remember remember

December 4, 2011

november has been my busiest month for, well, months..

[acrylic/markers on A3 canvas. painted 01 nov - 03 dec 2011]

i took a trip into the past to see my amazing bud jayne, whom i haven’t seen in 1 ½ years! on a night out, i learned that people who say, “never meet you idols” clearly need to pick better icons – cos i met one of my musical heroes and she was just lovely! near the end of the month, i witnessed circus performers, hoopers, firedancers and saw my first burlesque routine at a friends fundraising event for performers without borders.

my ‘zombie finger’ tattoo was published in bizarre magazine. on a similar theme, i did some artwork for a couple of dj mates earlier this year, and i discovered that one of their fans in america has had it tattooed onto his arm [only the outline so far, i will link this when it's finished].

following getting a new laptop and CS5, i rediscovered my love for sketching digitally. this saw me begin a sketch-a-day challenge with myself. i lasted 8 days [my record is 23 days], which was phenomenal given how much else i have on my plate at the minute. of which, the biggest drain on my time is that i have recently launched into my final year projects for uni [which i will tell you more about in the coming weeks].

 

i only managed to read 1 book this month: john dies at the end by david wong. actually i hadnt heard of this book until i saw the trailer for the film it is to become [link]. the story looked pretty interesting, so i wanted to read it before the film ruined it for me.

the book is split into two halves. the first is witty and has some great ideas, although gets a bit too farcical for my taste. when the second half began, i thought it was going to be incredibly dark in contrast, exploring a fascinating concept. but it didn’t. it just got stupid[er] and left me with unanswered questions.

anyway, that was november 2011. the painting is pretty hectic and feels unfinished/rushed in a few parts – but then that in it’s own way reflects how the month has been.

as you can see, i now have 9 of these babies hung on my wall – and that is december’s in progress at the bottom. they make a lovely little collection, if i do say so myself!

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drawing from life

November 17, 2011

i really miss life-drawing…

[charcoal on paper. 20 min sketch]

i think the last time i attended any life-drawing sessions was in december 2007, when i still lived in belfast. these are a few of my favourite pieces from those classes.

[pencil on paper. 5 min sketch]

i believe the model’s name was sarah. and unlike some models, she was an absolute pleasure to draw.

[acrylic on A3 canvas. 4 hours. circa dec 2007]

the above  painting was completed across 2x 2-hour sessions, and was only the third time i’d tried painting on canvas. i always loved this painting, and to-date it is still probably my favourite painting that i have ever done.

 

y’know, looking through some of my work from these sessions has made me realise just how rusty my drawing skills are. i have to rectify this issue.

i must draw more often.

i need to draw ‘real people’ more often too, preferably naked!  volunteers welcome ;)

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october retrospective

November 3, 2011

in the aftermath of october, i feel a bit drained…

and it’s not because i went into zombie overload. quite the opposite actually. i’ve been keeping my head down and trying to get my work done.  reading, and research, and thinking, and presentations [well, one presentation]. not nearly enough creativity amongst that list for my liking.

to be honest, there’s not much to see in this months diary..

[acrylic on A3 canvas. painted 01 oct - 03 nov 2011]

ok, so there have been a few happenings that were worth noting, but i painted some events deliberately BIG to take up more space. [that smacks of so much cheating and apathy that im quite disappointed with myself..]

anyway. i had a few ‘firsts’ this month, so i shall briefly mention them..

1. i saw a band ive never seen before, but have loved for ages! it made me realise how much i miss seeing a good live band. that same night was also my first-time beeing a schmexy bumblebeeee ;)

2. i took my son out clubbing for the first time [check us at 2:18 here ]. this was also his first time seeing a DJ live.

3. i got called, ‘travis bickle’ …though this only happened once!

4. i read my first max brooks book [world war Z]. i was genuinely surprised by how good it is!

 

y’know, i want to be straight about this month’s painting - i not really that fond of it. there are lots of sections that are very underdeveloped, and it just doesnt seem to gel together. there is something else too which is bugging me about it, but i just cant quite nail down at the minute…

anyway, it’s on the wall now with the other 7 now. 

i suspect that if the concept behind them wasnt so self absorbed, i be proud to say that they make quite a nice wee collection. but instead im a little embarrased at being so focussed on myself  :/
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be seeing you..

