I have made a discovery this week. It wont be a discovery for many people but that’s what Arduino feels like to me. In fact, my friend and PhD supervisor Alison Gazzard told me about it. Open source electronics for developers, artists and anyone else interesting in making interactive objects and installations. My mind is enthusiastically running away with many ideas for projects which could be developed using this system. It could work very nicely for my projects Two Places I Call Home and A Collected History of Light for example. There are discussions afoot about the creation of an Arduino club in which Alison, myself and digital artist David Tree gather together to create interactive machines for art’s sake. I am rather looking forward to it.
I have started drawing again. There has been a year long pause since breaking my shoulder in a cycling mishap a year ago. But most Wednesday evenings now see me putting pencil and charcoal to paper again. Drawing brings a smile to my face and makes me deeply happy. It’s such a simple thing, quite focus, attentive observation and a balance between the two hemispheres of one’s mind. Beautiful.
I had wondered if my drawing would be rusty, but spending many hours a week teaching others to draw continues to improve my observational skills even when there is an enforced break.
I am delighted this week by the arrival of my new digital camera. Its a beautiful thing and I am having a lovely time with it hanging around my neck. I am snapping enthusiastically as I move through my days. There are so many lovely things to see. And the new camera makes the process of observation all the more enjoyable. I am looking forward to spending summer improving my technique.
I am working on a project this month in a local high school, helping their film club to complete their first animation projects. I spent yesterday setting up the process and was reminded once again of the sheer joy of animation. As we tested production pathways we did the most simple of animations a twirling pencil, a paper cut out, and some hand painted frames. So very simple and so very satisfying. I am looking forward to working with the students next week.
“Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash” by Giacomo Balla, 1912. As a child I was given a book called The Enchanted World, it was an eclectic collection of artists and the results of their imaginations. The painting above and the lion from Alexander Calder’s circus were the two images I loved the most. I think in observing this image, I had my first understanding of how time worked and how it could be represented visually. The animator in me still loves this painting.
What a joy it is to have friends who believe in you. I had a great conversation with a friend today about a project idea of mine, which is very beautiful but verging on mad impossibility. But, if it could work it would be an extraordinary achievement and an excellent excuse to work together. Sometimes you need the enthusiasm of someone else to remind yourself just how great you could be.