Thursday, 29 October 2009

More dreams

Do you have dreams which recur? or themes of dreams which recur?

I often dream that I am driving. I don't know how to drive. I've never even driven except once when my high-school boyfriend tried to teach me to drive his manual Honda civic in the parking lot of a mall, and once even before that when my father let me back the car out of the garage (this one went rather badly - the car ended upon the lawn). I've never taken a driving test - not even just to get a learner's license.

Why? I've always found that I can manage without.

In my driving dreams I am always just about able to steer the vehicle. I seem to be able to fake it and other motorists don't notice. Only I know how close I am to disaster. In these dreams I am worried that something will soon go wrong - either I will crash or get pulled over and be in trouble. In my dream I also think about how I should really stop driving, and also learn how to drive.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Dreams and other stuff

Last night I dreamt that I was living in a very tall house with windows and I had to escape from something. I don't know what it was. My family advised me that I should just fly away. According to my dad if I jumped out of the highest window I would be able to fly. I maintained that this would probably result in instant death. In my dream there was also a guy around who was a family friend. My dad asked me if I was going to break up with him and I asked how I was suppose to break up with him since I'm not going out with him anyway. My dad said 'Why don't you go out with him? Don't you like him?', at which point I I started crying and said 'I want Richard back'.

Then I woke up.

I also received a box in the post yesterday. I'd posted a bunch of things to myself from Edinburgh, when I moved out of Topher's flat. It's full of momentos from our relationship - photographs and toys he'd bought me and stuff. I opened it earlier today and it's still sitting here. I don't know what to do with it and can't really bear thinking about it right now.

All in all, a pretty emotional kind of day

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Some new sketches

So I've not put any of my sketches on here because I'm too ashamed of them. But today I had two which I was proud of (in the way that parents are proud of ugly children). They're really not much to write home about, but believe you me, they're an improvement to things I was producing a month ago!

So here's one that's done with white conte on black paper.

I didn't have time to do tonal blocking on the fabric covered stool the model was sitting on. So it stayed as a gesture. But I kind of like it that way. In fact, I hate tonal blocking. Probably because I'm so rubbish at it. I really like gestures though. Oh and I hate doing faces.

Here's a second pose. Vine charcoal on white paper. I took photographs at 3 stages.

So this is stage one. You can see that one of her legs is still just scribbles. Unfortunately the camera didn't focus so well cos I was in a hurry and wobbled. She was also leaning on a cane (which is invisible). I don't like drawing canes because I think they look stupid. For some reason our models usually end up with a cane at some point. Sigh.

This is the second stage. I've keyed in the landmarks (shoulder & hips etc.) and filled in the figure accordingly. I liked it best at this stage.

I don't like the end product so much. It's not complete of course - we never get enough time to really work it to completion. But anyway I like the gestural stages much better.

I keep intending to go along to life drawing without instruction - that should be good practice. I have another life drawing class tomorrow too, which I'm looking forward to :)

Sunday, 11 October 2009


The Blazer? Skye? Scoraig?

Things were better then. What changed? and why can it not change back? I miss the people we were.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

I just wanted to say...

One day I felt unwell and stayed at home alone; Katya and Sonya had gone with him to Nikolskoye to look at the new building work. The tea-table was laid, I went downstairs and, while waiting for them, sat down at the piano. I opened the Sonata quasi una Fantasia and began to play it. No one could be seen or heard, the windows to the garden were open, and the familiar, sadly festive sounds rang out through the room. I finished the first movement and quite unconsciously, out of old habit, looked round at the corner where he once used to sit and listen to me. But he was not there; the chair, long unmoved, stood in its corner; but through the window one could see a lilac bush in the bright sunset, and the evening's freshness was pouring in through the open windows. I leaned both my elbows on the piano, covered my face with my hands, and thought. I sat like this for a long time, remembering with pain the old days that could never return...

'Family Happiness,' The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy. Trans. David McDuff and Paul Foote. Penguin, 2008. p. 83.

I too, still feel your absence from my life. Take care, my friend. I hope you are well.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

What I'm doing these days

These days I find myself often being quite busy in one way or another. I had thought that once I left the crazy academic schedule of Oxford, my days would calm down a little bit. But somehow even though I am not nearly as productive as I was in Oxford, I am still busy? It's better this way though - too much time to think is never a good thing for me. I tend to be happiest when I am productive (and most frustrated if I am busy but unproductive). Of course commuting in this big city takes a chunk out of my day (1 hour down-town and 1 hour back up, minimum).

Anyway I wanted to show you a little bit of what I've been working on for the last two or so days. In my Photoshop class we were asked to make six 6x6 inch themed squares. The themes are based around 'elements of design' - for instance, lines, texture, colour etc. We are fairly free to interpret that as we would and use whatever means we can. I've done five so far and am stuck for ideas for the sixth...

This one is themed around texture. It started out life as a photograph of an parking alley linking two roads near Spadina and Adelaide in Toronto. I went to Google maps and got a very zoomed out satellite image of the city streets, and put it into the picture to give it texture. I quite like how the colours turned out too.

This one is theme around plane. It's made from a photo I took, again around the Spadina and Adelaide area. I didn't put the shoes on the hydro-pole - they were what made me stop and take the photo though. I outlined the building with black lines, got rid of the building itself, made the hydro-pole and shoes black and white, and then intensified the colour of the sky.

This one is themed around lines. Though the way it worked out in the end it could also have been a colour theme I suppose. It started out as a picture I took of buttercups on Port Meadow, Oxford. The original was wide angle and had a lot of the meadow and sky. I cropped it and made the background black and white. I intensified the colours of the one buttercup in focus, and cut the picture into strips and rearranged it. Then I did something with layer blending modes though I can't quite remember what.

(I still remember the day I took this picture. I thought we were going to row at Godstow but instead we were down at the Isis. When I realized I hauled ass down the canal and made it there a quarter of an hour late. I got a worried phone-call from Ross on the way. He called me 'Hong' - which is how I knew he was in coach-mode.)

This one is centred on the theme of dots. It's probably my least favourite. It's just the 'pointillize' filter and some kind of layer blending business. It's a picture of a strawberry in my hand from Medley Manor Farm, Oxford.

(I was staying at Walton street at the time and Richard wanted to go fruit-picking, so I cycled over to Binsey and went to the farm by myself and called him from the strawberry fields. It was a glorious day and I came home with a punnet full of strawberries. We made strawberry custard tart and strawberry ice-cream. So you see almost every photograph is a memory).

This is centred around the theme of colour. It is made from a (not very good) sketch I did of Diane Keaton, from an old photograph. In it she was wearing her signature Annie Hall look. I scanned in my pencil sketch, cleaned it up a little bit (but leaving my comments to myself) and then found an oil painting of candied-apples from which I cut out colour & shape for her lips.

So, instead of medieval literature, this is what I'm focusing on at the moment. Learning how to create digital images, but also learning how to draw etc. I will have to post some pictures of my sketches and life-drawings at some point but I am so bad at it I'm embarrassed to show you!

But hopefully I will (eventually) get better.