Archive for December, 2008

All done and dusted! Up with the feet and out with the booze!

Posted in CHRISTMAS, HOME, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 24, 2008 by echostains
Deck the head with black and silver

Deck the head with black and silver

At last, all is done for Christmas day tomorrow!  Yippee! all presents wrapped and delivered (thanks Santa mate!) , all food prep underway: nothing to do but lie back and enjoy!  Cheers!

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Altered book page 10 Freefalling Snake in the Grass

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2008 by echostains
page-10-Altered art bookpage-10-Altered art book

Continuing over from page 9 with the pink pearlised ink, the words: –

Booby trapped

shows a drawing of a foot treading unwaringly on a hidden bomb.  Life is a time bomb really if you think about it; ready to go off at any moment.  Then it’s all over: that’s it really.  Booby traps: a game of Snakes and Ladders.

p10-detail
p10-detail

Talk in a whisper Green Grass’

The snake whispers this (well hisses it), makes me think of the words ‘Why do you whisper green grass?’  This is a VERY ancient song, even more ancient than me!  It is by the Inkspots and called ‘Whispering’ Grass’‘Why do you whisper green grass? why tell the trees what aint so’.  From this you can see the way my mind is working, and the word and image association (whispering grass – snake in the grass)

p10 detail-b

p10 detail-b

The whispering grass is associated with the Inkspots.  Inkspots and inkblots are used in psychology tests called Rorschach tests; the blot suggesting pictorial matter, depending on the frame of mind or temperament of the patient.  They are used by Forensics and for character assessment.

inkblot

inkblot

Life is a game of chance, and depending on how you look at it and how you deal with it, or interpret it, you will bear the consequences.  Sometimes it seems that you don’t even have to ‘do’ anything for things to ‘happen’ to you: there is usually something going on behind the scenes though; a chain of events etc.

watcher

watcher

In the third part of the actual Echostains Project the communication took the form of a visual narrative and auto suggestion.  I did a series of inkblots: spilling various inks onto paper and manipulating the streams of ink, using salt to impede the flow.  Watcher  and ‘Meeting Place’ were made with black and white ink  on canvas.

meeting-place-landscape

meeting-place-landscape

There is a lot of control versus chance in my work, which stems from my interest in Surrealism and the sub conscious.  I tend to use the sub conscious as a tool for ideas.  ‘House on the Borderland’ is a book by William Hope Hodgson.  The colours (ink) I have used, express the eerie feeling experienced reading the book.  My attempt to express a feeling in colour.

house-on-the-borderland

house-on-the-borderland

1066 uses abstract markings to express movement.  The colours are an interpretation of colours used in the  Bayeux Tapestry and so suggested the title 1066 (Battle of Hastings)

1066

1066

Pages 9 and 10

page-9-and-10-

page-9-and-10-

With many thanks to http://www.virtualshoemuseum.com/vsm/  a very interesting site – please check out!

Visit the Bayeux Tapestry, scene by scene

http://www.bayeuxtapestry.org.uk/

House on the Borderland

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/houseontheborderland.htm

Whispering grass

http://www.last.fm/music/The+Ink+Spots/_/Whispering+Grass

listen to it

Snakes and ladders history

http://sandradodd.com/game/snakesandladders

lots of variations here

 

 

Bad Timing

Posted in ALTERED ART, ART with tags , , on December 22, 2008 by echostains

Just done  a foolish thing here.  Apparently I published Page 9 Altered art book a lot earlier than I thought.  I thought I had saved it to a draft but I must have pressed publish!  Now I’ve got 2 posts for yesterday.  I WILL get the hang of this (eventually)….

Altered art book; page 9 Shifting sands

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2008 by echostains
p-9

p-9

I picked out the words to some of these pages a long time ago.  There must have been a plan at that stage, but if there was, it is well forgotten.  So, confronted with the words ‘A kind of reminder’ my mind was once again a blank canvas.  I waited patiently whilst a herd of  Wildebeest’s stampeded through it, and waited for the dust to settle.  It didn’t take long.  The words ‘A kind of reminder’ put me in mind of a memento or an epitaph or a calendar: crossing the days off to mark the passage of time: ever changing seasons marked by nature.

digitalis antique seed packet

digitalis antique seed packet

I decided to give nature a helping hand by ‘planting’ these antique seed packets.  Well, photocopies of  images of antique seed packages.  I like the old charm of these, the design and the old colours.  Some of these flowers and vegetables have faded into the past: they are now extinct.  I printed these images onto fawn coloured paper to age them further.

p-9-detail

p-9-detail

The words ‘pushed into sand’ also suggests planting or embedding.  It made me think of shifting sand: how the winds of change can disrupt and change life as we know it.  Constantly destroying and recreating, but forever changing.

