Just musings today. I am working on three separate new images at the moment: faces and situations which you are already familiar with, if you have followed my work for a while. Sometimes I receive emails asking about the characters in my art, about why they are most always pale, ethereal, overly pretty girls of an indeterminate age, and so on. And sometimes I wonder about this myself, because I have never really been able to predict beforehand just what my characters are 'up to'.....so I will try to explain...
I'm not sure, perhaps it might require more skill to create less homogenous looking faces? I suspect this is the truth, except I also think that my characters have taken on a sort of life of their own, and have come to represent a certain something which most always lies beneath. Basically, I am often more concerned with the emotional content of the image than the mundane prettiness of my characters. And their faces have simply come to represent what is most familiar to me, something which I have most likely carried with me since childhood: an impression, a reflection, a memory of old stories and dreams. I am also pale, and blonde, so I dare say there is a small reference to childhood myself, as well, as far as 'colouring' goes. Perhaps, after all, there is only one solitary character hiding behind all of them, a sort of transparent, ghostly being who can only take on a small number of disguises before she exhausts herself. Perhaps, like my digital skill, she cannot fully materialize. But it's alright, we have patience!
The old fairy tales are still my greatest influence, and the girls are often a manifestation of an idea inspired by them. In a sense, the girls are like a blank canvas which gives form to the ideas, the symbols which surround them. And the symbols are often more important to me, personally, than the characters. This is why I am constantly drawn to the somnambulist theme: they are concerned with something larger which moves us, something just outside of our physical control. Sleep brings them closer to the unconscious (and I am still using Jungian symbols in my art), to what we might collectively refer to as the other side. It is the closest that I can get to what moves me outside of poetry and film...and the films in my head are led by music, never dialogue. The girls in the image above are still quite literally sleeping. They have not been invested with personality as yet, and maybe they never shall. They are nowhere near technically complete, yet their hearts are still beating, and their dreams are vivid with potential. At this stage, technically speaking, I often wait for the character to 'tell me' what surrounds them, what they are thinking, feeling, etc. Frustratingly, I can never actually design the outcome beforehand. So many of my ideas never come to fruition because the characters simply won't join in.
They aren't supposed to imitate reality as much as they are meant to suggest something just outside of it. They exist neither in the land of the living nor the realms of the dead.Inaccessible, they are a law unto themselves, concerned only with themselves and the mysteries of nature and dreams. They cannot be wounded or hurt like mortal children, which strengthens yet distances them simultaneously. My artist friend Kim has occasionally remarked that there is something uncanny, unsettling about an overly pretty child (in reference to my work), and this is kind of the point. What initially stikes us as human, approachable, even cute, might not be all that it seems.
Just a quick note: I am currently unable to update image related posts due to a Macintosh malfunction and the absolute refusal of my stand-by Windows 7 machine to display colours correctly. Whilst I am awaiting the arrival of my replacement Macbook, I would prefer not to try to prepare any artworks for the web, because my temporary laptop renders them a sort of cool, lilac colour. No amount of callibration or gamma fiddling seems to rectify this, and since this issue is only temporary, I'm not prepared to break my neck searching for software/hardware that might assist me. I hope to be back very soon, perhaps by the weekend, but until then, I will be taking a little break from posting.
And now I wonder...how many Windows laptop users are perceiving my images with a cool, bluish tone...I have heard that this is common? They also appear much grainier and heavily saturated via Windows, but then my stand in pc is rather cheap, hence a lower resolution. I'm trying not to think about it for too long.
Still, my email account and print store are functioning as usual!
Brand new prints have just been added to the Art&Ghosts shop, as promised. I also ought to mention that although the shop has been thoroughly restocked over the past 48 hours, many have since sold out and are back on order once more. I have received a number of emails asking when the new restock will arrive, so please accept my apologies if you were waiting, and the print that you had your eye on disappeared! I will try to reorder them as soon as possible (I generally order around 2 or 3 restocks per week) so they do cycle pretty regularly. Some prints are more popular than others and do tend to sell out rather fast. One solution to this is to write me an email, stating which prints you are interested in, and I should be able to make a custom order for you, obviously at no extra charge. This is the only way that I can guarantee that a given print will be available at any particular time - I hope this makes sense!
As of right now, the prints which feature my recent works have only just been added and are still in stock, (I particularly adore the new print version of Bunting!) although many of the regulars which I updated yesterday are now sold.
Please let me know if you have any concerns about this, and I will do my best to help:}