tomass

Faces of Fiction \ The Ice Queen

Anybody who knows me knows I love to draw portraits. Most of the time those drawings/paintings are from life and sometimes the drawing from the memory of characters I encounter in life and some completely ficticious faces constructed by my mind and the moment in which I find myself. 

Well here we have one of my semi fictitious characters. The Ice Queen, conceived in my mind over two years back now, is a subject based on certain qualities of an individual that you could say I know very well, or at least I thought I knew very well, mixed with my ideas and visions of what a true Ice Queen really is. Obviously elements such as coldness, or 'lack of' warmth come to mind. Blues, icy blues, hard edges and strong contrasts alongside some implied character traits suggested in amongst the distorted facial features. I was liberal with the oils and richness of the blues whilst refining the lines with charcoal as I went, what you see below is the outcome of about 5 hours painting, enjoy the ice queens but be warned, don't get too close, frost can bite, hard.. 

My idea of Heaven \ Portrait

I cannot say I am a huge believer in love at first sight. This being said, I feel I’ve gotten as close as I’m ever gonna get. Only a handful of times in life have I, for the first time, laid eyes on a member of the opposite sex and been sucked into suspended animation. The world dissolved around me, I would be reduced to a rabbit caught in headlights. In this transfixed state I would try my hardest to recoil my grounded jaw, replace my eyes balls into their sockets and find some resemblance of a functioning human being within myself once again. Id say it is these moments in life that I would most resemble to this notion of “love upon first sight”.

I remember these few occasions vividly, as if all could have happened yesterday. Even the first, I was just 15 in a new city and a new school. It appeared to be as normal as any day could be for a fairly new student, from a distant land speaking a respectively foreign English. As I made my prescheduled commute between class with a couple of friends, it happened. The double doors that created regular intervals along the absurdly long corridors of the school, flew open ahead of us. What followed were 3 girls heading our way, chatting amongst themselves, laughing and giggling somewhat shyly. None of this really registered in my brain at the time, stunned and infatuated, Amelia Heaven “first love” a “firs sight”. What came to be is another story entirely, for now, heres a pretty picture. My idea of Heaven.

Mili Heaven.jpg

In terms of my process, I worked from a photo using a pencil to lay down the basic structure, from then on, it was all pen Bebe.  

Naked Chaos \ Vad art kiállítás

I was lucky enough, as an artist who adores drawing nudes, to recently have six girls pose naked for me in one sitting. The space was small and alcohol had been consumed, as you can imagine the scene was a little chaotic and the chances of keeping anybody still for the amount of time to capture an accurate representation of the scene before me were slim to naught. 

However an opportunity to represent the scenario arose in the form of a bubbly and determined Irish girl who goes by the name of Dervla who happened to be hosting what she called a 'Wild Art" Exhibition. Somehow, Dervla had managed to get her hands on a fairly large apartment and permission to paint on alllllll of the walls and she was recruiting artists to fill the space with both paintings and unique, temporary art. Naturally the Painters Palace was a solid point of call and a few of us got together and took over one room of the apartment. We each took our own section of wall and started painting a few days before the exhibition. I had the idea in mind of what style I wanted to implement to show the chaos, the movement, the intertwining limbs from that night with the English girls. I did not do any preliminary sketches, other than the drawings from the 90 minute session. Working in this style is a very impulsive and intuitive process, I find that trying to build the picture before you meet the canvas can intrude on an organic and spontaneous outcome. Therefore I dwell on the idea of the scenario/memory, what I found interesting, the conversations between the subjects (which were extremely fascinating), less on the real form or identities of the girls themselves but most importantly, thinking about the actual process of the painting, down to the brush strokes, in forms of movements that translate into marks that make the picture. Little moments of memory come to me as I create, like the side of a thigh running into the curve of the calf, the expression or tilt on ones face and it seems the as the moments come to me, I have to realise and compose them on the wall. As the exhibition was only intended to be one night I held back on refining every detail of the painting and rather looked for an overall harmony in the piece which ended up being roughly 4m wide and 2.4m tall.

Big Thanks to Dervla and everybody that was involved with the event. It was a huge success with attendance around 700 over the space of 5 hours, which in my book is pretty funking incredible for a first time event! For more info on the exhibition, the artists and works involved plus upcoming events > check here.

Below you can see the finished result, followed by the piece in context of the other works in the space, and then some shots of the process. As always, Enjoy.                                    

Final Piece.

Final Piece.

In context.

In context.

The process.

