* The draft of this post accidentally published itself (!) before I had time to edit it, or upload the images. Here is the finished article, hope you enjoy! *
In the Virtual Open Studio series of The Artist’s paintings, which I’m running on this blog, I’ve included a ‘find the logo’ competition – just for fun.
Sometimes the logos are easy to spot – on earlier, manual paintings, he superimposes them solely for the purpose of the blog posts. In later digital work they are part of the picture, making them harder to find. And they aren’t a direct copy of the one I’ve been printing at the bottom of each VOS page – here is an unrendered outline which might make it easier:
Joss, from Walking in Beauty has asked about the significance of the logo and whether it’s a ‘W’ on it’s side. Not quite, Joss, but you are close. Here’s the backstory:
Until the end of the 20th Century, The Artist had never even switched on a computer. He was dismissive of anything other than conventional media, stating that if you couldn’t see brushstrokes, then he didn’t consider it ‘Art’. Like many people, he was under the misapprehension that the computer programme did all the hard work.
But, as a keen video gamer, he was fascinated by the rapid development of computer generated imagery (CGI). The eponymous ‘Final Fantasy’ role playing game – and the movie it spawned – convinced him that this was a valid, emerging art form; one which he became keen to explore. So, in September 2000, he enrolled on the first ever course in Creative Digital Art and New Media, at Plymouth’s College of Art and Design.
One of his early assignments was to design a print-ready business card. Being ‘old school’ trained, Martin sketched a series of rough ideas by hand, in pencil at A4 size. Coming up with around twenty possibles, he laid them out on our living room carpet, to decide which worked best. Removing the rejects, one by one, he was left with a couple of images that stood out and had all but decided on one, when he sought my opinion. Having just walked in from the kitchen, I was viewing them from the side and the other design caught my eye.
‘That one – this way up,’ I said, firmly. When he looked at it from my viewpoint, he couldn’t help but agree. (If only all our joint decisions were this simple – LOL!)
At the time I was developing a YA novel, in which the protagonist has to chose the right pathway through a forest, in order to save the world. (It’s still a WIP!) To help me visualise it more clearly, The Artist drew and painted the talisman that plays a significant part in the plot:
The ‘turned around’ logo, that I chose, echoes the symbols on the talisman, so it was the obvious choice.
It’s a well-worn cliche that art imitates life (and vice-versa) and our path hasn’t been direct. Like most people, we’ve taken a few twists and turns to get where we are today – ‘straight zig-zags’ as Souldipper once called them. We’ve sometimes strayed down blind alleys, believing that we’re on the right track. But we don’t regret these diversions – they’re all part of the roller-coaster experience and we’ve always learned from them.
This was the main thrust of my novel, the hidden message on the talisman and the significance of Martin’s logo.
It’s the way that he now signs his work. If you rotate it 90 degrees clockwise, to the orientation that he first sketched it, it’s a stylized version of his initials – MK!: