Saturday, November 07, 2009

TIKOT - The Hung Tiki

When I was asked to take part in the TIKOT group show I was given this information on the Hanged Man card...

The Hanged Man - Atomic Tony Tiki

Serenely dangling upside-down, the Hanged Man has let go of worldly attachments. He has sacrificed a desire for control over his circumstances in order to gain an understanding of, and communion with, creative energies far greater than his individual self. In letting go, the hero gains a profound perspective accessible only to someone free from everyday conceptual, dualistic reality.

Modern versions of the tarot deck depict a man hanging upside-down by one foot. The figure is most often suspended from a wooden beam (as in a cross or gallows) or a tree. Ambiguity results from the fact that the card itself may be viewed inverted. Is the man or the world upside-down? I set my brain to thinking, a tiki hanging from a tree obviously, and there is really only one famous tree in the Tiki world...

...The Tangaroa tree from outside the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Since the card has duality I figured the tiki's face should be readable in two directions like a Victorian novelty image a grinning face reversed and face of agony while in the correct position.

The artwork in the show was size specific all 2D art had to be 20" x 10", so I had to build and stretch my own frame. Luckily I found a frame 20" x 30" so I had to crack out my multi tool and use the worlds bluntest saw on a hot day to cut it down.

Some super glue and sticky tape to hold the wood together, then I stretched a thick cotton re-usable carrier bag for the canvas. Then several coats of PVA glue/white acrylic to dope it and it was all ready to start.

The initial outline and the first of the red coats for the background.

On with some yellow ochre for the body.

The brown added to the tree.

The brown added for the wood-grain on the tiki body, its really time consuming, but it really works.
More colour added to the tree and some black outlines.

The darker shading added to the figure.

Highlights and mid-tones added and outlines in white for the flowers.

Mostly finished the flowers in, the rope defined and blood added to the empty socket. This is because in Norse myths Odin hung over the abyss he sacrificed his eye, so that he'd gain wisdom.

The tarot is all about cultural symbols and myths, so mixing a little Norse into the mix won't hurt.

Finally finished I toned down the yellow on the tree, added a few more lashings to the tree, added black wood-grain to the tree and went over all the highlights with more brown wood-grain, just to pull back the white.

You can read an great thread about the show on Tiki Central..

Saturday, October 24, 2009

TIKOT 31st December

I'm taking part in the TIKOT art show in California at the end of this month. Its a group show where we all got given a card of the major arcana to redesign in a Tiki style.

I was lucky enough to land the Hanged Man and I'll paint blog up the creation of it over the next week. Painting in the heat and excitement of Thailand is very different to Scotland.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ten Tasks Update

At the start of the year I set myself ten reasonably do-able tasks, since we are almost 3/4 of the way through the year I thought I should update you on the progress.

1. Do something charitable. - Whilst at Subway I took part in their Comic Relief Charity drive and for a month gave our tips to Charity, so this task is complete.

2. Earn £1000 from my art. - Still in progress but I have exhibited in three Artshows this year, so I have put myself out more.

3. Learn to drive. - Not yet.

4. Study a for a CELTA or equivalent.
- I have my TEFL certificate and I'm off to Thailand to work for the next couple of years, so Task complete.

5. Experience Scotland like it was a foreign country.
- When I visited my parents last week I went up the St Magnus Cathederal tower, so thats a pretty touristy thing done and I travelled the full length of Britain in the last month, so Task complete.

6. Learn to run.
- I had to stop my gym subscription last month because I'm going to Thailand but I had started running on the tread mill and was enjoying it, so task still in progress.

7. Tattoo, get one and do one.
- Not yet but time enough, so still in progress.

8. Learn a Burns poem by heart.
- Not yet but time enough, so still in progress.

9. Spend Christmas with my Parents.
- Not going to happen as I've mentioned before I'll be in Thailand, perhaps I could by the power of Skype, task not possible.

