The 'Great' Outdoors

Dear friends, I am terribly sorry to have neglected you all and not written a single post about my illustrations, however I have been REALLY REALLY busy. Dissertation and degree show stress has taken over my life so I've been quiet. This weekend I am spending some time tying up loose ends and doing things I've neglected to do for the past few weeks like.. cleaning and taking out the recycling and looking after my plant family, but now I have got the time to take care of it all.

Its a good thing too as I'm going to Spain tomorrow for a short break to do some rock climbing. I hope that there will be sun as I'm sick and tired of all these seasonal mix-up shenanigans

I can also update you on some bits of the work I've been doing. Aside from working on the epic dissertation which is now done and dusted, I did some paintings about the 'great' outdoors, which is an embodying theme for my final show. You may recall the 'bleps' I did in a post last December. I did some experimental work which stems from the idea of those little figurines in the form of two gouache paintings. there may be more to come, however at this point in time I'm focusing a bit more on some other work.
Obligatory Viewpoint
Don't Feed the Bears
I also did a screen print of a spotted eagle owl. Owls are really beautiful birds and I mostly did this as an exercise, however the ideas are still the relationship between nature and pattern, and a juxtaposition of quite geometric shapes and more organic forms.

Spotted Eagle Owl

In a way this made me come full circle back to the work I was doing in second year and I think although I've experimented quite a bit stylistically, I've sort of found my way back now. 

I had a really good chat with Ben Cox from Central Illustration Agency about my work and he definitely agreed about print making being my strong point. He also liked the digital work I was doing so I think for my portfolio I will focus on those. He liked my gouache paintings but thought they were quite focused to a children's market, which is a good point and I might want to rethink the execution of those as they weren't really intended for children. I think I might try to include elements of print within the image to tie it together more strongly with my other work.

Lastly I spent a short amount of time doing another illustration to put on the cover of a business funding proposal. I ended up liking the idea and illustration quite a bit so I might continue this as a series. The illustration is a new take on a scene that has been depicted countless times, the death of Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet. I've always love the Pre-Raphaelite painting of Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais, however other paintings of the same scene are often time very similar and always depict a woman in the river surrounded by flowers, and in my opinion they quite often look a bit kitsch. 

Ophelia - Sir John Everett Millais
In my version I wanted to tell the story of Ophelia without actually showing her in her entirety. Gertrude's speech depicting Ophelia's death is so poetic and visually beautiful that I don't think its necessary to focus on the whole scene, so I only wanted to show fragments. I would like to develop this into a triptych but for now I shall show you the first of the series.

Ophelia 1

That is all I will show for now. I shall leave you with some interesting thoughts that I've been discussing with Danielle after listening to a radio programme about whether having a baby is at all sustainable. Disposable nappies are clogging up the environment and so it poses the question whether it is a necessity, or whether it is just convenient. As a baby I was wrapped in cloth nappies because they didn't have disposable ones in Poland. These were still perfectly hygienic as they could be sterilised in boiling water so why is the notion so far out there for most parents today? Also, is toilet paper a necessity? Think about it... in some countries there are other ways of staying hygienic. Not exactly the most poetic topic to end a post with but it can spark an interesting debate.