Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Cold Calling and the Prophecies of Doom

Many harvests ago within the dark ages of forgotten time, King Arthur stood mighty and
defiant against the dark one...the very Devil himself. It was decided that in order to determine
just exactly who was the mightiest and most worthy of respect, a quoit throwing
challenge would be the order of the day. The Devil threw his huge metal ring which
skittered across the landscape eventually crashing through the ground, spewing forth
a colossal mound of rock from the depths of hell. Returning the challenge, Arthur hurled 
his quoit with equal vigour similarly resulting in a gigantic monolithic stone warrior to punch
through the cold ground towards the sky. It was agreed to be an impressive draw and 
both figures went on their way.
Now, many full moons later, the two weathered granite outcrops still stand as testament 
to that memorable day, the two granite outcrops of Blackingstone and Heltor rocks.

Well it is the month of Yule and the Solstice rapidly approaches. This year is notable
as not a typical solstice, in fact an extinct south American civilization stated that on the
twenty first of this month of December 2012 we may have to collectively endure the 
possibility of becoming a bit extinct ourselves. It certainly makes for lively debate with
cold callers trying to help us claim our PPI or sell us double glazing. In fact I really want
a cold caller to try selling me PVCU windows for my question shall be "are they fire, 
brimstone and plummeting asteroid proof......and does that come with a written guarantee?"
I am thinking about the celebratory antics for that evening although bearing in mind
anything a little too extreme will still have to be explained away to mortified 
neighbours and family members if the sun indeed decides to rise on the twenty second.
"I am deeply sorry for decapitating your garden gnomes with a croquet mallet
whilst under the influence of several bottles of vintage wine.....I thought the world was
going to end!" Albeit a grande excuse, in fact quite possibly THE best excuse ever,
it loses a lot in translation during the cold light of day.

I am now thinking about these distant echoes from our past...Arthur and the Devil....the 
quoit throwing...those awfully astute Mayans with their calendar based prophecies of doom
and gloom.....GNOMES, and somewhere in the distance I can hear the phone
ringing. For once, I really do hope that it is someone trying to sell me something,
I may have some questions for them.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Limited Attention of a Limited Palette

So, we'll go no more a-roving

So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have a rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

Dull, dull, dull. The surrounding prison walls seem to be laughing at me due to the 
incarceration of my creative soul. This several weeks of a limited palette with the 'wet on
wet' technique of a highly structured and microscopically detailed attention to detail that
was laid down by the brotherhood of the Pre Raphaelites is really starting to 
drive me slightly bonkers. But...and there is a but, these paintings are probably the most
exciting series of works that I have undertaken as I am not aware of any other 
painters who are venturing down this path of subject, location or structure.

Due to this lifestyle of a rigid order, my numerous visits to the pool have now ceased which
has introduced the oversized spanner into the finely tuned workings of my fitness
regime again. As the gothically inspired mistress of the eastern fringes, it isn't
greatly known that my entire lifestyle revolves around being super fit....SHOCK HORROR...
it's not all absinthe, laudanum and eternal angst of a doom ridden poet, hell bent on
self destruction. 
With that said, I have swapped the pool for a daily early morning or early evening run.
Being a fortunate soul who resides in one of the most stunning areas of the country, I 
have some beautiful places to go too. 
Ipod-check, water-check, Moomin-check. The best thing about running with Moomin is that 
unleashed and insane canines tend to make a bee line for her as opposed to me, she seems
to exude dog pheromones or something
Another project of mine that seems to be travelling at a snails pace is a graphic novel...
no wait, let's call it a storybook of retro futurism and adventuristic journeys through
Edwardian England, 'The Diary of an Edwardian Country Automaton Hunting Lady'
Pretty much what it says really, a steampunk inspired storybook based on my
lovely but slightly unhinged friend Hospheria BC. Lavish, but lavish usually
means 'takes a long time to produce.'
Oh come on Halloween, I need a party to have a good excuse for the absinthe, laudanum,
cheese and pineapple on a stick and mini pasties.

Actually, sitting here it really isn't that dull at all. Kings of Leon have just come on the radio,
I have poured another cardio-threatening caffeine infusion into my
huge stripey mug and secured my hair inside a large knitted beret ready for service,
I love my job.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Spelling Mistakes Through The Medium of Light Art

A magnificent display of golden hues gently spreading across the ancient woodlands and open
fields that laid before me, filling me with awe and delight as the warming sunlight woke the
sleeping land upon this morn of the summer solstice....."the weather is going to be horrid" 
Moomin barked over her large stripey mug of tea , snapping me from my romantic dreams and
back into reality.
Indeed she may be right, the forecasters on the television made pained faces and frowned a lot
when they predicted the impending wet stuff that would surely dampen the early morning
revelry......but not mine, my enthusiasm was as big as a bus, a big bus full of positivity and
determination to take at least one decent photo of the sunrise.

