My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Friday, 13 June 2014

Friday 13th, Full Moon and Skulls

For what is probably one of the most Gothic dates in the calendar, I am show casing one of the most Gothic paintings I've done. 
Raven took a photo because I lost my camera
It's an amethyst-coloured crystalline vampire skull on a black background with a black frame - pretty cliché!

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have not been very well lately. While I was at home ill the weekend after my last post, I did this painting. I actually started it a couple weeks before, at the art club I attended, but it was just a roughly realised sketch in purple over white with the black background blocked in and the forms of the skull pretty much drawn, but with no real detail, depth or finish. As I was too ill to really do much at all, especially not anything particularly active, and I was struggling to sleep at night or during the day due to how much I was woken by my own coughing, I had to find something to occupy my time. As this was a small painting done on board with no need for an easel and not requiring much space, this was the perfect project to do wrapped up warmly in the living-room - no need to move much, I could sit on my over-sized cushion or the couch, and it required little physical activity. The painting needed to dry between stages, giving me time to nap during the day, too.

I saw the doctor on the Friday and it turns out that I had sinusitis yet again and I ended up on a course of antibiotics. I'm still very mildly congested, but I'm thoroughly functioning. Anyway, back on Monday I was at work again, if still not well, as I was well enough to function. As such, I was in town, so I took the painting in to the framers. I collected the painting again this Friday. On the bus back from town, the painting garnered quite a bit of interest from two passengers - one who was totally fascinated by it, and offered to buy it, but sadly not at a price that covered the expense of framing, let alone my time. If he had offered me more, I would have sold it to him there and then!

I don't often sell my paintings, and this picture was intended as a mere exercise in practising acrylic painting as it is something I had not done in a while and something I felt rather rusty at. It's not a piece with any great meaning, it's just a painting of a crystalline or glass skull with elongated teeth and distorted proportions to be that of a vampire. It was done completely freehand without a reference, and while the proportions are deliberately not correct for a human skull, I think it stands fairly well to show that I have drawn possibly a few too many skulls in my time! 

The reason that I am wanting to sell it is two-fold - one is that my bicycle is in need of repairs and I am trying to raise the cash to pay for it, and the other is that I have a limited amount of picture hooks (due to the rental agreement) and a limited amount of storage space (due to the size of the flat) and think that while it is certainly the kind of art that I would display in my home, in this case I feel that if I keep it, it is liable to be damaged in storage and it is certainly the kind of subject matter I could easily paint again. I am actually having a bit of a clear-out as Raven and I may be moving again in the near future, and having fewer things means less to pack and move, and it is also an opportunity to assess what I really want to keep, and what is clutter. I don't think this painting is clutter by any means, but I don't want to hold on to something I am likely to damage, and I need the money. 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Red hair, Black Dress, Green Meadow

I sadly have but the one offering for red and black week - this Gothic Lolita outfit. It's a photo from a couple of months back. 

Currently I am ill again; I have had bad luck this year with illnesses! 

I have frequent headaches from what I presume is sinus problems, and I am very congested indeed and rather under the weather. I've also developed a rather unpleasant cough. I am off to the doctor tomorrow as today is my 8th day of being ill with what started as a sore throat and then seemed to move upwards into the rest of my head. 

While I have been in to work up until this morning, I was coughing and spluttering continuously, have lost my voice and can barely concentrate with the headaches. I made sure I stayed until I had sorted all tasks so I wouldn't leave anything for others to do in my absence and requested to go home sick. The over-the counter medication is having little effect, not even the nasal spray specifically designed for sinus and mucus problems. Right now, I am tucked up in bed with hot drinks. Even though I slept badly last night and the night before (and the night before, etc.) I can't manage to sleep today, so I am alleviating the tedium of recuperation with updating my blog. I am in no position to do more than display an old photo, and have been too unwell to prepare anything in the last few days. Next year I will try and have more done in advance.

The photograph is by ::Chance Photography:: and the location is the meadow near my apartment. The weather was being typically Scottish, with a grey but surprisingly bright sky and cold, damp air. I was photographed in the same meadow a while back for a previous Red and Black Week post (::here::) wearing a different red wig - that one I eventually decided to straighten as the fibres had kinked and become damaged with frequent wear and it was easier to keep them in check on a straight wig than a curled one. The wig in this photo is a Lockshop wig and the fibres seem far more durable and the curls have remained very well. 

As this is primarily a fashion post and not actually JUST a rant about my being ill, here is the outfit run-down:

Hair flowers: off-brand, various including H&M, Claire's and Poundland
Wig: Lockshop  Blouse: Tesco  Dress (JSK): Baby, The Stars Shine Bright
Tights: off-brand, probably Tesco  Shoes: T.U.K.


It is certainly not the fanciest Lolita outfit, but I am quite pleased with it. I am quite tall, so the skirt of the dress comes to just above my knee rather than ending at the knee itself, but I am not really fussed that it is on the edge of breaking "the rules" as I rather like this outfit irrespective of how Lolita it is. I am more interested in feeling pretty than making sure I adhere completely to the Lolita template. 

The shoes in this photo are my first pair of "Lolita" style shoes. I have replaced the skulls with a matching set as the shoes were secondhand and the previous owner had lost some of the original skulls. The construction of these shoes does not appear to be of very high quality as I have had to re-attach all of the decorative bows at some point (none seemed sewn securely) and one of the straps snapped. I am, however, quite good at mending things so this has not been a huge bother, and while I have not owned them long, I am not sure how much the were worn by the previous owner.

My favourite thing about this outfit is how with such a dark colour-scheme for the majority of the photo, the red of the wig stands out really well even though it's actually not that vivid. I know it looks quite bright in some photographs as it tends to look quite plastic under bright flash, but this photograph is probably most representative of how it looks in real life.