one year later

March 2, 2012

right at the start of this blog, i began a series of paintings.

they were initially intended as an elaborate ‘to do‘ list, to make me more productive. but this very quickly became more of a dairy. used to record events and track my fluctuating mental states on a daily basis [i do have every day accounted for!]

february 2012 [acrylic on A3 canvas. 01 feb-01 march 2012]

it’s fascinating for me, to see the evolution of the paintings..  the first part of the year is vibrant and colourful. this gives way to a pastel tranquillity. which quickly turns dark and chaotic. the subsequent months are a mix of subdued darkness and high contrast. i will get some decent photos of the whole collection!

it has been a very insightful and often therapeutic process for me. i love to spot the themes and the people who have repeatedly cropped up. there are tiny details which spark memories of times forgotten too. and there are a few aspects of my life that i have tracked which tell me an awful lot about myself [mainly stuff i didn’t want to know!]

so now – 366 days later – the year cycle is complete.

but what next?

i have been concerned that if i start another painting, then i am committing myself to do this for another year…  a whole ‘nother year! believe me, that’s a long time when you’re just living day-to-day. but in many respects i feel like ive been telling somebody’s story – and it’s not quite finished yet – so i must continue.

maybe it will be necessary to record it for another few months? maybe i’ll be doing these for years to come?  i guess we shall see…

so, i have put brush to canvas and started on the next one. for comparison, let me show you the 1st march 2011 next to 1st march 2012..

oh dear!

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the last january ever

February 23, 2012

i forgot to post last month’s diary painting – so here it is!

[acrylic on A3 canvas. painted 01 – 31 jan 2012]

not much to say about this one…

i didn’t have any nights out, i didn’t read any books, and i barely smiled. it was a very boring bland month, dominated utterly by my brainchild project.

february’s painting is nothing like this!

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moving swiftly on…

January 2, 2012

if you believe ‘the hype’, then you’ll already be aware that we’ve only got 1 year left before the end of existence as we currently know it. are you making any long term plans? me, i’m stuck between reflecting on the past and just trudging through the grind day-by-daily day.

on that note, this was my december…

[acrylic on A3 canvas. painted 01 dec – 31 dec 2011]

it’s been a long month, in which i’ve just been trying to keep my head down and in the proverbial books. managed to get a pretty impressive 88% for one uni project, so it seems that hard work can pay off!

the highlight of the month had to be going to see the alice exhibition at the tate. seeing carroll’s original manuscript and tenniel’s preliminary sketches for publication were inspirational.

on NYE, i had a few party invites – but i felt it best to stay home. in the afternoon i had a conversation with my bud which made me realise just how important taking time out to think really is. and later while the world partied, i painted and had took some time to breathe. it was a wise choice!

books read this month: 2
burning chrome – william gibson
invisible monsters – chuck palahniuk

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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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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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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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