The 17th Tweedle

Now that I’ve secured a place in Crawford College of Art and Design, I’m busy getting ready to move to Cork, finding art supplies and sorting out all the stuff associated with college life. Since I’m currently focused on the move back into Cork, I won’t be posting much artwork until I’m settled into my new college. I will try to post something each week, but my schedule might be a little more erratic.

Anyhow, today I thought I’d share with you a photo of the 17th Tweedle.

When I make my Tweedle sculptures, I always make them in ‘generations’ of 8 Tweedles each. This one, however, I created a while ago for a dear friend’s birthday.

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It’s the only one to date that has not belonged to a generation. It’s also the only one to possess a miniature metal fan and have it’s own personalized blue-jay feather.

When I was creating it, I perceived it as an experimentation into how Tweedles might decorate themselves, mimicking the way their human masters cloth themselves. I also wanted to capture the sort of playfulness that Tweedles develop over time.

I hope you like this sculpture, and thanks for reading!

Burnt Drawings and Needle-Felt Cogs

 

Apart from commissions, I’ve been taking more of a break from art as I’ll be going onto Crawford College of Art and Design in September. I’ve received the acceptance email from the CAO a few days ago, so I know for certain that they’ve accepted me into the college!

I did these Tweedle pictures a few days ago. They are quick pen and ink drawings about the size of playing cards, framed messily by their burnt edges. Below that, I’ve also posted some needle-felt cogs that I made in my combined materials class in the early stages of my PLC course (which I completely forgot to post about until now!). Enjoy!

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Pyro Commission – Pen and Ink Drawing

A few days ago I was commissioned by a new local cafe called Pyro to put up some decorative sculptures and to create a piece for their wall.

After putting up some sculptures (you can see them in my last post) I was asked to create a piece for their wall. With the Tweedle sculptures put up, I decided that something that combined the Tweedles and the cafe would be good. The following drawing was the result:

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The work is based on the unique lights the cafe has (seen below), and was created in a similar way to my skulls, digitally creating the image then using manga pens to trace the image.IMG_6508

Pyro is a small cafe/takeaway that sells pizzas, pasta and desserts. I’d definitely recommend the place if you’re in the Kenmare locality. The owners are very friendly, and the pizzas are all freshly baked almost entirely in front of you.

This concludes my dual posts for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed my latest artwork and thanks for reading!

Pyro Commission – Sculptures

A few days ago I was commissioned by a new local cafe called Pyro to put up some decorative sculptures and to create a piece for their wall. I talked with the owners showing them samples of my artwork, and they decided that they would like to see my Tweedles and can-men placed subtly in the corners and crevices of their cafe: IMG_6527 IMG_6528IMG_6529 IMG_6530   IMG_6531 Pyro is a small cafe/takeaway that sells pizzas, pasta and desserts. The owners are really friendly and helpful. I’ve tried some of their pizza and it must have been one of the best I’ve had in years!! I’d definitely recommend it if you’re in the Kenmare area. I’ll be posting another post today with the wall piece, so stay tuned! IMG_6532

One more PLC Print

TweedledumDuring my printmaking module, I got a chance to do some screenprinting. My first screenprint was the Tweedle featured in the Hidden in Plain Sight Exhibition.

The following print was created after that one and is based on the drawing I did a while back (click for a bigger image).

I thought it would be good to remake the drawing as a print and add some colour to it. The colours look much more dull than they eventually turn out, so the picture ended up much, much brighter than expected! I think the colour differences make the contrast between light and darker areas much more defined and help the characters stand out more.

I hope you enjoy the print below and thanks for reading!


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PLC Portfolio Printmaking

This week, I’ve decided to post some of my printmaking works. I liked learning the new techniques and creating images that could be repeated and copied yet malleable; altered through the use of colour or chine collé.

The lino prints were made by:

  • Cutting into a linoleum sheet with a sharp V-shaped knife.
  • The lino sheet was inked up with a roller, and then paper was placed carefully on top.
  • The lino on paper was fed through a printing press to create the finished print.

Although I had experience with lino printing before, the chine collé technique was completely new to me. Before the paper was placed on top, bits of cut tissue, paper or newspaper were affixed with spray mount. This simple step really changed the look of the prints and was great fun too!

As for the intaglio:

  • A sheet of acetate (clear plastic stuff) was engraved into with a pointed instrument.
  • Once the design was engraved, ink was rolled out next to the acetate, and spread evenly on with a piece of tough card.
  • Then the majority of the ink was scraped off with a piece of scrim, and the acetate was fed through the press with paper afterwards to create the finished product.

