Transcendent Art – Hokusai

I re-watched a BBC documentary about Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai last night, via the iPlayer app, and was struck by the power that his art (particularly the painting) possesses to send me into something of a transcendental state. I gasped aloud when this particular painting appeared:

Painting of ducks by Katsushika Hokusai copyright the British Museum.

Despite my love of visual art, particularly painting, illustration and Japanese woodcut printing, it has always been music and narrative that has ‘moved’ me to tears or joy. I’m not going to try to fathom out why I feel the way I do when I see these works as, for me, this would spoil the experience but, by cracky (as the late, great John Noakes would have said) there is something here that addresses what it is to be human and to experience existence in this world.

Doesn’t Hokusai capture the very essence of duck in the main figure? It is almost alive.

iBook and job search

I’m currently juggling work on the e-book with job searching and personal computer swapping (and more general family life). Using an A3 sketch pad (my favourite work medium as I’ve mentioned before now), I’ve mapped out the general plot, making some significant decisions (alterations) as I did so. I’m currently using the excellent Worldbuilding website to make solid some of my more gaseous thoughts. I’m not sure how many contributors on the site are bona fide scientists  but the consensus of opinion on matters seem to give creedence to many answers.

My mate John has gifted me a copy of “The Seedling Stars” by James Blish and I’m currently reading “Surface Tension”. Although I won’t be using any of the ideas directly, I’ve had some ‘offshoot thoughts’ about aspects of my project. I love the way that James Blish explores the idea of existence in the narrative just as UKLG explores ideas about society in “The Dispossessed”. I read (present tense) both narratives as ‘thinking out loud’.

I’m considering producing the e-book as a Bandcamp CD and booklet before a multimedia iBook but will probably change my mind many times over the next few months.


My friend John asked me a question about something I hadn’t considered – who is the audience for the iBook? I had to confess that I hadn’t really thought about it but that it would be suitable for all audiences. “Young adult then?” he suggested. Now I think about it, it couldn’t be anything else.

Stonemason Library at Daz 3D

I cannot possibly justify purchasing the product at the moment but Stonemason and Daz 3D have just released probably my favourite ever product. The Gothic Library has an introductory price of $25.87 and has some of the most detailed texturing I’ve seen in 3D models. Additionally, it’s a library – just the ticket (bookmark?) for any bibliophile.

All illustrations below are copyright Stonemason and Daz 3D and I’ve included them to show just how wonderful this item is.




What next

I’ve retired from teaching again – this time from supply work rather than a permanent post. It was all just too “Groundhog Day” for my liking (been there, done that, have the tee-shirt). Hopefully, while job hunting, I’ll be able to begin regular posting again and reboot the music and iBook work.



A very informative presentation by the late Ray Bradbury in which he talks about the importance of metaphor in short stories:

Thanks again to Calmgrove for introducing me to Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes”.