Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Collaboration with Rebecca Tripp – parts 15 & 16

With my calender slowly filling up to the point that I have things scheduled out to September, my poor muse is swamped. A nice little break that I receive is when I receive a note from my friend Rebecca announcing her newest work. Of course I decided that since these newest works of hers were released so close together, it was only fitting that I post them together.

Part 15 – Bellflowers
Click to go to Waltz of the Bellflowers video

'Irish Tranquility' by Dawn Star Wood
Back on May 17th, Rebecca cheerfully sent me a note exclaiming that her video The Waltz of the Bellflowers was up. Of course she apologized over the fact that she had already used the piece she borrowed from me at least twice before. I couldn't help but chuckle since several of my paintings end up having multiple types of flowers in it depending on the feel that I was going for. Listening to her new piece focusing on Bellflowers, I was struck by the feel of late Spring/early Summer that she had woven in with her music. Even with bells tolling in the background which brought to mind weddings. After listening to the piece again, I realized that it actually made me think of Midsummer Night's Dream due to the almost fairy-like quality of the music. In a way, Waltz of the Bellflowers seems to be a companion piece to her earlier works The Waltzing Dahlia and Foxglove Waltz. Together they almost seem to be her answer to Vivaldi's (1678-1741) Four Seasons.

The piece she decided on for this particular musical number was Irish Tranquility, which I know she had used for Foxglove Waltz. As I had mentioned before, I had done the piece back in 2011 as something for St. Patrick's Day and was aiming to do native flowers of Ireland.

Part 16 – Trumpet Flowers
Click to go to Trumpet Flower Waltz

'Trumpet Tuner' by Dawn Star Wood 
I had actually come across Rebecca's newest piece that I was in before she had a chance to add all of the copyright stuff to give credit to the artists. She later sends me a note letting me know that she had everything labeled so it was safe to share. Softer then some of her other pieces, Trumpet Flower Waltz is rather relaxing in the sense that it could be used for meditation purposes or even as something to listen to while working. There is a sense of Victorian elegance with this particular waltz which makes me think of old stories of traveling abroad. In a way, it reminds me of Chanson de Matin which was written by composer Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1937).

The painting that she decided to use was Trumpet Tuner, one of the few pieces I had done specifically for Rebecca's music. 

If you would like to see more from Rebecca and give her a message, here's where you can find her work:

Interested in finding my work? Here's were you can find and follow me: 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Collaboration with Rebecca Tripp – part 14

For those of you who have been following this journey of mine since the beginning, both Rebecca and I have been getting excited as her project gets closer to completion. If you're just tuning in, Rebecca Tripp is a talented young lady out of Canada who has been working on a project of pairing up a series of flower themed inspired waltzs she had written with artwork that had the flowers in question, putting them together in a music video and posting them on her YouTube account. As far as my part in this collaboration, I have been allowing her to use my work in several of the videos since she had asked me back in May 2012 and the first video that had one of my pieces in it was posted in August 2012. It has been quite enjoyable seeing what she comes up with for each one.

Due to my busy schedule as of late, it had been a couple of days since I had gone through my inbox over on my deviantART account but when I recently checked it and saw that I had a note waiting for me, I couldn't help but smile since there was a high possibility that my dear friend had created another video. Clicking, I was thrilled to see that I was right:

Click to go to 'The Waltz of the Honeysuckle' video
Now I was intrigued since honeysuckle on their own are beautiful yet difficult to paint at times but to create music to go with their delicate nature? So off I went to check out her newest creation. The Waltz of the Honeysuckle has a much slower, almost mysterious quality to it compared to any of her other works. In a way it reminded me of the beginning for a scene of a ballet, or in this case the Summer Etude for Cinderella (1:17). Continuing with that thought, my mind reminisces on the story of the 12 Dancing Princesses and more specifically when the brothers follow the young women through the forests of gold, silver and bronze. Perhaps I'm just a fanciful romantic at heart. Another piece of music that Waltz of the Honeysuckle reminds me is parts from Pines of Rome which was originally written by Italian composer Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) and later became part of Disney's Fantasia 2000 collection.

