My photo for me, art and photography.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Fait Accomplis & A Good Example Of What DOESN'T Constitute A Good Day

Firstly, the positive: The studio is finished!!!!
All I need to do now is buy a studio easel and some canvas.
*does a little happy dance*
Here's what my new little world looks like:

My Studio by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

The bad day goes like so:
Nice sunny morning. Ok 11am. I get up, dressed, face on, hair up, announce that I'm off to Ikea to get a couple of bits for the studio (small clock and a few metres of material to use for canvas). Take a brolly anyway because.. well... this IS England and the weather is notoriously crap and unpredictable, also chucked on my vintage (1954) tweed hacking jacket because it was a bit breezy out, and headed out of the door.
Got the bus to the station, 'touched in' with my oyster card, and made sure i had about £6 on there, nipped down the stairs, saw a sign saying that to use the tram i must have a valid oyster card - the trip would take £1 off, but if i wanted to pay cash, it'd cost me £2. Fairy nuff - valid oyster card. Sorted. Got on the tram. (Note, I've never used the tram before). One stop before the one I needed to get off on, the inspector gets on, asks for my card, so I handed it over. He hauled me off infront of everyone and said I'm using an invalid card and I could either pay him £25 now, or go home and pay the fine online which'll set me back £50 instead.
you fucking WHAT?! how is it invalid? I have £6 on there! I checked when I touched in at the station!
I didn't touch in at the bottom of the stairs where the tram was.
Now how the hell am I supposed to know that I had to do that - there were NO signs, I mean, I have a degree in Comparative Literature, ok? if there is ANYTHING I know how to do, it's how to read. On top of that, when I touched in at the station, it took £4 off me. So that is 2 hours of my life and £29 that I'm never getting back.
The bit that pissed me off the most (outside of being screwed out of £29) was that there were half a dozen policemen on that platform, and on the tram were at LEAST 6 kids who should have been in school and who were bunking off/cutting class. Now, I don't know about America, but in England, that is actually illegal. So the sod's law stung even more: I was penalised HEAVILY for making an innocent mistake, while those kids who were knowingly doing something that was completley illegal got off scott free. As, I believe Dickens once said, " The law is an ass!". I wholeheartedly agree with him.
The day got better.
I got into Ikea, my shoes started giving me blisters as I walked around looking for two things: the small clock, and the material.
Ikea is like... You know that David Bowie film, Labyrinth? it's like that - there is no rhyme or reason to it - it just meanders around infinitely - there are no shortcuts to take to get to a specific area - no lift, or escalator to get to a certain place. You just have to follow the snaking path to the edge of bloody eternity. When I got to eternity, guess what? no small clocks, no plain fabric thick enough to use as canvas. A totally wasted journey.
I consoled myself with a 45p cup of coffee... which tasted like it had already been in and out of several people before me, and stalked out of the store to the tram stop, determined to touch in properly this time.
got to the station, got out, had to top up my card with a fiver. The whole time feeling as if i'd experienced the financial equivalent of rape, then got outside. No busses. Over half an hour waiting. 1 min into the wait, guess what? yes. the skies opened - icy wind blowing sheets of rain at me, and blowing my umbrella inside out. Bus came, got on, soaked, eau-de-sheep rising from my soggy jacket, and realised that the strap of my shoe (like mary janes) had broken off.

So. Wet, broken, hungry, tired and robbed. That was my day.

this was 2 days ago btw. I've peeled myself off the ceiling SLIGHTLY. I'm still seething though.

I've also embarked on another web-based pet project. The past few years through sheer boredom and lack of having money to collect anything else, I've amassed a collection of literally thousands of pictures of Judy Garland. They're all just sitting on my external hard drive so I thought I'd make a little website and upload a ton of them there so that other people can get some enjoyment from them. When I actually have something to show, other than the bare bones and blank pages, I'll post the link up here for any of you who might be interested.

Friday, 20 March 2009

A Few artists I worship

I've been to the national gallery quite a few times this year, and there are two paintings, just two, that you physically have to drag me away from - I'm an absolute sucker for lighting - the way it hits objects and bounces off them or filters through them... LOVE IT
the first one, by Joseph Wright in 1768 (!!!!) is quite macabre in terms of subject matter, but seriously - just check out that light! (those exclamaitions were because this dude was SO far ahead of his time style/light wise... like Rembrandt. That man was a...i don't actually have words - just wow. I'd actually put Rembrandt up along side Da Vinci and Mozart in terms of genius)

i got the picture off wikimedia where it's massive - like 2400x1600 or something insanely big like that, if you wanted to see it bigger, but i tweaked it in photoshop to make it look more like it actually is in real life - the colours are much more vibrant and richer - on the picture there it's all pretty much shades of grey

a couple of pics by rembrandt to prove my point:

While all his peers were churning out eyelashless people with faces like masks, - like greek statues with bits of colour slapped on, like this:

he was doing things like these:

the other one from the national gallery that you have to drag me away from is this:
by turner

No photo does this man's incredible work justice - NOTHING in print i've ever seen actually even begins to capture what it's like to stand in front of one of his canvasses. This painting is in a tiny little alcove in the national gallery, with walls painted dark red. Turner in his will asked to have two of his paintings displayed there, alongside two other paintings by a dutch artist. This painting is huge. It's about 6ftx 4.5 ft at LEAST
and when i stand in front of it - i can actually feel the warmth of that sun on my face. I know it sounds crazy, but i can physically feel it on my skin - THAT is why this man is one of the greats.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

One More Step Along...

almost there with the studio now - i have to put a wash on the ceiling to brighten it up a bit, give it a thorough cleaning, I have to do another coat on one wall, and then i'm ready to move in! I can't wait! I can't wait to actually be in there working - I know I've said this before: that I do quite like doing things on the graphics tablet, but it is no (i repeat:) NO subsitute for the feel of a real canvas under a real paintbrush.

My little robin has taken to following me up and down the garden now. I think he's intrigued by what i'm doing because I never really go in the garden, so when i walk up and down for tea breaks or to plug in the electricity, he flits between the fence and various things along the way, twittering at me. It's nice to at least have one friend in Surrey now. I want to get a couple of bits to hang up on the trellis for him - like a coconut or something - i'm in negotiations with dad for the little patch of garden in front of the studio - they don't really do anything to it- they do so much in the rest of the garden, but that little patch is pretty much left to its own devices: they have some form of tree, the trellis with wisteria winding around it, and some scraggly kind of bush, but if i'm allowed to, I'm hoping to turn it into a little oasis of color and nice smells and things for birds and windchimes and all that hippy crap. I know i have my bedroom where i should put my stamp, but i don't really feel it's my domain because mum comes in whenever she feels like it, and the house is HER house... but the shed... now that, is MINE. *smiles* I might actually end up living in there over the summer.

I've also seen a thing on the internet for about £130 which is a solar panel to power a laptop, so as soon as i get some money, i'm going to invest. I've already got a solar panel light for the studio - i just need to install it somehow. I really love all this save the planet/eco/renewable energy stuff and organicness and recycling, i just wish it was cheaper. I personally think people should put less angst into the depleting resources we already have, and waste less money panicking and sqabbling over how much we're going to charge per barrel of oil and negotiations with far off distant lands, and instead put the money and passion into looking at what is right on our doorstep and making it affordable so that more people can actually USE the planet in a positive way to power our lives and our future, rather than abuse it in a parasitical way. I know a lot of people hate windfarms, and think they're a blot on the landscape...but i actually think they're quite beautiful to look at - serene.. i mean, i'd rather have a few of those in a field rather than those ugly pylons.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Lots of Photos In This One...

Because I don't actually have a whole lot to say about today. I've been in the shed all day working on it to get it up to my 'studio' standards: here are a couple of progress shots:



I'm really liking it - i thought i'd keep the windows blue because they look pretty, but the lime green just had to go - not just because being in there was like having acid squirted in your eyes, but from the painting point of view, it gives a really warped perception of colour, because it just reflects off everything. So white is a good neutral colour that won't feck up your view of your paintings.

Can't wait to actually start working in there and moving all my stuff in! I'm planning on starting to make my own canvasses because firstly, it'd be cheaper to do that then buy them in the shops, and secondly the ones you get in the shops are extremely flimsy and the canvas is pretty flabby... i bought a reasonably large one one a while back with the hopes of doing some mixed media on it, and it's pathetic. I think if i put some texture paste on it, it would just buckle. and thirdly, the ones you buy in shops aint all that big... especially where I live, the maximum size is like... 3ftx3ft and that'll set you back about £7.00 whereas if i built my own i can get a whopping great lump of timber for £0.89 and canvas doesn't cost too much - nice big tub of wall emulsion to prime it and staple guns are cheap as chips - a few tacks in the side and i'd be sorted for a fraction of the price and i could make it any size i wanted.

