Thursday, April 26, 2007

In which Emily decides she wants to be a Scot

Its official! I am going to dance at this years Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle during the Edinburgh Festival! I am so excited, I think I will cry my eyes out when I walk out onto the esplanade for the first time... There are about 20 (Highland dancers) going from South Africa, I don't know if the pipe band is going this year. There are also Highland dancers going from Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The whole tattoo has over 800 people in it! Wow, I still can't believe I'm really going. The tattoo is on for pretty much the whole of August, after that I'm going to go to London to shop around my portfolio....see what happens.

I don't have any photos me dancing (becasue I'm usually either on stage or on the other end of the camera) but the first is Hayley's studio performing a traditionally-based choreography for the November Western Cape Celtic dance concert. The other is Sandi and Taryn performing everybodies favourite dance: the Irish Washerwoman's Jig at the Edgemeade Competition in March.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

In which Emily and her Muse declare a truce

So it seems like threre is a truce - my muse declares his undying love, I am yet to be convinced (only time will tell etc) but I feel there may be a little bit of hope for my future happiness.

With this in mind I'm taking a break to let the paint dry on a story I am illustrating for the next edition of Jim Baen's Universe. I'm not allowed to post any of these yet (becasue Universe has first exclusive rights), so instead I decided to post the first images I illustrated for them, last year.

These were painted for a story by Gene Wolfe called The Old Woman in the Young Woman. Gene Wolfe is porbably the most famous person I have ever illustrated for and it was a little intimidating because I had only just begun working in oils (and in colour). Before this all my illustrations were blck and white in pencil. This images are the rough/ value study and the final piece.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

In which it gets worse and worse

Just when you think it can't get worse it does... I really wish I had a crystal ball that told me what to do. But I don't and I don't know anything. I wish I could switch off my head.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In which Emily discovers aquariums are full of fish

This is one of the first photographs taken by my new camera!! I took it at the Two Ocean’s Aquarium in Cape Town. I am thinking of doing some (or one!) mermaid paintings. I thought the aquarium photos would make grand background references.

Having a camera again makes me feel less hysterical and more in control of my life (I know this is an illusion but it’s a pleasant one so I don’t care). The aquarium was very soothing, even though it was packed full of people on their Easter holidays.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

In which Emily discovers that baboons suck

In continuing the theme of depression and woe, my sister Kate and I were attacked by a baboon as we were hiking through the gorge on the way to Crystals Pools (about 5kms outside Gordon’s Bay, by the Steenbras River Mouth). This monstrosity of a creature was as tall as my shoulder, with muscles to make a gym-fly drool. I don’t think I’ve ever been so terrified in my life. And I really didn’t know that baboons grew that big – but I suppose normally you see them far away up the mountain and there’s no scale comparison. We came round a bend in the river and there he was, half a metre away. Larger than life and REALLY REALLY hairy. And he just came towards us, in slow hairy motion, although it was probably quite fast actually. Anyway, to cut a long story short, he pulled me back by my backpack, which I managed to wriggle out somehow and run for it. I have never seen my sister move so fast. The ranger went back to look for my stuff (I was too scared to go) and I got back my car keys and cell phone but my very beautiful and expensive camera he could n’t find. I had wrapped it in a Pick n’ Pay packet to keep it dry, and I figure the baboon thought it was grub and took it off with him somewhere to munch. L

Needless to say the whole day was a real bummer, and probably the closest I’ve ever come to losing my mind. But as everyone keeps reminding me, it could have been worse, we could have been hurt and we weren’t. It could have been a lot worse. My family are amazing; they are going to help me out towards a new camera.

I can’t really continue with my illustration without one – I use it all the time, for reference and to document the finished paintings if they are too large to scan.
For a while there I thought I was going to have to give up art and become… something office-y… then I really would lose my mind.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

In which Emily begins her blog

Welcome to my blog!

My love life is just so many ashes in a heap, my muse has left me, so I have decided to start a blog in an attempt to rediscover it, or at least as a constructive distraction to the ravages of the heart.

I am a freelance illustrator. I finished my MA (in illustration) at Stellenbosch University a year ago and since then I have been working, on and off.

I love being an illustrator, it’s very exciting never knowing what or when you’re are going to work, rather I imagine like being an actor waiting to hear back from auditions. Sometimes it gets a bit dodgy money wise – hopefully as I get more contacts and more experience this will even out a bit (here’s to hoping!).

What I enjoy most of all is fantasy illustration and art. If I had to choose to be someone else I would be probably pick William Waterhouse … a Pre-Raphaelite definitely. I am working hard to improve my oil painting, and I am going to use this blog to post my sketches and paintings.

The image at the top is a painting I finished a little while ago – my sister Bethany and my friend Shauntel modelled for me and the background is one of the trees at the Second Water Fall in Jonkershoek. I was trying to capture that beautiful light that is only found in mountain gorges in the western cape.