Wednesday, 28 October 2009

George is finished!

Seriously! I managed to remove myself from the depths of my bed for half an hour today to finish George. I feel more ill than I have in a long time, and I'm preparing for an almighty crash next week, but George is finished, and makes a statement, and that is all that matters right now. I am so happy to have actually managed this!

He will spend the next 24 hours drying, then he will be wrapped up in bubble wrap before returning to base on Thursday. Got some paperwork to do in the next few days too...

Photos? Alright ;)

Just after I'd finished the 2 coats of varnish.

Poor quality from my phone, but my Dad decided to take the door off to remove George, to avoid anymore damage to paintwork. On the door that is...

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Nearly Finished!

Well, the last few days have been manic.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were spent making sure all the text was finished, as well as the highlights on the feet, and the eyes.

On Sunday I had a few last minute touching up bits to do, and today the first coat of varnish went on. Tomorrow will hopefully see the second coat of varnish go on, and then he should be dry in time to be returned to base on Thursday. Most of the photos at this stage are very same-y, just showing the painting of the letters, but here's a few of the latest anyway!

Lettering finished, and half way through painting eyes. (Do you like how 99% of my photos are taken at night?!)

The finished eyes, altho I think they still needed neatening at this stage. I decided against the eyebrows, as the only penguins that have eyebrows are the ones that have the huge yellow eyebrows, and I thought he'd look stern with black ones :) I'm aware the eyes don't quite look forward enough when you stand in front of him, but I thought they'd look odd from the side if they went any further forward, verging on cross-eyed, so this made sense!

The back at this stage.

After first coat of varnish today:

I've also hopefully going to the Lady Lever Art Gallery on Friday to meet with the people behind the scenes of this, which I'm excited about!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Long time...

Well, progress has been incredibly slow the past week or two due to pain, fatigue, blah blah blah... Then the other night I realised that I need to have all the painting done this weekend, so it's been a crazy 2 days!

DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE AN INVI is now finished, touched up, everything. SIBLE has 2 coats, but needs touching up, and DISABILITY has one coat. Tomorrow will see the text finished. Today I also added shading to the beak and feet, and tomorrow will see George given some reddy-brown eyes at long last! I wanted him to have either blue eyes, or green-brown, but red-brown is the more common colour for penguins (apparently!), so it seems only right! I think the shading and iris details is what elevates him from a simple penguin anyone could paint to somepenguin with more class :)

In the aforementioned state, now raised on a table for ease of painting lower down.

His stamp of authenticity, craftsmanship and ownership!

Shading on his beak. (Interestingly you can also see his eyebrow shapes in the picture, not too sure what I'm doing with them. Don't really want him to have black eyebrows, so might just leave them white... We'll see!)

Shading on his feet. The tips of his "toes" have a paler orange, with a deeper orange between the "toes". Really enjoyed this shading actually, much preferable to big blocks of colour and intricate letters!

So painting should be finished tomorrow, and the varnishing can begin! Assuming I have enough varnish, especially with the crack in one of the jars...!

Saturday, 17 October 2009


At this moment in time, "DO I LOOK LIKE" has had 2 coats of paint and been tidied. "I HAVE" has had one coat of paint, and "AN" is ready to be painted...

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Happening slowly...

Well, today I got the letter "D" finished. 2 coats white, and then touching up the edges. Just got "O I LOOK LIKE I'VE GOT AN INVISIBLE DISABILITY?" left to go...

Progress, right? Just a shame my body is giving up...

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Go Penguins

Today has been another busy day. On my way to bed last night I got a second coat painted on the feet, and a third coat painted on the beak. Today I got the third coat on the feet, and the second layer of black, and then have peeled the letters of ready for further painting. All the block colours are now done, and after the letters have been filled in, merely touching up and details will remain before varnishing.

Final layers of painting done:

Starting to peel the letters off:

Letters all removed:

Just got to tidy the letters up now before I can paint them :)
Adding some shading to the beak... Needs to be improved, and will do the same to the feet too :)

And my original designs:


Well, George is coming along nicely, tho I've been taking it easy the last couple of days. Turns out my deadline is a week later than I thought it was (argh brain fog!) so I needn't have pushed myself so hard last week... Which, of course, I am now suffering the consequences of, and so gotta pace myself better now.... Pretty much just gotta paint the letters in 2 weeks tho, and then varnish in the last week, so doable as long as I look after myself :)

Photos? Alright...

Scratching off the black where it'd oozed into the letters => the first ever penguin dandruff.

Painting in the letters...

This will be so much easier when I'm lower down and can sit on the floor!

Part of me wishes I'd done it differently. I love how the unpainted letters look with the white, almost 2 tones so it blends in much more, and if I could do something similar with the black it would be cool. But it makes more of a statement this way, and I think that's important.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Go Penguins

Currently, I'm doing something slightly unusual to help raise awareness of ME and invisible disabilities in general.

Some of you may know that 2008 was Liverpool's Capital of Culture, and this was marked by all sorts of events taking place in the city all year. One such even was Go Superlambananas, which involved mini Superlambananas being decorated and posted round the city. I sadly wasn't well enough to be involved in this due to glandular fever. To follow on from this highly successful event, this winter Liverpool (and the surrounding area) is being taken over by Penguins, creating a Winter Wonderland, under the initiative Go Penguins, created by Wild in Art. Check out:

Artists and the community were given the opportunity to submit designs, with the hope of being chosen to create the design on a penguin. I, of course, jumped at this opportunity, and I knew straight away I wanted to make a statement about ME. All ME sufferers have been through the battles of not being believed because "you don't look sick", and they all know that infamous phrase, "you look well today!" Well I wanted to challenge these perceptions, and make people realise that you really can't judge by appearances - you never know what is going on underneath the surface.

My problem was, I wanted to make this penguin look "normal", but I needed it to stand out as having ME too! Obviously, the ironic issue for me here was that ME is invisible, and therefore there was no obvious solution. So what did I come up with? The penguin looks normal - black and white, beak and wings. There are no differences. There is just one very thought provoking question wrapped round the penguin, "Do I look like I have an invisible disability?"

I submitted my design, and was fortunate enough to have mine chosen, sponsored by the Lady Lever Art Gallery on the Wirral! This is thrilling for me, that my local art gallery has chosen to display my art work!

But it wasn't until me and my Dad arrived at the warehouse to collect the penguin did I realise the scale of the task I had taken on. This penguin was nearly as tall as me, at 1.5m high, and we nearly had to take the doors off to fit it in our house (don't look too closely at out paintwork anymore!) at 75cm wide...

I have 3 weeks to paint my design onto it, varnish it, and get it back to the organisers. It's going to be tough going, working it round trying to manage my ME, and completing it on a tight time scale. But it shows that ME sufferers are not lazy, and we want to make people realise this is a serious illness.

I am taking regular rest breaks, and working painting the penguin round my best times of day (mid afternoon and middle of the night!), grr at ME!

Anyway, I want to show the penguin from start to finish.

Photos from the day of collection, Tuesday 6th October.

The warehouse where many artists are painting:

Penguins waiting for collection:

Taking over Dad's car:

In front of our house, having a wipe down!

Penguin love :) I should inform you his name is George...

Penguin and paints:

My Dad vandalising George:

First day of creativity: Wednesday 7th October.

My first attempt at the lettering. I realised it was too small...

So I had to take it all off, and I stacked it up on his head for ease :P You can also see the sketched outline :)

Third attempt at lettering, after the second attempt I printed in the wrong font!

Letters being arranged...

Letters glued down...

Thursday 8th October.

Dedication on tail:

First layers of white and yellow paint:

Friday 9th October.
Second coats of white and yellow, and first coat of orange.

First coat of black!

Updates will hopefully be more regular from now on :)

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Art on the Network

I recently entered Merseytravel's Art on the Network competition, to bring art to the public, and to liven up the public transport environment. I am pleased to share that I was shortlisted to the final five for the category I entered, "Wirral".

The piece is painted in acrylics with photograph sections, and the sea is made form torn train tickets. It took a lot of time to do, but was fun :) It is entitled "Maritime Wirral", with the lighthouse combination of Leasowe and New Brighton, the building in the foreground from Woodside ferry terminal, and the windmills off the shore at New Brighton.
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