Sunday, December 11, 2011

今・いま 「Ima (now)」

I've been meaning to draw a pocket watch that my late grandmother gave to my dad, and I took the time yesterday to give it a go and I'm pretty happy with how it came out..

I changed the numbers on the face to the Japanese kanji for "now", as an expression of my need to focus on the present and not always looking to a moment in the future and not to live simply en route to "something", I'm here now...

I was messing around with acrylic ink and I drew an orchid and put a poem I love by Jacques Prevert which I interpret to be about shedding the ritualism of grief, over what ever one might grieve over which might not necessarily be only bereavement, and to carry on. The latin on the top of the page is part of a poem by Virgil, it means "But meanwhile it flees: time flees irretrievably, while we wander around, prisoners of our love of detail." <3

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I haven't posted anything in what feels like ages, so here's some recent things I've done when I've found the time outside of college work. I miss art so much right now, and it's becoming discouraging that my college work is consuming so much of my time, but I hope to make more time for my creative work. 

Sketches from a Dublin Sketchers outing to the Natural History Museum. 

A dried, tattered leaf that fell from an enclosed tree Odin (bunny) refused to leave in the garden. 

Started drawing a tea cup as a practice run for a bigger picture I'm working on. I like to move from more realistic (or attempting realism) drawings to more abstract/ stylized components in the one image. The different Japanese says things like "morning" "wake me up gently" "tea cup" etc. It's a small tribute to my love of herbal teas and how they're a source of comfort to me when I'm in college etc. 

The next few images are from my journal where I like to make collages of inspirational images, text and anything that I find moves me to creating and expressing. The intention was to make the vague image of piano keys out of different parts of drawings/ cut outs from books and manga I love, sheet music, my own photography/prints, magazine photos etc. Each part means a lot to me and bring memories of different times in my life. 

This practice ink drawing of orchids was spontaneously done on these mini canvas boards I got from a second hand shop, and I quite like how it turned out. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

glass & light inspired doodle

I'm trying to teach myself to draw glass and i'm strongly inspired by water, light and their effects on a space, especially in terms of lamps and glass distorting shapes. So yeah, my first attempt, an empty perfume bottle beside my ikea lamp and then just doodles that came to mind. The page on the left is a picture of roses i wanna use for a future drawing involving fairy lights and the front of an instructions booklet for heart shaped lights <3 


Sunday, August 21, 2011

post-its are fun

So I'm a bit sick at the mo and while watching stuff yesterday I started playing with these heart shaped post-its I have, then I started doodling on the result and I actually really like the effect it gives. I like the layered and almost stained-glass over lap of the different parts of the post-its which I tried to make as symmetrical as possible. I think I'll experiment more with the idea..

 "Full Bloom (Mankai)"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Abstract Rose

I was sketching one of the peach rose bushes in the back garden and thinking about articles I've been reading about free thought and what it means to different skeptic figures, atheist writers, bloggers etc. and I started to associate different parts of the rose plant to my ideas of free thought and sequentially atheism. I don't see my position as an atheist as simply a rejection to claims of god(s) even though that is essentially what it is. I see it more as a manifestation of skepticism, asking questions and thinking for myself.
This is my personal tribute to that.

 I had no intention of making the drawing come out like a finished piece, and I'm happy with the disjointed composition which was spontaneous and fluid for me. I've been thinking of using the Japanese for 'atheist' (shown below) as a tattoo and I'm considering using this design as one.

無神論者 (mushinronsha) - Atheist

I associate different parts of the rose with different ideals of free thought, such as clipped branches symbolising the disposal of parts that can damage the whole, the filtering of ideas to promote growth, etc. I don't think it's necessary to explain every use of symbolism in the drawing, as I like to interpret the art of others for myself, so I'll just put up the rest of the pictures, with some small annotations. Enjoy :)

I like combining realism with abstract representations of objects. I think this is reflected in the contrast between the simple line drawings and patterns and the more details toned drawings. Also in the disjointed parts of the rose plant.

 I have maybe a slight obsessive proclivity towards drawing connected, trellising lines in my drawings (in case no one has noticed :P) and I really like how I used this to delineate the transition between realism and abstraction.

I think an underlying theme of my work is the expression, albeit mostly an unconscious one, of perceived imperfection being more interesting than typical, epitomising objects. It's a subject I'm constantly drawn to. The fascination of even one ragged fallen rose petal is more gripping than a million "flawless" roses.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dublin Sketchers Glasnevin Cemetery Meet-up

On Sunday, Dublin Sketchers met up in Glasnevin Cemetery for a good aul slightly morbid drawing session, which suits me just fine. 

A tremendous sense of peace descended on me as I walked into the grounds. I chose to draw in the children's section because the decorations around the graves are always so heartbreakingly heartfelt and sweet. 
There was a small grave shaped like a bed, with wood peeling bed posts and angels carved into the "headboard". There was a plastic vase full of chrysanthemums, some bent and wilting. Two snowglobes. A multicoloured "8" shaped birthday candle. The name "Codi" slept out in new ornamental bedroom door letters. So I sat for an hour and a half and drew. 

I added some feathers in at the end to signify the "little angels" plot. I felt I was in my own way paying respect to that place, the air dense with a tragic peace.

The most touching element of this section of the cemetary is the small decorations people tie on the trees around it. Windchimes, small teddy bears, christmas ornaments. It's so very beautiful and delicate. I'll admit I got a little teary. 
I sketched one of these branches. I'll be going back soon to spend more time on the details.

