Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Highly Probable and Quite Likely Tale of Billy Wobbledagger

Well, it's been quite a time recently. Holidays and family get togethers. The season is warming up here and social get togethers are on the rise again. Ahhh, distractions. Wonderful, but as always there is time to art. As you may or may not know (and if you don't why not!!! Pay attention ! LOL!) I have had a few projects on the go but haven't had them quite completed to show you. One is finally completed so it's time to post. It was one of the projects that had me caught up in research and distractions as oft happens. As you know from previous posts, (Just nod and agree... It's easier for us both) I have been buried in poetry and renaissance arts recently. The upshot of all this...
I have written a wee rhyme about a bloke named Bill, you may have heard of him. He wrote the occasional piece of prose and one or two fairly good plays. Of course that meant incorporating it into a piece of art. Hence the headaches from a previous post. Details, it's all about the details. However... drum roll please maestro... tada , it is finished.

The Highly Probable and Quite Likely Tale, of Billy Wobbledagger.

(Stunning title, I know!)

And to the rhyme, (for I don't believe it could ever fall into any more serious sounding category!)

Young Bill would oft regale his friends with tales of love and woe,
Of kings and things and faeries that did amuse them so.
His friends and family laughed and cried and encouraged him to go,
Saying "Bill the Globe is all the rage for putting on a show".
One day the Queene came calling as Bill's fame began to grow,
She'd come to see the actors as into character they did flow.
The common folk did gape and stare from the crowded floor below,
They'd never seen so close before, Red Lizzie's royal glow.
Now at first she did but titter, and then albeit slow,
An enormous laugh began to rock Red Lizzie to and fro.
And at the last her Maj arose to clap and cheer, "Bravo",
"That Bill", she said, "I think he has the makings of a pro".
And so young Bill, his future sealed and very rightly so,
Forever more known as 'The Bard', that rocked the royal toe.

Awe struck are you not, LOL!

Okay, okay, I had a wee brain melt down but decided that should make for art as well as the usual stuff one does.
After all everything is grist isn't it.

The piece isn't as far fetched as it may first seem. Shakespeare was member of the Lord Chamberlains Men, a group of players who performed for the Lord Chamberlain and were retained for the courts amusement. Shakespeare himself acted and wrote for the company and also shared in the profits from their theatrical performances. In the days prior to the troops purchase of the Globe there is proof of Shakespeares performance before Queen Elizabeth and her court in and around London in the public records of the Treasurer to the Royal Chamber.

So now for the arty bit. Of course it's all about Bill, err, Shakespeare of course.
So here's the piece.

Now remember I was a card carrying member of a medieval society. So to take on a different tact, here's a recreation of a medieval velvet doublet as worn in Shakespeares time. Sleeves were of course an optional extra of the times and instead of being sewn in were tied into the base clothing piece for men and women. I couldn't get the arrangement I wanted with a sleeve as well, so the doublet is sans sleeve.

The doublet is scaled down of course to fit the canvas board (12" x 16"). Underneath reproductions of Shakespeares first folio productions from Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Richard II and the Sonnets. (All favs, but I love them all really especially that Scottish Play and Hamlet). The doublet is all hand made no machine sewing anywhere. The trims are all couched by hand (that means sewn on in an authentic period style of attachment for anyone not into medieval dress making) and the button loops are also fashioned and attached by hand. Not as hard as one would imagine and I have had lots of practice now though. Included in the piece a fabulous old book cover from 1885 with a beautiful gilt WS on the front cover that I found in a local bookstore and couldn't pass up. (Okay it isn't from 1600 ish but then who owns a book from then with the initials WS that you're gonna chop up for art???) Also included a couple of feather quills I also fashioned by hand according to period methods and dipped in ink to look like Will could have just left them lying there. Boy that's a whole other story that one. Feather quills, what a hassle, who knew?

Here's a close shot of the gilt on the book cover. It's a little over exposed here but then it's gilt, lots of glare and crappy photography skills.

So sue me, LOL!

Beautiful writing.

Inside the book cover a copy of the rhyme for posterity, and because I like the humorous element to add to the story.
I fancy Shakespeare had a good sense of humour and wouldn't mind me taking the mickey out of him.

It's typed in as close to an authentic font as I could get, my calligraphy isn't that good, on the oldest paper I had.
The paper is from 1835. I have reproduced at the top and bottom of the page decorative elements as they actually appeard in the publications of the works from the first folio.

