Sunday, 26 April 2009

cool new font?

This graphic designer in Victoria, Australia, has spent months searching for characters on Google maps - in this sense

This beats trying to catch a picture of your neighbour coming out of a sex shop in the street view  version. The landscape is very different to anything I'm used to, and the topography from the air seems to lend itself to finding letters in the midst of barren plains. Devon, where I grew up, would probably look like a 3-D brain scan - lots of rounded hillocks and intricate winding valleys? In Victoria, however, the openness seems to inspire people to create F-shaped windbreaks with tall trees, and there are quite a few airstrips, handy for Xs and As. Oh, and the artist's called Rhett. What's not to like?

I'm notorious amongst a set of my friends for once refusing to eat in a restaurant that used the Jokerman font for its menu. My reasoning: anywhere going for such a cliche to advertise their "Mexican" food was probably going to be opening up tins of salsa and refried beans out in the kitchen, if the same level of thought went into the food.

Friday, 24 April 2009

marketing fail

Until this afternoon I had never seen a Wesley Owen bookstore. I'd had lunch with a friend in a restaurant just round the corner from one, so we went in for a look round. I don't know if it was because I'd been warned I might find the stock a little too twee/fluffy/cringemaking/fundamentalist for my taste, but the first shelf label that caught my eye as I let go of the front door was "Dated Bible Study Guides". 

Yeah, I know they meant guides to be used for this season, or the next quarter.

We also discovered a shelf labelled "White Bibles". Kind of reminded me of British Rail's "blue days" in one of their arcane ticketing classifications back when I was an undergrad (and had to listen to other undergrads in more trendy subjects like philosophy saying things like, "Kantian category error, surely?"). 

This may be my first ever trip to a bookstore where I didn't buy anything.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

new draft and the fragility of the writing impulse

OK, that maybe came out a bit more pretentious than I meant... today I managed to redraft my final assignment for the OU, due in next week. That was my first bit of writing in a couple of weeks. Writing seems to happen in blocks for me: a fertile time, then a period where I don't consciously think of myself as "blocked" but do other things. In some of the fertile times I can write thousands of words every day for weeks on end, even if I have other things like A Job to do. Then it can stop. And stay stopped.

Painting, on the other hand, is very much a struggle against almost always feeling blocked and unworthy and rubbish and too tired and ... yet at the moment I am successfully making myself draw every week or so, which sounds like nothing but is a big improvement on much of the time I was working for Big Corporation Plc.

This last period of not-writing coincided with the assignments not being that inspiring to me, and with a surge of revision for Greek.

Monday, 20 April 2009

writing hiatus

I haven't managed to engage much with the final block of the OU course. Several reasons:

  • lots of the exercises seem to be about writing and re-writing, and re-writing, the beginning of the piece required for the final assignment - I have this aversion to hacking away at it for weeks on end, wanting to keep it fresh.
  • I'm busy with other stuff, most notably revising for the Greek exam - and some of the newer tenses and participles (Greek has a LOT of these!) are beginning to look familiar
  • it's a bit quiet on the online forum - there's an obvious solution to that involving ME posting more stuff: pieces of my own, responding to feedback requests, etc.

I am starting to notice more about novel construction when I am reading, though. Then again, maybe that is making me feel less confident about ever being as good as the average novelist.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

More church drawing

I went back to the church this week to take pictures for its website and do some more drawing. There is a lot of ornate carving in this church, and I am working on a set of pencil drawings of the finials to the choir stalls: saints, angels and evangelists all feature. I am getting to know the styles of one or two of the carvers: they carve feathers in noticeably different ways. Even if I sang in the choir, I would probably never know that, as I would be unlikely to look at other people's armrests even during the breaks in the music.

This drawing is of the lectern: not an unusual concept, an eagle holding up the book support. I think eagle == one of the four symbols for the Evangelists, in this case John, which in turn come from the book of Revelation - yes, here it is: Rev 4:7