Box Art

Now that Christmas has passed and all presents have been given, I am liberty to post them in the world.

A local shop started selling these nice-but-plain-looking wooden boxes, you see. And as I’ve got a bit of a black and silver paint thing going on at the moment, I thought it might be quite effective to paint them up in such colours, especially as a very dear friend had a significant birthday approaching, and I couldn’t afford to get her anything exciting. And so, came the first box*:

Box 1 from 1st angle

Box 1 from 2nd angle

Box 1 from top

Box 1 from 3rd angle

Box 1 from 4th angle

I was really pleased with the effect, so I did another one as a Christmas present, this time on a tentacle theme for a friend of the Lovecraftian persuasion:

Second box from front first angle

Second box from front 2nd angle

Second box from back 1st angle

Second Box from back 2nd angle

But the one that took me the longest, and of which I am now most proud was one I made for a friend who’s been there for me a lot over the last few years and who watches Game of Thrones with me (her husband has, too, if he’s reading, but after I made this I didn’t have time to make one for him and so got him Darth Vader chocolate/ice cube moulds instead):

Game of Thrones front

Game of Thrones top

Game of thrones top and front

Game of Thrones box front, side, and top

Game of Thrones box from side

Game of Thrones side, back, and top 1

Game of Thrones box back, side, and top 2


When I first started this I really had no comprehension of the work it would involve, but I am nonetheless pleased with the results. You can see here the sigils of the houses of the contenders for the Iron Throne: Lannister (lion) and Stark (dire wolf) fight it out on the front, embodying more typical coat of arms poses; Baratheon (the stag) is on the side, to the right hand of the Starks, sheltering under a weirwood tree; on the back is the kraken of house Greyjoy, its tentacles sprawling with the branches of the tree onto the top; coming from the back round onto the side is the three-headed dragon of the Targaryens, with the flowers of the Tyrells just edging up the side.

Anyway, once I was finished I wanted it for myself, which I think is always a sign of a good present.

*Please excuse the poor camera skills throughout. It said it was running out of battery, so I rather rushed things… now suspect if may have been lying.

More Art

Painting: Beauty 1.0

Beauty 1.0

(Apologies for the poor quality of the photos.) This is a painting I finished two or three years ago. It’s an abstract that was meant to be one of three, but umm… I’m working on the second one, OK? I actually made this for a friend, but would love to produce a copy for myself one day as it really reflected something personal in me, and I liked how it turned out. I should do, really – that little painting took a year of more time than I could hope to spend these days on art! Those perfectly flat colours did not mix themselves, and those straight lines were a right bastard.

Beauty 1.0 - from above, left

From above and left

Anyway, it’s called Beauty 1.0 contrasting the abstract, angular framing with the more traditional sky image in the centre. It almost, but not quite allows the viewer to think of the framing as a window – the angles don’t quite add up – it forces the eye to keep moving. Yet it’s also balanced and beautiful, even though it’s a study in browns. In some ways, the ‘frame’ is more interesting and beautiful than the central image. Or that’s the idea, anyway. It’s very much my conception of beauty, and an attempt to represent what I find so appealing in examples of mordern art that friends have rejected as a con because they did not represent beauty in its traditional aspect. I love modern art, and although my own work tends more towards surrealism or naturalistic depictions of fantasy, I wanted to produce something respresenting the many facets of beauty. Something that says: consider the form, consider the lines and angles and colours – stop looking for a story.

Beauty 1.0 - from above right

From above and right

It’s a box canvas, painted in acrylics, utilising all three dimensions in a way that makes it annoyingly difficult to photograph.

Beauty 1.0 from below

From below


Those of you who have seen my Twitter profile might be a little curious by now – it describes me as ‘Writer, artist, earthworm’, and though writer and earthworm are farly self-explanatory, you might be thinking ‘But she never talks about her art, she never seems to do any art, why does she put that there?’

Well, if you were thinking that, you might have a point. I’m multi-interested, and although I love art, painting, drawing, mucking about in computer graphics programs, I rarely have time for it. The writing comes first, after my thesis and my day job. I do one or two paintings a year, these days. But I do still paint and draw, and I miss having the free time to do more of this kind of thing intensely. Anyway, on the off-chance you were intrigued to see some of my artistic work, here are a few bits and pieces:

Painting: Yes, it hurt when I fell

Yes, it hurt when I fell

You may recognse this one from such things as my banner (above) and my Twitter background. It’s one of my more recent pieces, and by ‘recent’, I mean ‘only three or so years ago’. I surprised myself by knocking it out in a day. I taught myself how to do wings for a GCSE piece that required a phoenix; it’s surprisingly easy, once you know what the structure is, and I shamelesly trot it out from time to time in a way that tends to look more impressive than it actually is.

Of course, this would be better if I’d bothered with a background – it’ll always be a little incomplete. With more time, I’d have done one, but hey, that’s life. In case you were wondering, the lower half is meant to look metalic, in the maner of Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo (I tried to find a good example of this on the web, but I can’t access their website from here, and my Google-fu failed me)*. It was my first attempt, and you can see that it didn’t really work. The metal wing, in particular, is a bit a hatchet job, but I still like the concept, which is very much inspired by the sensuality of Bell and Vallejo’s work, obviously drawing on the idea of sexuality leading to a fall from grace; although challenging it, also, by having the fallen elements appear more perfect.

Digital Art: The Voyeur

The Voyeur

So, this one’s a bit older, but on a similar theme. It’s a combination of a oil-painting I did (also in the banner above), scanned and digitally toyed with, as well as two of my own photos and one by Ros Dando (the ‘arch’, which was actually part of a gravestone) – used with her permission. Playing with the idea of the female gaze as opposed to the male gaze, as well as conceptions of beauty, sexality and voyeurism. This was used as a backcover for a Word Salad & Art Chips issue (a university magazine of art and literature my old creative writng group got a bit of funding to produce for a while).

Digital Art: The Innocent

The Innocent

I later produced a companion piece (left) for The Voyeur called The Innocent. I like the second piece, and I think it goes well with the first, but I’ll admit there wasn’t as much thought going into it. The photos here are both Ros Dando’s (same gravestone) with my manipulation and combination – I’m the model. I love the single branch that comes down protectively around the figure’s back, and the single undone button.

Anyway, that’ll do for now. Thesis comes first, and all that. I may put some more up later.

[Edit:] Here are some of those Bell and Vallejo paintings I was talking about: