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I actually kinda like the swirly background but I think it definitely needs to have some more sage green in there to offset the red and the brown needs to be less promininent. Possibly a pale sage base for the entire background.

colour sketch

He also needs a name!
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sketchanother sketch

for a big acrylic piccie maybe? Got a set of acrylic paints and some boards for Xmas
horns should be bigger

Elytra candy apple red like a hotrod. Bumpy things: might set fake pearls in the paint, or gold beads? Might not.

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Been so busy with on-call that I haven't even had time to think about writing up the rest of the Canadian Odyssey :(

BUT! I finally managed to get an hour or so to myself this afternoon after a morning of housework-related boredom and ran a small experiment in block printing with take-away containers...

The raw materialsThe blockThe print

...I like the way the polystyrene printed. Next time I'm going to try a dead biro; less chance of the point squishing halfway and piercing the polystyrene like the toothpick did. Um and also maybe some metallic ink or something.

Maybe sometime I will get to leave the house and make contact with other human beings in a leisure scenario. WILD!


Sep. 3rd, 2010 11:50 pm
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...I have constructed a beetle from miscellaneous felt and half a bottle of sparkling rose.

Tyrolean beetleScarab on the rampage

Pretty pleased given that I utterly made it up as I went along. No pattern, just booze and Logan's Run in the background. Thanks [ profile] queenbexsie for putting up with me in her shop at length!
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This week's continued to be mental, work-wise. It kinda went flu-flu+funeral-work 9 days in a row-collapse-go to London-collapse. Of course tomorrow is back to the grindstone, this time for an 11 day week. Can't wait to escape to Canada!

Did manage another batch of lino cutting, this time re-working an old block for two-colour
printing. Much more successful I think, though still on the uphill slope of the learning curve!

Variations on a theme of weevil

London was bittersweet: we went to War In The Park, for which we have [ profile] afm13 to thank, in the main. War... was terrific fun, except that it also heralded probably the last time we'll see our bosom buddies Timbo Stuntbowie and [ profile] maracacha in a right long time, as they're moving to Berlin next week. Parting is such sweet sorrow, etc. I'm still in denial. Anton liberally doused the place in Grade A Siberian testosterone, Bleak tore a giggly, gaping hole in the space-time continuum, i Am immune *literally* took it to the bridge (and almost fell off), poetry was perpetrated and peaches and cyder* were consumed. Full pictorial record here.

Joe Law singsBleak as your soul, mateCountry Al has a fan

London also meant clearing out my desk at CRUK for the last time, attempting (sadly unsuccessfully) to print the final copies of my thesis that I owe the university in order to actually graduate, and some flat out awesome sushi at Sushi Hiroba. Soft shell crab hand roll was droolworthy; I never understood the appeal of roe before, but whatever the little black salty popping orbs of joy that encrusted this with were, I salute the fish that spawned them, OMG.

Today, we're trying to learn Morgan Rattler (a traditional English 48-bar jig) on my shiny new recorder and his lovely parlour guitar. Ugh so many quavers... and poor poor neighbours.

*because as any fule kno, a surfeit of peaches and no cyder was enough to do away with at least one Bad King.**

**Muahaha! I abuse both Sellar & Yeatman and Willans & Searle in one fell swoop!
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First batch:

first batch

Second batch (overprinted):

two layers

This is by far the best of the two-colour batch. The metallic gold ink (speedball) is nowhere near as opaque as I thought it would be, or even in comparison with the black (Windsor & Newton). Also, should have done prints on white too. Maybe the black layer was still wet? Maybe I should have let the gold become a bit more tacky before I inked the block? Who knows... /Sigh.

Oh well! I like the black on yellow!
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Cardinal Beetle

Yep, another bad pun. Outline finished in June, colour work done today.
Not sure about how the thorax came out, but otherwise pretty pleased.
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Work is still insanely busy and the lieu time continues to accrue apace. Also still beset by reviews, data entry and goodness-knows-what-else. Don't have time to think, hardly. Was [ profile] carolive's birthday last weekend: she requested "a Caroline beetle, duh!", see below. She do like pink, our Caroline.

