Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Momento Mori


It snowed this morning. Kind of. Barely.
Hopefully it is a sign of snow to come. I'd like to have a proper snowy few days at least this winter, as it'll be my first winter fully back at home in a few years, and I want to be able to take advantage of having a garden and woods and a dog to talk in them, and more importantly a FIRE to come back to, instead of my university room with the hole in the window and questionable radiator.


Returning to the point of me opening up a new blog post in readiness of oncoming words.
I only have one picture to show at this point, but you also get a FREE STORY to go with it. You lucky devils, you. Though, it's only like... 3 paragraphs long. So not that exciting. Still, it's FREE!!!

I wrote the story ages ago during the summer months when it was unseasonably dark and foggy and generally quite wintery and I was in a dark and foggy and generally quite wintery mood. I had made an image in relation to it back then as well but it was very speedy and rather shit, and I came across it the other day and thought "Ugh, that won't do." So, I made a new one (I originally did it as a charcoal drawing, but I royally screwed it up, so rather than do it all over again in the same medium I painted it digitally):

The carriage appears every night in the winter, when the ice covers the roads. No one knows who guides its horse; there has never been any sign of a driver. It trundles mournfully along that little trail. The trail no other carriage uses anymore. The one that starts and ends nowhere, with nothing but trees at one end, and nothing but the remains of a large, empty stone house at the other.
    The house belonged to a wealthy man, they say. A man who died quite young; shot after a quarrel with a friend over money. When they found him lying by the gateway to his house, a coin covered each closed eye. His pockets were scratched and torn, and they assumed his assailant had robbed him. Some said, however, they saw magpies in the trees. Dozens of them. And each one held a coin in its beak.
   The house fell into ruin after that; when all the man’s belongings were sold off or given to uncaring relatives.
Years after this, the carriage began appearing. At its arrival at the gate of that murdered man’s house the sound of coins clattering on the hard ground could be heard beside the carriage door. The exact amount for the carriage’s fare, some thought. But, no one could ever get close enough to retrieve those coins as anyone who dared try was attacked by magpies, clawing and flapping at the unlucky individual's face before swooping down to pluck the coins from the ground and flying away to sit in the trees, cackling to each other over their reward.
People tend to ignore the carriage now. They leave the memory of the murdered man, and his wealth, and his carriage to his only friends; the magpies.

There now. A heart-warming story to cheer the spirits on this cold winter's eve...

A friend suggested I turn the story into a poem, as it's short even by the standards of short stories. I like the idea, but I've never been much interested in poetry, with only a few exceptions, and so I feel that any attempt I could make would cause most half-decent poets and appreciators of the art to gouge their eyes out with rage.

Maybe I'll give it an attempt some day.

So, yes! Not much else to say, really, so I suppose I'd better stop.

Turrah for now!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

January Blues

Welp, January is upon us, all the decorations have been taken down and the tree is sitting sadly on the compost heap - it went out with a vengeance, dropping every single one of its needles on the carpet as dad dragged it outside, making it look as though we were attempting, and succeeding, to grow an indoor lawn. 

All the festive fun and excitement is over...
BUT!! I'm quite happy! I have my vision back properly and am able to draw and read again! HUZZAH.

So, I've been doing stuff.

A bit of digital painting practice on a guy I dreamt about ages ago. A guy with stilts for legs in weird venetian carnival-esque attire who chased me round my own house. Normal-sized people have trouble standing upright without risking concussion in my house, so how this guy managed to fit I'll never know. 

I also thought I'd present an image done with a quill pen and a pot of ink a couple of months ago. I touched it up recently and rescanned it so I suppose I should show it. It comes with its own little snippet of story - not related to anything, just something I cam up with while drawing it:

"People flocked in the streets to see this particular carriage go by. The one with the trees engraved on the sides and wheel spokes carved in the style of gnarled branches, pulled by a stag - and not those flashy golden stags only the elite of the elite used to drag them around the city - a common red stag with a magnificent set of antlers and a known temper.
Children would jump out as it passed to try and grab the large silver ring dangling from the mouth of the horned demon on each door. One knock brought good luck, they said. Two brought wealth. Three brought fame. Four brought gifts of magic. And five brought the occupant of the carriage out to murder everyone in the vicinity. No child had yet dared to test the last notion."

Ahem. Yeah...

And finally, I'm returning to the rather Greek Myth-y theme of the last post and showing off something I finished just today. A pencil illustration, again, not of an actual Greek myth, but rather inspired by the concept of the Greek Sphinx, the guardian of Thebes, and a Riddle Master. Anyone who wished to enter the city had to first answer a riddle. Failure to answer it correctly meant becoming the Sphinx's lunch.

The whole illustration is again too tall to view properly on most screens, so I'm breaking it up.

The top:

The Middle:

The Bottom:

And here it is in full, just so you get the idea:

So, yes. A mish-mash of random crap to start the new year off!

I hope everyone is sticking to their New Year's resolutions. I haven't made any.
I suppose the only resolution I can think of is to make sure I stay SUPER HAPPY at all times!!! :D