Yup, it's time for another ramble. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm probably here because I'm doing my level best to avoid opening Photoshop and staring balefully at any number of projects that are either in a state of unfinishable unfinishableness or are at a point where they conceivably could be finished but there's something small that's off with some tiny aspect no one will ever notice that's stopping me wrapping it up, saying 'fuck it' and publishing it. That was a really long sentence. I hate calling myself a perfectionist because I know well and good that there's no such thing as perfection but when something I need to get right eludes me I feel affronted. By myself. Yeah.
So anyway, I've been working on my colouring for a while now; which to any poor sod who watches me and/or reads my journal will be no news whatsoever. I've got so much linework to colour in my gallery alone it's severely daunting, and there's a whole bunch of stuff that's never made it to dA for all sorts of reasons that adds to it. On the other hand, my attempts to create a realistic looking faux watercolour effect in Photoshop have finally paid off; FISH NAKED ([link]) was painted over 2 days in a couple of intense 3 hour sessions and although it is a terribly throwaway bit of cheesecake, I am very pleased with it and will be transfering a lot of what I learned to other pieces I'm working on.
Plans to set up a professional studio are in motion, financial fluctuations aside. I don't really care what I get at this point, I just need a workspace without the distractions of home. I have a bunch of equipment gaining cobwebs in the garage of my folk's house which I'll need to get sent up and I'll probably need a wee jaunt down to yonder IKEA for other bits and pieces but I'll know more when I know what sort of space I have to swing the angry mammal of your choice in. The idea in the long run is to move up to a bigger studio and invite other artist friends to use the space (and help pay for it!) to form a proper Studio conglomerate thingy. I believe I work better in company; a lot of the linework in my gallery was done at friends' places.
In completely un-art (sort of) related business, I have been playing Minecraft an awful lot this year and am pretty much hopelessly in love with it. I'm putting together a 32-bit texture pack but holding off for a while till I know exactly what's coming with the 1.8/1.9 patches; new blocks will require new textures! I'm going for a very high-gothic, Burton-esque feel. The grass will be purple. Yup. Purple.
The thing about Minecraft that sets it apart from pretty much everything else I play right now is that I never feel bad for playing it. I don't ever get that sense that I could and should have been doing something better with my time. It's such a creative environment - a game designed with creation as a principle? How decadent! The community for it is also pretty amazing and anyone that holds the slightest bit of interest for Minecraft should definitely be watching the Yogscast on youtube. You don't know these guys, but you know these guys; they're your friends. They always have been.
Remaining with games but more specifically on an art-related bent, I recently played and finished both LIMBO and Alice: Madness Returns, two of the most visually astounding games I've had the pleasure of playing for a long time. LIMBO in its monochrome, 1920s German Expressionism/Surrealist Reiniger/Lang austerity and wilfull refusal to explain itself. Alice: Madness Returns refining the aesthetic of the original American McGee's Alice from 11 years ago, simply unhinged and falling through cutely creepy all the way into outright Wasp Factory macabre. Both are visual treats and great games to play.
Oh, saw Studio Ghibli's Arrietty recently; and while it's not directed by Hayao Miyazaki, it certainly ranks alongside his best works. It's mesmerisingly beautiful, I would honestly be hard pressed to think of another animated movie with background work that comes remotely close to the detail and beauty of Arrietty. The observational quality of the animation is also astonishing; Ghibli movies have always had an affinity with water but their understanding of how liquid works from the perspective of tiny creatures (or people) truly makes me flutter inside.
Anyway, that's probably enough from me for now. I've probably not even got to the point as usual. As ever, thank you to all the watchers, favouriters and commenters I've not been able to thank personally. If I could request another favour from you, please go and look at the galleries of the lovely people I've handily ordered alphabetically into the grid below.
They'll appreciate it, and you'll like what you see.
Go, fill yourselves with love, or the closest thing to it.
Free to those that can afford it...
...very expensive to those that can't.