Wednesday 20th June......4am

As I glimpsed over the top of the sanctuary of my duvet, I couldn't help but notice the curtains
doing their horizontal thing in the cold morning breeze. Without prompting I shortly found 
myself in the kitchen boiling a kettle and jamming camera things into bags for my mini
adventure. Ten minutes later I was driving through the inky blackness of the Devonian morning
as I searched for a good vantage point to park.
The pull in was perfect, the car shielded me from the wind as I set the tripod up behind it
facing eastwards. After clonking the 7D in place I turned my attentions to caffeine. 
My second rude awakening of the day, the flask of hot water had once contained a fruit drink,
I was already taking my chances with coffee of an instant form, which I dislike, so you can 
imagine my reaction when I tasted the fusion of 'awful' with even more 'awful' from an 
awful plastic mug. It was at precisely this moment that an early morning tractor decide to
pass me in mid fury. The poor driver must have wondered as to why a darkly dressed
gothic type girl was hopping around by the side of the road shaking her hands in the in the air
in disgust at this unearthly hour. "Oh it's just Amelia" would be the more than likely reaction.

Wednesday 20th June.....magic sunrise 

Pray let me describe this amazing spectacle for you dear reader as it surely needs sharing. This is 
exactly how the marvellous event went. Dark......dark.....dark.....dark.......light!
What?.....where was the sunrise?.....where were the colours?....what was THAT?
My pout of extreme disappointment must have been highly visible for the now audibly
waking birds who seemed to be laughing, that would be laughing in my direction by the way.
After trying to write rude words to sum up my dismay with a torch on an extended shutter I
decided to return to the ever appealing comfort of my probably still warm duvet.

It was pointed out at a later date that the word that I aimed to spell out in the darkened 
cobalt morning air actually has two L's....oh b******* (again)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Secret Diary of an Edwardian Country Lady Vampyre Hunter (part IV)

The cataclysmic events which brought me here were now but a distant memory
as I perched above the blackened void which presented itself before me. I had to 
summon the courage to proceed and after what seemed like an eternity I finally
made the move. I took one step onto the cold and damp flagstone stairs that 
disappeared below the ancient building into the impending bowels of hell. One
after the other my footsteps echoed around the inky blackness as I descended,
On reaching the base of my only means of escape I stopped and breathed the stale,
dank air of the crypt. Somewhere ahead in the darkness I could just make out the
faint 'skritch, skritch, skritch' that gently reverberated around the vaulted ceiling and
stone floor........there was someone there!
My vice like grip tightened around the roughly shaved wooden stake which rested in
the pocket of my greatcoat. With my other hand I fumbled with infantile coordination 
for the crucifix that I knew was hanging around my neck on a piece of frayed twine.
My presence was noticed as the noise stopped abruptly and was followed by
a deafening silence. I could now just make out a figure crouching by the largest
of the stone memorials at the end of the chamber and without hesitation it 
started to slowly move. The figure grew as it stood, it grew to well over six feet
in height as it straightened out until eventually it was clearly visible in the dim light.
I grasped at the crucifix and held it high as I shouted "Nosferatu...I see you!"
Again silence. The dark eyes of the figure were now looking directly at me and I
shouted again "Nosferatu....I...I see you!" The deafening silence was only matched 
by the pounding heart in my chest. I could now hear the crunching of gravel
beneath the figure's feet as it slowly made its way towards me.
"Nosfer...Nosferatuthingy....oh he's up at Castle Drogo doing their septic tank,
I'm Dave and you have air in your radiators love.

An interesting series of events occurs at SX731774 The location is Bonehill Rocks, a
 large scattering of granite boulders laid out over a hillside sat majestically high above 
Widecombe in the Moor. It is here on most evenings, around the time that the golden
orb of life drops off the end of our fertile globe sending an explosion of billions of
shards of purple, red and orange light high into the darkening azure sky above.....they
congregate! When I say they, of course I mean the army of photographers who gather
around the rocks and point their tripod mounted lenses westward to capture THE shot 
of the century. There must be a collective name for photographers, I don't know it
so I shall introduce the collective noun, a 'smugness' of photographers. The last 
time that I pointed my camera in the direction of the rapidly failing sun, I was met with
a fairly frosty look filled with distain from the man with the biggest lens I have ever
seen. I could hear him discussing ISO settings and exposure compensation.....oo...
compensation, big lens...yes I see now. Needless to say I started clicking away and
captured some superb images. Big lens man was having issues as he clearly wasn't
clicking anything. The lens came off and I could hear his disapproval to the fact that 
a huge amount of dust had become attached to his sensor.

Amelia's top tip no. IV When removing a DSLR lens from the body, make sure that
the camera is turned off as there is an electromagnetic charge that builds up inside
and will attract dust directly into the recess and ultimately directly onto the sensor.

Big lens man I am assuming didn't and as a result, it did. 

I have recently been watching a large amount of vampyre films for no apparent 
reason other than they happen to just be on. I must point one thing out though, not
the Twilight saga. My perfect reworking of the film would involve Buffy...well 
you know what direction that would travel in. One late night Hammer Horror
also fell wildly short of its ability to entertain as I believe it must have been made very
late on a Friday afternoon when all of film crew were itching to go home. I sat 
through the entire film without one chuckle of being entertained, I want
Christopher Lee back. And as I am on the subject, Mr. Burton's latest 
celluloid extravaganza featuring one Mr. Depp that also had some location
shoots right on my doorstep, looks like it most definitely will entertain.

Amelia's top tip no. V When suspecting that a neighbour is actually Nosferatu,
a walker of the night, under no circumstances must you attempt to drive a wooden
stake through their hearts as it usually gets frowned upon by the local
authorities. Which brings me neatly into
Amelia's top tip no. VI I am not a vampyre so please stop throwing garlic at me,
I like garlic very much but not when it is launched in my general direction from 
across the road when I am looking in the baker's window.

Since my last post which involved Moomin's wanton destruction of a starched linen
tablecloth through the medium of jam, we have since returned to the scene of the crime 
where the ladies of the cake emporium were none the wiser. We entered recently and
purchased what can best be described as a wholly obscene and voluminous 
pile of cake based objects that was accompanied by surely one of the largest teapots
in the south west that I have ever seen. We were also encouraged to take extra cake
home with us as they had clearly overdone the baking. This particular cream tea venue
has the strangest bathroom facilities that I had ever come across. It involved entering 
through a huge studded door which led through a small panelled room. 
As I perched above the blackened void which presented itself before me......

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Amelia's Curious Series of Unfortunate Events.

"So can you do it?" I had to think long and hard about the answer "I really need you for
this, you're the only person that I know who is a bit, well......odd....pleeeease!"
"Oh, alright" I replied.
Well then, that will be me modelling again in the not too distant future, for
my good friend's illuminating and fantastical display of nail sculpting and creativity.
My reluctance is fairly evident due to my previous visitation to the salon of all things
'pink and evil', where slightly over preened peroxide maidens pointed and
whispered as to the presence of the raven haired maiden who ended up shifting
uncomfortably in her seat for the duration of the experimental treatment that she
were to encounter there.
Not that I am adverse to the wonders of turning my badly chipped and damaged nails
into extremely gorgeous and perfect creations of feminine beauty, it's just that
my creative side tends to whisk me delicately through the air and deposit me
unceremoniously with a thump back at the drawing board once my hands become
involved with Dremel drills and such objects of destruction.
The other day, my hands were doing precisely that. At long last I have decided to
exhibit some of the photos from the Camera Obscura series, the chosen method of
display shall be the inclusion of Victorian style curio cases. These shall hold objects
which have a certain relevance towards the chosen subjects. One such case has
a ghostly floating dolls head.....actually, a dolls face that has been removed with
quite some exertion via the means of a very sharp serrated kitchen knife. During the
horrendous act where the toy doll and her face were quietly parting company, I had
to stop my sawing in mid saw. I viewed the scene as something quite awful
and horrendous, then I remembered the peroxide preen queens from the salon
after which I carried on sawing this time with some renewed enthusiastic vigour.
Remaining with the 'at long last' expression, the Vanstone 'construction' studio is
now occupied and enjoying the sounds of banging, crashing, music and also
providing yet another environment for me to mangle my nails in. I must admit that
the use of two separate studios, at times seems a trifle excessive but the battle
over land occupation between my artwork and shoes had come to a speedy and
fairly conclusive finale with the purchase of some very high, black strappy
heels that performed the same act as that of the proverbial straw with the
unfortunate camel's back.
For reasons unknown, various people have made it their mission to purchase
all sorts of oddities and weird toys for the inclusion in the up and coming show,
now it appears that I am becoming overrun with this random assortment.
I shall use this opportunity to bid you all an enormous thank you but......
please stop, I really couldn't justify the acquiring of Vanstone studio number three.
(On a completely random note, I had a delightful comparison made to me the other
day, apparently I reminded somebody of a younger Morticia Addams, this put a huge
grin on my face which unfortunately ruined the likeness as I can't recall if she
actually smiled or not.)
The very springlike feel on Dartmoor has me now waking from my winter slumber
and wanting to learn new things. Of course when I say learn, I really don't mean
learn as in 'I have learnt that Macbooks dislike gin and tonic' or 'I have learnt that it
is probably not a good idea to cut cardboard with a scalpel on the carpet' oh I could
go on, but no, I mean learn as in the ability to carve wood or advanced metalwork...
that sort of thing. The current series of work has left me with the burning desire to
discover how to use old fashioned crafts with real materials as opposed to
plastic.......I really dislike plastic. No doubt one of the reasons why the casual
telephonic sales caller who tries to sell me plastic doors or windows will suffer the
full wrath of Amelia as they try to talk me into discarding my two hundred year old
hand made oak framed windows for some identically proportioned windows made
recycled yoghurt pots of something similar.
I shall now be returning to the studio to separate more heads from the shoulders
of innocent, badly painted, straw haired dolls, all in the name of creativity. Thinking
about it, I could do exactly the same thing when my presence is required in the
'pink palace of beauty salon' later this month......well I can pretend.
I can just picture the pale and anaemic one who is the only person smiling to
herself as she mentally lops the heads off of the orange faced individuals.