How should I start a post after a hiatus of several months? Just like this I guess…
Still having dream-sequence flash backs from the last session.
Right-harder. Head-and-a-half high (bigger on the bombs), offshore and running one or two hundred meters down the reef. I hopped out of the van and saw the corrugations warping in from the open Atlantic toward the main peak, heaving upward, almost to pause-for-effect before detonating and writhing down the reef.
There’s a lot to be said for precision timing, careful planning, critical execution, waiting for just that right moment… that sort of thing. Isn’t there? Well sure, but then there also seems to be a lot to be said for having a crack, giving it a go, spontaneity, free jazz and interpretive dance. Who or what are we waiting for? Who are we trying to impress here and now or later? I’m uncertain if I’m really confused at all. Am I really indecisive? Why do I ever second guess myself, shrug off intuition?
One of those days when it seemed as if the whole coast was cooking. Explore, sure, but know when to abandon the car. We might have made a better call for the second session of the day but with the first wave here being a leg-burner some 300 metres or so down the point… ahh, here, another apt and suitable set wherein the song of the twin-fin could waver through its reprise.
With all but the twinny still in hospital the trip north was much simplified. No agonising over which boards to jam into the little car or strap to the roof. Should I bring a log, or both, if I’m catching up with…? No. Twinny in, suits in a bucket and away. En-route the call from G came through with a recommendation.
Bobbing around the shifty peaks on the right at Easky along the Sligo coast give you plenty of time for introspection. Paddle here, paddle there, over there?
“Cor… suss that thing draining and gurgling, maybe I’ll paddle over… Crikey! Hang-on, what’s this? I’m right on it! ….AAARRK!”
“Transition” – hand-printed reduction lino-cut.
Using the reduction method, the design is printed in stages. For each colour or ‘plate’, the design is drawn onto the block, the block is carved and the colour is printed. At each stage, the colour to be retained on the final print is carved away from the block with subsequent colours being over-printed onto the last. The process is repeated until the final plate has been printed and the block has been ‘reduced’ to the the final plate. The block can then be destroyed or marked to show the end of the edition.
“Seaweed you say? I’d love to help!”
This year the British Phycological Society’s 62nd Annual Meeting is being held where I spend my time when I’m not illustrating, the Ryan Institute at the National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland). Me, well I’ll be getting three shades of nerdy with the best of them for the two and a half days of talks on ecology, applied phycology and harmful algal blooms. Oh… and the fight is on for front row seats to Dr. Chuck Amsler’s plenary lecture, “Chemical mediation of Antarctic macroalgal-herbivore interactions.”
I jumped at the opportunity to get something fresh and salty out that would advertise the event – hopefully something a little different from the clip-art and word-processor promotional stuff that comes out at the last-minute, usually accompanied by, “Ahh sure, it’s really not that important, just whip something up.”
The BPS committee had only a short timeframe in which a main promotional poster, and another directing the conference attendees around campus to the venue, was to be organised. They were delighted with what I turned out in the nick of time. Budget? Forget it – seaweed research is my delight and so was this opportunity.
Sure, single-colour prints on t-shirts (black on white, white on red) can look great but getting two or more colours happening together can add depth and energy. Planning how the colours will overlap when screen-printed onto the shirts, the palette can be expanded and create a looser, more livelier image.
This week I’ve been messing about with colour separations for the t-shirt design for the Dunes Bar in Strandhill, Sligo (Ireland). It worked as a single colour but I wanted to see it jump in two. Playing with negative space has seemed to make the other colours pop and with only two colours, the print is still budgie (cheap cheap). Stoked with the above version and looking forward to getting one of these on.
Shore Shots Irish Surf Film Festival
The Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin, Ireland
On the road to Dublin this weekend for the 2014 Shore Shots Irish Surf Film Festival. So much goodness to get in front of. For the short film competition, which should be breath-taking on the big-screen, I’ve thrown in a framed limited edition, lino-cut print for one of the winners. Given the heaving that the Atlantic coasts have had over the past year the footage captured and put together in these film will be epic.
Frothing to see the still frames from the eight hardy photogs in their exhibts too. Staring into these eerily still, silent fragments from amidst such maelstroms of chaos can be unsettling. My brain fizzes with the thought of the rider immortalised in the moment, the others out there watching the spectacle unfurl in front of them, the others whose innards liquefy as they watch the rider disappear out of view… but the folks behind the lens? I’m looking forward to catching up with all of these headers. McLeod has been getting some good traction this year. Talented and proper gentleman – stoked to have had a few sliders of my own snapped by him.
Pity the folks putting the fest together couldn’t afford the beans to get Wayne Lynch over to give Uncharted Waters his thumb. Nonetheless, this is one doco that I’d walk across the country to watch it huge. Unquestionably a pivotal figure in Australia’s surfing heritage. Properly plugged in, still is. Take a breath, watch the trailer and book yer tickets. Get a brief heads-up at EOS then go do some homework. A lot to absorb on different levels and help re-evaluate our contemporary connections to surfing and the marine environment.
See you amongst the heads.