My photo for me, art and photography.

Friday, 29 May 2009


On deviantart, I've been featured in a thing called 'Traffic stopping photography' for this picture of a bug that I took in my garden yesterday!

Bug by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

Didn't expect such a rip-roaring response! i'll have to use the saturation control feature in psp more often in future!

more pictures to follow.

I'm going to have to update the photography section of my site I think - there's so much absolute rubbish on there that it's a little embarrassing. It shall be deleted!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

The Dealio

Alrighty - to cut a short story shorter - I've had a bit of a body-blunder. When I was younger, I gave myself RSI(repetitive strain injury) in my right hand, and I've kind of sparked it off again after stretching my canvasses by hand before I got my pliers... and it's radiated up my arm so now I have a cross between RSI and tennis elbow! fun times! so I'm giving l'internet minimal use and minimal computer use in general because my physio says that typing aggravates it. FABULOUS. I'll be updating photo-wise, but not writing. Sorry to those who have emailed me - I shall get back to you eventually when I'm feeling less pained!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A couple of bits.

I've finally finished the oil painting I was doing, Which I've decided to call 'Jill's House', in dedication to one of my friends

The picture qality isn't the greatest, I'm afraid, it was absolutely BUCKETING down outside and the lighting was ridiculously bad. When we get some sun, I'll try to remember to take some decent pictures.

And another 'Mrs O'Reilly'.

I know she comes from inside my own head, but I'd love to know who she is and where she's going.

Done a couple of rough prep ideas for my next piece... not sure where it's going now, but it's going to be expressionist and times square. Another one to add to the USA collection

I love this:

'Taste The Rain' by Anna Gillespie

Monday, 11 May 2009

Stuff and Things

Another day in the studio where not a lot happened. One of the major drawbacks of working in oil is that it takes a ruddy long time to dry. For some reason - I don't know the science and chemical composition behind it, but white oil paint takes three times longer than any other colour to dry. I don't work in oil very often, so I keep forgetting this, so I'm stuck hanging around for ages waiting for layers to dry.

Alec Egan is having an art show at the end of this month! HURRAH! well.. for him anyway - sadly it's in Los Angeles - again this is great for him, but it means I can't go and see it... I don't think I could get to Los Angeles on my Oyster card somehow... sadly. A POUND? you say?

Alec, if you ever read this, how about you get yourself on a plane to Blighty, eh?

Here is an interview with him on the Tube of You

I think he may be a little tipsy in this, but I understand what he means anyway.

I LOVE this guy's work! And, believe it or not (more likely not, looking at my work, it's absolutely nothing like his) this guy is the reason why I'm now an artist. Seeing him just doing inspired me to get off my arse and stop talking about wanting to be an artist, and actually just DOING it.

And from tranny art to penis art.... My friend sent me this... it is hands down the funniest thing I've seen in a long time:

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Cakeage and photos etc. Lots of visuals today.


The cake.. This cake - was pretty good! I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate or walnuts so I personally wasn't in love with it, but mum and dad have told me to make it again 'any time you want' - which coming from them is high praise indeed!

HOWEVER: It said on the recipie that it serves four. HAH! My GOD does it serve four - it's quite a rich, heavy pud - you will get AT LEAST 6 out of it. I had 1/6th of it and I actually struggled to finish it. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I don't eat very much, but when it comes to puddings and cakes, I have hollow legs. Struggled.

Not got a huge amount done in the studio lately - the one I'm working on at the moment is oil so it's a lot of faffing about waiting for layer to dry, which drives me nuts - and I don't have the space to have one drying and one in the works, so I'm pretty lumbered with it til its finished.

In the meantime, I've been faffing elsewhere, trying to think of how I'd want to update my website, which I shall need to do when I'm done with this collection and was thinking of updating some of the photography sections and profile pictures and welcome message and whatnot.

Here's all I managed to come up with:

I like these last two, but I don't think they're particularly suitable.

My friend, Charles (see, darling, I'm giving you credit where it's due) played around with one of my pictures and came up with a pretty cool version!

Isn't that cool?! It really reminded me of some of those pictures by Andy Warhol, so I tweaked the colours a bit to make it even more Warhol like:

ANNNNNND finally - a bunch of photos around the garden and studio... just because I was making the most of comandeering my dad's excellent camera while he was out I'm not really supposed to use it because I have my own, so shhhh...

Friday, 8 May 2009

A Piece of Cake

I was watching a cookery programme earlier today and they had this AMAZING looking Italian chocolate nut cake which I jus HAD to try and make. It's sitting in the fridge at the moment and setting, so in a few hours, I shall have some photos and a report. Photos of spring in my garden an a couple of completely narcissistic headshots of yours truly, because it's going to be time to update my website with the America Collection and I'm thinking of sprucing up the self-portrait side of the photograpy too.

