Apr 29 2010

Don’t Drink The Water – #27

Come out come out
No use in hiding
Come now come now
Can you not see?
There’s no place here
What were you expecting
Not room for both
Just room for me
So you will lay your arms down
Yes I will call this home

Away away
You have been banished
Your land is gone
And given me
And here I will spread my wings
Yes I will call this home
What’s this you say
You feel a right to remain
Then stay and I will bury you
What’s that you say
Your father’s spirit still lives in this place
I will silence you

Here’s the hitch
Your horse is leaving
Don’t miss your boat
It’s leaving now
And as you go I will spread my wings
Yes I will call this home
I have no time to justify to you
Fool you’re blind, move aside for me
All I can say to you my new neighbor
Is you must move on or I will bury you

Now as I rest my feet by this fire
Those hands once warmed here
I have retired them
I can breathe my own air
I can sleep more soundly
Upon these poor souls
I’ll build heaven and call it home
‘Cause you’re all dead now
I live with my justice
I live with my greedy need
I live with no mercy
I live with my frenzied feeding
I live with my hatred
I live with my jealousy
I live with the notion
That I don’t need anyone but me
Don’t drink the water
There’s blood in the water

The song is Don’t Drink The Water by The Dave Matthews Band. I did a digital piece to the lyrics of this song a long time ago – probably ten years or so ago. One, if not the first, piece like this that I had done. This is my evolution of it. The original was black and white, and looked nothing like this. I have it on one of my old computer’s hard drives somewhere…I need to back them all up onto external hard drives.

If you click on the link above to the song, it goes to the official video that Dave Matthews made for the song. Today was the first time I’d ever seen it. I always thought these lyrics were great, and they are about a specific time period in history….but not really the one in the video.

Matthews said of the song: “There’s times when I’ve traveled around this fine country, and others, but this fine country, I remember one time standing at the edge of Llake Superior, up there, we were camping up on the northern side of it and looking out and imagining these little rocks that jut out, families of people going past in canoes and hunting on the side of the lake there, and also like if you sit and look at the Grand Canyon and get a little distance between you and that McDonald’s that’s peering down over the canyon with you, and just imagine the quiet that must have been there and the people that enjoyed it before we came, and I just get awed because it’s sort of an overwhelming feeling looking at those things just going, “Man does that suck, does it suck.” That you could erase somebody, ya know? Take somebody’s whole universe away. It’s just unbelievable for those people… just the fact that a little bit of our history has a lot of poison in it and that maybe we can’t reverse things but maybe pay a little tribute to it every once and a while.”

What a powerful song.

Photo credits:
BackgroundMartin Walls
Backgroundd-riginal
MaskStasi Albert
ManWise Wander
CityTimo Balk
Cliff Dwelling – Steve Faramelli


Apr 28 2010

Illustration Friday – Ahead (Time In A Bottle – #26)

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

This week’s Illustration Friday theme is Ahead.

Ahead can mean – toward the future; forward in time. So I chose the lyrics from the Jim Croce song Time In A Bottle to inspire this illustration. I’ve always loved this song (I think I say that with all of these, don’t I?).

And just like that, I’m at the halfway point pieces-wise! I set out a goal of 52 in a year, and this one makes number 26.

Photo credits:
BackgroundHilde Vanstraelen
BackgroundManu Mohan
BackgroundMatt Willmann
BottlePaul Barker
Younger Couplecjhallman
Older CoupleFarquois


Apr 28 2010

The stuff nightmares are made from…

I’m fascinated by the work of Zdzislaw Beksinski (1929-2005), a Polish surrealist who painted many strange, post-apocalyptic pieces. I love the atmosphere he creates – moody, spooky, dreamlike. In his later years he started to get into digital photo manipulation, but I find his paintings to be far better.


Apr 22 2010

Time – #25

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you’re older
And shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desparation is the English way
The time is gone the song is over, thought I’d something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away, across the field, tolling on the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
And hear the softly spoken magic spell

The song is Time, by Pink Floyd, off of the Dark Side Of The Moon album. I used to love this song in college, but I never really listened to the lyrics.

Now I get it.

Although, I would argue that sometimes you do need to sit around and fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way. Just not too long…life is short.

Photo credits:
ClocksBen Kersey
Backgroundh dunnink
BackgroundLuca Sorin


Apr 16 2010

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – #24

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she’s gone

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah -

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers
That grow so incredibly high

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore
Waiting to take you away
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds
And you’re gone

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah -

Picture yourself on a train in a station
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah -

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah -

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, oh
Lucy in the sky with diamonds

The song is Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, by The Beatles…again off of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

At the time of its release, the Beatles claimed that the inspiration for the song came from a drawing by John Lennon’s son, Julian, which Julian called “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. The song sparked controversy when released, including being banned by the BBC because of the supposed reference to the drug LSD, with the first letter of each noun in the title spelling LSD. Although Lennon denied that the L-S-D in the title was a reference to the drug, McCartney later said it was “pretty obvious” that the song was inspired by LSD.