Also took a few photos today. I know it's weird, because I'm a girl and i give the impression of being the indoorsy type, but i love the outdoors and i really like bugs! strange as it seems - looking at me you'd never guess that, but i could just crouch there for hours watching them do their thing - i've been like that since i was a kid. My neighbours probably thought I was a bit peculiar in the head, coz i'd just squat down and watch a group of ants, happily, for half an hour.
Anyway. Here are the aforementiond bugs. If you're squeamish look away now, but there are no spiders, so it's fine.

And saving the best to last - one of my favourite bugs: The woodlouse. (other faves are ladybirds, sheild bugs and moths. Snails and caterpillars are also pretty cool little dudes.)

Isn't he a cutie!!!! he looks like a little man with a moustache! Fantastic bugs.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Loitering Within Tent

Did some more work on the studio today - got paint... pretty much everywhere.... mainly on myself. It was fun. There's a robin that visits out garden every day. He sat on a branch right by the door of the shed watching me, and singing along with me to Baba O'Riley which was blasting out of my laptop. It then changed to Regina Spektor, and he stopped singing, so I changed it back to Baba O'Riley and he started singing again. My robin likes The Who. That's awesome. He's a cool little dude. I'll try and take a photo of him one day - I have a few, he's a cheeky little fella, but a bit camera shy.

Here's what I did today:

Loitering Within Tent by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

I wish there was a different way of doing the post labels for this thing. If i type 'art' or 'paint' i get like 100 different things popping up. It's so annoying. If anyone knows of a way to NOT get the labels coming up automatically, please let me know!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Spring is Sprung

The grass is riz, I wonder where dem birdies is.

Spring is officially here folks! And about time too, if I may say so! actually left the house today *gasp! I Knooow!* I pottered around in the shed for a bit - brandishing a squirty thing of polyfiller- have a nice fat hairy spider in there. I don't mind that kind - they just kind of sit there and don't move or anything so I don't have a problem with it. In fact, I think i'll give him a name if he's sticking around. Boris. Yeah. He looks like a Boris. After lunch, the parentals and I went to one of my favourite places on this earth: A National Trust house called Polesden Lacey. The world and his wife seem to be out in force today - it's insane! Tried to do a couple of drawings, but so many people were stopping by and staring over my shoulder it really kicked my concentration in the nuts. I don't know why I hate people staring over my shoulder when I'm trying to draw so much - I really have to get over it, because it means that they're interested in what I'm doing and interest = publicity= good. Like Alec Egan said in his email to me - artists need an audience just like actors need an audience. I see his point, obviously, but when I act, I have absolutely no problems with people staring at me, but.. you know what? I think I know what it is. I think this hating to have people staring over my shoulder when I'm working is because I hate people to see my work when it's not finished. It's an absolute loathing I have.. probably because everything I do looks so absolutely shit until about 5 mins before I finish - when I put the finishing touches on that miraculously pulls it all together. And I don't want people to think that I'm crap and that these smears of colour are all that I'm capable of doing. I KNOW they know it's working progress and they don't know what the finished thing will look like so don't think it's shit, but still - it's something absolutely embedded in my psyche. I really must must MUST learn to get rid of it, because I love interacting with people. I actually spoke to a kid today, which is something I never do - I'm really not a children person and I dread them coming over to me because I dunno how to talk to them (it should be noted that I'm an only child, all my cousins are about 20 years older than me, and I've always been in the company of adults, never in the company of people younger than me), but it really wasn't all that bad. I mean, he was about 5 and just started doing art in school and his teacher let him use paint and he got really messy and it was fun. It's GREAT that he enjoyed it.

Here's the 'thing' that sparked all the interest

pillars by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

Also on DA, a picture which really made me smile when I got home. This is just priceless. I love it.

Fun in the Fridge by *nocturnalMoTH on deviantART

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Upcoming Collection

I'm writing this down as a statement of intent, because that way, if I tell all of you that I'm going to do it, it means that I'll have to see it through, because I hate to go back on my word.

