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Fruit head guy

Twitter tells me it’s Giuseppe Arcimboldo‘s birthday. You know, the fruit head guy. I always thought his stuff was super creepy. I literally recalled his name by going to Google and typing “fruit head painter”.

I got a notification from Twitter earlier that “Your Chickens have tweeted for the first time in a long time.” Turns out Your Chickens is a magazine.

Anyhoo! Anybody here use CBD oil? I have a friend back in the States strongly recommending it for my elderly cat. To improve her (probably) kitty arthritis and general quality of life. It hurts to watch her walk now.

I spent hours Googling around to find if CBD is legal to import to the UK. Turns out, legal to own, but not so much to import. Modern Britain is stuff full of ambiguous laws and I live in fear of tripping over one and getting my elderly ass deported.

Anyway, one of our major vitamin chains carries it, so that’s alright. But I know nothing of dosages or effectiveness or difference in brands.

I’m tempted to dismiss it as snake oil, I get so much hyperbolic spam about it. But too many people I know personally swear it’s done a world of good for their animals.

July 11, 2018 — 9:43 pm
Comments: 12

Huh.

So, I was talking to an arty friend today about printmaking, and how I was taking an interest again. And she’s all, like, “Oh! You must go to the current show at Rye Art Gallery. It’s by a printmaker named Norman Ackroyd.”

No lie. Look at the image they’re advertising it with.

Weird coincidence? Maybe I saw the ad somewhere and didn’t consciously remember…?

I dunno.

And I missed it!

June 13, 2018 — 10:32 pm
Comments: 4

Oh, I like this

Norman Ackroyd. I like his stuff.

He’s a printmaker who works mainly in mezzotint — a kind of etching where you essentially ‘rough up’ the plate to hold ink in shades of gray. I found him on YouTube when I was looking for techniques of inking plates. With intaglio, that’s the hard part — inking up the plate.

Surface prints, like wood or linoleum cuts, you run an inky roller over the surface for the black and the stuff you’ve cut away are the whites. Easy peasy. Kind of.

Intaglio, where lines are etched or engraved into a plate, you have to force the ink down into those lines for the darks, then wipe it off the surface for the lights. This is tricky as hell. Wipe too much, and you pull the link out of the lines. Don’t wipe enough and the print looks dirty.

You ink up, then you wipe and wipe and wipe, usually with wipery things that aren’t very absorbent. Inky rags, starched muslin, newsprint. It’s what gives intaglio that soft, dream-like quality sometimes. (Ackryod’s technique is the fastest I’ve ever seen, btw).

Properly done, every print is exactly like every other in the run. When the plate starts to deteriorate (because of all the wiping and pressing) and the last print doesn’t look like the first, you halt the series, ruin the plate (by gouging a line through it, for example) and pull a print with the ruined plate. It’s so hard to do a whole run to a proper standard, even seasoned printmakers usually hire a professional pressman.

That’s the tradition, and traditional traditionalists are super strict about it. I’m beginning to question how traditionalist I am.

June 12, 2018 — 10:18 pm
Comments: 11

Cut!

Linocut fun.

I took a nap so deep this afternoon, I woke up thinking it was tomorrow morning. I got up, brushed fang, got dressed, let the chickens out and made a cup of coffee before I realized…the dishwasher hadn’t been loaded. And I couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried, remember having supper the night before (it’s steak night! Who forgets a good steak?).

No, I had not been drinking.

It was only when I sat down at the computer, called up the clock and saw it was 8 pm that I realized my mistake. Honestly, I thought something horrible had happened to my brain. It’s almost 11 now, and I’m not sure I’m over it.

I bet I don’t sleep tonight…

May 31, 2018 — 9:54 pm
Comments: 13

He’s alright, folks. Really.

The Diversity and Comics guy — the one crowdfunding his own comic — is now up to $321,035 of the $5,000 he was asking for. The campaign for the actual comic ended weeks ago; the additional money will go toward starting his own publishing company, because the company that was going to publish his book backed out under dark circumstances. It’s a delightful internet drama, with lawsuits and everything. Look it up if you like that sort of thing.

His new company will be called Splatto Comics, and the origin is as follows.

America Chavez was a truly awful Marvel comic book. It’s been cancelled now (phew!) but Zack (the Diversity and Comics guy, not his real name) has often said that roasting issues of America is what made his channel. The whole run was a badly written, badly drawn heaping helping of clumsy SJW bullshit.


In one memorable panel (pictured here), a young America Chavez attempts to make friends with a dead cat. In the comic, it is blue and, as you can see, it has tire tracks up to and over it.

It was just so hilariously off-putting and wrong. The idea, the art — nothing but cringe. Zack dubbed the cat “Splatto del Gato” (America was full of pidgin Spanish, y’see) and a cheery blue cat with a tire track rakishly crossing one eye became the mascot for his channel.

And now for his company.

Much fan art was made. This one is mine. Sadly, I was not chosen for the official logo — this one was. Was it because I forgot to make him blue?

Have a lovely weekend, everyone. Our annual round of Summer fetes and festivals begins tomorrow…!

May 25, 2018 — 8:32 pm
Comments: 15

I don’t own this one…

The collectible statue business is no joke. This bad boy, for example, will put you back upwards of $700.

