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It was going to be a few lightweight, funny weeks -- I had a great script lined up about gerbils -- but part of the thing of the weekly strip is that it's what I need to write this week. Brilliant ideas be damned, these strips are of the time, and this week I've not been in a joking mood. [distressing news stories, hovering over the link should tell you which ones, if you can't guess]

Initially I wasn't going to produce a strip at all this week, I was going to colour in a picture of the characters from The Company of Dead Poets, but I wasn't even feeling much like that. So instead I decided to try experimenting with combining the sequins I bought from Selfridges with artwork. (They had stocked them in the run up to Notting Hill Carnival; I found them on the day of the carnival, all on sale, surrounded by women on their knees, going through the tiny sparkling packets while their husbands stood by patiently, think I was the only white women there.)

I thought the glass pen with coloured ink was least likely to be overpowered by the sequins, and decided to use up a bundle of tiny slips of absorbant hand-made paper I'd gotten free with a pen. The first picture I drew was panel 8 of this week's strip. If you look at it closely, you can see that I changed the words. Originally it said, "if I start crying I will never stop"; but the lettering was scratchy and didn't say what I wanted it to. By the time I drew panel 2, I knew I was writing this week's strip whether I wanted to or no; and on panel 7, I found its name, refrain -- with the double meaning of chorus and stop; words you repeat again and again until the meaning is gone.

I'm still uncertain about the final panel. The words were going to be "but don't go blind from crying.", then "but don't go blind from it." before I settled on the final wording. I'm not altogether sure it's an improvement, but it is more refrain-like. It also scored the highest number of redraws (I can't pencil on this paper so it all has to be drawn directly freehand), second after panel 6.

Inks used are sandalwood, orange, lily-of-the-valley, lily, rose, musk and pine green. The linework is mostly sandalwood, with a little violet and calligraphy blue-black for emphasis.

Comments

( 39 worms — Feed the birds )
benchilada
9th Sep, 2004 06:34 (UTC)
It seems to have been one of those weeks all around...
Well done with the strip, though...
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 06:41 (UTC)
artists are lucky
there's always have something we can do.
badasstronaut
9th Sep, 2004 06:47 (UTC)
Wow. That brought me back to reality. I think you should frame and hang that page.
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 06:55 (UTC)
I think I'll put it in
as one of the pieces for the exhibition at Grrr.
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:07 (UTC)
missing comment from jinty about Grrr?
The answer to your question is yes, but possibly only for one night. Alexander Zograf got back to me, so that's OK now, but there's a conflict with work.
jinty
9th Sep, 2004 09:13 (UTC)
Re: missing comment from jinty about Grrr?
No, I didn't comment (yet) being a bit hectic at the moment and commenting a bit randomly. Was going to assume you were sending it in post / via Lee, actually... Glad to know you're going in fact, because a) beautiful exhibit piece (will you auction it or bring it back? If it's in next year's CAPTION auction I will be very tempted) and b) I think more people should know about you & yer stuff. But hey.
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:19 (UTC)
that's weird,
I got an email notification! ... it's all gone a bit random on when we're getting told about comments but I didn't expect to get notifications about comments not made yet!
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:21 (UTC)
and er,
I don't know. About the auction thing, I mean. Sasa's mailing me at the weekend but until then I am all questions and no answers about Grrr.
jinty
9th Sep, 2004 09:36 (UTC)
hmm. fallibly-prescient LJ.
Like Nostradamus; who'd've thunk it.

Nope, no comments from I to U apart from 2 days ago.
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:40 (UTC)
good grief
... and in typical fortean-stylee, I have already deleted the email message so have NO PROOF! I do however remember how it started:, "so, you're going then ..."
jinty
9th Sep, 2004 09:56 (UTC)
Re: good grief
that's really weird. I totally didn't write anything, not even in draft form in my own head.

(except in an alternate dimension, perhaps.)
jinty
9th Sep, 2004 10:02 (UTC)
mystery solved!
It's this comment on Andy's journal.

So, are you going? to London tomorrow I mean.
cleanskies
10th Sep, 2004 02:23 (UTC)
ooooooh
yes, yes I am. Are you?
jinty
10th Sep, 2004 02:34 (UTC)
ahhhh
yes, but I want to do lots of stuff in my house over the weekend so am planning to go, drink, stay not too late, & get back tonight to sleep in me own bed. Are you planning similarly or will you crash in London?
cleanskies
10th Sep, 2004 02:43 (UTC)
heck yes -- I mean, no, I'm not crashing
I have a busy-busy weekend too -- though I may stay at the pub till closing time, as that'll still give me plenty of tubes and buses.
jinty
10th Sep, 2004 03:20 (UTC)
LJ as social secretary
OK, sounds good. Meet you at Gloucester Green at say 5:30? Andy's not finishing work till 7 anyway.
cleanskies
10th Sep, 2004 05:18 (UTC)
oops!
Change of plan. I forgot that I'm heading in earlier, to do a chore. I'll see you at the pub when you get there, if that's OK.
tinyjo
9th Sep, 2004 06:54 (UTC)
Lovely. In the most serious of senses.
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:05 (UTC)
thankyou.
greengolux
9th Sep, 2004 07:38 (UTC)
This makes me think of the concept of 'bearing witness'. It's something that my mum taught me about. It was originally a Quaker thing and it's one of the reasons I do the things I do with Greenpeace. Watching and noticing and bearing witness to what happens is a powerful thing. Even when we can't do anything else, we can do that. Yeah.
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:10 (UTC)
I agree
... even to something as trivial as a fight in the street, someone paying attention can make a difference; and so much more so on environmental or social outrages which rely upon people not noticing or turning a blind eye.
rhubarbfool
9th Sep, 2004 07:44 (UTC)
This resonated with
lyrics from the Kristen Hersh song Dirty Answer (1st track on this album) specifically the lines
"i don't judge people, i just watch them 'til it's time to look away. i want to look away now."
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:11 (UTC)
I'll have to
track it down. Thanks for that ...
marstokyo
9th Sep, 2004 08:09 (UTC)
You've surpassed yourself yet again!
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:12 (UTC)
thanks,
from you that really menas a lot
(Deleted comment)
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:13 (UTC)
um, yes, they actually do
the scents as described. I've been wondering what to send you as a thankyou for the beautiful zines (I really liked Concrete, but they were all great) -- maybe you'd like some scented ink?
(Deleted comment)
cleanskies
13th Sep, 2004 09:24 (UTC)
may even be the same inks
... the guy in the shop goes regularly to Paris and Rome to fetch more (shamefully indulgent) stock. It's such a strange little shop

and you're getting a thankyou whether you need one or not, so there ;)
crazycrone
9th Sep, 2004 09:10 (UTC)
God, That's Good...
Yes, definitely bring it to GRRR! Boy, that one's really pushed all my buttons...
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:16 (UTC)
thanks,
... I was thinking I needed more colour work (most of the originals are still black and white)

em, I'm back in contact with Sasa again and he's talking about bringing stuff -- 10-20 pieces, for an exhibition? What was it like last year? Should I bring stuff in plastic sleeves or what do you know?
crazycrone
9th Sep, 2004 16:26 (UTC)
Re: thanks,
No need for sleeves, unless you want to, just bring stuff, originals, if at all possible, and they do the rest. Everything was really nicely presented, and the gallery is really bright and pleasant. When are you going? I'm going from the 27th, returning on the 7th. There's lots to see in Belgrade. (Have you seen the guide book I sent to CAPTION?
cleanskies
10th Sep, 2004 02:34 (UTC)
I've got the guide book, but
there's this *situation* at work. The words "three-line-whip" and "absolutely no leave" have been mentioned. I'm still trying to get my head around the exact days I can make, but it may well only be the weekend. Sasa has suggested that you might bring my artwork with you? Would that be OK? My stuff is quite small, so it shouldn't be much of an addition.

We could arrange to meet up in London for exchange of items, maybe?
crazycrone
10th Sep, 2004 05:12 (UTC)
Re: I've got the guide book, but
Yeah, I can take the stuff if it must be, but how dare 'they' tell you when you can have leave? Fap!It's not like you're military police, or something. Try to be there on the 4th, at least for the excursion to the 'village of naive artists' (Kovacica-itz in the book-)
cleanskies
10th Sep, 2004 05:16 (UTC)
I won't be able to head out early
So it would be really helpful if you can take my stuff.

The real problem date is the 4th, but I'm doing my best to wriggle ... my boss is away at the moment, which complicates things. I may try appealing to her better nature when she gets back.
nacowafer
9th Sep, 2004 09:32 (UTC)
Wow. Just beautiful. Very moving. And thank you.
cleanskies
9th Sep, 2004 09:55 (UTC)
thanks
jinxremoving
9th Sep, 2004 10:51 (UTC)
that's beautiful.
cleanskies
10th Sep, 2004 02:31 (UTC)
thankyou
*sigh*

Beautiful out of ugly ...
(Anonymous)
9th Sep, 2004 17:08 (UTC)
Your last post
It resonates deeply with me too Jeremy.

Would you like to join the new ring, Illustrated Blogs, started by Vitriolica? I'm in it , so is Dem, so's MarsTokyo and more are coming in. Details are here:
http://www.unkemptwomen.com/b2evolution/BImain.php

Hope you do join.
Natalie/Augustine
http://www.nataliedarbeloff.com/blaugustine.html
cleanskies
10th Sep, 2004 02:40 (UTC)
thanks for the heads-up about that
I shall head over and check it out.

.. and I shall maybe be posting a naked blogger picture, too ! ... though it's a bit of cheat for me as I often blog from bed ...

Thankyou
( 39 worms — Feed the birds )