Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Decisions, Work & Frustration

Hi there! I've been a bit quiet recently... thats because of some rather unexpected things, not having a scanner here, and not really having any work to show you. I'm in a slump at the moment. Plus I'm working at the care home again, so busy days, and not much time before I go to sleep at night. Though, this is doing my bank balance some good. I will soon be booking my plane tickets for Ecuador, so things should be a whole lot more set out! I am attempting to spend a few weeks with GVI again, if they will have me back. At the moment the savings are at a healthy £640ish. Thats not taking into account the other 8 shifts I have done at work recently. So things are on the up and up. I think I have made the decision to leave my big camera behind for this trip. Its a tough decision, as the photographer in me is screaming out, saying 'WHAT? YOU'RE GOING TO THE AMAZON AGAIN AND YOU'RE NOT TAKING YOUR BIG CAMERA? WHAT AWESOME PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES THERE ARE OUT THERE!' and then the person inside me that doesn't want to have to shell out for insurance for it, or have to sort it out again after I come back home says... nah you can do without it, just take the little canon. So... I think the little one will make life so much simpler, and I won't feel like I have to document things so much and faff about with a big camera. Plus the little one is lighter! And less worry of it getting damaged or stolen.  So thats a big weight off my mind and my back! Hopefully I can just take in the experience and enjoy it for what it is. 

My new years resolutions should be a whole lot easier when the plane tickets are bought and things are more certain:

1.) Have FUN!
2.) Learn Spanish
3.) Play games
4.) Do what makes me Happy
5.) Have FUN!

None of this must lost weight, or give up chocolate or anything like that rubbish. Weight loss should come naturally if I'm out having fun and playing football, doing yoga, etc etc.
So yes... I invite you all to make good new years resolutions that you will enjoy fulfilling! The happier we make ourselves, the easier it is to do the harder things in life.

I am strangely welcoming of going back to university... I guess it means that I don't have to work at the care home for a start, and secondly I can get back to doing stuff for the course, and spanish class, and football! Things SHOULD be a lot easier. I am also going to turn a new leaf and try not to be so static with my artwork... a lot more painting I think, and not so much photoshop.

So here's to a happy new year everyone! Think positive, be happy and most importantly of all... be yourself!

Cheers for all the support!
xxx

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Death of my Friend, Brother, Companion, Pet, Dog



Hi all. Some bad news this week. Drake passed away on Friday the 11th of December while I was on the coach back from London. It was fairly quick, and from what I hear, he didn't suffer too much. I can only wish that I was there to comfort him in his last moments, and to say goodbye. I love him, I miss him. He was/is like a brother to me, and we grew up together. It is sad when someones lifetime outlives the lifetime of a soulmate. I am sure I will see him again, and he will always be in my heart. The best dog in the world. The most intelligent, witty, funny, knowing dog of all. He would know just what to say, how to act, we would play the best games ever. Walking was the most enjoyable, least stressful part of both our lives. I will miss my companion, he can never be replaced, even though others may come, he was the first, and will always be the most special person in the world to me. I will miss the patter of his paws, followed by a heavy thump as he would sit down by the door. I will miss him barking at the stars and the jets. I will miss the smell of grass on his paws, and the warmth of his breath as we would curl up together. I will miss him going into the front room, and waiting for us to follow, then half an hour later barking once to get our attention as if to say 'come in here, im lonely'. 

He knew what was going on at all times, you don't know just how hard it was to say goodbye so many times in the past year, wondering all the time if it will be my last. I always missed you the most. Perhaps I should have missed mum or Clive more, but no. You were the one I always wanted with me, the one I always wanted to show new things. The one I always wanted to go on adventures with, and no one else. I reckon we could have seen the world together. Perhaps we still will... maybe I will meet you again soon. I hope so. As there was so much fun we still could have had. So my brother, my life, my companion through the years... I never really saw you as a pet or a dog. You were a part of me, a part of the family, and very much a person. So I wish you a safe journey, wherever you may go. Have fun enough for the both of us, and most importantly, be happy. I hope your time with us was a happy one, because for all of us, you made it all the more happier. I know I will miss you forever, even though you are not gone. Take care of gran and grandad... im sure they have lots of biscuits for you. Know that I love you with all of my heart, soul and life. You are without a doubt, the best person in the world. I only hope that I can be like you. Take care, be happy. I'm glad you didn't suffer.