10. Spend Hogmanay with my friends.
- Not yet but time enough, so still in progress.

So two can't be done, three complete and five more to finish, goes to show that goals you thought possible could change to impossible due to larger life changing events. Life's fun.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Fun at the Puttiki Art Show

Now that I have recovered from a weekend of rum and tiki, although this morning I drank some water and still tasted rum, I thought I should post some snaps of Hastings.

So I travelled down on the train and checked into the Phoenix Guest House, which turned out to be a lovely place that was run by a couple called Ed and Victoria. From discussions with Ed I discovered he'd once worked in the Barbers beneith the Hacienda Club in Manchester and had cut the hair of everyone from Mark E Smith, Genisis P'Orrige and the Smiths. Anybody heading to Hastings stay there its a great place.

(Picture by Trader Jim as I forgot to take picures)

This is Honey Lu Lu's a small but perfectly formed Tiki Barwhere we had the show, I was sent a picture txt by my friend Rarg of this place after it opened and I'd been keen to finally get inside.

My paintings just inside the door..

(Picture by Trader Tark as I forgot to take picures)

Then the other wall with fantastic run of great Tiki Art.

(Picture by Trader Jim as I forgot to take picures)

The Honey Lu Lu's Manager, who's name slips my mind at the moment but she made us all so welcome and served many many fine cocktails all weekend long.

This is Shanon aka Shananagan, she designs shoes for a living but creates pin-ups for pleasure.
Luckily with her coming all the way from America it saved me for once, on being the furthest travelled artist to attend the show.

And Los Furias Tiki aka Sam, who with his partner Kessie aka Lady K loves were my happy hosts for the weekend. Real good people and I hope the Puttiki Event goes from strength to strength.

(Picture by Trader Jim as I forgot to take picures)

A group shot of us all from the Friday night, you can spot Trader Jim and Sian on the left, it was great to see them again and more importantly finally get my "Bou'Hua" mug in Scrimshaw glaze.

But it wasn't all drinking and crazy golf, oh no I got out and explored Hastings. Didn't get to the Crowley death house but I did find other things...

No English seaside town is complete without a pier, sadly the Hastings pier is shut, what a waste.

Hasting going all Australian with their warning signs.

The net sheds down by the beach, full of tasty fresh seafood.

There are a couple of nice museums in Hastings and the exciting smugglers caves experience to entertain yourself outside of mini-golf and tiki artshows.

A lovely exhibit on "Biddy Champion tubman of Europe".

A suit covered in silver painted winkle shells.

A nice port lamp, Hastings has many fine antique stores so if you fancy a real one, go a wander up the old town and buy a real one.

..and finally some nice bits brought back by sailors, although I doubt many people would want a stuffed albatross for their bar, perhaps just on a stick.

Thanks to Kessie and Sam for being such wonderful hosts, the staff of Honey Lu Lus for letting us hang out and display our art and Shannon for coming all the way America and being such great company all weekend.

Its only a pity I can't go again next weekend and continue the fun.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Puttiki Piece finished

This is how the painting was as I left it, sitting in the kitchen.

The white still to bright so quite a heavy wash of brown goes on and that sorts out a fair chunk of the problem. Then I go arund and hunt down all the tiny bits that need fixed and go over the black lines to pull it together. Then a make the nostrils red and it getting there.

I still need to sort out the wrong white under the armpit so I repaint the brown grain and that finally fixes the problem, so I repaint all the grain on the problem areas.

Then I paint in all the bones, the little skull and the golf tee and all bar some tiny little touches the painting is ready for the Puttiki show.

So if you want to see the picture in the flesh come along to The Puttiki Art Show held in Honey Lu Lu's, Robertson Street Hastings, I'll be there all weekend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Puttiki Piece part 3

Instead of fixing I continue and paint the Shrunken Human Head, typically they are brown or occasionally white but in Lowbrow circles they can also be green. I've added a neat bone hair clasp and distinctive extended lobes on the ears to the head.