So there you have it. A little bit of Bill, as I like to call him. Actually in researching Shakespeare I found out quite a few interesting facts and stories. Who knows how true they are. Shakespeare it seems had a wicked sense of humour as well as wit. One story goes that a lady fell in love with one of Shakespeares comtemporaries, Richard Burbage, when she saw him play Richard III on stage and begged him to come to her chambers that night under the name of King Richard. Shakespeare apparently overheard the proposition and as a joke, left the theatre early to take Burbage's place. Apparently he was at it when a message arrived to say that Richard the third was at the door.
Shakespeare apparently replied that "William the conqueror" came before Richard III.
Now tell me that's not a man who can take a good joke, LOL!
Will, you kill me!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Me, me, me, it's all about ME!

My gorgeous friend Cat over at La Dolce Vita has passed on a MeMe award. Aw shucks, (blush, blush) I don't know what to say now.

Yeah right, who would believe that! LOL!

Now this one calls for me to reveal seven wonderful things about me and then pass it along to another seven fabulous people.
Umm, seven things about me??? What do you want to know dear readers???

Like you, I eat, sleep put my pants on one leg at a time, (I haven't mastered the art of the two leg jump and get both feet in at the same time thingy yet. Not that I haven't been practising mind you, it's just that I haven't got the timing quite right yet).
Soo after some pondering here's what I could come up with for you all...

1. I'm actually quite shy.
Now stop that all of you, I can hear you laughing, oh yes I can. I take a little while to feel comfortable with people, must be why I art. I quite like my own company.
2. I loathe the telephone.
Have been known to easily ignore it and drive my family nuts. I just don't see the necessity of answering the thing just because someone else is calling. Sometimes I don't want to be available. The other bods who live here however couldn't ignore it if their life depended on it and jump at the infernal machine. Hey I've got an 18 and 20 year old. Who do think the call is for anyway?
3. I don't have a favourite colour (Cat we are the same, how funny!)
I like them all, especially when they are highlighted by other perfect colours partnered to show them off to their best. What more do you want?
4. I love movies and books.
I have too many favs to begin to list them. Am completely happy curled up with either for company and woe betide the idiot who presumes to interupt this perfect condition. (I don't suffer interuptions gladly. Surely you can see I only have 3 pages/minutes to go and the hero/heroine is about to fall/die/blow up).
5. Merlin, my blogger name comes from my cat.
It was the name of a beloved feline friend who has cast off his mortal coil. ('nough said. If you're a pet person you know.)
6. I was once a card carrying member of a medieval re-enactment group.
Loved it. It taught me much about life between 600AD and 1600AD. I cooked banquets for 200 people at a time, made historically acurate clothing by hand and met the most wonderful people. It taught me much, introduced me to a wealth of knowledge I am grateful for and satisfied that peculiar thirst for history I have. I no longer participate for a variety of reasons but am grateful for the time I did. Never stop learning.
and last but not least...
7. I have had no formal art training ever.
Not even participated in a class. (Well since leaving school that is, and that didn't go well either, LOL!) This does not mean however that I don't want to. I am all for class participation and have a list that I am dying/bungyjumping/freefalling from aircraft (preferably with a shute) absolutely going to attend as soon as I can arrange the time/find the class I want/get the dough to get there. Yes, for shame, I was the artistically challenged child that sat up the back while the art teacher shook their head and wondered at the system that required every student had to participate in at least one term of introductory art. So to you I say, do not ever believe the people who tell you, that you can't do it, can't make it, or you are wasting your time, about anything. Stop all self doubt. It is completely destructive and not at all true of anything! I once commented to Seth that I had no idea what rock I had been under for years that meant I had missed the joys that art now brings to me, but that I would never go back. No truer words have ever, and I do mean EVER left these lips dear blog readers. I have at long last learned life's most valuable lesson. Become a NIKE convert!

And now here's a little something about me for free, cause I'm all about free when you can get it/ it's offered/hits me over the head!

I live to laugh!
Nothing makes me happier than a good laugh, especially one shared with friends. I suffer from the typical Aussie irreverent and self deprecating humour that seems to abound here. No topic is off limits. Nothing is above being poked at in the name of a good laugh. I don't mean you need to be rude, crude and crass, but a great laugh really makes the world a better place.

And now to pass the award on to others. For the inspiration, laughs, support, encouragement and sheer joy you have all brought to me, thankyou!

Now for anyone who is not familiar with Mrs. G, anyone who is serving me mancake with my coffee in the cabana is my sorta gal, ROFL!
(Go look girls, go on, you will not regret it, trust me... you will want to hang out in the cabana!) For all the fellas out there, go look too, but be warned...
it's not called the Womens Colony for nothing, LOL!

