Saturday, 21 July 2007

The griffin is by William Blake and is part of his art for Dante's Divine Comedy commissioned, says the caption, by John Linnell in 1824. There are many stories in this clipping.

It comes from the back of a book of black-and-white art of my grandfather's: 500 Years of Art in Illustration. The book came to me from my cousin Doug, who didn't want to store it. I find it a great source of material for my photoshopped originals.

This man, Harry Dean, married Beatrice Kewish in 1926. A year earlier, my paternal grandfather had married Phyllis Caldicott, and a year before that he had emigrated from Mozambique. Harry was very bookish, and bequeathed the vast bulk of his collection to the Communist Party when he knew he was very ill, in the mid-1950s. I will always regret this.

I include Blake's watercolour here because of the trepidation I feel at starting my final semester next week. I fully intend to pass, and this will put me in a different professional class from the past. But I will need to work for it.

It's also apposite because trepidation is the primary feeling I have when creating computer art. The fact that you have endless choice is probably the main reason for feeling like this. Unfettered freedom has a cost, because you must make the right decisions for yourself.

In society we often have no choice. A mortgage must be paid, and bills attended to. A work contract for 35 hours needs to be fulfilled because there is a penalty. I am comforted by the certainty these obligations bring, as I need only complete a task to satisfy their demands. But in front of my monitor with Photoshop open, I can do whatever I please, and the sensation is different.

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