Then on with the tapa background, its the one I've used on the other paintings I'll be showing in Hastings so they should be stylistically themed.

Only as I was finished the purple did I realise that the backgound colours are the same as the in the Two Headed Maori Monster pictures...oops!

I've added some brown washes on the tiki body to pull down the white and added some white to the head, plus some silver to the golf club and the picture is approaching finished.

Just a few more bits to go....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Puttiki Piece part 2

Now we start the body of the tiki, laying down the brown undercoat.

Then slapping on thicker coats of yellow ocher and more brown.

Then laying down neat brown woodgrain of the tiki.

Then its one with the black outlines to replace the yellow.

Then more brown to add the shadows on the body..

Then finally I start to add the white...

...and I screw the puppy and get all the highlites in the wrong places. Hmm thats going to take some fixing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Puttiki Piece part 1

Its been a while since I last posted up some art but I thought I should post up a sneak behind the scenes of the piece I am doing for the Puttiki Art Show down in Hastings.

When I first started this I had planned to do portrait of Alistair Crowley who famously died in Hastings, I found this cool early picture of him and I swear he's wearing a Lei...

..but the picture is tiny and lacks enough details to work on, so after four hours of pencil work and trying to get the sketch to work I had to abandon my original plan.

So with a heavy heart I rubbed of all the pencil and got my nephew to pose and knocked out a golfing tiki poised to take an almighty swing at a golf ball. Not quite right I thought perhaps he should be using a coconut as a ball or a pineapple, no not quite right. Instead of a golf ball a shrunken human head.

Early pencil lines, lots of grubby lines from the early Crowley design.

Yellow outlines started..

..outlines finished...
...and background red added.

More pictures to come tomorrow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Most Vile Video on the Internet

I woke up on Saturday morning on my friend Rargs couch and was relaying my previous evening in my head, checking I hadn't done or said anything bad. When this memory came back of us watching a clip on the computer, a clip so vile and horrible, that it was a terrible to remember as it was watching.
You might have seen it before, you might know what I'm talking anout it features two women doing something that should be illegal for it was deinatly a crime against all good taste. But like all internet virals when I mentioned I'd seen it too my friend Maco, even when we warned him how terrible it was he wanted to see it, he was almost sick in his lap.
How could anybody have filmed this abbomonation let alone let it happen, please don't watch it your mind will never be clean again....

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Puttiki Art Show 28 - 30 August & 4 - 6 September

I'm going down to Hastings this month to exhibit my new Tiki Paintings. This will be my last Art Show in Britain for a while because in September I'm moving to Bangkok.

My best friend comes from Hastings so it'll be nice to see his old home town and get to hangout in the English seaside.

Full details came be found on the Puttiki website.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

You might stop the party but you can't stop the future

Lovely article in the Observer music monthly about the early spiral tribe and the free party movement, kinda sad that our youth is now history..

For a brief moment, at vast and lawless raves such as Castlemorton, a generation glimpsed an alternative way of life. Speaking to survivors of the early 90s free party scene, Tim Guest tells the story of how the state crushed the dream

...and all this on a day that I saw a charity store advertising old CDs with "Relive the 90s for only 50p".

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friends in funny places..

Sometimes you don't see a friend for ages and then you see them referenced in a Guardian book review...

Stripping is a serious business. I recently met the director of the Ministry of Burlesque Academy, which provides classes in, among other subjects, fan dancing and glove removal. The young woman was also working towards her PhD on the adult entertainment industry in Edinburgh, called "The Private, the Public and the Pubic: Naked Power in Scotland". Her stage name is Gypsy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shaking hands

I don't read tabloids so I missed this image when it was published..

..its as disturbing as the Elvis/Nixon handshake. 

From left to right Peter Sutcliffe (serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper), Sir Jimmy Saville (Radio DJ and Chidrens TV presenter) and Frank Bruno (ex-boxer and pantomime favorite). Its just wrong if they got Boy George to join them they could form the Evil A-Team.