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Crashing Back into Reality

Well unfortunately the holiday is over and I find myself crashing back into the world of reality and the demands of full time work. I must devote more time to working out how to earn an income from holiday life. Wouldn't that be wonderful. Unfortunately since I don't, it's back to the grindstone for me! This does not mean that there has been no time for art. On the contrary, I have been completing a couple of projects, which I can't show you yet, and so that means again journal play only to show, well at least for a wee while.
So here we are, the first page in a new journal...
step inside.
Seems an appropriate starting place.

Some play with water colours and acrylics.

And it's on to a collage, I've been headlong into a bit of a poetry plunge and this piece has stuck in my head.

I sometimes feel this happens to me. I spend so long immersed in the research, techniques or the colours of someone else that my own creativity seems to get bogged down in it all and it fills my head. I am in need of some clear space I think to refresh myself. So there will be no more research for a time just art play to enable me to breathe. I feel better already!
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Remembering Leo

It's been a lazy beginning to the week, now that I'm on holidays. Oh yeah, kicking back and relaxing, arting when I want, watching a few movies and generally not doing too much, at least so far. Now if only I could work out how to get paid for doing this I'd be in heaven! So while relaxing I've been taking a few lessons from Ann Baldwin's book 'Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed Media Artists'. Great book! Did I mention it's a great book? I did, well truthfully well deserved too. I do love Ann's collage work, and rarely do I find that these type of books live up to the my hopes for them, but this one! Worth every cent if you're into paint techniques for mixed media and collage! It's a wonderful place to begin anyway. So I been playin'. Have been researching madly for a current project and have a pile of books next to the nightstand as high as the nightstand on the Reanaissance period, my fav historical era. Soo much change in soo little a time period! Have sorted out all the issues for my current work in progress and am now into that, but I'm keeping that a secret at the moment so no peeks, at least not yet, LOL! However, as always the journals a great fallback, so here's the latest journal play.

'Remembering Leo'.

Love Da Vinci, what a fabulous mind. Fancy being clever enough in his day and age to go from paint, to sculpture, to engineering, to anatomy studies and back again! What a talented and inquiring mind he must have had. This page was a direct play from Ann Baldwins book. Her colour palette and style just my subject matter, but I liked it! Pooh, it's my journal and I'll play with what I want!!! (I'm sticking out my tongue and blowing raspberries too, LOL)! Don't know that I've finished with it yet either. I'll just have to wait and see.

'Walking on the Moon'

I've been in love with everything 'spacey' for as long as I can remember. I wonder if it was a direct influence from these guys? I remember watching it all on the tv as a child and being so entranced with the idea that someone was up there walking around as I was looking!
I was a grand 6 years of age (I soo cannot believe I gave my age away! What was I thinking???) and was hooked. I so admire these men, their predecessors and those who came after. I'm probably also a wee bit jealous! I'd go up tomorrow if only NASA would phone and ask!!!
Why haven't they??? Surely they've heard of me!!! LOL! I actually have the original newspaper broadsheets, published at the time. They are yellowing and delicate but I wouldn't part with them for anything! I have copied them and resized them to include here.

Next... onto something a little different.

Some jewelry play. The wonderful Ro Bruhn sent me a pakage a wee while ago and I have slowly been incorporating various of her bits into projects. (OMG, that sounds like I'm some sort of serial killer!!! I apologise to all, believe me, Ro's still out there folks! Alive and well! Trust me, I'm an artist, LOL)

Mwahahahaha, I kill me sometimes!!!

Anyway, the result of playing with beady bits...

Loads of glare when I took the photos. Sorry to all you photography types out there. I so suck at this.
(I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy, much bowing and scrapping, LOL). Loads of glare from the mother of pearl discs, but they are sooo pretty. Every girl needs a bit of bling!

And then a little mixed media piece which I think may turn into a series.

I've been practising my portraits since last we spoke. Slow improvement. Ah well, Rome wasn't built in a day and all that!
Do you see the beatles, LOL! Couldn't help myself! John, Paul, George and Ringo in on the act! Mixed media canvas panel, acrylics, oil pastels, charcoal, ink, sheet music and all four beatles! Wow, should be worth a fortune with all four, LOL! I have been scouring the garden (much to the delight of the cat who has been pouncing about at every opportunity as I rummage amongst the bits) for the right kind of beetle but, it's winter here, a disctinct lack of buggy bits in the yard at present, especially the already departed type. Couldn't actually kill any for my art now could I! Unthinkable!!! So had to resort to making them from dried beans. Maybe I should watch out for that Jack guy, I hear he has some used beans!

Ahh, I think that's all for now. Gotta get back to my...

well nothing really, but I gotta get back to doin it anyway!!!

I so LOOOOOOVE holidays!

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