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.
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......
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.
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.
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.
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.
All heroes (and heroines) have unsung support people who keep them going between adventures. So hats off, hands on hearts, and thanks to the brave chiropractors and podiatrists in our lives.
You will be happy to hear that I have been doing some non-Socket Head artwork recently. But that's for sharing next time.
News and Other Stuff
About recent artwork, inspirations and other things I find interesting.