I hope you like the prints below and thanks for reading!

PLC Portfolio Life Drawings

Since there are a LOT of Tweedles in my PLC artwork, I thought I’d take a break from them. Instead, I’ve posted some of my works from life drawing classes, along with some of my still life drawings that didn’t contain Tweedles. Please click for a better view and enjoy!

PLC Portfolio Tweedle Still Life Drawings

Below are some of my pencil drawings from the PLC course. They were all based on real life observation, meaning that sculptures of Tweedles and clock parts were set up into position and drawn. These drawings were all made with artist pencils ranging from HB to 8B.

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Before the course, my Tweedle drawings were from imagination, but having created observation based drawings during it, I now have a better understanding of the way things should look. The way light and shadow fall play a big part in making objects look more realistic.

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By adding the reflections of metal objects and focusing on the creases and folds in cloth I can make my Tweedle characters much more believable.

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I hope you enjoy this week’s drawings and thanks for reading!

PLC Portfolio Paintings

For the next few posts, I’ll will be showing you some of my portfolio work from my PLC course. I thought I’d start with my paintings. The first two are currently on display at the ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ exhibition at Colaiste Stiofan Naofa (Tramore Road, Cork City, Co. Cork) and the other two were my other finished paintings that I made during the year.

I think I must be obsessed with my Tweedles now as they seem to be a common theme in my PLC artwork! They’ve become a lot more defined and real since the one I first dream up in my drawing over a year ago.

Please click on the images below to get a better view and I hope you like them!

 

Tweedles – Generation Two

As I promised last week, here’s the next series of Tweedles. These ones were a bit more experimental; some are missing their face cloth, while some have much larger eyes than those of the previous generation. They were all created by making a basic wire skeleton, and twisting the outer layer of wire around the skeleton. As always, each tweedle is completely unique  and has their own characteristics and personality.Tweedles gen2 2 Tweedles gen2 3 Tweedles gen2 4 Tweedles gen2 5 Tweedles gen2 6 Tweedles gen2 7 Tweedles gen2 8 Tweedles gen2 9

I took a photo of one of the tweedles lying flat in the palm of my hand to give an indication of the scale of the sculptures. I hope you enjoy these photos and thanks for reading.IMG_6461 - Copy

Hatmaking and College Results

Since college I’ve been taking a bit of a break from my usual art. As you may know from my last post I’ve been working on my book. As for the tweedles, I’m one tweedle away from completing another generation of them. Since there were eight in the last generation, I’ll stick to that number for this one.

Anyhow, today I wanted to post something completely different. Recently to pass the time, I’ve been converting a straw hat into my own personalized top hat. It’s not quite finished yet but here’s what I have so far:

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Next week I’ll be posting the photos of my new tweedles, but after that I think I can safely post photos of my portfolio because the assessment is complete and I’ve received my results now, which I’ve posted below.

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(WIP) Book Excerpt from ‘Skycry’

It’s much more difficult to get back into blogging for me than I thought. I’ve been so caught up with the end of the PLC course, making things and writing my story that I’ve completely forgotten to add anything on here for a while!! So, today I thought I’d add some more of my story to this blog.

The story only exists in my head at the moment, and I’ve only got 38 pages written so far. I’ve realized that I am a fairly slow writer so it may take a long time for me to entirely finish writing and editing. My artwork is both the inspiration for my story and is also inspired by my story, so the creative process for both writing and art is cyclical.

Anyhow, here’s an excerpt from my novel-in-progress, ‘Skycry’. It is still a work-in-progress and may change as I edit and rewrite, but I’d love to see what you think of it so far. All comments and criticism are very welcome here.

. . .

A Tweedle scampered as best it could along the damp gutters, dragging a bag of cogs and clockwork behind it. Passers by unknowingly splashed the Tweedle repeatedly. This wouldn’t have been much of a problem if it wasn’t for the presence of a nearby policeman, who caught the streetlights’ reflection on the wet metal Tweedle.

The policeman immediately reached down to grab the Tweedle, but his hand missed as the creature ran, spilling its cogs as it sprinted. The policeman ran after the creature, pushing his way through the crowd. Reaching again, he grasped its arm.

Fortunately, the wet weather was causing its arms to rust, and just when the policeman was about to crush the Tweedle, its arm snapped off. The Tweedle fell onto the pavement and jumped down a gutter chute that led to the lower levels of the city.

As the Tweedle tumbled downwards it banged against the many miniature waterwheels that lined the chutes. It finally landed, three-storeys above the ground level.

