I have been slowly continuing to work on skills with Blender, and completed stage 3 of the coffee cup tutorial.
The night of 18 Mar 2020 was when the coronavirus lockdown became real for us and daily Mass was suspended. Having less external stimulii is making finding inspiration to draw a challenge. I have signed up to the new forum run by the Illustration Department (a.k.a. Giuseppe Castellano), but it is too early yet to see how that will go. https://forum.illustrationdept.com/login
I have been slowly continuing to work on skills with Blender, and completed stage 3 of the coffee cup tutorial.
For my mother I worked on an image of the part of the Transfiguration story where Jesus touches His overcome disciples and says, 'Do not be afraid'
You may be able to tell that at times I have felt a little stir crazy. Maybe that is why Socket Head showed up. He had to be locked up for his own good, lest he trip over furniture, cause fires in the kitchen and break things during exercise routines.
And it was time that the daily battle between man (my dad) and marsupial (the possum that considers our place a primary residence) was depicted. Said marsupial's favourite place to get comfortable is where the telephone and internet cables are. It wouldn't be a problem, nor a battle, otherwise, and it has raged on for almost 2 years. Because these critters are both native and territorial, we can't do much about it, except construct chicken wire around the disputed real estate. Neither side is backing down.
Maybe this time next month we will be in a new normality without lockdown conditions. Please God, may that be so.
After months of renovation work, my long awaited studio is now functional. Thanks be to God, and the many workers who enabled it to happen.
But as you will see, I had a fair bit of work to do too.
There was office furniture from IKEA to put together.
Here you can see the art desk on one side, and some of the put-together IKEA furniture on the other side.
And here I am, with a both happy and relieved smile, because the computer is actually working the first time I turned it on. Yay!
Obviously now that the basic 'nest' is in place, there is a fair bit of feathering of the 'nest' to take place as I work out what goes into the various drawers and shelves, and experiment to find what arrangements function best - but at least it is now operational.
At long last with the newer computer equipment, I can get back into some 3D imaging. With the level 2 tutorial on Blender (3D software) this doughnut with sprinkles was put together.
So everything is just about ready for launch, all that is needed now is God's grace to set the trajectory and propel me into a whole new slip-stream. Please pray that God's grace comes for me.
January 2020 has only a few more hours to run. My studio-to-be is beginning to look like an attractive room. However there's at least one more lot of tradesperson's skills required before the fit out can begin. The new room is so close to being functional, and yet I still don't know when that day will be.
No obvious answers came to me during my 10 days away, but I am still slowly chewing through the notes I took and something might emerge when that process is done.
Between that and heat waves and renovations, the only character to have shown up with sufficient humour and interest to get the creative juices flowing has been Bishop Stumbers, and he has been greatly assisted by convoluted Twitter threads that would take far too long to explain properly.
Palestrina is a really big name in sacred choral music, and has been for a few centuries. The music he composed for Christmas Day Mass is particularly beautiful and inspiring. (Hodie Christus Natus Est = Today Christ is Born)
So you want to take a group of twenty-something Australians overseas for a pilgrimage experience? Then make sure you plan your itinerary around access to good coffee, otherwise things can get quite messy. Provide coffee first; only then might they listen to your plans for that day:
Maybe this time next month, God willing, the studio-to-be will be fully functional, well worth the very long wait - and very conducive to producing new artwork. Stay tuned to find out.
2019 is about to end. 2020 is about to begin. Hopefully by the end of January the building project to transform a verandah into a studio, and the spending project to get sufficient computer grunt to make it function, will be complete.
The 2020 Calendar featuring Socket Head came up well.
This is the image for December that seemed to be most resonant with Socket Heads's lifestyle and character.
Then a relative who has recently taken caretakership of an extremely placid cat started changing its nickname from Kitty Kat to Hideous Kittyous - and that was too delicious a nickname not to inspire an image.
Would you believe Bishop Stumbers made a return appearance, pondering his New Year resolutions for 2020? He should have added in 'Keep Out Of Trouble' as well, not that he is likely to be able to keep that one.
In the first 10 days of January I will be seeking God about what He wants for me, and what He wants me to do in 2020. I would appreciate your prayers very much because at the moment I don't know where the way forward is, only the many dead ends where it isn't.
November has been a month busy with colouring some of the Inktober 2019 images in preparation for printing my 2020 Calendar. There is still a few more hours of work to do on it, but I hope to get it to the printers early next week.
So here are 2 other Intober images, the black & white version followed by the colour version.
The theme for Day 5 was Build
And how can you build without ACME?
