Friday, June 30, 2006

New Genre: William Tell Painting

Today I've been working on three paintings, completion of a portrait of Lana Turner done as a colour study, and a new thin underpainting to a picture about the lack of emotion in computer games. Thirdly though, a new painting. In fact this is the first in a new genre of painting that I have just invented: William Tell painting. For this you need some paint, and the finale of the William Tell Overture by Rossini, this lasts about 2 minutes. Prepare your paint and hold your brush like a fencer En Garde, then start the music. Your aim is to paint the entire painting before the music ends, starting with no preconceptions or ideas. I used raw umber, viridian and yellow ochre, three excellent colours (burnt umber is horrible compared to raw and has very few merits as a colour). With that triplicity of fellows a landscape was inevitable.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It's What We're All Thinking

I've just written a new poem influenced by a strange and striking painting I sketched and might make into a full picture. Here it is:

It's What We're All Thinking

Through the tall vacant lanes
see a rust blown sky.
Hear the cries of the wind
kiss a skeleton's eye.

Crisp like moths underfoot,
feel the dust of the dead.
The dried blood of the war
that was long ago led.

Madonna and Child

Today I've been doing some more sketching for my first Madonna and Child painting, something I've been working on for months (for "working on" read "mostly thinking about"). The fact that I have no models makes this one more difficult than it could be. Also today I've added some more to a painting about the emotionlessness of computer games. This one is an improvised landscape, a first for me and a break from my normal way of working. It looks okay so far but my first attempt at streaking rain hasn't worked out as well as I had hoped. On balance though it will be nice enough to look at, be evocative and have meaning and be difficult to forget, so all of the important bases are covered.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hello Earth

This week I'm underpainting a new version of an old painting called Hello Earth, inspired by the Kate Bush song, and also overpainting version 2 of a portrait of Lana Turner that I painted last year. The new portrait allows me to try some techniques and colour combinations, but Hello Earth will count as a finished picture in its own right I think. The original shown was painted last August and is crudely executed. In the next six months I hope to paint for about three then work on game development for the other three, fitting sound effects and music work in between.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Victory for The Migraine Tree!

I've just heard that I've won my first art competition with The Migraine Tree, painted for the Migraine Action Association. I'm so pleased! I'm just starting to see some benefits from my serious study of art.

I like modern art and understand it, but there can be both a misunderstanding among the public and even artists regarding the quality of art. For me it is simple, there is good art and bad art, and good art is nice to look at and has meaning and emotional depth. If it is pretty but has no soul then it will become grey in your mind and tired on your wall. A badly painted picture with meaning and emotional depth is better because it will not tire, but good art is beautiful and has a meaning and emotional depth. I aim to make pictures that have those qualities, pictures painted well that shine with a living soul too. Those who want to invest in this crusade can purchase the Migraine Tree for a bargain £500 plus shipping, a share of which will go to the Migraine Action Association.

The organisation also run a public choice award and you can vote for the picture on their web page.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

General Update

The first overpainting of my Art of Painting picture is now complete although there are a few more stages to go on this one. So far it is looking merely acceptable, similar in style but a executed better than Faces of Autumn from a year ago. I'm starting to get used to painting now, and the BBC2 program about the Summer Exhibition on at the moment proves my understanding of and liking for modern art (most people do not like modern art but I think this is mostly down to a lack of understanding of it which is reasonable). More paintings to follow in the next three months, plus another Flatspace II update in a vain hope of resurrecting this commercially seriously-ill duck (but a good game to play nonetheless). Also I plan on making some more IndieSFX discs, and finally do some more tracks on The Journey, the pop album I want to make with Steven McLachlan. A picture says a thousand words but music makes a thousand pictures. Words can vary though, something artistic only needs to make one right feeling felt to be a masterpiece.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Preception of Movement Through Time

Movement Through Time

Although it may appear that we are moving through time, we are not. In fact nothing is moving, everything in the Universe is and always has been stationary. All time is overlapped and present at once. The me of today is here and thinks it is today; the me of yesterday is here and thinks it is yesterday; and the me of tomorrow is here and thinks it is tomorrow.

No matter what the date or time of clock, it is always 'now'. People of the year 1900 thought that 1900 was now (which to us seems ridiculous, now is clearly now not then in 1900). The people of 1900 still think that 1900 is now.

If all time is overlapped, why does it appear moving? The apparent 'motion' we experience through time is a factor of memory and perception, processes in our brains.

If you remember eating breakfast about two hours ago and your clock, calendar, friends and other senses tell you it is 11:00am on Tuesday the 1st of March then that is what you consider to be 'now'. That does not mean that you are moving through time. The fact that you can remember or detect yesterday does not mean it has happened and that tomorrow has not happened. Time does not even go forwards.

Consider the following story:

1. I am eating bacon and eggs for breakfast on Monday.
2. I am eating cereal for breakfast on Tuesday. I remember eating bacon and eggs for breakfast yesterday on Monday.
3. I am eating toast for breakfast today, Wednesday. I remember Tuesday and Monday.

The story follows a simple path through time, but any one day would make logical sense as a day. If you only experienced Wednesday, day 3 it would seem valid. If the story ran backwards it would also seem valid, you might experience Wednesday first but having memories of Tuesday and Monday it would not matter if you were experiencing that day first or last or if all of the days were experienced at the same time.

If all time is present at once, why am I here now? Why aren't I in tomorrow or yesterday, or in the year 1900? The strange answer is that there is a you here tomorrow, there is another you here yesterday and another you here today. The you in yesterday thinks that 'now' is what you would call yesterday.

As stated before, no matter what the current time is you always consider it 'now'. All of the past and all of the future are here, divided only by physical effects that indicate different times, and (among other things) build the memories in our brains.

The you of yesterday is really a different person from the you of today, and that person is eternally stuck there in yesterday, thinking that what you call yesterday is now. The people of 1900 are still here, and all of the people of the future too.

Never again think of time as a road that we drive along. Everything in the Universe was created and fixed at its inception. The Universe is a stationary sculpture, a statue of many dimensions.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I'm busy this week working on several things at once. First a sound effects commission for an R.T.S. game. I'm also fitting in the development of a hex based war game, but that is mostly being relegated to weekends and evenings while I get some more painting done. I have four pictures that are half completed. There is a new version of an old painting called Hello Earth, a portrait of Lana Turner (also a new version of an old painting), a surreal picture in the style of Rhino called The Flute Player and on called The Art of Painting which I'm overpainting this week. I've also got two in the sketch stage and two with completed compositions but nothing more. The Art of Painting is on a wooden panel which is an excellent surface. The transparent polystyrene of the Lady with the Unicorn below was lightweight and smooth but had an annoying downside of attracting dust due to static attraction. I wonder if acrylic or polycarbonate generate less of a static field.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I was thinking last night about the acceleration of massive objects. Objects that move at maximum speed through space move at no speed through time, and stationary objects move at no speed through space and at maximum speed through time. Thus, a space-time graph can be drawn between these extremes... but it struck me that with zeroes and infinities on each end that neither extreme could exist in reality, only the spread in between. Einstein's laws prevent an object from being accelerated to maximum speed (the speed of light) but here I hypothesize that the reverse is also impossible and that no completely stationary object can exist either. An object must always be moving partly in space and partly in time, and if stationary in space or time cannot be moved within that domain.