Tag Archives: art

Fantasy Art & Gnomevember

Gnomevember is something I found whilst using WordPress reader and looking for the tag “Fantasy” as I love to do every day.  I am really glad I found it and I think it’s a good idea, but I don’t think it should be just an artist thing – I think it should also be used for writers as well, write a gnome story for Gnomevember, but of course, because I am both an artist and writer, I shall be trying to do them both throughout the month, if I have time along with NaNoWriMo.

I also learned that there are other months too, MerMay, Junicorn, Smaugust and Orctober. 

Now you’re probably wondering what are you talking about?

Well, where I found all these delightful things, simple, here https://rachelillustrates.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/gnomevember/ Gnomevember aims to get fantasy artists concentrating on gnomes throughout the whole of the November month, a gnome a day.

MerMay simply concentrates on mermaids and mermen.

Junicorn obviously concentrates on unicorns and so on.

It’s all in the spirit of Inktober and NaNoWriMo creative kick up the backsides.  It’s to get you doing something every day, working as a team to motivate each other, which helps not only to increase your creative social circle, but helps make you more productive, more regularly and get you into doing some of your art each day.  I think it’s wonderful and we should invent something for every month of the year, as we all, even professional artists and writers feel very sluggish sometimes.

I think there should be a Dracember (a dragon a day month for December).

I also think it would be cool to do one off days, not whole months.  Perhaps Howlaween, making sure you create a werewolf or a wolf for Halloween, either as a story or a piece of art?

Anyway, get visiting Rachel’s website, the link can be found above and get stuck into Gnomevember.

 

 

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Anne Stokes Aracnafaria

Anne Stokes is one of my favourite Gothic artists; if I had money I would try and decorate my house with more of her work.  As a Christmas present in 2012 my nephew Carl and his daughters gave me a 1000 piece puzzle of Aracnafaria, one of Anne Stokes masterpieces.  I finished the puzzle in just 10 days.   I am so proud of it, it’s still wrapped in cling film around a board that I had intended to use as a backboard in order to eventually frame it, but I have never got around to doing that and it’s stored on the top of my wardrobe.

As an artist I aspire to do work as great as Anne Stokes, however, in my own opinion it’s just an airheaded dream, because I am nowhere as good as Anne Stokes and I specialise mostly in what I think are cartoon dragons and animals.

 anne-stokes-spiders-1

 

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elusive inspiration

I will be talking more about what inspires me in the future of this blog, because there are a lot of wonderful things out there that fills this creative mind of mine right up.  A lot of things that take my interest seem to be almost unheard of, music, artists, fashion experts etc.  It seems to me that I like the obscure or the famous that aren’t that famous enough to be a known household name.

I think it’s a shame that some people who inspire me aren’t known more.  I think it’s a shame that even I find it hard to find their works.  Also, not all people who inspire me are famous – not all people who inspire me have say – published a book yet, or sold a piece of art.  But there are some who have made it into their local newspaper for producing good art at big social events, but aren’t well known in any other form.

I like the elusive people, but I wish they weren’t so elusive.

 

 

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The Artist Way & The Cosmos

I believe a lot in cosmic ordering and I have been trying to learn myself how to use cosmic ordering to my own advantage for the last two years, by reading various books on the subject to get a wide view point from many individuals who use it.

Julia Cameron uses some of the techniques of cosmic ordering in her book “The Artist Way”.  I have been reading the artist way for a while now, because I think it helps with my creative recovery, despite some of the tasks she sets before me, being brushed under the carpet as for me; they are impractical for my way of life.  Such as the artist break, I never go anywhere on my own, let alone go on holiday by myself, I wouldn’t want to; however, the occasional trip to a local café or the library with a note pad in tow, is something that I do enjoy from time to time, so the artist date isn’t ignored entirely.

Another thing I ignore in the Artist Way is the week in which she says that we should avoid all kinds of reading, do anything but read.  I am sorry, but I don’t do reading deprivation.  If I am not reading stuff online, I am reading magazines, newspapers or books.  I have never ever experienced doing without reading – for me, like silence, it would kill me.

I can live with a rule such as – internet deprivation, but reading deprivation, dream on baby.

Also, by using the rule of reading deprivation, I can’t do those precious morning pages she wants me to, I can’t do my art, because in order to do my main form of art, I need to write and with writing comes editing and what is essential when editing a writer’s work?  You’ve got it, reading!

I won’t stop writing any more than I would stop reading.  I wanted this book to help me write more, not encourage me to stop what I feel are essential habits for me to work.

Anyway, getting away from my point a bit; The Artist Way contains many techniques similar to other books for cosmic ordering.  In my opinion she assists in that she helps us identify why we are not as successful in our chosen artistic careers as we would have liked to have been.  She delves deep in our sub consciousness, digging up long forgotten memories that helps answer how we’ve lost our path.

I found out that I lost my original creative path by using her techniques, by remembering that as a child I had a huge interest in fashion and drawing, but I was pushed away from this and put into writing.  Everyone had agreed for me that writing was my talent and to Hell with any other talent I might have.

I have trained in psychology and social sciences in the past and I have used some of the techniques learned there, with various self-help books, cosmic ordering stuff and I have realised that a lot of my current pitfalls as an adult, is not self-inflicted but are actually reactions against something happening that I didn’t like when I was younger.  When I was little I loved fashion and loved drawing dresses and playing with Barbie.  However, I didn’t get my own Barbie doll until I was around 11yrs old.  I wasn’t encouraged because my mother was a tom boy and wanted me to be the same as she was.  I noticed by the time I reached around 8yrs old I became a very obese child, but I didn’t give up on the whole idea of fashion and drawing until I was around 10yrs old and each year I was getting bigger and bigger.  Then it finally happened – when I was around 12 I told my mum that I would love to go into fashion when I am older and she simply said to me “with your weight, you’d be eaten alive in the fashion industry, you won’t survive”; so with that I thought lose weight or lose the dream, I tried to lose weight but every time I had an interest in fashion again, she’d bring out the doughnuts and McDonalds and remind me that it’s a foolhardy dream for someone so large.  Every time she gave me a treat and I ate it, she said it was my fault I wasn’t thinking about my dream, that I should have more self-discipline.

So by the time I was 14 I had literally totally forgot my dream.  I remembered it because in The Artist Way, Julia asks us to think about people we are jealous of and identify why.  I happen to be jealous of a lot of young girls I know who are professional dancers and are in the fashion industry.

When I realised the reason for the jealousy, I was then asked to search deep as to why that would affect me.  I remembered it all lead to fashion.  I also realised this because my favourite non-fantasy and non-horror movies and TV shows, happen to be focused around fashion.  “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Mean Girls”, “Are you being served”? “101 Dalmatians” any shows featuring Gok Wan, and so on!

I am not someone who follows fashion though, don’t get me wrong.  I am someone who likes to start off the trends and I usually succeed.  I don’t like to fall into a normal fashion concept, I like to develop my own, I believe in having a bespoke fashion sense and a bespoke home, to match who you are, I believe people should show the world exactly who they are as much as possible.  I think it attracts more genuine people to you.  I am more comfortable with speaking to someone who dresses in alternative fashions, whether they are punk, Goth, witch, or Hell’s Angel, than someone who seems very conservative.  Because to me, those conservative people are hiding themselves for some reason, or have a narrow concept of what’s acceptable and what’s not; I don’t do shallow people.

I am learning about the true me through doing all of this.  I am happier for it and luckier too.  In the Artist Way, Julia Cameron has asked me to do another task recently that is to make a collage of everything I love and everything I want to attain in life. 

This for me is something that I used to do and those things did come to me very quickly.  I got out of the habit of having a collage when I moved in with Paul as I could never work out where to put one in the house that I would see regularly and that wouldn’t raise questions with Paul’s family and our friends.  Recently Paul has suggested that I forget other people’s opinions and do what I want around the house.  So I will.

I am going to enjoy pinning things up on my collage, I am also making a scrapbook collage as well of more personal, secret things.

But the main impersonal things will be put into two locations around the house, so my sub consciousness can soak it all up, and help make it happen through the cosmos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Music & Art October 2016

I cannot work in silence when I am writing; I need music all the time.  For me, silence can be painful and headache inducing, as much as having television on in the background is also another disturbance and headache waiting to happen.

There are only two times when silence suits me without invoking a headache; when I am walking in nature, woodlands, pathways next to canals and fields etc., or being driven somewhere by car.  I dislike conversations in cars, I don’t like talking, and I like to zone out and forget I am in the car because I tend to feel sick when I acknowledge I am in a car.  I can imagine other places quite easily when I am not spoken to and in a car, this therefore makes it difficult for my body to realise it should be sick.  I also cannot read in a moving car, but I am perfectly relaxed at reading on trains and in busy cafes.

Travelling on buses and in cars makes me tired as well as daydreamy and any more than an hour in either and I am asleep, unless I am very tired or woke up early on the day, I tend not to sleep on trains, I love trains, I have a passion for them which has certainly rubbed off on my son Henry.

We take regular trips on trains just because; we are trying to get into a habit of going on the Severn Trent valley steam railway every couple of months.  I like to look at the scenery around there, the river Severn is the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen, which doesn’t say much because I’ve only ever seen three rivers personally up close.

Music therefore is a very important tool for my writing.  I like listening to instrumental music mostly, such as that found from Nox Arcana, Apocalyptica, classical music, but sometimes I will listen to lyrical music from all styles and eras, such as Patsy Cline’s Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round, Movie Soundtracks, Kesha and many others. 

If it weren’t for music I don’t think I could be as emotional in my writing as I am with it. 

When I was little I had no imagination, seriously.  I didn’t find my imagination until I was around 9yrs old, I remember teachers from the couple of schools I was allowed to go to complaining that my stories were too realistic and that I lacked imagination.  I was browbeaten by them to develop an imagination and my mum helped with that – by the time she was finished with me my life was destined to be a writer from the age of 11.  It was decided for me and I have to admit I fell into it.

I am not saying for one moment that I don’t enjoy writing, I do.  But a writer’s life was chosen for me, not something I found I wanted, it was literally thrusted upon me.

When I look back through my therapy and my creative recoveries, I have noticed that when I was a child I had planned to be a mother or a teacher and that I had a huge interest in art and fashion.  I had quite vain thoughts as a child, but all of this was discouraged out of me and by the time I was 16 I had forgotten the art life I had wanted for myself and writing took its place.  I know writing is an art form in itself, but I meant painting, sculpture etc., all those other art forms were discouraged simply because my talent lies in writing, not drawing my mum often told me.

I was thrilled when my cousin Shane bought me oil paints for Christmas one year, my mum dreaded it and didn’t encourage me to continue, despite the good painting I did of some obscure Aztec ancient god.  My dad was proud of it, but she looked at it as an expensive past time that she wasn’t looking forward to smelling.

Since living with Paul, he believes I have talents in both but my main skill is writing simply because I don’t practise art enough.  In fact he is right, because I practise less than two hours a time approximately once every couple of months.  Whereas writing, I am practising almost every day for over an hour.

A lot of the time I just draw with pencils or a biro and never colour it in.  When I do really good drawings I am scared to paint them, because I tend to ruin good sketches with painting them wrong.  I have done excellent work that was ruined by paint.  A large African elephant in the Sahara, when painted, all the excellent detail was destroyed and it became cartoonlike, yet it was coloured in with watercolours, watercolour is my main medium. 

I do chalk pastel art too, but again, I am frightened to preserve it, as I tend to over spray and my work is literally washed away.

I am self-taught in both art and writing. 

Music is vital for me to work, this is the primary reason why I can’t work when my son is awake or at home, his noises drown out my music a lot.  He also wants the TV on all the time and that drowns out the music too.  Unlike most writers and artists I don’t like isolating myself in a room alone, I like to be around people, particularly people who respect music and respect the fact that I am working – a child can never do those things, they don’t understand; So, reluctantly I have to work around him and this is something I am dreading when I become professionally published – my time then has to work around the editors I am appeasing and for me, that’s going to be a nightmare.

 

 

 

 

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Loyalty, Vampires and Passion

I adore vampires, I am not sure if I’ve ever made that clear on here before (grins knowingly) and I’ve been thinking about them a lot today. I’ve been thinking about my favourite vampires, Judas Iscariot from Dracula 2000, John Carpenters VAMPIRES, Interview with the vampire and Daughter of Darkness to name but a few.
I love the culture surrounding vampires and everything Gothic, from the strange music options, to the fashion, the architecture and the darkness of it all, to the sheer sinfulness of loving it.
I love the strangest things and the strangest things inspire me to write and paint.
The strange haunting sounds of the music from Nox Arcana in their album Transylvania = visitors in the night, to their album shadow of the raven = the black cat wails and cries of a demon cat and the semi-Gregorian chants throughout all their albums.
I love the tribal belly dance scene, the gothic belly dancers from tribal fusion, I collect the DVDs regularly, I am a particular fan of Rachel Brice – to me, all of this just oozes vampire.
As a former belly dancer myself (not professionally) I am saddened that I didn’t learn about the tribal fusion style dancers until 2yrs after I gave up the dances, if I had known beforehand I think I would have sought them out and have become professional. I adore the dances and I would love someday to have a daughter who has the same interests in it as I do.
Unlike a lot of traditionalists, I don’t see belly dance as a thing solely for women, there is a form of belly dance for men! In fact it was traditional for both sexes to belly dance right up until the Persian Empire was created, then it was almost eradicated entirely for a practise for men and became a very sexualised dance solely for women by the Persian conquerors. The dance is debated to have originally come from the eastern side of Greece, near Salonica.
There is a dancer known as Prince Andrew which practises the masculine form, by belly dancing with a sword balanced on his naked waist and hips and balanced on his head. I find it very sexy, a very sensual dance. He looks almost like a character from Sinbad and the eye of the tiger; though his style is considered to be indo belly dance, a kind of traditional Indian style.
Here are a couple of videos with Prince Andrew dancing.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?

q=male+belly+dancer+prince&&view=detail&mid=3920BBFA2116361685563920BBFA211636168556&rvsmid=D607C79DEB3A3D2D04ACD607C79DEB3A3D2D04AC&fsscr=0&FORM=VDFSRV
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?

q=male+belly+dancer+prince&&view=detail&mid=D607C79DEB3A3D2D04ACD607C79DEB3A3D2D04AC&rvsmid=D607C79DEB3A3D2D04ACD607C79DEB3A3D2D04AC&fsscr=0&FORM=VDFSRV