page9-detail b

page9-detail b

 

The interesting thing about the seed packet designs is that each design is made up of tiny coloured dots, stippled into polished Limestone with a German ink called Coal Tar.  The technique is called Stone lithography.  It was very painstaking work as every dot of colour is down with a needle pointed pen: each colour on a seperate stone, then silk screen printed.  This is how it was done before 1920 and the advent of the camera.

stone-lithography-in-action

stone-lithography-in-action

Media used; Pearlised ink, felt tips, flower dome stickers, photocopied images

http://www.seedart.com/

http://www.howstuffworks.com/stone-lithography.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kubla Khan Killer Cocktail: Don’t try this at home

Posted in ART with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2008 by echostains
Nina Hamnett

Nina Hamnett

Today I came across a book I hadn’t seen in a while.  Funnily enough I was writing about the author in my post ‘Bohemians at heart? or an Ass in Bohemia?’  The author is Nina Hamnett, Queen of Bohemia: the title is ‘Laughing Torso’.  The book is a first edition 1932 and contains reminiscences of Hamnett’s Bohemian life in Paris and London, where she knew  Amedeo Modigliani, Roger Fry , Augustus John and  Walter Sickert among many others.

the-little-tea-party-sickert 1915 16

the-little-tea-party-sickert 1915 16

  Besides being a good read, it has  an interesting recipe scribbled in pencil in the margin of page  174  It is in the Chapter entitled ‘Back to Paris and celebrities’, where she talks about Magician Aleister Crowley inviting some friends back to his place to try out a new cocktail he has just invented.

 I would absolutely LOVE it if Hamnett had actually scribbled down this cocktail herself in this actual book (dictated by the Great Beast Crowley!)  Alas, there’s no way of knowing who the recipe scribbler is.

The Great Cocktail Shaker

The Great Cocktail Shaker

 By the way, the actual recipe of this cocktail is not listed in the book: this makes the pencil version all the more intriguing.  Incidentally Hamnett and Crowley once involved in a Law suit together  in later years – which Crowley lost.  Artist Hamnett was known for her wild ways and her drinking and was quite a character in Soho.  This woman posed for Henri Gaudier Brzeska and Sickert and the   titleof the her book ‘Laughing Torso’ refers to when she was Brzeska’s model.

torso-of-a-woman-1930-cast-henri-gaudier-brzeska
torso-of-a-woman-1930-cast-henri-gaudier-brzeska

 Kubla Khan a drink supposedly invented by Aleicester Crowley

1 part Gin

1 part Cavados

half tsp Creme de Menthe

20 drops laudanum  (a tincture of opium, formerly used as a drug)

Filter through ice

Sit back and er …enjoy!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley

 

http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/modigliani/

http://www.tate.org.uk/archivejourneys/bloomsburyhtml/bio_fry.htm

http://www.utopia-britannica.org.uk/pages/AJohn.htm

 

Ghosts of the past – Walk This Way!

Posted in LONDON (JAUNTS) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2008 by echostains
St Pauls the indominable Dome

St Pauls the indominable Dome

No trip to London is complete without going on an organised walk (or two).  What better way is there to inbibe the history as well as getting good exercise?  According to the Walking guides, it is ‘The Jack The Ripper’ walks that are the most popular.  They can get up to 300 people at any one time: they need 3 guides for that!    We went on one a long time ago and have never forgotten it.  Those locations are still there and that’s part of the fascination I suppose; that ‘On this Spot’ etc.  Armed with the fact, theories and the tourist’s imagination, a vivid picture soon emerges.

Gaslit London

Gaslit London

Another walk we went on a while ago was ‘Bohemians and Bluestockings’.  This walk explored the lives of artists and writer that lived in Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia in the 1920s and beyond.  It was a very windy day and some building work was going on.  We staggered round with our hair on end and sand in our eyes.  You could spot the Boho’s in our group….  It was very interesting though.  Walk your own way….

http://www.oxforddnb.com/public/themes/63/63013.html

http://www.lonwalk.ndirect.co.uk/

Tower is now a private residence

 

 

 

This  trip  though we went on 2 walks; ‘The  Blitz’ and ‘Apparitions’ Alleyways and Ale’  .  Both were with Londonwalks: both were excellent.

The Blitz walk was with Helena.  This walk is centred around St Pauls and surrounding area.  The empathy and respect she has for her subject, not to mention the painstaking knowledge and research she has put into her presentation is admirable.  I’m not going to give a running commentary of where we walked , that would defeat the object.  Suffice to say that Helena’s facts and anecdotes bring the scenes of the London Blitz alive.  Her cut glass accent sometimes breaks into broad cockney to retell a particular anecdote, the contrast shows a keen sense of humour and also a bit of acting ability, trying to bring the scene alive for the walkers.

