lethargic

effddff2b29411e2a84022000aa8048a_7It has been a while since my last post, as I have been (semi) busy preparing for the postgraduate exhibition, opening on 18th May. This week my tutor lent me a frame from my work, and decided to stick my work haphazardly inside until I was able to buy some more mount card to float-mount the piece. The plastic folder I kept it in is stuck in the frame, too … for now. Today I cut some mount card down to the right size and hopefully next week I will attach everything…

Lately I’ve been feeling tired and I have found it difficult to motivate myself to do any university work and I have even had problems with drawing… a little bit. I have been trying to keep up with sketching, at least. I think I’m feeling this way because it is coming to the end of the Spring term, the exhibition is on the way and I have finished the drawing part. What’s left as I have said is the preparation, which usually involves money, asking loads of questions around the department, borrowing tools off people and feeling slightly impatient.

I haven’t really had much on my to do list lately, it has all been little errands, but I have struggled a bit with too, probably due to my own laziness – either that or I burned myself out this term. We have one more term after this, during the summer (no breaks!) and then after that is the final exhibition. Thankfully I just have to make art over summer, no other modules like teaching experience or art history to worry about. I do like both these modules but it might be nice to just have one thing alone to focus myself.

sketch card for my japanese teacher

sketch card for my japanese teacher

We had our last Japanese lesson on Tuesday evening, as our tutor has to fly back to Tokyo to visit her mother over summer. I’m thinking of ways to keep studying Japanese by myself now. I know that classes aren’t always ideal learning environments anyway, but I think I will miss the social aspect of it. I hope to save up for a book which will help take my grammar to the next level. It’s a bit patchy thanks to the combination of self study and classroom work. Every week I also try to complete some lessons on textfugu.com, although I’m reaching the final ones now.

Maybe I need a break or maybe I need to power on with my art – the latter is probably the most ideal route to take. I have a few things on my list that I want (and must) do during the remaining time of university and after that, too. I think I’ll write a little list here too as a method of self-motivation. If you’re one of the few people who have followed this blog for a while you will probably recognise my to do lists.

  • draw 151 original pokemon
  • keep studying Japanese
  • learn to drive
  • update my etsy
  • complete preparations for exhibition
  • do a new comic (perhaps for my coursework)
  • bake more

There are also some exceedingly mundane tasks that must be completed:

  • book all my holiday off before May 12th (policy of the supermarket I work for ><)
  • test out a5 digital prints to sell
  • fill in an application form to the shop I want to work in (although it is very popular so there is a low chance of success!)

I can’t really think of more right now, although this spring is certainly a time when people become inundated with lots of work, errands, cleaning and so on… I hope I can succeed. If anyone is reading this far in, what have you got to do? Are you doing alright? Maybe we can motivate each other.

tale for the time beingI’m writing such a long blog post today that I feel like the character from this book… which is one I would recommend. I read it recently, having seen its front cover in Huddersfield’s Waterstones shop and deciding that I needed to buy it…

Paris visit

Dear all,

I returned from Paris last night, so I thought I’d write a little bit about what I got up to and about the museums. My friend and I went to Paris from Tuesday to Friday and we packed a lot into the trip. He’d not been to Paris before, so we tried to go to all of the sights. Briefly: we went to Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Musée d’Orsay, Champs-Elysées/Arc du Triomphe, Musée du Louvre, Tour Eiffel, a Melody Gardot concert and the Pompidou (although we didn’t go inside). We had to get up at 7am each day to make sure we could go to all these places, so I’m quite tired now that I’m back.

angel of death painting

by Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926)

I’ll talk quickly about  the Musée d’Orsay. We found out when we got there that it was free entry for EU passport holders between ages 18-25. So that’s a really good reason to go if you ever get the chance. If you don’t fit those conditions there are other concessions prices as well. And if not, it’s 9 euros so still not too expensive. Currently there’s an exhibition on called L’ange du bizarre which features loads of artworks from the ‘dark romanticism’ movement (I didn’t really know anything about it and had only heard of romanticism anyway), including work from symbolists and surrealists, too. It was a massive collection of works, by artists such as Hans Bellmer (one of my favourites), Dali, Goya, Ernst, Fuseli, etc. along with screenings/excerpts of films such as Frankenstein, a Hitchcock film (can’t remember which one!), part of Buñuel/Dali’s eyeball slicing film (Un Chien Andalou) and various other dark/occult inspired films.

hans bellmer

by Hans Bellmer

I was mostly just really happy to see another exhibition which felt relevant to my own work. It was also very informative and there were a lot of interesting descriptions and introductions to be read. I was also surprised to see Hans Bellmer’s work in an exhibition, because I’ve not seen his work except for scouring through bad jpegs online.