Masculine belly dance is starting to become popularised once again, there are more and more male dancers taking to the scene which I find rather exciting.
Another form of dance I like and think is very Gothic, is fire dancing.
I think vampires are very passionate beings, they put their heart and their soul into everything they do, they surround themselves with beautiful things, things they love, because eternity is a long time if you are around things you dislike or things that do not give you pleasure.
I think because they have eternity on their hands, they go out of their way to surround themselves with things that make them happy, collections from the past and even collecting newly sired people to be around them, of the nature that they like and connect with or that feel familiar to them. This is what I think happened to Lestat in Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles. I think Lestat was very nostalgic and may have seen something in Louis that attracted him to sire him, because he reminded him of someone he knew in his mortal life. Whether or not the relationship was compatible it didn’t matter to Lestat, he wanted familiarity and companionship and for a while he got it from Louis.
I feel very sad for Lestat, he seemed very alone. I think he and I would have got along very well together if he were real. I certainly would never leave his side; I am loyal to a fault with anyone I think is akin to me – not so loyal to those who are not akin to me however; being akin means more to me than being simply blood related, it is how our very essences match each other, how we connect, do we click? If not, then the relationship will be very short lived.
I consider myself to be a very passionate person. I am passionate about everything that I do and I seldom do anything that I am not passionate about. If I find it boring, I won’t do it, I will delegate – which is what I do even for my online games. I delegate the boring parts of the game to Paul, feeding my pets for example or setting them up for adoption for me. Some people call it being lazy; I call it, living my life to the fullest, and why not? Mortal lives are short anyway, there is no vampire going to sire me in this world. More is the pity.
That’s why I envelop myself with vampire mythology, vampire movies, haunting music, music boxes, pictures of wolves, bats and gothic castles around the house, thick wine coloured velvet curtains in the living room, old roses in the front garden with lilac and irises. Royal purple walls in the bedroom with a black carpet and red bedding. But not everything about my house is wonderfully gothic; unfortunately, there are a lot of places I need to decorate in order to eradicate the cold ice white walls my mother painted in most of the rooms downstairs. The brown sofa is a far cry from what I think is perfect, but it will do for the time being.
I have owl ornaments everywhere, a box filled with raven feathers, a raven feather silver necklace I wear on very special occasions. I miss the tiger’s eye ring my ex stole from me and the wolf fleece blanket with the midnight blue sky and full moon another ex-took from me. Yes I know, they are just things, but they were mine and I loved them. Especially the ring, that was special – my dad seldom could afford to give me anything with the money my mum would allow him, so anything he gave me was more precious than life’s blood, he gave me that ring, my ex stole it and that hurts.
It wasn’t all that particular ex stole, he stole an heirloom, the ring was an heirloom, he also stole my savings and unbeknownst to my mother at the time I had savings of £12,000 and when he dumped me I had less than £500 left.
It is this ex that made me dominant. After he hurt me and abused me in more ways than one, I became bitter against men in general for about six years, the boyfriends I had before Paul, were all submissive in the BDSM scene. Paul however wasn’t, but he wasn’t prepared to take me as a submissive, he reckoned he saw the true nature of me that was hidden because of abuse. I must admit that I had a lot of my gumption beaten out of me over the years before I met Paul. Since living with Paul the tolerance for other people negative behaviours towards me are at a minimum, boy have I got feisty since meeting Paul and he thinks this is a good thing.
I have a very low tolerance for anyone destroying my peace, destroying what I have accomplished since disowning my mother three years ago, I have a very short fuse for anything that upsets me. Learn what I like, learn my boundaries and we can be very good friends, solid in fact.
I have no qualms telling people that I demand a lot, I demand attention and the best, I demand love, I demand to be considered precious and above all, I demand loyalty not only for me, but my chosen family.
I consider my family as a pack, a clan, a tribe – very similar to how people view vampires, they have their little nest of individuals that stick together, I consider myself and the members of my house to be like this… a solid loyal unit.
I crave a large pack, whether fashioned together with a few like-minded friends or having children and teaching them loyalty and supportiveness of each other.
This is one the most unforgiving things I cannot stand about my mother. The bridges she burned when the family needed her the most, she’s a quitter. I’ve never been a quitter, but thanks to the bridges she burned not a lot of family wants to talk with me anymore, except for my father’s side of the family. They associate me as her little goon, because I was never allowed to leave her side right up until I was 27yrs old, I went everywhere with her, even missing school for home education to be with her, because she demanded it. As far as many relatives and friends were concerned I and my mother seemed close, too close, unnaturally close, so many believed we held the same values. In fact we’re total opposites.
My heart breaks day in and day out because of the family isolation I’ve endured because of her. When granddad was alive, I would be in regular contact of so many relatives, I was socialising at the weekends with the grandchildren of his cousins! Now that’s extensive family for you, what’s more is I was lucky enough as a child to have this happen on both sides of the family. My father’s side of the family are in regular contact with my grandmother’s siblings grandchildren! But again, because my mother isolates herself, she has therefore isolated me and my father from both sides of the family over the years.
I went from having approximately 15 to 20 visitors a week at the house, all different, all relatives, and having up to 18 people visit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Evening, to getting a visitor once a fortnight, the same one or two people and then only 6 for Christmas dinner, then down to just 5 for Christmas dinner and a visit from my brother and his girlfriend once a month.
I have a void that has not been filled since.
This is why I am in the scene, not the Gothic scene, but the BDSM scene. This is why I am so open-minded about open-relationships, I crave a large family and if I can’t make one through having children, then I intend to grow a large network and I think it is very unfair for anyone to try and deny me that.
I love vampires as they are eternally loyal and passionate.

