Monday, 25 March 2013

The Multicultural City

This cityscape was commissioned by my parents (Woop! Woop! for parents supporting their struggling artist!). They wanted a city that would incorporate some styles and themes from their countries of origin. The results were a merge of Celtic, Germanic and Slavic architectural styles.

My mother, being Welsh, wanted certain parts of her homeland. These include the castle seen at the top left, which is based on Ogmore Castle, in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, as well as the industrial city of Port Talbot, where my grandma lives, seen in the valley behind the windmill.

The windmill itself is called De Ster (the Star), and can be found residing in Lombok, Utrecht, the place I was living while this drawing was conceived. This also explains the reason why there are several Amsterdam style row houses.

There were also other elements she wanted me to put in, like the Georgian terraced houses seen below the castle, which I am told is her favourite style of architecture.
I also included some London style buildings, as well as those ugly 'mock tudor' (otherwise known as 21 Century Tudor Revival)  terriced houses seen everywhere throughout the United Kingdom.

For my father I put in The Church of our Lady Before Týn, which is probably the most famous building in the Czech Republic, and can be found in Prague (where his mother came from).

The only thing missing would be the Greek-Cypriot style buildings, from where his father came from, but I felt they would possibly look way to out of place. That, and I had more or less finished the drawing before I realized d'oh.

And so concludes some boring blah blah. Hope y'all enjoyed it.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Borderline

Why does mankind want to cut through its landscapes and divide itself? Why does on one side of the border equal freedom and the other war? Why are cultures so different across borderlines? Why separate ourselves from each other? Why do we identify within our own borderlines?
Borderlines can mean deep suffering and pain. We see constant examples throughout history and many are still occurring today. Here are some I find notable;
-The people of North Korea are culturally the same as the people of South Korea, but when a line was cut through the country after the Second World War, and different governments were implemented the outcome was disastrous for Korea. The people of Korea are still at war with themselves after over 50 years, and military service is compulsory due to this.
-Another example can be seen with Cyprus as the north of the country was cut by Turkey and remains their "property", leaving the city of Nicosia as a complete ghost town, hollow and empty. To go across the boarder people must show their passports. Both countries are still at war and also implement national military service on the youth of their countries.
-There is also the division of Palestine into Israel, one that has left what remains of the original country as just The Gaza Strip. Need I remind you that national service is also compulsory for Israelis...I am noticing a pattern here...
-The inspiration for the Borderline of this image came from the division between East and West Germany that was in place until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This wall divided the capital city in half, with families separated and a 'Death Strip' or Todesstreifen implemented to kill people trying to cross the border (both in the city of Berlin and on the deutsch-deutsche Grenze). This is why I chose to depict Germanic buildings, since the country has a long history of division despite being culturally the same country, speaking the same language.

Is there an obvious double meaning for the word borderline?  

The borderline between Cities, or Countries... Or Borderline Personality Disorder. Either way, both are self harming.

I can really see parallels between the borderlines of a state, town or country, with the borderline of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). The disorder is characterized by unusual variability between depth of mood. These moods effect the personal relationships as well as the cognitive ability of the sufferer.  They are haunted by feelings of guilt and lack of self worth. The sufferer of BPD wants to hurt themselves because they feel hopeless and they hate themselves. They harm themselves physically and emotionally, feeling they deserve to be punished, abused and hurt, generally choosing a razor when all other self harming methods don't work. The scars that are left are reminders, showing the sufferer that their pain is real and physical, not just in their head. Just like the scars of borderlines on the planet that have resulted from history. They are difficult not to see and take years to heal, sometimes remaining for always.

The most difficult aspect of drawing this image was to create convincing dripping blood. In the end the use of Indian Ink mixed with thick water colours finally gave me the look I desired...

...well this was a dark post, hopefully the next will be all rainbows and smiles.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Tittikaka's Snappy Pancakes on Facebook

Yes yes, I have finnaly done it. I have created a new Facebook page, called Tittikaka's Snappy Pancakes. What the hell does Snappy Pancakes even mean? I have no idea. It could be because it sounds awesome to me when I say it. It just rolls of the toungue.... Snnnnapppy Pancakes. To me it means "Inherently Awesome" because who on this planet does not like their pancakes to arrive as quick as possible. "OK stop trying to make Snappy Pancakes happen Richard! It's never gonna happen...."

The page will feature old stuff, new stuff, whatever really. Expect the unexpected. Expect the expected. There will be random stuff, not articulate to put on this blog, but also my most proud pieces along for the ride.

Now lets get Snappy......

Go onward into SNAPPY PANCAKES

Ouija.... Are You Game?

(Yes I know I ripped the slogan from the 1995 movie Jumanji, sue me...)

Yes the fascinating, and notorious Ouija Board. Introduced in the 1800s, and now marketed by Hasbro, and surprisingly is probably not the scariest thing they have marketed. It has been the fascination to occultists such as the notorious Aleister Crowley and weirdos like Bill Wilson (the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous). The name derives from both the French oui and German ja for 'yes'. Made famous in the paranormal obsessed Victorian era as well as the movie The Exorcist, where Linda Blair uses the board as a child to become possessed by the demon Pazuzu (whose name just makes me laugh out loud rather then quiver in fear). I have only tried it once, when I was around the age of 14, and to my disappointment, I did not meet Pazuzu, or any other demon. However it was a strange experience non the less, one I won't be repeating any time soon, but hey that's a story for another day...
Two variations on the Ouija board. Feel free to ask for a high quality print, (or dare I say rip them from my website - GO PIRACY!!) and use them for your own shamanistic pleasures. Just put them under some glass or perspex and grab a planchette. But, don't blame me if you start speaking in tongues and puking up blood though....