'Enlightenment' by Dawn Star Wood
As I looked through the beautiful pieces Rebecca had chosen for the video, I wondered which of mine she had decided on since I have a habit of putting some type of honeysuckle into my pieces from time to time. I was surprised and happy to see that she decided on Enlightenment which I had done back in 2011 which is currently available at Sunlight of the Spirit Book and Gift store in Sacramento, California. The plaque in the center was based off of a photo I had taken earlier that year at one of my favorite shops and had decided upon using as a focal point. 

2314 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
Phone: (916) 440-1533
Email: sunlight.spirit@att.net

If you would like to see more from Rebecca and give her a message, here's where you can find her work:

Interested in finding my work? Here's were you can find and follow me: 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Art of Gaming: Vigil: Blood Bitterness

It has been quite some time since I've added to my Art of Gaming segment, to which I apologize. Today seems to be a lesson that patience is a virtue. As many of you may have read in my Art of Gaming – Segment Update, with the lack of responses I had been dealing with from busy developers I had been considering the option of writing up the reviews with or with out developer feedback on what their inspirations were for the art styles of their games. It is still something that I'm thinking of doing and later including any insights as I receive them. Something to think about in the future but for today, let me proceed as I have before. Back in late December, I had come across a game by a rather dark title and an equally bold art style. So what exactly was the inspiration for Vigil: Blood Bitterness?

Originally release for PC in June 2007, Vigil: Blood Bitterness was a creation from the minds at Freegamer which includes France based Dehongames Studio. Advertised as an RPG indie game, the description states that the game “plunges you into the dark and disturbing story of an ancient civilization where you must reveal the secrets of your past and exact revenge on the Evil destroying your universe. Ritualistic killings and blood lust blur the line between your own kind and the Evil you seek to annihilate”. Now I was wondering how it looked so I went to watch the trailer in hopes to figure out a bit more.

Click picture to be linked to trailer for Vigil: Blood Bitterness

When I watched this strange bit of footage, the first thing that I noted was that the title was originally Victi which is Latin with multiple meanings ranging from conquered to survived. In itself, the original title makes sense when paired up with the description of the story line. The second thing that I noticed was the trailer being voiced and subtitled in French. It is a little off putting for those who are English speaking since it's difficult to figure out what the narrator is saying but at the end of the day, it would appear that if you get the game there is the option for English. Thirdly, and the main reason why this game caught my attention, was the style. Bold and perhaps a bit jarring, there was something about the visuals that reminded me of Aeon Flux (1991). It is perhaps due to the strong lines, over exaggeration of forms, and the camera angles that made me reminiscence about the now cult classic animated movie. There was a part in the trailer that also blended some black and white footage of someone's hands which reminded me of the use of actual film footage in the animated movie Wizards (1977). Now I truly was puzzled as to what the actual sources of inspiration were for this game. 

After sending out my inquiry to Freegamer back in late December 2012, I waited. It wasn't long before I had forgotten that I even sent them an email asking them of their inspiration for the game. So it came as quite a surprise to me when this morning nestled in the inbox of my email was a message from Manuel of Dehongames Studio. At first I was wracking my brain trying to think of who this person was. Obviously I had sent them a message but for what reason? It took me a moment to realize that the gentleman was responding to my question. Perhaps it was due to the language barrier between English and French that caused the delay in responses. Maybe they were backed up on messages and it took them that long to respond. Who knows, but his simple message was short and to the point: 

sin city
star wars


page from 'Sin City'
An interesting combination, in retrospect, which makes the visuals in the trailer make more sense in my mind. Sin City (1991-1992) was originally a graphic novel series from the mind of Frank Miller (1957 - ) and later turned into a movie in 2005 by Quentin Tarantino (1963 - ). Known for its mono-toned with the occasional splash color design style, it is easy to see how the developers did their best to mimic the classic series. Star Wars (1977 - ) however is a little bit of a surprising bit of inspiration material but when I thought about it, I can see how perhaps the story theme and even the concept of the antagonist could have been drawn from Darth Vader and the goals of the Empire. Manuel later adds that the story for the game was inspired by an unfinished short story called The Burrow by Franz Kafka (1883 - 1924). The story was rumored to actually have an ending but it was destroyed along with other works of his by his lover after his death. 

If you're interested in playing Vigil: Blood Bitterness, you can find it here: 
store.steampowered.com - Vigil: Blood Bitterness 
(Part of the Puzzle Indie Pack which includes: Gumboy -Crazy Adventures, Vigil: Blood Bitterness, Obulis, Chains) $9.99