Five years ago, when I was 18, and right in the middle of exam period at school, one of my best friends died suddenly of a brain heommorhage 4 days before her 18th birthday. I don't cope with death at all, and I never really felt like I'd mourned her properly - I just shut myself off from it. Now, I feel it's too late to mourn, and she wouldn't want that anyway. She was a rainbow of a person - literally and figuratively - she had this cardigan she loved that was rainbow coloured, and she had a passion for music and very small things like minature playing cards and the old fashioned minis.

So rather than mourn her now, I want to celebrate her life by doing a short series of paintings dedicated to her memory. They'll be like nothing I've ever done before, because they'll be in her favourite style, featuring her favourite thing. The style is a mixture of cubism and fauvism, and the focus will be a viola. It's been five years since she died, and I think it's high time I honoured her memory properly.

There. I've said it. Now watch this space.


To start today’s post on a bit of a downer: Isolation has a bit of a habit of sneaking up on me when I least expect it. I don't actually know anyone where I live and all my friends are 100+ miles away. I have two best friends who are more like the sisters I never had and who I've lived with for 2 years at uni. One of them is in Australia for 'up to' a year and the other one is buggering off to Peru or some such place for about 6 months in a week or so, and I've not seen either of them for months as it is - Time zones make things just that little bit harder.

I realised yesterday, that aside from my parents and the lady behind the counter in the art shop, I've not actually had any physical human to human contact (msn and phone doesn't count) for over a month, and it's really starting to get to me a bit.

I wrote to Alec Egan the other week, whose work I absolutely love - it's pretty dark and really makes me think. You should definitely check him out ( . He's not much older than me- about 2 years, so I asked if he had any words of wisdom for someone, like me, who is just starting out. He's a really nice guy, from what I picked up from his reply. Anyone who knows me will know that I judge people extremely fast, and I’m right 99% of the time. He’s very earthed and very smart. (This is going somewhere, I promise) and in his reply, he included a short list of important things to know/do. Here it is:

1) surround yourself with people who support you
2) it is often a lonely profession but a great one
3) time and space are very important
4) if you are not willing to take risks and stand behind them you probably wont make it

3 and 4 are already been/being achieved. I have nothing but time... space is a little tricky at the moment, but I'm working on it

2 is just beginning to hit home. I have to remind myself why I'm doing this sometimes. If I work hard now, it'll pay off in the future. Other people work hard too - I know they're in offices and surrounded by people, but you can be surrounded by people and still be alone in the crowd. They're working so hard to get in and get on that they lose track of life and doing the things they enjoy, and work so long that they don't have time to do the things that make them happy.

One of my exes sold his soul to a corporation aged 21. After a year, his work was his life. Weekends weren't to be enjoyed, they were two days where he had a list of things that he had to tick off 'get suit to laundry. Pick up food. Do banking. Buy new shirt. Buy cufflinks. See girlfriend." I never want my life to be a list of things that need to be ticked off. Happiness and freedom are not things I’m willing to sacrifice.

Every time now, when I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and defeated by this thing, I think of those four points and it gives me a little boost - a little nudge to remind me why I'm doing this and to not give up.

I'm monologuing now so I'm just going to cut straight to the point I was going to make at the beginning of this thing: I'm going to stay with a friend's family in the country for a few days next week. They're like another family to me. It'll be good to be surrounded by people and animals and fresh air and wide open spaces for a change. It'll also do me good to get out of my head for a while and have a change of scenery - being cooped up in my room all day on my own is really giving me serious cabin fever. There's a place I'm thinking we (his mum and I) could go - I can't remember the name of it, but it's on the coast and it's the most bizarre landscape - totally desolate, kind of like there's been an apocalypse or something, with just a few little huts- i mean as in actual huts - tiny little shed-like wooden buildings where people actually live! and rotting fishing boats and a lighthouse. Last time we went it was in November and bitterly cold and overcast.. It was so eerie - you could feel the net curtains twitching and my vivid imagination was going bezerk, imagining salivating creatures inside who eat tourists. Great for a painting.

