Sunday, 18 May 2008

This is the end.

The time has come to leave this blog to rot. I have a brand new, my very own domain for posting my pictures:

http://www.sleepingartist.info

I'm so happy with my own domain and my new way of managing my blog. I never completely understood the logic of Blogger. And Amoena tells me Wordpress is for ├╝ber-professional people.

I guess I will have to develop some standards now for my posts. Not too high, because I sincerely don't believe my readership will ever go beyond Kai and Amoena. And maybe my dad too, at least occasionally. But it can't hurt, either.

It's so much more inspiring to post when you have a new, beautiful theme and layout. I have lots of new ideas for my future posts. I'm thinking I'll expand my content to literary art, and talk more about art in general. Maybe I could slip in some of my musings about language issues, as well.

There's a very practical reason for new themes. I'm running out of good pictures, and unless I paint a whole bunch of new ones this summer, I won't have any new pictures to post by next winter. Time will tell I suppose.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Alienation, Part 2.

I faintly remember watching some science fiction film, then painting these. Or perhaps it was a book that I read, or a picture I saw online. I do know I was inspired by something.

These naked men don't just pop into my mind out of nowhere, you and your dirty mind.

The odd thing is, I usually forget the films that I've watched, like really fast. A week goes by, and I'll have enormous trouble trying to remember what the film was that I saw. Does that tell you something about how good my taste is when it comes to films? I should hope not.

I mean, some films are permanently burnt into my retina, e.g. the Alien films. Not to mention Star Wars. (I wish I could name a film with more intellectual weight to mention here.) But it bothers me sometimes how soon I forget about some pretty decent movies that I've seen.

The guy on the front should perhaps do some butt clenches or something. But it's me who's to blame, really. I should start using models when I try to paint human bodies. Sadly, there are no naked males available to me right at the moment.

On a side note, notice how different the first two paintings look. The first one was taken with flash, the second, without flash. In consequence, the colours are quite different. I wish I knew instinctively how to take perfect photos, since I have absolutely no interest at all in learning how to use all the functions in cameras.

But that applies to pretty much everything - I'm a lazy bastard. A luddite of the worst kind. As conservative as they come. Add to that an insatiable taste for peace and quiet in a staring-at-the-ceiling fashion. It makes me wonder how I can ever function as anything else but a parasite in this society.

I'm not beating myself up about it too hard, though. I didn't even freak out physically when I realized my brother had installed Windows Vista on our family computer. Usually when something other than the routinely thing happens, I'll go completely off my rocker.

Despite my initial reaction of shock and horror, I pulled myself together and calmly tried to figure out where the hell all my files have gone. Only to find that all my Half life 2 saves had vanished in thin air. Which made a perfect excuse to play them again! Escapism, here I come!

Actually, I may have been inspired by Half life 2 when I painted those. Now there's a surprise. There was a point where I had trouble deciding whether I liked the sense of alienation or the human companionship in the games better. I was positively an Alyx hater (a very much human character they're trying to marry to Gordon, who is the protagonist of the game, i.e. the player her/himself). Now, I'm growing to tolerate her.

What I liked about Half life in the first place, what made me fall in love with the game years back, was the sense of being completely cut off from all human interaction, being utterly alone in the midst of mutants (how cool) and monsters and black ops and commandos who kill themselves with their own grenades. The less than perfect AI helped substantiate the lack of a human connection.

But in the new, improved version, the human characters are quite lifelike. The enemies don't commit suicides anymore with their grenades, but for the love of God - now my allies do! During my occasional (read frequent) fits of frustration when trying to cooperate with my inane artificial comrades, I'll just send them off to suicide missions.

I don't do that anymore, though. Maybe I'm finally growing into a sense of moral behaviour towards my fellow human-like non-playable-characters? (Whether I am personally human-like and non-playable is a moot point.)

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Always stick to what you do best.

I was bored and I felt like trying something new. Behold the result.

I wasted tremendous amounts of paint on this. I wanted to see if I could keep going with the horizontal brush strokes only. I didn't quite follow it through. It looks kind of fun, though.

The colours are so delicious, too. I love salmon red these days A LOT. I even have these shoes that I use in the spring time that are salmon leather and so good for my feet. Easy to take off in these computer rooms when it's too freaking hot, as it always is. Haven't they noticed it's May? That it's like +10 outside, and hence no need for heating indoors?

I turned off the heating in my apartment in MARCH for pete's sake, yet the heating was on in the staircase this morning! Is that fucked up or what, if not then I don't know what is!!!! I mean, c'mON with the global warming and all, we should be SAVING energy, not WASTING it just to make people feel as uncomfortable as possible!!!!!!!!! I'm so aggravated by this every single time I enter any of the university buildings.

Well, in all fairness, the old main building does have a nice air conditioning system (which you could argue is a waste of energy as well, but let's not go there now), and often I'm actually cold during lectures there! Not that I mind it though - better so than being sweaty and smelly and changing your shirt every day and WASHING THE LAUNDRY so often that it WASTES ENERGY even more! What a vicious cycle, don't you agree?! This is not supposed to be an officially green university, but since we're trying to save paper here, why not energy? Why does saving and thinking about the environment have to be limited to one thing only? Why not save on the one biggest single factor which uses energy in general?