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INKTOBER 2

copyright belongs to Tina Cousins 2016

copyright belongs to Tina Cousins 2016

My tribal maze like face, was done before Inktober if completely honest, but thought it would be nice up.

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News and Inktober update

Inktober Snowman - copyright Tina Cousins 2016

Inktober Snowman – copyright Tina Cousins 2016

My Inktober snowman. I am lucky to have this posted because my village is doing some maintenance to the internet cable and the internet keeps crashing – so fate has decided to put another spanner in the works for me!

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Inktober

I am not just a writer, I am a self-taught artist too; since being a self-taught artist I have loved to paint with watercolours primarily landscapes, dragons and birds.  I only have three or four artist friends who solely concentrate on artworks, half of them are fantasy artists and because of this I consider myself pretty much isolated from the art community, therefore I had no idea that October equals Inktober in the art community and I had no idea what Inktober meant.

On the fourth of October my best friend Erin Cooper (fantasy artist at Shadowind Studios) asked me what I have done for Inktober?  “What’s that?” I asked her and she explained more to me.

She has done a lot of work for Inktober and I told Erin that I didn’t think I would participate because I am revving myself up for NaNoWriMo and I don’t think I can afford to go out and buy some ink especially for Inktober until after Christmas, by which time it would be too late.  She said that I didn’t need to go out and buy anything special, it’s not strictly doing art with artist ink, it is anything that has ink, like a permanent marker, a biro etc., which I must admit relieved me.

I have done some pictures with a bic, small ones that could comfortably sit inside a fifty pence piece.  But I won’t scan them to put online because they are on the sides of some important notes, password books and ideas.  I will do more on fresh pieces of paper tonight though.

I have so far, drawn koalas and two people together, a snowman, a tribal maze like face and the devils trident.

I plan to draw another snowman, a frog and perhaps some other tribal maze-like faces.

 

 

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Realise you are published if you have a blog

Just sit and write if you want to be a writer.  Guess what?  When you publish anything on your blog you are a published writer, did you know that?  As stupid as it sounds, I never knew this until a friend told me this online earlier today.

Yes, anything you put on your blog is considered “published”, so you must congratulate yourself right now for being a published writer already.  Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t fully understand the ways that the internet can assist someone to actually make a career for themselves.

If you have followers, you shouldn’t look at them as mere readers, they are your fans and you should take care of your fan base and make sure that they don’t get bored by waiting for new material for too long.  All of this has been said to me by a good creative/artist friend, things I had never thought of myself and believed them.

I am motivated by the fact that I have hundreds of followers, I am very sad for them that I’ve neglected to give them more material that they obviously loved enough to follow my blog.

I feel ashamed of myself for letting them down.

The wakeup call I got from my friend today has made me realise how popular I am and how much I have succeeded just by simply having a blog.

It is my duty to my followers (my fans) to give them regular new material as often as possible.

As a writer we are entertainers, it is our duty to keep our fans entertained, if we fail to do this, we fail them and even more so ourselves because we will then lose that vital fan base.  So keep your blog active.  This is something I am definitely going to do now and this awakening is so important to me that I am seriously thinking about printing this post out and putting it on my wall next to my desk!

I hope that this post has helped other bloggers realise how successful they’ve become too, without realising it.

 

 

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