Here's the Brando I did yesterday:

Marlon Brando by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

Friday, 13 March 2009


I know that's not a real word, but it should be.
So yesterday I spent the day going through about 16 pages of my stuff on Deviantart and really biting the bullet and having a clearout of epic proportions and got it down to 5? pages. This is why on here, there are quite a few big grey boxes where things WERE but are no longer. I will go back and edit the posts to get rid of them, because they look silly, but not now. Also tried my hand at two photomanipulations which, judging by their pageview counts and the number of favourites I've got on them already, they seem to have gone down a treat. They are here:

Memory by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

This first one took me about 3 mins of browsing DA (what I shall now call 'deviantArt' for short, because I'm lazy) for texture stock - it's actually fantastic for it - You see these people like istock photo who want to charge you some obscene amount of money for pretty basic stock photos, yet on deviantart, you get it for free, and for a majority of the deviants ('deviant' is their alternative for the word 'member'), the most that they'll ask is that a) credit be given to them, b) it's not used in anything promoting pornography/racism/hate, which is fair enough, and c) that you give them a link to what you've done with it just so they can have a look to satisfy curiosity. Good Stuff. So yeah, that took 3 mins of browsing and about 10 mins to stick together. I dunno what the big deal is that people make of this thing - I'm no expert, I mean, this is pretty much the first time I've ever tried to do anything like this, but it's pretty easy. It's just a case of putting stuff over eachother in layers, blending 'em together and saving it. It's really not that hard. Not to say that some people out there aren't immensely talented at doing it, but... lets just say I had a little more respect for them when I was all wide eyed and 'ohhh how'd they do that?' before I had a go myself.

This was an attempt at a slightly more advanced/complicated one. Going with a theme I personally really can't be bothered with - the whole 'fairy' obsession and fantasty art thing. I don't get it, it's a bit daft really - grown up people being obsessed with fairies? That's a step away from believeing santa and the tooth fairy are real... Anyway. Here it is:

Are You Ok? by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

The picture is pretty and it's a bit like something out of a Molly Brett kiddies book.. but it's not really my sort of thing. I also did a drawing of Laurence Oliver today and as I write this, I'm about 3/4 of the way through a Marlon Brando picture - which I'll stick photos of on here later - it's too late to be ferreting for a camera now. I tried drawing something with the grid method, but I really hate doing it - to me, it just feels like I'm cheating. I get frustrated because the proportions on the things I draw freehand always come out just that little bit off, like the shirley temple below, but.. I dunno... to me drawing with a grid just feels all wrong - i don't feel like i'm actually drawing anything - i feel like a kid doing a colouring-in book where the picture is already drawn - cheating almost. I mean, let's face it, it's pretty much just tracing, isn't it? so SOME level of skill (mainly patience) is involved, but I just don't feel happy doing it. I like to struggle for my art. At least when I sell it, I won't feel any attachment to it at all, unlike my painting of Judy Garland which I ran the gamut of emotions over while doing it. I'll never sell that painting - it's my baby.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Hiccuping in time to music.

Do you know how pysically hard it is to laugh at yourself while hiccuping when you realise you're hiccuping in time to the music you're listening to?


Dad's told me they've got dress rehearsals coming up for an opera soon, so I think i might go along sketchbook in hand. It's driving me nuts, because I have so many ideas for collections swimming around in my head and i physically can't do anything about it until this damn studio is ready so i can just get in there and bloody get on with it! I HATE waiting around. It's got to the point where I'm *that* frustrated about it that i'm taking it out on my deviantART gallery and absolutely attacking it - uprooting half the crap on there and being absolutely merciless and remorseless with it.

I'm basically back to square one - being stuck spinning my wheels waiting on everyone else - unable to move on and get on with anything myself. I hate this so much. It's got to the point where i'm thinking fuck the lack of insulation, flooring and leaky roof - i just want to be in there doing things - i don't care if i'm freezing my proverbials off and getting rained on. Although I don't think my canvasses would see it quite the same way when they're all warped. GAH! annoying.

Anyway. While I'm on the opera route - here's a picture I did when I was in school. The handsome chap on the extreme right is my Pa! :D I love that dad's had an.. 'unconventional' life. Like at school, kids would say 'my dad's a builder, my dad's an electrician, my dad's a surveyor, my dad works in an office, my dad's a paramedic.... what does your dad do?'
my dad's an opera singer.
that's right.

Opera by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Street Art

As I'm having a computer/admin day today,I thought I'd make a post about Street Art. I find this branch of art fascinating because I've always been brought up to believe graffiti is not only illegal, it's tacky and tasteless - something chav kids do because they have nothing better to do with their lives than make the beautiful ugly and to have their little gang culture tagging things going on. But sometimes, there are always a few who can elevate that to an art form. For example - Banksy.

Banksy is a british street artist. I have a feeling I'd seen quite a few pieces of his work dotted around before he was 'discovered' a couple of years ago and skyrocketed to fame. Here's a photo I dug out which was taken about 4 years ago in Highgate. I'm happy to say I no longer own those sunglasses. Those were a really bad move.

also, something I found on youtube. I wish I'd seen some of this guys work when I was in New York last year - I would have absolutely geeked out over it!

REALLY good idea!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Monsieur Critique

I've enlisted one of my friends to be my critic - because so often, when I ask people what they think of something i've done, they say nothing but nice things about it. I'm the sort of person who doesn't really learn by people praising the good bits, but rather, from people pointing out where I've gone wrong. Also, there's a tendency that people don't want to seem nasty by saying negative things to other people, especially about art... it's kinda like artists are treated a little like children... a kid toddles up to a person with a drawing of a stick man with one leg longer than the other, one eye, and a green sun in the background, and the person will invariably coo and say how wonderful it is, even though honestly, they're thinking 'this is shit... i don't even know what it is', but they won't say that, because they don't want to hurt the kids feelings.

People tend to treat me the same way.... I'm not sure how much of it isn't helped by the fact I'm short, but really. lol So, I've told me friend, who is actually a really nice, thoroughly decent bloke to be merciless with me. So if you see Monsieur Critique writing something really mean and bitchy, don't worry, he's not being horrible for the hell of it, he's doing it because i've bullied him into it. And may well be paying him for it in the form of baked goods. If you agree with him, join in, if you don't, say something - art is extremely subjective after all! Although you won't be getting baked goods - I can't spend all day making cake. If I did, I wouldn't have time to make art lol

Monday, 9 March 2009


I had one of those days today where I'm doing something, and a random word, or name or question pops into my head - absolutely for no reason, and I'm not content until I've looked it up. I blame my grandfather and my dad for this - "look it up" is the mantra - usually involving dropping everything they're doing to look it up instantly. So. Here's the question.

What is Art? as in what does it actually mean - where does it come from? is it Greek for something totally unrelated to what we now connect with art?

I sat in on an open lecture at university once - I can't remember the name of it, or the guest lecturer, but he was talking about the word 'clue' - we associate it with detectives - a tangible thing to link one thing to another. If my memory serves, 'clue' goes back to ancient times, the Greeks, and the myth of the minotaur - remember that one? where the princess stands outside the labyrinth holding a ball of string, while her lover goes in to take on the half-man half bull? well the word for string, in those days was 'clue'. Follow the clue to find 'X' follow the string to find the answer. So there you go. Bit of classical etymology for you.

Now for art: here's what the online dictionary of etymology has to say:

art (n.)
c.1225, "skill as a result of learning or practice," from O.Fr. art, from L. artem, (nom. ars) "art, skill, craft," from PIE *ar-ti- (cf. Skt. rtih "manner, mode;" Gk. arti "just," artios "complete;" Armenian arnam "make," Ger. art "manner, mode"), from base *ar- "fit together, join" (see arm (1)). In M.E. usually with sense of "skill in scholarship and learning" (c.1305), especially in the seven sciences, or liberal arts (divided into the trivium -- grammar, logic, rhetoric -- and the quadrivium --arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy). This sense remains in Bachelor of Arts, etc. Meaning "human workmanship" (as opposed to nature) is from 1386. Sense of "cunning and trickery" first attested c.1600. Meaning "skill in creative arts" is first recorded 1620; esp. of painting, sculpture, etc., from 1668. Broader sense of the word remains in artless (1589). As an adj. meaning "produced with conscious artistry (as opposed to popular or folk) it is attested from 1890, possibly from infl. of Ger. kunstlied "art song" (cf. art film, 1960; art rock, c.1970). Fine arts, "those which appeal to the mind and the imagination" first recorded 1767. Art brut "art done by prisoners, lunatics, etc.," is 1955, from Fr., lit. "raw art." Artsy "pretentiously artistic" is from 1902. Expression art for art's sake (1836) translates Fr. l'art pour l'art. First record of art critic is from 1865. Arts and crafts "decorative design and handcraft" first attested in the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, founded in London, 1888.
"Supreme art is a traditional statement of certain heroic and religious truths, passed on from age to age, modified by individual genius, but never abandoned. The revolt of individualism came because the tradition had become degraded, or rather because a spurious copy had been accepted in its stead." [William Butler Yeats]

so basically, underneath all those 'from the noun' 'cf. skt.rtih' magical code words that don't really mean anything to us mere mortals without a doctorate in etymology, The gist is:

ART = To Make

Sounds about right.

