Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Eve kissing choices list.

In order of likelihood.

1. my hand.
2. television screen while Hootenanny is on.
3. my cat.
4. family member.
5. my snake.
6. bottom of a beer glass.
7. lampost.
8. a man.

My resolution is either.

a) change the list.
b) not care about the list.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Dorian Gray film review in one sentence.

I tried to watch it, wondered why they'd massacred Wilde's plot and filled it with badly edited 'horror' effects, a painful script and some of the worst sex scenes I've ever seen, then turned it off.

Matlock Antiques & Collectibles.

Best shop ever. Over the years I've come across a shrunken head (fake?), a medieval chastity belt, various occult objects and the odd bit of vintage porn. They also have clothing, faded photographs, old cameras, gramophones... Or if you want, you can buy a nice flowery chair!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Teenage graveyard birthday party.

I held my fifteenth birthday party in the local graveyard, then used my incredible Photoshop skills to make it look about a hundred years old. At twenty-two, I look upon these days with fondness, humour and only a slight twinge of embarrassment.

And in my latter part of secondary school, when everyone really fancied Gareth Gates, I fancied Robert Smith. I still do a bit actually, but I don’t think anyone still fancies Gareth!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Red Shoes.

Moira Shearer/Victoria Page's amazing face! Some stills I took from Scorsese's restored edition of 'The Red Shoes', a Powell and Pressburger film from 1948, with cinematography by Jack Cardiff.

It's pretty special I think; very dramatic, theatrical and like receiving a big Technicolor slap in the face. It has some sublime sequences and is well worth a watch, even if you hate ballet. Will let go some dodgy acting...but the whole (SPOILER) "you have to choose between being a loyal wife or pursuing your talent, else your husband will leave you and your shoes will try to kill you" thing didn't really do it for me.

Obviously an influence to films such as 'Singin' In The Rain', 'Moulin Rouge!', 'The Phantom of the Opera' and of course 'Black Swan'. Sometimes I really wish I were graceful enough to be able to dance.

Monday, 26 December 2011

The Smiths-mas.

Along with a lot of jumpers, chocolate and much-needed money, my parents got me some albums from The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Smiths for Christmas. I like them, but here are a few lyrics from my first listen through 'The World Won't Listen' that sounded particularly amusing ringing through a festive atmosphere.

"I never never want to go home, because I havn't got one anymore."

"And if I seem a little strange, well, that's because I am."

"Oh I can smile about it now, but at the time it was terrible."

"Two icy-cold hands conducting the way, it's the Eskimo blood in my veins."

And many others, oh Morrissey! I'm not slagging it off at all, they're actually some of the nicest presents I've ever had! Having a melancholy 80s Christmassy time.

I've also got 840 minutes of Tintin to watch and about a year's worth of LUSH.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Tech tragedy.

My laptop's disk drive has decided to no longer read DVDs. It now just wants to make very sad and unhealthy whirring, clicking, bloop blip sounds.


I hope Santa brings me an external disk drive for Christmas.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The fish tank of my dreams.

I have this fantasy of putting together a fish tank based on evolution. It wouldn't actually have any proper fish in it and would mostly be rocks and stuff, mimicking the moment marine life first squelched onto dry land.

It's unlikely you can keep these all together (which is why this is always going to remain a fantasy) but I would firstly have some mudskippers, which are amazing and just look like a joke animal with little fins that are gradually evolving into legs. They're amphibious, so the fish tank would have both an underwater bit and a sort of 'shore' to keep them all happy.

Who could NOT want some of these? (image

And then in the watery bit, some axolotls. They have these beautiful gills around their heads and are able to actually metamorphose before your very eyes when dipped in "salamander goo" (I only know this from the song, but when are they ever wrong). Although actually doing this reduces their lifespan and it's probably the equivalent of injecting a human with hormones until they grow an extra head or something; like I say, it's just a fantasy!

Fffff, little axolotl face, so cute. (image

And then to top it off, some minuscule toads. Just because, just look at them. Just, uh. I would name them all after famous toads. That'll just be 'Mr Toad' then. Hmm. And the toads could ride the mud skippers like horses... They do actually have some of these at Trowell garden centre aquatics.

Hai. (image

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah. I'm easily pleased. And all my fave jewelry is from the Sea Life Centre. Wouldn't it be great though!

Monday, 19 December 2011

My first video, 'WE ARE ROBIN HOOD'.

Just back from seeing my old friends in Nottingham, I’ve really missed it. On that note; here’s a video about Robin Hood I made on my art foundation, at college a few years ago.