Carolinia: finished itemCarolinia roseus rex

A bit more cartoony than I'd usually like, but I thought she'd prefer cutesy and I was not wrong. Was pretty pleased at my first solo attempt at framing/matting too.

Sunday gone was Bang The Bore, our local noisenik nuisance showcase. First time I've got to see Team Brick live, who was ASTOUNDING: fusing drone, feral percussion and throat singing to electrifying effect. Another standout act was Dead Wood, who used bowed bells and cymbals with lo-fi FX to produce some truly gorgeous corruscating resonance, which contrasted nicely with the more crunchy white-pink-brown* noises of UltraHumanitarian, Petals and Masterly! and Farewell. I really enjoyed Spoils and Relics too, who did fun things with a spring and some tinfoil along with some Masonna-style trad wash. Pre-BtB dimsum coma administered by the wondrous (if soemwhat eccentric) Pearl Harbour is threatening to become tradition. My pictures are here.

*Now that I read that back, it sounds like a veritable Neapolitan ice-cream of noise...


Jun. 1st, 2010 09:53 pm
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Getting there. Needs more chromatophores...

pseudoscarabeus (sketch)squid in progress

Also maybe the pink is a bit, um, phallic >_>
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Thanks SOOOOO much for all the good luck wishes and finger crossing and whathaveyou.
Now I R DOKTOR I shall indeed be ruling the universe, making doomsday devices out of human pancreata and pretending that I'm not middle class with even less success than before (if such a thing is even possible).

My ridiculous busted hand is still refusing to be anything other than busted and oscillates between incredibly painful sudden cramps and complete numbness, so typing sucks, drawing sucks. Bla bla bla WOE etc.

But anyway: drawing of beetle that isn't totally obviously the work of someone who slammed their drawing hand in a fire door!

Oedememimus stigmatiformes

YAAAAY! Back to work tomorrow, then corrections, review-writing, book chapter writing, re-printing, re-binding and submitting final copies of everythaaaaaang... Unf. Um, oh, but see Surveillance, it's really neat.
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pseudoscarabeus (sketch)

Messing about with ideas, think I might get on and make a proper job of this one! Conflicted on the name though, there must be a good Latin phrase for "squid-mimic"... I never did latin, thanks to my resolutely proletarian up-bringing. However, I did learn how to play the recorder, which my next-door-neighbours are rueing to this day.


May. 16th, 2010 12:31 pm
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Just back from a week flitting between Seth and Sara's in Leeds and the National Blood Service in Sheffield: man, that clocked up some miles... Even my sketches came out Cross Country colours >_<

Omnicoleopteros peripatus

Was up North for a week-long Practical Introduction to Transfusion Science course, which turned out to be highly entertaining: fun classmates, great teaching, fascinating information and really well-designed practicals. Sackboy came with me, of course, though I'm not sure he really got the intricacies of the Rh system, but he wasn't exactly alone in this, as half the class had collective meltdown...

The canteen food was utterly hilarious: no attempt at anything resembling vegetables, every item a glistening golden brown... I've never ever seen rogan josh served with Southern Fried curly fries (no rice available) before, nor seen "vegetable pasta bake" composed of macaroni cheese mixed with tinned sweetcorn, carrots and peas with a layer of crinkle-cut crisps as topping, but then again I've never come across "stuffed mushroom" turning out to be a grilled mushroom with a slice of melted burger cheese on top either. All this under a banner proudly proclaiming "EAT OUR HEALTHY OPTIONS!". Head. Desk.

