Yes, I’m finally back on the blog again. For however long that may be.
And the subject that brought not just me but also Bishop Stumbers and the Dean back? Vocations.
Year of St Joseph: Birth of Jesus.
Looking back on this picture as I'm trying to write a blog post for it, I'm stuck by how (without any forethought or planning) Joseph and Mary look very, very alike to a recently married couple I know. Funny how the subconscious works, eh?
Anyhow, the 1st of May is dedicated to St Joseph the Worker, so how do I commemorate this fact? I paint the Birth of Jesus in the cave/stable.
Specifically I had in my mind how Joseph must have been after the birth: dazed and confused, in a sea of emotions.
"Alright God, now what am I supposed to do?"
And there before him is Mary, totally ensconced in the new life sitting in her arms. She is a total rock of calm amongst the swimming tide of emotions overtaking Joseph as he tries unconsciously to sit down somewhere amongst the animals, inside that cave, on that awesome, and holy, night.
A happy month and feast of St Joseph to you all. Even if it's via Nazareth.
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Digital painting, based on a rough pen sketch.
Lately I've been participating in an online tuition course for Blender 3D, which has been a good if somewhat challenging experience. The challenging part being trying to work in a group with many other students in multiple different time zones (and the associated late nights that come with it), but I'll talk about that more in a later post. Sometime in May. Hopefully.
Below is the sketch that I made last night to release some of my creative frustrations:
Christ Pantocrator (2021).
I just needed to do something religious to make up for my recent lack of any such artworks.
The original Christ Pantocrator (roughly translated as "All-Mighty" in Greek), that is the inspiration of this image, is one of the first icons depicting Jesus in early history of the Church, and remains to this day a very important image in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
It depicts the two natures of Christ, being both fully God and fully human, through the different sides of His face.
Below are the mirrored composites of the left and right sides of my rough sketch:
Pantocrator Blessing, Mirrored.
Pantocrator Gospels, Mirrored.
Honestly, I had no real plan about how to mirror this image, I just had the vaguest of recollections of what a Pantocrator Icon should look like and I went from there. So I sketched in out with blue ballpoint pen and went over it with a water-based black marker, and added colour with text highlighters. In hindsight I really should've either scanned or at least taken a photo of the under drawing, but I decide to let it go and just keep on drawing with the black marker.
The one real difference between this sketch and the Icon it's based on, is that the real Pantocrator doesn't have the wounds of Christ in it, as far as I know.
So, until the muse next takes me or I need another outlet to create, God bless and stay safe.
At last the comic strip is finished, and I can share it with you.
But there is some other news I can share with you as well.
The first part you may have already noticed: this website has had a bit of an overdue face-lift. I hope you like the changes.
The second part is that I have begun a 3 month mentorship with Giuseppe Castellano from the Illustration Department. My first session was this week, and I have begun my homework in preparation for the next session.
For the comic strip, I will give you each of the four parts separately,
and then how it looks as a whole.
Each of the parts took many days to complete.
But I am very happy with the completed outcome.
There is a chance that weekday routine will return on Monday, or soon after, depending on how soon new weekday Mass schedules are decided upon. Hopefully, when that happens, a measure of normality and especially creative normality will return.
In the mean time, two of the Inktober Socket Head pictures got coloured:
Day 25, Tasty
Day 23, Ancient
And a 'looking to the future' meme/comic
And some sketches that might be preparation for a 3D version of this red tugboat:
And the front view
Here's to hoping that fruitful new beginnings are around the corner for all of us as this long pause begins to lift away.
You know how Kermit the Frog used to say, 'It's not easy being green.'
Well at the moment, it's not easy being creative either.
It has been neatly summed up by @evancabnet on Twitter thus:
"WRITERS. I have a secret to share with you. Every single day, I speak with a different playwright (or screenwriter, or novelist) who confesses they haven’t been able to concentrate and they aren’t getting anything done."
As at today it has had 31.7K likes and 4,9K Retweets since Apr 17.
Comments attached to that Tweet proved that artists, illustrators and graphic designers were all feeling it too.
Many of those comments put my own feelings in to words.
What I have been slowly working on is colouring some of the black & white images from Socket Head's Inktober 2019 adventures.
Overgrown Day 14
Treasures Day 21
Dark Day 26
Coat Day 27
Maybe, just maybe, if I get them all coloured I might make a small non-standard story book out of them. But there are 16 more to do......
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.
NEWS AND OTHER STUFF
About recent artwork, inspirations and other things I find interesting.