St Pauls War wounds

St Pauls War wounds

It was hard to believe that this area was a sea of fire  and that hundreds died, but the way that Helena relates it, makes it all so vibrant and real.  The pock marked shrapnel ridden fabric of St Pauls bear witness to the battering of London.  The fact that it is still standing acts as a metaphor to the courage of the British people: from the young soldier to the tin hatted old man.  It was ‘business as usual’ for London.  (St Pauls Tube exit 2 )

 ‘Apparitions, Alleyway’s and Ale’ is a walk led by Russell Richardson.  And what a great walk it is!  Alleyways aplenty there are and you even get to sample some ale halfway though the walk – and you will need it.  Not for the squeamish.  Russell is an excellent guide, who truely loves his work.  He keeps an open mind on the subject., though has had some very odd encounters whilst on this walk.  Again, I can’t give away all the stuff we learned or the route we took: suffice to say that if you go, you won’t be sorry.  One allyway we went down, which is reputably haunted, we took photos.  Imagine our surprise when we saw ORBS!  The figure in the black coat and boots is me by the way.

Orbs

 

 

 

 

http://www.paranormaldatabase.com/gallery/london.htm

http://www.walks.com/

Altered Art Book page 7 and 8 In the Blood

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2008 by echostains
page7-and8 Altered book

page7-and8 Altered book

‘Dad says it’s in my blood’.  This page came about when I was researching my Family Tree a while ago.  I genuinely do believe that we have the same genetic make up as our ancestors, and that these traits will out eventually.  They may manifest themselves slightly differently, but situations, even names we come into contact with seem to be repeated down the line: history repeating itself.

p7- altered book

p7- altered book

It makes me wonder if life really is mapped out for us: that we are just living different permatations of the same life.  Like shaking up a lot of dice and letting them fall where they may.  Same componants: slightly different consequence depending on how, when and where they fall.  There is definitely something in the blood that is passed down.  The term ‘Sins of the father’ springs to mind.

‘Lots  of  blue and white balls’ (corpuscles)

‘Just like a washing machine’  (genetic pool)

page8-open

Thinking of artist’s that use blood in their work, I immediately thought of Mark Quinn and his ‘Blood Head’.  Quinn made this years ago in 1991.  It was called ‘Self’.  He used his own blood in this (4.5 litres of it).  It took him 5 months to do it. 

Self Marc Quinn 1991 .  One he made earlier

 

 

 

 

 

 Despite rumours of it being destroyed when a freezer became unplugged, I believe it is still going strong.  Quinn makes a new cast every 5 years to document his own development and of course, deteriation.

Quinn his latest incarnation 2006

Quinn his latest incarnation 2006

It is interesting that Quinn has chosen a 5 year span to ‘renew’ himself.  I found this bit of writing I did a couple of weeks ago, after a strange period in my life.

That was written a few weeks ago and I feel differently now.  Perhaps my blood has come to a head or settled down,   I’ve since learned that  our entire  blood actually renews itself every 4 to 5 months BUT our entire bodies renews itself every 7 or 8 years!  7 years for a woman.   I digress.  I may start calling this blog the digressionfiles!

‘Is it really in my blood?  I can’t put my finger on it: foot in it perhaps, that isn’t anything new – but THIS IS!  Something feels wrong and I don’t know what it is.  Something feels wrong in me.  The last time I had this feeling was when I was 35.  We are a few years along now, but I am so aware of something changing within me.  It must be my blood!  and it feels kind of ‘alien’!  I can actually feel it, and it feels differently, I feel differently.  I don’t mean in opinions, tastes ect – just different inside.  I feel that something is happening or something is going to happen.  I feel ‘anxious’ butI don’t know what about.  Does the blood really renew itself every 7 years or so?  Is this what it si?  If so, I must have got a batch that’s gone off: like a bad pint.  Prhaps my barrel needs changing or my pipes need cleaning lol!’

24_bloodsplatter_lgl-jordan-eagles

There are other artist who have used blood as a media or a metaphor.  New York Blood Artist Jordan Eagles preserves blood between plexiglass, exploring regeneration and the metaphysical, he seeks a connection between the bodily, the spiritual and nature.

Hermann Nisch 'Blood Painting'

Hermann Nisch ‘Blood Painting’

Hermann Nitsch made a blood painting in 1962.  He used blood quite a lot in hs paintings and his performance art.  This gives it a sort of sacrifical aspect and also the possibility of redemption.  He also liked to pour red paint onto canvas, splattering and dripping the paint to resemble blood.  Nitsch sometimes rolled his own body into the paint to invoke extreme emotional reaction from his audience.  He was doing this in the 60s…and people are outraged with Von Hagens!