God I can't wait to try this cake! it sounds divine! it smells better! Here's the recipie, if you want to try it yourself: (I've not made the sauce though, it sounds a little sickly to me - I'm just having mine with amaretto and cream. Heart-attack on a plate right there, but you only live once, right? :D

For the cake
250g/8¾oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
3 medium free-range egg whites
200g/7¼oz ground almonds
100g/3½oz walnuts, chopped
50g/1¾oz hazelnuts, chopped
200g/7¼oz icing sugar
4 tbsp almond liqueur
For the topping
100g/3½oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
70g/2½oz icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
2 tbsp water
For the almond sauce
300ml/10½oz full-fat milk
2 tbsp cornflour
25g/1oz butter
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp almond liqueur
2 tbsp water

1. For the cake, line a circular flan dish 18cm/7in in diameter and 3cm/1¼in deep with cling film.
2. Bring a little water to the boil in a pan, then reduce the heat until the water is simmering. Suspend a heatproof bowl over the water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Add the dark chocolate pieces and stir until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, use a hand whisk to beat the egg whites for 2-3 minutes, or until they have thickened. Add the ground almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, icing sugar and almond liqueur and mix until well combined. Gently fold in the melted chocolate.
4. Pour the egg and chocolate mixture into the prepared cake tin and chill in the fridge for two hours.
5. For the topping, bring a little water to the boil in a pan, then reduce the heat until the water is simmering. Suspend a heatproof bowl over the water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Add the dark chocolate pieces and stir until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
6. In a small saucepan, mix together the icing sugar and two tablespoons of water, then heat over a low heat, stirring well, until the sugar has melted and the mixture resembles syrup. Stir in the melted chocolate until well combined.
7. When the cake has chilled, turn it out onto a plate and remove the cling film. Using a spatula or spoon, spread the chocolate topping all over the cake. Set aside for one hour, or until the chocolate topping has set.
8. For the almond sauce, in a saucepan, blend two or three tablespoons of the milk with the cornflour. Gradually add the remaining milk, whisking after each addition until the mixture is smooth and well combined. When all of the milk has been added, bring the mixture to the boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly.
9. Stir in the butter and sugar and boil for 1-2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and add the almond liqueur.
10. To serve, slice the cake and place one slice onto each serving plate. Drizzle over the warm almond sauce.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Old People.

I find as I get older, I am growing increasingly impatient and frustrated with old people. Don't get me wrong, I love the white hair brigade dearly, and if they take a bit longer fumbling in their purses for the right change for the bus, that's just fine with me. What is really starting to get my goat is people hiding behind their age as an excuse for not doing something. "I'd love to [insert thing here]...but I'm too old".

The one that bugs me the most is "I'd love to learn to paint"
"Well, what's stopping you?" I ask. The reply? "I'm too old".

How the hell can you be too old to paint? What they're really saying is 'I'd love to learn, but I'm scared it won't come naturally and I'll be disappointed at myself, and will look like an idiot' or 'I can't be bothered to learn, I want to pick up a brush and instantly be able to paint like Constable'. Psssh! Who doesn't? If that's what they feel, then they should just say so, and people like myself would be more than happy to give them a hand. If we didn't have to work at art, and work damn hard at learning and having fun and experimenting and getting better gradually, what would be the point? One of the main points of art for me (aside from conveying a thought or emotion) is constantly striving to be better. In my opinion, 'too old' is an excuse on par with 'my dog ate my homework'.

One of my best friends died a few days before her 18th birthday, and if there is anything I've learned from her, it is that life is FAR too short to sit around waiting for other people, or waiting for 'one day'. If you want to do something, do it. Even if you're scared, you grab it by the shoulders and give it a damn good shake. You could be hit by a bus tomorrow. I'm fed up with people in their 60s, 70s, 80s.. saying 'I wish I learned to do this when I was younger but I'm too old now' Why do you have to be young to do things? There was a guy a few weeks ago, 95 years old, did a parachute jump with his grandson. When asked why? he said 'because I could'. What good does kicking yourself about not doing things in the past do? Too old? If your eyes are bad, put your glasses on, if your hands shake, take it slow, or incorporate it into your style - use it to your advantage. If you're kicking yourself now about not doing something in the past, how's it going to feel when you're 108 and physically incapable of doing it. Don't waste your time worring about being too old and hiding behind your age as an excuse because you're nervous about failing.

I know it's easy for a 23 year old to say, but the way I see it is like this: You're still breathing, right? Worry about being too old when you're dead.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Wow! You're an Artist.

Whenever anyone asks me what I do, and I say 'I'm an artist', their first response is either 'wow!' or 'cool!' or both words together.

I don't really get it. I kind of get it. If someone told me they were... an aeronautical engineer or a professor of existentialist theory, I'd be impressed. wow. cool. But I suppose that the appeal for other peoples work is because it's kind of a mystery - if it's something we don't understand it's more interesting when we meet someone who does understand it?