Battered and broken, the Tweedle got up and limped towards a wastebin. With its remaining hand, it cut a little hole in the bottom of the bin so that some waste poured out. Among old food wrappers, cardboard and smashed glass, the Tweedle found a few components of a scrap kettle. Using its foot to help grip some of the pieces, it started to construct a new arm for itself. Wires, plastic and parts of a heating element where crafted into basic pistons and a crude claw. It wrapped the new arm into position with some remaining wire.

Now that the Tweedle had repaired itself, it just sat there, stuck in thought.

Renfred and his revolutionaries built Tweedles to be their servants; the brain cells that were connected to the computer components of the ravens made Tweedles intelligent, but it also meant that Tweedles experienced an unintended side effect: they could feel emotions.

As a result, Tweedles are emotionally attached to their masters. When a Tweedle fails the mission assigned to it by its masters, they become full of guilt, shame and despair. Its life feels meaningless to it. They have failed at the very thing they were built for and they don’t want to disappoint their masters. Unable to fully deal with the emotions provided by their artificially grown brain cells, Tweedles then become unstable.

This Tweedle was no exception. It was broken and alone. It could not reach its master in time. It had no function anymore. At this point most Tweedles would have just shut down or dismantled themselves, but this particular Tweedle didn’t know what to do.

It broke free of its thoughtful trance and realised that it was no longer useful to its master.

Not quite sure what to do with this newfound freedom, the Tweedle just wandered down the quiet street. Dozens of bridges above blocked off most of the natural light, so the street was illuminated only by a series of green lights that ran along the walls either side.

As the Tweedle proceeded down the street, it heard a muffled noise through one of the walls. A door opened and with it came the clatter of cutlery and crockery, and a cacophony of conversations. Two creatures walked out of the door; one was human and the other was humanoid, but its arms and legs were disproportionately longer than the rest of its scaly body. Both of them held teacups, which they left on a boarded up windowsill before skipping joyfully down the street. With wonder and curiosity, the Tweedle rushed through the door before it closed.

The room was large. Feet moved all around. Tables were surrounded by all kinds of people and creatures. A shouting bartender competed to be heard against the upbeat music that blasted from some loudspeakers. “Special Teas Are Our Specialty! We’ve got Chai tea! Oooolong tea! Ginseng tea! Mint Tea! Red tea! Black tea, Brown tea, Green-tea-blue-tea-yellow-tea-new-tea-old-tea…!” The bartender’s words were now like to those of a hyperactive auctioneer. Eager queues of people were fighting for the next cup of tea, waving teacups at the bartender as he filled them for them.

A man on the other side of the room rested against the wall with his arms folded. The brim of the hat he was wearing cast a shadow that concealed his eyes as they pierced through the bustling crowd, watching the confused Tweedle carefully.

The man pushed himself off the wall and took five steps forward, and then three back to avoid a customer who was rushing to get more tea. He awkwardly moved through the crowd, side-stepping and hopping in what appeared to be more a dance than ordinary walking. He stopped in front of the Tweedle and looked down at it.

He lifted his hat to reveal a face that looked no older than twenty five, yet his eyes were slightly foggy, as if they were older than he was.

He knelt and opened his palm. “Come with me.” The Tweedle backed away. “Don’t be shy! I’m not going to hurt you.” he smiled. It hesitated and then jumped onto his hand. He carefully carried it, with his hands cupped, through the crowd and into his office. He opened his hands and let it jump out onto a shelf.

The man gestured towards a small crack in the wall just above the shelf, and then he sat at the office desk in a revolving seat. He flicked a switch under his desk, a panel in the desk opened containing a cup of tea which he sipped. “Walk through the hole. You’ll find some friends in there.”

The Tweedle peered through the hole. The space in the wall was lit up by very weak lights and it was crammed with small furniture. If the space had been given walls and a roof, it could easily be mistaken for a dollhouse.

Staring back at the Tweedle were other Tweedles, also with injuries of their own; shattered legs, damaged arms and a few with their faces removed to reveal the insides of their heads. These strange Tweedles wore hooded robes, made from thin pieces of cloth. The group hummed at the Tweedle and threw a piece of red fabric in front of it. The Tweedle picked up the fabric and returned out of the hole, puzzled, waving it at the man in the hat.

“I’m guessing you’re new to the whole freedom thing. I think you’re supposed to wear the cloth. It’s yours to keep or modify or… do whatever you want with. You’re one of them now. You’re not some slave anymore. You can own things now. You can be whatever you want to be, even if you haven’t a clue what that is yet.”

 

©Daniel Forrest Smith, 2014
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