It was a week-long project and we had to make something about an “Icon” (I nearly picked Harry Potter oops). At the end of the week we got to vote on each other’s work and somehow, mine won joint first place. This was actually my very first experience of filmmaking…and believe me, you can tell!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Twin Peaks fanart.

Agent Cooper in pencils and actual coffee, Laura Palmer's lovely dead face in oil paints. 

I've finished watching Twin Peaks now (an absolute joy as usual), so to celebrate have some fanart by me from 2009! Wow, I say that as if it being two years ago makes it any less embarrassing.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

I'm a positive person and cope easily with change.

I hated it when Myspace first changed.

I hated it when DeviantART V.7 came along.

I still kind of hate the new Facebook.

And now I hate whatever’s just been done to YouTube.

Me: I've started a blog!
My friend Dean: Is it about hating everything?
Me: ...

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Things you learn from a decade of reading fanfiction.

1. Professor Snape is not a greasy, bad-tempered bastard with a big nose. He is actually "smouldering, sex on legs" and is in some kind of S & M relationship with Harry Potter.

2. Rorschach from Watchmen is not a mental, asexual sociopath. He "just wants to be loved". By Nite Owl. Because he just needs someone lovely to love him and obviously Nite Owl feels the same way but uses Silk Spectre as cover.

3. And I recently (just casually researching of course) discovered a trend in Twin Peaks fiction for Albert and Dale, which actually sort of makes sense, y'know with his instant hatred of Harry and...


The other day I read something online about how the internet nurtures 'abnormalities' into subcultures. This made me feel a little uneasy, what a boring world it would be if everyone was 'normal'! Obviously I'm not advocating anything harmful/violent/you know what I mean, but I had the feeling this comment applied to anything outside the box of 'sensible' mainstream culture. Many subcultures that could be considered 'abnormal' have developed fine without the internet, but I guess the web does allow a degree of anonymity to express things you might not elsewhere...

FOR EXAMPLE! So far I have found a disturbing lack of Tintin fics online, you'd think there would be more!? And I'll just leave this here...that I found typing 'Tintin slash' into Google by complete accident.

Heh. Getting quite fond of it to be honest (I watch the cartoon series sometimes before I go to bed) and what I thought was a boring/mildly racist comic strip is really rather good; it makes you want to go travelling, have adventures and stuff! "Actually I don't smoke." Oh Tintin you babe.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Cat doing his shopping.

Came across this cat at the garden centre, perhaps having a rest from his catnip shopping or something?

If he's after that sofa he'd better hurry, it's the last one.

I want Tintin's job and the PHWOAR HORSE.

The very beautiful and sensitive new film; War Horse. Not a romance, or a bromance, but a whoooa-mance!

Come on, now that is what I call a passionate stare... I'm sorry. The trailer was supposed to make me cry wasn't it. Why can't I watch anything without somehow turning it into bizarre smut?

Take 'The Adventures of Tintin' for example!

I don't know if I was just in a funny mood or if I'm going a bit strange, but on a second viewing it seemed a rather homoerotic film. Oh dear. Aaand I'm fifteen again. beckons...

It's also very confusing. How old is Tintin even supposed to be? One minute he looks "abaht twelv" and basically dresses like a schoolboy, the next minute he has his own flat, his own dog, buys antiques, carries a gun and can fly a plane. WHAAAT. I guess I just want to know if he's jailbait or not (for goodness sake calm down, he's not even REAL).

And what is Tintin's job exactly? He just noses into other people's lives and gets into scrapes, rather like the Famous Five. I want to be a journalist/reporter/thing if it's anything like that! Maybe I should just get a job writing bad fanfiction, if such a career option exists.

Do I even have a job yet? I have an interview next week actually. I'm excited.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Hair dying adventures.

As illustrated by the lovely Sheryl Lee (playing Laura Palmer and her cousin Maddy respectively), I've dyed my hair and I'm like a TOTALLY different person!

I am now a serious brunette...ish.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Scary Lincoln.

A few tourist snaps from my day at Lincoln Cathedral and Castle! As usual, when I actually see things I want to photograph, I find I've forgotten my Lumix camera and end up using the Cyber-shit mobile. Oh well.

I'd forgotten how much I like Lincoln as a city, with it's sickening little craft shops and folky-wolky vibe. Trying to think up excuses to move there. It would be nice to become a street busker or something, but they have about fifty already.

Friday, 18 November 2011


I don’t usually buy a book based on it’s cover, but this is an exception!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Michael Powell film appreciation.