I don't know. I'm freestyling with ideas here because as usual, it's half two in the morning and I'm still dead behind the eyes yet buzzing with insomnia. Can you 'buzz' with insomnia?.

But back on point: People think wow - artist - that's cool. Cool because it's different and unconventional. Bankers and sales assistants and secretaries are abundant; but for most people it seems the world of the arts is one very much shrouded in mystery and intrigue.

Who are these mythical creatures who sleep til midday and wear cravats? exactly that. Mythical creatures. I know one person who wears a cravat (*waves at Ollie* but he's a singer, not an artist, and is in denial and insists its a tie. It's definitely a cravat.)As for sleeping til midday its probably because creative people seem to be at their most creative at absolutely insanely antisocial hours of the night. Like now, for instance, normal people are sound asleep - what am I doing? I drew a picture, seeking advice from arty friends on a painting I've 'finished' and I'm writing a blog about artists. So for those of us who don't sleep til gone 4am, it's not really such a crime to get up at midday, because, unlike you suit-and-tie bedecked people, we've been working all night.

And again for the mystery: scruffy art students are seen everywhere. I'm not among them. I like to think I get dressed with the lights on and have a mirror handy, and I've never been to art school. So that counts me out. Students have to be in classes, so they're out and about at 'conventional' hours. I haven't actually left the house for over a week - my studio is at the bottom of my garden. I don't need to go out into the outside world to have my senses assaulted with pollution, bauhaus architecture and chavs sitting around on benches with half their arses hanging out over the back of their trousers and spitting in the street. I'm a hopeless idealist. My studio is my little oasis from reality, and I don't leave it unless I have to. Read as much into that as you want.

In the art world, you never really see these people - these singers, dancers, artists... actors aren't quite the same - go into any Starbucks and you'll find someone who insists they're an actor... You never see them going to and from work, packed into trains like sardines, and all you see is the finished product - the show, the opera, the play, the painting/exhibition. Adds to the mythical element.

And again with the art-world mystery. For me, 'real' life is a mystery. I can't imagine, in my wildest dreams, wearing a suit and working in an an office or a bank or something - A day trip to Mars would seem less alien to me. That holds the mystery for me. The art world does not. I've grown up in it - it's all I know. My dad was an opera singer, and I used to act, so my upbringing has been music and drama and everything associated with it - set designers, costume designers, ballet dancers, rehearsal studios, lighting designers, directors throwing hissy fits, stage managers who can never be found when they're needed, tins of scenery paint, ghostly shapes in the props store when the lights are off, inhaling clouds of dust from the pit, and carrying armfuls of heavy costumes up and down stairs and trying not to trip over an Elizabethan cloak that's dragging on the floor because I'm too short to be able to lift the whole thing up... waves of scales being sung up and down corridors, the talcum powdery smell of pancake makeup, The maze of backstage corridors and the sickly smell of sweat and deoderant combined in dressingrooms, the buzz before a show backstage, the buzz before a show in the foyer, taking tickets, counting tickets, counting heads, blinding lights, heat on your face, makeup melting, butterflies before cue, relief when it's over and you didn't balls up, leaving from the back door to meet with friends for drinks while the audience leaves through the front door. 'i'm just popping backstage to see Mario' said pretentiously by someone who vaguely knows someone who knows someone in the show. 'I'm going throttle Mario if he bloody doesn't hurry up. Sod this i'm just going to go backstage and tell him if he doesn't get a move on he can meet us there' said unpretentiously by someone who does actually know someone in the show. Daaaaaaaarling. Said by nobodies who want to be somebodies. loud air-kisses.

To other people, this is alien territory, to me this is home. It's what I know. This is why I don't get why people say 'wow'. It's not something i thought 'when I grow up I want to be an artist' - it's just happened: because it's what I do. I can't imagine myself doing anything else other than something in the arts.

And with a career in the arts there are only a handful of guarantees:

1. There ARE no guarantees. There's no guarantee that anyone will like your work, but you carry on making it in the hope of achieving something greater than yourself, and that you will one day feel that you've accomplished something worth 'wow'

2. You will be poor. Unless you are extremely lucky, in which case you will be less poor.

3. You will never be satisfied with anything you do. Art is not something you can just shut the door on at 5:30 and go home. It follows you and worms its way into your brain, until you find yourself at 3am in the morning STILL creating. Even when you want to switch if off, you cant, because it's taken over your mind.IT controls YOU, not the other way around.

4. There are more things but i'm far too tired to think now. So i'll leave it at that.

basically the jist of this novel, is that the only 'wow' about being an artist comes from people not knowing the realities of living with a creative brain and the lack of a regular income. As soon as that mystery is revealed, it becomes less appealing.