Monday, 11 March 2013

Silk Screen Tshirt "Problem, Reaction, Solution"

"Yes Mummy, I agree, Father is a terrible dishwasher, so this morning I put a detergent tablet in his coffee..."
A friend created some wonderful silk screen t-shirts from some of my designs. He commissioned one with the theme "Problem Reaction Solution" Not knowing what I should do I just went for a 1950s housewife holding a book titled Problem Reaction Solution. It was never printed with the caption above, saying he preferred it this way. I still think it doesn't make sense without the caption. Maybe my jokes are lame, who knows?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Fab Four

If you don't know who these four people are, then get the fuck out. I'm serious, they have to be some of the most recognizable people on the planet. It is of course John, George, Paul and Ringo of the Beatles. I won't bore you with an analysis, because seriously, what is there to say about this band that hasn't already been said better by someone else? This picture was drawn in 2009, that's 4 years ago. Damn, that's almost as ancient as the Beatles themselves...

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Edie is STILL awesome (and so is Nico from the Velvet Underground)

 "It's not that I'm rebelling. It's that I'm just trying to find another way..."  Edie Sedgwick
This is a continuation from my last entry about Edie, with more experimental drawings, looking at facial form from some of my two most favourite faces to draw, Edie Sedgwick and Christa Päffgen (Nico). 'It Girls' or '1960s Paris Hiltons' make of it what you will they are AWESOME (to me). 

Both ladies are deceased icons of the sixties, which is probably the decade I appreciate the most. 
Both have a connection to Andy Warhol's Factory scene, drug abuse, and self abusive behaviors, and their own kind of talent, what's there not to love?

Sometimes I feel we are all just like Edie, lost and frightened little animals. Yearning to be seen, heard and understood. We yearn for the love and acceptance of those around us.

"Why do people stop developing? From being children to maybe stopping at a very adolescent age, and they stay there until they die. Physically die. I mean, they react adolescently. They don't change. They don't develop. They don't! It's that continual read, that process which the total threat for the ego..." - Edie Sedgwick
Nico was famed from a modeling carrer in Paris and a brief but forceful appearance in the Velvet Underground

"It is better to be addicted to opium then to be addicted to money" - Nico
Ink with brush on cartridge paper
Her life was a roller coaster of sadness, death and extreme addiction to heroin for over fifteen years. Her artistic talents were never considered by the masses to be of the greatest. She was generally considered a freak, however she spent her life giving her very best effort to sing her mind...and that she did in a very deep man-like voice. She did it the way she wanted to, in her own unique style, despite mass criticism.
Graphite pencil sketch of Nico, drawn alongside a self portrait
"And if I seem to be afraid, 
to live the life that I have made in song, 
It's just I've been losing, 
So long"    
 -These days, from Nico's first album Chelsea Girls


The Escher Drawing

This piece was inspired by the great (and dare I say one of my most favorite) artist, Escher, as was much of my work. The image works both the way presented and upside down, and could be hung either way. I prefer the way first shown. I feel there is almost too much detail, so I have tried to break it down and focus on things that may not be seen on first glance. The image was hand drawn with fine liner as is most of my work. It contains Dutch style elements such as canals and windmills to connect it to Escher himself, since he was from the Netherlands. You can click on each image to make it bigger, so it's easier to see the all details.
A freakish bird like gargoyle is seen, morphing out from the left of the clock tower. This freaky face is more or less the same when turned upside down. The clock tower itself retains its appearance as a clock tower in both perspectives.

A pillar with an angel can be seen holding up a part of a building structure, to the right a waterfall powering a water wheel. Rotate 180 degrees and you see the angel pillar is now a person hunched over and weeping in despair. Behind the figure is another person trying to keep the pillar up under heavy weight and almost collapsing under the weight

Skyline of cathedral-like towers, masses of glass windows and a creature that resembles an airplane. When flipped around one of the towers become a rocket flying into space.
Probably my most favourite perception changes. A river flows next to some trees, passing by a stairway that leads up to a Victorian looking woman with a sun shade umbrella. She faces away from the Germanic style house and Dutch style windmill. When turned upside down, the image of the river remains, but in a new the perspective of a water canal. It flows into an Venice style water tunnel, complete with a row boat about to flow down a waterfall. The trees have now become pillars to hold up the water way

A close up of the water tunnel, below a German style timber house. The house over looks some sort of square garden to the right of the waterfall. A fencing match between to men can be seen next to a fir-like tree. The image makes less sense upside down, but still some structural features such as columns and pillars are of a correct perspective this way.
Some sort of cut-away view of the inside of some sort of row house structure. Rooms can be seen to the left, with a bed placed on the middle floor. To the right is a man holding hand with his two children. When rotated 180, the row house structures are now just one house with a hatched roof over-looking a Gothic clock tower.
Some parts of the roof to the Timber House was to become a stairway, but at the moment it still remains unfinished.
 This, like most of my work is available in high quality print format upon request.