Stills from director Michael Powell. Black Narcissus, The Thief of Bagdad and The Red Shoes respectively. 

I'm a sucker for camp technicolour, but these are all worth checking out for sheer beauty. They will make your eyeballs tingle! One is about nuns, one is about Bagdad and one is about a pair of magical ballet shoes. But don't let that put you off.

Cinematographer Jack Cardiff needs a mention here, seeing as it's his input that makes Narcissus and Shoes such incredible eye-candy. For some reason the horror film Suspiria comes to mind? All the colours, shadows and mad angles mmm.

Powell has a wide selection of films under his belt (still need to watch Peeping Tom at some point) but these three appeal to me most I guess.

Thief of Bagdad used to be my one of my faves when I was little, mostly down to the horrifying giant spider bit.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Blogging versus Tumblelogging.

Quite like this blogging lark. It's probably a phase, but it's an enjoyable one. Brushing the tricky concept of putting everything you ever thought/said/did all over the internet, for everyone, forever, everywhere.

All internet publishing could be interpreted as attention-seeking to a degree, in particular blogging perhaps, but I think I mostly post interesting things... THOUGH I SAY SO MYSELF!

But. "Which is better, Blogger or Tumblr?"

I use Tumblr more, with about 20 posts opposed to just 9 on Blogger. But that's the difference between them for me; Tumblr is the scrapbook where you scribble thoughts and collect pictures and go this is good, look at this thing I've found. Blogger is better for traditional blogging (no shit Sherlock), recording things that YOU have made or done, taking the time to write more than a few words. Like a secret diary, one that everyone with a computer can look at.

If you remember learning about primary and secondary sources in English, it's something like that I guess.

Personally I use Blogger for posting original images or pieces of writing that I consider good enough to stand alone. I filter what is 'worthy'. Tumblr is more about sharing; it gets everything my Blogger does, and then some.

The platforms themselves?

Blogger's control panel does not seem to occupy the rules of logic, time or space. And the interface is UGLY. But it has been around longer, is less pretentious, has a simple archiving system with TITLES and I can usually expect to find focused, original, quality work on there. It is however rumoured to be changing it's name to "Google Blogs", which sounds absolutely disgusting and I will probably leave.

Tumblr is gorgeous, busy and fluid. Busy as in you leave it for a day and you have a bagillion notifications saying who has reblogged your blog. Reblogging and recycling is not frowned upon on Tumblr, infact most people's archives are filled with content they've found elsewhere. More quantity than quality? It also crashed my internet browser, but works like a dream with Google Chrome. Oh the irony.

Oh well, fact is I can't choose. They're both good in their own way and they both keep me writing and my brain working. It's probably a bit unhealthy actually, I've got to the point where I sleep with my notepad.

That's my input, now back to spooky pictures I've found and stoopid dreams I've had.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Joel-Peter Witkin and Shintaro Kago.

I was going to keep these pictures and mini-reviews on just my Tumblr, but what the hell! Figured if I actually express some opinion and it's not just a reblog I can post it here tooooo.

I was first introduced to artist Joel-Peter Witkin at college. I’ve never quite forgotten his photographs.

Sorry if you’re eating your lunch!

Tumblr’s more grusome than I expected, you can’t go anywhere without coming face-to-face with somebody’s corpse. I do think Witkin’s pictures are beautiful though.

And have some of this...

Rather enjoying Shintaro Kago’s work. Only just come across him, have I had my head down a hole you ask? Haaa.

I do use Tumblr for things other than finding nightmare fuel, honest.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Dreams where you think you're onto a winning idea for a TV series.

And then you wake up and think "actually, that was crap and a bit weird". Had one of these this morning. Just to clarify, I'm not a closet furry or a Naruto enthusiast. Don't worry it's not that bad.

I was a half-human, half-fox member of a fighting team (second thoughts, it IS that bad). There were four of us and we dressed like Little Mix from X-Factor.

We basically walked through a generic anime countryside picking fights with other teams. 

These included the 'Cats Quintet', who were five tiny, plump cats with scarily good acrobatic skills. And the 'Superior Seven' who were badgers with fans who all moved as one organism.  

I'm expecting there was a 'Secret Six' in there, y'know, the token mysterious nemesis of the series. 

In my dream I remember thinking, "YES, I have just created the best thing since Pokemon. This will be on t-shirts and lunch boxes and have all sorts of cards and stuff".

And then I woke up. Thinking WHY.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Liquid nostalgia.