Make art, not war.
Make art, not money

Going to pop to Kingston to stock up on some proper drawing pencils and drawing paper in a bit - will hopefully have something to show for it by tonight.

As I side note, looking up photos of classic stars to draw, and came across this photo of Cary Grant... I've had a mild crush for years, but really... this is full blown love now! This is definitely on the list of 'things to draw'

Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Wee Folk

the big news:

!!!!!THE WEBSITE IS UP!!!!!!


Every day, I feel like I'm getting a little bit closer to being a proper working artist. Got my first commission today too! two A3 pencil drawings of two little guys.

Small problem being that firstly, I really hardly ever draw anything - I'm a canvas girl - oils, I do - acrylics, I definitely do. Landscapes and flowers, fine. People I'm not so good at, and I've never drawn a child in my life, so I'm really going to have to buck my ideas up and get to work practicing - kids faces seem totally different to grown-ups faces.. and I don't exactly have access to any small children, let alone any I can legally nail to a chair so they don't squirm around and will sit there for hours without throwing hissyfits - I don't keep a spare one in my cupboard for rainy days either. Shirley Temple is the closest thing I have. She's got such a funny little face, I think if I can draw her, I'll be able to draw any kid.

I'll be updating this entry today as I draw a few more, but really - this whole pencil drawing thing... tricky!

Here is Shirley Temple aged 18 months (from her autobiography: Child Star.. the face on that was all of about 2cm high so... I sense this is going to be some learning curve!)

ok well it seems that the fault of crap drawing lies not with me, but with paper. Went on deviantart to ask the others what they use and a lot of them said smooth paper - so i had a rummage and found some heavyweight smooth paper... here's what I somehow managed to do. I'm a bit stunned to be honest - I absolutely believed that I couldn't draw at all and the problem was with me - i mean - look at the first picture on here! I can't believe that such a simple thing like a different kind of paper could make such an absolutely MASSIVE difference!

Shirley Temple by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Absolutely Peeved: Corel Painter 11 Review

I cannot WAIT til I get my hands on photoshop. There is so much hype surrounding Corel Painter 11 you'd think it'd be like digital paint's answer to sex. HAH! yeah the paint brushes are pretty cool, get some good effects blah blah blah, BUT I dunno what it'd be like on an XP, but on my vista, the fecking thing is crashing every five minutes. I have lost SO much work from this damn thing dying on me. No warning - not asking it to do anything weird, just.. i drew a circle, got the 'fill' tool to fill it black. it crashes. The new genius programme? I think not. Thank god I didn't pay for this and am just using the free trial version. For the price they're charging you'd think they'd have made a stable programme. My advice? if you want something reliable that doesn't cock up every two minutes, take that money, add a little extra to the kitty and get yourself photoshop. If I see this bloody sign saying that 'painter 11 has experienced a problem and needs to close' one more time, I swear I'm going to delete the thing. I've just about had enough of it.

A Little Change

You might need to click on it to enlarge it to make it easier to read..

Rainshaker by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

Thursday, 5 March 2009


I'm extremely tired because it's very late, so I'm going to make this brief and try and condense the past few days into a couple of paragraphs:

Not a lot to report. The shed is now empty and ready for conversion. It is INFESTED with spiders - it's like Shelob's lair in there. I wouldn't have a problem with it if the spiders that look like this weren't there. They freak the hell out of me. Possibly because they look a lot like daddylonglegs which I've been petrified of since I was a kid. *shudders at the thought*

I can't wait to actually start painting with a real paintbrush again. I really can't tell you how much. Every morning I wake up with a big blank white canvas still in its wrapper staring at me going 'paint me... paint meeee' and I can't, because if I started chucking paint around in my room, I'd get absolutely throttled by my mother. One of the non-benefits of living at home. Apparently the website will be up tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath - the last three or four times I've said that nothing's happened, so don't really expect too much - I'm just saying what I've heard. Whether or not it transpires will be confirmed sooner or later with a bulletin on here.

My cousin took me to see a play tonight at the Riverside Studios called 'The New Electric Ballroom' which was brilliant - a twin to The Walworth Farce which I may or may not have raved about on here about before. Same playwright. I'll write more on this later because I really am cream crackered after lugging around so much junk today and not really sleeping. Who knew that such a small shed could contain SO MUCH STUFF!