Mandala Madness \ Feeling the Vibes

I went through a what I would call a mandala madness phase not so long ago, every page of my sketch book was being attacked with a compass and ruler, a few pencil lines followed by few hours each with pens. As well as being very peaceful and meditative to create mandalas it also allows you to explore and improve your drafting skills and penmanship in the process. The best thing is that you never quite know how your mandala will turn out in the end. Despite laying down similar pencil foundations in the beginning, the outcomes seem to be dramatically different. 

So here's what one week of 'Mandala Madness' looks like:

Portrait \ Audy a.k.a. Cumi Laut

Arriving home from a spontaneous night in one of Budapest seedy club areas Audy agreed to sit, or in this case lie, for a portrait. I was really in the mood for painting and tired of drawing myself in the mirror plus Audy's technicolored hairdo gets me excited! Here are the results.

Oil on Canvas Board, 30x20cm.

Taka Tuka 2017 \ Drawings speak louder than words.

When it comes to describing Taka Tuka Festival in words things become a little tricky, its somewhat the same as trying to render the idea of enlightenment into written or spoken language, you fundamentally just cannot and actually, the more you try, the further you get from explaining it. Thats because its a feeling, and feelings must be felt, not understood. 

The best way I can describe Taka Tuka however, would be to imagine the period surrounding Christmas, when you know Christmas is just going to be the best Christmas ever, your extended family is complete with around 350 beautiful people with lots of energy and special musical/artistic skills. Put all this festivity onto a small island on the Danube with a limited supply of electricity yet unlimited supply of alcohol, food and music, pepper that with casual nudity and glorious sunny weather and you have the recipe for a great festival.

Compared to last year everything was 100x better not only from the weather, the fact that there was a well and access to abundant clean drinking water, but also the construction and basic infrastructure were massively improved. Previously the bar and kitchen in the main area were basically built from oversized twigs, however this year, tree trunks set a solid foundation for the structures to live on for years to come. Even better is that no trees were cut down to build the structures but the trees had been fell by beavers and reclaimed by the gang to build. The dance floor went from flooded muddy swap land to smooth beach stones centred with an all new DJ booth which took the form of a pirate ship extending from the base of a dead tree. The ship was complete with its own sails and mast, which you could really climb! The tree house was also more solid and better established with ropes, rings and things to play on. A new addition was the hate bar, here you could release your inner demons and let it 'all' out. What was the chill/jam stage last year was only a seating platform for the new Esperanto stage. A medium sized tensile structure over a solid, surprisingly flat, stage and this year there was a much needed bar in this area too. There was also a new area, probably my favourite addition, the Garden of Eden. This area was located a short walk down the island, separated from the music, it was a paradise in its own right. Even though there was no stage so to speak, here I heard some of the best music of the festival as musicians would rock up with their instruments and go acoustic and jam together. Best of all were the dijurido and the flute, both sounds sent from above!

My personal experience of the festival was one of much drawing and a lot dancing, I held an Adam and Eve themed Life Drawing session in the Garden of Eden then became horrendously ill with flu and other things... The sickness stopped me for 16 hours but not for longer, I continued to draw and dance and see out the rest of the festival in good spirits. I drew so much that in 5 days I filled an entire sketchbook (roughly 150 pages) with pen drawings of various moments I found myself in.

Here is a selection of the best drawings. Please bare in mind that a lot of the drawings were made with in extremely low light conditions which makes legible drawing a challenge.

A few more...

I hope you enjoy these drawings, whether you were able to make it to Take Tuka or not, I hope they give you an insight (or my insight) into the island and the people that inhabited it for this small period of time. Maybe you recognise some of the faces in the scribbled lines, possibly even see yourself. I cannot thank the Taka Tuka crew enough, the Brothers, their lovers and everyone who pitched in big or small, you made the best festival I've ever been to, with that you get all my love and respect & my attendance next year! 

"Thats a Wrap." / Painting the movies.

For sometime now they have been shooting some movies in my area, as I walk to and from my house I see shooting in action. First of all it's great because I love films and seeing the makin gof them is a pleasure, I love the extremes that blockbuster shows push in terms of amount of technology, equipment and coordination, the whole operation is a performance in itself. However what I always happen to see is people (usually extras dressed in full costume) standing around waiting for their call to scene. Now this is where I see opportunity, they would make perfect models in costume especially now as they seem to filming two period pieces set in 1920's. People everywhere dressing in ornate hats and dresses, surrounded by horses and carriages in these smokey ethereal street scenes. 