It's been ages since I braved your alcopop/piss flooded dancefloor, and you were pretty horrible. But part of me died a bit inside when I heard you were closing. Oh there you are, right next to Wilkos.

Mansfield's not exactly incredible, but I've got this nostalgic fondness for my foundation year at college there. It was amazing to learn techniques for the first time and to watch the people around you grow as artists. One minute we were doing A4 pencil drawings, the next we were projecting our contorted faces onto slabs of meat. Well I was anyway. But you could just feel how enthusiastic everyone was; it was close, intense, small enough that we all knew eachother.

Looking back, the amount of support and advice we received was invaluable. It was all Svankmajer and Cunningham and joyously smashing down our boundaries with a giant jam-smeared haddock. I don't think I've ever been more excited about art, I probably churned out more work in that year than in my whole time at university. Not that I didn't enjoy my degree! It was just a different feel.

And on a good few Friday mornings we'd stagger into college, unwashed and hungover, from our 'mad night out' (look above at that, we were bloody MAD I tell you, and it was 2008?) at Liquid.

BAAAWWWW. Oh shut up.

It can't have been that good, really? It's weird how memory works. Here's a great bit of writing I found about nostalgia in the exhibition 'Past, Referenced' by Linda Hollaway and Jackie Cheetham.


Nostalgia is also a perfume.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

An art nightmare. Artmare.

It's some kind of art exam, an important one that I don't want to mess up. For reasons unknown it's being held on a school playing field at a kind of sports day event.

I have made this huge, dumb installation that resembles a cross between one of those children's 'fun houses' and a mini-golf course. It's all made out of chipboard and artificial grass and is surrounded by a net cage.

I have absolutely no idea why I made it, it's falling to pieces, half-arsed and probably unfinished. I get the feeling it was one of those 'seemed hilarious at the time' ideas.

Some of my old art tutors are discussing it, they think it's terrible and use long words that I'm not sure even exist. I feel ashamed that I've not researched art theory/history more, but retaliate saying I've heard other people say they loved it for the same reasons they hated it.

I think earlier I'd spoken to one of my old English tutors or something, but I don't remember the positive comments.

Anyway, I don't convince them, or myself. I shrug my shoulders, walk away, give one last look at the audience of the sports day event. I take a long run across the grass and transform into a bright red paper plane, then take off.

Have quite a few of these, when I'm not dreaming about trains going into tunnels and white snakes!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Scarborough photos.

Things I snapped whilst in Scarborough. A cherry pie, a floating lady, two obligatory photographs, that pyramid house in Watchmen and what looks like the human centipede.

Monday, 24 October 2011

It's just like The Black Lodge.

I've 'hung' the red curtain background on my blog, because it's a bit theatrical and reminded me of said lodge from the television series Twin Peaks.

See, exactly the same.

How meaningful. Furthermore, the title 'Natalie's Art House' could refer to this being my space for art matters, or could alternatively be a reference to arthouse cinema.

God I bet this is bringing people out of comas!

Don't worry I go on holiday tomorrow.

Talking of Twin Peaks, I'm watching it for the third time so expect me to mention it obsessively like only a true fan would.

And I also found this yesterday...

"Explore the films of David Lynch like a surrealistic, interactive adventure game featuring Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and of course Twin Peaks."

Not only will this send any David Lynch disciple into fits of extacy, it's just a really nice maze of a website to get lost in. Possibly made by an obsessive fan? Hmm.

I've decided to replicate this blog on Tumblr, because I just can't choose.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

I'm not religious but.

There's this scene in 'Jesus of Nazareth' (or should I just say IN THE BIBLE) where Jesus loses his cool about trading within the temple, smashing all the stalls to smithereens.

So when I popped into Southwell Minster yesterday (I love all that medieval crap) and saw this...

I felt like I'd walked into a sort of exam question. The Bramley Apple Festival! Selling pies, chutneys, Halloween cupcakes and my personal middle-class decadence fave; grass-reared bison meat/hides.

It was a bit like 'The Wicker Man', or one of those unintentionally hilarious episodes of Midsommer Murders where they blame the pagans.

Probably my churchy upbringing, probably reading too much into it, probably using this as an elaborate excuse as to why I didn't take any incredibly artistic photographs.

There were some morris dancers outside too! I hope they have a great big phallic Maypole next year.


Friday, 21 October 2011

Hello blogging.

I have decided to start a blog.

I should really say something interesting to 'pull in the crowds'.

But I'm not going to.

Start as you mean to go on.