According to the Beatles, one day in 1966 Lennon’s son, Julian, came home from nursery school with a drawing he said was of his classmate, Lucy O’Donnell (later, Lucy Vodden), whom Julian drew with diamond-shaped eyes. Showing the artwork to his father, young Julian described the picture as “Lucy — in the sky with diamonds”. Julian later said, “I don’t know why I called it that or why it stood out from all my other drawings, but I obviously had an affection for Lucy at that age. I used to show dad everything I’d built or painted at school, and this one sparked off the idea for a song about ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’”.
His son’s artwork appears to have inspired Lennon to draw heavily on his own childhood affection for Lewis Carroll’s “Wool and Water” chapter from Through the Looking-Glass. Carroll’s work has also been cited as an influence upon Lennon’s “I Am the Walrus” which refers to a character from Through the Looking-Glass and his two books, In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works. As well as Carroll, other influences on the song include popular skits on British radio comedy programme (The Goon Show) making references to “plasticine ties”, which showed up in the song as “Plasticine porters with looking glass ties”.

It’s interesting that there is also an Alice In Wonderland tie-in with this song. I had no idea there was when I did my last piece Within You Without You. Serendipity I guess.

Photo credits:
GirlJesse Therrien
KaleidoscopeAlessandro Paiva
LightsIrina Naumets
FaceJason Antony
BackgroundMichal Zacharzewski
FlowersMario Sanchez


Apr 15 2010

Illustration Friday – Linked (Within You Without You – #23)

We were talking
About the space between us all
And the people
Who hide themselves behind a wall
Of illusion
Never glimpse the truth
Then it’s far too late
When they pass away

We were talking
About the love we all could share
When we find it
To try our best to hold it there
With our love, with our love
We could save the world, if they only knew

Try to realize it’s all within yourself
No one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you

We were talking
About the love that’s gone so cold
And the people
Who gain the world and lose their soul
They don’t know
They can’t see
Are you one of them

When you’ve seen beyond yourself
Then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you

This week’s Illustration Friday topic is Linked. I chose The Beatles song Within You Without You to illustrate the topic. That’s number three from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…I’m on a roll with this one!

I think this piece works well with “linked,” as I think the song kind of talks about the connections we all share. If you’ve seen any of the Star Wars movies, they talk about the Force, and in one of the movies they explain it as “Midi-chlorians (also spelled “midi-clorians” or “midichlorians”) are a microorganism in the fictional Star Wars galaxy, first mentioned in The Phantom Menace. They are microscopic life-forms that reside within the cells of all living things and communicate with the Force. They are symbionts with all other living things and without them life could not exist.”

The lyrics kind of remind of me of this in a way.

It’s a very deep song, no doubt influenced by various narcotics and Buddhism. This song has always reminded me of Alice In Wonderland for some reason – probably because it sounds very trippy. I think of the “hookah smoking caterpillar” when I hear it, and thus the imagery I used.

Photo credits:
CaterpillarA. Carlos Herrera
MushroomPaul Kemp
BackgroundAlessandro Paiva
Cloudsulrikstoch
Texturethispe
UniverseTerry Standefer


Apr 9 2010

She’s Leaving Home – #22

Wednesday morning at five o’clock as the day begins
Silently closing her bedroom door
Leaving the note that she hoped would say more
She goes downstairs to the kitchen clutching her handkerchief
Quietly turning the backdoor key
Stepping outside she is free.

She (We gave her most of our lives)
is leaving (Sacrificed most of our lives)
home (We gave her everything money could buy)
She’s leaving home after living alone
For so many years. Bye, bye

Father snores as his wife gets into her dressing gown
Picks up the letter that’s lying there
Standing alone at the top of the stairs
She breaks down and cries to her husband Daddy our baby’s gone
Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly?
How could she do this to me?

She (We never thought of ourselves)
is leaving (Never a thought for ourselves)
home (We struggled hard all our lives to get by)
She’s leaving home after living alone
For so many years. Bye, bye

Friday morning at nine o’clock she is far away
Waiting to keep the appointment she made
Meeting a man from the motor trade.

She (What did we do that was wrong)
is having (We didn’t know it was wrong)
fun (Fun is the one thing that money can’t buy)
Something inside that was always denied
For so many years. Bye, bye
She’s leaving home. Bye, bye

Another one from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, She’s Leaving Home. This song is actually right before Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! – I love how this album’s songs transition into each other.

