Memory Lane has been a popular destination of late…
Over the past few weeks I have been working up a series of watercolour sketches, it wasn’t really intentional, just a quick little bit of doodling some mornings before work and it soon became a part of an occasional routine.
Serving as the inspiration behind these sketches, i have been using nostalgia as a vehicle to take me down Memory Lane and revisiting iconic characters/scenes/stories from my childhood.
I have every intention of continuing this series and I have a ton of inspiration to draw from and endless artworks to create for this series. Star Wars for instance will be revisited several times, as will many of the other ones!
For quite some time, I have say here and typed out several lines of poetry, then deleted them. Several short, two sentence storylines, then deleted them. I can’t settle on a singe idea for this painting and have therefore decided to leave any story or meaning down to the viewer’s discretion and imagination.
This painting was a total step out of my comfort zone, I used palette knives as my weapons of choice, and painted solely from imagination, this is a painting that I felt my way around as opposed to hours of studying reference photography.
Once I had it completed, I posted it to a few groups on Facebook to garner some feedback and ideas for a title. I had a lot of different titles to choose from before settling on ‘Nocturnal Sun’ – as chosen by Panagiotis Zacharatos (who won a free print in the process of giving me the title I chose).
So pretty much every stage of this painting has been a totally alien experience and process in comparison to my normal methodical approach to my artwork.
I would be very interested to hear what stories you would assign to this piece. What do you feel when you look at it? What do you think is happening or has happened? I’d love to hear any short stories relating to this artwork and to get those creative juices flowing!
The Farewell Speech!
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‘The Ringwraiths are deadly enemies, but they are only shadows yet of the power and terror they would possess if the Ruling Ring was on their master’s hand again’
The Fellowship of the Ring – Book II, Chapter IV – A Journey in the Dark
This particular illustration has been a bone of contention for me now for quite some time. since its conception and initial stages, until now that it is finally finished and ready to post, a lot of time has passed and a fair few other artworks have been conceived and completed.
However, this is a good time to post the piece, I have finally brought it to the point of ‘abandonment’ as Leonardo da Vinci once put it and it is like a celebratory relief.
Now for the interesting part, let’s dive into the words of Tolkien himself and see what he had to say about the Ringwraiths, through the character of Gandalf of course…
“It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning.”
– Vincent van Gogh
It seems appropriate to start this post with a quote from the post-impressionist master himself, as it was watching the recent biographical drama about the latter years of his life ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ that inspired me to create something bolder and looser than my usual work.
“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”
That quote is incredibly apt when it comes to the journey that I have just taken to a galaxy far far way in order to create my latest artwork ‘Jedi Master Yoda on Dagobah’.
I took a very different approach to this piece than I usually do with my paintings; this time I wanted not to work from a single reference image and fall into the usual trap of becoming a slave to the reference and instead worked from a variety of different ones.
The Last Flight of the War Drakes – Oil on Box Canvas – 10″ x 8″
The Last Flight of the War Drakes – Detail
The Last Flight of the War Drakes Detail 2
The horns of the fell war blew a cry to awake
Through the night and the day, to the fight of an age
Over mountains and pastures the flight of the drakes
To the end of an era, to the light that’ll fade
“To the war! To the war!” cried the chief of the Wyrms
Every winged beast and creature full of evil that lurked
In the world at that time had a reason to purge
The fair people of Earth, and then see that it burned
The last flight of the War Drakes was the one and only time that the great dragons had ever been known to band together as a unitary force; they flew with intense fury and vengeance to the battlefronts of the Fell War leaving a burning trail of destruction and death in their wake.
They flew to their demise and apparent extinction once the Eldar caused the ‘Burning Sky’ ending the fell war and eradicating every evil creature present.
Some of history’s greatest seafarers, an inspiration to all those with an adventurous spirit, or a plundering one for that matter.
I decided to try something new with this small piece; a speed painting.
I really struggle to get a good amount of time in for a half decent painting session, working on one of my more thought out artworks and as a result, most of the time end up not painting at all. With that in mind, I had a couple of hours spare and decided to just go for it and try my hand at a speed painting.