<3 For Mikey <3

Monday, June 27, 2011

Deep breath..

It's been over a month since my last brief post which was about my excitement about the upcoming Dublin Sketchers exhibition. Unfortunately, due to personal problems and general mentalness, I decided it wasn't a good idea to participate. But I am making good progress on one of the pieces I wanted to exhibit and hope to have it up on the blog in the near future. The piece is deeply personal and I want to give it the time it deserves instead of trying to rush it out in an attempt to meet deadlines. For those of you that will see this, thank you so much to my friends in Dublin Sketchers for being so supportive during that time, and the other important people in my life who've been understanding. I really appreciate it. ♥
I gained a lot from the experience, which I'll talk more about in the post about the actual painting, but most of all I learned that I have to slow down. Slow eeeeeeeeeeeeverything down.

Months ago I learned the word for "deep breath" in Japanese. I wrote it in my journal which I carry constantly with me. Unknowingly, in a trivial twist of fate (which I don't believe in :P ) I had written it in the week in which I was to have my Japanese exam, which really encouraged me when studying ^_^
I've decided to get the word tattooed on me as my first tattoo. As a personal reminder, especially to that irrational part of me that needs to be listened to and not suppressed, to slow down, and breathe.

My tendancy, however subconscious, to scrutinize every single stroke I make in a drawing/painting is holding me back from actually enjoying my art. So the ideas become cramped inside my head and scramble for attention. So, with some gentle encouragement from myself and a fellow insomniac friend, I just started drawing a draft of the tattoo word and then whatever else I felt like around it. It took me maybe 15 minutes and I felt great doing it.. It's far from what I want inked on my body, but I broke the spell of inertia that I regularly put myself under (so that I don't get to fail) by just picking up pencils. This sketch means a lot to me. 

 Pencil draft

Loosely inked and some added detail

Closer details of the drawing.
The word 深呼吸 (shinkokyuu) means "deep breath". I'm undecided as to whether I will make the kanji more stylised like typically drawn calligraphy-style kanji or to just leave it in my own handwriting. I think I'll leave it as it is because it's more personal then. More of a memo from me to me..

Notebook view of the drawing. I'm quite happy with the simplicity of it. Realism can wait for when it's not 3 A.M. :P



Monday, May 23, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dublin Sketchers meet up- Iveagh Gardens

So this is my drawing of one of the angel fountains in the Iveagh Gardens. Such a beautiful place to draw, definitely going back soon, maybe with a stool and some sandwiches. 

  It was challenging and took me the whole time period to do but I quite like it ^_^ I especially wanted to concentrate on the folds of the fabric and shading. Maybe the detail that I tried to attain defies the definition of "sketching", but I find it near impossible to be loose like other artists; a trait of myself I find a little discouraging.
 I used different shades of artists pencils.

I really enjoyed getting back out with the dublin sketchers group and hope to go to more regular meets!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Older drawings

I've been meaning to make a post about my older, more cartoon/stylised drawings. The drawings were all done quite casually when the mood took me. The style is quite varied and even now I still use elements from them to keep my work loyal to itself.

"Gate" -using markers and staedler fineliner pens.

I've always drawn eyes on school books, notebooks, my arms, walls, everything draw-on-able really. I do it subconsciously if I have a pen, it's theraputic for me. These two drawings were done spontaneously, without any forethought. I still struggle to get back to that stage of not caring how something turns out, of not being so judgemental of myself. I think that this is why I love drawings eyes, as a reminder not to constantly analyse myself, while still enjoying my work. 

These next pages are from an early sketch book from years ago, when I was drawing nearly all the time and it was a visual stream of consciousness including lyrics or abstract shapes or anything that came to mind really. 

 Here, I was messing around with some stencil fonts and some graffiti imagery like the spray cap from a spray paint can. Some of my favourite artists, Francis Bacon for example, disliked the idea of purity/perfection and pristinely finished pieces. This always inspired me to develop my own style and while I like to have pieces finished to high quality, I try to discard the impulse to keep each detail precious, and live in the moment of creativity as it flows naturally. To me, there is a distinction between the planning & brainstorming rough work and the need to have every element structured, restrained and monitored.
There's nothing more uncreative than total premeditation.

Video games have been a massive influence on my personality, with Super Mario being no exception. This Mario drawing is a small tribute to the fire flower power ^_^

 "Cute culture" has, subconsciously, influenced my casual art and I tend to draw silly characters or produce overly-colourful homage-esque secretions of kyoot, below inspired by Hello Kitty. I used markers of different thicknesses for this drawing and the Mario one.

This drawing is from a 5th year art project about Japanese cinema and I used this as the main poster image. Aspiring to be a "manga-ka" someday, I based this drawing on the somewhat typical manga costume style, to which I feel I have added my own touch. I drew it with pen and a small amount of watercolour paint.

I love to use written language in my art and below are two examples.
"Ai" (love) - Markers

Rammstein lyrics with the word "Herz" (heart) in them beside a swirling train of thought done with black ink pen and an amazing band. 

This next drawing is one of my favourite pieces I've done. 
The music notes are taken from the first melody line from 'Greensleeves'. The piece was drawn free-hand, and I intend to use it as part of a tattoo. It's symbolic of my love of art and music.

I think with all creatives, exploration and influence inevitably forces evolution on a person's style and though I have the impulse to cling to my old, comfortable methods, progression is vital to take themes and the final outcome out of stagnation and into something different.