From Wikipedia:
Paul McCartney:

John and I wrote ‘She’s Leaving Home’ together. It was my inspiration. We’d seen a story in the newspaper about a young girl who’d left home and not been found, there were a lot of those at the time, and that was enough to give us a story line. So I started to get the lyrics: she slips out and leaves a note and then the parents wake up … It was rather poignant. I like it as a song, and when I showed it to John, he added the long sustained notes, and one of the nice things about the structure of the song is that it stays on those chords endlessly. Before that period in our song-writing we would have changed chords but it stays on the C chord. It really holds you. It’s a really nice little trick and I think it worked very well.
While I was showing that to John, he was doing the Greek chorus, the parents’ view: ‘We gave her most of our lives, we gave her everything money could buy.’ I think that may have been in the runaway story, it might have been a quote from the parents. Then there’s the famous little line about a man from the motor trade; people have since said that was Terry Doran, who was a friend who worked in a car showroom, but it was just fiction, like the sea captain in “Yellow Submarine”, they weren’t real people.

The newspaper story McCartney mentioned was from the front page of the Daily Mirror, about a girl named Melanie Coe. Although McCartney made up most of the content, Coe, who was 17 at the time claims that he got most of it right. Her parents wondered why she had left… “She has everything here.” In real life, Melanie did not “meet a man from the motor trade”, but instead a croupier, and left in the afternoon while her parents were at work. She was found ten days later because she had let slip where her boyfriend worked.

Coincidentally, Coe had met McCartney three years earlier when she was a contestant and prize winner on ITV’s Ready Steady Go!

When discussing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, composer Ned Rorem described “She’s Leaving Home” as “equal to any song that Schubert ever wrote.”

Photo credits:
Girldiego ortega d.
BackgroundCsaba J. Szabo
BackgroundYee Wong
LightsIrina Naumets
TreePaniti Marta
TextureLuca Sorin
TextureDavid Ritter


Apr 8 2010

Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! – #21

For the benefit of Mr. Kite
There will be a show tonight on trampoline
The Hendersons will all be there
Late of Pablo Fanques Fair – what a scene
Over men and horses hoops and garters
Lastly through a hogshead of real fire!
In this way Mr. K. will challenge the world!
The celebrated Mr. K.
Performs his feat on Saturday at Bishopsgate
The Hendersons will dance and sing
As Mr. Kite flies through the ring don’t be late
Messrs. K. and H. assure the public
Their production will be second to none
And of course Henry The Horse dances the waltz!

The band begins at ten to six
When Mr. K. performs his tricks without a sound
And Mr. H. will demonstrate
Ten summersets he’ll undertake on solid ground
Having been some days in preparation
A splendid time is guaranteed for all
And tonight Mr. Kite is topping the bill

It’s kind of hard to beat The Beatles…especially Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This is my favorite Beatles album, and quite possibly my top album of all-time. I think I could do a piece from every song on this album….maybe I will. The song of course is Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!

The lyrics were adapted almost word for word from an old circus poster which Lennon had bought at an antique shop in Kent the day the Beatles had been filming the promotional clip for Strawberry Fields Forever there.

I think this is the first piece I’ve done that actually comes very close to how I’ve always imagined the song.

Photo credits:
Circus TentAntonio Jiménez Alonso
LightsIrina Naumets
ForegroundKevin Lockheed


Apr 7 2010

Across The Universe – #20

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
They slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my open mind,
Possessing and caressing me.
Jai guru deva om
Nothing’s gonna change my world,
Nothing’s gonna change my world.

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes,
That call me on and on across the universe,
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box they
Tumble blindly as they make their way
Across the universe
Jai guru deva om
Nothing’s gonna change my world,
Nothing’s gonna change my world.

Sounds of laughter shades of earth are ringing
Through my open views inviting and inciting me
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a
Million suns, it calls me on and on
Across the universe
Jai guru deva om
Nothing’s gonna change my world,
Nothing’s gonna change my world.

It’s been far too long since I’ve done any pieces. We were on a spring vacation trip to Arizona, and last week was kind of spent getting back into the swing of things. I did talk to an artist in a gallery when I was in Tucson, who does very similar work to mine. I got some good info about printers from him. The good thing is I am still ahead of schedule, so I didn’t get behind. I technically should be on my 14th piece this week, and this is number 20. Last night on American Idol Siobhan Magnus sang “Across The Universe” (not the greatest rendition I’ve heard, but it’s hard to beat the original….Fionna Apple did a great version) by The Beatles, so I decided that would be a good song to do.

In his 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon referred to the song as perhaps the best, most poetic lyric he ever wrote. He also expressed pride in the metre of the main verses, commenting on how unique it was to his compositions and how he could not duplicate it.

Photo credits:
UniverseTerry Standefer
BackgroundZsolt Zatrok Dr.
TextureHilde Vanstraelen
TextureManu Mohan
BoxMatt Palmer