It’s big, it’s some kind of resin, it’s beautifully handpainted and it’s in an edition of less than a thousand.

Is this the tippy top of the collectible statue market? No idea. Too rich for my blood. I wonder how much of the price is licensing rights from the intellectual property owners…?

Have a good weekend, y’awl.

May 11, 2018 — 7:39 pm
Comments: 11

Apparently, I bought one of these

Huh. This arrived today. I’d forgotten I ordered it. It’s probably the most Japanese thing I’ve ever bought.

It’s a teeny, tiny artist’s mannequin. It comes with seventeen different hands, two tiny cellphones, a tiny laptop computer and a tiny sumurai sword. By tiny, the whole dude is like 4″ high.

Sadly, the instructions are in Japanese, so I’m struggling. Yes, yes…I know it all should be terribly obvious, but this is Japanese technology we’re talking.

Manufacturer here. No, I didn’t pay anything like that for it (if you want one, check eBay).

Fair warning: if you communicate with them even once, they will try to sell you something every day of your life, forever. Even after you’ve bought one. They’re like the LinkedIn of tiny plastic Japanese artists’ models.

May 9, 2018 — 9:54 pm
Comments: 5

Ummm…

I have to clean some old wax seals for work. It’s tiny, fiddly work. “Woot!” thinks I, “my chance buy some new tiny, fiddly tools!”

Somewhere around here, I’ve got a student dissection kit (eh, you know me…I never dissected anything more sentient than fridge mold. I just love me some weenus little tools). Can’t find it, but they’re cheap enough.

Holy shit, my people, do not be searching for surgical instruments on eBay. Because they’re there.

Cat spay kits. Dental implant bone grafting instruments. Urethral dilators.

Who is buying this shit? And why? Don’t tell me clinics and med schools are buying their instruments used on eBay. Are they?

p.s. Don’t actually click those links. I’m just giving my bona fides.

p.p.s. The collection in the picture this one. I might actually bid on this one if it doesn’t go too high. Some of those instruments look pretty useful (and some of them are an enigma wrapped in a cringe).

April 24, 2018 — 8:36 pm
Comments: 11

Pssst…hey, kid! You like comics?

I still have a lingering interest in comics (eh, I’m a illustrator. If I try hard enough, I can make that sound like something other than arrested development). I haven’t really said anything about the ongoing shitstorm known by the highly original moniker Comics Gate. If you care about comics, you know already. If you don’t care, you don’t care.

Synopsis: SJW’s attempt to take over and destroy yet another industry beloved of dudebros. They managed the takeover pretty well (most strikingly at Marvel comics) and they very nearly managed the ruin, but there was pushback.

One of the most effective pusher-backers is some guy calling himself Zack. Beginning about a year ago, he began making a couple of videos a day talking about comics. They have no scripting and lousy production values and are just him rambling over a shot of his knee with a comic on it. He’s a nobody who works in IT and clearly loves comics and — oh my god, it’s making the right people so crazy — he’s been the most effective in rallying opposition.

Honestly, click the link above and watch a few. He’s become my favorite congenial background noise for a boring job. I think he would be fun whether you read comics or not.

A couple of weeks ago, he fired up an Indiegogo to fund his own graphic novel. He’s been writing comics for years and he’s flogging the money to hire professional talent to do the art. He initially asked for $5,000 – a sum he managed to raise in minutes. As of five minutes ago, it’s up to $67,525, with two weeks left to go. It’s become something of a popular uprising.

Have a look. Back it if it you’re interested (the comic will go on sale in regular comic stores for a regular price after the launch in October). Watch some of his videos (particularly some of the earlier ones) if you want an idea of what’s been going on.


Then come back here, tomorrow, 6WBT for Dead Pool Round 108. (Remember: Weasel Blog Time does not observe British Summer Time).

April 19, 2018 — 8:48 pm
Comments: 13

Aw, yiss…

Well. I knew Reeves was a British art material company, but I had no idea it was so old until this 18th Century watercolor box turned up on eBay. Do check out the pictures — it’s very nearly complete. It’s got untouched cake watercolors with a pattern stamped in them, it’s got all but one of the porcelain mixing dishes, and most of the printed ephemera. The neato engraving above is inside the lid (splattered with paint).

It’s also £500, but I don’t actually want it. This kind of thing belongs in a museum, not a working studio. I wasn’t looking for a paint box, I was looking for a writing slope that I can use for a paint box — hopefully, one that comes pre-battered. As you might imagine, very cool antiques turn up here on the regular and it’s nothing special.

Stupid, the Reeves website doesn’t say anything at all about the company history, that I could find (though it does have a cool front page animation). I had to go to some other art supply site to find “REEVES WAS FOUNDED IN 1766 AT A TIME WHEN ART WAS SYNONYMOUS WITH TRADITION AND WERE A BRAND THAT CHAMPIONED CREATIVITY. WILLIAM REEVES’ OPENED HIS FIRST SHOP CLOSE TO ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL IN LONDON, AND THE COMPANY REMAINS AS PASSIONATE ABOUT ART MATERIALS TODAY AS IT WAS WHEN IT WAS FIRST ESTABLISHED OVER 200 YEARS AGO.”

The site goes on to say the original Reeves made his fortune when he invented the moist watercolor. I don’t know what that means. Tubes?

April 11, 2018 — 9:07 pm
Comments: 4