When we went to the Louvre, we did not get in for free but it was worth it all the same. When I got in, I went looking for the Asian arts room but wandered through European sculpture for a short while, then ended up in the Islamic arts section, which I stayed in for the remainder of my time (with a brief trip to the shop to see if they had any sketchbooks for sale – yes, I did not bring my sketchbook. A mistake). I learned about calligraphy and bookbinding while watching the interactive computer screen things dotted around. I looked at lots of pots, bits of armour, gravestones, etc.

from http://www.al-islam.org because we couldn’t take any photos in the Louvre

It was really interesting and when it was time to go I wandered in the direction of the Mona Lisa but then decided to leave it and wait until my next visit, because it was quite busy and I didn’t feel very impassioned about seeing it. I will probably return to Paris in a couple of years’ time, so I will hopefully be able to spend a full day in the Louvre. But before going to France again I’d like to visit Japan again! Or Korea… of course all of these things cost a lot of money, and my trip this week was really expensive (although we managed to budget well, Paris is an expensive place). So I will try to save some more money over the next few years. 

I also want to mention briefly that when we were walking to the Eiffel Tower, I found the Japanese culture centre. It had a really nice book shop, a mini gallery, a lady playing classical music on a grand piano, a library and a tea house (which was by appointment over). We spent max. 20 minutes there and I didn’t buy anything because I didn’t have enough money to spend on books, but it was lovely and I hope I can go there again when I eventually visit again. Luckily we have the Japan Centre in the UK anyway.

I think I’ll stop writing now but I’ll leave you all with the start of a big drawing I am doing, probably to put in the postgraduate exhibition (in a month’s time) as I have been given a little extra space to fill up.

WIP in biro

WIP in biro

wellcome collection – Souzou exhibition

I have wanted to write another post here for a while, so I thought that it might as well be sorted tonight. I am sitting in my parents house tonight (which is about 7 hours away from my university town when travelling on public transport) in my old bedroom, which is packed full with my parents’ computer parts, books (on gardening, religion, physiology…), my accumulated possessions and some empty boxes, too. I travelled here on Tuesday during the daytime, and my journey took even longer due to transport delays… I’m here until Sunday, so I need to have a look at timetables or I might end up spending 8 hours of my day travelling again.

I don’t know how, but as always I’ve been quite busy with things. Usually when I visit I end up spending more time watching series online and drawing than anything else. But I’ve had reunions with some friends and a trip to the Wellcome Collection in London to see their new exhibition Souzou.

by Marie Suzuki

by Marie Suzuki, a sketchbook which appeared to be completely filled with her tight marker/fineliner drawings. The gallery describes her work as representative of her fears of childbirth, disgust of female and male genitalia, among other things. A better description is on the website! 

I really enjoyed the exhibition, which is a collection of art from people in welfare facilities in Japan. There were some really amazing, intense, intriguing pieces of work (I discover I’m not very good at writing intellectual descriptions of art right now), like the pieces shown from the artist above, Marie Suzuki. I think I might visit again.

Untitled by Shingo Ikeda

by Shingo Ikeda. He worked mostly in common notebooks, doing loads of very specific calculations relating to things like how many train journeys he will be taking and calculating the odds for sumou matches, I believe. If I get the book I will amend any mistakes! 

I might also buy the book to keep a reminder of all the interesting works… although looks like I will have to visit again quickly to pick it up on my way back to university, as it is not sold online. I really loved some of the compositions as well, but cannot find the images online.

If anyone gets the chance, I recommend going to visit the Wellcome Collection, which is just one minute from the London Euston train/underground station. It’s a place which combines collections of art with medicine; so you might find there… old fashioned medical tools, illustrations of disease and death, anatomical models, a mummy from Peru, some photograph portraits featuring brain donors, etc. Anyway, they’ve had other exhibitions recently about death, brains, dirt, etc. And I think they might be doing one on insects/pests soon. They also have a large permanent collection which is exciting and possibly slightly morbid (the best!) and you will want to spend a while there looking around. The bookshop is good too and I bought a ‘strawberry cheesecake’ cupcake at the cafe for £2.50 today, it tasted delicious. Definitely buying more cupcakes, too.

I’ll post some more art soon too! Sketches, at least!