Just to whet your appetite: draft illustration for Dark Island, the graphic novel I’m doing with Niall Crowley
Chicklit picture, experimenting with candlelight: paella (ref Jill Sander and Lanvin spring collections)
PS please check my updated online shop: prints now individually priced by size
Inspiring recent discoveries 1 and 2:
David Hockney turning a view of Nothing into a picture of Something (above)
and Roger Scruton on scientism and the humanities:
"…Matthew Arnold, in his classic collection of essays Culture and Anarchy (1869), famously described culture as “a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world, and, through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits.
"…As a conscious subject, I have a point of view on the world. The world seems a certain way to me, and this “seeming” defines my unique perspective. Every self-conscious being has such a perspective; this is what it means to be a subject rather than an object. When I give a scientific account of the world, however, I am describing only objects. I am describing the way things are, and the causal laws that explain the way things are. This description is given from no particular perspective. It does not contain words like “here,” “now,” and “I”; and while it is meant to explain the way things seem, it does so by giving a theory of how they are. In short, the subject is in principle unobservable to science — not because it exists in another realm but because it is not part of the empirical world. It lies on the edge of things, like a horizon, and could never be grasped “from the other side,” the side of subjectivity itself.
"Is the subject a real part of the real world? In one sense not. For if I look for it in the world of objects I shall never find it. But without my nature as a subject, nothing for me is real. If I am to care for my world, then I must first care for this thing, the subject, without which I have no perspective from which to see the world, and so have no world. This attention to the subject is the purpose of art, or at least of the art that matters. And that is one reason why those humanities that have art and culture as their theme will never be reducible to natural sciences."
"…Like so many people wedded to a nineteenth-century view of science, which promised scientific explanations for social and cultural phenomena, [Richard] Dawkins overlooks the nineteenth-century reaction that said: Wait a minute; science is not the only way to pursue knowledge. There is moral knowledge too, which is the province of practical reason; there is emotional knowledge, which is the province of art, literature, and music. And just possibly there is transcendental knowledge, which is the province of religion. Why privilege science, just because it sets out to explain the world? Why not give weight to the disciplines that interpret the world, and so help us to be at home in it?…”
Inspiring recent discovery 3:
Cuban Art Schools, half-completed in the 60s and then left to languish. Now being restored, thanks partly to John Loomis. More fabulous pix here. Exuberantly optimistic forms, complete with vulva fountain.
Necessity being the mother of invention, the place was built using timbrel vaulting, which needs minimal scaffolding and no steel reinforcement.
"The timbrel vault does not rely on gravity but on the adhesion of several layers of overlapping tiles which are woven together with fast-setting mortar. If just one layer of thin tiles was used, the structure would collapse, but adding two or three layers makes the resulting laminated shell almost as strong as reinforced concrete… a timbrel vault is very thin compared to a Roman vault, while at the same time it is capable of bearing much higher loads. This of course enables wider spans and gentler curves”
So here are some nice examples of timbrel vaulting elsewhere, viz:
Just done the cover illustration for Barrie Collins’ important new book on Rwanda, part of Palgrave Macmillan’s Rethinking Political Violence series. Due out in May. I was really glad to be asked to draw this, an alternative to the exceptionally boring stock photos typical of all others in that series (and of academic books generally)
Illustration = fast, eyecatching and original. Friends writing books, please note!
In honour of the new year I give you Yuko Yoshioka, who draws (among other things) neat calendars