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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Christmas Commissions, End of Year & Awesome Waterproof Goodies!

Hi there! Just to let anyone who watches my blog, know that I'll be holding a Christmas sale on prints, £10 a piece for an A3 print, plus £2.50 P+P. Good crimbo prezzies if you like my work! Apart from that, I'm opening up commissions again, so if you want a one off for someone special at Christmas, then please get in touch! (stephanie_ayres@hotmail.co.uk) Send me an email saying what you think you want, and we can negotiate a price. Please note that all the money from my commissions and sales of prints goes towards buying equipment, field guides or airfare for me while I'm out in the rain forest next July. It would be nice if I could charge what I normally charge for commissions, but as everyone is on a tight budget I'm open to negotiation on any sales.

I'm also selling 2 originals-
Elvis- £90
Heath Ledger as the Joker- £90
you can see both images on my new portfolio website (link at bottom of the blog)


Thanks to anyone who has bought prints, commissioned me or worked with me before... and even if you just like my work! S'all good.

Its nearly the end of term, and everyone is rushing about like headless chickens trying to get projects done and prepare for London. So its an interesting week.

I found some amazing waterproof bags for my small camera, large camera, ipod, phone and laptop... which hopefully I can buy for next year, which saves me the hassle of having to repair/buy new versions of things when I get back to this country! Fingers crossed if I do buy them, that they work well. I also need to buy a backpack! My very own one this time, that I can take on all my crazy adventures... Who knows where I'll go next after the amazon jungle?! I'm looking forward to buying patches and sewing them on :D

Alrighty! I think thats it for now... so just a final plead with anyone who is remotely interested in my artwork... Its for a good cause... I'll be trying to do some photographic/drawing research on frogs while I'm out there... Which, if I can create a nice field guide will raise awareness of the danger frogs face with regards to species extinction. If anyone is interested in looking at the situation and what they can do to help, there is an organisation called AArk      http://www.amphibianark.org/

Cheers guys, hope you all have a good holiday!
xx

I also have my portfolio up online now... ch ch ch ch check it out
http://stephanieayres.daportfolio.com/

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Inky Animals, Down with Falmouth U & Getting Ready for Home

Last night I made a little series of inkanimals. They're not very good, just intended as a bit of light fun and a loosen up. The internet hasn't been working for the past few days because of Falmouth university being bastards and redirecting the bandwidth to the university facilities. Great. What are we paying for? And whats more is that it cut me off in the middle of a conversation with Max. So that doesn't make for a very happy Steph at all. Well, its back now, as you can see. But for how long? I'm putting a petition up in the porters lodge tomorrow to campaign for a separate internet connection for Glasney Student Village.
Apart from that, I've only got a week to go, and I'm excited about going home. I'm excited by London too, but home and my dog mainly. I can't believe its only been 2 1/2 months, it feels like forever. Like a complete year. I wish!

Still, only 8 months to go til I'm back in Ecuador. Then happy happy times eh?






I like the black bear the best... I'd love to be a bear. All warm and stuff... just eating food n everything. mmm.

So I still need to go and sign myself up to Spanish class for next term, else im going to be terribly embarrassed next year. 
My storyboard for my book is FINALLY coming together. Still needs tweaking, but I know I'll want to work on it over Christmas anyway. I need to do those damn rhinos for the gallery this week! AGH! Can't someone just give me £500 for a little scrawly sketch? I guess not. Well, I'll get it into the gallery by friday. We seem to have a lot of free time this week because of assessments. Should only take me a day at the most? Fingers crossed.

I have toooo many things to juggle at the moment... but they're not different enough, so I don't want to continually be drawing.  I'm ready for some science or something. Or languages.

Care home work looms... and I'm so not enthused about going back. But its money. 
Rhinos for the gallery,
Trying to sell these damn artcards that I still have... £2 each.
Trying to sell prints that I still have... on sale at £10 each. A3.
Teaching myself to paint.
Teaching myself Spanish
Finishing uni work
Continuing with the Illustrated Book
Carrying on with my personal sketchbooks.
Doing my part in the collaborative sketchbook.
Relaxing at some point.
Trying to get fit? Bah. We'll see just how little weight I've lost since I started.
Frog Field Guide- put on the back back burner.
All these projects I want to do! But after doing the compulsory ones, im just too tired to do the other ones!

ok, thats enough of a whinge for today, so I'll catch you guys at the end of the week before I go home.
Byes!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Christmas Card, V&A Student Illustrator Awards & Kitchen Inspection

So I accidentally designed a little christmas card. Here we are- :)


So... Merry christmas to all in a month's time. Hope you have a good holiday!
If you're a bit bemused at how the card is christmassy...its meant to be a robin. shhhh.


In other news! I'm going to enter into the V&A student illustrator awards this year. My tutor thinks that I should go ahead and put forward some of my conceptual thinking work. So I'm putting my pogonophobia (beard fear) project in, and possibly 2 of my hybrid beetles. Exiting huh?
I also finally managed to get started on the Rhino scene for the gallery, and hope to have that finished by the weekend. Hopefully they'll sell, and that will help me with saving for Ecuador.

Kitchen inspection time at Glasney Parc Campus... I just cleaned up everyones mess because the rest of my housemates are lazy slobs and couldnt look after themselves if they tried. And theres no way I'm getting fined £20 because they can't clean their plates up and put them away after they've used them. *sigh*! Still, all done now. We shouldn't get fined. And I doubt I'll get any thanks.

Thats about it for now I think! Colour & Composition tomorrow, then Ben and Hazel arrive! Woo!

Ciao for now
x


Sunday, 22 November 2009

Emotional Weather Report, The Weekend & Lounging About


Here's the new conceptual thinking project, illustrating a song by Tom Waits 'Emotional Weather Report'. Not too bad once I gave up on making myself do it in gouache.

Other than doing this all weekend, I've not done much. The weather is terrible, and so...yeah. Lounging around the flat. Watching documentaries. Eating. Sleeping. Reading. Wondering which project to start first. Attempting to draw rhinos. I'm glad the conceptual thinking project is out of the way, now I can concentrate on trying to teach myself to paint, and learn Spanish. I spoke to Max on skype for the first time, so that was nice after 5 months of just emails, its good to be able to speak again. :)

Thats it for now! Can't wait to see Ben and Hazel this week, can't wait for a thanksgiving meal, and Alan Male's lecture on evolutionary illustration! Hurrah! Good week ahead. Its life drawing this week too which always makes me happy. And I technically have a free day tomorrow because I've finished my project, so I can work on my illustrated book! Yay!!!!!

Ciao for now x

Friday, 20 November 2009

Life Drawing, Imaginive Realism & Dino Painting

I keep meaning to add in some links to some interesting sites for everyone, or add it to my page as a permanent feature in some way. I'll try and figure it out at the weekend, but here's some little gems I've found in the past:

www.ted.com (good lectures on a variety of subjects-design, science, evolution, architecture etc)
www.eol.org (encyclopedia of life- good source of info on flora and fauna species)
www.asknature.org (see how nature would do it... helpful with design problems)
http://onlinedegreeprograms.org/blog/2009/100-free-audio-books-you-should-have-read-by-now/
(free online audio novels)
http://www.worldbeardchampionships.com/ (just because we all love beards)
http://www.skthoth.com (amazing guy, amazing performances, watch the documentary)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo (amazingly inspirational)


So this is the life drawing work from last week, we had the same model again. I'm really enjoying life drawing, especially the blind contours... such crazy cool shapes!

Blind contour 10mins- please enlarge these in your browser (you can see more interesting detail)

10min blind contour


10min blind contour


10min blind contour


10min blind contour (top) compared to 10min line drawing of same pose (bottom)


30min line drawing (he's parachuting!)


quick 2 mins


1 hour tonal study charcoal


First drawing in the surroundings plus paper, then placing the model in the situation and seeing how far off our eyes are when drawing static objects.



20min line drawing


postcard from a second hand store. :)


This is what I think of visual studies. Miriam thinks the same thing too!




horrific visual studies piece on the theme of layers


start of a maquette head for my explorer of taste.


My attempt at a study of James Gurney's work, using a yellow and blue palette, subduing the background and bringing out the foreground in saturation. Still unfinished, but I'm quite pleased so far.



Well thats it for tonight I think... ta ra!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Blah Blah & Blah


Alright, my computer wants to play now. So, here are some images from the past week or so.