Staying with S'n'S was fantastic. Tuesday we headed out for dinner in Harrogate, which turned out to be a Northern version of Bath, and had the best dessert I have ever had in my life in The Harrogate Brasserie (unfortunately abbreviated to "Harrogate Bras" on my reciept *giggle*). Dark and White chocolate and cinder toffee terrine with Baileys ice-cream in a brandy snap basket with strawberries, redcurrants, creme patisserie, butterscotch, raspberry and mango coulis on the side OH MY GOD. The venison main was pretty astounding too, and we managed 3 2-course meals with drinks for £50!

Thursday we went to see the utterly bonkers Omar Souleyman: a deadpan kitsch porn star-moustachioed, mirror-aviatored and keffiyeh-clad purveyor Syrian street-pop at the Brudenell Social Club, which I think has to be one of my favorite venues ever. If I ever get married I want him to play at my wedding.

ANYWAY. I'm back now and straight into revising for Viva date #2. Roll on May 28th, not.
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Cetonia louisquatorze

Cetonia louisquatorze.
He's the sun king baby, SUN KIIIING BABY etc etc...

2/5/10 Pen and ink (ok ok sparkly cheapo gel pens)
I put him in an old brass frame; I'm tempted to thread bottle green velvet ribbon through it but not entirely sure...
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Just to let you know that I'm still alive!

Batocera elsewarii var. goggliatus
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Yesterday I had to go to Mum's to clear out a bunch of stuff I had forgotten I'd left there: all of my college notes as it turned out. She gave me a pile of revolting discoloured and stained satin padded pictures of deformed bunnies and deer that she'd been saving to use the metal frames. I thought I ought to treat them as they deserved, ripped the nasty acetate satin and foam out and doodled some beetles to go in them. Here are the first 3 (the smallest is about 2" along the long axis).

Three beetles
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Last night I went to Goblets* for the first time in about 4 years and was pleasantly surprised. It suddenly struck me that I hadn't really been out socially in anger for at least a year, so was on a mission. Unfortunately, almost everywhere I used to hang out for fun has either closed or changed beyond recognition while I wasn't looking... now THAT makes me feel old.


I made this for the other half's birthday. Quite pleased with how it came out, as block printing was an utter disaster! Feels very odd to be actually having time to do stuff again after spending 7 days a week staring at my thesis. Still have to get the damn thing printed though, and STILL waiting for my supervisor to acknowledge reciept of the pdf I sent him of the final draft on Weds. Oh well, plus ca change etc etc.

*local alternative-ish basement bar
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He turned out OK I think... and I managed another 300 words of thesis and read another 24 papers this afternoon, so not a total washout of a day. Hating the pancreas even more than before though: why can't it just be a nice, model hierarchical system like the gut or something?

Langerhans beetle

Not the best photo, will probably re-shoot when the sun is out and stuff, artificial light sucks donkeys and flash even more so. Tried diffusing it with tissue paper, but still ends up making the colours too blue and I can't be arse to feck about with it in Gimp. One day I'll get a scanner. Yeah, watch me: I'll be all scan scan scannity scan with the technology...
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I think I've got full-on thesis panic again, now that I've set myself a deadline to hand in the final draft for proof-reading. I can't read the damn thing, I get 5 lines in and the words swim around. Having difficulty typing, as every word makes itself into some bizarre anagram as I type it and I have to go back and spend just as long rearranging them back into some semblance of English.

Thought Top Gear, biscuits, coffee and a brief foray into drawing might braek the fug, but no, all I ended up with is a beelte covered in panceratic cells. UGH. I am beset by islets of Langerhans and they won't let go.

Work in progress

This thing was supposed to be a black and red expressionist samurai-themed thing of evil, but now look at it. Somewhere between a histology textbook and a polymer clay cane-making lesson.

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Coccinellis ho-ho-ho merrychristmassi

Hopefully next year will be more Whizz for Atomms and less Down With Skool! and I shall be tuougher and less uterly wet.

* Still Xmas is a good time with all those presents and good food and i hope it will never die out or at any rate not until i am grown up and have to pay for it all.
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Hypocaccus oncocytokinesis

Because I've been staring at too many immunofluorescence figures...