on the Ocean Stream
to find a world not what it seems!
Tom (Radcliffe) and I are getting very close to the end of our year with Songs of Albion. I will write more about that when I complete the last image – 5 to go! The text is getting harder and harder to imagine into image form – thanks for the challenge Tom!! This moment is one of those when the normal linear experience of time seems to be suspended… anyway, if not clear, I hope at least it’s pretty! lol
UPDATE: New poem from Tom! Thank you 🙂
time’s soft turning inward form
finds two figures lost, forlorn
swept in silence folding in
stretching space in quantum din
branching futures forming trees
whose leaves are scattered in the storm
time’s soft turning inward form
I was pretty pleased with how this image for Songs of Albion turned out. I like the feeling of movement in the figures. It also amused me that they are just marching into the water to load up the boat.
UPDATE: New poem from Tom! It may give you some idea of what’s going on… but if you really want to know, read Albion!
Marching down into the ocean
unperturbed by wet or cold
making not the least commotion
bearing quietly their load
to the gig hard by the shore
where all are ferried to the ship
there unloading, stowing, more
until it’s time to turn and skip
back to land and back to village
where the packing’s almost done
without waste or loss or spillage
til the day’s full course is run.
Now the ship is fully burthen
laying low upon the tide
still the breeze begins to freshen
whispering of ocean wide
while the Fae wave from the beach
bidding visitors farewell
overhead the seagulls screech
time and tide the truth will tell
as the ship turns out to sea
sailors rig the canvas high
from their landward shackles free
rejoicing in the ocean sky!
Once again advance viewing of an image coming up in the next few weeks for Songs of Albion. Without the story it is not really possible to know exactly what is going on but that’s OK. I am trying at this point to use the illustrations to show vignettes, not the whole picture. For one thing, the whole picture takes way too long to draw and for another, the close up that hints at the whole can be much more interesting. Hope you agree!
UPDATE: New poem to accompany the image – thanks Tom!!
Intensely focused on the goal
the wheels of intellect engaged
each new idea tested, rolled
between her fingers, quick and sage.
Perhaps a lever lifting there
would raise it high into the air?
But no! The crushing force will break
the oaken planks of hull and strake!
Some another way to find
fulfilling all the hard constraints
remaining free of failure’s taints
dredging through the dark of mind
to create a truth that’s new
passing down the dark and through
The latest drawing for Songs of Albion. I have been falling a bit behind and my buffer is getting slimmer than I like… still, you won’t see this on Songs until sometime in March. So til then you can only wonder where Cat is going and why he’s looking so dejected.
UPDATE: A new sonnet from Tom for sad Cat.
So dejected and bedraggled
rejected by his lady-friend:
a tale that’s been so often waggled
by village gossips end to end
yet felt acutely by the subject
of each new telling of this object
lesson for all lovers spurned:
come close to fire and risk a burn!
To love and lose is worth the pain
and a solitary life
free of love’s tumult and strife
stills the heart and dulls the brain.
Though Cat might answer with his claws
a friend who argues for this cause!