Friday, December 30, 2011

Medium: Brush Pen

Medium: Pencils HB, 2B and maybe others

Thursday, December 29, 2011

He would be angry

"I am afraid I have been far too casual about 'magic' and especially the use of the word; though Galadriel and others show by the criticism of the 'mortal' use of the word, that the thought about it is not altogether casual. But it is a v. large question, and difficult; and a story which, as you so rightly say, is largely about motives (choice, temptations etc.) and the intentions for using whatever is found in the world, could hardly be burdened with a pseudo-philosophic disquisition! I do not intend to involve myself in any debate whether 'magic' in any sense is real or really possible in the world. But I suppose that, for the purposes of the tale, some would say that there is a latent distinction such as once was called the distinction between magia and goeteia. Galadriel speaks of the 'deceits of the Enemy'. Well enough, but magia could be, was, held good (per se), and goeteia bad. Neither is, in this tale, good or bad (per se), but only by motive or purpose or use. Both sides use both, but with different motives. The supremely bad motive is (for this tale, since it is specially about it) domination of other 'free' wills. The Enemy's operations are by no means all goetic deceits, but 'magic' that produces real effects in the physical world. But his magia he uses to bulldoze both people and things, and his goeteia to terrify and subjugate. Their magia the Elves and Gandalf use (sparingly): a magia, producing real results (like fire in a wet faggot) for specific beneficent purposes. Their goetic effects are entirely artistic and not intended to deceive: they never deceive Elves (but may deceive or bewilder unaware Men) since the difference is to them as clear as the difference to us between fiction, painting, and sculpture, and 'life'.

Both sides live mainly by 'ordinary' means. The Enemy, or those who have become like him, go in for 'machinery' – with destructive and evil effects — because 'magicians', who have become chiefly concerned to use magia for their own power, would do so (do do so). The basic motive for magia – quite apart from any philosophic consideration of how it would work – is immediacy: speed, reduction of labour, and reduction also to a minimum (or vanishing point) of the gap between the idea or desire and the result or effect. But the magia may not be easy to come by, and at any rate if you have command of abundant slave-labour or machinery (often only the same thing concealed), it may be as quick or quick enough to push mountains over, wreck forests, or build pyramids by such means. Of course another factor then comes in, a moral or pathological one: the tyrants lose sight of objects, become cruel, and like smashing, hurting, and defiling as such. It would no doubt be possible to defend poor Lotho's introduction of more efficient mills; but not of Sharkey and Sandyman's use of them.

Anyway, a difference in the use of 'magic' in this story is that it is not to be come by by 'lore' or spells; but is in an inherent power not possessed or attainable by Men as such. Aragorn's 'healing' might be regarded as 'magical', or at least a blend of magic with pharmacy and 'hypnotic' processes. But it is (in theory) reported by hobbits who have very little notions of philosophy and science; while A. is not a pure 'Man', but at long remove one of the 'children of Luthien'."
--J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter # 155, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Bold italics mine)

"Of course The L.R. does not belong to me. It has been brought forth and must now go its appointed way in the world, though naturally I take a deep interest in its fortunes, as a parent would of a child. I am comforted to know that it has good friends to defend it against the malice of its enemies. (But all the fools are not in the other camp.)"
--J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #328, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Bold italics mine)

Yep, I wonder sometimes what Beren himself would have to say (were he alive today) about the present-day neo-conservative, mechanistic flattening of Middle-earth - and the consequent denigration thereof - to fit with Potterworld as a means of justifying Potterworld and its occult practices represented as a good.

Medium: Pencils F and B

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Medium: Pencils HB, 3H and 2B

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Why do the heathen rage? Why do the nations rage?

-The Lord hath said to me: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.

-Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things?

-Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

-The Lord hath said to me: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tarkovsky Tuesday

"Some critics are terribly anxious to see a filmic spectacle shown simultaneously on several--even on six--screens. But the movement of the film frame has its own nature, which is not that of the musical note; 'polyscreen' cinema should be compared not with a chord, or harmony, or polyphony, but rather with the sound produced by several orchestras playing different pieces of music at the same time.

The only result would be chaos, the laws of perception would be broken, and the author of the polyscreen film would inevitably be faced with the task of somehow reducing simultaneity to sequence, in other words of thinking up for each instance an elaborate system of conventions. And it would be rather like putting one's right arm all the way round one's left ear in order to touch the right nostril with the right hand. Is it not better to accept, once and for all, the simple and binding condition of cinema as a succession of visuals, and to work from that starting-point? A person is quite simply not capable of watching several actions at once; it is beyond his psychophysiology."
--Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

I think those words could be applied, in a way, to modern life.

Sequence from Solaris

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Medium: Pencils 3H, HB and I might have used 2B

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coloured Pictures

This is the sort of book we like
(For you and I are very small),
With pictures stuck in anyhow,
And hardly any words at all.

You will not understand a word
Of all the words, including mine;
Never you trouble; you can see,
And all directness is divine—

Stand up and keep your childishness:
Read all the pedants’ screeds and strictures;
But don’t believe in anything
That can’t be told in coloured pictures.


A poem that G.K.C. wrote in a Randolph Caldecott picture book that he presented to a young friend.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Medium: HB Pencil

A World of Good

"Mind you, the most perfect steersman that you can have, and the best helm, lie in the triumphal gateway of copying from nature. And this outdoes all other models; and always rely on this with a stout heart, especially as you begin to gain some judgment in draftsmanship. Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is it will be well worth while, and will do you a world of good."
--Cennino d'Andrea Cennini, The Craftsman's Handbook

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Medium: HB pencil and some other ones I can't quite remember

Medium: Brush Pen

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Icon - Mother of God

The latest icon.

For those who do not know, the three stars (shoulders and head) represent her perpetual virginity: before, during and after birth of Christ.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Medium: Pencils HB, 2B, 3H and maybe B