And while I'm on the subject that I could go on about forevermore, what's up with people not wanting to put on more clothes? They complain about cold weather when it's -5 celsius outside! What happened to Finnish people? Where did sisu go??? You know, they still sell sweaters and pullovers in shops in case you don't own one. Put on some clothes, and what d'you know, you're not cold anymore! No need for excessive heating and wasting energy!

Besides, I read in the paper yesterday that being too warm and comfortable all the time can lead to allergies in children. There's been an explosion of allergies in recent years, I take it. Wow, I'm going to be such a great parent some day. No candy (because it ruins their teeth), no heating (see above), no fancy, trendy clothes but only hand-me-downs (for obvious reasons), internet only an hour a day (so they get exercise and go play in the dirt so they'll acquire a normal immune system), oh and I'll also be watching that they really do their homework, since I could have done so much better in that area in my time.

Oh, and as a model for the painting I had the singer from Poets of the Fall. It's a Finnish band that I fell in love with last summer, or the summer before that. My memory fails me constantly. Old age doesn't come alone apparently. The singer is so cute, anyway. The clown I posted earlier was also modelled on him, though the likeness is arguable in both cases.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Avril Lavigne-ish.

I think you can see part of my carpet right there. And there appears to be a speck of something on the lady's boob. Meh.

Anyways. I modelled this one on this picture of Avril Lavigne, my favourite singer who should seriously consider growing up one of these days. The playing-a-teenager was fun for a while, but I've been over it since time immemorial. Thank heavens she's planning her next album already.

It's not a complete success as a painting, but close enough. I'm surprised I had the patience to try and make the clothing resemble real clothing, remotely at least. I'm amazed I was able to use green and blue and - horror of horrors - violet! Those have got to be the most depressing colours I know. Especially green and blue together, makes you want to go kill yourself.

I'm getting kind of excited about my poster presentation at QITL-3 in Helsinki on June 2nd, 2008. Beginning at 17:20. Not that I'm advertising or anything, since Amoena is the only reader I have. Oh, and they put my name and the non-final title of my presentation on the site, looky here. I was a little shocked over seeing this - I thought there would be dozens more presenters, but I'm actually one of only a handful! Panic panic!

It made me think, am I one of the lucky few who got chosen, or were there in fact only about five more to consider in addition to those chosen?? I'm inclined to think they didn't get that many abstracts overall, as mine was such a mess. They were just interested in seeing what I had to say, messiness aside.

Gah. My abstract went through a complete revision, as I realised there's no way in hell I can discuss well enough everything that I had planned. My title had to be modified as well, albeit slightly. I'm hoping no one will notice and be mad. I feel like such a rookie now. Oh, the shame.

This is the first time I've worked with Powerpoint. It's even easier than I thought. I had to create these two slides with which I should introduce myself and my topic. Haven't quite figured out yet how to express my main points without giving it all away.

I mean, it could be something like 'what factors can be found to affect the said variation?', which isn't saying anything at all and would not excite anybody's intrest. But I like the idea of formulating it as a question.

Perhaps something like 'do these factors affect the said variation? Stay tuned for my data', from which you can already guess that they do in fact affect it... And I'm not entirely convinced people will come to see the poster just to see loads of tables that are quite hard to take in, even for myself. However, it is quantitative investigations in theoretical linguistics, so I suppose everyone will be just psyched about numbers and figures and fancy-looking tables.

But for my actual presentation, I'll have to create a poster. I'm thinking I'll just print out a bunch of A4 sheets, boringly in black and white. Maybe I could draw some flowers or something for decorative purposes. Or a horsie. Wouldn't that be swell.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Jessica.

I'm in full swing now. I should be reading for my exam, but this'll only take like five minutes.

This is supposed to be Jessica Alba. As per usual, the resemblance is not exactly striking.

I love the combination of creamy yellow and ocean blue/green. This one was fun to do because it was so quickly done. I like quick sketches the best really, even though I get the best results if I focus and spend hours on it. It's only on the rare occasion that I can calm myself down enough to do so.

I'm thinking it's time to paint something new for a change, as these dusty (they truly are covered with dust, as it sticks onto oil colour very easily) old pictures that I don't like so much anymore. Besides, I actually have some extra time to do something else other than study for a change. Too bad any new paintings won't translate into new postings here any time soon, as I don't own a digital camera.

Thanks for Amoena for the flattering comments by the way. ^^ Are you sure you don't know how to move around the title and subtitle of my blog? It's annoying that they're so hard to see now with that background. I love that picture and I want to keep it. Please Amoena, pimp my blog!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Whatever.

This was originally supposed to be another Samantha Morton. As far as I can recall. It turned into a young girl. And the colours went all dirty.

I don't like using dirty colours much. I want them bright and breezy. But when I'm desperately trying to get the features right, it sometimes happens that what were originally nice and bright colours, become something else. This one was soon beyond salvation. However, I'm quite happy with everything else about it. Except for the fact that she seems to be wearing a wig of some kind.



Friday, 25 April 2008

Alienation.

I'm not sure where I stand with these even square canvas cardboards. It's surprisingly difficult to design the arrangement of the characters and the cropping in particular. Most importantly, I tend to run out of space.

Generally, I like to crop my characters partly out of the picture. That is, if I give any thought to the layout. I don't always do so, which tends to result in somewhat stagnant pictures. Too tiny painting surfaces help prevent that.

Pink and dark blue = yummy. I used a sponge on the background. It saves a lot of paint and makes it easy to create a misty look.