October 12, 2011

i’ve been drawing a lot of eyeballs lately…

[acrylic on A3 canvas. 01 october 2011]

there was a blogpost featured on freshly pressed recently that had a photograph of a graffiti eye as it’s theme [here], and people chipped in with their favourite eye related sayings.  y’know, stuff like ‘the eyes are the windows to the soul.’

my contribution:

real eyes
realise
real lies

be seeing you!

_

the month started out very quiet and sombre – but then it went buck mad..

[acrylic on A3 canvas. 01 - 30 september 2011]

the theme of my summer/autumn has been introspection - which inevitably leads to transition. september saw the solidifying of a number of these changes, which in turn led to me addressing a number of issues which i’ve been avoiding for some time – particuarly surrounding my health.  i also have been far more aware of my outward projection of self. although in plainer terms, this reflection could also be described as a ‘midlife crisis’ – but that all depends on your perspective i guess.  [i suspect my son hitting his 18th birthday had some bearing on this thinking!]

i have had the pleasure of unexpectedly spending snippets of time with a few lovely folk who i so rarely see – several faeries, 2 girls with ‘a hat on their A’, a [kanga]roo, mr.ooslaa, 2 zombie schoolgirls, a spider-panda, and a foreign peddler of glinkles. it is connections like these which remind me that no matter how misanthropic i feel, there will always be those who i would miss should my plans of human genocide ever come to fruition. [although given the nature of the cull, aforementioned schoolgirls would be safe]

uni resumed, and i am now in the 3rd and final year of my degree. ‘oh hello no more free time!’

and i also got a tattoo last month, but ive said enough about that already  …for now

achievements this month:
new skill : morse code numerals
books read : 1 [kafka on the shore - murakami]

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normally these paintings feature a couple of my artistic endeavours that i have blogged about during the month, but this month i have posted about virtually every event on the painting.

this means two things – one: that i have been very focussed on my artworks. and two: i currently have no social life :/

august was the culmination of about 3 months work getting my educational life back on track [the final project of which was the alice portraits.]  inorder to achieve this i’ve slowly cut myself of from people and the distractions that they bring. but now that im done, i find it’s rather difficult to return into those circles. tis indeed a curious situation to tackle!

the most socialable thing i did last month was to participate in a zombie walk – my own little gang of undead buddies are featured in the painting. i got oodles of fab photos on the day too, the best of which i’d posted already here. a few days later, riots took place and liverpool burned.  the official line is that the events were unrelated.  pffft!

in these paintings, there have been a number of continuing threads concerning people and events [which are more than simply the graphic tools i use to track certain things]. and after a 5 month stretch [since i started the paintings], one of these has came to an end. deadmau5 is no longer. there hasn’t been a single dead mouse in the house. i havent even seen a living one either. i can only assume they’re avoiding the place after hearing rumours about the cryptozoological project i have planned  ;]

im happy to report that i picked up a new skill this month – and it was a direct result of these paintings! i learned ‘sign language numbers’. i always track the dates of the month on the sides of the paintings, and was looking for new ways to record it. a fellow blogger [murphysrun] suggested ‘sign language’. ”fab idea,” i thought. but using all my powers of google-fu i was unable to find a drawn record of numbers 1-31, so i had to learn it and then figure out how to paint it myself. 1 through 5 were the easiest!

this month im using morse code [which i just know will be handy during the many apocalypse scenarios that i will be faced with in the coming years]. date tracking  suggestions for future months anyone..?

chris z

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plasterboard falls

August 25, 2011

last week i connected with a novelist called jw manus [please check out their blog]. typically, it was the tag ‘zombie’ which led me to jaye’s blog – but i found myself staying to read the posts regarding the differences between standard press versus self publication.

i dabbled with creative writing a good many years back. a poem here, a short story there.. and even though i didnt mean to, i began to write a story. just few lines at first.. but it grew and grew until id been workin on it for several months. the story grew and it absorbed more time. the problem with doing something like this though, is that because i never meant to start it, i didnt know how to finish it.  so i typed it up and showed it to a few people, i even read the first chapter at my creative writing group.

“oh my christopher, what a dark mind you have!” was the overwhelming reaction!  indeed.

the general concensus was that while the story had some creative merit, it was impossibly dark. nobody would be willing to read a story like this. one suggestion to make it lighter was something along the lines of it  would be much more palatable if all the characters were dying from cancer.” 

being the artist that i am, it was impossible to write without also drawing. i drew a fair amount of  sketches, illustrations and even a few paintings based around the characters. this image below was my vision for a potential book cover to complement the story.

cover illustration for my story 'plasterboard falls'

“the lost girls of plasterboard falls” [acrylic on canvas, finished in photoshop+painter. circa 2005]

the image should give a flavour of the story. grim huh? oh, and yeah – im afraid the entire thing is written in rhyme. looking back, im not convinced this is a good thing – but i can only assume i’d been reading tim burton’s oyster boy at the time.

so, i briefly considered self publishing [which is where my interest in jaye's posts comes in!]. however, i quickly realised that i didnt have the knowledge, skills, or finances to go down this route.  alongside all of the sketches and character illustrations id been working on, i packaged my story away.  and its been in that cardboard grave for over 5 years..

but maybe its time to dig out that old corpse and see how it looks in the cold light of the day?

plasterboard falls close-up detail

“the lost girls of plasterboard falls” [detail]

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quintilis mensis

August 1, 2011

i have tracked my life for 5 months now. one hundred and fifty three days. my short-to-long term memory has truly faltered, and there are days [even weeks] which i have no recollection of.

yet, when i look over my old diary paintings and i am reminded of the tiniest detail from a weekend 3 months ago.. and slowly all the events surrounding it trickle back too. should i be so surprised by this? i mean, i do refer to them as ‘diary’ paintings – what else are they if not graphical memory triggers?

[markers /acrylic on A3 canvas. 01july - 1 august 2011]

july has been a subdued month for me. i have had to put life on hold, in order to prioritise my studies. that isnt to say the month has been uneventful -  it has certainly included it’s fair share of unexpected occurances: including flying mushrooms, parlour games, and maggots [...far too many maggots!!]

i havent painted much into this month’s canvas – there are very few trivial details filling up the frame, although most if not all of the major events have been captured.  i find it interesting how the colour scheme is more uniform than ever before.. this was certainly an unconscious act, but to me it is very telling. i read the overall painting as being ‘emotionally tired’, but i suppose inspecting the multitude of smileys could lead one to that very same conclusion..?

however, the one moment of vibrancy pictured [a day in the park] comes right at the very end of the month.. so lets hope the positive vibes keep flowing and ebb their way into august :)

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junebug

July 2, 2011

its hard to know what to say about this painting…

[markers /acrylic on A3 canvas. 01june - 02july 2011]

this has probably been the worst/hardest month ive had to deal with for years.  granted there have been moments  of loveliness, and i attrbute that entirely to my friends [new and old]. so i guess for now the memories stay on the canvas rather than being aired on the interweb

the one thing i have learned this month though… never trust a rabbit!

chris zombieking x

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this too shall pass

June 26, 2011

technology isnt something im particuarly comfortable with. so the fact that im doing a degree in interactive media [where the focus is often on producing a digital artefact] maybe wasnt the best decision i ever made. however, it is the path i undertook and i have to just get on with it. however, all the code and scripting is destroying my soul, so i took a little time out to catch up with friends, do some painting, and watch a zombie movie or two.

i came across the phrase ‘this too shall pass’ on tumblr a few days ago; i dont want to get all emo, but it resonated with me in a few aspects of my current life. this picture was painted while contemplating such things..

“this too shall pass”  [acrylic & marker on A3 canvas. 25/06/2011. ]

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the 2008 zombie moviecolin is one of my favourite takes on the genre in recent years. it follows the lead character [colin] as he is turned, and his subsequent interaction wth the places and people who were a part of his breathing life. it is such a change in perspective on the traditional zombie flick, and has some great ideas in it, although is painfully slowpaced at times.

i bought the dvd a few days ago, and thought that the cover had a nice graphic look to it.  this piece below is a sketch/painting [aprox 20mins] copied from the dvd case…

“colin” [acrylic & marker on A3 canvas. 25/06/2011. ]

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