Today the opportunity to paint these scenes metaphorically slapped me in the face and quite literally landed on my doorstep. Right outside my studio on the Brody Sandor in Budapest, the whole of the Vas Utca was cornered off for filming. The street was hung with oversized Hungarian flags, which instantly reminded me of Monet's Paris scene with French flags flying everywhere. There were small legions of foot officers or soldiers, I couldn't see from the distance and the smoke and also there where troops on horse back riding up and down the street. The rest I hope the pictures will explain. 

This is the final painting from the day. I gave the painting away to a young security guard who took an interest in it. 5 Minutes later, the special effects guy gets a call saying the Oscar award winning director, László Nemes, wanted the painting. Shucks, could have met a super star.

UbikFarm Festival \ One night in Drawings

This last weekend I attended the much anticipated UbikFarm Festival, the little sister of the wicked festival UbikEklectik. The event was hosted by the guys at Farmunk in Vértesszőlős and I recon about 250 people in attendance. A petite festival that was overflowing with kindred spirits and feelings of free love and good vibes. I took A fresh sketchbook to see what would come of one Saturday night on the farm. Below are the results in order. I arrived at around 5pm on the Saturday and the last drawing was from 10am Sunday morning, when I wasn't drawing I was dancing and dipping (in the lake). Please bear in mind it was very, very dark during the majority of these drawings, and that I was drawing with speed to capture more of an idea of the festival rather than a realistic image. Some images I missed, like the piglets running behind the bar and the goats cruising with a rattle through the trees but I had a wicked night and am happy with the sketches.

Biggest Thanks to the Ubik guys, Taka Tuka crew and the wonderful folk of Farmunk for, as always, a great gathering of people combined with all sorts of fun. You really know how to do it. 

For More info check here \/

UbikEklektik  \  Taka Tuka  \  Farmunk

Style Test \ Nick Drake

I've found this new style I want to experiment further with. Using ink and brush I go over an initial sketch with a continuous and directionless line to build up tonal regions. (original photo by Keith Morris)

My initial idea was to actually build up the tones in greys, however when it came to use the ink I was so excited that I forgot to dilute it down, therefore had to continue with pure black. Still a satisfying outcome, however many improvements to be made. I want to use this technique to portray characters and people that have influenced/inspired my life to this point. 

Watch this space, more too come.

 

Inspired by Impressionists \ Painting the Museum Garden.

After indulging myself in a 3part/hour documentary of the impressionist movement, I got a inner burning to take my easel outdoors again and paint like the pioneers of this colourful style. 

The documentary focussed mainly around Monet as he is considered the father of impressionism, but also includes the stories of Degar, Manet, Cezanne and a few other characters central to this artistic revolution.

I decided I wanted to use a limited palette today, and build the numerous colours from a stable base of primaries. The colours I had on my board were.....!!!!  I began the painting at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and could only paint until 5pm before the light had changed too much. So I went back the next day.

unfortunately I did not take a photo of day two progression.   

A week later after being away I managed to get back to the museum to continue.  

Its amazing how in just a week the scene had changed. the foliage on the trees had become less dense, he yellow/orange I was seeing burn through the Center tree had diminished significantly. Alas, I continued. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

day 3 (total time painting 5/6 hours) 

sketchbook \ two dudes

I love to draw from my mind especially when drawing portraits and characters. the results are usually unpredictable. 

Here’s two examples of recent sketches I made whilst playing with the proportions and features of the face. I am particularly happy with the texture of the stubble and the size of the glasses on the face of the first character. The second character is far more loosely drawn and the least successful of the two drawings. I remember in both I wanted to specifically have the mouths open, I got bored of drawing closed ones.

drawing \ eye of Ra

Before I left Amsterdam for a period of travelling, I was gifted a necklace with an eye of Ra attached by somebody I love. The eye mainly represents protection and good health amongst other things. Definitely a good omen for my travels. Its a bizarre feeling you have a third eye that always watching out for you - comforting, once you get used to it.

I took it off one day to make this drawing. Completed with only a Bic biro.

Text reads:

RA, Creator of all. Maker of me, Shine your light. See my soul, it is Yours. Not part, But Whole. RA...

I struggle with writing so much. I always want these poetic moments in my life and then reading back it all sees so cheesy. 

I ended up getting very frustrated with myself one day and ripped this drawing up and put it in the bin... long, different story.

 

Stadspaleis & I \ mini documentary

A lovely bunch a film making students recently fell in love with the adorable cafe, Het Stadspaleis. They asked very politely if they would be able to make a documentary of the place, me and how it came to be.

Thankyou guys for the great documentary, it really captures the stads-vibe. A slightly embarrassing first film experience for me. I think it shows...