Seing as I'm unable to use real canvasses, here's what I've been getting up to in terms of digital stuff:

Geisha by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

which is a bit crap to be honest, but it was just an idea I wanted to play with. And:

Puddlejumper by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

which I actually quite like. I wish I knew how to do vectors though because the pixellated edges just look so messy.

sorry for the pictures courtesy of deviantart rather than being done properly by resizing and uploading.. this is sheer laziness on my part.

Monday, 2 March 2009

No Place Like Home, and other ramlings

Had a pleasant surprise yesterday when I settled down in front of the TV with a lump of polymer clay to find, when I switched it on, the Wizard of Oz was just starting! shortly followed by Jumanji! what a great bit of telly scheduling! I felt about 9 years old again! marvellous! I don't know why, but childhood favourites always seem more special when they're on the tv as opposed to when I just stick a DVD on the player - especially old Judy movies... probably because I know that somewhere out there, some kids are getting their first exposure to her and starting their own love - same goes for the other movies too - I mean, yeah, Narnia, all well and good, but let's face it: Labyrinth and Mrs Doubtfire and the other 1990s classics like the Babysitter's Club take a LOT of beating.

Haven't really done much [read 'anything'] on the painting and drawing front the past couple of days, apart from trying, again, to make a bust of Judy Garland from polymer clay. I think if she didn't have such a weird little face it wouldn't be quite so hard. I imagine Kate Hepburn would be much easier (even though I can't draw her). Website still isn't up, I'm getting a little 'grr' about it because I just want the damn thing up now coz I'm sick of it, and getting a little tetchy when every single person I know keeps asking 'is the website up yet? how's the website going? when are you live and online?' but my techhie guy who is putting it up for me is a very busy dude, and he's doing me a massive favour by hosting my site for me so I really don't want to harass him about it. If he's busy tomorrow I think I'll just switch the dns server over to 1and1 and blimming pay to host it - it's only like £1.99 a month anyway. I just want the thing working now because I've been popping into galleries to have a chat with some of the owners and it makes me feel like a complete idiot/fraud/timewaster when they ask me for my website address when i'm like 'err yeah I do have one, it's just not up yet' - every single time, they look at me as if they don't believe me. Another thing I've noticed is that gallery staff are SERIOUSLY unfriendly - I know it's because they probably work on commission so they're all friendly and hiiiiii because I walk in there with a smile and they see pound signs flashing before their eyes, but as soon as I ask for information on artists submitting work, the smile freezes on their faces and they shove a business card at me saying 'submit your website on there and the buyer will have a look'. I guess a lot of it is probably because they have to put up with a lot of kids trying to get their manga and fairy stuff on sale, but really, if it wasn't for artists, they'd be out of a job. They need to have a think about that.

As far as culture goes, went and saw a production of Martha by Opera South in Hazelmere - a Handel one which is greatly underappreciated I think - the set was a little... well it wasn't to my taste anyway, and Olly at the RCM would have done a much better job of the lighting - it was all a bit bright yellow, or purple for me - like they were aiming for realistic and overshot it by quite a bit. Acting was good, the two lead girls were both RCM and one of them looked exactly like Charlotte Church, which was a little unnerving. Ended up going to The George Hotel for dinner and having a massive plate of ham, egg and chips at about half past ten at night which was extreme eating extremely late - the next morning I still felt full. There's something incredibly british about that. We complain when restaurants give us mountains of food on our plates because there's no way we'd be able to eat it all, but we feel guilty about leaving it on the plate because it's wasteful, so we overstuff ourselves, then feel we really ought to have a pudding to go with it, and then spend the next hour or so moaning and groaning and waddling around rubbing our food-babies and huffing and puffing..... but then if they don't give us an obscene amount of food on the plate we complain that we're not getting our money's worth 'oh, is that it?!', skip dessert because we think well, if main course was so stingy I'm not going to fork out for an equally small and disappointing pudding, and spend the next two hours complaining amongst ourselves and vowing not to go to that place again.

The Brits are absolutely fantastic complainers - we can complain until the cows come home, but we never do it to the people who actually can do something about it - i've never seen a brit send a plate back to the kitchen because it's cold - americans i always see having a gripe at the staff, but the brits would grin and bear it and eat it anyway and then piss and whine for HOURS afterwards about how appalling the service was.

c'est la vie.
here's the Liza Minnelli design I was on about the other day:

that's all folks.