The theme for Day 6 was Husky
That is a plaintive, husky cry for help!
But did you expect such a building project to end any other way?
Now, back to work, to get the 2020 Calendar finished.
If you want your own, get in contact before I go to the printers because we only do a single print run.
Inktober for 2019 is almost over, apart from the drawing I am working on now, there are only 2 more black & white Socket Head drawings to go.
It has been a worthwhile personal discipline, but whether it has had any additional value remains to be seen. I doubt I will attempt it again.
Here are a selection of 5 drawings from the series:
From Day 15, theme 'Legend'
From Day 16, theme Wild
From Day 17, theme Ornament
From Day 22, theme Ghost
From Day 24, theme Dizzy
The rest of them you can see on my Instagram (@cavanaghcreative), Twitter (@VJCavanagh) and Facebook accounts.
A submarine, a frisbee playing elephant and a stir fry was what I promised you.
So here they are:
The submarine was an attempt to do something completely different, a realistic looking Antarctic wreck in the ice, with only digital tools.
The frisbee playing elephant was naturally enough composed for a member of the family who plays frisbee and is surprisingly light on his feet when in sports-mode.
And the stir fry was inspired by my maternal grandparents, one of whom gets extraordinary delight in surprising the other with the ingredients and equipment required for a stir fry all laid out and waiting to be used.
There hasn't been a whole lot of new work done recently for three reasons:
A road trip holiday where we didn't stop long enough in any place to draw anywhere but in the sketchbook, and not much of that either.
Doing a whole lot of preparatory thinking and initial sketching for #Inktober which begins tomorrow. The plan is to get a black and white drawing done each day of October according to the theme for each day and to share them via Instagram (@cavanaghcreative). It is going to be my first attempt at this drawing challenge. Would you believe that Socket Head decided that he wanted to be part of it too?
I'm in the midst of a commission for a trio of drawings.
.....So there should be plenty of new stuff to show to you soon.
Sorry, the new characters are still sketchbook bound.
But as you may have guessed from the title, I have been reading a bit of G.K.Chesterton recently, 'What's Wrong With The World', to be precise, and enjoying some of his quotes that circulate through social media.
In that interesting book Chesterton writes about the completely different relationship that ordinary people have with their homes, compared to wealthy people. For ordinary people, anarchy is only possible at home, and that is a blessed thing. Because at home, if you want to, you can have pea-green walls with pink spots, carpet on the ceiling, slate tiles on the floor, a picnic on the floor if you feel like it, and the glorious comfort of getting around in dressing gown and slippers.
Then on Twitter, @GKCdaily posted this quotation:
'Perhaps the real meaning of St George and the dragon is that an evil has to be about as big and ugly as a dragon before an Englishman even knows it is there.'
Has anything of that truth changed since Chesterton's day?
Maybe next time I will regale you with submarines, frisbee-playing elephants and stir-frys. We'll see.
As promised, here are the images of religious inspiration from the past few months:
The first one came together in Holy Week, just after the Lenten 40 Days for Life novena ended.
For this next one, my mother needed an image for an Instagram post, and described what was in her mind that would convey something of the relationship between sheep and the Good Shepherd.
Did you know that Twitter is full of very witty people? Well there's a bishop on there who inspired this image. It seems that he can misplace mitres and croziers and other items, but he can always post a fresh meme.
Said inspiration was heading off to Rome for an Ad Limina visit, and there was some very real concern that he might misplace something else. The feast of St Anthony of Padua, the patron Saint of finding lost objects, occurred around the same time. One thought led to another, and the thought of Frequent Loser points had the family in full blown mirth......
Then doing an image for the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus somehow seemed appropriate, and a good test for my widened collection of Copic markers.
There have been some new characters showing up in my sketchbook; a few of them may have graduated to finished artwork by next time. We'll see.
This first one came together from several drawings scattered throughout my sketch book. They were drawn in ink and then digitally coloured. Getting the right balance between the individual panels of insects interiorly and exteriorly took a lot longer than I expected it to take.
This second one should need no introduction. There was something inside nagging at me to produce a 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' image, inspired by C.S.Lewis's classic story.
For something completely different, these birds of paradise were painted from life, with acrylic on paper and without my own brushes. That's what happens when you go down to your local library and attend an art workshop you haven't attended before.
This last image, done with ink and Copic markers, was the result of finally getting some paper that the markers wouldn't bleed through, and going for a walk and seeing a most unusual tree.
There are several religious images I've completed, but they can wait until next time.
NEWS AND OTHER STUFF
About recent artwork, inspirations and other things I find interesting.