Awaken the Lovers

heartlight

Awaken the lovers,

the ones we left naked

and alone, curled

like vast wildernesses

around their hearts,

and ask what they discovered

traversing the silent knowledge

of their dreaming.

The world calls for them to sing,

and soothe these confused voices

speaking out in fear and hate.

The world calls for them to laugh,

like children, at the boundaries

we imposed upon our minds.

Awaken them,

the ones who abandoned the

procession through the valleys

to dance with the mountains,

and ask what they discovered

wandering the timeless shores

of the bewildered.

We call for them to kindle

our shared vulnerability, so

we may cross the territory of despair

with playful courage and

a deepening clarity.

We call for them to reveal

the strength transcending barriers

and the fearless understanding

dormant beneath all symbols of

power and oppression.

Awaken them,

the lovers kept secret

behind our masks

of doubt and cynicism,

and ask what they discovered

traversing the silent knowledge

of their dreaming.

Loving Vincent – Summer 2016

I have just returned from Gdansk, Poland after an intriguing painting adventure.

I was accepted in July to join the team of painters completing ‘Loving Vincent’, the world’s first feature-length hand-painted animated feature film.

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http://lovingvincent.com/

The film is a moving insight into the latter days of Dutch painter Van Gogh, exploring the mysterious circumstances around his death, and brings to life the characters he knew and painted while struggling to find acceptance within the society of the time. Each frame of this film is an oil painting – all 62,450 of them!

Several months of intense painting began with a short test, then a week and a half training to practise hitting the canvas in Van Gogh’s style. After this arduous introduction I received my first shot and began the fascinating and ultimately meditative painting process for real. We used still photographs, previous paintings and the footage of the actors as references so that our shots would not look out of place within the scene once completed. To be on schedule, four painted frames of the 12-frames-per-second animation were expected each day by each of the hundred and fifty painters working on the film, something which needed sincere determination and focus. In the end, I am thrilled that my efforts stand beside the work of those who dedicated two to three years to the film, painting scenes inspired by some of Van Gogh’s most well known paintings such as ‘Starry Night’ or ‘Portrait of Doctor Gachet’.

starry-night     portrait_of_dr-_gachet

The film idea emerged around ten years ago with writer/director Dorota Kobiela, who began a short film inspired by Van Gogh’s letters. After some efforts, the film shifted into a feature length production with the aid of a successful kickstarter campaign and support of fellow writer/director Hugh Welchman and the studio Breakthru Films – http://www.breakthrufilms.pl. Actors were cast for the roles, and the live action footage was then used as the reference for the team of painters, originally from Poland, but eventually from many countries, including Mexico, India, Australia, Serbia and Ukraine.

What a unique, challenging and wonderful experience this was! I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity to work on a major and pioneering animated film.

‘Loving Vincent’ will be shown at festivals in 2017 and then released widely in the Autumn.

From Bewildered Beach

bewilderedbeach003

something
about this place
seems so familiar,
a cool ocean fog
and a soft hint of rain,
yet each time I stand
with my back to the sand,
the horizon is
never the same

vastness
comes knocking
from every direction,
the sky digs deep
into my brain,
if you ask me
what it might find there,
I could not begin
to explain

25th March