Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Thoughts On Broken Brains- namely, mine

I'm crazy.
I'm crazy and I want to die.
Now, this is not an e-suicide note.
I have no intention of, or plan for, killing myself.
I was suicidal for so long that I've passed through to calmer waters on the other side.
Heh. I'm 'Super-cidal'.

Swinnyway. What brought this up?
I watched the film Serenity a couple of times recently. I'm a huge fan.
After watching the entire TV series of Firefly (on DVD), I saw Serenity with new insight, and less need to figure out the nuances.
I found myself completely focussed on the character of River Tam- and not because she's played by a hot young ballerina (Summer Glau).
Now, I don't claim to have but the most remotely similar condition to River's. Hers is induced, mine is all-natural. I'm bipolar with a dash of PTSD, she's a semi-delusional, psychotic psychic.

But River and I, we both crazy like... things.. that're.. crazy.. Yeah.
And Summer Glau is a much better actress than some may credit her.
During one of River's 'episodes' in the film, she mentions suicide. In an almost-sing-song, little-girl voice, she says, "Bullet in the brainpan- squish!," before disolving into giggling sobs. This is accompanied by a flash cut to a few quick frames of her raising a pistol to her head.

It was perfect. It was... true.

If you've never wanted to die, wanted it with all that remained of your broken, mouldering soul- and also found it funny, you might not understand how poignant, how powerful that line is.

So, big props to Joss Whedon for writing it, and more to Summer Glau for selling it.
I never really thought about how it might look from the outside. Probably because when my brain is operating like that, I don't care how it looks from the outside.
I'm not holding River Tam as canon- Ms. Glau's performance is not gospel- not even for me, let alone the rest of the loonies. But it was... close.
It was familiar. The anguish, the internalization, the absurdity of everything. Most of all, the giddy relief at the thought of release- of death.

Friday, December 16, 2005

What's a little art between friends?

I paint.
Well, I paint things. Don't know which end is up on a canvas.
That was a joke.
Here we have Frankenstein's Monster (Frank, henceforth), from Dark Horse's Universal Monsters line. A -mostly- fun piece to paint. It had it's quirks, but no serious flaws to speak of.
Frank's a 'cold-cast porcelain' statuette, about 10" tall by 10" wide. It came in 5 pieces (excluding chains, etc.) and assembled with little putty work.

I painted Frank for my friend Jeff Davis.

To the right, we see a quirk of my technique. I taught myself to paint with 25mm tall miniatures (Games Workshop, to be exact).

One of the tricks I learned painting minis is what I call 'light-keying'. I decide (or find out) what type of lighting the piece is going to be viewed under, and I paint it under that light.
Since Frank was most likely going to be viewed under standard incandescent light, that's how I painted him.

In the first photo, his skintone isn't, well, natural, but it's where I intended it. In the second, under a flash, Frank turns blue! Actually, Frank is blue/grey, with a yellowed-ivory-ish layer over to soften and 'naturalize' the blue/grey. Not a problem, just a little quirk with my style.

Ah, Pinhead.
I painted this guy for Chris Davis, and am happy to report that the manufacturer of this piece may no longer be in business.

Let me wander back an lay some groundwork. I'm not a big fan of the thin-wall PVC statues to begin with. I think it's a rotten media. PVC is for plumbing... and maybe dressing up girls in, but that's not important right now.

Next, the original sculptor fell prey to a stereotypical fanart-blunder. He only really gave the love to 'the important' part. See, this sculpt is really quite good from, say, the nipples up- hence, 'the important part'. The other 60% were not worth doing, evidently. If this were a bust, it'd be great. As it's a 20" (approx) statue, I want to throttle the perpetrating fanboy goober.

The hands, the center of the piece, are merely two mounts for ten sausage-like fingers with no sense of proportion. The skirt could have been acceptably sculpted by a leprotic monkey with cataracts. These apparently, were not. The texture is inconsistent, and- bah. Who cares? The paintjob turned out alright.


I paint stuff.
I'm gorram good at it.
I did these two for my friends, and I was kind of worried about how long it could take- it's been almost two years since I've done a lot of painting.
But, it seems I've got my hand back in, so I guess I'll have to add large pieces like these to my price sheet. ;)