Last night we went to the citrus cafe, and heard our lovely friend Deva play geetar for half an hour, after which it descended into a whoever wants a go on the guitar jam.


This is my horrific project for conceptual thinking this week.


This is my idea for the next conceptual thinking project- due in next week *sigh*


As promised, some storyboard spreads from my illustrated book, but these no doubt will change in the next day or so.



Colour & Comp work.
This was trying to match all the colours to be the same tone, so as when you squint you can't decipher what the image is, or distinguish any one colour from the next.
Better in person.

Tonal version transcribed from a photograph


Other tonal compositions from the same photograph




Previous weeks work on light/dark...complimentary....ah i dont know what we were meant to be doing, but this is it.




Ok, so thats it folks. I'll be taking photos of my work from last weeks life drawing class and putting that up sometime soon. Ciao for now.

Colour & Comp, Illustrated Book & Messing Around With Flowers

Well I would have told/shown you all my colour and comp work from the past few weeks, my illustrated book storyboards and so on and so forth if my computer had uploaded the photos. But no, its throwing a tantrum. So this will have to do.


Flower Specimens for the Illustrated book.


My new dress


My new friend Alfred


Messing about with a small flower in a jagermeister shot test tube.


In illustrated book news, its hit a tough patch. I cant seem to decide on what to do. I have too many ideas. Some say this is a blessing. In a way, yes, and in other ways not at all. I feel like I want to include everything and I can't. So, story goes that my explorer fellow receives a letter from his pal (another explorer) who is at the moment off the west coast of south america on a moving island. The letter tells him that he was given a bit of script by a tribal elder, and he'd like him to decipher it and join him on a quest... that the elder has given him. So, off my explorer trots, and he deciphers the text badly and its all about their journey which leads them to make a terrible pie. They present it to the tribal elders and then run away as fast as possible.

At least thats what I think my story may pan out like at this moment in time. Im being overly ambitious once again and trying to re-create something shadowing the great James Gurney, author and illustrator of Dinotopia. In much much much less time, and with far less understanding of how to paint. Welldone Steph, you do get yourself into these predicaments.
*sigh* I need help. I need to constantly be painting, trying out things, and I'm still on finalising my storyboard. Great. I mean, I'm quite ahead in terms of planning, but I can't help thinking it could all fall apart in these next few weeks.

I need to infuse my book with story-like images and then pages from a journal. I hope I can bridge the divide suitably. I think about the book quite a lot, and I have all these ideas, I just cant get them down on paper fast enough, without devoting the whole of my time to it, when I have a million other projects to do and so little time left to do them. Grrrrreat.

Anyhow... I'm alright, looking forward to Christmas and seeing friends etc etc etc. Gotta dash and get on with this. Bye!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Get it OFF, Imaginative Realism & A Week of Frustration

The start of a collaborative sketchbook between me and Even (classmate from illustration)
It started with me giving Even a phrase to illustrate, and then I asked him to give me a phrase which related to his image, but not the previous sentence. So, our sketchbook will evolve, and I hope you enjoy it!

Even's first page

My first page


I just bought Imaginative Realism by James Gurney. I had no choice. Really. He forced me too. Ah I'm so bad. I promise I will start saving my moneys more. Promise. No more food, ever! Heh, well maybe 3 times a day.

This week has been a frustrating one all in all, what with me getting no work done on Monday, very little done on Tuesday in Colour & Comp, resulting in transcription homework, a bit of work done on Wednesday on my book, but much confusion/doubt ensuing a talk with Rachel, life drawing on Thursday but a few measured drawings (makes me too rigid) and some work with charcoal, which brings my mood crashing to the floor. I can't stand charcoal when used with tone. Maybe one day I'll learn to use it properly. Who knows. Today, I also got no work done. So, a week of nothing but a whole load of stress. I got woken up at 3am this morning because of her flatmates screaming in the hall. Bah. This weekend will be one of much joyous work. I hope. Going to start on the Savannah scene, I promise myself! Gotta get it done and in the gallery in hope of extra money. When people are looking to spend money at christmas.
I have to complete another project for conceptual on Monday, which should be fun seeing as its on A3, and I haven't got all the linework done yet. Still. I'll get it done somehow. Start it tomorrow, fingers crossed I'll finish it tomorrow too. Colour & Comp work too. Then I can do whatever artwork I want! :D

Ok, thats it for now!